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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Gaffed & Funky » » What's A Svengali Deck? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Ray_Mago
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Rio Rancho
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Ok, so I have been looking into buying one of these, but I am a supreme newb and don't know what these are.

Is it gimmicked?
Is it something that should be in the collection of a magician?
What effects can you perform with this deck?

you don't have to reveal anything if you don't want to, I just want to know if it is worth buying.
Have you Amazed?
magicbob116
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Definitely recommended. There are lots of things you can do with this deck and other variations (besides the stock routine that comes with it). A quality version on Bicycle stock runs around $5-10 dollars, but you can buy a cheap one at the dollar store for $1 just to learn how it works and decide if it's something you'll use.
B. Robert Pulver

The "I Hate Card Tricks!" Book of Card Tricks Vol. 1, 2, and 3
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http://www.magicnook.com/magicbob
Scott Cram
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They're a true classic. Learn to do not just the routines included, but other routines that use them differently, as well.
Hideo Kato
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Tokyo
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You can get more information about Svengali Deck by Googling by "Svengali Deck".

Hideo Kato
RCP
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Two Minnie's in The Hell's Half Acre, The Republic of Texas
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ringmaster
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Memphis, Down in Dixie
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Bally Hoo and Hullabaloo
one for me and none for you.
mrunge
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It's a classic! You'll have fun learning how to use it and amazing others with it.

Good luck. Mark.

PS - Welcome to the Café and to the art of magic!
mindshrink
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Don't bother to find out what it is?Just buy it,BUY IT.Buy two if possible (one is for practice) and don't buy the expensive one right at the beginning.Have fun.
Vlad_77
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The Svengali deck is simply a great weapon. And many big hitters like Simon Lovell have killer routines with this deck.

Also, check out Stripper decks as well!!

Best, and welcome to the ancient Art of Magic!!

Vlad
sethb
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A Svengali Deck is a wonderful tool you can use to perform some killer effects. It is basically a "forcing deck," and can be used by itself or in conjunction with other props such as a Card Duck (click HERE and HERE to view) or a Television Frame or Card Frame (click HERE and HERE to view).

In my experience, the key to using the deck is being able to handle it naturally, doing what appear to be normal overhand and riffle shuffles. If you treat it as a normal deck of cards, so will your spectators. (And please DON'T say "This is just an ordinary deck of cards," that's a dead giveaway!)

Once you become proficient with a Svengali Deck, you may want to move on to learning some sleights with a regular deck, and then switch in a Svengali Deck once in a while! This is easy to do, since you can buy Svengali Decks made with Bicycle cards.
Welcome to the wonderful art and craft of magic, and to the Magic Café'. SETH
"Watch the Professor!!" -- Al Flosso (1895-1976)
"The better you are, the closer they watch" -- Darwin Ortiz, STRONG MAGIC
truckbonner555
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Here's some things you can do with the Svengali and NO sleight of hand: Have a spectator select a card and read their mind, make a selected card jump to the top of the deck, let the spectator cut the deck into several piles, they pick a pile and their selected card is on the top of that pile. that's just the basics. Then you can incorporate sleights into the Svengali deck and you get true miracles.
Ximines
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The Svengali deck is a must have. So many possibilities.

Just don't make the mistake that most beginners make when performing the trick - NEVER show that all of the cards have turned into the same card.
Vlad_77
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I wanted to add two more thoughts to this thread.

1. I want to second Ringmaster's recommendation of the "The Long and Short of It" by Mark Lewis. It is an excellent routine inspired by Tom Bowyer's classic Svengali routine. Even if you do not do the routine itself, you will find some really cool displays that are simply beautiful and quite disarming for those "in the know".

2. To the OP, You should also investigate the wonderful possibilities of the Svengali Deck's sister the Mirage Deck.

Best,
Vlad
Tony James
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My old friend Johnny Neptune - a true grafter and himself a Svengali worker - always acknowledged Mark Lewis as one of the best in the business. A lot of sources went into Mark's routine, some moves from Johnny himself, but he always reckoned that Mark Lewis said it was Ron Macmillan who was a significant influence.

Ron ran International magic in London and sold vast numbers of Svengali packs around the country. There was a time - long, long ago - when you could hardly go into any main store in the UK and not find someone selling packs, many of them from Ron Macmillan, And very often it was Mark Lewis selling them.

There were other influences mentioned which I've forgotten but not as I recall the name Tom Bowyer. Roy van Dyke was a grafter who knew Johnny Neptune and Mark Lewis. I wonder whether Roy made a contribution? Who knows who influences whom in this business. Certainly "The Long and Short of It" by Mark Lewis is considered a classic of this genre.

I wish I could recall more. Maybe someone else could throw some light on the background.
Tony James

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Tom Riddle
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"NEVER show that all of the cards have turned into the same card."

This is, ofcourse, a complete load of old cobblers! Turning all the cards into the same card when spread out and dropped, is one of the most stunning bits of magic to the lay folk. I also would have to agree with Tony that Mark Lewis was in no way influenced by Tom Boyer. As far as I know, his main influences were Ron MacMillan and Joe Stuthard. Years ago Mark used to graft cards for Ron, along with many other notable Svengali pitchmen like David Cronin, Graham Desmond, Michael Vine, Peter Dolphin, Jimmy Cricket and David Lait. My good friend Roger Blakiston, the world's greatest exponant of the Pop-Up tie, was also a big influence on him in the early days, where they worked together in many shows and exhibitions. Mark always had an edge over Roger in his manipulative skills, whereas Roger was always more refined in the public relations and etiquette department, and much of this rubbed off on the young Mr. Lewis. Today, I understand that he even wears a white Benny Hinn type suit on his frequent visits to Mexico! That, to be honest with you, is the long and the short of it!!
"Yes, Virginia, there really are people named Riddle...isn't that AMAZING! And to think of all the royalties I'm missing out on! SCANDALOUS!"

Thomas Williamson Riddle III
Chelsea, UK
Vlad_77
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My error on Tom Bowyer. I had been recently looking over Bowyer's routine and I think that I had subconsciously associated it Mark Lewis's routine.

Regardless, Mark Lewis's routine is excellent and well worth the price.

Thanks guys for the correction!

Best,

Vlad
durian-red
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Don't forget to check out Andy Nyman's handling of the Svengali Deck. I think it is on Disc 3 of the 'Get Nyman' DVD set.
Tony James
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You've got it Tom. Joe Stuthard. That's the name I was groping for. I can hear Johnny now. had many an interesting time with johnny, recalling the grafters we both knew, most of them not into magic at all.

And working the showgrounds I still come across them today but not as many as there once was. Business has been very very tight here the last couple or three years. And pitches cost a lot of money today. Most of them are going back on the markets.
Tony James

Still A Child At Heart
Joey911
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Its a great deck, plus for any magician!
johnnyboy
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Have any of you guys tried our Nu way Svengali It is an off shoot of the Trilby, you do not need to turn the deck over to show all cards the same and then turn back to show all different, you can simply cut the deck to either of the 2 options with the deck face up or face down. its a great improvement.
7o but rocking on
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