(Close Window)
Topic: An Idea for Packet Trick performers
Message: Posted by: MagikDavid (Jun 24, 2009 11:59PM)
Just wanted to share an idea with my friends here at the Café. Although I mostly work with a regular deck, I still like to throw in a few packet tricks in my routine. One thing that has always bothered me, is pulling the packet out of single fold plastic wallet or envelope. During a performance awhile ago, a spectator said, "Oh, there he goes... he's getting his 'special' cards now..." This put more suspicion on the packet than I was comfortable with. So I came up with a solution which has worked well since then.

First, I threw away all those plastic wallets and envelopes. When I use up a deck of cards, I save the old boxes. Inside the box I put a piece of cardboard (corrugated), folded in half. This is cut the same width of the cards. I glue one side of the cardboard to the inside of the box and let the other folded side float freely. When I insert the packet, this floating flap acts like a spring which presses the packet to the inside of the box. This makes the box more ridged, even though there may only be 8 - 10 cards inside. I can also use it for packets up to half a deck with no problem. I also experimented with folding the cardboard in half but not gluing it. This allows me to carry 2 packet tricks (one on each side of the cardboard.)

Since I don't use too many packet tricks in one routine, I only need to carry one or two of the boxes for each performance. I just decide ahead of time which packet tricks I'll be using.

When possible, I usually try to integrate the packet trick in a regular deck, but for some packet tricks it's not possible.

Just by making this subtle change in how I introduce my packet tricks, it seems to have eliminated all suspicioun on those 'special' cards. If I try to analyze the mind of the spectator... maybe they're thinking, "Okay, he's pulling some cards out of a card box, so he's gonna show a card trick." ...Instead of thinking, "Okay, he's pulling some cards out of a little plastic folder... hmmm, there must be something tricky about them."

I'm not sure why it works better... I just know that there doesn't seem to be as much heat on the cards, since I've been using my 'utility' box.

Comments/ideas welcome.

Dave
Message: Posted by: Voldemort (Jun 25, 2009 12:46AM)
Great idea Dave! I'm going to give that a try! Thank you!

One thing that I might add is that you can buy empty Bicycle boxes (in red or blue) from MJM magic at $0.37 each. I know that regular boxes tend to get worn rather quickly when using them to transport your deck. So the new boxes might help out and may last a while longer when just used for packet tricks.

Now that the USPCC has seen fit to change the look of thier bike boxes, I bought around 100 of the empty's from MJM to use for performance. (The boxes from MJM are the old stlye... For now).


Thanks again Dave.

V.
Message: Posted by: stijnhommes (Jun 25, 2009 02:06AM)
[quote]First, I threw away all those plastic wallets and envelopes.[/quote] A shame, you could easily use those for revelations and mentalism effects or something else.
Message: Posted by: MagikDavid (Jun 25, 2009 04:35PM)
V.
Yeah, I know what you mean... some of my boxes look pretty worn. I live about 7 miles from Haines House of Cards, and I know I can purchase new boxes from them. I think I'll do just that.

MacGyver,
I must admit that I exaggerated a bit. I didn't physically throw them away. I just eliminated them from my routine. I still use them to keep my packet tricks organized at home. I rarely, if ever, use them for revelations or mentalism effects, however. Thanks for you 'point-well-taken.'

Dave
Message: Posted by: obsidian52 (Jun 26, 2009 07:10AM)
Here's a thought, and something I use. I just put the packet trick (seeing as they are usually not more than 4 or 5 cards) or even my gaffed cards right on top (or bottom) of my regular deck. If I'm doing a non gaffed "regular" (Ha!) card trick I just cut them to a place where it won't be a problem.

As a magician, cards ARE a tool of our trade, and to pull them from some nice looking or secure area is not a big problem.....I do it all the time when doing Tommy Wonder's version of Wild Card.
Message: Posted by: MagikDavid (Jun 26, 2009 04:53PM)
Obsidian52,

As I mentioned in my first post, "When possible, I usually try to integrate the packet trick in a regular deck." So I totally agree on that point. On your second point, "...pull them from some nice looking or secure area..." my question is... by pulling them from somewhere different than you pull your other cards from (the box), aren't you suggesting that THIS packet of cards is more special than the other regular cards? After all, you want the spectator to believe that there's nothing different about these cards than any other cards you use, right?

