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StreetWalker
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I recently bought a Svengali deck from the Batter's Box magic shop. There were only 41 cards in the pack. Is this normal or did I get ripped off? Also, if I need fifty two for a better performance would a belt sander "modify" the cards good? Smile
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JamesinLA
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From what I've read elsewhere on this site, Svengali decks come with less than 52 cards (in order to save the producers of the decks money I presume, why else?). I have a follow up question: does anyone know if there's a way to specify what force card you're interested in? Or at least, what force card you don't want?
Thanks.
JIm
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StreetWalker
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Mine came with the four of spades but I was hoping for an Ace of spades. I was thinking on making my own Svengalis with the belt sander my dad owns ( see above ) so if you go to the dollar store and buy 40 decks you could chose your own force card.

This isn't practical though.
"The ability to amaze those who don't care is better than the ability to amaze those who do."
DonDriver
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Hey StreetWalker,
I have been pitching Svengalis for years and have made them up. Use 48 cards, this way they come out even. You have to make a minimum of 24 decks. Never tried a belt sander to cut them. Take them to a printer. They will cut them for you cheap.(I pay $3.00 to have 48 decks cut) Their cutter does a really clean job. Understand, you have to separate them first then take what cards you want to use as 'key" cards to have cut, so with 24 decks, you only have 12 decks cut. Only have about 1/8 cut off the end. It doesn't take much. Than you have to put them back together.
If you want them to look nice, you than have to "round off" the corners.
Good luck,hope this helped.
Have a Nice Day,
Don
RandomEffects
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A lot of magic stores will try to get you your particular card. I know Hank Lee's will send it to you upon request, however this can take a long time as you have to hope that he has that one in or is getting it in soon.

Mat
Al Kazam the Magic Man
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I"ve seen an Indian magician do his own, and looked like he cut them with hand scissors. Very rough, and unprofessional. He sold them after his small shows. He would buy a box at a time, and do as Don said, hand separate them. Personally I'd take them to a printer if you really want quality. You could try and sell them after your shows, too, for a minimal profit until you end up with the decks with the force card you want to keep for yourself.
Svengali decks are fun for me, I like them.
JoJo
Al Kazam --> Magic guy in Perth Australia
Merlin!
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I have a Svengali deck, but it is a fairly cheap one made with a plastical-like finish on them which does not appeal to much to spectators (they automatically suspect something about the deck), if I was to make my own, would I have to buy 40+ decks to make one? What was that comment about the printers, will they print off cards for you which look (and feel) exactly like, say Bicycle? thanks.
DonDriver
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The printer is ONLY a place to have them cut nice and even. Not printed.
You only need 24 decks to make Svengalis, not 40+. This gives you 24 key cards,and 24 different cards. This will give you 24 decks, with cards left over.
Don
cardboy18
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Pricewise, wouldn't it be easier to just buy one?
JamesinLA
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Okay, in a related topic: does anyone have any particular ways they like to switch out the Svengali deck for a normal deck in the course of a favorite routine? I use the misdirection of positioning two assistants on either side of me to switch the Svengali with a normal deck in my pocket. Does anyone else switch decks and how?
Jim
Oh, my friend we're older but no wiser, for in our hearts the dreams are still the same...
Spade
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I keep two decks in the inside pocket. One is a regular deck and one is gaffed. After I finish a routine with a regular deck, I place it in my pocket and say something like "Here, let me show you another one" and bring out the gaffed deck.
Bill Palmer
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One of the best methods is to do a card trick with the gaffed deck, put an obvious card, such as the AS or the joker on the bottom of the pack, put it back into the case and put it in your pocket. Then do a coin trick, then bring out the regular deck (with the same card on the bottom).
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Chris Keppel
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Most of the magic shops will be cool enough to look through their decks and tell you what ones they have. If you are wanting something certain, then that might be a little harder. Sometimes you have to take what you can get if you really need the prop.
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drwilson
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My favorite deck switch is the old Western plot.

You force, say, the Four of Spades with the Svengali Deck. You put the deck back in the box and pick a volunteer. Tell him: "I want you to holster the deck, here I'll show you how. Put the deck flat in your palm like this, then stick your hand in your pants pocket like this and keep it there. When I saw 'Draw' pull it out as fast as you can and hold it over your head."

