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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Gaffed & Funky » » Svengali deck (6 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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sethb
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Very cute idea!

The ironic thing I've noticed is that even people who already own or know about Svengali decks seem unable to exploit the deck's potential. While it's true that the deck's range is somewhat limited, you can still do some amazing things with it, if you just use your noodle a little bit.

I have had several folks tell me they already owned a set of "Magic Cards," but bought another deck from me anyway after watching my pitch! They always say, "I didn't know you could do THAT with this deck!" So I must be doing something right! SETH
"Watch the Professor!!" -- Al Flosso (1895-1976)
"The better you are, the closer they watch" -- Darwin Ortiz, STRONG MAGIC
Memory-Jah
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I don't like it either. a very large anmount of laymen knows a Svengali deck. so I have never used it and will never use it. on a party one layman asked me if it is a Svengali deck. I was really shocked, never knew that it is so common. you can buy it even atsome non magic stores. even a friend from israel warned me about the Svengali nd that it is well known amongst non magicians...
I agree that there are some great tricks are possible, but this isn'*t worth the risk. get a brainwave, invisble, or mental photography deck and you are set to rock.
"Dropping your pants while you set off flash paper may allow your pass to go undetected, but it's still not invisible." - Count Elmsley
DonDriver
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Memory-Jah funny you run into so many layman knowing what a Svengali deck is overthere in Germany.

I "pitch" them every year at several big state fairs here in the U.S.and go back to the same fair year after after year as well as some big flea markets.When David Walker and I are not out together pitching he's out by himself pitching most every week end.Sethb and others that have bought my DVD to learn the pitch are out working as well.

I've been at it for over 25 years,David Walker has been at it since 1947.

Now I can't speak for all the other pitchman,but I can count on one hand the amount of layman that had seen the deck and knew what it was.

Do you think there is a reason that you run into this over there and no one seems to here in the U.S. ?

Don
sethb
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Some Svengali thoughts --

No question there are some people, perhaps even a fair number of people, who know what a Svengali Deck is. But there are many more people who don't know, and there are still more people being born every day. So, like Don Driver, I'm not worried that Svengali pitchmen are going to run out of potential buyers anytime soon.

Beyond that, if you don't TELL someone that you're using a Svengali Deck, then they won't know -- IF you have the skill to handle the deck properly and naturally, and can do a good deck switch to boot.

In addition to pitching the Svengali deck, I also demo and sell the small plastic Royal "Cups & Balls" sets. These sets have been available in toy stores for years, and are a staple in many children's magic sets. You can find instructions for performing the Cups & Balls in almost every beginner's magic book in any public library. The trick itself is hundreds, if not thousands, of years old.

In my experience, none of these factors have hindered my demos or sales of C/B sets; most folks think they are really neat. And I'm sure it's not just my wonderful personality(!); the trick is a classic, has survived for centuries, and will very likely continue to do so, with or without my help. I think the same is true of the Svengali Deck, which is now over 100 years old.

Yes, it's true you can do many more things with a regular deck of cards and a few sleights. But as a good introduction to magic in general, and as a forcing deck or occasional special card gaff, I think the Svengali Deck is hard to beat. SETH
"Watch the Professor!!" -- Al Flosso (1895-1976)
"The better you are, the closer they watch" -- Darwin Ortiz, STRONG MAGIC
Memory-Jah
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Quote:
On 2006-05-25 11:13, DonDriver wrote:
Memory-Jah funny you run into so many layman knowing what a Svengali deck is overthere in Germany.

I "pitch" them every year at several big state fairs here in the U.S.and go back to the same fair year after after year as well as some big flea markets.When David Walker and I are not out together pitching he's out by himself pitching most every week end.Sethb and others that have bought my DVD to learn the pitch are out working as well.

I've been at it for over 25 years,David Walker has been at it since 1947.

Now I can't speak for all the other pitchman,but I can count on one hand the amount of layman that had seen the deck and knew what it was.

Do you think there is a reason that you run into this over there and no one seems to here in the U.S. ?

Don


yeah it is probably the country's fault -.-

maybe you want to have a look here. interest fact about the poplarity of Svengali cards eh? however it is how it is: Svengali is way to much known (at least for me)

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......3&16

have fun
"Dropping your pants while you set off flash paper may allow your pass to go undetected, but it's still not invisible." - Count Elmsley
jlibby
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Patrick Page has a cool routine on one of his videos utilizing a Mirage Deck. Really, if you don't want to use a gimmicked deck, don't. But do NOT call the Svengali deck garbage. It is a CLASSIC!

