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New Era Card Tricks by August Roterberg


New Era Card Tricks by August Roterberg

New Era Card Tricks was written specifically for magicians by Chicago magic dealer August Roterberg, unlike prior magic books which were published and written for the public.

New Era Card Tricks contains a number of mechanical card effects and gaffs reproduced from the German works of F. W. Conradi. The book introduced the term "Color Change" and gave an early explanation of the Double Lift. It was also the first book to provide a description of the Back Palm.  It may have been an influence or inspiration for S.W. Erdnase when writing Expert at the Card Table since some of the sleights are identical or provided inspiration for Erdnase.

In 1897 it sold for two dollars.  Original copies have gone for $250 or more on auction sites.

Lucky for us it was reprinted just a few years ago and is available at a very reasonable cost thanks to Stephen Minch and Byron Walker.

It is definitely one of my favorite card magic books. It's full of popular card magic from the turn of the century and includes some amazingly strong magic,

Just because it's old doesn't mean it is not full of cutting edge magic.

Probably the first version of the Haunted Pack ever published. This is a classic of magic popularized by Al Baker, Eugene Burger and others.

Look up August's "The Hypnotized Card" inside this book for a magical version where the deck cuts all by itself exactly where the selected card lies. Here's a tip: instead of using a magic wand use a pen and a pad of paper. You'll thank me later ;).

Another favorite effect of mine from this book is an extremely magical trick where a letter that you received in the mail is displayed and when you toss the letter in the air it turns into the selected card. This is great visual magic at its best. Another hidden gem called "the envelope card" and is found on page 258.

Here's one more:
"Improved cards read behind the back".  This effect could be used to close your show!!! A deck is thoroughly shuffled by audience members and the performer has his back turned and is blindfolded.

You could even have a bag over your head because you genuinely cannot see. Even though the cards of been shuffled and you are blindfolded you are now able to call off the cards in order as they are dealt one at a time until you have named every card!!!

 Track yourself down a copy and you'll be glad you did. Enjoy!!!

Kranzilla :-) 

Posted by Nathan Kranzo on March 12, 2017. 3 Comments

Joe Karson



Joe Karson (1912-1980) was owner of the mail order business "Karson Xclusives", a had magic shop in Springfield, Massachusetts, and was the inventor of the Zombie floating ball illusion.

Yup the dude that invented the Zombie! That's quite a classic. And what a great illusion when performed well. We have Joe to thank for that.

He was playing with the old impromptu trick where you interlace your fingers and pretend to float a match behind them. That inspired the Zombie.  

Joe patented the Zombie illusion in 1940.

I'd like to bring you your attention to a lesser known trick of his. A great piece of card magic called "the worlds fastest card trick".

This trick is something that Joe was known for but forgotten by modern day magicians.

I searched on Ask Alexander and found many mentions of Joe performing at conventions around the US over 50 years ago. Many times the highlight of the performance was his rendition of "the world's fastest card trick".

The effect is a lesson in performance and timing. If you learn how to effectively perform this trick for an audience you will be on your way to being a great entertainer with a deck of cards.

The trick has several "false starts", creating a fun and playful comedic tempo.  Joe has built into the routine several hilarious moments, especially after several attempts to find the card.....the spectator admits "I forgot my card", for a huge laugh!!!

Not too much has been written about Joe's original effect. But there is a brilliant book titled: Ken de Courcy discusses "the worlds fastest card trick"

I highly recommend you track it down

Ken discusses several ways to handle the ending of the effect and teaches some additional gags that add some great comedy to the already hilarious routine.

The routine can be done at the drop of a hat using any borrow deck of cards. Uses very little sleight of hand, can be performed for a huge audience and plays well even on stage. What more could you ask for?

The original Joe Karson "the world's fastest card trick" is worth tracking down. A quick search online should find it for about $2.

Have fun hunting!!!!

Posted by Nathan Kranzo on February 09, 2017. 0 Comments

U.F. Grant

U.F. Grant pictured above in the middle.

