How to come up with card tricks

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Magico96, Jun 22, 2017.

  1. Can any magicians out there help explain how to create card tricks?
  2. Here's what I do:
    There are a few ways I go about creating my own tricks.

    Method 1:
    I take a simple trick that I learned in a book (or elsewhere) and see how I can add to it. I add my own moves, own technique, on story, own patter, and eventually own concept, sometimes resulting in an improved trick, and other times resulting in a completely new trick. For example, I took a simple non-impromptu in the hands transpo that most people learn when they start magic and turned it into a Impromptu-Fakie-Card-to-pocket-but-not-really-in-the-hands-transpo which is so different from the original, it is essentially a new trick.

    Method 2:
    Decide what your final effect is, and reverse engineer a way to do it.

    Method 3;
    Using a move that you like or created/discovered, see what you can do with it. Keep building on that Idea until you reach an effect you love.

    Method 4:
    Just look around! Find inspiration in a completely unrelated thing, and see if you can build a plot around the thing. Then add your moves to accomplish something like it.

    There are ton more things you can do, just remember to keep experimenting and building on your effects.
  3. I usually create or expand on a routine to solve a problem. For example I may think of an idea to put a pen inside of a water bottle. I'll look it up and see if it exists. If it does, I will learn the method and if I like it or it is the best method, I use it. If i think the method can be approved upon I will do my best to improve it. If the method does not exist, I think of ways that I can achieve the desired effect.

    It is not always as easy as just thinking up a new trick. Sometimes years of testing and adjusting goes into it.
    Maaz Hasan likes this.
  4. Interesting
    Trinidad Collier likes this.
  5. I think the best routines come from an idea of a final image or feeling you want to create for the audience.

    Like, I have a trick I've been thinking about for years and have never come up with a decent enough method. I want to be able to put my hand flat on a table, door, whatever, have a card named freely, and then move my hand to reveal that card. It's a beautiful concept which is probably not possible without significant visual compromise.

    But you start from the end result, and work backwards. "How can I create this effect on the audience without compromising this visual/feeling?"

    It helps to have a lot of knowledge of methods and the ability to think sideways. Sideways thinking is a skill that can be developed, though, and knowledge comes over time while studying. A library of resources always helps speed things along because you won't have to reinvent the wheel yourself, but it's not totally necessary and some of the most creative thinkers I know in magic don't have big libraries.

    I find that when someone has a move that they like and they just try to come up with a routine using it, those routines are usually fluff. Eventually they'll come up with something that is solid if they keep at it, but generally you can tell when a routine is created just to utilize a single move - usually because it's clearly shoehorned in, and isn't the best way to do a given thing. You see this most with difficult sleight of hand that clearly took a lot of work to perfect - they put the work into it so they want to be able to use it.
    Josh Mickelson and Maaz Hasan like this.
  6. Can anybody give me a list of effects so I can get started none come to mind at this moment
  7. Welcome to the world of creating new magic.... lol
    Maaz Hasan likes this.
  8. Does anyone seriously have a list of effects?
  9. biddle triumph. Ambitious card magician vs gambler acaan card to pocket I have them on a list but dont have it on me
  10. There is a comma between biddle
    and triumph
  11. Thanks
  12. This is how to create a trick number 1 you want to decide what
    Type of trick it is going to be sandwich, mentalism, transpo etc. Say I pick mentalism so now you need a method what will it be. Card peek, marked deck, mathematical, card index, force . Or make you own sleight so after you have picked your sleight or sleights think of a trick that is in the realms of the trick type and sleights that you picked
  13. If you find the list please share
  14. Okay. Another tip is two take tricks and morph them together like triumph and sandwich or something like that
  15. If you're struggling to even think of an 'effect' you're going to really struggle!

    Meh, this is an ok suggestion, but the combo has to make sense. Very often this just results in a slightly confusing mess where the resulting combo lacks the clarity of the original two tricks. Clarity should always be an aim.

    For what it's worth, my 'tips' would be as follows:

    1. If you've only just started, don't worry about creating. You need the foundation first. It's like buying your first guitar and expecting to write a good song the next day. I've been into magic twenty years and I only 'created' my first half decent effect about 3 years ago. Point is don't be in a rush and don't try to force it.

    2. Get a good foundation. This is key. And it doesn't mean watch everything on MagicStream! Buy the books (Hugard, Scarne, Lorayne, all the usual suspects) and study them for a while. Learn everything. Then you'll have a broad enough knowledge of magic to start tinkering with ideas. If you've only got 10 Ellusionist downloads then that's not a great pool of knowledge to pull from. Without jumping to the conclusions I am going to suggest this is what you need to do, given your struggling with even recalling and effects to work on.

    3. Nobody ever suggests this but I think it is quite important: At some point you need to stop with the 'input' and just let your brain do some work. In other words, let yourself be 'bored' and let your mind wonder. We live in a world where it is so easy to constantly consume in hope of finding inspiration, but sometimes you just to need actually let your brain do some thinking. Case in point: my latest video (here) is of a routine I came up with whilst staring out the window on a very slow bus journey. My mind had nothing else to think about so wondered onto card magic and that is what I came up with, with very little 'forcing' on my part.

    4. Don't think new 'methods' is the only way you can be creative. Sometimes taking an existing method and changing the presentation can yield an entirely new routine in the eyes of an audience, and even in the eyes of some magicians. As an example, my routine 'Roy(al) Walton' (here) is basically Roy Walton's 'Oil and Queens', with very slight handling tweaks at the start, but a massive change in presentation. This changes the routine from an Oil and Water routine to a faux Gambling Demo, which also had the added benefit of allowing the trick to end clean. Nothing new in terms of methods, but a significantly different routine from the original.

    Just my two cents. Like I've said, I've been around while but only been in the 'creating' game the last five or so years. In that time though, I've published and ebook and hand numerous items published in magazines, so some of what I am doing must be working!

    Good Luck and don't forget to have fun!

  16. Maaz Hasan wrote some really great points - most of which I use myself when creating card magic and magic in general. I would like to add one more thing, that might seem obvious: experimenting. Always experiment with sleights and effects. Ask yourself questions like "what if I turned the card around and did the move", "What if I did it from that angle", "What if I do the move with more cards", What if I it in reverse" and so on. Hope you get the idea!:)

    Josh Mickelson and Maaz Hasan like this.
  17. Yes! This is crucial! Trial and error need to be 2 of your best friends. Even if something seems way to bold to try, try it. It may work.
  18. If you are asking questions like this, I'm guessing you don't have the knowledge base necessary to be creating tricks.

    My method is to read all you can and learn all you can. Eventually, you will come up with and idea and know several methods of how to do it.
    Josh Mickelson, Lindel and Maaz Hasan like this.
  19. I'm literally only quoting this to emphasize what he said, because it's completely correct.
    Lindel and Maaz Hasan like this.
  20. I do have the basic knowledge I just learn tricks and the people I learn them from don't give a name to their effects I just needed to know the effects names to distinguish what trick is what

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