Don't misunderstand... I'm not implying that pulling packets from envelopes is the wrong way. I've just always been bothered by the extra suspicion it may draw from the spectator (even though 98% of the time, they will never voice their suspicion to the performer.)

Thanx for your input.

P.S. - Can you briefly describe Tommy Wonder's version of Wild Card... and is there a resource where I can see it?
Message: Posted by: motown (Jun 26, 2009 06:05PM)
I would agree with the notion of putting the packet trick cards on a deck and removing them from there when your ready to perform that effect.
Message: Posted by: obsidian52 (Jun 27, 2009 08:28AM)
Yes, yes, yes, but to be totally honest, I have never really heard any of the spectators that I perform in front of say "Oh, that must be a trick deck". The overwhelming majority of people never heard of things like a double facer or backer, cards indexed differently, things like that. And yes, I sometimes take the deck I am going to use (even with the gaffs enclosed)from a metal tin I found that holds a deck perfectly, sure it gets looks, but I let it pass or throw out a goofy line and it passes (like the other thread about avoiding saying) "I have in my hands a regular deck". Just ribbon spread and shuffle them and you're fine.

I don't have any teaching videos of Tommy Wonder's version (and I forget the exact name) but him performing it is on YouTube, and if you know how to do Wild Card it will become obvious how to do his version. I personally like it.
Message: Posted by: Rpascual (Jun 27, 2009 11:55AM)
I usually put all my packet trick cards in an empty card box. Then in my routine I switch the regular deck for the packet trick deck and you're ready to perform the most innocent looking packet tricks. I think the switch in for a packet trick deck was by bannon but not sure.
Message: Posted by: Steven Keyl (Jun 27, 2009 03:34PM)
For me it depends on the packet trick. If you're doing a trick with cards that are seemingly normal then I'll just cop them onto the deck in use. If, on the other hand, the cards are something that you cannot normally get out of a deck, then I have no problem pulling them out of a special wallet. Wild Card is a good example of this. I don't have eight 9S (or whatever your WC set consists of) in my deck so it makes sense that they would have to come from somewhere else.

But if you're doing 'million dollar monte' it would definitely look odd to pull out an Ace, 2 and 3 when you could have just grabbed them from the active deck. This is a situation where I'll always cop or palm them onto the deck in use.
Message: Posted by: magicdano (Jul 8, 2009 03:22PM)
I was wondering if Paul Hallas' book, Small But Deadly, has any suggestions of how to bring in the cards?
It has been awhile since I read the book but it really is a comprehensive reference for so many Packet Tricks.
Message: Posted by: Fábio DeRose (Jul 8, 2009 07:18PM)
That is what I usually do. I have a whole deck made out of packet tricks. It raises much less, if no suspicion at all.

It works great!

Keep the bags for Mentalism, ehee.

[quote]
On 2009-06-26 19:05, motown wrote:
I would agree with the notion of putting the packet trick cards on a deck and removing them from there when your ready to perform that effect.
[/quote]



@V

Thanks for the tip on MJM, by the way!
Message: Posted by: tyalox (Jul 18, 2009 08:47PM)
There is another way to introduce the packet trick :
I ask 1 or 2 personal questions to the spectator concerned (like where he's born, or his fist name or his mother's one, or zodiac sign, etc...), then I take out the plastic pocket just like it HAS to be THIS plastic pocket I had to take out because of his answers just like if I was reading something in his mind or feel some magic thing at this moment and I perform the trick; for B'wave or 8 cards brainwave especially.
Message: Posted by: waltsal (Jul 19, 2009 08:35AM)
One of the great things about the art of magic is the creativity that magicians display in solving problems. This is another example.
Message: Posted by: MarvinWang (Jul 22, 2009 03:51PM)
I feel if the content is build in the packet, like there's a justification, such as prediction type of effect works well when the packet is introduced as it is instead of from the deck. What do you think?
Message: Posted by: Lord Freddie (Jul 23, 2009 02:50AM)
[quote]
On 2009-06-26 17:53, MagikDavid wrote:

P.S. - Can you briefly describe Tommy Wonder's version of Wild Card... and is there a resource where I can see it?
[/quote]

It's called 'Tamed Card' and can be found in The Books of Wonder volume 1 or on the DVD Visions of Wonder (volume 1).
Message: Posted by: MagikDavid (Jul 26, 2009 11:40PM)
MarvinWang,

I agree with you. If you're producing a 'prediction'... or, if you're introducing a packet which you claim is special in some way (i.e., cards that your grandfather gave you, or your friend David Copperfield gave to you,) then certainly a 'special' envelope would be logical.