Ulysses Frederick Simpson Grant
January 12 1901
Millerton, New York
March 01, 1978 (age 77)

'Gen', or 'The Little General' as he is sometimes referred to, was a descendant of General U. S. Grant and is named for the General as well as the General's son.[1] Grant started in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, where he created his first tricks. Later he moved to New York City joining the Abbott Magic & Novelty Co., eventually settled in Columbus, Ohio creating his own firm, "U.F. Grant Magic".

U.F. Grant is definitely one of my favorite creators of all time. He has created and published hundreds of magic tricks. And he is responsible for creating some of my favorites.

Most modern day "book tests" performed by mentalists are based on the principle that Grant created when he published his "tru test" nearly 80 years ago.

Are you familiar with the famous card deck the "cheek to cheek " deck? This brilliant gaffed deck allows you to do one of the most magical looking triumph effects possible!!! This is a UF Grant creation!

Grant was known for coming up with magic tricks in every category. Card magic, coin magic, stage magic, pickpocketing, mind reading and the list goes on.

He also was known for his brevity and simple descriptions. Sometimes magicians would make fun of the fact that his descriptions and explanations were so short and to the point. I honestly love this....I love the simplicity in his writing. And I think it's a skill to take something difficult and explain it in a few simple words.

Luckily for you there are still dozens and dozens of Grant books and booklets available both physical copies and PDFs available online

I would like to bring your attention to a little booklet called "50 crazy card stunts". It's a booklet that I purchased for a dollar. And is full of great ideas. Some that are so old that no one has ever seen them before.

Imagine finding a selected playing card by having a lightbulb examined and then put in its socket.... when it turns on the name of the card glows in the lightbulb!

In another effect a card is selected and then the deck shuffled by the spectator. You then slowly deal thru the deck and try and find their card by "looking for their fingerprints". You do finally find their card successfully and when you touch the card to a candle flame a big black thumb print appears!!!

There are also dozens of great ways to reveal I selected card... like putting a duplicate on someone's front porch. Force the card that matches the duplicate, then tell them that you think you hear someone at the front door :-)

One of my favorite gags that Grant explains is by a magician named Eddie Hatch.

Eddie has the deck shuffled and placed in his pocket then he has anyone name any card. He then reaches in his pocket and pulled out a random card. If it hits, it's a miracle, if not, Eddie just says "one day it's going to work and it will be a miracle!".
Which will get a big laugh. I love this because it's worth trying and you never know when you are going to get a hit. And if it doesn't. It's really funny and it's a great laugh in my show. :-)

That is one thing that is always evident in any Grant trick or script. He is always worried about entertaining first. And that's all. He is not worried about how the effect is done or difficult methods. Just being entertaining to the audience.

This is a good thing to focus on :-)

Here is a clip of one of my favorite Grant creations followed by a list of some of my favorite Grant Tricks.

* Cow Trick (1943)
 you can watch it here:

* Temple Screen (1944)
* Chen Lee Water Suspension (1945)
* Cheek to Cheek (1948)
* Bengal Net Illusion (1954)
* 100 Tips & Gags (1936)
* 100 More Tips and Gags (1937)
* 50 Kute Koin Tricks (1940)
* 50 Crazy Card Stunts (1940)

National thanks to "magicPedia" for some info.

Posted by Nathan Kranzo on January 31, 2017. 0 Comments

A toast to Trost!!!!



Nick Trost

Nick Trost has created some amazing card magic. He has published dozens of books on card magic as well as many popular packet tricks.

Trost wrote and edited a column on card magic in The New Tops from May 1961 until December 1994.

He had a Hocus Pocus Parade in Linking Ring, Vol. 34, No. 12 (February 1955) and received the award for Originality of a Card Effect at the IBMConvention in Pittsburgh, PA that same year.

He may be remembered for one of his most notable creations the "eight card brainwave".

This is really a brilliant creation. Clever construction combined with Marlo's "olram display" move sequence.

In this classic effect you show eight cards and the spectator can think of, or name anyone. It's a free choice. Then you cleanly show that every single card is blue except for the one they chose which has a red back.

