How are is it a trick deck?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by James Wise Magic, Jan 25, 2009.

  1. #1 James Wise Magic, Jan 25, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 25, 2009
    How is it a trick deck?

    Ok, we all know that as magicians, we get accused of using trick decks all the time.

    Well, I've been experimenting with custom decks like, Ghost, Shadow Masters, etc. And people always assume it's a trick deck. Well the obvious logic to that is because it looks different. Espiecally the Ghost deck, it has recieved a lot of flap when I use them, they say it's weird that the red cards have red and black suits.

    Why do they believe it a trick deck? Logically, this doesn't make sense. If we were going to use a trick deck, we would make it look exactly the same as a normal deck. Why would we make a trick deck that sticks out??? Have you ever seen a secret agent like James Bond stick out??? No. They disguise themselves to blend in, so they don't draw attention to themselves.

    I know I'm saying this from a magicians perspective, but if I thought out this logically as a laymen, I would think the same.
  2. They're looking for an explanation. They're not emotionally involved enough. This is why I never open with a card trick if I can help it.

    However, I figured out a long time ago how to cut the possibility of a trick deck from the crowd's mind. I found later that Kenton Knepper has been using similar principles for years. All it takes is a little association and a few well-placed half-truths with a splash of humor. You lead them down the garden path and put them in a place where all their default explanations have already been removed.

    Ironically, the same principles can actually be used to pass off a trick deck as a regular one.
  3. but you have to realize that laymen don't think like magicians. if it's different it could be a trick deck. they are used to seeing those trick decks at the dollar store with bright colors that shout trick deck. to them an ordinary looking deck is an ordinary deck, whereas a deck that is out of the norm instantly reminds them oh thats a trick deck. if you hand it out or let them keep it, youve solved the problems. ive never been called out for using a trick deck, maybe thats because i only use tally-ho and blue bicycles but still, you have to rid any thoughts of a trick deck before you do the trick itself.
  4. At first I agree with James but, when you think about it, tally's making sense. I agree with tally. Hand it out before you begin and after your done.
  5. Well
    as Steerpike had mentioned, people just want an explanation.
    I usually let them figure it out on their own that its not a trick deck. I do spreads with it, shuffles, let them pick out a card, etc, then they wont really find out how the deck is tricked.
    but i usually use the normal cards such as aladins and bikes, and i still get accused of using 1. so i dont really see a point anymore
  6. if you wanna make them think more, tell them it is a trick deck.
    then hand it too them and let them look at it, and there's no possible explanation
  7. I try very hard to avoid using decks that look odd in any way during my magic. I love the way they look and the often handle slightly better than a normal deck, but people are used to seeing a 'generic design' in red or blue and that is what you have to give them.

    Then again, I can pull out a deck of red bicycles still in the cellophane wrap and let them open and shuffle it for me, but if you have the right kind of spectator they will still accuse you of using a trick deck anyway. What it boils down to is that the spectator will think whatever they want to. If they can explain what they saw with anything from a trick deck or aliens coming from outer space and helping me, they will.
  8. People have accused me when I used Wynns and those are as plain as they get. I just let them check em out. Also I hint to them that I have a bunch of rare and exotic decks so that they're more understanding. I believe Justin Miller used a line about how the USPCC started making new decks when he used the Ghost deck.
  9. Here's the problem: this isn't about the magician.

    From the perspective that we as magicians want to get an effect as natural and smooth as possible, I find it extremely ironic and counter-productive that we choose to perform with custom decks. That's just like an un-natural palm or a hiccuped DL--it's detrimental to the overall effect. Even if it could be rationalized by a layman, it could also take away from the impact.

    That's why I NEVER perform with a custom deck. Wynns or Tallies only for me.

  10. It's kinda funny. I'll use custom decks for flourishing, along with any other good deck. However, when it comes to magic, I won't use certain custom decks. Like Ghost, Black Ghost, Viper Fan backs, and White Pip Black Tigers. That's because I find that people get confused by the color of the pips. They're all the same color I mean. That's all I really got on this.
  11. I'm exactly the same way. I just don't bother to try and convince spectators that it is not a trick deck. It makes much more sense to just take out your cards and go into the effect, no questions asked. Although I often begin things with the spectators shuffling the deck to give them a sense that it is not gimmicked (because they get to handle and mix the cards). If there's a set up, most of the time you can just palm it off.

