4 Basic Trick Decks That Every Magician Should Have

Thursday, October 1, 2009 | | 8 comments

Svengali Viper Fan Back


To be be able to perform a variety of card tricks, a magician should not just settle with his basic deck of cards. Here are 4 basic trick decks that you should start with:

1. Normal Bicycle Playing Cards - Okay, this is not a trick deck. I have to include this in the list as to emphasize the brand that you should use for the most common card tricks. The Bicycle brand of deck is the standard deck for magicians and laypeople alike. Nothing fancy about this deck and probably you own one right now as you could purchase this deck not just on magic shops but on nearby convenient stores or supermarkets as well. Just be sure you are buying the genuine Bicycle playing cards. This deck is available in 2 colors, the red back and the blue backed but there is no difference in quality between the two colors. The deck is also available in poker-sized and bridge-sized deck. Poker-sized deck is considered as the standard size for cards used in card tricks. Bridge-sized deck is slightly smaller than the poker-sized which is 2-1/4" wide, there are times where bridge-sized deck gives a fair advantage for some card tricks.

2. Svengali Deck - The Svengali Trick Deck consists of 26 different ordinary cards and 26 short cards all of the same suit and value. The latter may be narrower as well as shorter, but short duplicates only are generally used. The pack is set up by arranging the two sets alternately, thus every other card from the top is a card of the same suit and value.

The Svengali Trick Deck has been in popular use for many years and in the hands of the right person it can be used to work miracles. There is a lot more that can be done with the svengali deck, and what's better is that you don't even need to know serious sleight of hand in order to put it to good use since it does most of the hard work for you. If you do possess advanced card handling skills, then you can handle this deck like a regular deck of cards and no one will be any the wiser. I personally use Svengali Black Tiger - Black

3. Stripper Deck - The Stripper Trick Deck is usually one of the most under-utilized concepts conceived of in the psychology of magic. This deck allows the magician to easily control the location of a card or group of cards within the pack. Even after being shuffled into the deck by a spectator, the magician can cut to a selected card; or after being lost in different parts of the deck, the magician can control multiple cards to the bottom or top of the deck with a few innocent shuffles. This deck is cut in sort of a subtle 'triangular' shape. meaning the top is wider than the bottom. therefore, if a card is place in upside down, the wider end of the card now matches with the decks lower end, thus making it easy to locate or even slip the card right out of the middle of the deck. The following tricks can be easily performed with the stripper trick deck:

* Locate the Aces instantly, even after the deck is shuffled
* Use it to control a card instantly to the top or bottom of the deck.
* Set the deck up ahead of time and be able to INSTANTLY separate red from black cards
* Be able to cut to any predicted card.

Check out the Black Tiger Standard Stripper - White

4. Marked Deck - The name of the deck says it all. The Marked Trick Deck has a subtle mark on the decorative side of the cards. Usually the mark is placed in a certain position to indicate the number of the card and the mark is a certain color or shape to indicate suit. This deck is usually used for mentalism effects and also for an easy way of forcing a card.


Coin in Glass Trick: The Outer Limits

Saturday, September 26, 2009 | | 5 comments


World Easiest Magic Trick - Funny blooper videos are here

Here's a new variation of coin in glass (kinda new method to me). It's a very similar routine with "Factory Sealed - Coin in Bottle" by Justin Miller in which I am more familiar with. The magician have called this the outer limits. I can say it's a superb innovation that he has done for this trick that made it more impromptu trick friendly.

This coin through glass trick is based on refraction principle that had made the coin inside the glass invisible. The main objective for this trick is for the hidden coin inside the glass to appear and the coin outside of the glass to disappear and when performed accordingly, can create an amazing illusion of a borrowed coin penetrating inside of a glass. The most important thing to be minded of for this trick is your angle. This trick is usually performed with a small audience of which should be inside the perimeter of your 11 to 1 o'clock angle.

But there is a bit of problem that I have found for this trick. It's the ending part of making the coin outside of the glass vanish or the way he disposes off of the coin which is very crucial part of the trick, your clean up part. You can't just drop it off on the floor or behind the table, you'll surely be busted by your spectators. For this part, you can use the techniques provided in Factory Sealed - Coin in Bottle. Justin Miller had used 5 methods for the vanish part that gives a very clean effect and leaves no trace of doubt but only amazement with your audience.

Vanish methods used are:

1. Retention clip vanish

2. Reel vanish

3. Phantom pick

4. Sleeve it

5. Back flip

Just check out the Factory Sealed video tutorial at Ellusionist for these vanish methods as this has been demonstrated one by one and step by step that you could easily do.


"Magic lives in a lawless world.. and in that world, exists the extraordinary.. the perfect visual miracle.. seen by so few, desired by so many.."

David Blaine - What is Magic? Premieres on AXN Asia

Wednesday, September 23, 2009 | | 6 comments


David Blaine is Back with the 9th installment of the immensely popular street magic show entitled What is Magic. David Blaine, known to be a professional magician, illusionist and endurance artist would present more new mind-blowing tricks including one of the most dangerous - "The Bullet Catch"

What is Magic premieres on September 24, 2009 at AXN Asia, 09:00pm (Singapore & Philippines).

