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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Dvd, Video tape, Audio tape & Compact discs. » » Review: Ultimate Self Working Card Tricks Vol 4 (Big Blind Media) (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Ultimate Self Working Card Tricks (Vol 4) Big Blind Media)

The latest installment in the best DVD series on self-working card tricks

BACKGROUND

It's a regular question on magic forums: "What are the best videos for learning card magic?" There's a lot of choices when it comes to sleight of hand card magic, but when it comes to videos with self-working card magic, there's an easy winner. My top recommendation is the terrific series of DVDs entitled Ultimate Self Working Card Tricks. These are produced by Big Blind Media, and have incredibly high production values, with great teaching.

Don't make the mistake of dismissing self-working card magic too quickly. What makes magic strong isn't so much the method, but whether it entertains. When well-presented, self-working card tricks can be among the very best that there is, and the Ultimate Self Working Card Magic does a fine job of teaching us the very best of the best. Each volume in this popular series features 10 or more carefully selected tricks that are the best of the best. They include some of the greatest self-working tricks in the world, like "Contact Colors" (Aldo Colombini), "Shuffling Lesson" (Chad Long), "Shuffle-Bored" (Simon Aronson), "Impossible" (Larry Jennings), "Devastation" (Geoff Williams), "Emotional Reaction" (Dai Vernon), and "Further Than That" (Stewart James). Even when there's no need for sleights, gaffs, or gimmicks, we can still produce card magic that is strong and entertaining, as the self-working tricks included in this series prove. Best of all, it's easy to perform.

The first three successful volumes in this series were released on an annual basis in 2012-2014. There have been two related releases since, namely Awesome Self Working Card Tricks (2015), and Ultimate Self Working Card Tricks Cameron Francis Edition (2019). Now there is a new addition to this family, with the recent release of the latest volume: Ultimate Self Working Card Tricks Vol 4 (2020). If you've checked out the first three volumes of the Ultimate Self Working Card Tricks series from Big Blind Media, then you'll already know how fantastic this series is, courtesy of the 30 different tricks taught.

Volume 4 adds to this already very fine collection, with yet another ten top routines. Available either as a DVD or a digital download, it continues the successful formula of the previous volumes. As with the earler vidoes, for each trick you get a live performance with various spectators, followed by a careful explanation with BBM team members.

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To whet your appetite, see the official trailer for Volume 4, which includes a performance of John Bannon's Karmatic.



CONTENTS

1. Karmatic (John Bannon: The spectator does all the work with shuffling, and yet remarkably produces a card written down before the trick began. This trick makes a great start to the video, courtesy of some top notch magic from John Bannon, and something that will bring to mind Dai Vernon's famous unexplained card trick.

2. Coincidence (Bill Simon): Once again the spectator does the work, dealing from two piles at a time. Yet whenever they stop, the cards in both piles contain a mate - even though this would not have been produced if they'd stopped anywhere else! Some set-up is needed, but it's worth it because the effect is be absolutely staggering. It reminds me of a two deck coincident routine from Nick Trost that I've always loved, and can be made even more astounding when using a marked deck.

3. Five Nine King (Martin Gardner): With this routine, your spectator produces a matching four of a kind despite numerous free choices along the way. We can expect some math from the big name of Martin Gardner, but it's mostly under the hood, and you'll even fool yourself with this one! Those familiar with Gardner's work may find interesting an apparent flaw in his write-up that the BBM team come with a fix for.

4. Company of Three (Roy Walton): With the involvement of two spectators, three cards are lost and impossibly produced. Besides an entirely self-working method, a variation with a small sleight is also taught for added deception. This is a classic from the legendary Roy Walton. Getting spectators involved is always a positive, and this trick lets you get a couple of them engaged.

5. Sorta Swiped (Jack Tighe): A spectator selects and signs a card, which is lost in the deck. A card labelled "Lucky Card" with a different color back is inserted into the deck, and finds the signed card. But there's a twist - the signature ends up on the back of the Lucky Card! The surprise element is reminiscent of the famous Anniversary Waltz, and just like in that trick, you can give you spectator the signed card as a memento.

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6. Miracle Aces (Stephen Tucker): The spectator miraculously produces all four aces from a shuffled deck. The `Spectator Cuts to the Aces' is a classic routine in self-working card magic, and this is a very clever take by Stephen Tucker.

7. Baker Street (Liam Montier): Two hands of five cards each are dealt, and two spectators each select a card from their packet and exchange these cards, and yet you can read their minds and identify the cards. As the ad copy mentions, this will appeal to poker players, but it will stun anyone who enjoys cards.

8. Third Attribute (Michael Breggar): Starting with a genuinely shuffled deck, the spectator shuffles two halves of the deck into each other face-up and face-down. After cutting as often as they wish, they remove any three face-down cards from the resulting mixed-up deck, which are used to divine their chosen card. This is a real magician fooler, and good presentation can really make this seem like a miracle.

9. Swindle Coincidence (Peter Kane): Using two shuffled decks, two spectators each freely choose a card and reverse them, and they turn out to match. This is an amazing coincidence routine that will really baffle, and is from a big name magician that brought us the classic Wild Card routine. A great routine for involving spectators too!

10. Card U Reka (U.F Grant): Your spectator chooses three cards, representing their past, present, and future, and these are found to match the same three you've chosen. This is an oldie but a goodie, and the triple prediction can be enhanced with good patter revolving around a fortune-telling theme. You'll need some work to set up a deck for this trick, but the resulting presentation can really blow people away.

