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Topic: Darwin Ortiz's "Scams And Fantasies" Favorite Tricks??
Message: Posted by: Salby (May 5, 2007 09:56AM)
I just purchased this popular book and wondering what card effects people out there are liking and using.

One thing I was disappointed in though with this book is that [b]many[/b] of the effects require you to have a full stacked memory deck. I was starting to use Richard Osterlind's [b]Breakthrough Card System[/b] a few weeks ago prior to getting this book. However, Richard's system is [b]not[/b] good for all of Darwin's effects requiring a stacked deck because you would only know the next card cut to. In Darwin's effects requiring the full memory deck system, you must know where each card is in the deck (ie.: The JD is 25th from the top, the 4S is 13th from the bottom, etc.) [b]The Si Stebbins System[/b] is suggested, but I prefer [b]not[/b] to use that system, because how uniform the cards look with the "red/black/red/black" formula-- It looks too conspicuous. I was thinking of Juan Tamariz's [b]Mnemonica System[/b] (I'm not familiar with it though), but I really do [b]not[/b] want to fork over another $60 for a book. Any other suggestions?? Prior to purchasing [b]Scams And Fantasies[/b], I read the many brief reviews and inferred that Ortiz taught his own stacked deck system. This is [b]not[/b] true, however. He assumes you know one.

Also, I would like to try out his [b]Ambitious Card routine[/b], but he states that you need the "Monkey in the Middle" card effect for this routine. I am not familiar with this packet effect. Again, I don't want to buy something else. What is the card(s) that is needed to perform his [b]Ambitious Card routine[/b]?? I may already have it and not know that I do. I have many gaffed card sets, including the CAJ Deck, Penguin's Assortment Gaffed Deck and the Ellusionist's Bicycle Red Gaffed Deck. Do I have the required card(s) from "Monkey in the Middle" in one of these other gaffed decks I already own??
Message: Posted by: gkfreed (May 5, 2007 02:13PM)
On 2007-05-05 10:56, Salby wrote:

Also, I would like to try out his AMBITIOUS CARD ROUTINE, but he states that you need the "Monkey in the Middle" card effect for this routine. I am not familiar with this packet effect. Again, I don't want to buy something else.



Do yourself a big favor and purchase Monkey in the Middle. Then toss the Ortiz Ambitious Card and do Monkey in the Middle by itself. I honestly believe you will thank me.

Message: Posted by: Lukenp (May 5, 2007 06:10PM)
I use The Last Laugh. It requires a stacked deck. I use the Aronson Stack. You can find info on it here for free. http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=174849&forum=213&7

I recommend that you memorize one of the many stacks out there. The possibilities are endless and they're very useful.
Message: Posted by: Salby (May 5, 2007 10:40PM)
Thanks for the tips. I'll consider them.

Is Aronson's Memorized deck easier/better/more versatile than Tamariz's Memorized Deck?? Where can I find the pros and cons of these Stacked decks. I assume these are the 2 most popular ones out there??

Also, is the a video demo somewhere of MONKEY IN THE MIDDLE??
Message: Posted by: ASW (May 6, 2007 06:12AM)
Get Monkey in the Middle. Try it as a one shot effect. Then try it in the context of an ambitious card routine. Then decide for yourself.

Whatever, buy it. You'll be purchasing an absolutely killer effect and it's only right that the (insignificant) investment goes to Bill Goldman, since you will be [b]buying his concept[/b]. It isn't right to phish on the Café for the secret then to make it up from stuff you might have. It's a very reasonably priced item, in any case, so don't be such a tightass.
Message: Posted by: billmonroe (May 6, 2007 08:08AM)

You will do yourself a favor by choosing a stack to memorize and then doing it. There are many effects that can be performed with a memorized stack that couldn't be done through pure sleight of hand. Now for choosing which stack to use you will need to find out what types of effects you want to do. For instance, Aronson's stack has some good poker deals imbedded in the stack. Another way, is to create your own by shuffling a deck and memorizing. However, do go to Simon's site and check out his free 20 page booklet, you'll be glad you did. Cheers,

Message: Posted by: Salby (May 6, 2007 04:23PM)
OK-- I read Simon Aronson's 20 page Intro at his site about his Memorized Stacked Deck, but confused on which book of his to find it in.

