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Robert P.
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We are all maybe a bit guilty when we want to look for the next best thing, but I have been on a kick lately revisiting many of the classics. There is so much great material out there, that I started to make myself a list. But as I was doing research I kept coming across more and more card miracles. I initially wanted to limit my choice to my top 10, but it was too hard. It is now at 20, and I am leaving so many out, but I had to stop somewhere.

This lists represents how I feel at this moment. If you ask me a year, even a week from now, it will probably change. But instead of procrastinating longer, I decided to dive in or else I would never start. I know that there are many that I might have forgotten about, but that is okay. It will be great to later rediscover them again.

My goal with this thread is to not only present a list of great tricks, we have many threads like that and while I enjoy them, I wanted to provide additional commentary and insight on why these tricks have such a special place with me. Not only that, but provide additional resources for other versions or variations out there. But in order to narrow down my selection, I imposed some restrictions for myself:

  • Minimal Sleights - most of these will be self-working, but there will be a few that slip in which may require a basic sleight such as a double-lift

  • No Gaff cards - mainly just to help me narrow down my list. When I refer to gaff cards, I am speaking of cards that you usually have to purchase such as Double Facers or a Svengali deck, but something like Card Warp will not fall into this category. I will have some honorable mentions that will require gaffs, but each effect on the main list can be done with a regular deck of cards

  • No "Memorized" Stack - Most of the tricks on my list are totally impromptu, but around 25% do involve a stack. However, it does not need to be memorized by the performer. As much as I encourage people to learn a stack, I wanted to keep this as accessible as possible.

With that being said, it is now time to start listing the effects. I hope you come across some new routines that you may have not known about.

#20 - FORGING AHEAD - JASON LADANYE



Description of the effect: A signature magically transfers from one Ace to another while sandwiched between the spectator's hands.

Where it is from: Confident Deceptions, by Jason Ladanye. Also available as a download from magic retailers.

Why I love it: I love visual card tricks, the first time I saw classics such as Card Warp and Larry Jenning's Closeup Illusion, they really blew my mind. Like those, this isn't a typical card trick where you try to find a card, but you are instead using the card itself as a stage where the magic happens. What makes this so strong to me is that the spectator clearly signs one Ace, and just moments later an Ace of a different color now has that same signature. And it looks so clean and direct, no reaching for a pocket or other opportunities for timed misdirection, but simply taking that signed card and immediately putting it between the spectator's hands.

I just recently learned of this one, but it quickly took a spot on my list. Seeing this reminded me of John Bannon's Tattoo You, another classic. Smoke and Mirrors was one of my very first magic books that I bought, that wasn't available at your typical library and book store. Talk about lucking out on my first purchase, I felt like the kid from the film "The NeverEnding Story", stumbling across a secret tome where I couldn't put it down as I went through this magical journey.

Similar tricks you may also like:

Tattoo You - John Bannon


Anniversary Waltz - Doc Eason & Garrett Thomas


Please share your thoughts, your favorites. And feel free to not only list your favorites, but tell us why you like them. I'm looking forward to hearing thoughts from the rest of the Magic Café community.
will lane
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Hi, wouldn't this thread be more appropriate in TMC's dedicated sub-forum for self-working tricks? https://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/view......06&11615
Robert P.
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Hello Will, I did not place this in the "All in the Cards" sub-forum as these are all not self-working.

#19 - DECEIT TREAT - CAMERON FRANCIS



Description of the effect: A borrowed shuffled deck is cut into three packets. They choose whichever packet they want, it's a completely free choice. A card is freely selected from that packet and shuffled back in. The spectator even shuffles the card. Next the spectator deals cards to find their card only to discover it is not so easy. The magician then uses his power of intuition to reveal the spectators card and it works every time.

Where it is from: Pasteboard Proclivities, ebook by Cameron Francis. Also available as a download from Penguin Magic.

Why I love it: As I have gotten older, I have been drawn more and more to mental magic type effects. Dai Vernon's Out of Sight, Out of Mind really floored me the first time I saw it. With Deceit Treat, I really like that the reveal is done not only without looking at the faces of the cards, but not even looking at the cards themselves. Cameron is known for taking a lot of good card tricks and elevating them by adding his own touches, and with this one he has taken a not so well known principal and used it to make something really special.

Similar tricks you may also like:

Knocked Subconscious - Ryan Schlutz


Magic Café thread on Deceit Treat: Deceit Treat by Cameron Francis
Robert P.
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#18 - 242 Deal - RICHARD VOLLMER



Description of the effect: From 10 cards dealt in small packets of either two or three, the spectator has a free choice of which cards to select, but the magician always comes up with the winning hand.

Where it is from: MAGIC Magazine, October 2006 (Talk about Tricks). Also available on the Talk About Tricks DVD set.

