Need help building a great ACR routine

Aug 31, 2007
For a while I stopped working on my Ambitous card because I got frustrated and went on to other effects.

I need a little bit of help advancing my ACR.

There are too many phases in many people's ACR's it's ridiculous so I only want to keep it to at the most ..4 the most.

I just want ideas to know how to make it more powerful each time. I'm going to add presentations and story to my ACR it's just I'm calling for help to find what to do in each step.

I don't want to be redundant ..I put your card in the it's on top! lemme do it slower...I put it in the it's on top....again...again.


So far

1.Place card in center appears on top
2. Card to mouth.
3. Card to top of the deck in spectators hands..while you are holding the "bottom half"
4. Pop up Card or Pixel, using the spectator to activate


That is what I have so far and suggestions would be great. As you can see I'm really trying to involve the spectator. I aslo thought about using a phase where the wrong card appears on top and I hand them the card and they stabh wherever they want and that's where the card should be but you show that they didn't stab where their card was and the card they were holding was their card.
...Suggestions please haha

ACR routines are so customizable it's nuts.
Sep 1, 2007
sup nick

Where do you want to go with the thing? Any type of message or story you're basing this around? If you don't know what direction you're going in, how can you take the first step?
Aug 31, 2007
Yo, basically what I want to do is to start an ACR from the beginning and get the effect more powerful each time without any part of it being the same. After that I want to build just a story that fits with in each phase after I have a complete set of phases picked out.

I wanted something that gets the spectators hands in on the effect and make them feel good about themselves in the end.


Elite Member
Sep 13, 2008
The ACR is a pretty personal thing. What works for us might not work for you. The only thing I notice with what you have now is that the Pop Up and CTM are kinda sorta similar enough to be redundant, and I personally wouldn't do CTM as the second phase. I would switch 2 & 3, and end with Pixel.

Remember that YOU are what makes a routine powerful, not the phases. Therefore, what WE find powerful might not work for you.
Jan 26, 2008
Dl - show on top. Insert it again and have it rise to the top, or hand the spectator the top part of the deck before you push the card in and have it "travel" to their pack on top.
Let them freak out for a while.
Take the deck back.
James/Ellis loading move.
Wrap a rubber band around the deck and performe pixel.
Have them freak out some more.
End of trick.

Easy, can be done surrounded.

I like to keep my ACR realy short and none of the phases the same, it gets boring if you have it too long.
May 3, 2008
Hong Kong
There are is an insane amount of threads online about the ACR. just search around.
The ACR is a very personalized thing. Everyone does it differently. There isn't exactly a "bad" one perse as I'm sure audience will still love a very redundant one. It still is magic in the end.
Mine personally looks very similiar every phase but the presentation I use justifies it and allows the audience to participate so I'm fine with that.
Apr 5, 2009
i like doing the las vegas card cheat routine. i call it my acr. i tweak the presentation on the one handed pass and add a second deal demo afterwards.
Dec 7, 2009
The ambitious card routines may vary among each person dude ..some may do the Pop up move, some may even throw a One hand Pop over! But if you want to end your routine powerful you can do Lit .. or just finish your routine with Pixel.
Nov 20, 2007
Sydney, Australia
The ACR routine is most powerful when it is given some sort of meaning.

Tony Chang's is my favourite that I've seen done - he gives you a story about the nature of magic, it's very beautiful.

So the question you have to ask yourself is this: Why is the card rising to the top? What does this signify? And nothing along the lines of, the card is ambitious, the card doesn't follow orders, etc. etc. - imbue the routine with some sort of meaning, and you'll have a winner.
Aug 31, 2007
The ACR routine is most powerful when it is given some sort of meaning.

Tony Chang's is my favourite that I've seen done - he gives you a story about the nature of magic, it's very beautiful.

So the question you have to ask yourself is this: Why is the card rising to the top? What does this signify? And nothing along the lines of, the card is ambitious, the card doesn't follow orders, etc. etc. - imbue the routine with some sort of meaning, and you'll have a winner.