He apparently edited that Manuscript Intro in 2002 and I am not really familiar with all his media before and after 2002. He states a couple of books in that manuscript of his, but confused which is best.

What book/DVD is the Most recent and thorough source of his Memorized Stacked Deck that is on the Magic Market right now with all his versatile routines utilizing it??
Message: Posted by: Lukenp (May 6, 2007 06:16PM)
You can find it in Bound to Please. It's $35 I believe.

I don't know which stack is better. I don't know Tamariz's stack, so I cannot make an accurate comparison.

It took me around 3 weeks to get the stack down cold. I just used brute memorization. I didn't really bother with mneumonics and the sort.

Also, Simon put out a 3 DVD set with his magic. Though, I believe his memorized deck stuff is on Volume 3.

Message: Posted by: dannywhit (May 6, 2007 10:38PM)
I love Scams and Fantasies and I am sure after you read routines like Zen Master you will be wanting to memorize a stack, but even if you do not have a stack memorized just yet there are still plenty of very strong effects in this book that do not require a gimmick or a memory stack. You will learn a great way to set up the deck right in front of the audience and in my oppinion, the best Oil and Water routine out there. I do not believe you can go wrong with this book.
Message: Posted by: Salby (May 6, 2007 11:11PM)
Thanks everyone for your tips again.

I think I'll have to pick a stacked deck and Aronson's is the 1 that I will go for... I have to pick 1, right??

Anyway, I want to either buy his book, BOUND TO PLEASE, or his Volume 3 DVD. Which one is better to learn his stacked deck and his mneumonics and his best effects?? The book or DVD?? Both are about the same $30-35 each and I want to only buy 1 for now.

Also, can someone post the COMPLETE contents of this DVD? I can only find the highlights of it.
Message: Posted by: Robert Apodaca (May 7, 2007 03:20AM)
Aronson stack is free on his website at the the end of his 20 page free essay download thing.
Message: Posted by: Salby (May 7, 2007 08:09AM)
I realise that his order is FREE at the website (I downloaded it), but I was also looking for his own Mneumonic tips and how he applies his stacked decked order and which media (BOUND TO PLEASE "book" or Vol. 3 "DVD") gives the most uses/insights/effects........
Message: Posted by: Robert Apodaca (May 7, 2007 02:17PM)
I believe his tips are also in the essay. He says don't learn it in sequence, practice by making flash cards, be able to seperate by suit, color, etc.

I memorized his stack from his free download, but if you want to get one of his books that have the most on his memorized stack, I believe Bound to Please has the most on his stack.
Message: Posted by: Lukenp (May 7, 2007 04:46PM)
I would get Bound to Please. Books offer more than dvds.
Message: Posted by: Tyler (May 7, 2007 04:48PM)
I have all of Aronson's books and I think Bound To Please has the most information on learning the stack. It really did open a whole way of performing. The book includes A Stack To Remember and in it he explains (at length) mnumonics and the easiest way of remembering the stack. It's very logical and it makes it much easier than Tamariz's Stack to learn. I also have Tamariz's Mnumonica but found it not as useful for me personally. If you can do perfect farrows etc.. there is a quick way to get the stack in order but that's about the only advantage I've found to T's stack. Aronson's other books along with some ideas from Bannon and Solomon make Aronson's a better choice IMHO. I really enjoyed Simply Simon for more uses of the stack. I do use Mnumonica ideas with the Aronson stack. The nice thing is that if you put the time in, you give yourself a way to mix it up when performing. Most magicians wont put the time in to learn the stack and that's ok by me. It took me about 30 days but well worth it. Even though I have all of Aronson's books as well as Bannon, Soloman and Draun, I am looking to pick up the 3 dvd set of Aronson. If I get those, I'll let you know how I liked them.

Message: Posted by: Magiman (May 7, 2007 07:04PM)
Do yourself a huge favor and learn a stack. You will be precieved as God-like to laymen and magi-friends who think they are in the know.

