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Topic: "It's the Rules" by Sheets/Sachs Dice Question
Message: Posted by: Ron Reid (Jun 12, 2004 07:30AM)

I recently bought the video and have a question for anyone who does Bob Sheets' "It's the Rules" routine: Doesn't the audience know that you are somehow manipulating the dice to show different numbers?

I've been working on the routine, and have it down well (At least I thought I did) and have tried it for two people. They both said that they knew I was secretly turning the dice around.

So, I'm just curious about others' experiences. I really want this routine to work because it's angle proof, there's no gimmicks to hide, etc. Before I go back and try to correct my technique (which I thought was good), I'd like to know if others are having success with this.

Is it really a fooler? Thanks. BTW...one of the people I showed was my ex-wife (doesn't like magic a whole lot).

Message: Posted by: Bradley Morgan (Jun 13, 2004 12:23AM)
I do this routine all the time and get good reactions from it. They will think you are moving them somehow but they can't figure it out. The amazing part is that you can change them without them seeing you do the move. It is a very strong routine and the more you do it the better you get. Every person I do this for just love it.

Message: Posted by: Ron Reid (Jun 13, 2004 05:10PM)
Thanks for the response, Bradley!

Message: Posted by: John C (Jun 13, 2004 08:46PM)
I use part of it in another routine (my dice under cup) in that I only use one die. In a routine such as this one they must know that "something" is happening but it's such a tongue-in-cheek presentation that they don't care how you do it it's just fun.

Message: Posted by: Andy Charlton (Jun 13, 2004 09:26PM)
I use this all the time. Probably my most performed trick.

I find that just as they are working out that you must be manipulating it, you get to the Phase that proves you are not, "Nothing moves, nothing changes, and now...." Followed immediately by a jaw dropping visual change right in front of them.

Love it.

Message: Posted by: TheAmbitiousCard (Jun 14, 2004 01:02AM)
What's the difference between this and the Carl Andrews routine "Pair-o-Dice".

If I remember correctly, "It's The Rules" is one of the lines he uses over and over again in his routine and I wasn't too thrilled about the presentation.

Message: Posted by: Bradley Morgan (Jun 14, 2004 02:11AM)
Ya his routine, only Bob could get away with.LOL

Message: Posted by: James Harrison (Jun 14, 2004 09:22AM)
I use Bob's dice routine for strolling all the time.

Kids, adults, couples, families, they are enjoy it.

Ron- When I first started the routine I was getting caught too, but I found after time those people started to disappear.

What size dice you using Ron?
Message: Posted by: Neil (Jun 14, 2004 04:02PM)
"What's the difference between this and the Carl Andrews routine "Pair-o-Dice"."

Frank - I imagine not a lot. The Carl Andrews book I have: Magic from Maui is really just other people's tricks with the odd kicker ending. All solid stuff just nothing original.

I've read the routine with dice in hand and it's always seemed to me to be pretty obvious that one is merely turning the dice. Maybe if I saw someone good do it....?

The whole finger twizzle thing always feels uncomfortable. Any tips?
Message: Posted by: Andy Charlton (Jun 15, 2004 07:39AM)
Bob's routine has a different grip and move to any other I've seen. This allows you to use much bigger Dice.

What can I say. This is my most performed effect. I Always have a pair of 16mm dice in the ticket pocket of my jeans, and use 1 inch dice all the time in my bar.

Message: Posted by: John C (Jun 15, 2004 07:57AM)
It is kinda difficult to get the hang of. Certainly in front of an audience. I have practiced in front of an audience by just using one die after a little routine I do to predict the numbers - 14 - on both sides. Most people do not know that the top and bottom of the die equal 7. When you do the prediction by showing them the top and bottom of the dice and then say 14 they are really surprised. They don't know. Don't assume they know, because most folks don't.

When I first started doing this I was more surprised then the spectators were that they didn't know the top and bottom equaled 7.

As far as them knowing you are flipping the dice, well, how else would you do it? I mean, they know that it's not "real" magic. It's a funny bit.

If you perform it the way Sheets does - keep the patter and dice rolling - the audience won't care how you're doing it they will just be entertained and everyone will have fun.

There is always going to be someone in the background saying, "Oh, I see how he's doing it."

If you hesitate when you perform this trick you will will be providing the audience with a lesson. So, make sure you have it down before you perform it or only perform the parts you know.

John Cesta
Message: Posted by: Paul Chosse (Jun 16, 2004 07:46PM)
I have been doing the Sachs Dice routine, with the Vernon Dice Climax for over 30 years, always to, as they say, "thunderous applause".

Mike Skinner featured it with Casino size dice and always wowed them.

I don't know the Sheets routine, but I can vouch for Sachs. If Sheets is similar, then it may be your style. I can honestly tell you that I can't count on one hand the number of times someone offered a solution to this that made sense. They DO look for moving parts, but no one has solved the mystery correctly in as long as I can remember.