Why I love it: I think we all love a good 10 card poker deal. What I like with this is that the spectator makes all of the choices. At the finale, the stakes get even bigger, where the magician shows the faces of both of the remaining cards at the end, and let's the spectator pick which ever one helps their hand. At no point has the magician yet looked at his/her cards. Makes for a very strong effect. Couple of extra things: This one also does not use a Jonah card. Also, there is a follow up to this named 242 2.0 in the November 2008 MAGIC magazine.


Similar tricks you may also like:

Power of Poker - David Solomon and John Bannon


10 Card Poker Deal - Harry Lorayne
Robert P.
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#17 - ADVANTAGEOUS - PATRICK REDFORD



Description of the effect: The performer writes a prediction, pauses for a moment and changes his mind, crossing it out and writing a new one. Spectator deals through a shuffled deck, stopping wherever he likes. The card stopped at is the predicted card.

Where it is from: Applesauce

Why I love it: I really like Open Prediction effects. Open Prediction and ACAAN are different effects, but what draws me to them is that they are very simple(in presentation) and direct. The more hands off you can be the more impossible it seems. With Advantageous, I like that after the prediction is written, the cards are no longer touched. To be fair, the effect will not always look like it does in the video, but Patrick provides good handlings for other scenarios.


Similar tricks you may also like:

Open Perception - Raj Madhok


The End - Rick Lax
https://www.penguinmagic.com/p/9257
cuchullain
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Really enjoying looking up some old friends and I never know what is coming tomorrow! A great idea to post these - Thanks
Robert P.
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Hi cuchullain, thanks I really appreciate that. I mentioned in another thread about wanting to post my favorites but kept procrastinating, but with some encouragement from another fellow Magic Café user, I finally got around to doing it.
Robert P.
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#16 - BINARY CODE - RICK LAX

https://www.penguinmagic.com/p/3905 (Video of Penn & Teller performance available at Penguin, could not find one on Youtube playable in the U.S.)

Description of the effect: Great demonstration of memory where the performer memorizes and remembers the color order of an entire deck in seconds.

Where it is from: Penguin Magic

Why I love it: At this stage in my life I am fascinated with memory, I can come up with a whole list of great tricks on memory and mind stunts alone. And what draws me so close to this subset of magic is that many of the memory feats being displayed are real. I still refer and go back to my memory books by Harry Lorayne and Dominic O'brien, because this will be something of a life-long work in progress for me. But with my fondness for these type of effects, you can probably guess that there will be more of these in my list to come.

With Binary Code, I like Rick's take on the subject, and in his download he does a great job teaching the trick and provides valuable tips. There is also a nice reference to Lewis Jone's Pattern Principle (Semi-Automatic Card Tricks Vol. 3), that allows you to quickly memorize card colors in groups of three. If you would like to learn more, I would also recommend checking out Scott Cram's blog post on the subject at Grey Matters. Rick Lax also came out with a new version, Binary Code 2. Not sure which one I prefer more, but at the price point I think they are both definitely worth it.

Similar tricks you may also like:

Card Memory - Bob Cassidy


Bob Cassidy is a legend. Not only am I entertained by the routine itself, but his stage presence, the way he succinctly provides clear direction and his audience management, there are so many things to be learned here.

More Memory Man - Joel Givens
https://www.vanishingincmagic.com/card-m......ory-man/ (video demonstration available at Vanishing Inc.)
Robert P.
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#15 - DUPLICITY - JOHN BANNON



Description of the effect: A packet of four red cards and a packet of four blue cards are introduced to the audience. Your spectator is asked to imagine that each of those packets contain the aces while the cards are shown to be face down. When they are asked to think of just one of the aces it is shown to be face up in the packet. Not only is it face up, but it is also the only ace that is from the other packet of cards. It is shown to have swapped with the ace the performer was thinking of. The final kicker is that neither of the aces could have been secretly switched for any other because all the remaining cards are blank.

Where it is from: Available as a DVD from magic retailers or as download from Penguin Magic

Why I love it: Let me first start with how much I love the skeptical spectator in white from the Magic Geek demo, she kept making me laugh:

"Can I make sure those are four cards?", "I WANT the blue ones", "No, I'm going to do the red ones, then!", "Three very strange things just happened" "I didn't feel anything happen"

And the brunette beside her is just cracking up. The reaction at the end is pretty good, too.

Duplicity, B'wave and Twisted Sisters...there is debate on which one is the best but I think most will agree they are all classics. Very straight forward premise, and it just looks so fair.

