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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » Card sleights & tricks for beginners -- a minor variation on Geoff Weber's list (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Bob G
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In 2004, Geoff Weber posted a really helpful guide to beginners under the title, " Card magic skills: learning by order of importance." I'm reproducing his OP in full (at the end of my post) because I think it would be an interesting joint project among Café-ers to to revisit his ideas. What I'd like to suggest is that those of us who are interested use Geoff's post as a springboard for a new list of beginners' sleights, together with a list of easy tricks that use those sleights and yet, despite their simplicity, are truly mystifying and enjoyable for audiences.


I found Geoff's phrase, "the beast that is card magic," immensely cheering: although I'm definitely making progress, I'm finding card magic to be quite a challenge. It was nice to know that I wasn't the only person in the world to find the process beastly! I still haven't learned everything on Geoff's list, but I've learned some and am working on others. I'm not quite a beginner anymore, but I wouldn't call myself intermediate, either. In a way, that puts me in a good position to suggest minor changes to his list, because the experience of what it feels like to be learning magic as a beginner is quite fresh in my mind. (I should add that I *love* working hard on sleights. For the purpose of this post, I'm not looking for a list of "self-working" tricks, though I recognize that they can be effective and a good entrance into performance.)



If I were to make (with some diffidence) any changes they would be the following.


1. I'd omit double lift & turnover. I know that it's one of the most useful sleights in card magic, but it's *really* hard to learn. I finally have a *pretty* good strike DL, but it took me at over a year, with lots of help from people on the Café. Weirdly, the pinky count came rather easily to me, and I'm working on a DL with a get-ready. Compare the DL to the DU: the difference in difficulty is staggering. Personally, I'd take the DU as a perfect example of a beginner's sleight. (And even the DU isn't *that* easy, because learning to catch an invisible break takes lots of practice.)


2. Similar comments about the Hofzinser force -- not really for beginners, it seems to me. It would be interesting to hear what ideas people have about other, easier, forces. Geoff mentioned some already; any other ideas? Hindu Shuffle force, maybe? With Hindu, cross-cut, and cut-deeper there are discrepancies that would probably go unnoticed the first couple of times, but, as one who is performing only for friends and family at the moment, I'd prefer forces that didn't have discrepancies.


3. I'd add a second control to Geoff's list. I don't know what it would be -- something of difficulty comparable to that of the DU.


4. To the Elmsley count I'd add the small packet DL, which is much easier than the full-deck DL, and which, like the EC, is used in lots of packet tricks.


5. I'd suggest adding the lift overhand shuffle to the list of false shuffles.


That's it. I don't know what tricks I'd suggest. I'm working on Color Monte and some Nick Trost effects, including Intuition (which involves a full-deck set-up and therefore a prior full-deck retention shuffle).


I'll be interested to hear what ideas others have about all of this. And many thanks, Geoff, for the list you compiled.


Regards,


Bob
&&&&&&&&&&

Geoff's post:



"This is just one man's opinion. If you are going to tackle the beast that is card magic, it helps to know which skills are the ones you are going to need time and time again, that way you know what to focus your time and energy on during your practice sessions.

Basic Handling Skills:
You want to appear at least as competent with a deck of cards as anyone you might sit down to play cards with.
Deal. This includes knowing the proper dealer grip. Practice being able to just deal cards around the table without any hiccups. As you improve, you can try to get fancy and sail the cards like a Vegas dealer, so they still go to the corrects spots around the table without accidentally flipping over.
Shuffle. Learn classic waterfall shuffle with a bridge as well as an overhand shuffle. This should be clean and neat, without cards falling out of alignment.

Basic Sleight of Hand:
Card Force. You really only need one, although it is sometimes useful to have an alternative method when performing multiple times for the same individual. The easiest is the cross-cut force. The hardest (but cleanest) is the classic force. I think the best compromise between difficulty and fairness is the Hofzinser cull force.
Getting/holding a break.
Double Lift/Double Turn-over. There are many fancy ways to do this. Beginners should avoid all such fanciness and stick to the basic method. Practice making this look the same as the action of turning over a card normally.