Just do the work!
Message: Posted by: Kjellstrom (May 7, 2007 11:50PM)
Lot of info!


Message: Posted by: Steve Haynes (May 7, 2007 11:55PM)
Martin Joyal's six hour memorized stack is what I use and I could go thru the whole deck in the six hour time frame.
After about three days I had it down cold.
Message: Posted by: Robert Apodaca (May 8, 2007 09:35PM)
I like Fastest Gun Alive.

Working on the ORtiz Shift for the Last Laugh.
Message: Posted by: Kjellstrom (May 9, 2007 05:04PM)
A Day with Darwin Ortiz: http://www.adaywithdarwin.com/
When: Saturday July 14th, 2007.
The Beverly Garland’s Holiday Inn:
4222 Vineland Ave. North Hollywood, CA 91602
Message: Posted by: Robert Apodaca (May 9, 2007 07:02PM)
Thanks a lot. I registered.
Message: Posted by: todsky (May 10, 2007 06:17AM)
Salby, if you already know Osterlind's BCS, he has an add-on system for memorizing all the cards. It's called The Memorized Breakthrough.
Message: Posted by: JanForster (May 10, 2007 06:39AM)
This book is loaded with superb routines, and concerning a mem deck ZEN Master is outstanding good.
Message: Posted by: Salby (May 10, 2007 02:02PM)
Hiya Todsky--

I am aware of Osterlind's BCS as I have MIND MYSTERIES Volume 2. Where can I find his MEMORIZED BREAKTHROUGH CARD SYSTEM??
Message: Posted by: Carlos the Great (May 10, 2007 02:45PM)
Message: Posted by: todsky (May 10, 2007 06:59PM)
What Carlos said...
Message: Posted by: Paul H (May 11, 2007 03:42PM)
I'm not a memory deck worker and I find loads of fantastic routines in Scams and Phantasies. It really isn't neccessary in order to enjoy the majorty of the fantastic routines in this seminal book.


Paul H
Message: Posted by: JanForster (May 14, 2007 11:54AM)
Paul, this is true what you say. Nevertheless if you do memorized deck work ZEN Master is a routine you would like adding to your repertoire. Jan
Message: Posted by: ragingcalm (May 14, 2007 05:50PM)
RIght non memorized deck effects - best ones from S&F are: (can't quite remember the names)
Appointment in Samara - great effect, great great presentation
Fusion effect
Devil (Tarot card Presentation) effect.
Cannibal Kings
Hitcock Aces
Shark Attack
Message: Posted by: Andy the cardician (May 14, 2007 06:29PM)
Not wanting to hijack this, but is that book now OOP?
Message: Posted by: Darwin Ortiz (May 14, 2007 07:33PM)
On 2007-05-05 10:56, Salby wrote:
One thing I was disappointed in though with this book is that MANY of the effects require you to have a full stacked memory deck.
I just discovered this thread and would like to correct this mischaracterization. [i]Scams & Fantasies[/i] contains thirty effects. [i]Four[/i] of those effects require a memorized stack. I don’t see how this can possibly be described as “MANY.”

[i]Scams & Fantasies[/i] is indeed out of print. I have a handful of copies available. PM me if interested.

Darwin Ortiz
Message: Posted by: Jay Elf (May 16, 2007 01:49PM)
Hello Darwin,

In the four of those effects in the book, you use your own mem deck.
Does your MD have any built-in features?

Message: Posted by: Clark (May 16, 2007 02:21PM)
This book is fantastic (which of his books isn’t?), hell every effect in the book is worthy of being a favorite. I laughed so hard at his comment concerning most Cannibal Card routines having a digestive system beyond his comprehension that I almost spit my drink all over the pages the pages. No question Ortiz is one magic's greatest, period.
Message: Posted by: Salby (May 16, 2007 02:28PM)
Sorry Darwin-- But I didn't really count the number of effects in this book of yours dealing with Memorized Stacked Decks before starting this thread.... I guess I was simply frustrated that some of the most powerful effects that I was looking into prior to me buying this book dealt with memorized decks and "seemed" like many.....

