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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » A turn of the page » » Reading Erdnase (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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New York, NY
559 Posts

Profile of TeddyBoy
After having read Royal Road, Card College 1-4, Ortiz's At the Card Table, and referencing other books on card magic, is it still INSTRUCTIONALLY worth reading Expert at the Card Table? I understand the book's great historical significance, but is it still a "must read" for me? Given my time limitations I try to assess the value of my "next step" in my card education before I jump in.

Your comments are greatly appreciated.
So many sleights...so little time.
"Slow...deliberate...natural." Bill Tarr

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249 Posts

Profile of hitmouse
The answers to this are likely to be polarised.
From an instructional perspective, if you have really worked through the other books that you have mentioned then you will have a fantastic grounding in cards, and Erdnase will offer relatively little practical material in addition.
Having said that, Erdnase remains a foundational text. Almost all subsequent card literature owes a debt, and many of the greats have obsessed over it. It is referenced frequently in conversation. For an inexpensive pamphlet it contains so much: many of the sleights described in your current books, and a few others of variable utility. Equally, the commentary and observations in the text. Buy it, browse through it, study it if you feel the urge. Either way, it is worth a small investment.
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Inner circle
Essex, UK
1292 Posts

Profile of martyjacobs

I wouldn't recommend Erdnase as a text a beginner should study. However, given you've moved beyond that stage of your card magic career, I think it would benefit you to study The Expert at the Card Table. I re-read it and practice the material in it regularly. I've even created a digital version in Google Docs with oversized images to aid learning:


Many of the magicians, past and present that I admire, studied it: Vernon and Dr Daley held the book in high regard. Modern masters of magic, such as David Ben, Michael Vincent and Jason England, all think the book is worthy of deep study. So either there is something special about the text, or we're all delusional!

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Staten Island, New York
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Profile of MagicByVincent
Martyjacobs do you know if there is a way to get that on a kindle ?
Smile Smile Smile Magic is all around us we just have to be willing to see it.
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