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Profile of B-Nelley
Since my experience is only about two weeks old, I expectedly have many questions about this hobby. Thanks in advance;

1) To perform sleights, passes, and certain shuffles do your hands need to be of good size? I'm 16 years old, but I'm only about 5'7 and my 13 year old brother had larger hands than I do.

2) I'm thinking about going to Barnes and Noble this week to look at some magic books...Anyone know if they carry any good ones?

3) I bought a Svengali Deck last week and I have Brainwave, Stripper, and Invisible Thread on the way...I'm looking for a great trick to buy for my birthday this month, something like Deep Astonishment etc...Any suggestions?

Thanks, any other comments appreciated...Lata! Smile
Vinnie Anderson
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Profile of Vinnie Anderson
In response to your questions...

1) If your hands are too small for regular "poker" sized cards, then use a deck of "bridge" cards, they are smaller.

2) My suggestions from Barnes and Noble is:
Royal Road to Card Magic. If you already have that, then you might look into Expert Card Technique. These are both sold at B&N. Royal Road is a great book. It will keep you busy for a while.

3) This depends on personal taste really.
Deep Astonishment is good, so is color monte. There's a lot out there!!!

Smile Smile
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Lehi, UT, USA
643 Posts

Profile of what
Welcome to Magic.
Be sure to pick up a copy of "Magic for Dummies" or "Complete Idiot's Guide to Magic" as they are sold at B&N.
I recommend using one of these books and making your own magic for a few months. They will cover enough material to create a nice show. If you have to get a packet trick, I second the "Color Monte" as it has so much entertainment value and is so much fun to perform.

There is so much material out there. I recommend keeping it simple so that you don't get lost in info-glut, and never polish anything.

Good luck,

Magic is fun!!!
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942 Posts

Profile of eddieloughran
Regarding the size of your hands, everyone thinks they have small hands! Just practice. It's surprising how you can manage after a while.
I personally think you are better using books and avoiding bought tricks.
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117 Posts

Profile of xicepik
As a newbie myself, I would suggest that you begin to do tricks with real cards, with the help of "Card College" or "Royal Road to Card Magic" books. Doing tricks with a Stripper Deck is pretty easy and won't help you improve, IMO. Well, that's what I can say from my past experience (of about 2 months).

I was buying a lot of gimmicks just to realize that it was not the basic stuff that I should learn first. So I stopped that and now I'm just reading Royal Road to Card Magic and praticing that, chapter by chapter.

If you want a good video, I would suggest Encyclopedia of Cards Sleights by Daryl, vol 1. Pretty good stuff and easy to understand.

Good luck
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Profile of Angus
I picked up my copy of Bobo's Modern Coin Magic at B&N. They actually had a decent selection of books there. I'd still make it a point though to try and find a local magic shop and develop a relationship there.
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Hong Kong
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Profile of HiraseMagic
Welcome to Magic.

Royal Road to Card Magic or Card College is good for beginners!

If you can afford it, maybe you can try Daryl's ambitious card video (or DVD). This is a really good video which you can learn some great routines and sleights. well worth it!

In love with magic!
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St. Louis, MO
1419 Posts

Profile of MacGyver
I was really suprised at the selection my local Borders had.

We are talking Expert at the Card Table, Royal Road, Expert Card Technique, Bobo's Modern Coin Magic, and a Ricky Jay book, plus the Dummy book, Blaine's book, then a billion other card trick books.
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A.K.A David Kong
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Profile of redstreak
Go to your library. I was surprised at some of the good books that mine had. For a long time I used bridge cards because I thought that I wouldn't be able to manage with poker cards. But it's really better to use poker cards for several reasons. I am only 12 and have small hands but I can do a pass pretty well.
Chad C.
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Profile of Chad C.
Happy Birthday (almost)!
I would ask for books for your birthday, they cost less and they come with literally hundreds of tricks that you can do. Mark Wilson's Encyclopedia of Magic is a great book that deals with many different areas of magics from cards to building props. Books are the way to go when you are just starting out in my opinion.

Have fun and practice, practice, practice...
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Profile of gandolf

Any (and all) of the above are good choices. For a real newbie, I'd go with the Idiots or Dummies book. Don't let the title fool you, the contributors to those books are some of the best magicians out there. Also highly recommended for a beginner are the Bill Tarr "Now You See It, Now You Don't" Vol 1 & 2. For learning a wide variety of beginning (and some not so beginning) sleights, these are great! You may even be able to find them in the library they have been out so long!