I have published a version of this trick using 8 credit cards. They choose any one. And then you show that all the cards are stamped with the words "declined" except for the one they chose.

In the 1970s and 80s and even the early part of the 90s "packet tricks" were very popular amongst magic shops and dealers.

(A packet trick is basically a card trick that just uses a small packet of 4 to 10 cards. Often times using a gaff or specially printed cards)

This style of card trick was highly marketed by magic shops and mail order magic stores.

When I worked at the Cuckoo's Nest magic shop during college in Pittsburgh I would often demonstrate his packet Trick "fly circus", it was a lot of fun to perform and very off beat.

You can find a list of many of his books and packet trick creations at Magicpedia.  Interested students should look up all of his material but a good place to start is The Card Magic Of Nick Trost.

Today I would like to bring your attention to a lesser known booklet of Nick's.

'CARD Problems' is the name of the booklet and it contains 12 impromptu card routines.

Here are a couple of my favorites:

"Two card transposition"
In Nick's handling he uses an odd backed card so it's very easy to follow the transposition because the cards have different backs. This is a transposition with a kicker ending. And is all accomplished with nothing more than a double lift

"cards in pocket mystery"
This is my favorite trick in the book. While you're back is turned and you are on the other side of the have the spectator shuffle about half the deck. After some simple instructions they select a card and you have them divide the cards they have shuffled into colors placing them in different pockets.

You are NOW able to tell them how many red cards are in their pocket, how many black cards are in the other pocket. And you are able to tell them the card they are thinking of!

And it's self working!!!!

There is another hidden gem in this book. A very strong packet trick where you clearly show the four Queens and the four Kings. The Kings are dropped on top of the Queens and immediately you can cleanly deal through the cards showing that they have all paired up instantly!!!!!

Honestly if you just search the Internet for anything by Nick Trost. Just get it. You'll be happy you did. Many of those booklets are out of print and hard to find but it will be worth the search. And luckily most of his material has been reprinted in the recent release of his "subtle card miracle" series.


Posted by Nathan Kranzo on January 24, 2017. 0 Comments

Ellis Stanyon

Ellis Stanyon published and edited his own journal known as Magic (Stanyon's Magic).  In the first issue of Magic he set out his intention which was to‚ 'popularize the Art of Sleight of Hand'. It was first published in October 1900 and ran for 177 issues with a break during World War I; the final issue was published in June 1920.

A few years back L&L publishing released a huge hardbound volume that was a collection of all of the magazines. I own it and it is one of the coolest books I have in my library.   Also happens to be the thickest and heaviest. It's huge!

It is full of great Magic. It is encyclopedic in nature.

The book that I would like to bring your attention to today is also by Ellis Stanyon but is lesser-known. It is a more slender volume but has some amazing card magic. Much of which simple and sleight free.

In particular you will find of interest the chapter titled "tricks performed without the aid of sleight of hand".

The book is called "Card Tricks For Everyone" with an introduction by John Mulholland. It is a collection of great card magic both impromptu and using apparatus.

There are some real hidden gems in this book. For instance there is a very old trick called "the card banner (new method)"

The effect is pretty cool. Three chosen cards shuffled with the rest of the pack.  The pack is then thrown into the air and the selected cards are caught on a black velvet banner.

Imagine someone updating this effect with a modern presentation and a scarf......or even maybe your ex girlfriend/boyfriend's old T-shirt. This is a very visual magical effect.

Another piece of gold is an effect titled "Long-Distance Second Site With Cards". This is an effect that you would perform with another performer or partner....if you teach this effect to your friend or significant other you will have a miracle that you can perform anywhere.

One of my favorite tricks in the book is very simple but it will entertain and fool!!!!

The name of the trick is "to discover a chosen card by its weight".

It's a very easy's all in the presentation. You have 12 cards taken from the deck and the effect is performed with just those 12 cards. You have a card selected from the 12. You handle the remaining 11 cards and after a few moments you announce that you have memorized the weight of all the cards.

