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Profile of Just4Fun
As a beginner, it was Mark Wilsons Book (bought for a song at a used book store - they had 3 copies) that got me going.

Easiest card trick? Best for a beginner? Buy a stripper deck. Self working and easy to handle.
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Inner circle
1448 Posts

Profile of Dr. TORA
I may suggest, "Grant's forcing Deck". No fancy moves, no angle worries and endless kinds of presentation. It is even easier than Svengali. It is also very cheap!!!
Try it...

Magically Yours,


Have you visited my new Website in English, yet? or
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Profile of odroj88
Many people have suggested trick decks which are great to get you started and even when you are a 37 year veteran like me, but I think it is also important to learn at least some basic sleight of hand and build a solid foundation.

With that being said, I am going to have to second Harry Lorayne's 'The Magic Book' and Ammar's tapes. On the Ammar tapes check out the 'gun trick', '8 card brainwave', 'red hot mama', 'that's it', 'overkill', and there are so many other simple yet powerful tricks for the beginner. Good luck in card magic.
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Profile of BillParky
Hi Philip
I think you've had some great advice here.
I started with a few packet tricks like colour monte, twisted sisters, NFW, Ultimate Monte etc and got a lot of mileage out of them and still use them from time to time but I must say that I'm now enjoying performing non-card effects more now such as elastic band and similar tricks.

Bill Smile
Tolga Ozuygur
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Istanbul / Turkey
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Profile of Tolga Ozuygur
I may add another suggestion. Before doing a card trick, it is better to learn the handling. So you'd be better to buy the series of "Card College" by Roberto Giobbi. They are not cheap but you may buy them one by one as you finish one.
Smile Smile Smile
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Yorktown, Virginia (Previously Germany)
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Profile of RiffClown
Out of This World is quite easily learned and play pretty well and best of all, no gaff or gimmick is needed.
Rob "Riff, the Magical Clown" Eubank aka RiffClown
<BR>Magic is not the method, but the presentation.
ben creitz
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Profile of ben creitz
I like Dai Vernon's Twisting the Aces. It is a cool trick and a good reason to learn some sleights that will be very useful later. Dealing with a packet rather than a deck makes things a bit easier, and depending on exactly how you do it, you get to learn about

double lifts
Elmsley counts

It is a trick that needs good presentation in order to fly, too - practicing that will be the best experience of all.
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Calgary, Alberta, Canada
1565 Posts

Profile of Thoughtreader
On 2002-09-12 16:49, philipi56 wrote:
I am wondering what effect you recommend for a beginner. I am not exactly interested in cards, but I would like to have some kind of card effect. Thanks, Philip


Despite NOT having a major interest in cards, someone that is a magic enthusiast should still have a well rounded knowledge in the entire art. If you have a love of magic, why would you want to know less of the art than others? Would you not prefer to have as much knowledge of the art as possible? Even a brain surgeon or a plastic surgeon has to become a general practitioner before they can advance further into a specialty. I have never understood why magicians would assume they should be different or as I mentioned earlier, not want to learn more regardless of their interests.

You would be very surprised to see how many techniques from one discipline will aid in another. Knowing an effect or methodology as well as it's HISTORY (another area many lack) will help in developing further in a completely different area of magic.

If you want to get involved in a bunch of silly little gimmicks and trick decks, that is fine (at least you are learning the principles behind them, many however, you would learn just by doing extra reading in
"The Encyclopedia of Card Tricks, The Magic of Nick Trost and the one that should be mandatory study-The Tarbell Course in Magic" that contains probably 90% of the magic out there for sale anyway)

BUT if you learn real sleight of hand with cards, you will always retain some interest in them plus you will always be able to do something with a deck of cards when asked. Take the Royal Road to Card Magic and learn it from front to back, lesson by lesson (as it was intended. Do not read it like most by skimming and taking what looks interesting to you. Learn it all, in order) and then move on to Expert Card Technique. There is enough in those two low-cost books to cover everything that you need to have a basic knowledge of card sleights.

Then later if you would like to develop an appreciation and knowledge of other techniques such as back palming and such (can't hurt to know the techniques) then study your Tarbell as everyone should. That is the best way to go.

PSIncerely Yours,
Paul Alberstat
Canada's Leading Mentalist
AB StageCraft
Rod Lages
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Brasilia, Brazil
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Profile of Rod Lages
I like 2 Card Monte tricks. Lots of stuff on it like Break, double-lift and works on presentation. Easy trick but a beginner should practice a lot to be ready for a presentation. Easy trick though good impact. I don´t know if anyone of you folks agrees with me.

