Cards vs Coins

May 21, 2011
162
1
Bedford, England
The real battle in magic!! I have been performing tricks with both cards and coins but i want to know..........
cards or coins?? Which one is more entertaining? Which one do you think you enjoy more when performing? The ultimate answer to the ultimate question. YOU DECIDE!!
 

Luis Vega

Elite Member
Mar 19, 2008
1,798
197
35
Leon, Guanajuato Mexico
luisvega.com.mx
The real battle in magic!! I have been performing tricks with both cards and coins but i want to know..........
cards or coins?? Which one is more entertaining? Which one do you think you enjoy more when performing? The ultimate answer to the ultimate question. YOU DECIDE!!

I think is by way too far the ultimate question...both are great, I have seen routines in both that are way too amazing...I think it goes which do you prefer...I gotta admit, coins are better in the way that is more natural to carry coins on you and perform...but pretty much both have great potential...
 
Nov 27, 2009
456
3
I like what Helder says, "A deck of cards is one item with infinite possibilities." I don't see that with coins. I say cards win here, but that's biased because I've been doing magic with cards a lot longer than magic with coins.
 
Feb 12, 2011
126
0
At my Computer
I like coins and cards but I have to agree with YRAMagicMan. A deck of cards has much more possibilities than coins. The other side of that and you can borrow coins and audiences like that. From audience members perspective coins are most likely perferred but from a magician of my style I think that cards have are more practical and with practice can be made just as impressive as coins.
 
Oct 11, 2007
278
2
I agree with JButterfield in a sense here. Coins can be simple, elegant, and absolutely mindblowing when handled by a well practiced magician. But it goes south without practice and without creativity.

Cards can twist the way you think and challenge the spectator's perception. But when card effects are performed without practice and preparation, they can be cringe-worthy to watch as well.

Both have strengths and both have weaknesses. In the end, I would like to think that they pretty much balance each other out. It just depends on which the magician likes to perform better, and if he or she likes both, all the power to them. Like anything, both will create amazing effects and experiences for the audience, it all depends on how they are used, and more importantly how WELL they are used.

I hope this helps straighten some things out or at least give others a good perspective on magic as a whole, because that is how it is with all areas of magic.

-emagician
 
Apr 2, 2011
129
0
Chicago, IL
You don't have to pick. I think Eric Jones is a great example of this. He is phenomenal with both cards and coins, and his shows involve both.

If someone held a gun to my head and I had to pick, I would pick cards because that is what I am most interested in. However, each spectator will have a different opinion.
 
Sep 30, 2009
272
0
47
Elkhart, IN
Props are just, props. It is the entertainer that brings them to life.

Very well said. Just like with any prop, you either entertain or you fall on your face. I also think when you talk about magic; "cards" are the first thing you think about. (I do like coins too but also like every day item magic)
 
Feb 4, 2008
959
2
Not to be a jerk but I think it is kind of a dumb question. Obviously David Roth will create a more enthralling demonstration with coins, where as we all remember Ed Marlo more for his card work(though he published ideas with both). Every major magic forum has a card section and a coin section for a reason. These are the two building blocks for sleight of hand magic. It is fine to specialize in on or the other(cards strike my fancy more than coins) but you should study both. Coin work translates better into other small object manipulations (i.e. Key magic, ring magic, Dice...etc) but card skills translate nicely into other forms of billet work. Ever notice how many big name mentalists were also known as good "card men?" Ted Annemann, Luke Jermay, and Derren Brown, just to name a few. On the flip side some of the best inventors of magic with everyday objects have been known as great coin workers. Jay Sankey is probably the best example of that, but even some of the younger guys like Craig Petty share the coin lineage.

I guess the overall point is that unless you have the dedication, creative gift, and raw talent to be "one of the best" card or coin workers in the world you wont be able to make a career (amateur or professional) out of just one or the other. You will need to diversify a bit.
 
May 21, 2011
162
1
Bedford, England
Thanks for replys guys!! I've read through them and some people are saying 'what is the point of the question?' and 'this is a pretty stupid question' and all sorts.
Well, the point to this thread is that my magic buddys are saying i perform too much card magic and too little coin magic (by the way, these people perform BOTH coin and card magic in an even share) and i agree with them. If i was to put everything i know on a DVD and sell the DVD with all the appropriate gimmicks, 90% of the buyers would be card guys and most of the gimmicks will be for card magic.
All i'm asking is.... Is it okay to perform a lot of the same type of magic or should i mix it up a bit more? I remember buying a Michael Ammar DVD teaching some beginner tricks and i vividly remember him saying 'If your audience start to look like this: :/ you should put the deck of cards away and perform a coin trick because you have shown too many card tricks'. This has made me question myself and my act and whether i should edit it or leave it the same. So, i came to the forums to resolve this problem.
Hope that has cleared out the air.
 