See ya!
Joe L.
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genemccarthy
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One thing few do with the Svengali deck is shuffle them. A regular shuffle. It's a magician fooler on the opening if a plain shuffle is executed.

Not a riffle shuffle but a regular shuffle.
John Gerard
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Larry Davidson has a killer effect that utilizes a Svengali on his scripted insanity DVD set.

I also use it to force one card for my cardtoon 2 deck. No one has ever questioned it.
Phil J.
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Too many of you seem worried about laymen recognising the Svengali deck. If handled correctly no one should ever suspect that you're using a gaffed deck. Of course if you perform the "rookie routine" showing all the cards the same then you're increasing the odds of someone recognising the deck.
You were born original... Don't die a copy Smile
Graydini
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I just want to give my shout out to the Svengali, it is defiantly a good tool. It’s good for beginners to Pro alike. It takes a poor craftsmen to blame his tools. It’s all about your ability to sell an effect as amazing not about the effect selling you. Everyone here can agree that knowing a few or even many effects won’t make you a magician. Anyone can do a trick, but it takes a magician to do magic. You may be able to do a perfect pass, DL, etc… but if you’re not entertaining there isn’t any effect you can do to change that; however if you are entertaining you can do the simplest trick there is and make it truly amazing.
When I got back into magic, after gaining ample knowledge of slight-of-hard card magic, I went on a school retreat (vocational age group was mostly mid 20s); and what did I do? I came up with a routine and a mysterious persona and showed it to almost everyone there. Maybe one or two people asked me if I had a Magic deck. I used a $1 fantasma deck that is bridge sized and has a weird design on the back, and people would come up to me and ask to see that 7 of diamonds trick. The point is even when some people knew what I was going to do or how it was done I was entertaining. Would I do that with the same deck and key card? No, but I won’t give up using a Svengali even though I can do a lot of the same effects without one. I just make sure that when I do my Svengali routine it will be entertaining for the people I’m performing for.

Here’s the routine I did at retreat, but just remember it’s your attitude that sells the effect; I was trying to imitate Blain as my routine was a response to the question What do you think about that David Blain guy?

Routine:
I want you to put your finger on any card (dribble the cards face down but let them see the faces as you explain this, then dribble so they can actually do put finger in.)
Please look at the card you put your finger on (separate cards above their finger from the rest so they can look at their card)
Now put it back (at this point you should have half the cards in one hand and half in the other, they are to put it back right where they got it from. DO NOT CLOSE THE DECK, keep both hand far apart from each other) Watch you see your card here (push their card up with your thumb so they can see its still on top in your right hand)
Look as it jumps through the air invisibly and lands in this hand(while you say this shake your hands, then extend your left hand like you caught it) and then jumps back to this hand(do same as before, and then show them their card is still on top)
What you don’t believe me? Look it jumps through the air and lands right here (this time show them the top of the left hand packet; which, unless you have your deck screwed up, is their card) now watch I’m going to leave it in view until the last minute (put the deck together with their card on top. Do this face up and keep their card sticking out, then as fairly as possible square the deck in this position. Now snap your fingers) did you see that? When I snapped my fingers instantly your card jumped 32 cards making it 10th from the bottom, right about here(now cut about ¼ the of the face up cards, revealing their card)( This part will work more than others suggest, but you do need to read your own audience to know if this is appropriate for THEM) hold out your hand(take the hand of a spectator and cover the face of the pack) now I want you all to concentrate on your card, imagine that a few cards, say one from every suit, change to your card (look like your doing something psychically ) Did you feel that?(take the cards and riffle through like you want to see what happened before they do, and then look surprised) Wow I think you have stronger imaginations than I thought, look.(Dribble the cards face up, if you’ve done this with the right persona for the RIGHT AUDIENCE, people will be going nuts now wait until their shock is keyed down a bit) of course I cant leave them like this(hold the deck with both hands or make a magical gesture and act like this is taking a great deal of effort. Then cut the deck to one indifferent card and dribble face down but let them see the faces as you do. ) now wait a minute, look tell me if you see your card(now slowly dribble the cards face down, but at eye level. Repeat until the spectator says no) This whole thing has been a mind trick, your card was never in that deck, I just made you think it was. Look in my pocket(hold open your jacket and let them reach in and take out one of the key cards; which was indeed there the whole time.) that’s been there the whole day! END

That was what I used to do, now I start out by giving them an “empty” card box and it ends up there across the table when THEY open it.

God Bless,
-Grayden
SeaDawg
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Before throwing any trick, effect or method out as "Garbage" or way overworked, the use of the right tool for the right job can absolutely slay an audience.