Similar tricks you may also like:

Twisted Sisters - John Bannon


B'Wave - Max Maven
Robert P.
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#14 - THE BANNON TRIUMPH - JOHN BANNON



Description of the effect: A spectator chooses a card from the deck. The deck is cut into four separate piles, with some piles face up. Each pile is shuffled into each other, face up and face down. The spectator hasn't put their card back in the deck, but the magician asks for the suit of their card. The spectator names the suit, the magician spreads the cards, and it is revealed that all the cards of that suit are in order, Ace through King, with one card missing (the selected card).

Where it is from: Impossibilia (titled Play it Straight Triumph). Also available in the DVD Bullets After Dark or as download from Penguin Magic

Why I love it: Two back to back John Bannon effects. Can you tell I am a huge fan of his? There is always a certain way to accomplish the "move" in triumph, and the way Bannon handles it is ingenious, just as many of the other ways he approaches classic card effects. With the ending, where it plays as if the magician forgot to take back the card, I like that aspect as well. I was also watching some of his earlier performances when this first came out when it was published in Impossibilia, and found it interesting that John has presented it pretty much the same way with his patter.

As I was preparing this, I learned that Simon Lovell came up with his own variation that involves two separate selections, titled Super Play It Straight: https://www.vanishingincmagic.com/card-m......traight/

Similar tricks you may also like:

Double Exposure - Asi Wind


Open Triumph - Dani DaOrtiz


There is also one performed by Juan Fernando that looks very nice, and it includes a tutorial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s7ya_4y4OXw
Robert P.
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#13 - SHUFFLING LESSON - CHAD LONG



Description of the effect: You and a spectator each take half the pack and give it a series of legitimate shuffles. You proceed to demonstrate a series of shuffles and in theend, the performer cuts to the four Kings. But not to be outdone, the spectator discovers he has cut to the four Aces!

Where it is from: In the book Magic for Dummies. Also available in the DVD Ultimate Self Working Card Tricks or as download from Penguin Magic

Why I love it: First time I saw this I was completely surprised. The four of a kind display that the magician deals to is really good, but what makes this trick extra special is to have the spectator do something better for themselves, while shuffling and dealing the entire time.

Similar tricks you may also like:

The Gambling Lesson - Ben Earl


The Marlo Opener - Sal Piacente


I love Sal's trick, the only reason it is not included in my list is that it requires a faro shuffle. If you can do one, I definitely recommend learning it. It just seems so impossible.
Robert P.
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#12 - RED HERRING - BEN EARL



Description of the effect: In a completely free manner a pack of cards is shuffled and a card is remembered. The pack is then given any number of shuffles and cuts, and yet the performer is able to instantly find the selected card.

Where it is from: Genii (Vol. 78 No. 6). Also available as download from Vanishing Inc. Magic

Why I love it: Today we have what a day dedicated to Ben Earl's effects. I remember watching this, trying to track the card, and thinking there was key card because he was only allowed to cut. But then the spectator did an overhand shuffle, and then a riffle shuffle. Yes, I was fooled badly. This is the card trick that I would probably do for those that have a little knowledge of card tricks and can respect how fair the process seems. I was debating if I liked this more or Ramjollock, but I think I lean more with Red Herring. I actually received both as a bonus from Vanishing Inc., so you can imagine my delight on getting two tricks I like so much for free. Thank you, Vanishing Inc.!

Similar tricks you may also like:

Ramjollock - Ben Earl


The Answer - Ben Earl
Bob G
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I'm curious to hear how Ladayne's Forging Ahead and Bannon's Tatto You compare in terms of:

Directness

Moves that may give away the method if you're not careful

Difficulty of performance

Angles

Clarity of Effect

Audience Reaction

... and All That Jazz...


Both tricks look great on the videos.


Thanks...

Bob
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I found Forging Ahead not very practical when gigging

Are these tricks that you like because of the methods or because of the audiences reaction?
Bob G
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They amazed me when I watched the videos. As I think about it, though, it's easy to let audience reaction (real or simulated) in a video color your impression of how good a trick is.
Robert P.
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My preference for liking a trick is both audience reaction and how strong I think it is. In the case of Tattoo You and Forging Ahead, I found the method for both to be very clever, but that was just a bonus and not my reason for selecting them.

As for comparing each of them. I think they are both direct, but that should come from the performer's presentation to make sure the spectator understands which color card (back color for Tattoo You or the color of the face with Forging Ahead) you are starting with, and then foreshadowing the change that is going to happen. I wouldn't say that the moves would give away the method, they are pretty simple, but you do need to be aware and intentional with how you are performing. These are both where you can't just go on autopilot with the moves and focus solely on presentation, but again, I do think the moves are pretty simple. And the dirty work is already done before the spectator is expecting it.