Feb 4, 2008
959
2
Yes I think it cleared things up a bit. Certainly when performing you probably want to mix it up a bit so in that sense your friends are correct. That doesn't mean you have to practice 50/50. In a performance to a lay audience you really don't need to be doing the best coin effects in the world and the best card effects. What I mean is that in a small set of magic, say 10 minutes, you have enough time to do a few tricks. Lets say you are doing three tricks. You want to start strong and end stronger. It is okay if there is one effect that is not "wet your pants in amazement" good. So lets say you have an outstanding effect, and excellent effect, and a good effect(I will assume you won't be doing a bad effect so we will leave "I-Float" out of this). You would then probably structure your routine with the excellent effect first, the good effect next, and your outstanding effect as your climax. Now this is a long winded way to point out that if your strength and passion is in cards then that is fine. To please the spectators, and break up your act so that it isn't just one card effect after another, you only need to practice and study coins enough to have a few "good" coin effects.

I hope that kind of made sense. Here is a living example. This is Lee Asher's "Three Styling" It is basically 3-fly with poker chips. It took me a few weeks to get down. Serious coin guys would likely have lots of issues, my hands are not fluid throughout the entire routine, but for lay audiences this plays really well. It is not my strongest stuff but I use it so I can "break up" card sets. It also makes a lot more sense breaking up card sets with poker chip magic than coin magic, though essentially the two are one in the same. http://vimeo.com/8453545

So ultimately my point is, practice and perform what you love but learn enough of the other so you can add just enough variety to your act so you don't bore your spectators.
 
Jun 30, 2011
11
0
Thanks for replys guys!! I've read through them and some people are saying 'what is the point of the question?' and 'this is a pretty stupid question' and all sorts.
Well, the point to this thread is that my magic buddys are saying i perform too much card magic and too little coin magic (by the way, these people perform BOTH coin and card magic in an even share) and i agree with them. If i was to put everything i know on a DVD and sell the DVD with all the appropriate gimmicks, 90% of the buyers would be card guys and most of the gimmicks will be for card magic.
All i'm asking is.... Is it okay to perform a lot of the same type of magic or should i mix it up a bit more? I remember buying a Michael Ammar DVD teaching some beginner tricks and i vividly remember him saying 'If your audience start to look like this: :/ you should put the deck of cards away and perform a coin trick because you have shown too many card tricks'. This has made me question myself and my act and whether i should edit it or leave it the same. So, i came to the forums to resolve this problem.
Hope that has cleared out the air.

I think that if your audience starts to look unimpressed it's probably the quality of your cards effects and more importantly the quality of your presentation that is lacking. When I first started out I remember quite frequently being asked if I could do anything else except card tricks. I guess because I didn't know much about how to perform and didn't really connect with my audience so they saw what I was doing as a stream of card tricks and naturally got bored after a while. Now that I've become much more confident with my audiences and can engage with them they're asking for more after a full set of 6 - 7 card effects. It's been a very long time since i've been asked if I can do anything else. If you're really connecting with your audience the effects you're performing almost become secondary and simply a matter of personal preference.

As for the cards vs coins thing, watching card magic was what inspired me to get started in magic, it seemed to have endless possibilities and could genuinely shock me and leave me with no idea how what I just saw was possible. Coins just never did that for me, I found coin tricks briefly amusing, occasionally they were a bit of a puzzle but I could just never really care. I'm happy to watch a whole performance consisting solely of card magic but one containing just coin magic could put me to sleep, although this is certainly just a personal preference and definitely doesn't apply to everyone and i'm sure there's many performers who could entertain the vast majority of people just with coins.

Basically, if you're a good performer and connect with your audiences it doesn't matter what you're doing (up to a point, obviously an endless stream of card tricks which are essentially the same isn't going to cut it). You should start doing coin magic if it appeals to you, if not stick with the cards. When looking back on one of my performances and evaluating it, I think it was a good one if my audience would have still appreciated me being there even if I wasn't doing any magic.
 
May 21, 2011
162
1
Bedford, England
wow, these responses are so much better and much, much more helpful!! I am very grateful for the help you guys have given me with these absolutely brilliant replys. Cheers guys! :) Keep them coming!!!
 
Aug 17, 2010
411
4
This has made me question myself and my act and whether i should edit it or leave it the same. So, i came to the forums to resolve this problem

Variety is the spice of life. And too much of anything, even a good thing, is bad.

It's possible to do an act based around one prop, but it's more challenging than using several props. Changing up the props allows for different plots.
 
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