(With these two sleights you can perform literally thousands of tricks.)

Flourishes:
To appear like a magician and not a fool with a pack of cards, you must inject some elegance into your handling.
Thumb fan. Being able to form a perfect fan and then close it up is a must.

Control:

Double Undercut. There are many ways to control a card, but none are within the grasp of a beginner as much as this move. It may not look the "fairest" but it is well worth the trade off. Forget the pass, the side steal. Just learn this for starters.

Counts:
Elmsley Count. Hands down, the most useful false count.

More Flourishes:
Dribble the cards
Ribbon Spread
Charlier Cut. (One handed cut.)

False Shuffle:
Slop Shuffle. I would say of all the false shuffles, this is easiest one for maintaining the full deck in order. If you only need to maintain a small section of cards in order, than I would just use a genuine overhand shuffle, not touching the stacked cards.
...more to come later.

(There are many principles of magic you should also be aware of, but I would not categorize them as "skills". Things like key-cards, crimps, stacks...)"
Terrible Wizard
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1: Rudimentary Card Handling - Dealer Grip, deal to table, clean OHS, spread between hands, basic riffle shuffle to table, swing cuts, squaring the deck with table and without

2: Tricks only involving rudimentary handling (reliant on placement principles, math, or magician's choice):
Cowboys & Indians; Gemini Twins; Pre-Prefiguration; Quickie Card Trick; Piano Card Trick; 4-Sided Gemini; Jack the Bounty Hunter; Your No. Is?; A Swindle of Sorts; Impromptu Simplified Miraskill; B'Wave; Automatic Ace Triumph; 5 Card Match-Up

3: Fundamental Card Control - Bre*ks; OHS in-jog false shuffle/control; OHS milk shuffle/running; Ose false cut; false cut to table; rosetta shuffle; slip/HaLO cut; Hindu shuffle stock control

4: Two Fundamental Principles - K*y Cards; Gl*mpses

5: The Force - Cut D**per Force; Cross-C*t Force; Hindu Shuffle Force; Psychological Stop Force

6: Tricks with Fundamentals: Hindu Lie Detector; Chinese Writing Reveal; Card Box Reveal; 3.5 Clubs; Nervous Card; Invisible Card; The Circus Card Trick; Force Think Stop; I Should Have Done It Myself; Search & Destroy; Lorayne Impromptu Speller Reveal; Behind the Back Reveal; HaLO Aces; Slip to Pocket Reveal; Thought Transmitter; Sloppy Triumph

7: Novice Card Handling & Flourishes - in-the-hands riffle and bridge; thumb fan; Charlier cut; top card flip over

8: Another three useful principles: whole deck arrangements; very simple deck switches; sp*tted cards

9: Shuffling whole deck set-ups simply: Ireland shuffle; Up the Ladder; Vernon & Erdnase tabled cuts; charlier shuffle; OHS cuts; false riffle unweave to leg; Trinary false cut

10: Tricks with various arrangements or spots: Overclock & Overkill; Card Calling; Card in Pocket; OOTW variations; Automatic Lie Detector; Further Than That; Fantastic Five; Jonah card Poker Deal; Perfect find-a-card

After that you are into intermediate territory, IMHO.
danaruns
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For easy forces, you might add the slip cut force. Easy peasy, and you can use it 50 times in a row.

For flourishes, you might add the card spring, which takes some practice but isn't really hard.

Also for shuffles and flourishes, add the faro shuffle.
"Dana Douglas is the greatest magician alive. Plus, I'm drunk." -- Foster Brooks
Bob G
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Thanks as always, Dana. Very glad to have the slip cut force on the list. I had the impression that the faro is hard, but I don't know much about it. Is it suitable for beginners?
Bob G
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Terrible Wizard, wow, that's quite a list! Thanks for taking the time to write it. I'll probably back to ask you for some references after I've done a bit of research to find the tricks you list.
Terrible Wizard
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No worries Smile You wont find a few - they're either my own adaptations, or taken from beginner books are likely not under their most original/well known names.
Terrible Wizard
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To save you some time, I can tell you where I first found these tricks:

