The Rule of Three

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by christian1, Nov 19, 2009.

  1. Hey guys,

    I was just thinking about a interesting principle, that though small, I have heard alot of magicians talk about. I went a lecture by Will Houston. I asked what his favorite trick was and he said "Anything just as long as it has three phases" I thought wow he considers three phases to be really important. I also read in Michial Ammars book that he like three phases, and I have heard Jay Sankey mention it too. He calls it the rule of three.

    So I was wondering what you guy's think of the "rule of three?" should a effect have three phases? one phase? six phases? Do you guy's think a effect is not very good if it only has one or two phases? Do you guys think three phases is too many and it starts to get confusing?

    I was just curious of your thoughts. So comment away,


  2. I don't believe any effect needs three phases, there can be to many phases probably something past five or six.

    The reason they most likely like these effects is because of the presentation they build around it. It's probably easier for them to present them and like the way they are shown to a audience.

    I personally don't really care about phases as long as it's powerful and sticks to my the rest of my routine and character.

    Witness only has one phase really, but that effect is so powerful and astonishes so many. However something like Dead of Night is three phases and is absolutely incredible.

    It's just something some effects have and some don't doesn't make them any more or any less amazing.
  3. This really works.

    Johnny Ace Palmer is the first close-up magician in FISM that got the Grad Prix award (all the previous Grand Prix's were given to stage performers). Guess what his routine was based off of? The rule of three.

    This applies to magic, comedy, and pretty much everything else. Johnny Ace Palmer emphasizes this a lot in his lectures. The principle works become human nature. Anything in 3 just sort of, feels right. Lots of old saying follow the rule of three as well, such as ready, set, go and vene, vidi, vici. Stories also have 3 parts: a beginning, middle, and end.

    I've applied this to my magic and trust me, my effects now much more effective. Try this out. Take a trick with four phases and perform it. Chances are, they will love the 3rd climax much more than the 4th climax.
  4. I agree to an extent. Although most of my presentations usally have two or four phases on paper, they are linked to the point that it can still be percived to be a three phase routine.

    If you look at Daryl's ACR well the 8 or so minute one that is on youtube there is many more phases then three. However it still has a three phase feel to it. He starts of with a traditional style ACR, then goes onto a phase of eliminating cards finally he ends with the 'sleight of hand proofed' closer. Even though there lots of climaxes there is still three distinct parts to the effect.

    However on the flip side if we were to take an effect like Paul Vigil's Sympathy for the Devil. There are two phases in that piece and it plays very very strong. Luke Jermay suggests doing something that will add another phase to the effect however in performance this is not really needed. This added phase was something that adds yes an other climax however it is slightly less impressive than the first and really does nothing to add to the effect.

    So in my opinion the rule of three is important however it is not needed.
  5. Another classic example is Larry Beckers Casino royal.
  6. help!

    Hi guys! I have several questions to ask here because I'm a simple rookie eager to learn.

    1-we can say that the gift of 3 and card counting is the same?
    2-one knows or knows the technique of card counting? (if you have please share)
    3-is the same count cards when you play in a local casino or an online casino?

    I wish someone could please get me these questions because I am interested in playing at an online casino called (if you know please tell me if there worth playing) on the recommendation of a friend that I have seen as increased revenues and I think the online casino games are a good source to earn some extra money. :)
  7. Question: What do you guys consider as phases? The build up? The talking inbetween or just the acual time the effect happends or both?
  8. I don't think that it maters but what I have heard it does. Humans naturally like things in odd numbers. For example a picture of 4 cars as opposed to a picture of 5, most people will prefer the odd number picture. More towards the phsycological portion, I have no idea if it is true or not but apparently it is proven (*shrug*). Anyways, I don't think that it maters, as long as it is a good effect I wouldn't care.
  9. I think the principle of three is related to telling a story...see the story has 3 parts

    Beggining, Middle and End

    as the beggining being the introduction, the middle the actual problem or situation and the end the conclusion

    I agree that an effect can have mutiple phases, if all effects had only 3 phases the ACR would be very short..I do think that every effect should have 3 parts not only phases so it can be more a routine than just a trick

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