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Topic: Symbol by Steve Cook and Alakzam
Message: Posted by: DavidKenney (May 30, 2016 06:17PM)
Title: Symbol
Creator: Steve Cook
Publisher: Alakazam
MSRP: $ 25
Skill Level: all
DVD Run time: 26 minutes

Type of effect: packet prediction effect using ESP cards

Manufacturer's Write Up:

Steve Cook has created a super slick ESP prediction. This awesome effect will fit neatly in your wallet and will fry any spectator!

Imagine placing a single envelope onto the table along with six colored ESP cards. Your spectator is asked to roll an imaginary die, they can roll it as many times as they like, change the number as many times as they like and yet the ESP symbol related to the number will match your prediction in the envelope 100%.

Symbol feels ultra-fair and is easy to do (absolutely no funny moves or sleight of hand required).

How accurate is the ad copy? I totally agree with it.

What's in the box? DVD and needed cards.

Everything you need to perform Symbol is contained in the pack including a full in depth training DVD with additional tips and handling by Peter Nardi

Key points: Symbol resets instantly and is perfect for both mentalists and magicians.

How are the production values: It's Peter Nardi and David Loosley in a living room setting on a couch performing on a coffee table. Two standard shots with clear presentations.

Is it well made: These cards will last you a life time

Is it well taught: This trick has multiple outs, but they are all convincing. Peter and David run through the trick from every angle to ensure you walk away well informed.

My thoughts (what I personally liked/disliked): I loved the ease of this - plus it looks like it could be the HOT ROD force.... but it isn't!

Storage? Does it "pack flat?" Packet trick of only a few cards - carry it with enough forethought and your reveal envelope could also double as the sleeve you carry your cards in.

Does it "play big?" It's mentalism, it's a prediction, it's ESP cards, what more could you want?

Difficulty / Skill level required: Once you learn it - you'll forever remember it.

How much arts and crafts are involved? Zero - unless you want to make your own prediction envelope.

How practical is this in the real world? (can it really be done?) I'd say your only requirement is a table

Overall score: let's toss out the traditional score of 1-10 and make this something that we all can appreciate and understand.

X Very Satisfied
_____ Somewhat Satisfied
_____ Neither Satisfied or Dissatisfied
_____ Somewhat Dissatisfied
_____ Very Dissatisfied
_____ No Opinion

I love this routine - I love these cards - I love the ending - this one is going into my every day working routine.

+ Hey do you want to see my full review with even more of my opinions and ideas? Visit this link for my video review: https://youtu.be/TJlkBVoaE2E
Message: Posted by: caigy (Jun 1, 2016 04:38PM)
Great review of a superb great effect David.

Here are a few more from the Alakazam site:

Geoff Lucas

SYMBOL, by Steve Cook and Alakazam.
This is one of my favourite purchases for predicting an ESP Symbol.
You get everything you need to stun your audience. The specially printed ESP cards are top quality. The method is so clever, I had to keep doing this over and over to myself. In effect, a lovely very strong rouitne with beautiful cards and DVD instructions with Peter Nardi at the helm. I also liked the fact you get an option of ending totally clean with the two extra cards, but I found its not necessary, but cool to have the choice. Not overpriced either. Carry this with you, and you will get great reactions. 5 star rating

Steve Lobley

This is a great solution to the choose a sign type trick. This has gone straight into my wallet. I love the fact that all outcomes are strong. Plus as we have come to expect from the "A" team you get options and loads of detail. Impromptu and commercial what more could you ask for. Great quality at a great price...


I bought this effect yesterday and I am extremely pleased I did so. This effect simple and yet, still packs a punch sure to fry the spectator every time. I could not recommend this higher. C Martin.


This is very easy to do, a great little trick that gets good reactions!

Steve Black

Got this today and am not disappointed. High quality props and instruction combined with a superb routine makes this an excellent product. I have to say that Alakazam are one of the few companies that NEVER disappoint with a release. Roll on to the next one!!

Sarah Stott

This is a killer trick - it takes practically no time to learn, instantly resets and gets really great reactions.

The performance is always as clean as shown in the video - with a reveal from one envelope that is on the table from the very beginning.

I love it! :)

Ronnie Hay

Ha, this is a great little packet trick and works wonders with a lot of the pro mystic products that I own too ..

Keith Williams

Purchased this recently and certainly not disappointed. A great effect. The spectator assumes they have a choice of six ESP symbols imagining a rolled dice and the reaction at the end is " How on earth did you know I would choose that one? A really good effect with a brilliant DVD explaining everything clearly by Peter Nardi and the Alakazam team. So simple to do.Top Marks. One of the better ESP effects.