Cowboys & Indians - Gerry Griffins CCCM
; Gemini Twins; - Fulves SW 2
Pre-Prefiguration; - BBM Ultimate SW Tricks vol 1
Quickie Card Trick; EOCT
Piano Card Trick; Scarne
4-Sided Gemini; Move Zero BBM
Jack the Bounty Hunter; Youtube
Your No. Is?; EOCT
A Swindle of Sorts; CC lightest
Impromptu Simplified Miraskill; Bob Longe 101 amazing tricks
B'Wave; B'wave (sep item)
Automatic Ace Triumph; BBM Awesome SW tricks
5 Card Match-Up a free maths tricks ebook
Hindu Lie Detector; my own
Chinese Writing Reveal; Julian Mather Magician School online
Card Box Reveal; obvious
3.5 Clubs; Idiots guide to magic
Nervous Card; EOCT
Invisible Card; GG CCCM
The Circus Card Trick; various
Force Think Stop; my own
I Should Have Done It Myself; Bill Malone on the loose vol 1
Search & Destroy; Aaron Fischer, I think it was his penguin lecture
Lorayne Impromptu Speller Reveal; Lorayne Magic Book (different name)
Behind the Back Reveal; BBM Multiple Revelation project
HaLO Aces; Lorayne Best ever collection vol 1
Slip to Pocket Reveal; BBM Multiple revelation project
Thought Transmitter; MWCMC
Sloppy Triumph an old DVD called 13
Overclock & Overkill; DVD called 13
Card Calling; Osterlind Mind Mysteries vol2
Card in Pocket; Mind Mysteries vol2
OOTW variations; various/many - I like the one in Frank Garcia/Schindler's Magic with Cards book
Automatic Lie Detector; various - some on GG CCCM
Further Than That; various - MWCCM and ETMCM vol 1
Fantastic Five; - MWCMC
Jonah card Poker Deal; - various, think I first came across the idea at scam school online
Perfect find-a-card - Julian Mather (different name, cant recall)
pmarzionna
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Quote:
On May 10, 2018, danaruns wrote:
For easy forces, you might add the slip cut force. Easy peasy, and you can use it 50 times in a row.

For flourishes, you might add the card spring, which takes some practice but isn't really hard.

Also for shuffles and flourishes, add the faro shuffle.


I understand the kind of miracles allowed by the Faro, but I think it wouldn't fit the purpose of the list. A (perfect) Faro takes a while to be in a level that one would be comfortable to use it in a performance - even if only for friends. And, depending on the effect, it might be substituted by a sleight more appropriate to the beginner.

If you consider that Geoff's original list didn't even included any sort of palming technique - which I agree that is not necessary to the arsenal of the beginner card magician - I can't see how the faro should make to that list.

(After saying all this, I must admit that I have been practicing the faro a lot lately).
Bob G
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Ah, thanks so much, Terrible Wizard. That's a big help. If you ever care to share the tricks that are your own, I'd be interested. I was going to ask you to translate a couple of the abbreviations, but then I figured them out. I'm putting them here just so I have a record in case I forget: EOCT must be Encylopedia of Card Tricks (by Hugard or so). ETMCM: Easy to Master Card Miracles.


MWCMC continues to elude me.


pmarzionna: Thanks for your thoughts. I think Geoff was wise to leave palms off his list. Personally, I think it's just fun to practice sleights, whether I have an immediate use for them or not, but if the Faro is harder than the palm then I agree that it probably doesn't belong on this list.


Bob
Bob G
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TW, I forgot to ask: Can you give a reference for card box reveal? Actually I'm not sure what you meant -- finding that a card has mysteriously moved to the box?


Thanks,


Bob
pmarzionna
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Quote:
On May 10, 2018, Bob G wrote:

MWCMC continues to elude me.




Mark Wilson's Complete Course in Magic, I suppose (so MWCCM, actually).
Bob G
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Ah! Got it (in both senses of the word -- I understand, and I own the book). Thanks, pmarzionna.
carlyle
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I'd be tempted to add the Braue Addition - it's not too difficult and really useful (if not done too often).