When the selection is received in the right-hand press the thumbnail heavily on the right-hand corner which will result in a slight bruise on the face of the card. The cards can be shuffled as much as you want. Now ask the spectator to hand the cards to you one at a time and it's an easy matter to feel for the bruise as you are handling each card.

As each card is handed to you you place the cards one at a time alternately on the back of the right and left hand as if you are weighing them.

This is so simple but the presentation is killer.

Do you have a favorite Stanyon affect? If so can you please post it on the blog here below where it says "comments". Thank you so much and as always thanks for reading.


P.S. I highly recommend anything with Stanyon's name on it.

Here is a list of many of his books

Posted by Nathan Kranzo on January 18, 2017. 0 Comments

Steve Beam for President!!!


Steve beam for president!

Steve beam is one of the best guys ever. He is literally one of my heroes. I consider myself extremely lucky to be able to call him a friend I was lucky to hang out with Steve on a number of occasions in Toronto at the 31 Faces North gatherings and at several other random conventions throughout the years. Steve is one of my favorite Magcians in the universe. He has incredible chops. Amazingly creative. Really smart. Big brain. And the icing on the cake is that he is absolutely hilarious.

He will make you cry laughing while he destroys you with incredible sleight-of-hand magic with cards AND coins AND thimbles AND anything else he can got his North Carolinian hands-on.

He really has amazing chops and can do amazingly difficult sleights. But one of my favorite things about Steve's output of magic material is his collection of nearly self working card magic.

Oh yeah. He'll beat you up with sleight of and can easily finish you off with something self working. As you breathe your last breath of air to say "thank you" for the magical ass beating you just received.

Ten volumes of material. That's sooooooo much great card magic.

This is a collection of material from Steve and many of his friends that is either self working or minimal sleights. Or as Steve has coined the term "Semi Automatic Card Tricks".

This series of books is is full of so much good material it's staggering.

The thing that makes Steve's card Magic so great is not only the construction and the fact that it will FRY you, but also the fact that he includes his full script and presentation. Going through these books is like taking a class in comedy writing.

It's hard to choose a favorite because there isn't one that's better than the other they're all just really good. So I chose volume five at random. Mainly because I have a trick in this volume :-)

My trick is called "tip trey" and I teach it a lot in my lectures. It's one of my favorite ways to suspend/levitate a card that's easy and magical.

My favorite trick in the book is actually a trick of Steve's that I added to my professional repertoire. Thats a statement that I can rarely say about anything. I won't tell you which one it is. It's too good to tip. But if you read the book you'll find it.

The funniest trick in the book is a trick that Steve created called "foregone conclusion".

The first time I saw it, it fooled me really bad and I thought it was funny. I saw Steve perform it again for somebody else and I thought it was hilarious. I saw him perform a third time and I cried laughing. After that, anytime I saw him do it I would cry laughing it was so funny. There's not many card tricks you can say that about.

It's also probably the only trick I've ever seen using a down under deal that was entertaining. Look it up.

I promise you just pick up anyone of these volumes and start digging in you'll be glad you don't have to read them in order. Just get one. And start having fun.

Oh, I almost forgot. Do you have a favorite Steve Beam Trick? Do you have a favorite Steve Beam book? Please share and let me know. Please post right here at the blog where it says "comments".





Posted by Nathan Kranzo on January 08, 2017. 1 Comments

A treat from Vernon

Howdy folks!!!

I promised I would tell you my favorite trick in the JG Thompson Jr. book "The Living End".

Go back and read my last blog post if you don't know what I'm talking about. :)

Well it happens to come from "the professor" Dai Vernon and it's a beautiful idea.

It's a transposition of two cards that looks sooooo clean.

The basic idea is this:

You will cause a two card transposition by creating a impromptu "duplicate card" by actually using a "pseudo duplicate".

You'll display the seven of clubs hiding the corner PIP and miscall it as the eight of clubs.

This is my handling....

Begin with the seven of clubs in your left pants pocket oriented so that when you reach in and pull it out **partially** you can easily grab the index corner by thumb and finger displaying it so it looks like the eight of clubs. All they'll see is clubs. 