As for angles, you can pretty much perform surrounded but care will need to be taken with the way the card(s) are held. I also can see ScarneAce's point about Forging Ahead, with the reset I can see that it would not be ideal for a situation like table hopping. For me that is not an issue, but I can see how that might not work for others. Because of the reactions received from both of these, and being so clean that the magic happens instantly right in front of them, is why I enjoy these both so much.

If I had to pick one of the two, I would give the slight nod to Tattoo You, but love them both.
Bob G
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Thanks for this thorough and useful reply, Robert P -- and for starting this thread. A clever method can give pleasure to the magician, but what's really important is how the audience feels at the end of the trick. Right now I'm performing for friends and family, so reset isn't an issue. It could be in the future.

From what you say, the sleights should be well within my reach.


Thanks again,

Bob
Robert P.
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#11 - BEYOND - STEPHEN LEATHWAITE



Description of the effect: One of my favorite versions of Out of this World. I think this is also the same as John Kennedy's Red and Black.

Where it is from: The Spiral Principle, by Stephen Leathwaite.

Why I love it: I think most of us have a version of Out of This World in our arsenal. The first time I learned this was from Bob Longe's World's Greatest Card Tricks. Even though it was from a magic book meant for the general public, I think it has one of the best versions out there. With Beyond, there are a few aspects that I like: (1) the random order displayed of the cards in the beginning; (2) this is performed by the spectators, where the magician is not touching the cards; (3) does not have to use the entire deck (but even if it is used it is done at a good pace). When I perform Out of This World, I also like to throw in subtle touches, like to show maybe once or twice how they are doing along the way (I believe I picked this up from Harry Lorayne).

In addition to the ones below, I also really like Harry's Impromptu Out of this World. Unfortunately, I could not find a presentation of Harry performing it.

Similar tricks you may also like:

Nu-Way Out of this World - UF Grant, with Eugene Burger's presentation


Out of this Blah - Jon Armstrong
Robert P.
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#10 - FORGET TO REMEMBER - RYAN SCHLUTZ



Description of the effect: A thought-of card first disappears from the deck and then reappears in an impossible location.

Where it is from:
Super Strong Super Simple (Vanishing Inc.)
Effortless Effects (Big Blind Media)
Ryan Schlutz - At The Table Live Lecture


Why I love it: I didn't come across this one until a couple of months ago, it was a pleasant surprise. I've always liked Ryan Schlutz's creations, but I've recently come to have even more of an appreciation for the thinking behind his tricks, and Forget to Remember is a perfect reason why. Small disclaimer about this one, this does have multiple outs...but, it is done so nicely that every outcome is just as strong as the one shown in the video.

I will try to write out what was going through my head upon the first viewing when watching the DVD:

Ok, very fair selection of card, I don't see a force in play...putting the card back in the deck, is he holding a break?? No...because now she can immediately shuffle the cards. Alright, now he is asking her to change the value, that still opens it up to a lot of possibilities. Surely, he will start fishing for her card to get the value? Nope. So, Ryan is asking her to find her thought of card, but she doesn't see it...oh, it is going to be that one card on the table that has been there since the beginning isn't it?? It is! That was pretty sweet!

Later learning the different layers that Ryan has applied to this trick made me love it even more.

Similar tricks you may also like:

Smoke - Derren Brown


Out of Sight, Out of Mind - Dai Vernon
Robert P.
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#9 - ROUTINED POKER MENTAL - JOHN MENDOZA



Description of the effect: The magician deals a poker hand to each of the spectators, and is able to devise the card they are merely thinking of in each of their hands.

Where it is from: This can be found on Volume 1 of his DVD set "John Mendoza - My Best" and in his book "The Book of John".

Why I love it: I love thought of card tricks (see #11 pick as well), and when you can make it as clean as possible without fishing (or where it seems like there is little to none), to me it plays so strong. In the explanation portion of the DVD, John mentions that when he was at a National Entertainer's Conference, he did this for President Gerald Ford's and was able to get more gigs just from this trick.

I also have Michael Ammar's performance of Weiner's Miracle Princess Cards shown below. This was the first time I was exposed to this trick, and to be honest, I did not like it. To me, the performance shown in ETMCM was long, drawn out, and very boring. Michael Ammar even mentions during the process of trying to find their cards to "make yourselves comfortable" and the process will need to be "a patient kind of thing".

Contrast that with John Mendoza's presentation, and in each instance of finding their card John uses a different presentation (well he uses the same way for two of the spectators but in my performance I change that one as well, to build up each phase making it harder for the magician to determine their card). This allows the whole performance to be entertaining, and build into something more impossible. Michael is a great magician though, and I have to give him credit. There were mistakes made where he did not find two of the cards, but he was able to turn that into a magical moment that had a 'surprise' ending.


Similar tricks you may also like:

Junky - Doc Hilford


Weiners Miracle Princess Cards Performance - Michael Ammar
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