The position of the dice in your hands, the speed with which you do the move (go slow), etc. all contribute to the success of the material. Also, by following the Sachs Routine with the Vernon Climax, you put them on another path before they have time to concentrate on the methods for the first effect.

By the way, you can also adapt the Vernon routine so that it segues into a production of four dice, followed by the Malini/Bey Chink-a-Chink in Stars of Magic. If you do this, be sure to do the ENTIRE Malini/Bey routine. Most guys leave out the final production of more dice from the pocket. This is a BIG mistake. I produce a dozen dice at the end, and it drives the spectators nuts!

Best, PSC
Message: Posted by: Ron Reid (Jun 18, 2004 10:45AM)
Thanks for the responses, so far - more are welcome!

James: I'm using 1 inch dice; they're the ones that Bob Sheets sells with the video.

Message: Posted by: James Harrison (Jun 18, 2004 11:22AM)
You may find that you want to use a smaller dice for a bit.

I know some people won't be able to see what you are doing, but you will be able to perform the trick with less worry about somebody saying you are doing something funny with your hand.

I did Bob's routine with regular store bought dice for a couple months before moving up to the big dice.

Just some food for thought.
Message: Posted by: cfrye (Jun 18, 2004 12:38PM)
I'd also recommend using casino "razor edge" dice if possible. Dice with rounded edges are great for carrying in one's pocket, but they can slip when you're learning.

For those of you who know the routine, my record toss behind me on the "Excuse me?" line is thirty feet. :)
Message: Posted by: James Harrison (Jun 18, 2004 12:47PM)
Nice, but have you taken out a waitress with a tray of food with the same instance of the routine?

Lets just say she was not impressed with the trick...
Message: Posted by: stephen secret (Jun 18, 2004 09:56PM)
I'm working on the sachs routine as found in 'classic secrets of magic'. If Bob Sheets has a different "move" in his 'It's the Rules' I would buy the DVD. Can anyone else confirm?

I also am happy to hear a person can move onto the big dice after some time with the handling.

The few people who've see me do sachs routine (the 1st phase) give a look back of surprise.

sincerely secret.
Message: Posted by: cfrye (Jun 19, 2004 02:38AM)
On 2004-06-18 13:47, James Harrison wrote:
Nice, but have you taken out a waitress with a tray of food with the same instance of the routine?[/quote]
Oooohhh...that beats me. :)
Message: Posted by: John C (Jun 19, 2004 05:54AM)
On 2004-06-18 22:56, stephen secret wrote:
I'm working on the sachs routine as found in 'classic secrets of magic'. If Bob Sheets has a different "move" in his 'It's the Rules' I would buy the DVD. Can anyone else confirm?

I also am happy to hear a person can move onto the big dice after some time with the handling.

The few people who've see me do sachs routine (the 1st phase) give a look back of surprise.

sincerely secret.

It is stated in the Sheets video that the move is different. Bob says so in the clip.

I don't know the Sachs routine so I cound't personally say but I have the Sheets video so I can say what he says...kinda? "Who said that?"

Message: Posted by: stephen secret (Jun 20, 2004 07:11PM)
Thank you John for the info on Sheets and his different move.

Just yesterday as I was doing phase one of the Sachs routine another Magician said "all the counting (fourteen on a pair of dice, ect.) confused me". Has anyone doing the Sachs routine come up against this?

Sincerely Secret.
Message: Posted by: Bradley Morgan (Jun 21, 2004 01:39PM)
With the sheets routine I have had no problem at all. It just plays really well and you can skip any faze you don't want to do or if you need to go.

Message: Posted by: stephen secret (Jun 24, 2004 11:08AM)
Yes Brad I now am looking at the patter a little differently. Keeping the lines I like and letting the person I'm showing lead where I go with what I say.

Ordering the Sheets DVD this week.

Sincerely secret
Message: Posted by: Michael Bilkis (Jun 28, 2004 07:35PM)
Does Anyone have any suggestions on a source for dice. I have casino dice and they are too big for me to do the "Sach's Move" more that once. they get out of position.

Message: Posted by: cfrye (Jun 28, 2004 11:11PM)
Try your local hobby or gaming store. They usually have six-sided dice that are smaller than casino dice but larger than the Bicycle brand dice you can buy in most any supermarket.
Message: Posted by: swatchel-omi (Jun 29, 2004 06:50AM)
Does Anyone have any suggestions on a source for dice. I have casino dice and they are too big for me to do the "Sach's Move" more that once. they get out of position.

I you keep practicing you should be able keep them from moving around. I do the trick with 1 1/2 inch dice. About the size Bob uses in the video. I have small hands too.

I buy all my dice from:


They also have sharp cornered dice in smaller sizes, and you can get them in white with black spots. (The spots are easier to see.)

Have fun with the trick. It's great.

Message: Posted by: KirkG (Jul 2, 2004 02:08PM)

I am going to have to say it is your technique.