The only time I use a card box is when I don't want to call 'special' attention to the cards. I want them to appear as though they just came out of a box of cards. My thought is that this implies that the cards are from a regular deck, even if they're gaffed or set up in some way.

LordFreddie - Thanks for the info.

Dave
Message: Posted by: 55john55 (Aug 28, 2009 04:53AM)
What an array of great ideas! I certainly will try some of them. However, for a few small packet tricks I actually make a big deal that I'm going to use some special magical cards that have magical properties. At the end of the trick the spectators get to examine them because they are normal cards. I start with these and then move on to tricks that can't be examined, but use the same introductory line. At the worst they don't know which may be "special" packets and at best, since the first few tricks were normal cards, they assume they all were.
Message: Posted by: MagikDavid (Aug 29, 2009 03:03AM)
I just thought of another idea to introduce a packet effect with a little comedy. For an effect using up to 10 cards, tie a red shoestring around the packet and place it in a card box. Bring out the box and hold it for a second... then reach in and start pulling the end of the shoestring out. Then stop and say, "Oh, I bet you thought I was going to show 'another' card trick, didn't you?" Then continue to pull the string out slowly, exposing the packet tied to the end, and say, "Well, you were right." Untie the packet and proceed.

This idea is based on something I saw someone do on tv (maybe The Amazing Jonathan or Michael Finney... not sure.) Anyway, he comes out holding a card box and says, "Do you want to see a great card trick?" Then he pulls out a rope and says, "Sorry, I'm gonna show you a rope trick." (Not sure of the exact patter, but you get the idea.)

Comments?

Dave
Message: Posted by: Lawrence O (Sep 5, 2009 07:36AM)
I was using a twist for my wild card packet before I decided to get into Bernard Bilis' routine which is performed with an ordinary deck. I was simply explaining that I was the general secretary of a very select club of hand picked magicians (General secretary was for justifying why I would have several cards with me), and that, not surprisingly, our membership cards were looking like playing cards of this kind. Now one of the rule to become a member was to be able to do something exceptional (this to create a favorable prejudice on the trick) and unique with each membership card.

Then on with the packet trick... This was created because I, too, had a psychological problem with taking out a small packet which was screaming "gaffed cards". Actually being a friend to Tommy Wonder I could not use his line and his buzzer for taking the small packet of cards out. It show however that Tommy also felt the need to justify why we are taking out a small packet of cards instead of a full deck.
Message: Posted by: The Amazing Noobini (Sep 24, 2009 03:25PM)
What about if you have a nice leather packet wallet to hold all your various packet tricks?

I ask because I really want one of those (JOL) wallets, but as I would only perform for friends and others in everyday situations I think maybe they would demand an extra close inspection of cards brought out separately.

I understand that a performing "real" magician can get away with bringing out props at a performance but I'm just one of the guests at the party. I feel that I have enough trouble convincing people that my regular deck isn't an automatic magic prop (most people here have never even seen normal Bicycle cards).

So gaffed card box vs nice leather wallet vs skipping packet tricks altogether? (Writing this I'm starting to lean towards skipping these types of effects altogether for someone like me).
Message: Posted by: Bertrand Thornley (Sep 25, 2009 03:56PM)
The original idea of this thread is very clever. I think I'll play with that. I think I have another idea to add.
Message: Posted by: MagikDavid (Sep 28, 2009 02:13AM)
Noobini,

Hopefully, you won't eliminate 'gaffed/packet' tricks totally from your routine. Some are very strong and magical. The original intent of this tread was to give you a way to introduce the 'special' cards in a way that helps 'sell' the idea to the spectator that they are just 'normal' cards (without saying, "Here's a packet of NORMAL cards?" By seeing the cards come out of a normal card box, they are less likely to suspect that they're gaffed or set-up. By seeing them brought out in a plastic (or leather) wallet, that's something the spectator isn't used to seeing... and therefore, it may seem that they're not 'regular' cards.

If you're using a whole routine of gaffed cards... that's a recipe for disaster. But throw in a couple of strong packet effects like M.S. 3 Card Monte, Wild Card or Bannon's Twisted Sister... and routine them around regular deck stuff... and you'll blow them away with real magic.

Bertrand,
Looking forward to any ideas you may have to add.