Ask the spectator to take out the two red Aces and to sandwich any card facedown in between them so you can't see it.

Fan the deck and pull out the eight of clubs and openly place it into your left pocket, placing the card in gamblers cop. Cop the card out adding it back to the top of the deck.

False shuffle and then get a break underneath the top card of the face down deck. Pick up the three cards from the table and square them on top of the deck adding the fourth card beneath. Lift up all four cards and table the deck momentarily.

Place the packet in your left hand and transfer three cards from the top to the bottom, righting the aces when you come to them. Then transfer three more to show that all of the cards are actually facedown. Replace the packet on top of the deck and ask them to watch closely:  slowly deal the top three cards turning the first and third face up.

this will reveal the two red aces and a face down card in the middle which they assume is their card 

Turn the deck face up and riffle the cards causing the tabled cards to flutter.  Simultaneously cop the bottom card and table the deck.  Your right hand spreads the tabled packet of cards as the left hand reaches into the pocket, deposits the palmed card and withdraws the seven showing it as the eight of clubs.

Have a spectator name his card for the first time and then show the transposition.

Just drop the seven back down into the pocket.  The right hand slowly turns over the center face down card to show the eight.  Slowly with an empty hand pull out the selection!  

This is such a strong effect! With a little thought you can clean up/simplify the handling even more. And don't forget the selection can be signed making this even stronger.

(if you sign the seven of clubs and the eight of clubs yourself then you have an even stronger signed transpo)

Vernon was always trying to simplify.  Can we simplify it more?  Can we eliminate one of the palms?  All of them?  Let me know if you have a good solution.  I do.  ;)




Posted by Nathan Kranzo on January 05, 2017. 3 Comments

J.G. Thompson JR.



This is a great book full is simple and elegant card magic.  

J.G. Thompson Jr. is not only a magician and creator, but responsible for putting together some amazing collections of magic in book form. 

Here is a marvelous excerpt from the forward written by John Braun in 1972.


"He has definitively struck "pay dirt" in this book which he has whimsically titled THE LIVING END. In simpler terms, this is an encyclopedia collection of endings for one of the most popular branches of magic, the "take a card, look at a card, remember a card, think of a card, any card," opening. 

Having completed the stage, the performer knows either the identity of the card or its whereabouts in the pack, and sometimes he knows both. And, as John Northern Hilliard put it back in 1908 Downs' ART OF MAGIC, "He would be a very lame performer who would simply take a card off the pack (or out of it) and hand it to a spectator with the remark, "here's your card."



Over 200 impromptu take-a-card trick endings!!!

This book is a gold mine of card revelations and ideas from great magicians and card guys of another era from:

John Scarne

Bert Douglas 

Arthur Buckley 

T. Page Wright

Dr. Jacob Daley

Ted Annemann

Jack Merlin

Stanley Collins

Orville Meyer 

U.F. Grant

S.H. Sharpe

Henry Christ

Stewart James 

And the list goes on!!!!!!!

Most of it is Self working or very minimal sleights.  

Highly recommended.  

I'm going to share with you one of my favorite tricks from this book. But before I do my question is does anybody else have this book? Does anybody else have any favorites? Please post here on the blog and let me know :-) 

Posted by Nathan Kranzo on January 02, 2017. 4 Comments

A great self working card trick to try!!!

 I got tons of great feedback from my blog post yesterday about self working card magic.

 Lots of people replied and mentioned some really great card tricks that you want to look up :-)

 Please go back and look at the original blog post to see all of the posts that people made. There is some great information there.


Michael M. Breggar  writes a column for the IBM Linking Ring magazine and was nice enough to contribute this great self working card trick that originally appeared in the Linking Ring. Enjoy!