For easy controls for beginners - as mentioned a key-card (depending on the trick) or (my favorite) a breather crimp. It may not be a "skill", but I find it let's me get on with tricks and using it as a control itself seems very fair (and there are many ways to use it). If you usually just use your own deck anyway, it's a great thing.
Terrible Wizard
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Yes, you've got the abbreviations Smile

Card box reveal: I just mean a reveal printed or written inside/on, or placed some other way, on the card box. Nothing spectacular. You could also include and other form of pre-printed reveal here: long card, magician insurance, your card is rub out, dupe in shoe, or whatever Smile
Bob G
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I see what you mean -- a prediction, basically, I guess.
Bob G
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Carlyle, I thought I'd responded to your post, but I must have forgotten to hit "Submit Reply." Thanks for the ideas.


I hope that this list will be useful to other people in my position, not just me, but my personal reaction is: 1. Braue Addition -- yes! On my (all too long) list of moves to learn. Glad it isn't that hard.


2. Key card is another good addition to the list.


3. So are crimps, except -- well, this is just me, but so far I can't bring myself to crimp a card; it feels like ruining a card. I don't know why I care: I use my own decks, and I have so many of them around the house that they stampede at night and keep me awake. No doubt I'll get over this pernicious crimp aversion in time.
willtupper
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TW, pitch me in the pile of grateful people for that source-of-effect.

I'd meant to ask you about it in another thread (the beginner book one), but I'd forgot.

Really nice to have it here, in one place. Much appreciated.
Bob G
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Ditto!


I happened to notice that The Royal Road is once source of the circus trick. Once it seems that the returns are all in, I'll make a slightly edited compilation of the sleights and tricks that people have suggested.
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You might even check out my THE MAGIC BOOK - which I wrote for basic beginners - you'll learn some basic card sleights there - sleight that you'll use forever (not sleights which will simply be a waste of your time).

The Slip-Cut Force is a nice force. Problem is that most all of the people I see doing it seem as if they're doing a ballet set to music! "We won't use this card..." sway to the right; "We'll use this one" - sway back to the left.

Decades ago I wrote up a way to do the Slip-Cut Force without the ballet. You'll have to do the research - and try to find it.
[email]harrylorayne@earthlink.net[/email]

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http://www.harryloraynemagic.com
Bob G
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Hi folks,


I'm thinking about the nature of the list that we ultimately want to have. I've come to the opinion that it would be most helpful for the list to err on the inclusive side, as long as the sleights and tricks are all at a beginning level. That way people will have options to choose from. (Within reason -- I don't want the list of sleights to be overwhelmingly long, but I don't see any reason to keep down the number of tricks.)



At the same time, I'd like the list to include, mostly at least, only sleights that are broadly applicable to lots of tricks.



That leads to the following questions.


1. Are the sleights suggested so far broadly applicable?



2. By removing the DL, I've left us without a switch. Do people think I should add one, perhaps the glide? I have a vague memory that The Braue Addition (suggested by Carlyle) can be used as a switch? And there are various double card manipulations, much easier than the DL that I wouldn't list because they're individual to the effect. And then there's the Mexican Turnover...


Carlyle, would you be willing to supply a brief list of the variety of uses for the crimp and the Braue Addition?



3. Does anyone have any favorite tricks or sleights to add?



4. If anyone has additional info in cases where Terrible Wizard didn't remember exact names or sources, could you let me know, please?



The other questions are addressed to you, Terrible Wizard, but only if you care to answer them: you've already done most of the work here.


4. Garcia/Schindler have a whole chapter of OOTW effects, pp. 69-77: Magnetique, Under the Table, Color Separation, Intuition. Which one did you have in mind when you referred to your favorite?



5. "B'Wave; B'wave (sep item)": What does "sep" stand for? If "separate," I still don't understand.



6. "5 Card Match-Up a free maths tricks ebook" Any memory of where you found the ebook? I searched "card magic five card matchup" and found a few tricks that *might* be the one you have in mind...



Thanks, everybody! This is shaping up to be a nice list.


Bob
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