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Topic: Is it an issue to pull out a different deck of cards?
Message: Posted by: Ed_Millis (Sep 16, 2009 12:55PM)
I want to use jumbo cards (4 x 7) for small stage shows. I have a Bike jumbo regular and Bike jumbo ID. I was going to try to work in some routines where the card would be bent, signed, or otherwise needed to be replaced to ensure a complete deck. Now that Bike jumbos are going away, though, I'd need to use a different deck for effects needing a replacement card.

Is it an issue to use obviously different decks? Open with the Bike ID, but then put it away and use a different deck for the other routines? Or should I just try to make my own jumbo ID out of the other cards? (Not a pleasant thought to me.)

Message: Posted by: BCaldwell (Sep 16, 2009 01:08PM)
If I'm reading your post correctly you have a Bicycle Jumbo ID but you are asking if you could use cards with an obviously different back design for other effects? This is a tough one. I personally say "NO FREAKIN' WAY!", but I am an extremely logical person and it would drive ME crazy as the performer to the point of distraction. Why would I need to use a different deck of cards, unless there was something "special" about the other deck? But that may just be me.
Message: Posted by: Ed_Millis (Sep 16, 2009 01:33PM)
On 2009-09-16 14:08, BCaldwell wrote:
If I'm reading your post correctly you have a Bicycle Jumbo ID but you are asking if you could use cards with an obviously different back design for other effects? ... Why would I need to use a different deck of cards, unless there was something "special" about the other deck? But that may just be me.

That's exactly what I'm worried will go through the spectator's minds. Unless I have a good reason. "I'm going to have you sign one of these cards, so I'm going to use my cheap deck, okay?" D'ya think that would fly?

Message: Posted by: BCaldwell (Sep 16, 2009 01:45PM)
Well, they might wonder why you couldn't just use your cheap deck the entire time. Unless there is something unusual about the deck (i.e. split deck) I try to maintain the fiction that I am only using one deck. To quote myself, "But that may just be me." :)
Message: Posted by: 55john55 (Sep 16, 2009 10:17PM)
I'm just an amateur who does magic for friends etc. and my guess is that I will be in the minority on this one. I make no pretense of using only one deck. In fact, I make a point of showing a number of decks(virtually all ordinary decks). If you wanted you could use a variety of analogies. Does a baseball player only have one bat, does a golfer only have one club? Some tricks are easier to do with a new deck, some with old decks. You are doing miracles in front of their eyes constantly. Even if you did use the same deck all the time, wouldn't people think you are switching decks without them noticing anyway? That is just a thought. "For this trick I need a deck that has extra magic in it. I bought it at Walmart for $1.87".
Message: Posted by: olaf911 (Sep 17, 2009 01:22AM)
Sorry John, but on this one I am with Bob, being an extremely logical person as well (mathematician :) ). Using more than one deck plants the idea into the mind of the spectators that tricks are done with special decks. They think that tricks are done by props, if you like. This is not considered to be magic by the audience. The spectators will see this as a technical puzzle, I am afraid, and all the magic atmosphere you built is gone.

The only time I introduce a different deck is for a Do-As-I-Do trick, where distinct decks (here: red/blue backed bicycle decks) visualize, who has which deck. To get hands on my gaff decks I do a (hopefully) invisible switch, which is suprisingly easy, btw.. Since it is done in my pocket it is no solution for this problem.

Whenever I use the ID I have some preceding trick without cards (deck laid aside), then catch the ID off the air into some paper bag. Duh!

*Maybe* (!!!) for small kids you would get away with something along the lines of "The magic of this deck of cards is exhausted. I have to fetch another one.", but adults will easily see through this.

If both decks were identical in appearence you could put one away, do some storytelling or the next trick, then take the different one. Hopefully I understood your problem correctly...
Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Sep 17, 2009 07:44AM)
Switching non-matching decks is starting a new show. (This is not to say switching matching decks is off-limits. I use a dropper. However, nobody knows this is a different deck.)

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Message: Posted by: abc (Sep 17, 2009 08:49AM)
The only way I could think of introducing the new deck without it looking suspicious is ny doing an "intermediary" effect where you use both the new and old deck. I use a you do as I do when I want to introduce a stacked deck. It isn't a standard you do as I do and it is very quick but it gets the new deck into play without much fuzz.
Just taking out a new deck and starting a new effect is a definite no.
Message: Posted by: 55john55 (Sep 17, 2009 09:49AM)
I knew I'd probably be alone on this issue and in most cases being alone means I'm wrong, which I probably am. It's just that when I did do it the "right way" my audience (always a small number of people) still thought I might be using gaffed decks. I always used, and still use, bicycle cards. I separated deck switches with non-card tricks and tried early on in any routine to use a deck provided by someone in the audience. It didn't seem to help. Even when I first started doing magic most people already knew there were *special* decks. I certainly knew before I learned my first trick. They know I may or may not be using something besides slight of hand. I think you and the other posts are right and I wouldn't recommend someone do things my way. I am happy with the results I get for myself and think both my audience (friends) and I have a good time. Upon reflection, I retract my original post. How I perform with friends has nothing to do with working with the public and I shouldn't have posted about something I know nothing about.
Message: Posted by: olaf911 (Sep 17, 2009 12:05PM)
John, all I can say that NEVER anyone suggested I used a gaffed deck. Never ever. Maybe it has to do with my attitude, because I simply don't feel "guilty". And I try to dispel doubts early on in the performance by accidently "showing" the deck as a regular one. *Accidently* is the important word. If you say "Look, this is a regular deck I am working with" everyone instantly knows that there are such things as non-regular decks. And I simply don't feel guilty, because everthing I do is for the good of the audience. Does that make sense?
Message: Posted by: Brad Burt (Sep 17, 2009 12:30PM)