By Michael M. Breggar
“Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana,” Groucho Marx observed.
This column began one year ago… where did the time go? I’ve received so many nice emails from you, I am truly humbled. So, I am going to celebrate the One Year anniversary of Auto-Magic by giving away one of my favorite effects. I have used it as a closer for years. One normally associates a “closer” effect as one which is the topper of all the other effects. Ironically, Drawn Conclusion is not the ultimate brain-buster by any means. Most magicians will think they can perform the exact same effect a myriad of different ways … that is, until they start to think about what they had just seen. And how the cards are in the spectator’s control through almost the entire effect. And with no sleights yet!
I had been playing around with a few methods to achieve this effect. Most of them involved sleights, but I soon realized I could have the same impact using this non-sleight method (which germinated from card location ideas from Richard Osterlind to similar thinking in several older publications including Hugard’s Encyclopedia of Card Tricks and others). Drawn became the closer I would use after I did some pretty heavy-duty mentalism or card effects. I wanted to end on a humorous, upbeat note. I wasn’t after the ultimate puzzler. My “test” spectators were indeed puzzled, but they also laughed, as the outcome was totally unexpected and really very funny.
“Drawn Conclusion”
The celebrated magician, after performing a few effects, some with cards, picks up the deck once again and gives it a good riffle shuffle or two. “We are going to try something different here. See if you possess some extra-sensory abilities.”
You spread the cards casually face up, addressing your selected assistant. “You don’t see any pattern here, do you? They are pretty well mixed, right?” You now flip the deck face down and ribbon spread them. “Please place your finger on any one card and slide it out of the pack. Be very careful and do this slowly as I do not want you to see the card.”
Your assistant follows your instructions. After the card clears the spread, turn your palms upright as if to show them empty, and then down again as you square the deck. Carefully square the edges all even. Make a show about it as if you are obsessive about neatness! “Since I will not touch the deck again, I like to see that the cards neatly squared! Now, again being careful not to look at the card, place it neatly on top of the deck. And square everything up.”
The volunteer complies.
“Do you have any idea as to what card you selected? Think it was a red card? Black card? High or low card? Well, we are going to try to see if you can transmit the identity of the card you haven’t even seen to me. Place your fingertips on top of the card. Like you were using a Ouija Board.” Again, showing your hands completely empty you demonstrate placing the fingertips on top.

You grab a blank tablet and marking pen and boldly draw a rectangle: the start of a picture of a playing card. “I need you to concentrate hard on the selected card. Let the impulses flow from your fingers to your brain, then to me. And I will draw exactly what those impulses tell me.”
You draw a little, get impulses a little and draw some more. Finally, “Sorry my artwork is a bit crude, but this is what I received. Looks like the King of Clubs.” You show your audience your childish rendering.
“Take a look at the card you selected.” The spectator turns over the top card and sees it is a duplicate of your drawing! A sloppy rendering of the King of Clubs! And all the other cards are normal in every way!

Indeed, no palming, no sleights are needed. Just a little bit of repositional glue and the pacing as if you were really doing telepathy.
The glue is “repositional” glue. It is available in most office supply stores and is similar to the glue used in “Post-It” notes. You’ll also need a blank playing card that matches the backs of a standard deck. Take a marking pen and draw a King of Clubs. Be as crude and silly as you want to be! Let the ink dry, then give the back of the card a good smear with the glue stick along the four edges. Use the white borders as a guide and spread the glue about ¼-inch further. Because the edges are gimmicked, the spectator will be able to handle the card at the end without fear the edges will “curl” or otherwise expose the solution. Let that sit alone for an hour or so, place it on top of the deck and you are ready to go.

If you had previously performed a few card tricks, you’ll need to get the gimmick to the top. You could have the card in your jacket pocket and while finishing your previous effect, nonchalantly remove it and place it on top of the deck. Just remember the back of the card is very tacky. You may want to cover it with a Joker that you’d peel off quickly and leave behind (that is what I do. I have the deck in the card case with the Joker on top of my sticky King. As I remove the cards from the case, I pull the Joker off and toss it face up on the table. I say nothing about it…just begin the effect.)
With the sticky King on top, you could easily perform a few riffle or overhand shuffles while maintaining said King on top of the deck. And no one will notice or suspect the glue on top.
When you spread the cards to show how they are all different, you are also showing your audience that this is a “normal” deck and that the cards are not in any predetermined order. Just be careful not to flash Ol’ Sticky on top!
When the spectator places their card on top, it will adhere nicely to the sticky force card. Still, you take no chances and press the cards together a bit when you demonstrate how to place the fingertips on top of the deck.
Keep the deck nice and square when you square it up. The edges of the sticky card must align with the selected card. If you have any doubts that the cards are fully aligned, you may wish to turn over the top card yourself. I have performed this trick dozens upon dozens of times and never had a problem. And never once did the volunteer suspect they were turning over two cards!