Thanks,
Dave
Message: Posted by: Zebaztian (Sep 28, 2009 03:01AM)
Turn it around: say you have a very special magical deck of cards when you're using a normal deck. Do the trick and let the specs. see the cards - wow, they are all normal. When using gaffed cards, don't say anything about them. The audience will think that they are just as 'special' as the earlier ones.
Message: Posted by: Mr. Mystoffelees (Sep 28, 2009 08:09AM)
[quote]
On 2009-09-24 16:25, The Amazing Noobini wrote:
What about if you have a nice leather packet wallet to hold all your various packet tricks?

I ask because I really want one of those (JOL) wallets, but as I would only perform for friends and others in everyday situations I think maybe they would demand an extra close inspection of cards brought out separately.

I understand that a performing "real" magician can get away with bringing out props at a performance but I'm just one of the guests at the party. I feel that I have enough trouble convincing people that my regular deck isn't an automatic magic prop (most people here have never even seen normal Bicycle cards).

So gaffed card box vs nice leather wallet vs skipping packet tricks altogether? (Writing this I'm starting to lean towards skipping these types of effects altogether for someone like me).
[/quote]

Not sure I agree with your thinking, Noobini.

As cards are only a small part of the things I do, I am not a move monkey like some. Actually I am coming to realize that, for me, acquiring that degree of skill is not worth the time and effort. Therefore, I have gravitated to packet tricks as a way to perform cards without the knuckle-busting.

So, it seems, we are going in opposite directions. Except, of course, for the fact that I, too, lust after the JOL.

I love the OP idea, even though I have never had a problem using a packet wallet or simply having what looks like a regular deck but is full of packet tricks. In spite of that, I feel a packet trick is the strongest, by far, if you can let the specs examine the cards. This means either a deck switch (shell) or a PT that uses no gaffs.

Good news is, there are many great packet effects that are fully examinable, like Vernon's Twisting the Aces, Daley's Last Trick, the Godfather's version of Wild Card, John Bannon's Fractal Card Magic, etc. All easily within the abilities of those of us who do not make cards our specialty...

Just some food for thought...

Regards,

Jim
Message: Posted by: Zebaztian (Sep 28, 2009 09:01AM)
If you take out cards or a deck of cards as a magician, people know there's something with them: there are spare parts up your sleeve, the deck is gaffed, the cards are marked. Do they really care? No, they want a nice performance - they know you're a magician, so they expect funny and strange things to happen.


By the way, in Europe (and maybe all over the world except the USA) Bicycle cards are strange. Every bicycle deck is thought being gaffed or controlled in one way or another. When people play card games, they never use Bicycles (far too expansive). Only magicians use them. But so what? 'I've got some special cards, so special, only a magician has the force to handle them. They are so special... Please sir, name a card.' 'Jack of diamonds.' 'These cards are so special, that there is always one card reversed. Let's see which card that is today. It's the jack of diamonds.'
Message: Posted by: The Big Q (Sep 28, 2009 09:35AM)
Yes! A few years ago, every time a friend of mine saw the bicycle deck it was "here we go - gaffed cards". Thankfully, since the recent poker craze over the last few years, they are far more common. Phew!

The best advice I was ever give was to place your gaffed cards throughout a normal deck (if possible). Search through the deck for the required cards, and may it seem impromptu. It certainly improved the reaction I got for many of the tricks I perform.

Tony
Message: Posted by: The Amazing Noobini (Sep 28, 2009 10:13AM)
I actually don't have more than maybe one gaffed packet trick. Not any good ones that I can remember now anyway. I do however know a few great effects that require time consuming setups, such as an Oil and Queens routine I have adapted to have a color changing back ending.

I need to set up and bring in the extra card. In some cases an extra card could probably be loaded in between the Jokers or something, but if the setup becomes too complex it effectively becomes a packet trick.

I have fast forwarded past a good many gaffed tricks in my life because they seem so impossible to pull off in my everyday situation, which would be either following a few regular deck effects or using a borrowed deck altogether.

Since I have carried a packet trick in my everyday wallet for maybe two years now without daring to bring it out more than once, I think the gaffed card case is a better idea perhaps (not that I fully understood the instructions).

But I think I need to buy the JOL wallet anyway just because... it is beautiful and I want it. I may not ever use it but I know I won't get it out of my system so I really have no choice in the matter.

The one gaffed trick I spoke of I haven't tried in the field, but when I practice it, I find that it only looks fair when I pull the cards out of a real deck. Because of my Mnemonica stack setup however, it would have to be a separate deck which may seem just as fishy.