You just need more practice and perhaps and understanding of the concept. What I mean is this: Of course you are moving the dice, that is the only way, but in the routine are places where you have "pre-moved the dice" so when you go back, nothing is moving. Then on the off beat, you do the move to set up the next change.

Perhaps if you used one die only for a while it would be easier for you. Also this enables you to use three different moves to effect the change.

All in all, give it the practice it deserves and you will be rewarded with a great routine and the reactions it deserves. If you can find someone near you who performs it, perhaps they can review your technique.

Best of luck.

Kirk Grodske
Message: Posted by: eric_e (Jul 7, 2004 01:10AM)
Since you said back on 6/24 that you were buying the Sheets routine, Stephen, this attempt at slight clarification might come a little too late to have any impact on your decision, unless you're as slow getting things done as I usually am. And in any case, the Sheets routine is definitely worth the money. But in terms of the difference between the Sachs and Sheets approaches that you ask about above, which I couldn't see that anybody had yet really addressed, to put it as briefly as I can and yet as cryptically as I gather I am to put such things in this kind of context here, in the Sachs routine, the dice themselves are secretly moved; in the Sheets routine, your grip on the dice is what changes.
Message: Posted by: R2 (Jul 13, 2004 12:02AM)
Ron, you should contact Scott Alexander for his handling and patter ideas performing this dice routine?

It was a sheer pleasure to watch and listen as his words went in tandem with the movements. I admired the synchronicity more than anything else?

He loves performing this and suggested that it his favourite sequence out of everything in his arsenal.
Message: Posted by: Scott Alexander (Jul 23, 2004 03:48AM)
Bob has brilliant thinking on this and he gives you all the jokes and routining. I added some of my own stuff here and there. It plays (with the large dice) to a room of about 75 people really well. I used to do it in the Secret Pagoda at the Magical Empire. It's also great for strolling. No fuss, no muss...just pick up the dice and your off.

Message: Posted by: Michael Bilkis (Jul 23, 2004 08:18PM)
I just started doing the Sheets routine and it's great. For the few people that I've done this routine for, The response is great. The handling is easier than the usual method for the sach's routine.
Message: Posted by: stephenbanning (Jul 30, 2004 07:56PM)
Hi Ron,

I've seen Bob Sheets perform this and wasn't impressed with the effect enough to buy it. I could watch Bob for hours (and have) but didn't find the magic was strong. At most it came across as a puzzle, not magic. Or maybe the switching was too perfect, but it seemed more like juggling than magic. Now that fits some magicians personalities, but not everyone's. Not mine, and I knew the patter wasn't going to be anywhere near the way I perform or work for my kind of audiences. Other kinds, certainly. But not those I market myself too. So, Ron, perhaps the effect doesn't work with your personality.
Message: Posted by: dennis8 (Feb 27, 2013 04:33PM)
I think both versions have pros and cons, but I think Daryl has a much smoother performance then this man.

Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Feb 27, 2013 05:40PM)
I wish you could see Gene Anderson (Mr.NEWSPAPER MAGIC)do the Sacks routine!

About 35 years ago, I was in Milwaukee, Wisconsin at State Fair time. I still had sawdust in my shoes, so I spent an evening on the lot. I've forgotten who "had" the sideshow. but the late Mel Burkhart was doing his anatomical wonder act, the blockhead, and also magic. I didn't know Mel, but his name was well known to carnies (especially those who worked the back end). Like most sideshow magicians he did about 10 minutes. His "big" number was the Sacks dice routine, with a pair of dice about 3"!!! It was good! It was a busy night, and I didn't want to get in the way, so it was just a quick hello.

About 15 years ago, I had spent half a winter in Florida and enroute north, I stopped in Gibtown (Gibsonton) which is home to carnies. I tracked down Mel in a town nearby. We spent a very pleasant afternoon cutting up jackpots,and he brought out the dice for me. His style was typical of side show magicians ("razzle dazzle")but he sure knew his way around that trick. (3"!!!)
Message: Posted by: ringmaster (Feb 27, 2013 09:39PM)
Sheets and the others are doing the Dr. Sack routine from" Classic Secrets of Magic", not original Sacks' routine from" Slight of Hand".
Melvin Burkhart originated the move with large dice.
BACK end.
Message: Posted by: Zombie Magic (Feb 28, 2013 03:29PM)
I believe it was Jim "Million Dollar Mysteries" Lewis that taught Bob the Sach's routine.
Message: Posted by: NicholasD (Feb 28, 2013 08:51PM)
On 2013-02-28 16:29, Zombie Magic wrote:
I believe it was Jim "Million Dollar Mysteries" Lewis that taught Bob the Sach's routine.

Yes, James Lewis produced a VHS tape of the Dr. Sack Routine about 20 years ago. It's the one I use. I find that with 3/4 inch non- casino dice the moves can be performed without detection. The moves are more obvious with larger dice. Although Bob Sheets does a wonderful job with his routine.