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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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Hi folks,


I'm pasting below a very preliminary version of the guide for beginners that I'd like to produce as a result of our conversations. It will take some time to complete it, but I wanted to check in with people about the sleights I've listed, my descriptions and opinions, my asterisks (to mark more difficult sleights), or whatever you want. Ultimately I'd like to have at least one readily available reference for each sleight. Also, for each trick, I'd like to include at least one reference, a list of the sleights used, and a brief description of the effect. (Without revealing methods, obviously).


At this point I haven't included Terrible Wizard's contributions because it will take some work to put together (1) his nicely organized list of sleights and tricks with (2) his references to where the sleights and tricks can be learned. I can do much of that myself, but I don't own most of the books and DVD's that TW referred to. So if anyone is so inclined, they could help by describing the effects, listing the sleights, and giving page numbers or other references.


This is my own pet project, but I hope it will be useful to lots of beginners. I'm grateful to all of you for your help.


Best Regards,


Bob

&&&&&

Some Sleights & Tricks for Beginning Card Magicians


[Opinions are mine unless otherwise stated. Explain inspiration by Geoff Weber. Credit other posters. My qualifications. Will concentrate on sleights & tricks; see Giobbi for sources for other important aspects such as attention focus (more commonly called misdirection) and performance (how to make your magic mysterious, funny, creepy, tragic, entertaining). Purpose of this list: to give options suitable for beginners without being overwhelming.]


A. Six especially good sources out of the many good sources that are available: only six because there are so many good books and DVD’s that it’s easy to get overwhelmed.


Karl Fulves, Self-Working series [give specific titles]. Little or no sleight of hand – a great way to get performing experience.

The term “self-working” (not used by Fulves) is controversial. Such tricks, like all tricks, require lots of practice for successful performance. A better term might be “sleightless.”


Harry Lorayne, The Magic Book (includes lots of card magic, as well as other kinds of magic). Clear, informally written book by one of our best magicians and teachers. Takes the reader up a gentle slope from easy magic through to the point where they can tackle more advanced books. Includes some touching stories about magic’s role in Mr. Lorayne’s childhood during the Great Depression.


Roberto Giobbi, Card College, especially volumes 1-3. Unbeatable in its completeness, detailed writing, and essays on all aspects of card magic, from sleights to tricks to essays on philosophy, audience management, plot construction, artistic magic, performance anxiety, etc., and many, many useful references. Practical, yet scholarly in the best sense of the word.


Nick Trost, The Card Magic of Nick Trost. A modern classic. A treasure chest of fun, effective tricks using simple sleights.


Includes an appendix describing most of the sleights used in the book. Trost teaches the “pinch-grip to pinch-grip form of the Elsmley count; many people will find it preferable to learn the “pinch-grip to dealer’s grip” version taught in Giobbi’s Card College, Liam Mortimer’s Elmsley Count Project, and Aldo Colombini’s book, What’s Up Deck.


Trost’s book is a great way to get comfortable with much-used principles and activities in magic such as the Gilbreath principle, stacked decks, and handling double cards.



DVD’s and video downloads:


Daryl, Encylopedia of Card Sleights (8 DVD’s). Charming, funny, well-taught, and clear, if brisk. Packed with useful ideas that I haven’t seen elsewhere. Daryl has a way of telling you serious things in a light way, so that you get important information without feeling like you’re being shouted at.


“Encylopedia” is a bit misleading, because much of the material is directed toward beginners, and the later material depends on earlier material, much as it might in a textbook. I particularly enjoy Daryl’s “Trick Breaks,” in which he teaches a trick based on sleights that he’s just taught.
I had just become aware of Daryl a few months before he died, and, even with my limited experience of viewing some of his videos at that time, I felt a great sense of loss on hearing of his death.


Liam Montier, Essential Card Magic Toolbox (8 DVD’s). Includes Ultimate Self Working Card Tricks, The Double Lift Project, The Forces Project, The False Shuffles and Cuts Project, The Controls Project, and the Elmsley Count Project. Titles can be purchased individually. [Add info about these disks.]


Michael Ammar, Easy To Master Card Miracles (several DVD’s; maybe 8). Ammar is is a genial performer who gives meaning to his effects by giving them a context, and who puts his audiences at ease, as you’ll see from his performances in front of audience on these disks.


Beginners in any area need good models to follow, and Ammar is one such. His explanations are clear and detailed. My one criticism is that, in my opinion, some of the miracles aren’t so easy to master!