This is a perfect example of 'over thinking' it. When you do the I.D., just bring it out in a large envelope, etc. So...not only is the deck in which the card reverses in the box, but it's in an envelope as well. Finish, turn around for a very brief moment and pretend to reverse another, different card, saying that that's what you are doing. Put it back into it's envelope and put away, with a comment that now it's ready for the 'next' show, etc.

Later when you bring out the 'other' deck, show them, shuffle them up a little, openly display the backs and DRAW attention to them. Say, "You like these? Got 'em at my local five and dime."

Don't run when no ones chasing. Folks will be fine with the idea that you have a deck of cards set to do ID, AND....it will impress retrospectively the idea that you somehow knew beforehand what the selection would be!!!

I have done the above for years with excellent results. Above is basic structure of the psychology.

Message: Posted by: BCaldwell (Sep 17, 2009 12:43PM)
That is a great idea, Brad. Yes, the cards are only used for the one trick but you already answered the questions that might arise. Nicely done, sir! My problem with using different decks stemmed from my narrow-minded thinking of "take a deck out of briefcase, do trick, put back in briefcase, take out another deck and do different trick." Thank you for your insight.
Message: Posted by: Ed_Millis (Sep 17, 2009 02:56PM)
Brad, you have - as usual!! - provided a most excellent solution!

Thank you, Sir, for sharing your understanding of magic and performing.
Message: Posted by: gaddy (Sep 17, 2009 03:13PM)
On 2009-09-16 14:33, Ed_Millis wrote:

.....Unless I have a good reason. "I'm going to have you sign one of these cards, so I'm going to use my cheap deck, okay?" D'ya think that would fly?


That is a very good line. Mind if I use it? :shucks:

It might not allay suspicions much, but it will get a good laugh -which in most circumstances is just as good! The laugh will make them forget momentarily about the fishy move, and it makes a certain logical sense too, so all is good.

I'd say go for it and see what sort of reactions you get. Only by repetition and observation will you truly know whether or not the line works, though.
Message: Posted by: Ken Sibley (Sep 24, 2009 06:47PM)

When you get ready to do the ID trick, pull out both deck and let a spectation pick a deck to use (Magicians Choice). Then, when you are ready for the other trick, tell them that we are going to used the deck that was left from the other trick. Just a thought.

Message: Posted by: RobertlewisIR (Sep 26, 2009 11:46AM)
If you do switch decks, there needs to be a very good logical reason for it. Saying something like "I need to use my cheap deck" would probably work in a pinch, but I recommend against it because I don't think it lessens suspicions very much. But if you do something like a Do As I Do that requires two decks, you'll be fine. Or if your previous effect destroys (or apparently destroys) the deck, the switch will make perfect sense.
Message: Posted by: base851 (Oct 1, 2009 10:25PM)
I'm pretty much a magic newbie myself, but if I absolutely needed to use two or more decks in the same show, I'd make sure the decks looked identical. Same color box, same color cards. Then have something very subtle on each one that will let you tell by feel which deck is which. Small piece of clear tape on one side, whatever. Do as many tricks as I can with one deck. Put it back in my pocket. Pull something different out to do other things with, then pull out the other deck by feel. The tricks in between will get their minds off decks and make it look like you're just using your pockets for storage as you go from trick to trick.
Message: Posted by: MagikDavid (Oct 1, 2009 11:57PM)
Another idea to 'sell' the idea that you are using the same deck (after making a switch);

Prepare the regular deck box by taking the flap and rip it so that one side is sticking up. Prepare the other deck's box to look exactly the same. Don't call attention to it... just openly leave it on the table. This makes the box look unique. So when you put it in your pocket and later pull out the other deck, if the box looks unique like the other one did... they will assume they are the same box.

If they ask about the 'torn' flap, just make a remark like, "I use these cards a lot, so they get a lot of wear and tear."

Message: Posted by: RobertlewisIR (Oct 2, 2009 12:40PM)
That's actually a fine idea. Subtle, and will fly right by a lot of people. But it'll work wonders on the more observant spectators (who are, frankly, the ones most likely to notice a switch anyway).
Message: Posted by: The Big Q (Oct 3, 2009 06:29PM)
I do quite a lot of card destroying tricks...so people become quite used to me pulling out different decks!
Message: Posted by: Herr Brian Tabor (Oct 8, 2009 10:40PM)
Perhaps explain that because "this next trick will destroy a card in some way, I'm going to use an old deck or practice deck?