Yeah the reason I brought this up is because I watched Tony's ACR video. I want to get phases that get powerful each time and then add a story. I think the

"a magician did this to me" stories always go great.
Oct 12, 2009
Navarre, Florida
My current routine's -effect- is like this:

1. Ribbon spread and tell the spec they can choose any card except my card. I take my card the jack of spades and show it to them. I used a sharpie to draw on its face to look like me. I have lip piercings, glasses and a beard so this gets a bit of a laugh usually when they see it. Then I put my card in my pocket and let them pick and sign a card.

2. They place it in the middle of the deck and I reveal it on top.

3. I say I'll do it again with much fewer cards so they know what to look for this time. I put it diagonally into the deck near the bottom and cut just over 2/3rds off the top and set it to the side. I square the card up flush with the small packet, tell them to snap their fingers and their card will travel to the top of the deck and point to the small packet. They check the top of that packet and it isn't there. I say actually since the other packet is taller IT is technically the top of the deck. They turn that top card over and it is their card.

4. I put their card into the middle of the tall packet diagonally again. Take the top card from the small packet in my hand and put it in their hand then have them place their other hand on top of it. I put the small packet on top of the tall packet and square everything up. I slowly direct them to put their hands just over the deck then instruct them to bring their hands down until its just about to touch the top of the deck. I say they may feel a tingle on the back of their hands. I snap my fingers over their hands them have them check the card. Its their card.

5. I take the card back and show them that I can't rub the ink off or anything it is genuinely their card and I ask if they'd like to keep it. They say they do and I hand it to them face down and thank them for letting me practice. They look at their card and its changed into my card, they tell me as much and I say but it was just in my pocket and I still feel a card in there, I go to check and then pull the card out of my pocket which has changed into their card. I say I don't even know how that happened but offer them a trade.

I like the routine because after the initial reveal everything is happening in the spectators hands but I manage to be in control of what they do the whole time fairly well. As soon as I put the card in their hand I press my finger on top of it and keep it there until their other hand is pressed on top of it then I control their hands with my hand.

I also think the climaxes stack well as the card goes first from 'traveling' all of half an inch or so to the top of the deck, then about 8-12 inches to the top of the tall packet, then it seems to travel a greater distance because I move their hands further away from the deck for the 3rd reveal, and then my card travels from my pocket all the way to their hand while their card travels from their hand to my pocket.

I just started performing this one thursday or friday and have been getting really good reactions with it. I also have a wide enough arsenal that I can improve if someone gives me a little flack. Like I had one lady say I didn't stop when she wanted me to when I was trying the LePaul bluff pass so I dribbled the cards and had her call stop several times until she was happy, looked her in the eyes and said sorry about that I have slow reaction time while I performed a regular pass then I injogged a card and did a false overhand shuffle and was back where I wanted to be :p
Mar 6, 2008
A Land Down Under
I have always made the card come to the top twice by using bluff pass dl combo. The reason for this is the card coming to the top is an astonishing event. This often catches a spectator off guard, so when you repeat it with no moves whatsoever it really gets into their head.

From there the next phase is usally where distract from the traditional plot. Usually I would do something like the time machine under the implied context of switching cards. You could easily use the top half effect in this place, however I never really liked the idea handing half the cards to the spectator. Plus working a lot of bars does not really help much as people usally have a drink in hand maybe even a phone or purse so they cannot hold much.

For the final phase this is where I do the card teleportion theme. Usally card to mouth is a standard. Card to purse is also something I have played with a lot aswell.

That was my standard ACR for a fair while but I have not peformed it for a very long time.

Recently I have been performing a bit more magic just for friends. Now I do something along the lines of;

VST to force 4 Aces
for4for switch to control aces to top
for4for switch in the for kings throwing them aside.
Get four more selections in a similar way to the VST but fairly remove them
for4for switch them to change them into the aces.
Spectator will instantly go for the tabled cards and get startled when they are the kings.
I usally do a reset routine or something of that nature because I already have the aces and kings out.
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