B. Flourishes: Ribbon Spread, Charlier cut, Fans (*?), Dribble*, Card Spring*


C. Fundamental Sleights that are used in many tricks. A few of the tricks listed after the sleights use additional sleights, which are referenced there. An asterisk after a sleight indicates that, in my judgment as a one who is beyond the beginner level, but no that far beyond, it’s one of the most difficult sleights on this list. Beginners can leave them alone for a while to get used to card handling in the simpler context of other sleights. Alternatively, they can spend some time from the start practicing them, because they take intensive practice over time to learn.
I give sources for each sleight and trick, in some cases more than one. See the References section below to decode the books and DVD’s I refer to. For example, ECS refers to Daryl’s Encylopedia of Card Sleights. When I list a reference it may be because it’s one I particularly like; in other cases it’s because it’s the only one I’ve been able to track down.


The break: catching and holding a left-hand little finger break (if you’re right-handed) near top, middle, or bottom of transferring it to a right hand thumb break. If card magic is a forest, then its largest tree is rooted in this sleight.


Shuffles and Cuts: Optical False Shuffle [CC vol. __], Overhand True and False Shuffles [MB, CC, RRTCM], [Top] Slip Cut, Bottom Slip Cuts, e. g., Halo Cut*. Hindu Shuffle, Up the Ladder Shuffle, Ireland Shuffle; G. W. Hunter Shuffle (*?); Optical False Shuffle (*?).


See CC [volume & page] for a nice explanation of the Up the Ladder Shuffle; Giobbi first teaches a true shuffle, and then Up the Ladder, a false shuffle that simulates the true shuffle.


Many tricks, especially “self-working” ones such as those in the Fulves Self-Working books, involve set-ups (certain cards placed in advance into advantageous positions.) Full-deck retention shuffles and cuts are useful at the beginning of such tricks to convince the audience that you don’t have a set-up.


Controls: Double Undercut; Overhand Lift Shuffle; Crimp; Overhand Jog Shuffle, Hindu Shuffle, Key Card, Crimp. See [ECS vol. ___] for a whole series of sleights that involve jogs but not the overhand shuffle; learning some of these might be good practice for learning the jog overhand shuffle. [Need to fill in references.]


Forces: Cross-Cut; Cut-Deeper; Hindu Shuffle; Slip Cut (*?); Lift Shuffle


Switches: Glide, Braue Addition (aka Braue Add-On; a versatile sleight with many uses besides switching cards). Double Lift and Turnover*


Utility Moves: Braue Addtion, Buckle, breather crimp


Reverses: Braue Reversal, …

Sleights for packet tricks: Small Packet Double Lift and Turnover; Elmsley Count*; Biddle Move.

The Elmsley count and Small Packet Double Lift are essential moves if you want to do packet tricks (tricks that involve a fairly small, or quite small selection of cards from the deck – they have a charm of their own: see Deckless on the Café). Like all sleights, the Small Packet Double Lift will take lots of practice to become fluid and effortless. But it's *much* easier than the full-packet double lift.


D. Tricks: (Give sources & which sleights are used)


Biddle Trick/Invisible Card. This is a whole family of tricks with many variations and various degrees of difficulty (which is true of most popular tricks). (Secrets of Brother John Hamman; Card College; Johnny Thompson; Daryl)


Four Burglars (where the four Jack rob a bank and then mysteriously rise to the top of the bank -- pack -- and escape just before the police arrive.) (Braue Addition??)


Chicago Opener (traditionally uses the Double Lift and Turnover, and the Hindu Shuffle Force)


8-card brainwave (Olram subtlety. I like Daryl’s handling in ECS, vol. ___).



E. References.


[CC] Roberto Giobbi, Card College (5 volumes)


[RRTCM] Hugard and Braue, The Royal Road to Card Magic.

[needs to be completed.]
somethingupmysleeve
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Hi Bob. QUick bump on this thread to recognise a great guide in the making. Keep up the good work!
Bob G
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Thanks, sometingupmysleeve. I really appreciate the encouragement. I've been leaving this dormant for a while because I want to learn more of the tricks and sleights that people have suggested. It's a delicate business -- I want to complete this when I have enough experience to give good advice, but not so much that I've forgotten what it's like to be a beginner.


Bob
somethingupmysleeve
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That makes sense - glad to hear you're still progressing with it. It's also bumped so that others can add their thoughts! Best of luck with everything.
Bob G
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Thanks for bumping it up. I'd love to hear others' ideas.
Bob G
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If anyone wants to give sources for the tricks that were mentioned earlier in the thread, that would be a big help.
Nikodemus
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Great thread!
I just wanted to add that lots of people use the terms Double Lift and Double Turnover interchangeably. This certainly confused me.
A simple double lift is pretty easy. So should be on the list - with a note that is NOT the same as a DT.
A double turnover needs a LOT of practice, and should not be on the list.
EndersGame
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Quote:
On May 12, 2018, Harry Lorayne wrote:
Tarbell #7 also comes to mind - but I'm too lazy to check it out.

Too lazy, Harry Lorayne? Sounds like good material for a Lazy Man's Card Trick! Smile
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