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Dave V
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On 2004-05-08 10:16, General Practicioner 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 guess that was my question. Where did this tradition come from? Why 48 and not 52? It really doesn't matter much, nobody's counting anyway and about half the cards are missing anyway... I was just wondering, that's all.
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General Practicioner
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I suspect that the tradition came from the profit motive. If the deck only has 48 cards that means that the dealer or pitchman gets another 6 decks free if he makes them himself.

In an old manuscript I have on the Svengali deck it states that 48 cards are easier to handle than 52. I think that is just an excuse.
Bill Palmer
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I think it was also because when you buy decks in bulk, they are shipped in multiples of a dozen.

One magic shop I worked for used to buy used poker decks from one of the local private clubs. They only had a couple of hours of play on them, so they were still in good shape. They would make Svengalis out of these cards. I still have a couple of these around the house.
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kihei kid
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StreetWalker it appears that there is credence to inquire as to whether your deck should have come with more than 41 cards.

General opinion is it should have come with 48 you have been taken! I know a good attorney if you need one…
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General Practicioner
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41 is an odd number anyway. The deck has to have an even number of cards.
In your instruction leaflet it will usually say how many cards are supposed to be in the deck.
You should probably take the deck back and explain the situation.
41 cards is definitely not the correct number. Don't blame the dealer too much. It is obviously an honest mistake. These things happen
G. LaBarre
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At first, I was going to suggest, that it might just make it easier to take the cards out of the case. Eliminating the possibility of any cards getting stuck in the case and displacing their order.

Upon reading these other comments, I think it is most likely because the cards come in specific numbers when ordered in quantity.

This makes the most sense, even though we have come to expect poor quality from the manufacturers and producers of Magic Supplies.

It's called Profiteering: To make exorbitant profits by taking advantage of "SHORTAGES" and/or strained economic conditions to charge excessive prices.
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drwilson
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Barry Govan has a great little book out (from Lee Jacobs) on making and pitching Svengali decks. The decks have 48 cards. You use the jokers and the extra cards to make six-card packet tricks that you sell for what each deck sells wholesale. This way, your decks are free if you pitch the packet tricks hard.

The packet trick is good, people buy them.

Yours,

Paul
Vick
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Quote:
On 2004-05-08 10:16, General Practicioner wrote:
Actually you only need 24 decks of regular cards to make Svengali decks. You will get 27 decks out of them.


Interesting
Hmmm .... 52 cards in a deck (removing Jokers)x 24 decks = 1248 cards total

48(cards in a traditional Svengali deck) /1248 = 26

So I guess that means you're including Jokers in the decks?

Also it helps to buy good quality decks, dollar store decks won't hold up


drwilson - nice switch
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General Practicioner
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You do indeed include the two jokers when you make up the decks using this system. No point wasting them. You wouldn't necessarily have to use them as key cards though if you didn't want to. I think I would, mind you. It all depends on the order that the deck comes in.

I understand that Svengali pitchmen would indeed use the dollar store quality. However they would not buy them from dollar stores. They would go to a wholesaler. Nowadays of course there are plenty of cheap imports from Hong Kong so there is no point making them up in the first place anyway.

If the magician wants a good quality deck for personal use then he may as well buy one from a magic shop. Why make up 27 decks?
Vick
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On 2004-05-08 10:16, General Practicioner wrote:
I could explain exactly how to make the 27 decks but it would be very complicated.


Hmmmm that's interesting that you find using the Jokers to be very complicated
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Why do you find it interesting?
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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. 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


How do you round them off?

I have been buying Sven decks for approx .75 -.80cents per deck. At those prices, does it pay for me to make my own? I am pitching them at a local flea market. I sell the deck and book "101 trks w/ Sven deck" for $7.50.

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Bruce
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ed rhodes
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On 2002-12-07 13:17, cardboy18 wrote:
Pricewise, wouldn't it be easier to just buy one?


Since I use "Hoyles" (because they're the cheaper cards at Wal-Mart) it would be better for me to build the deck rather than to be changing brands back and forth.
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JoeJoe
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> I have been buying Sven decks for approx .75 -.80cents
> per deck. At those prices, does it pay for me to make
> my own? I am pitching them at a local flea market. I
> sell the deck and book "101 trks w/ Sven deck" for
> $7.50.

No, it's not gonna pay for you to make them yourself - buying them is fine. But are you making enuff money? I'd charge more - even at a flea market, assuming it is a halfway decent deck that is.
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sethb
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I agree with JoeJoe on the price. I started out by selling the decks at $5 and the 101 Tricks booklet for another $3. After paying table fees, sales taxes, income taxes, shipping, etc., I found it just wasn't enough.

So I raised the price to $7 for the deck, but kept it at $3 for the booklet. The increase doesn't seem to have dampened sales at all, and in fact may even have helped. People don't want to think they are buying some cheap piece of junk, and I do sell a good quality deck. The only difference now is that I need to carry more 1's to make change, but that's OK! SETHB
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AntonDreaming
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Does anyone have a good meathod of self cutting the short cards in a sven deck...just curious.

Anton James
Jim Mullen
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I find it really hard to get interested in Svengali decks. These are for non-magicians who come into those magic stores attached to the Vegas casinos. Just about EVERYBODY knows how they work. It is hard to repeat tricks because the same card must be forced. Better tricks are available using standard trick. It goes on and on.

This forum is a great place for people new to magic to get a better feel for the art. Thus, I feel compelled, having been a magician for the last 60+ years, to tell our new friends in magic to forget the Svengali and move up to more challenging and interesting props.

Does anyone agree?

Jim Mullen
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AntonDreaming
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Jim Mullen I think you may have missed the poin of this thread. The thread is about selling decks to layfolk in the form of the pitch. You might want to take the time and re read some of the posts on thins section.

Anton James

P.s. I once took out a sven deck to a small group of "pros" and used a simple handeling with a complex move that fried 4 out of the 5 of them!

pps does anyone have an answer to my question above?
DonDriver
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Anton,
Sorry but I'm old and slow...I don't quite get your question.Could you try to explan it a bit better.
Later,Don
sethb
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Quote:
On 2006-02-01 20:34, Jim Mullen 2 wrote:
I find it really hard to get interested in Svengali decks. These are for non-magicians who come into those magic stores attached to the Vegas casinos. Just about EVERYBODY knows how they work. It is hard to repeat tricks because the same card must be forced. Better tricks are available using standard trick. It goes on and on.

This forum is a great place for people new to magic to get a better feel for the art. Thus, I feel compelled, having been a magician for the last 60+ years, to tell our new friends in magic to forget the Svengali and move up to more challenging and interesting props.

Does anyone agree?


Jim, I do agree there are much better ways to perform card tricks than to use a Svengali deck. But as others have noted, that is beside the point. This section is devoted to the Svengali pitch, a very specialized and effective way of selling a Svengali deck.

I have less than 1% of the experience than a guy like Don Driver has, but I can tell you that I routinely have kids (and adults) two and three deep around my pitch table. They have no clue what's happening, they are almost always intrigued by the deck, and I sell bunches of them at a clip.

I still say it is a good introduction to the world of magic (and I speak from personal experience, having bought a Svengali Deck from a pitchman some 40 years ago). As other Svengali gurus have noted, the key is a natural handling of the deck -- clean overhand and riffle shuffles, fans and spreads -- so that no one suspects a gaffed deck in the first place. And if that first Svengali deck purchase leads to a curiosity about other areas of magic, so much the better, because I sell other tricks, too! SETHB
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