I demonstrate all this as I talk, switching decks when my hand is in my pocket to show him how to holster a deck. He gets an (almost) clean deck.

"Okay, before I saw draw, though, you have a line. Are you ready? The line is 'There ain't room enough in this town for the both of us.' Can you do that?"

He gives his line, I am in a gunfighter's stance with a flinty gaze on him. I say "Draw!" I pull my empty hand out of my pocket, forming a six-shooter with my index finger and thumb the way kids do. My line is "Bang!"

Then I ask him to find his card. Of course, there is a bullet hole through the middle.

I then ask the crowd, "You think that was magic?" (They always scream yes.)

"No," I say, "Just good shootin'. A level head, a steady eye, refrain from strong drink, and you could do it too."

Naturally, then I tip it and sell the decks.

I make my own decks using Bicycle decks, so it's easy to match the deck perfectly, and I get to pick my own force cards. I like the Four of Spades because there is plenty of room for the bullet hole.

Yours,

Paul
TheAmbitiousCard
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One of the best ways to switch a deck is an effect such as Simon Lovell's 'Packed Wallet'.

Not only is the effect itself one of the strongest you can do, you get a deck switch for free!!!

I sell the Wallets for this effect on my website.

This way, there's no slight of hand, etc. to get you in trouble and the deck is swtiched out in the previous effect so there's no heat on you.

http://www.theambitiouscard.com/wallets/wallets.cfm?ref=cafe


Frank
www.theambitiouscard.com Hand Crafted Magic
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Danny Hustle
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Mark Lewis has a manuscript called "The long and short of it" It is a GREAT Routine for the Svengali deck. You Will find stuff you have not seen before in this routine.

Mark is a raconteur of the highest order and has ruffeled a lot of feathers especially in alt.magic but he really knows what routine works to unload these decks.

Great stuff, and you can buy direct from him at:

http://www.marklewisentertainment.com/for_magicians_only.htm

Best,

Dan-
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Poindexter
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Danny,

Right you are about Mark's Long and Short of It. Good Stuff.

And if you look around his site carefully, you can even find some video of said pitch.

O.K., you twisted my arm. It's here.
ed rhodes
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Quote:
On 2002-12-06 08:13, StreetWalker wrote:
Mine came with the four of spades but I was hoping for an Ace of spades. I was thinking on making my own Svengalis with the belt sander my dad owns ( see above ) so if you go to the dollar store and buy 40 decks you could chose your own force card.

This isn't practical though.


Bought dollar shop cards once, they weren't even cut evenly
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Dave V
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Quote:
On 2002-12-06 10:49, DonDriver wrote:
Hey StreetWalker,
I have been pitching Svengalis for years and have made them up. Use 48 cards, this way they come out even. You have to make a minimum of 24 decks.


I'm curious, why wouldn't 26 decks produce 52 cards just as easily? Is there something in the math I'm missing? Are certain cards unused or otherwise unusable for the trick to work?
No trees were killed in the making of this message, but a large number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced.
General Practicioner
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Actually you only need 24 decks of regular cards to make Svengali decks. You will get 27 decks out of them.
The extra 3 decks will not have boxes so you will have to either find boxes for them or stick a rubber band around them. I see no reason to make just 24 decks and throw the extra away.
I am assuming that you use 48 cards in the deck. This has evolved into a traditional thing. Virtually every Svengali deck has this number.
I could explain exactly how to make the 27 decks but it would be very complicated. Years ago I used to work for a magic wholesaler and I learned how to do this there.
I recommend using a court card as the key card. It is more colourful and shows up better.

Incidentally I live in Toronto and have seen Mark Lewis work the deck in person to a crowd on Centre Island.It was unbelievable. He must have sold anywhere from 5 to 10 decks at each demonstration at $10 a pop.
Rude and funny.The more he insults people the more they buy. Weird. One line he uses is "there is a money back guarantee providing you can find me" and I also remember "Open your wallets and let the moths fly out"

There was a young guy there also pitching the cards with him. Also *** good. More polite but with a hard edge to him.I don't know who it was.

There was a big tall guy there filming the pitch. I got the impression from the conversation I heard that there is some kind of pitch video coming out on the market.

I have also seen him working with regular cards. Best I have ever seen for getting audience reaction. The tricks are pretty simple though
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