SAMPLE PERFORMANCES

To help promote the video, in addition to the trailer which features John Bannon's "Karmatic" routine, BBM has released performance videos for two other tricks. Here's Bill Simon's "Coincidence":



And here's Martin Gardner's "Five Nine King":



MY IMPRESSIONS

Variety: Just when you'd think that the BBM team might have run out of material to include after three solid volumes previously, they suprise you by producing yet another outstanding collection of top card magic. I especially like the fact that there's a good variety of effects, such as coincidence effects, and spectators finding their own card. Some of John Bannon's "Move Zero" series from BBM featured tricks that were variations on the same method, but you don't get that here. There's also good variation in types of tricks that are included. Some of the tricks require some set-up, while others can be performed with virutally impromptu with any borrowed shuffled deck. There are a few that require dealing and stacks, but some people like more slower-paced tricks, so you do get a bit of everything. I especially enjoyed Michael Breggar's "Third Attribute". If you enjoy Breggar's somewhat quirky presentation, I definitely recommend checking out his great ebooks here, because he has come up with some very original presentations.

Self-working: There is something for everyone, but what the tricks in this series all have in common is that they are all self-working, and thus not difficult to perform. That makes them well suited for magicians who are enjoying magic as a hobby and as amateurs, and don't have the time to develop the skills needed for complex moves and sleight of hand. Being self-working means that these tricks are straight forward to learn, and you have the freedom to focus on your presentation while performing them. So both newcomers to magic and old-timers will quickly be able to master these tricks and have fun performing them.

Strong: While these tricks are within the reach of magicians with minimal experience, that doesn't mean that they are by any means weak. Some of the tricks in the first three volumes of this series are the best card tricks you'll find anywhere, and have become classics of magic! Self-working magic can produce very powerful results, and that means that good self-working card tricks will be appealing even to seasoned performers. There are some routines here that will really stun your spectators. Especially when you present them well, the contents of this DVD will really give you the potential to amaze.

Well-taught: One of the things that Big Blind Media consistently does well is the instructional portion of their magic videos. Not only are the performances shown clearly, but every step of how to set up and perform each trick is carefully worked through. Needless to say, this is essential for students of magic relying on the video to teach them how the trick is done.

Well-produced: Big Blind Media is the modern gold standard as far as quality filming and production of magic videos. This video is no exception, with outstanding sound and studio lighting, plus solid camera work that uses multiple camera angles and close-ups when needed. It really doesn't get better than this, and the same can be said of all the videos in the series so far.

Where to begin? If you're new to the Ultimate Self Working Card Tricks series, then you won't go wrong regardless of which DVD you start with, because there's no bad choices among them. The difficulty level is similar for all of them, as is the quality of production and range of good content. I would perhaps suggest beginning with Volume 1, simply because of the strength of some of the material included. With classic and proven tricks from big names like Aldo Colombini, Chad Long, Simon Aronson, Alex Elmsley, Larry Jennings, and more, you're bound to be impressed. But Volume 4 surely is one of the strongest entries in the series too. Regardless of whether you are already familar with first three of the series, or are starting with Ultimate Self Working Card Tricks Volume 4, you're bound to be satisfied!

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OTHER ENDORSEMENTS

Here's some more praise about Volume 4, which I have gleaned from around the internet from various working magicians and amateurs:

"A great collection of self working card tricks. I think it’s a must for every magician whether they do cards or not." - Richard L.
"I have purchased all of the BBM self working series. In my opinion this is by far the best!" - Manuel Quijada
"Ultimate Self-Working Card Tricks Volume 4 feels like it is the best in the series so far. Full of fantastic, workable material." - Phil Sweeting
"I have Vol 1, 2 & 3 in this set and they are all great, Vol 4 is the best DVD in this series. It is full of great tricks and workers." - John G.
"Totally awesome and I predict that this will be one of Big Blind Media’s best selling DVD’s ever." - Stuart from Straight Talk Magic
"Full of good material for solid routines." - Lars A.
"Big Blind Media has made a reputation with DVDs in this series. This is as good as the others." - Jim Canaday
"This is a welcome addition to the BBM series of Self Working Card Tricks, and I must say this one could be the best to date!" - Mark M.
"The Self Working Card Tricks series is wonderful. It's definitely worth the money." - David Kenney

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RECOMMENDATION

Big Blind Media has certainly set a very high standard for themselves with their previous releases. Despite raising the bar high with the three earlier volumes in this series, with Volume 4 they still manage to come up with more of the same high calibre content that won't disappoint. And as with all their videos, Big Blind Media ensures that we get to learn our card magic while having the very best in visuals and sound.

For the most part, the tricks in this series are not the kind of self-working card magic that you may have grown up with, with tedious shuffling and dealing, and endless counting or spelling. This is not yet another version of your grandfather's Twenty-One Card Trick, but it's strong magic, from some of the best in the business. What I like about Volume 4, as with the previous volumes, is that there is some material here from big names in card magic, with solid and proven routines, as well as some new content that you're not likely to have seen before. Despite being self-working and relatively easy to learn and perform, it's baffling and entertaining.

In my estimation, this video is every bit as good as the three that preceded it, and is yet another fine collection of self-working card magic. If you loved any of those, then this will be an obvious purchase and must-have. Experienced magicians will enjoy the quality of the content included, while new and upcoming magicians will enjoy the ease in which these DVDs allow them to amaze family and friends. Well done to Big Blind Media for bringing us the goods yet again!

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Want to learn more? Visit the publisher Big Blind Media:
Publisher's page: bigblindmedia.com
Social media: Facebook, Twitter, Youtube
Ultimate Self Working Card Trick series: Volume 1, Volume 2, Volume 3, Volume 4
Murphy's Magic: This video is also available from your favorite Murphy's Magic retailer [link]

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BoardGameGeek reviewer EndersGame - click here to see all my pictorial reviews: => Magic Reviews <==> Playing Card Reviews <==> Board Game Reviews <==
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