Lots of great thinking in this thread! I may need to make additional posts to comment on a few clever thoughts! :)

EDIT: there, I bought the wallet at $45 including international shipping. Lol, I better find some more good packet tricks now.
Message: Posted by: Troels (Oct 1, 2009 03:02AM)
I also live in a country where most people have never seen Bicycles before. They look strange so why not let the spectators take a good look at the case and the backs before the gaffs are introduced.

"Some people use cards with cars or airoplanes on their backs. But theese cards are environment friendly. You see - they are called Bicycles. I prefer CO2-neutral cards. You see, the angels are not flying in the sky, they are biking."

My relatives know I really am concerned about these topics so they are not very surprised, just amused. They get a reason to accept the strange looking cards. And I give them a reason to take a close look at the cards without rising the question of trick cards.

Trolle
Message: Posted by: The Amazing Noobini (Oct 1, 2009 06:56AM)
The point about normal vs odd looking cards brings up another thought: If you have already performed something using a full deck and wish to bring out additional cards, these should probably be different in appearance from your other cards. The more different the better.

This opens up all kinds of possibilities in terms of your motive for having the cards separate:

They are your first cards or your favorite cards, they were handed down to you, they are the cards of your ex wife who was a real witch, they are antique, rare or valuable, you found them in a Cornflakes packet, they are your favorite or lucky color, they are special or magic cards, they are misprinted cards that you have found to have strange abilities, you found them in the street as you were leaving a gypsy camp you had visited with an eviction order, you always pick up cards you find in the street and have they noticed how often you see cards lying on the sidewalk for no apparent reason?, you keep them separate to make them seem more interesting than they/you really are, you bought them on eBay and the seller claimed they belonged to..., a strange person came up to you on the street once and gave them to you, your grandfather taught you to count with these cards, you found them in your wallet one morning (and your money was gone), etc etc. Make up as many yarns as you want.
Message: Posted by: MagikDavid (Oct 1, 2009 01:50PM)
Noobini,

I agree that if you want to call 'special' attention to the packet, then it's logical to introduce them differently than the regular deck. In an earlier post on this thread, I wrote,

"If you're producing a 'prediction'... or, if you're introducing a packet which you claim is special in some way (i.e., cards that your grandfather gave you, or your friend David Copperfield gave to you,) then certainly a 'special' envelope would be logical."

I also agree that if you're adding additional cards to the mix, it's okay to bring them in separately. Example: If you perform a Wild Card routine, you have to bring them in separate from a reg. deck (since several cards of the same value and suit are not part of a reg. deck.)

However, if you bring in some gaffed cards that seem like normal cards from a deck... and you want them to think that they are 'normal'... if you pull them out of a regular deck, the spectator is more likely to be convinced that they are 'normal.' Example: If you pull out the gaffed cards from a reg. deck to perform Michael Skinner's Ultimate Three-Card Monte... the trick will be much stronger than if you pull them out of a special envelope. Try to think of what it looks like from a spectator's viewpoint... he sees you perform several effects with a regular deck... then, you pull out an envelope with an ACE, TWO, and THREE... your first thought might be (hmmm... why didn't he just take them from the deck he was just using? Since he brought them out separately, they must be different than the regular cards... Hmmm... I got it!!! I bet they're 'trick' cards!!!)

When possible, the less 'heat' you draw on your 'gaffed' cards at the beginning of the effect... the better.

If you're working with 'normal card' packet effects;
* Best Scenareo - Integrate them into a reg. deck like a stack.
* Second Best - Pull them out of a 'regular' looking box.
* Third Best - Introduce them separately with different design backs, and with patter that suggests they are special in some way. i.e., they were your first cards... cards that your grandfather willed to you... cards that you stole from David Blaine... cards that your friend, Harry Lorayne gave to you... etc.
Message: Posted by: The Amazing Noobini (Oct 1, 2009 02:59PM)
Yes, good points David! I must have overlooked your earlier similar post. Either that or I simply ripped off your thinking. ;)

I suppose I can use the packet trick wallet to safely transport cards around until they are to be loaded into the deck for subsequent removal. It's a bit more tricky to load cards into the deck than to palm them out I guess. I've never done either in front of a spectator so I don't really know what I can and cannot get away with in that area.

Having let a few days pass I'm pretty much back to the mindset of dropping packet tricks altogether, unless they use ungaffed already available cards.