The Royal Road to Card Magic The Official Spam- Introduction- This is a nice little two page introduction to the book, written by Paul Fleming, which basically describes what you will be able to do after learning from this book, and also points you towards the right direction for some other good learning sources. Preface- This is three page letter to the reader of the book, written by the authors themselves, and quickly goes over the importance of presentation, and some ethics that all magicians, beginners and experts, should uphold. The Overhand Shuffle- This is a very common way to shuffle the cards, and doesn't require much practice to do effectively. Although it is simple in nature, there are many different effects that you can perform knowing only this simple shuffle. This chapter also has the following sections: -Execution of the Overhand Shuffle -Controlling the Top Card -Controlling the Bottom Card -Retaining the Top and Bottom Cards in Position -Top Card to Next to Bottom and Back to the Top -The Run -The Injog -The Undercut -Overhand Shuffle Control -Retaining Top Stock -Overhand False Shuffle -Overhand Shuffle Practice Routine Tricks With the Overhand Shuffle- Topsy Turvy Cards- You place one half of the cards face to face with the other half, and with just a snap of your fingers, the cards have righted themselves back to their original state. This is a nice little effect, but the modus operandi has absolutely nothing to do with the overhand shuffle. A Poker Player's Picnic- You have the spectator cut the cards into four different packets, and upon turning over the top cards in each of these packets, you find that the spectator has cut to the four Aces. This is the "Spec Cuts to the Aces" method that I used for about a year, and I like it. However, it is mostly self-working, and without the right presentation, the audience may figure it out. A Pocket Discovery- You have a spectator select a card, and place it back into the deck. You then continue by shuffling the deck (Overhand style, of course), and placing it into the spectator's chest pocket. You then have the spectator name out any number they would like, and you draw out that many cards from the top of the deck. The last card you pull out is, of course, their chosen card. This effect may seem very difficult, but in reality, it is not. Telepathy Plus- You deal down a row of five cards, and have the spectator merely think of one of them. You gather the cards up, and shuffle them into the pack. You then hand the spectator the deck, and have them name their card out loud. They then deal the number cards onto the table equal to the value of their selected card. For example, if their card was the Five of Clubs, they would deal down five cards, and the fifth card would be the Five of Clubs. This is, IMO, a great mentalism effect, but I don't use it very often, because it does require a bit of memorization. Thought Stealer- In this effect, you lay down five random cards, and once again have the spectator merely think of one of them. You gather them up, and shuffle them into the deck. Next you place them into your pocket, and ask the spectator to name their card. At this part of the effect, I usually patter about how I can feel the ink on the cards, and as I'm finishing saying this, I pull their card out of my pocket. This is honestly one of my favorite effects in the book, and I use it all the time. Pinkie Does It- You have the spectator freely select a card, replace it in the deck, and then you shuffle the cards. Their card then mysteriously rises out of the middle of the deck. At the end of the effect you can show them the sides of the deck to prove that the card really did come right out of the middle. I used to use this effect, and still do time to time, but I now have the Rising Card Deck, which is IMO better, because you can actually watch the card coming out of the middle of the deck. A Card and a Number- You have one spectator, while your back is turned, whisper a number to another spectator. You then ask them to silently deal that number of cards onto the table, and look at the card they stopped at. You then have them replace the card onto the deck. You then shuffle the deck, and ask the spectator to reveal their number. You deal that many cards onto the table, and, of course, the last card you deal down is their selected card. The Riffle Shuffle- This is yet another common way to shuffle the cards, but, once again, many things are possible using this. Also, IMO, this shuffle looks much more fair than the Overhand Shuffle. Some other sections in this chapter are: -Riffle Shuffle Control -Retaining a Card at the Top of the Deck -Retaining the Bottom Card or Cards -Riffle Shuffle in the Air Tricks With the Riffle Shuffle- An Instinct for Cards- First off, you have the spectator cut the cards to anyplace in the deck, look at the card they cut to, return it to the deck, and replace the "cut" packet. Then, you have them riffle shuffle the deck a few times, and yet you are still able to find their selected card. When I first read the description of this effect, I thought that it would take a lot of memorization, and the method would be very hard. However, I was wrong, and I now love this effect. However, the only setback is that it does require a tad bit of setup... but that should not stop you from performing this effect. Mirror of the Mind- Essentially, this is the same effect as above, but without as much setup. The method is not as "clean", but it works. However, I would still rather spend the thirty seconds setting up the previous effect, and have the better outcome of the two. Ultra Card Divination- You write down a prediction, and place it to the side. You then have the spectator select a card, and naturally, it matches your prediction. This is a very powerful mentalism effect, however, I had forgot about it, and haven't used it in a long time. I will definitely be practicing this one in the next couple of weeks.