Luke keteleers

Bloody brilliant!!!! So simple yet so clever. Best ESP routine on the market! Strongly recommended.

Ian Barradell

Beautifully produced and scripted piece of close-up mentalism.
Easy to do. Strong reactions. Steve is a genius!!

Arne Cato Antonsen

This is a killer trick....

Stuart Montgomery

Excellent effect with quality props. This is one I'll use...a lot! So easy to perform...leaving all the concentration on the presentation. Love it!

David Abel

Really happy I purchased this. So clever, simple, powerful, strong. This is something that will definitely be with me and ready to use all the time. And the usual great support that goes with it as a bonus.

Chris North

Great effect - Well done Steve and Alakazam, very straightforward and the reveal is excellent and well thought out, if you buy it, make sure you look at Peter's bonus handling on the web site, well worth the effort!

Gary Pearce

Easy to do , amazing reactions , in my wallet all the time now

Mark Call

If you are looking for a REAL WORKER that blows people away... look no further! I did this for my wife 5 minutes after opening the package and it blew her away. With the additional routines and tips from Peter - you will ALWAYS have new ideas and applications. This is now my GO TO effect when someone says "Show me a trick'! A+++

Steve Dela

WOW! - I was blown away when I saw this performed for the first time and blown away even more by the very 'sound' method.
It looks too good to be true! I'm getting amazing reactions from this.
I give symbol my highest recommendation.

Paul Mc.
Message: Posted by: pabloinus (Jun 2, 2016 11:20AM)
I just bought Symbol and it is very nice, great cards and very good routine and quality explanation.
Another valuable point for Symbol is that Nardi added 2 additional cards to the basic trick that allows for a better ending when showing the prediction card, and you ended clean.

Coincidentally I bought in Barnes and Noble a small box with mind reading trick and they include a similar trick but with insects and animals in bicycle cards, the outs are different but the trick is essentially the same. It does not came with the additional cards the Symbol has.
I can now use either method in Symbol.

Message: Posted by: Stu Montgomery (Jun 3, 2016 06:55PM)
Excellent effect with quality props. This is one I'll use...a lot! So easy to perform...leaving all the concentration on the presentation. Love it!

And still do! And I found a use for a (very) inexpensive but good quality small leather wallet bought years ago (no longer available) that was languishing in a drawer looking for a use!! It's the ideal size to hold the prediction card & is even more of a convincer...lovely effect that's so easy to carry and perform.
Message: Posted by: George Hunter (Jun 3, 2016 09:29PM)
My Symbol kit arrived in the mail today.

The method is ingenious and the effect will be very good for closeup. It occurs to me that one could perform it, maybe better, with a mind-to-mind Influence theme; the effect is not restricted to the Prediction theme taught in the DVD.

The DVD is stimulating, though loosely organized and a little challenging to follow and recall. Written instructions could have taught it clearer, but if I watch it two or three more time and take notes, I should get my head around it. I am pushing 78, and I learn and remember better from the written word. (If anyone knows of a pdf that teaches the same material, I'd love to access a copy of it.)

Message: Posted by: CrazyTown (Jun 5, 2016 12:59PM)
Thanks for the reviews. This will be my next purchase
Message: Posted by: caigy (Jun 15, 2016 01:50PM)
Twenty 5 star reviews now :)...Well done Steve and Alakazam !!


I had my set laminated straight away and carry it with me everywhere...will last and entertain for a lifetime!!

Paul Mc.
Message: Posted by: George Hunter (Jun 15, 2016 07:36PM)

Thanks for the lamination idea.

Hope you are having a glorious early summer in metropolitan Epworth.

Message: Posted by: caigy (Jun 16, 2016 05:23AM)
[quote]On Jun 15, 2016, George Hunter wrote:

Thanks for the lamination idea.

Hope you are having a glorious early summer in metropolitan Epworth.

George [/quote]

You are welcome George.

It's throwing it down here again but thank you for thinking about me :)

I hope you and your Family are all keeping well.

Paul Mc.
Message: Posted by: George Hunter (Jun 17, 2016 10:54AM)
Okay, I went through the DVD again and took some serious notes. Then, and only then, did it hang together in a way I could recall. I now have my mind around it, a nice satisfying feeling.

As I look back, PART of my problem was with the DVD teaching. Like a magic effect is usually more effective with a script in mind, so is the teaching of an effect. The teaching of Symbol was rather impromptu, and lacked the coherence of a more serious script. Sometimes, Alakazam does DVD teaching with greater clarity, as in the Director's Cut projects.

One example for teaching Symbol especially comes to mind: if the two guys had demonstrated each of the possible outcomes instead of just explaining two of them, it would have been more easily understandable.

