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The Fortune Collection is another of several packet tricks included in The Ultimate Card Trick Collection by Paul Hallas. Paul is a respected authority on packet tricks, having authored several books on the subject. Originally this packet trick came with a DVD, but now it comes with just the cards, and a link to a special website with detailed video instructions.

Fortune Collection


Of all the seven effects included with the Ultimate Card Trick Collection, the Fortune Collection offers the most bang for your buck, with a series of several routines based on a set of 10 cards featuring fortune-style pictures on them: a world globe, an hour-glass, a horse-shoe, a dove, a tree, a heart, an eye, a mailbox, a key, and a wad of cash. The video performances and explanations on the video cover 38 minutes, so there's quite a bit of material here. Especially of note is the "Fortune Force" that Paul demonstrates and teaches, which has application to other effects as well, and could prove quite useful.

Fortune - Original Routine (10 minutes)

Effect: You secretly place an item into a spectator's hand, without that person even knowing what it is. Then you show a series of cards with fortune style pictures on them, shuffle them, and deal them onto the hand of a second spectator until they say stop. The card they stop at turns out to have money pictured on it - which corresponds exactly to what is in the first spectator's hand!

Comment: Paul refers to this routine as "coincidence". It is more a mentalism rather than magic routine, and is based on something Paul calls the Fortune Force. As he points out, if you know a good trick you know one trick, but if you know a good force you know lots of tricks. Paul also explains how to set this up on the fly, making it good for walk-around. He also covers variations in which you use different objects like a key or lucky charm.

Variation: Paul also provides another idea that uses a map along with some blank cards that makes use of the same Fortune force to produce an exact match for a place marked on the map. This really belongs on a later part of the video entitled "Fortune Forces" and felt out of place at this point, especially since it uses entirely different cards.

See Paul's performance of one of the Fortune Cards mind-reading effects here:

Fortune - Variation of Original Routine (13 min)

Effect: In a first variation, a spectator cuts the deck at a random card from a shuffled deck of fortune cards, and you can then identify the card despite never seeing it. In a second variation, which uses a completely different method, a spectator picks a random face-down card and returns it anywhere into the pack and you can read their mind and identify it.

Comment: These variations will appeal to you if you enjoy mind-reading style tricks, although the method used for both of them is fairly basic, making use of a key-card principle and one-way back design of the cards. They aren't very impressive magically, but with good presentation could make an impact as part of a mentalism effect.

Variation: Another variation is provided after the explanation of the two mind-reading effects. It offers a fun magical moment, where the Heart card appears magically reversed in the deck while being held between the hands of a couple - ideally a romantic couple.

Comment: Even though it only takes up about 3 minutes, the trick with the Heart card really deserved to have been given a separate name and a separate presentation/explanation, since it isn't at all connected with the others. It's a simple effect that is more magical (relying on the Brae reversal) than mentalist, but I found it a cute routine that I'd like to try some time.


Fortune - Forces (4 min)

Effect: Another variation of the Fortune force uses blank cards to stop at a random monster, a stuffed version of which is then produced from a bag. This can be being repeated immediately by producing "The Invisible Man".

Comment: This is just another variation that alters the presentation. Helpful in this section is the explanation Paul gives about how to handle cases where the spectator doesn't say stop at all, but lets you go through the entire deck.

Fortune - Voodoo 2007 (4 min)

Effect: A card depicting a cartoon man is shown and placed face-down on the table. A series of cards are shown with cartoon men, each having a "voodoo pin" on a different part of his body. The cards are shuffled, and when the spectator says stop on a random card, the face-down card has changed - the very part of the body corresponding to the card they stopped at has been removed from the body!

Comment: Paul credits this as a variation of a voodoo routine from Al Sparkman (?) that appeared in Genii magazine in the 1950s. The home-made cards (you need blank faced cards for this) make this seem a little amateurish. But it is one of the more fun uses of the Fortune force, especially given the surprising and apparent change to the face-down card. Another nice thing about this is that all the cards are examinable. In the explanation Paul also teaches the Elmsley Count for those unfamiliar with it.

Fortune - The Cards (6 minutes)

Overview: Four of the above effects actually use the Fortune cards; the others use the Fortune force with blank faced cards. For the final part of the video Paul gives some suggestions for how you can use the Fortune cards to do an actual "reading" as a fortune teller, by having someone select three of the cards randomly, and he suggests possible interpretations for each card.

Comment: I appreciate that Paul offers positive meanings for all the cards, but by his own admission, the idea is to suggest things that make people feel good and are nearly always true anyway. I didn't find this part of the video helpful at all, because I think most magicians will tend to shy away from any serious kind of fortune telling, knowing that it is bogus.


The cards are poker-sized, and have an air cushion style finish, and seem to be durable and handle well. The video production quality is excellent, with very clear audio and great visuals and multiple camera angles. Paul's teaching is solid, and he explains all the sleights needed, although already having an ability with the fundamentals of card magic will make learning this much easier. Still, this routine isn't complex, and there's no knuckle-busting moves. The novelty element of these cards can produce some fun and light-hearted magic. It may not be killer material, but with the right presentation, it can be used to create some good reactions and entertainment.


BoardGameGeek reviewer EndersGame - click here to see all my pictorial reviews: => Magic Reviews <==> Playing Card Reviews <==> Board Game Reviews <==
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