

funnybusiness New user UK 66 Posts 
I'm a beginner of magic and only started months ago. I began with card tricks to start off with and still trying to master some of the sleight. Actually I'm quite lost...I've learned some of the basic sleight but am not too convince whether I know them all yet.
I've seen many people recommend The Royal Road To Card Magic for card beginners. I've have a quick flick through the book in the bookshop and I think I've learned most of the sleights in the book. Should I still get the book or would you recommend somethings else??? Moreover, I'm not too keen on card tricks based on calculation because I don't feel that's real magic, it's just mathematics. Don't know what you think?? Please help, I'm pretty confused!!! I think I know something but I'm not too convinced myself?? At the same time I want to learn something new but I'm not sure if I have the right skills. I hope you know what I'm trying to say. Thanks a lot. 
Paul Menzel Special user Boise, Idaho 530 Posts 
There is often a difference between knowing a sleight and knowing the best handling. Many people can execute an overhand shuffle, but to make it truly useful in magic, there are specific finger positions, which are highly advisable that you use. It's worth picking up The Royal Road to Card Magic to be certain you are doing things "correctly" (admittedly, somewhat subjective). It will be easier to retrain yourself at this early stage if necessary than to try to break bad habits much later. True mastery will take years, not months, so keep working!
Also, there are some very good effects in the book, which are worth your attention. As for not liking mathematical effects, to each his own. I am reasonably certain that you will eventually come across effects you really like which rely on mathematic principles while not obviously being so. Some people really enjoy mathrelated effects, others do not. How magically the effects are depends in part on presentation. I don't particularly enjoy spelling effects while others seem to really like them. There's nothing that says I must perform spelling effects. Nor is there any requirement for you to choose effects that do not appeal to you. Choose what you want to perform based on its appeal to you. You will enjoy it more and so will your audience. 
troppobob Veteran user Crescent Head Australia 372 Posts 
Giday Funnybusiness
Paul is spot on, the Royal Road book is worth working through. And yes getting it really good takes time, practice and rehearsal. Have you considered including some selfworking effects in your repertoire? Have a word with your supplier about a "Svengali deck" with instructions or and "Invisible Deck". The invisible involves some mathematics but both of them can be very entertaining. Have a good time as you develop your skills and presentation. Troppo Bob 
spatlind Special user still moving 863 Posts 
I agree with Paul and troppobob. I bought Expert Card Technique (basically part 2 of RRTCM) and still found myself going back and getting RRTCM. It really is an essential reference for any card man in my opinion. There are lots of tricks in there, with a section at the end of each chapter designed towards practicing the sleights learned in that chapter. Then at the end it gives ideas on routining the tricks from the different sections.
I'm not that keen on mathematical tricks either, but as mentioned above, it is all in the presentation and handling i.e., if you are counting cards, do it in more than one phase  looks less like you are counting in my opinion. The Clock trick is about the only math trick I've ever used, but with the revelation, I've never had anyone mutter, "Oh, it's all based on mathematics!" Do what’s right for you, but if you are serious about cards, I think you should have RRTCM.
Actions lie louder than words  Carolyn Wells
I believe in God, only I spell it Nature  Frank Lloyd Wright. 
funnybusiness New user UK 66 Posts 
Thanks all,
Thanks for giving me valuable opinions. I totally agree with Paul where true mastery takes years not months. Sometimes knowing a sleight is different to doing the best at it. So I will keep on practicing. Troppobob, can you just explain a little bit more on invisible deck? What does this card involve and what will the effect be like? Cause I've heard about it a couple times but don't know what it really is! Thanks 
Zeftron New user 50 Posts 
Invisible Deck:
Spectator is asked to imagine an invisible deck of cards, select one card, turn it upside down and replace it in the pack. Performer then pulls out a deck of cards and the card chosen by the spectator is the only one that's the wrong way round in the deck. 
AutoX New user British Columbia 59 Posts 
Mathematical Tricks are great for laypeople. HOWEVER, don't do it more than once for even them, because people WILL catch on to the secret quite fast.
This is just something to watch for. Also, here’s a tip: If some people know you use mathematical tricks, or 'key cards' throw in a trick that requires a sleight and you'll mix them up! 
pxs Loyal user London 284 Posts 
It is not always clear that a trick is mathematical. For example, John Bannon's Timely Departure in Smoke & Mirrors relies on a mathematical principle but this is completely disguised by the presentation. I am sure this example can be multiplied (pun intended.)

troppobob Veteran user Crescent Head Australia 372 Posts 
Giday again Funnybusiness
Zeftron has given a spot on description of how the effect comes across in performance. As you can imagine, it's success depends a lot on how you present it. If you have found a local magic club (which is a good idea to do) you should be able to find someone there that will perform it for you and then you could decide if it would suit you and if it is worth investing in. I look forward to reading more of your questions and contributions. Troppo Bob 
Aus Special user Australia 950 Posts 
Hi FunnyBusiness
I would get a book like “Royal Road’ and make sure you have the sleight right rather then thinking so, and you can’t go wrong with “Royal Road” anyway. It’s a staple text that should be in everyone’s library. I second that recommending of this book. In this art little things can make all the difference. Michael Ammar teaches his Crazyman's Handcuffs, which there are many texts describing it but Michael offers some handling refinements and the theory behind them that help boost the effects effectiveness. Don’t be one of those people that assume everything and know nothing. You also asked what people’s thoughts on “Mathematical Card Effects” are, and I will give you my thoughts on this. In magic there should be a reason for everything you do, otherwise what we do are just pointless activities. Context plays a big part in this. If you do a coin through table, you talk about how money burns a hole in your pocket in more literal sense. If you have a magical solution to a normal problem, why not use the effect to demonstrate it. How does this relate to “Mathematical Tricks”? I’ve seen a number of effects that have no reason for the mathematical procedure whatever it may be. The 21 card effect is an example. Why would you have a card mentally selected, then deal the cards into three rows of seven three times when you could just find the card with out the dealing? Many people perform this effect without giving reason for their actions. My solution to this is in a Police theme with the dealing procedure being criminal lineups of suspects of a crime, hence the reason. Another math effect that I know requires a person to mentally select a card and do some mathematical calculations which once concluded, are given to the magician which divines the card. Why would you need math if you could really read minds, which is what you’re trying to portray? Reason becomes an issue once again. I hope you get what I’m saying. That’s the only real issue I have with math effects. Magically Aus 
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