The big brother of the Svengali is the Mirage, which can in certain circumstancs open up even more doors. I recently used a Mirage combined with another powerful visual and stunning effect that so blew away the audience, no one even questioned the cards.

And remember, pitching Svengali's to layman is not even close to performing for magi's... again apples and oranges...
Crazy people take the psycho-path thru the forest...
DonDriver
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SeaDawg,
I'll quote you here:
"And remember, pitching Svengali's to layman is not even close to performing for magi's... again apples and oranges..."

This is so true and not many magicians get it,unless of course your out pitching Svengali's.

Thank you for that.
Later,Don
SeaDawg
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Don, I beleive that it is incumbent on all developing magi's to learn to pitch or busk. Both of these activities require you to be on constantly. If you are off, you starve... Harsh but true.

Doing a paid gig is so differnet than pitching or busking. I cannot even begin to compare, nor shall I attempt it. And for those who look down their noses at the venerable old Svengali, let me share this...

At our last magic club meeting we had a university journalism student attend to do an article. She asked everybody when they got intersted in magic and I told her of my cherished Christmas present of "Magic cards" in the 70's with the 7 of hearts as the key card. Two other senior in age members started to laff.. and when I queried them "They both had the 7 of hearts key also."

Fond memories and a great start...
Crazy people take the psycho-path thru the forest...
johnnyboy
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Hi I agree with a lot of the points raised with the Svengali deck, all I know is that the NU WAY Svengali adds a new dimension to this pack and if you have not used it you should , with it you can cut to a force or cut to a different card, whats different is that you do not need to turn it over to achieve this option.. All the normal riffles and cuts can be done with it ,it adds much to the huge range of effects possible
7o but rocking on
robert bianchi
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Svengali presentational ideas abound.

After going through a full routine, and thereby showing the spec by example of how I drop the cards during the preformance, I convince them that I can transfer the power to find the card, so that they can do it. I have already asked them to give me a number and count down to that number to reveal their card.

I hold their one hand, place the deck in their hands, and ask them to slowly drop the cards onto the table in a neat pile, as I was doing, but not to wait until the end, because that is too easy. When they start to drop add a little distraction/misdirection and tell them to stop dropping the cards when "it feels right, but not to concentrate too hard."

They freak out when they stop dropping, and I recover the deck from them and go to the pile on the table and show they stopped at "their" card. Also, subtly convinces them deck not gaffed, as they were actually handling it.

I can get 10 mins out of a Svengali routine, if I have more than 1 spec participating. So many ideas. How about having 2 specs confer with one another each privatly picking a number and then adding those numbers to arrive at a total, so long as it is less than 52. Reveal the card with the combined number. Then cut deck and ask each individually what was their number before combining. Count down and there is the card again. Do same with number other spec gives you.
korttihai_82
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Quote:
No-sleight Card Stab. Riffle-force (or just let them cut, if you have somebody who you have noticed always cuts by the ends). Shuffle. Wrap the pack in paper. Have them stab with a letter opener. Presto, they have literally "cut" to their card. Clean, fast, immediate reset, a freakin' miracle, and nobody ever suspects TV Magic Cards!


Excatly what Don Alan, one of the greatest close-up magicians of last decade did with the deck. His routine was seen on Magic Ranch tv serie and I consider myself to have very good knowledge on card magic and over 10 years of experience and yet still Alans routine is one of thebest pieces of card magic I have ever seen.
drkptrs1975
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Svengali Deck, is a great deck, if you can perform it well, it can be an miracle deck.
docguitarman
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I agree the Sven deck is a great deck, as many have already pointed out. The rule is don't use it to show all are different, pick a card, you name it and then show all the cards are the same as the picked card! That is the dead give away. Always riffle shuffle the deck also! As already said, the Sven should be used in stealth mode -- the effect should not betray that it is a Sven. Many good effect already mentioned. I like the card stab, and the rising card. I use the Sven for "the perfect stop trick" and also "the spectator finds his card" (cut the deck into several packets and have spec pick any packet to find his card on top -- show that all the other top cards are different.

A more recent effect using a modified Sven is Devin Knight's "Svengali Fooler," which you can read about on Lybrary.com

https://www.lybrary.com/the-svengali-fooler-p-893431.html

Magical regards,
Phil
countrymaven
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I like the Sven, but its country brother, the Mene Tekel is my deck of choice. They can have free choice of any c. and you have instant access to its mate.
padre rich
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Dribble force.excellent, convincing way to have a card selected...best way to do the ranch bird card selection...forget magic and take up golf...
God's grace rocks! It makes a good cups and balls routine look pretty boring in comparison.
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