Here's the intro excerpt:

"What is Magic? The power of magic is not in the trick we think we see... It's the act itself... The image a magician creates... The way it makes us feel... That certain sense of childlike wonder..."

Impromptu Magic: The Magical Pen And Disappearing Coin

Monday, September 21, 2009 | | 0 comments


Magic Pen & Coin Trick -- powered by eHow.com

Skill Level: Intermediate

Here's an impromptu magic trick that you could do at home or at the office. This is one of my favorites whenever I don't have my deck of cards or any gadgets with me. You just need a magical pen (Okay, it's an ordinary pen with cap) and a coin. The "magical pen" serves as your magic wand to make the coin disappear. This trick takes a little bit of practice and patience.

Several pointers to remember is to hold the pen at the tip. This used to be one of my mistakes upon doing this trick, as I used to hold it somewhere near the end that can cause the pen & coin to produce a "tick" sound upon catching the coin, as the coin hits the end of the pen. Holding the pen at the tip prevents the exposure of pen from being hit. Another one is to be careful with the flipping of the pen, be sure to make it look natural. Keep the coin properly palmed to avoid unnatural actions.

Mental Magic Trick: The Mathmagic Dice Deception

Saturday, September 19, 2009 | | 1 comments

Here's a cool magic trick (sort of) that you could do as an ice breaker while playing your favorite board game with your friends or family. (Just be sure you're using dice with your board game, snakes and ladders perhaps)

Effect: The magician reads the spectator's mind

Materials: Dice

Magic Secret: Whilst the magician's back is turned (or blindfolded), the spectator throws a die on the table. The spectator is then asked to remember the number thrown and then to make another throw. Tell the spectator to double the first number he threw and to add five to the answer. The spectator has now to multiply his answer by five and then add on the second number thrown. Ask the spectator to tell out loud the total number he has reached. The magician then mentally subtract 25 from the answer he gives. The magician will then end up with a two digit number - The first digit is the first number thrown and the second is the second number thrown.

The spectator is then asked to look into the magician's eyes and pretend to be reading his mind. With a little bit of concentration and a grade school math, the magician tells the spectator the numbers he trew.

Here's an example:

1st Number: 3
2nd Number: 5

1. Double the first number: 3 x 2 = 6
2. Add five to the answer: 6+5 = 11
3. Multiply answer by 5: 11 x 5 = 55
4. Add the second number: 55 + 5 = 60
6. Ask the spectator to tell out loud the total number: 60
7. Mentally subtract 25 from the total number: 60 - 25 = 35
8. Answer: 3 & 5

Just remember to always use dice and not just let the spectator think of 2 numbers as this adds more misdirection and dice deception.

David Blaine Coin Bite Trick Revealed

Tuesday, May 5, 2009 | | 2 comments



Coin bite is one of the extremely effective trick done by David Blaine. A coin was bitten and a piece was removed. The missing piece of the coin was then restored after David Blaine seemingly spat out at it. The trick? Go to your nearest magic shop or suppliers to get this cleverly engineered coin. You could easily figure out how it was done and the only skill that you would need for coin bite is a bit of acting skill which every magician should have.

7 Basic Principles of Magic by Penn and Teller

Tuesday, April 21, 2009 | | 1 comments



One of the first tricks in Penn and Teller's Las Vegas show begins when Teller—the short, quiet one—strolls onstage with a lit cigarette, inhales, drops it to the floor, and stamps it out. Then he takes another cigarette from his suit pocket and lights it.

No magic there, right? But then Teller pivots so the audience can see him from the other side. He goes through the same set of motions, except this time everything is different: Much of what just transpired, the audience now perceives, was a charade, a carefully orchestrated stack of lies. He doesn't stamp out the first cigarette—he palms it, then puts it in his ear. There is no second cigarette; it's a pencil stub. The smoke from the first butt is real, but the lighter used on the pencil is actually a flashlight. Yet the illusion is executed so perfectly that every step looks real, even when you're shown that it is not.

These are the 7 Basic Principles of Magic used by Penn and Teller in this trick:

1. Palm - To hold an object in apparently empty hand.

2. Ditch - To secretly dispose of an unneeded object.

3. Steal - The opposite of ditch, to secretly obtain a needed object.

4. Load - To secretly move the needed object to where it is needed.

5. Simulation - To give the impression that something that hasn't happened has.

6. Misdirection - To lead attention away from a secret move.

7. Switch - To secretly exchange one object to another.

The trick is called Looks Simple, and the point is that even a puff on a cigarette, closely examined, can disintegrate into smoke and mirrors. "People take reality for granted," Teller says shortly before stepping onstage. "Reality seems so simple. We just open our eyes and there it is. But that doesn't mean it is simple."

For Teller (that's his full legal name), magic is more than entertainment. He wants his tricks to reveal the everyday fraud of perception so that people become aware of the tension between what is and what seems to be. Our brains don't see everything—the world is too big, too full of stimuli. So the brain takes shortcuts, constructing a picture of reality with relatively simple algorithms for what things are supposed to look like. Magicians capitalize on those rules. "Every time you perform a magic trick, you're engaging in experimental psychology," Teller says. "If the audience asks, 'How the hell did he do that?' then the experiment was successful. I've exploited the efficiencies of your mind."