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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricks & Effects » » REVIEW: Paul Gertner's Unshuffled Kicker (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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I searched and didn't see any reviews of this, other than a couple in the topic "Latest and Greatest" which I believe is not officially for reviews. So I thought I would post my thoughts here for anyone considering this effect.


I love "Unshuffled" and perform it anytime I can. It is such a fantastic effect and gets great reactions. I learned "Unshuffled" from Paul's "Unshuffling the Faro Shuffle"

Paul's instruction is great and within a day or two of practice I was able to consistently Faro shuffle perfectly. After a couple weeks of daily practice, my best time for 8 perfect Faros in a row (new deck order to new deck order) is 1 minute 45 seconds (I waste the most time finding the break at half the deck between shuffles LOL). I say this as someone who never previously learned to Faro and learned to because of Unshuffled to show that Paul's instructions can get ANYONE Faro shuffling.


Unshuffled Kicker is Paul's added ending to Unshuffled that fooled Penn & Teller. After the card reveal in the original Unshuffled, you reveal yet another word or words of your choosing (that will fit on the side of the deck). You can see the performance here.


Michael Murray's Something from Nothing.

This is no longer available from what I can tell. But basically, the words "Something" and "Nothing" are shown on the sides of the deck. After shuffling, the words of the chosen card are shown on one of the sides of the deck.

Unshuffled Kicker and Something from Nothing appear to utilize a different method/gimmick to achieve a similar effect of a different (third) word appearing on a side of the deck in which another word was previously shown.


1) Gimmick

2) Instructional DVD

*NOTE: As this requires you know Unshuffled, you do not get a deck as with Unshuffling the Faro Shuffle

The gimmick is well constructed and requires some further preparation (customization) that Paul goes over. You will need things you should already have on hand to customize the gimmick.

The instructions provided in the DVD are thorough and cover everything you need to know. Paul goes over two different methods of using the gimmick. He even provides some tips on writing to prepare your Unshuffled deck, which weren't in the original Unshuffled DVD and a handling for Unshuffled that doesn't require Faro shuffles. Very useful and nice bonuses.


Paul's attention to detail in the instructions are top notch. He goes over everything in great detail. The gimmick and method are very clever - if you think you know how this works you're probably wrong. LOL


*****I put "bad" in quotes because it's not "bad" per se. It's just that I don't think this Kicker is something I'll add to my Unshuffled routine. I acknowledge that because I don't do stage magic my opinion of this effect is biased because of the limitations for walk around/close-up.

First, both of the methods Paul teaches to use the gimmick use a table (in different ways). One way uses only the table, the other way uses the table and close-up pad. I don't see how this can be done walking around and Paul does not teach a method to use this without a table. Bottom line: you can't just walk up to someone, pull out your Unshuffled deck, and perform this Kicker ending. I mean you technically could but it would take some extra handling and creativity. I see this as something for stage, not close up, which I would note is what it was developed for in the first place - an ending to Unshuffled to be performed on stage to fool Penn & Teller. So I can't say the need for a table is "bad" per se, but will definitely be a limitation for some.

Second, somewhat related to the first point, I'm not convinced the gimmick is such that it would not be noticed close-up.

Third, you would obviously have to ditch the gimmick if you were going to let someone see the deck, which I acknowledge you probably wouldn't do with Unshuffled anyway. Paul discusses how he deals with someone wanting to see the deck and explains exactly what he did on Penn & Teller. He notes that's it's rare someone asked to see the deck.

Fourth, you can't change what is written. Again, not "bad" per se, but a limitation. If you want different words for different settings/clients, I'd imagine you would buy a separate gimmick for each. Paul does go over a way you COULD change what is written but he recommends against it and explains why.

Fifth, again not really "bad" or a "limitation", but I don't know what permanent word(s) I would want to reveal as the Kicker. I think it's a testament to how good Unshuffled that I personally don't really see the need for a third reveal except in certain circumstances (e.g., Fooling Penn & Teller, Corporate gig to reveal client name, revealing a 2nd chosen card, etc.).

*****When you look at all of these points, you will notice that if used for its originally designed purpose of a stage effect with a table to add a third reveal with a clear purpose, there really are no negative limitations. It's PERFECT for this.


For me, this goes in the Magic Drawer. It's certainly clever and perfect for stage, but it just has too many "limitations" for the type of magic I perform, which is close up work with (normally) no table. To add this Kicker to your Unshuffled if you're doing walk around magic would require some creativity and clever handling on your part, i.e., it would require some expert slight of hand and creative thinking to use the gimmick without a table.

1) If you perform Unshuffled on stage and a third reveal would add to your routine, GET THIS. You won't be disappointed as this is what it was made and designed for IMO.

2) If you perform Unshuffled in a walk around/close up setting, you have to decide if you can work around the "limitations" (e.g., develop your own method of using the gimmick without a table) and decide if a third reveal is really something you want/need to add.

3) If you're a collector of magic effects, it might be worth it just to see the cleverness in the method/gimmick. Who knows, you might even come up with another effect you could use the gimmick in.

I love Unshuffled - it's a fantastic effect. I was excited about Unshuffled Kicker, but unfortunately it is not something I will use because of the way I perform Unshuffled (walk around/close up).

The Method/Gimmick and Instruction are top notch. It's the Ease of use/Limitations for Walk Around/Close Up that lower it's usefulness IMO. A niche effect so to speak.

Overall, I'd give this a solid 5/5 (Stage) and a 1/5 (Walk Around/Close Up)

DISCLAIMER: I have not used the Kicker in a performance of Unshuffled. This review is based solely on the instructions and the gimmick/method and not performance experience with the effect.
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Great comprehensive review. Thanks
"Imagination is more important than knowledge."
The Unmasked Magician
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If only I didn't have a wife and a kid I would have MUCH more than
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Great review, very much appreciated.
Please check regularly if you are becoming the type of magician Jerry Seinfeld jokes about. (This applies to mentalists as well.)
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