Please understand that I like the effect, and it is possible to learn the effect from the DVD; but part of what I paid was in sweat equity.

Message: Posted by: George Hunter (Jun 17, 2016 11:38AM)
I should have mentioned that, the more I reflect on Symbol, the more I am withdrawing from the "prediction" premise they teach on the DVD.

If one begins with some version of the performance's beginning, that companies are trying to influence us through symbols, colors, placement, and so on, it seems a bit alien to then refer to a prediction; better, I think, to present it as an experience in mind-to-mind subliminal influence.

What do the rest of you think? Symbol is a very promising effect, so it warrants the continued good thought also demonstrated in this thread.

Message: Posted by: Stu Montgomery (Jun 24, 2016 08:02AM)
Some excellent advice from the late Paul Daniels regarding putting thought into even the simplest of effects. Symbol is much more than its sum parts & deserves some extra thought as Paul advises here. :-)
Message: Posted by: George Hunter (Jun 24, 2016 09:41AM)
"Symbol" is a splendid stand alone effect. Like Paul McCaig, I plan to have it with me often.

It also serves, for the spectator, as a splendid introduction to the ESP symbols and their back-story. I now plan to use it to transition into Doug Dyment's marvelous "ChromESP" card-calling effect with a five color deck of ESP symbols.

Message: Posted by: George Hunter (Jul 3, 2016 12:42PM)
I am now NOT performing this as a Prediction effect, but entirely as an Influenced-themed effect. "We are all aware of some of the ways that advertisers try to influence our attention, interests, and choices--such as slogans, jingles, and celebrities. But we are less aware of how they more subtlety, even subliminally, influence us through the strategic use of shapes, colors, and placement. Let's conduct an experiment, to see if you can be influenced unawares."

Message: Posted by: George Hunter (Jul 12, 2016 08:13PM)
I have now performed it four times with the subconscious influence theme. The reactions have been much better than I have experienced with any prediction-themed effect.

Message: Posted by: Tech Head Steve (Jan 9, 2017 06:54PM)
Got this last Thurs & have only performed this 4 times so far.

I certainly like this trick & when I get some time plan to make up my own batch.

However I feel that reveals 1 & 6 are the strongest & cleanest. Yet from the 4 times I have performed it 1 has only been called once & 6 zero & this kinda makes sense... I know we're not saying pick a number between 1 & 6 but the way the cards are laid on the table indicates this.
So when I come to make up my own batch I shall most likely change the outs for 1 & 6 to 2 & 5, both of which to date have been chosen more.

Just my two penneth...
Message: Posted by: George Hunter (Jan 16, 2017 09:55AM)

Try this: After they make a mental choice of a number, invite them to change their mind and choose another number. Their second choice is much more likely to be 1 or 6. If it isn't, inquire what their first choice was. If it was 1 or 6, commend them on being "right" the first time, and reveal. If neither choice was 1 or 6, say their second choice was the "right" one, and ask: "Were you aware of being influenced in this process?" In this scenario, of course, you are not enjoying your preferred reveal.

Message: Posted by: Tech Head Steve (Jan 16, 2017 10:34AM)
George, thanks for that

Have played along similar lines since my post & if I don't get 1 or 6 & have a couple of specs I then get the 2nd to come up with a number, then if this number fits either way by plussing or minusing go this route to get my one or six.

It's all a case of chatting away & chucking out so many options that they think 1 or 6 is totally fair, but we know differently!!!
Message: Posted by: MindReadingGeek (Jan 30, 2017 02:54PM)
"I've shown this to quite a few magicians and they're always fooled because they've missed one aspect!
That's what really clever with Steve's effect"!
Message: Posted by: casco1 (Feb 15, 2017 03:45AM)
I am really looking into this, I would like to use it as the opener for a esp routine. Would it fit nicely into this role?
Message: Posted by: George Hunter (Feb 15, 2017 10:12AM)
It is a splendid opener for an ESP routine--brief, memorable, gets a spectator involved, can be used to introduce ESP symbols, Rhine, and all of that.

Message: Posted by: The Baldini (Apr 29, 2017 07:57AM)
Can other picture cards be substituted, for example. I want to use this in a trade show with the cards showing pix of the clients products.

thanks Dave
Message: Posted by: Tech Head Steve (Apr 29, 2017 08:20AM)
Yes. It's a principle you can apply to anything.
Message: Posted by: George Hunter (Apr 29, 2017 09:39AM)
The props you receive when you buy it are focused on the five traditional Zener symbols plus a triangle symbol. To use other symbols, you'd have to make the supportive props that relate to your chosen symbols.