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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » Royal Road or Card College? (4 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

DT5780
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Which one did you prefer and why?
Did you use just the book? Or just the video? Or both the book and the video?
gaddy
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Card college, 100%.

Royal Road is a classic of the field, but it's dated, and it shows...

There is no comparison in the level of clarity and (IMO) quality of the text and the illustration between card college and Royal road.

OTOH Royal Road has been around for so long that you can find great copies of it at used bookstores for a couple of dollars. Whereas Card College is still relatively new and still fairly exclusive to magic dealers and you will pay a premium for it. If money is a consideration, Royal Road is perfectly serviceable.

I'm more of a book person myself, but there's no denying the power of a good video as a teaching tool.
*due to The Magic Cafe's editorial policies, words on this site attributed to me cannot necessarily be held to be my own.*
Topper2
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I always found Royal Road rather disappointing as a source of sleights as there is so much missing from it that really should have been there. If it is card technique, at an inexpensive price, you're after (as opposed to tricks) then I consider Anthony Norman's 'Basic Card Technique' a better source. Just look at the contents and you'll see what I mean:-

https://magicref.net/magicbooks/booksjr/......ique.htm

It also dates from the 1940s, so it isn't new, but if you combine it with 'Counts, Cuts and Subtleties' by Jerry Mentzer, which covers more recent material, you'll have a sound grounding at a reasonable price.

Obviously Card College has a lot more material in it, but so it should as it is in five volumes and will set your bank balance back a bit. I'd say go for card college when you've read some of the other books and are quite sure you want to go further with cards. A compromise might be to buy vols one and two of card college (which cover the basics) to start with and then consider the other vols later if you feel you need them. There's absolutely no point in trying to learn every sleight under the Sun when you may never need to use them.

Of course Card College itself is not complete, it isn't intended to be an encyclopaedia, Roberto Giobbi himself admits that he knows dozens and dozens of ways to control a card, or force a card etc etc, but he can only include a small sample of available methods in Card College or else it would be absurdly large in size.
mlippo
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Quote:
On Feb 27, 2021, DT5780 wrote:
Which one did you prefer and why?
Did you use just the book? Or just the video? Or both the book and the video?


Get only the first two volumes of Card College and study them carefully, before delving into something else.
But once you've absorbed CC 1&2 you will be able to do a good amount of tricks and routines that don't require too advanced sleights.

This means you can then start buying books by John Bannon, or the Semi-Automatic series by Steve Beam, Harry Lorayne's books, Colombini and Nick Trost ones and be able to choose the best tricks and routines for you.

Then, of course, you should buy Card College 3 and go on ...

Mark
gaddy
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Quote:
On Feb 28, 2021, Topper2 wrote:
I always found Royal Road rather disappointing as a source of sleights as there is so much missing from it that really should have been there. If it is card technique, at an inexpensive price, you're after (as opposed to tricks) then I consider Anthony Norman's 'Basic Card Technique' a better source. Just look at the contents and you'll see what I mean



This is a book that I somehow acquired at some point in the past, but never really took any interest in. Perhaps I should give it a closer look!
*due to The Magic Cafe's editorial policies, words on this site attributed to me cannot necessarily be held to be my own.*
copperct
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I personally have worked through both and agree with other opinions that Card College is a better overall way to learn many movements that will be immediately applicable. That being said, I started with RRTCM because I wanted to be able to learn a few tricks and the basic principles of card magic before investing tons of money into it. I think I bought the book and a pack of cards for less than $10 on Amazon and within a month or two felt comfortable using some of the more basic sleights and shuffling handlings.

I now own the full card college series, Royal Road to Card Magic and find that I will most often reference Card College due to the very clear description and illustrations.
taranwandering
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I can't speak as an expert, but I'll speak as someone who only recently started learning and purchased both Card College and Royal Road: I prefer Card College. Royal Road's descriptions feel too short for me to really understand fully. I even struggle at times with figuring out the moves in Card College, but its details for how to handle sleights feels much more developed-- at least to me.
TeddyBoy
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I would vote for Card College volumes 1 and 2, and the DVDs that also encompass the material in those volumes. However, the Royal Road DVDs (R. Paul Wilson) are pretty good also and help add a little life to the book. I still think the Royal Road book is useful, not to mention inexpensive.
So many sleights...so little time.
"Slow...deliberate...natural." Bill Tarr

Cheers,
Teddy
EndersGame
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Reviewer EndersGame
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Quote:
On Mar 1, 2021, gaddy wrote:
Card college, 100%.

Royal Road is a classic of the field, but it's dated, and it shows...

There is no comparison in the level of clarity and (IMO) quality of the text and the illustration between card college and Royal road.


I heartily agree with this advice. Card College is more modern and up-to-date. The older books do have some obsolete methods that have been superseded.

I've been working through Vol 1 & 2, and going over them multiple times, and it is fantastic. They are the two you should start with, and cover all the fundamentals.

I also find it very helpful to watch the Giobbi's companion video course along with reading the book. They're available from his website here: Card College 1 & 2: Personal Instruction (for more info, see this review). You can download Lesson 1 for free.
SoloDoubleAct
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Card College is the gold standard but I won't lie, I found RRTCM much easier to approach when I was completely new. Card College is daunting, it is collegiate. RRTCM is prep-school. It is also a lot cheaper.

So, in short, I recommend getting RRTCM to brand new, never touched a deck, "magicians". And if they react well, and don't bounce out of it, then advocate getting Card College 1 for sure. The teaching is clearer in CC and the sleights are much improved.

But, another big boon to RRTCM is that it focuses on BEING a magician and the importance of scripts, stagecraft, trick design with an angle on newcomers while, as said, CC is collegiate. You probably already took some "classes" before cracking CC open.

That's my take! Both are amazing!
EndersGame
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That's one reason I recommend using the Card College 1 & 2 video along with the book.

It makes it so much more approachable.
SoloDoubleAct
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Wow, that is honestly, once again, the gold standard to learn card magic imo. Great suggestion! So you are 100% right, EndersGame; but I still contest that buying Card College & the instructional videos is for people serious about being serious practitioners while for a fresh novice interested in card magic RRTCM is only 10 bucks in paperback. I'd still say go for RRTCM and if you like it and find overhand shuffles and the glide revelatory, then pick up CC and the tapes.
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