....Needless-to-say, I'm making lemonade with the "lemons" handed to me.... In other words, I am now in the process of learning Aronson's Memorized Stacked Deck to utilize and accomplish these 4 effects.... Your book has motivated me to enter a new realm of card magic and be able to perform 4 of the more powerful effects in your book.

I thank-you for indirectly pushing me into a doorway of card magic that I didn't think I would ever be interested in.... I always would just flip past the effects in any book that read "...and a memorized stacked deck is involved." Now I wish I can go back and find where those effects are that I passed up these past 2 decades :(

Jay Elf-- As far as a Memorized Stacked Deck taught in his book.... He does NOT teach his or anyone else's Memorized Stacked Decks in this book. He assumes you already know one of many Memorized Stacked Decks out there and then you will be able to utilize it into his 4 specified effects in the book.

The 3 most popular Memorized Stacked Decks that do NOT appear as though there is any pattern of the cards in the stack are:

1. Simon Aronson's Memorized Stacked Deck
2. Juan Tamarez's (Mneumonica) Stacked Deck
3. Richard Osterlind's (Breakthrough Card System) Stacked Deck

Each has its own pros and cons and if anyone can ellaborate on these differences, that would be most appreciative. I assume the differences are how each different stacked deck is better utilized in certain effects due to each of their own "patterns". I am not too sure. I cannot find a specific thread on the benefits of each of the 3 and then just comparing each of them to each other. That would be very helpful to someone who doesn't know which 1 to memorize. But any of these 3 Memorized Stacked Decks can be used in the 4 effects of Darwin's book.
Message: Posted by: Kjellstrom (May 16, 2007 04:11PM)
Richard Osterlind's (Breakthrough Card System) Stacked Deck is a cyclic stack and NOT a memorized deck stack.
Message: Posted by: Jay Elf (May 16, 2007 06:00PM)
Hello Kjellstrom.

Recently, Mr. Osterlind made "Memorized" Breakthrough Card System using peg system.
Message: Posted by: Salby (May 16, 2007 09:10PM)
Yes-- You can memorize ANY deck using Harry Lorayne's Memory Techniques....

Think of how powerful Osterlind's BCS would be. Besides the same idea of just memorizing the deck like Aronson's and Tamarez's Stacked Decks..... But you also have the powerful system that Osterlind has cleverly instituted with how you will ALWAYS know the next card....

I know it wouldn't mean much because the whole deck would be memorized anyway, but I bet there is some other application that he or someone else would consider.....

It's just an added bonus that the other 2 noted stacked decks don't have.
Message: Posted by: Kjellstrom (May 17, 2007 12:39AM)
"But you also have the powerful system that Osterlind has cleverly instituted with how you will ALWAYS know the next card...."

A memorized stack is very powerful: you know exactly every single cards position, instantly.
Even if the deck is cut you know any named cards position, that is very powerful.

When you use a cyclic stack you only know the next cards position.

I started w. Si Stebbins cyclic Stack early 80s and I used it a lot.
In the 90s I started using a "true" memorized stack and that extremely useful for card magicians and mentalists.

Check out the effect Last Laugh from Scams and Fantasies with Cards and you will see how EXTREMELY powerful a memo stack are.

A great memorized stack is Martin Joyals memorized stack: JOYAL STACK. Easy to memorize.
Message: Posted by: Steve Haynes (May 17, 2007 09:20AM)
Yep,Last laugh and Zen Master are two of my favorite md effects.
Very direct and impossible.
I also use a stebins stack,using Darwin's si stebbin's secret to go from new deck order so I can do some mentalism or cut to any four of a kind named from a "shuffled deck"(which is not possible with a MD),after a couple more routines that retain the stack,such as Triumph.
If I have a new deck,i will start with the Stebin's secret to go into a stack and ring in a MD to close my set after a couple of routines were the spectator has shuffled the cards.
The memorized deck is a work horse for me, but until I learned the Si Stebins Secret,i hardly ever used a stebins stack.
Now Stebbins is also a wonderful tool that I can use everytime I open a new deck for paid shows,or a special group.
I have everything Darwin has ever put out minus Card Shark book(i have the video's)cause I can't find or afford it and can say everything he does has more thought than just about anything you can find.
Message: Posted by: Paul H (May 19, 2007 02:40AM)
While we are on the subject Cardman, Andrew Wimhurst in his 'Down Under Deals' has a fantastic take on 'The Ultimate CardShark' from Darwin Ortiz At the Card Table. It involves getting into the routine from a brand new sealed deal and showcases some excellent false deals as well as the main gambling effect. Its one of the strongest and most incredible closers I know of.