Rod Lages

PS: Sorry about my English. I am working on it! Smile
"Confusion isn't Magic" - Dai Vernon
Drew from Spotlight
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Profile of Drew from Spotlight
The Mark Wilson course is an excellent start. He teaches a lot of basic card principles and sleights. Sometimes simple is best. For teaching effective moves I would also recommend Bill Tarr’s two books “Now you see it, now you don’t” Volumes one and two. You can get some very good information there. Those three books alone will keep you busy for awhile.

I am also a fan of the Fulve’s series of card magic. In his books you’ll find simple, most times sleightless, routines that are devastating to a lay audience.
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Bay area
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Profile of LeConte
For a great self working effect (for a true beginner) I would chose Overkill (Harris, Ackerman, Emberg). It is one of the most powerful self working tricks out there. You are free to only worry about your patter and presentation. Most on-lookers will be amazed.

The risk factor in performing it is almost ziltch.
Drive Carefully
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Muskogee, Oklahoma
127 Posts

Profile of Russ
In my opinion, the very best beginner trick is in Harry Lorayne's "Magic Book". It's called "Prediction" on page 141. It is self working and uses a mathematical method but is covered very well.

I have modified it with some sleight of hand to get the card to the bottom. I have even fooled some magicians with it.

"All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten" by Robert Fulghum
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Profile of wiggys
My fave has to be the prediction trick where you borrow an envelope and write down the name of a card (you don't show anyone). While you're doing this you ask someone to shuffle their own pack of cards. You tell them to put the pack on the table and cut the cards, then you put your sealed envelope on top. You explain to them what has gone on and how you haven't touched their cards.

You ask them to open the envelope and read what's written inside. "You will choose the 3 of diamonds". when they turn over the top card they are amazed to see you are right!

I like this because it's simple and baffling with virtually no setting up involved, plus it looks "honest". Don't let them think about it for too long, just move to another trick now they're hooked.
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Costa Rica
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Profile of Rafa
If you know how to force a card, you're down for many, many wonderful tricks. You don't need fancy passes or Yoda's abilities.
I see it like this: If you know which card a person is thinking of, you're able to read his mind. Of course you don't say "The 4 of hearts. Do you want me to do it again?". Presentation makes all the difference. But I've seen GREAT presentations for a simpe forcing a card or controlling it. Daryl is a master in this field, I think. His cards revelations are a good example of what I mean. Hope it helps. Smile

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Profile of wiggys
Also, I find using a smoke screen can enhance a trick no end. Say you levitate a match over a card - pretend it only works with a certain brand of match, or rub the match vigourously on your sleeve before you make it hover.

A word on presentation:

Juggle 5 tennis balls at the same time (difficult) and people may give you a polite round of applause. But juggle 2 balls while eating an apple and you'll get a standing ovation!
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Profile of magical_magician3003
I think you should learn Triumph. It was invented by Dai Vernon, and some card magicians call it a CLASSIC, or REAL card trick. I learned it from Easy to Master Card Miracles Vol. 1, by Michael Ammar. The effect is AMAZING, and requires very little sleight of hand (false shuffle, and card control.)
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Lehi, UT, USA
643 Posts

Profile of what
As a beginner myself, I suggest what has already been suggested, namely:

1. Run (not walk) out and buy a copy of "Mark Wilsons Complete Course in Magic" book. There will be a number of card tricks that you will be able to do very quickly with any borrowed deck (a real plus, especially for beginners).

2. If you would like a packet trick that you can entertain with, go with "Color Monte" by Emmerson & West. It is not hard to do, but requires that you work on your presentation. It is highly entertaining and can be examined when finished (again a big plus for us newbies)

Best of luck

Magic is fun!!!
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Profile of cardican66
Concentrate on learning a couple of good forces(slip force, cross force etc..). You can then preform prediction effects(you predict the card the spectator chose in a dramatic manner), which blows people away!

Experience teaches only the teachable.
Aldous Huxley (1894 - 1963)
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Los Angeles, California
119 Posts

Profile of desprado2
I suggest getting Card college 1 and learning from that. There is an excellent trick by Theodore Annemann called
"Card in Hand" which is not to difficult and it will make you seem like a true card magician. Oh yeah and don't forget about the presentation which makes all the tricks truly magical!!
"Treat others the way you want to be treated."
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Ossining, New York
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Profile of mjb16
I would definitely suggest you learn "Do as I Do" It is so simple, but it is so strong. I recently performed this at a party last week and each time I did it I got a bigger reaction. It definitely hits laymen hard and they cannot fathom how you both select the same card.

Cheers! Smile
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