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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Gaffed & Funky » » Svengali deck (6 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Profile of gink103
Does any professional sleight of hand magician actually use this peice of garbage. I went to a magic shop a couple weeks ago to get some double backed cards. The owner talked me into buying a stripper deck and Svengali deck and said all working magicians use them. Oh he also got me to get the dvd with the decks too lol. All I can say is that they are worthless garbage. These decks atleast from my point of view are for kids that don't wanna learn magic and just want to show their friends. The tricks on the dvd were soooooo horrible I wanted to slap they magician on them.

Worthless garbage. Any comments?
Larry Davidson
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Potomac, MD
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Profile of Larry Davidson
Yes, my comment is that you're wrong.

I perform professionally, I use sleight of hand for many effects, and I use a Svengali Deck for a couple of effects.

A Svengali Deck is a tool, it's not an effect. Some of the effects that can be used with this particular tool are poor, and others are brilliant.

T. Joseph O'Malley
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Profile of T. Joseph O'Malley
It's a tool. It's all in how & why you use it.

If handled properly with good presentation, you can do some pretty fantastic things with a Svengali that don't tip the fact that you're using a gaffed deck in any way. You can floor laypeople with one of these.

If handled poorly with bad presentation, yeah, it looks like a crappy junky kid's toy.

The following isn't my preference, but do you want to fool a magician? Use one of these in a way they don't expect.
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Profile of mortonch
They have their place in card magic. Learn how to incorporate them into a routine and have fun with them!
Matt Malinas
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Profile of Matt Malinas
The Svengali deck is anything BUT a piece of garbage.
I love this deck !it's easy to create miracles with this amazing tool.
play around with it and come up with your own stuff.
you could also the encyclopedia of card tricks which has a Svengali deck section.
I guess all I am saying is give it a shot. it's a great tool and you shouldn't overlook it especially now that you own it.

The masters make the rules, for the wise men and the fools
Hideo Kato
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For whom can't perform a trick right, anything can be a garbage.

Hideo Kato
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South African in Taiwan
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Profile of abc
Let me first say that I agree with you on the point that not all working magicians use the decks you mentioned but then many times for good reason. I use a Cassandra deck in my show and therefor do not use a Svengali but I cannot really say more as this is a public forum.
I have used a stripper deck but there just isn't place in the show any more.
My point though is that if you learn how to handle these decks and do good effects with them you will handle decks like a cassandra deck with much more ease. Thanks to Svengali and Doc Hillford.
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Profile of FredNarlo
I do not perform professionally and also do not use a Svengali in any of routines...but I must say IT IS NOT A PIECE OF GARBAGE!

Look at what you can do with it. Laymen get FRIED with it and it is one of the best tools in the way of gaffed decks ever invented!

It is easy to knock it becasue we know the secret, not much sleigh of hand involved and its been around a long time. But that doesn't make its impact on an audience any less. My buddy owns a magic store and I woudl be willing to bet 25%-35% of his sales are gaffed decks and the customers alwasy come back for more.

The ONLY bad thing I can say about the Svengali is that it has been around so long that many laymen are famiiar with it or the cards that are "shaved" (Stripper Deck). Besides that, they are GREAT!
John Pezzullo
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Jim Steinmeyer has published some interesting Svengali Deck 'stuff':

See March 1999 and May 1999.
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Marco S.
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Profile of Marco S.
Sorry, but if you say these decks are garbage, then I wonder how long you have been doing magic. 5 days? 2 hours? There are great tricks to do with these decks. You are like a lot of other beginners here. They don`t know how to handle the decks and then they infer that these are garbage, etc. What a shame.
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Profile of joseph
It also makes a great forcing deck...I like it.... Smile ..
"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler." (Einstein)...
Reis O'Brien
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You can not underestimate the power of either of these decks. As a few said above, the decks are tools for you to accomplish some amazing feats of magic. I think that perhaps you are just not seeing the potential. They are far from "garbage".
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Profile of HiraseMagic
It is, of course, not a piece of garbage. I do believe there are too many people (not performing magic regularly) who know the existence of Svengali deck which make it a bit difficult to perform properly and magically.
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Matt Pulsar
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One man's garbage is another man's treasure!

So I wonder why you posted the initial post. Are you looking to find out what better things you can do with these tools? Are you trying to find negative comraderie? I also wonder how you ended up with double backed cards without having played around with a Svengali or stripper. I have feeling this is another case of a person going to shops on the internet to find out how David whoever did some card thing, trying things out from there with downloads (or Kazaa, it is sad how many people download these things and then post them on for there for free) and then finally making it to a shop. I see this kind of thing all the time.

My advice is to go back to that magic shop and buy The Royal Road to Card Magic, and the Tarbell Course, and spend some time with those. If you view these texts as guidebooks, then you will know the things you may want to purchase at the shop, based on the effects you want to use. You also save money this way.

It is better to know why you want to purchase a Svengali or Stripper Deck before you make the purchase.
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Profile of silverking
The Stripper and the Svengali are two amazing tools, but alas, they're just tools.

Most people, and I'm guessing you, aren't working with the deck before rendering an opinion on it.

With a Svengali you should be able to do the following basic Svengali moves without disturbing the set up of the deck:

1) A convincing double lift
2) A riffle shuffle
3) An overhand shuffle
4) A fan showing no force cards
5) A Svengali "drop" from a foot above the table showing no force cards

When you can do all of the above flawlessly, and if you still think the deck isn't up to your standards, then by all means put it on the shelf and move on.

Remember though, in the right hands a properly prepared Svengali deck can absolutely KILL!!
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Profile of AnneTGravity
Because of my job, I have to perform card tricks with a Svengali and a Stripper deck. It's what they sell so, I have to use them. But, even if I didn't have to, I would still use them.

The Svengali deck has such a great effect. It's one of the few card tricks that I've that "wows" both children and adults. It's simple and easily understood by all. We get a lot of non-english speaking tourists and with the Svengali I don't have to say a single word while performing the routine and the spectator's reaction is the same as if I had done my usual patter...nothing's lost. How many card tricks can you pull that off with?

The Stripper deck, I like it because... and I'm not sure if this is bravery or stupidity on my part (a fine line betwixt them)...I can put the deck in the spectator's hands to shuffle, cut, etc. and still find their card.
True, it's a great tool for beginners, you get to impress your friends. It's a confidence builder. It should not be used to the exclusion of learning sleights.

Like everyone else has said, they're only tools. You can choose to use them or not. And, being that they are only tools, they're only as effective as your ability to use them.
Sure, if you want to do it the easy way -Gonzo
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Profile of fbnc
These decks are great tools, You can get a lot of entertainment
out of a stripper deck, and you don't need a pocket full of dollar bills.
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Profile of taller8
I have a heck of a time doing a double with a Svengali deck. I'm so used to a normal deck that the difference in the cards make the '2 as 1' more difficult to maintain.

I love using the Svengali after a deck switch and of course, never show "all cards the same". A rookie mistake.
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Profile of weapon
I have fooled pro magicians with a Svengali deck.. only real worker pm me if you want the method
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Cody Fisher
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Profile of Cody Fisher
You have to know how to use it. You can't just walk up to someone with a Svengali deck and do effects. You have to incorporate it into a routine. Personally, I always like to end with examinable things. However, I am actually a bit offended when you say that the Svengali is a piece of garbage. I have no idea how long you have been doing magic, from your post I would guess not very long, but I do magic in close-up situations all the time, sometimes for pay sometimes not, but I have found it a great addition to my routine and absolutely amazing to laymen when used right. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but I hope for your sake that you are able to work with it and realize the great oppurtnities it will present.

Good Luck,

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