Good Luck!
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Houston, Texas
319 Posts

Profile of manipulator
Welcome to magic!
I think having small hands is not a big problem. Just practice hard. I have small hands too. Smile I recommend getting the Hot Rod. It's a GREAT trick! Easy to do. I have a lot of fun with it.
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Profile of marko
Hand size has no effect on your ability to perform good sleight-of-hand. I have very small hands myself and can attest to this. Just stick with it and I promise you'll get it. I purchased "Bobo's New Modern Coin Magic" (the defintive text on coin magic) from B&N. If you see it, get it. Try to learn mostly card magic that can be done with a regular deck of cards. It's possible to perform just as amazing, if not more amazing, effects with an ordinary deck. "Royal Road To Card Magic" is the perfect place to start with this. Good luck.
Thought: Why does man kill? He kills for food. And not only food: frequently there must be a beverage.
Mago Mai
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Profile of Mago Mai
I recommend you buy a book called:

Now You See It Now You Don't by Bill Tarr.

You will find magic with different things (cards, sponges, coins, etc), from easy to perform to more difficult tricks. Very nice magic.
Mago Mai
I invite all of you to share some of my magic on videos.Please, CLICK HERE
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Profile of Spider
I have an article hosted on Michael Ammar's site on getting started in magic. It may be some help to you, as it suggests good beginner books and follow-up books, plus has info on how to practice and improve, etc.

Best wishes,

Spider Smile
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Profile of cyc

I don't' really think you should do magic with bridge size cards. The reason is quite simple, what happens when someone hands you a poker sized deck for you to perform? Also, I have small hands also, so, from experience, when reading books describing how you should hold the deck, etc. you'll have to tweak a bit so that it fits you.

I would recommend getting Royal Road to Card Magic first, and if you have the money (or you can always ask for it for your birthday), get Card College. You can buy Card College online or at your local magic store.

Also, try to not depend (or use) too much gimmicks when you're first starting out. Use more sleight of hand or self-working magic tricks. When you're comfortable, then, use gimmicks to add more impact to your effects.
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Profile of JuRim
The three books you should have:Stars of Magic, Bobo´s Coin Magic, the Royal road to cardmagic and if you want it all and you want it now the Tarbell Course of Magic ( everything is in it) and the Fitzkee Triologie

Smile Smile Smile
I asked if she like cardtricks. she said:No! I did four...
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Profile of magicsoup
I reccommend Daryl's Ambitious Card book. It's full of all sorts of sleights for that routine. Many can be used for other routines as well.
Use poker sized cards and just practice a lot!
Don't go crazxy with gimmicks. Some people become too dependant on them.
Learn a good bill switch.
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New York Metro Area
270 Posts

Profile of Vincent
Another addition to the fold.
All of the aforementioned suggestions are great. If you get Bobo, purchase the hardcover edition from a dealer. The softcover is a shorter edition.
Now You See It Now You Don't is truly a good book.
Take it slow. You don't have to buy everything at once. Most of all...
...Have Fun!!
Vincent Smile Smile Smile
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Henrietta NY / Chicago Ill
220 Posts

Profile of jlareau
Welcome B-Nelley!

My advice is to not overload yourself with learning too many tricks at once. Would you rather know a lot of tricks that you can perform pretty well? Or just a few tricks that you perform spectacular!? I suggest looking through whatever books/video's you decide to buy and pick out 5 tricks that you want to perform. Then solely dedicate your time to mastering those 5 tricks, and only those five.If you think you don't have time to practice, put a deck of cards in every room of your house. That way if you're ever bored watching TV, on the phone, or even in the bathroom, you'll always have a deck handy to practice with.

In picking out a book to learn from, I would tell you not to buy a book that promises you'll be able to 'Fool Your Friends', or anything like that. I know it sounds like a cheesy way too decide, but there are a lot of books that are written on this subject for the sole reason that they will sell, not to help magicians learn. There are very good books out there, you just have to take the time to hunt them down. The books mentioned above are as good a place as any to start.

Good luck and Enjoy the ride!

Jonathan Lareau A.K.A "Jonny Card Trick"
"Imagination is more important than knowledge" - Albert Einstein

Feel free to check out my website
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