Follow the presentation used above and really play up the mind transference bit. Your audience will have no idea where this ends up, because everyone will be expecting the card turned-over to be the “regular” KoC. Trust me, you’ll get lots of laughs with the applause. Drawn Conclusion is highly satisfying and a joy to perform.

Even after a year, Michael loves hearing from you! Send your thoughts and your Auto-Magic trick ideas to

Posted by Nathan Kranzo on December 29, 2016. 5 Comments

Self Working Card Magic / Tom Osborne and Lu Brent

I love card magic.

I love card tricks.  Nothing is more satisfying knowing you can give astonishment and magic feelings to someone with a few pasteboards. 

The last few years I have been addicted to SELF WORKING CARD MAGIC.  The Semi Automatic series put out by Steve Beam is a gold mine.  The Self Working Card Magic books put out by Karl Fulves are another gold mine.  The most recent release from John Bannon is great too!

There are other collections of self working tricks by Stanyon, Jordan, Annemann and the list goes on for miles. 

I recently released a download through Ellusionist called Self Working Card Magic with some of my creations. Two of my favorites are the Card Thru Shoe and a self working Ace Production that happens by spectator's own hands.

But, I honestly believe I have created some of my BEST Self Working Card Magic most recently.  I have a new collection of about a dozen effects that I'm in love with and can't wait to share with you.

Something I absolutely LOVE is finding a new card trick that is either VERY CLEVER, HAS A NEW METHOD, OR A NEW/FRESH PLOT.

I recently read this really cool card trick called "Match It" by Tom Osborne and Lu Brent. 

The idea is soooo clever and simple. 

Get any four of a kind, say the four kings, together and force one of them, cutting the others to the top of the deck.  Turn your back, while the card is being displayed, taking this opportunity of pushing the three other kings up your sleeve or under your belt/in your waste-band. 

Hand the deck to the spectator, have him replace his card, shuffle the deck vigorously and hand the cards to you behind your back.  State that you are going to attempt to find the chosen card and the three that match it......with the cards behind your back.  Face forward and pull the three kings back out of your sleeve and onto the deck and bring forward the top king and place it on the table face down. 

Now false shuffle and cut and lay the second king down.  Repeat so there will be three kings on the table. Repeat the false shuffle and deal an indifferent card to make four cards total.  Three kings and one indifferent card.  

At this point state that you believe you are correct but that you would like to check up before continuing.  Fan rapidly through the deck, locate the 4th king, bring it to the top and blandly announce that you have indeed been successful. 

Ask the spectator to name his card, pick up the 4th king from the top of the deck, flip over the indifferent card, executing a MEXICAN TURNOVER SWITCH and continue flipping over the other three with the indifferent card. 


what a great trick right???  The idea of sleeving the cards, or putting them in your back pocket even, is brilliant.  Not only is it a great way to control the cards but there is always that moment when you turn around "while they look at their card and show it around".  This moment is always a great moment to do something sneaky because they are not paying attention to you at all.

SO.  My goal, and my challenge to you is this.

Can we take out the Mexican Turnover?  Can we make it self working?

One of my favorite solutions to a problem like this is to eliminate the move and replace it with a unique subtlety, unique movement or unique presentation twist.

There is really no wrong answer.  But lets have some fun!!!  I'll post my thoughts and solution in a day or two.  : )  Have fun!!! : )


Posted by Nathan Kranzo on December 28, 2016. 13 Comments
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