The Logistics Behind Signed Cards

Discussion in 'Magic Forum' started by ScwallerCards, Jan 9, 2019.

  1. Hello!

    I've been doing magic for a little while, but I wouldn't consider myself an expert, yet. I only do card magic, and I am not very good at using other props. I have seen how much of an impact having a spectator sign their card can have, and I'm going to start including it in my routine. Before I do, however, I'm not sure how to go about it. Do I have another deck that I refill cards from? Do I not replace them at all? Do I even need to bother having them sign it? I am still in middle school, so I can't just go and buy decks whenever I want, I'm stuck with the ones I have. I'm open to any suggestions on what I could do.


  2. Great questions!

    The tricks in which I normally have a card signed employ a prepared card that I am going to force and am already willing to part with. These cards are not normally in my deck; they are added when I am gearing up to perform the trick they are designed for.

    When I want unprepared cards to be signed (not all that often) I usually replace them right away because I just like to keep a full deck. For this, I have an extra deck in my bag. That's just me though because I'm bothered knowing there is a card missing from my deck.

    Having a card signed can really elevate a trick. The Anniversary Waltz, Card on Ceiling, and Card to Wallet are tricks that are strengthened by a signature. I would go as far to say that those tricks would only be hindered if they were NOT signed. Some tricks though like The Ambitious Card or even Your Signed Card do still hold up without a signature. You can decide for yourself what works best for you.

    I just want to throw in something if I may: There is a school of thought that if you are doing a Torn and Restored card trick and are having it signed, then forcing the card is just dead time. You can simply just pull out the card from the deck and have it signed from there since the emphasis is more on their signature rather than the identity of the card. If this is the case for you, you can simply have a spare deck and replace the card once you're done.

    What tricks were you thinking of doing that would require having the card signed?
    RalphB2, RealityOne and JoshL8 like this.
  3. As @DominusDolorum said, think about whether it is important to have the spectator sign a card. If the sole reason is to prove that there are no duplicate cards in the deck, then I don't think signing the card is necessary because most of the time, there isn't a duplicate card in the deck. Why go through the effort to disprove something that isn't true? The question is does signing the card improve the effect?

    One of my signature effects is to have a card selected from a deck shuffled by the spectator and returned to the deck. The spectator holds onto the deck. The card then disappears from that deck and reappears in an empty gin bottle that another spectator is holding. The card is not signed and nobody in the audience questions that the selected card is the same card that appears in the bottle.
  4. I'm not sure what tricks I would be doing, I was just wondering what you guys thought about it.
    Thanks for your reply!
  5. I go through a deck about every 2 hours. Both because i have cards signed/destroyed and just because the deck becomes dirty and unuseable after a while. I personally just carry 2 decks on me and perform until the deck starts running low. Then I switch out the deck for the other.

    As for the need to have a card signed, I would say save it for the big tricks where the card ends up in an possible location. This way they know you didnt plant a dupe there before. Tbh, I see a lot of signed card effects where the card being signed has little to no impact on the effect.
  6. Like all the experts said above, the signed card is more of a precaution. People rarely doubt that there's a duplicate, but you might get one or two people who just think you have two of everything as their mind reasons that to be the only way. Having a spectator sign a card just removes that as a possible explanation in the spectators' minds.

    A fun trick, if overused, you can do with signed cards is "French Kiss" by Wayne Houchin. I think it's one of the most perfect card effects out there, but unfortunately the popularity of "magicians" performing it on shows like AGT and DisturbReality exposing it as his own trick means that you'll most definitely have to change the presentation and method a little bit (top change right into the fold rather than a double lift if you catch my drift) so that it's not immediately recognizable.

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