    As for flourishing, I use custom cards purely for fun. If you are the only one who enjoys or understands the cards, then why not use them for just yourself? Especially if your spectators are going to be confused by the pip colors and such.

    Magic- Bikes, Tally's
    Flourishing- Ghost, Tigers, etc.
  12. Reputation, reputation, reputation. If you gain a little skill in crowd management you won't have this issue. I use custom decks nearly 100% of the time. I never get the "Is that a trick deck?" question unless I am performing for someone new. If I do, I just say "See for yourself", hand it over, and let them inspect. I then say something along the lines of "I never use trick decks. A decent magician doesn't need a trick deck to do magic. Besides, what would I do if I got caught with one? I never bother." This half truth establishes a bit of credibility right off the bat. Then you don't use much for gaffs or trick decks, and you sure as heck don't let yourself get caught. I also swap decks often. My specs get to see lots of different looking decks. With this, they don't have a reason to doubt you. If I want to use a bike svengali, start with a normal one, then do a deck switch after everyone is familiar with it.

    When it comes down to it, if you are using a normal deck, WHO CARES if people think it is fake. It just doesn't matter. Let them think it. I like what was said earlier about telling them it is a trick deck. They will be on a hunt they will never end if they think that. They just won't figure it out.
  13. Personally, I use more "normal" looking decks just to prevent people from accusing me from using trick decks.:p

  14. The Best way to break any tension with using a special design deck is to ask for someone's hand, place the cards on their outstretched hand and just say "shuffle." If they get a chance to feel and play with the cards, them as well as any other spectator "knows" it can't be a trick deck.
  15. For me personally, I want any spectator that watches me do any kind of card magic to have a great time, instead of thinking "It's probably just fixed". Though there are some people that just can't be convinced.
  16. Incorrect. I never get accused of a trick deck, and I've performed with everything: Props, Guardians, Centurions, Ghosts, Black Tigers, Vipers, Masters, etc. Arrco's, Wynns, Studs, never.

    I don't buy the argument that if you use a custom deck, or a deck that looks different, then spectators will accuse you of using a trick deck. Why? Because it doesn't happen to me.

    Here in Australia, there is no "normal" deck. Every deck I use is a "custom deck" to laypeople. According to your argument, I should get accused of using trick decks all the time. But I don't.

    Why then do people get accused of it? For starters, I think a lot of people don't know how to handle a deck naturally. That's the most obvious thing. Then, there're those magicians who just act suspicious and don't realise it. Just because they don't flash to themselves in a mirror, doesn't mean the sleight is perfected. The inkling that a sleight has been performed is just as bad as a complete flash.

    I also think it has to do with the preconception of magicians having fast fingers and consummate skill. Of course, if many magicians really practiced till they achieved this, they would not be accused of trick decks. But it's very easy for someone to say "That's a trick deck" - it's your job as a magician to rule that out, or else you have failed as a magician.
  17. I would pay to get a lecture from you :D

    And, I didn't think there was gonna be this pressure of failing when I first got into this stuff :(

    But I'm the same as you, I've never been accused of using a trick deck, and I've used everything, even trick decks :D
  18. Do some flourishes right after you do a trick. Then they'll accuse you of using "tricky hands." ;)
  19. Well then its different in Australia than here. In America Bicycle is the universal deck and everyone knows and trusts it. I guess because there is no normal deck you can use anything!
    I would say that if you use a custom deck, you should pull it out and explain that it is not a trick deck, kinda like what Wayne did in Stigmata when he used a ghost deck. Personally I only use bicycles so I dont have to go through this, but before I started doing that I occasionally got accused of tricks decks so I would show them and let them handle it before going on. I did get accused when using a bicycle deck, but those girls were kinda strange, so I dont think too much of it. and after I let them handle it.
  20. Laymen doesn't really think like you ( a magician) They are looking for an explanation and they assume that It's a trick deck. It's like that by "nature"=)

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