Best Magic Book for a (relative) beginner

Discussion in 'Magic Forum' started by Scodischarge, Jan 7, 2019.

  1. Hi guys,
    I've been doing card sleight of hands for about 5-6 months. I've learned mostly from Daniel Madison's "How To Cheat At Cards", with the occasional tutorial from Jason England and Xavior Spades.
    Up to now I've been focusing on card cheating moves, but want to go into the more "conventional" magic now, but I'm not sure where to learn it from.
    What books would you recommend me to get? I wanted to get Ed Marlo's "Revolutionary Card Technique" but unfortunately I haven't found it anywhere for less than $100. I heard that "Card College" is quite good as well, but as I'm a guy on a budget, I wouldn't be able to get all five books at once.
    What would you recommend?

    Thank you all,
  2. PS: If you could link me a place that sells "Revolutionary Card Technique" and isn't out of stock, that would be really great.
  3. Expert card technique is a cheap book and it has a lot of tricks and slight of hand. Got it it’s really good.
    Lord_Magic likes this.
  4. Thanks! How long will that book last me? Revelations is said to "last you a lifetime" (quote from just about every review of the book). Is Expert Card Technique comparable?
  5. Magic Inc sells Revolutionary Card Technique for around $60, though I have no clue if they still have it or not.

    It isn't exactly for beginners, in fact a lot of the stuff is very advanced, but it is very good.

    Expert Card Technique will last you a long time, I'd reccomend the Royal Road to Card Magic along side it.
  6. Thanks a lot, they do sell it; don't know why I didn't find it when looking before.
    Do you think I should wait and practice a little before getting RCT? As I still want to continue with gambling sleights, I'm especially interested in his works on "Seconds, Centers and Bottoms". Would you recommend me to get that seperately?

    Finally, thanks for the recommendations. What do you think about the first two books of Card College (getting the other books as I progress)?
  7. The thing about Gambling moves is that they take a ton of time to get down. Seconds, Centers, and Bottoms is Marlo's own method of gambling moves. It will take a very very long time to perfect. It's his own grip and style, so it'll be different from Madison, England, and Spade. I haven't looked at it in a while, so someone please correct me if I'm wrong, but Marlo's grip is specific to his style and can't be mixed and matched with other gambling methods.

    If your looking for performing magic, knowing Gambling moves won't get you very far by themselves. They're good for demonstrations of skill, but you definitely need more that that to get a good performance.

    I highly suggest buying the Royal Road to Card Magic and Expert Card Technique and working through them in that order. They cover most of the basics of card magic, as well as how to perform. ECT also goes in depth into some more advanced moves, including loosely going into gambling moves.

    Card College is excellent, but if you're short on money, the Royal Road and ECT will cover almost everything in there to a lesser degree. That's not to take away from them, as they are still great books.

    Revolutionary Card Technique has a ton of great content, but it is very apparent that you need to have the basics down before doing anything in there. There are entire sections in there that will help you make the jump from beginner to a great performer. The Cops/Palms section for example, I had to go back and learn Palms and Cops again before I could even start that, just because of how much info it gives you. And I thought I had cops and palms down pat before Marlo's work taught me just how little I knew.

    RCT is excellent, but I think the Royal Road and ECT are the way to go
  8. Example Bottom Deal: That's a move I've spent a lot of time on. I learned it from Madison originally, but I had the problem that even though I could do it solidly after not too much time, it was simply too obvious if I didn't do it with great speed. Even when looking at Daniel Madison himself performing it I was able to spot the finger motion pretty easily. That's why I bought England's work on the Bottom Deal, but I had a few reservations about the method he teaches as well, as he uses a different grip for the Bottom, with which it's difficult to deal seconds.
    However, I took away what I thought would help me from both of them and kind of tried to develop a method - using what I'd already learned as guidelines - that suits me and that's as invisible as possible.
    With Marlo I'm hoping to learn more, to help me advance my Bottom (and Second, and Center) Deal. Heck, if I think it's worth it, I'll start from scratch. My question is: Is it worth it? Can I learn things from him no other could teach me?

    (Ok sorry, I've already written far too much already, and I've only started with my response. Thank you for your patience.)

    I didn't really start this hobby with performing in mind, at least not big-style. I started with gambling moves because that was the first thing I saw in that direction (Richard Turner on Penn and Teller). I looked at what I saw (or rather, what I didn't see) and thought: "That looks cool, I wanna do that." Nor for the sake of performing, simply for the sake of doing. Actually performing didn't cross my mind until later on, but up to this point I'm still doing it only because I enjoy doing it. Of course I realize I'll need more than that to perform, but the above is the reason I still want to put an emphasis on becoming better with gambling moves.

    Finally, thank you for the recommendation. You've certainly convinced me.
    Again, thank you for bearing with me.
    Maaz Hasan and JMJ like this.
  9. That's perfectly fine. You're not going to get it perfectly smooth for a while, I believe Jason England said something close to 8 years of practice before it is absolutely perfect and fooling card sharks, and a year or more before you actually start getting very good at it. I'm no good with Gambling moves as I've not delved too far into them yet, I know of the basics, and can't really do anything with them.

    Yes. But again, you will have to learn all the basics first, and probably relearn a ton of stuff. When I started reading through Seconds, Centers, and Bottoms, I literally had to relearn how to deal cards (you can find an example of this adventure of my idiot self here. I was just beginning Second Deals, and was using that with Marlo's grip) . Marlo's method is so specific to him, you need to follow pretty much everything he does. RCT is a fantastic book, it makes you look at specific sleights like you've never done before. It forces you to learn to be invisible with them in performance, not in method. It is absolutely worth it, especially since the book itself is HUGE in content compared to a lot of magic books.

    That's perfectly fine, I think a lot of people start in a similar way. However, learning to perform and knowing methods are 2 very different things. Someone could know every advanced sleight ever, but have a crap performance if they don't know what to do with it.

    Overall, RR and ECT will get you covered with the basics, and I highly recommend reading them before you start Marlo. They also aren't that expensive you can find good copies of both for way less than 10 bucks if you look in the right places (check Amazon especially).
  10. Thanks a lot, I'll definitely do that. Marlo will have to wait, but after what you've said about RCT I'm even more determined to buy it eventually :)

    1. Thanks for the info.
    2. I was grinning the whole time reading that thread -- your attempt at fixing your deal is absolutely genius! (Both as in "genius" genius and "hilarious" genius.) Made me realize that I'm not nearly as much a nerd as I thought.

    All in all, thank you! You've been of great help!

    PS: I just realized that the "nerd" comment may sound a bit harsh to people who don't know me. "Nerd" is actually one of the greatest compliments I use, so it's not meant as it sounds. Sorry about that.
    Maaz Hasan likes this.

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