Erdnase and Expert At The Card Table

Mar 16, 2023
5
2
Ok, so I'm sure this has been asked before but I just have to know what is with all the hype when it comes to "Erdnase" and "Expert At The Card Table"? I have a copy (K.C.Cards Co.) as well as the "Annotated" version by "Darwin Ortiz" and I guess I'm missing something because I pick it up try and absorb it's contents and then pick up something like "Card College" or even "Royal Road" for that matter and just feel like "Expert At The Card Table" is antiquated, outdated and bordering obsolete. Now this is only my opinion, (and of course it means nothing) but I am curious as to why we are so fascinated by this person and his book? More importantly, why should I spend time studying it, or why would I want to, when I feel it certainly could be better spent on numerous publications starting with the ones mentioned above?

What is the mystique with this person and his book?

Should I be readying it for other reasons than developing technique and skill with a deck of cards?

What am I missing here?

I'm not trying to be a wise-ass and I truly would like some input and opinions on this because maybe I'm just not readying it for the right reasons and because of that, I am not finding the treasures I so often hear about.

Thanks
 
I think a lot of people like it at read it because changed card magic and sleights forever. Also people are fascinated with the author and how mysterious he is. It also has some really good content. Me personally I like the sleights and gambling moves more than the magic tricks. I just feel like a lot of people like it because it is a classic. I like the content of the book but I guess it is not for everyone though. I hope that helps.
 
Mar 16, 2023
5
2
Thank you very much for the response, I really appreciate it .

I guess this leads me to my next question:

Is taking the time to learn all those "gambling sleights" and "moves" going to make you a better magician?

I mean when you look at someone like Ricky Jay for instance, did he study "Expert At The Card Table"?
 
It depends on what you want to do. If you want to learn really hard sleight of hand and do gambling demonstrations then yes. If you want to do only self-working tricks then no. Not to say this book doesn't benefit the reader if they are like that but the material will probably only be used by the 1st person.
 
Mar 16, 2023
5
2
I'm going to sit back down with the "regular version" instead of the annotated and give it my full undivided attention. I think some of my problem is, I'm so used to some of my favorites like "Royal Road", "Steranko On Cards", and "Card College" with all of the beautiful illustrations and information handed to you.

Maybe thats some of the problem. I'm expecting "Expert At The Card Table" to do the same thing and have never really sat down with it and gave it the chance to do so.
 
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WitchDocIsIn

Elite Member
Sep 13, 2008
5,885
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Ricky Jay absolutely read EATCT. If you watch Ricky Jay and His 52 Assistants, the trick he does with the queens is a variation of a trick taught in that book called The Exclusive Coterie.

Erdnase and Expert at the Card Table is famous because it was one of the first books that really broke down sleight of hand with cards. It also got a big boost because of Dai Vernon who really liked it and was massively influential in the magic world.

If you want to do gambling demonstrations, then it's a good book to study. There's a couple good tricks in there, too. However, a lot of the information will be a bit out dated since it was written in the early 1900s.

For me the value in EATCT is that you can see the foundations of almost all modern card magic in those pages. I also think it's description of the pass is the most effective one I've read.
 

RealityOne

Elite Member
Nov 1, 2009
3,744
4,076
New Jersey
just feel like "Expert At The Card Table" is antiquated, outdated and bordering obsolete.

Agreed.

It also got a big boost because of Dai Vernon who really liked it and was massively influential in the magic world.

It was pretty much forgotten before Vernon's promotion of it.

For me the value in EATCT is that you can see the foundations of almost all modern card magic in those pages.

I guess the appeal for me is the historical value. I agree that there are better sources to learn from.
 
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