Paul H
Message: Posted by: Robert Apodaca (May 20, 2007 05:33PM)
On 2007-05-16 14:49, Jay Elf wrote:
Hello Darwin,

In the four of those effects in the book, you use your own mem deck.
Does your MD have any built-in features?


I don't even believe Mr. Ortiz has published his stack (I may be wrong), but I do not believe his has any features because the features that stacks do have can be done impromptu.
Message: Posted by: Mark Ennis (May 20, 2007 05:57PM)
On 2007-05-20 18:33, Robert Apodaca wrote:
On 2007-05-16 14:49, Jay Elf wrote:
Hello Darwin,

In the four of those effects in the book, you use your own mem deck.
Does your MD have any built-in features?


I don't even believe Mr. Ortiz has published his stack (I may be wrong), but I do not believe his has any features because the features that stacks do have can be done impromptu.

You are correct that Darwin has not published his stack but incorrect that his stack doesn't have features. His stack has a very powerful feature that can be used for some amazing effects that have nothing to do with memorizing the deck.

Darwin suggests using your own stack or any stack currently available to perform the effects in his book because any memorized deck will work.
Message: Posted by: paisa23 (Dec 7, 2007 02:20AM)
OK a few months later. Now can we get back to the stronger tricks or favorites in this book? No Stack prefered.
Message: Posted by: Clark (Dec 7, 2007 08:31AM)
One that will be typically "overlooked" is the two card transpo that Darwin uses a perfect Blackjack hand for. The routine is brilliant, simply to understand, and will absolutely astonish a lay crowd. The actual title of the routine escapes me at the moment, but I think it is Ace To Pocket.

The book is full of brilliant thinking and effects, but this one in particular has "real people" written all over it. Fantastic, simple to execute effect.
Message: Posted by: Kjellstrom (Dec 8, 2007 02:39AM)
If you prefer DVD, check out SCAMS & FANTASIES WITH CARDS 4-VOLUME DVD SET: http://www.mymagic.com/dvd/dvd-ortiz.htm
Message: Posted by: Nathan Alexander (Dec 8, 2007 08:29PM)
At work tommorow I'm cracking open this book again and having a go. Such great routines! It's always fun to "re-learn" stuff you forgot you did.

This means I'm also going to have to brush up on my Aronson stack. It's been a few weeks. :)
Message: Posted by: motown (Dec 9, 2007 10:53AM)
Appointment in Samara is my favorite. Great presentation!
Message: Posted by: sychou (Jan 17, 2008 08:14AM)
My favorite are Dejavu,shark attack,appointment in samara,ultimate oil and water,Cannible. Every trick also has performance tips and credits which are very useful. I have to say that darwin's handling of the card magic is very detailed and well constructed. Highly recommended
Message: Posted by: Chris K (Jan 17, 2008 03:43PM)
The Brush
Ultimate Oil and Water

You can do a stack to do these two effects, followed by a OOTW or something else quite easily. It was pretty straightforward to come up with a cogent line of reasoning to string them all together as well, at least for me.

Lots of other stuff but, these days, I usually only perform about 20 or so tricks at a time (broken into distinct sets) and those are the ones.

As for memorized stacks, I took the easy way out with Joyal's Stack and am very happy with it. A stack with built in effects may come later (Tamariz comes to mind) but nothing now.

Message: Posted by: sychou (Jan 21, 2008 06:21AM)
Forgot to say God of gambler is very very strong gamling routine.
But that is a very advanced routine for one to master.
There was also other magic effect.
Anyone who love gambling routine should chek out all darwin's book because he is so darn good!