The Score by Daniel Madison

Discussion in 'Product Questions and Reviews' started by houchini, Sep 8, 2010.

  1. This is my review for "the Score", Daniel Madison's new marking system for playing cards. Since I discovered Blood (also by d+M) a few months ago, I've really been into marking systems, which can be considered, in my opinion, as some of the most useful “gimmicks” available to both magicians and card players. However, I had just bought 12 Bee Stinger decks and was desperate not to have a proper marking system for them (I tried to come up with one, epic fail). Needless to say, I bought the Score the MINUT I saw it was available...

    The PDF is 15 pages long, and divided as follows :

    Avant propos
    an excerpt from The Card Cheat Journals proving, if needed, that Daniel is done being a magician (but certainly not done using his skills with cards).

    Introduction and developments
    After explaining the concept of a marked deck – and strongly advising you NOT to use one in a real game - Daniel exposes some of the techniques used to mark cards (filling, Pegging, etc...), from which he took inspiration when developing the Score marking system.

    The Score
    This is it ! Daniel explains here the system used to identify the cards. As I've said before, I made my own attempts to create such a system so I was really eager to discover Daniel's method. Well, this is pure genius !!! First of all, the Score is easy to read, yet completely invisible for the unknowing (if well applied of course, but that's the case for every marking system). It's also fairly simple to learn (you'll be instantly able to read the cards), and can be applied to any deck that has a white border, regardless of the back design (unlike Blood, which provided a specific system for each back design).

    After giving the basic system (which can easily be adapted to suit better the kind of game you're playing), Daniel teaches two methods to mark the deck : beforehand, and also during play, which adds tremendously to the value of this system !!! He also gives you tips to make you a fluent, confident reader even under fire.

    Applications and suggestions
    In this last part, you'll be given ideas to take the most out of the Score, whether you plan to use this during play or to enhance your magic (how to combine it with sleight of hand, etc...)

    My opinion :

    The goal of a marked deck is simple : allowing the reader to know in a glimpse the identity of any face-down card without anyone else noticing, or even suspecting the marking. And the Score marking system delivers as promised !!

    the code is very simple to learn, you'll get it instantly
    the marks, after a bit of practice, are easy to apply on the cards (once you get it down, you can mark a deck in no time, like 10-15 minutes, probably less)
    the marks are very well concealed, and although you'll be able to locate them in a glimpse, they're very hard to spot if you don't know what you're looking for, and can pass as the mere result of “use” if seen.

    To sum up, from my magician point of view, this PDF is a MUST HAVE ! I truly think that every magician should posses a marked deck, and use it whenever possible. It's not just that it allows you to perform brand new effects ; it makes the effects you already perform cleaner, smoother, and safer (in any “pick a card” kind of tricks, it's invaluable information to know the identity of the chosen card). The point of Score is not to give you fish (as opposed to all the other marked decks available on the market), it's to teach you how to fish, by allowing you to create your own marked, decks for much cheaper, as often as you wish to (no problem then to sign cards, to rip them, etc, as you know you can create a new deck whenever you want).
    In that perspective, I also strongly suggest you downloaded the Blood PDF (available for free on d+M's website), as it deals more with the use of marked decks for magicians and is a good place to start. Those two PDFs complete each other very well : if you get one, get both.

    Concerning the gambling applications of the Score (once again, you shouldn't use it to cheat !), I have to say I'm yet to use the Score during play, but I'm confident that it will play its role perfectly when I will. Marking the cards during a game using a borrowed deck will certainly require a great deal of practice beforehand, and nerves of steel while doing it, but having the ability to do it is a tremendous advantage over all the other marking systems available today.

    The Score is by far one of the best purchases I've ever made to this day, and at this price (15$) it's a steal (for him). Don't miss the opportunity to take your magic to a whole new level, get this one and get it now !

    Here's the link to purchase :
  2. how easy is it for the spectator to spot the markings?
    I was let down with the Blood marking system and do not believe that it would hold up to any kind of scrutiny by a spectator.

  3. Blood Marking on Bicycles holds up very well under scrutiny. Most spectators don't know what to look for, therefore overlook exactly what makes the marks visible to people who know.

    If the marker doesn't match up well (Red works better than blue imo, black better than both) then it won't show at all.

    I'd be intrigued to know a system that you can start to implement in the middle of play, not enough to purchase another system right now though.
  4. RikAllen...
    I feel all it takes with a red deck of bikes and the Blood marking system is to have the right lighting, and you are instantly discovered. I feel like both red and blue markers don't match up well enough to go undetected.
  5. I have Been working with Red Blood System Marked Bicycle cards for a while, and never been called on it. for the Simple reason that Spectators do not even think of a marked deck being in play. I might have to get score. it looks sick.
  6. I don't use blue cards (personal choice) so I don't have experience with it, but unless you tell someone to inspect the backs then they'll never think twice about it. Especially if the effects you do don't immediately bring up the possibility of a marked deck.

    The face of a card is ten times more important than the back, the backs are the same so nobody pays attention to them.

    I will say this, and the same goes for palming and other bold moves, the moment you think you're going to get caught you invite your spectators to catch you. If you feel guilty about palming a card or having a marked (or any gimmicked deck) then it will show and your spectators will have a better chance of finding you out.

    Confidence is the key.
  7. a) I don't really understand why you're worried about a spectator scrutinising your deck under a microscope whilst under perfect lighting conditions. If this is a real concern for you, I can only suggest that you look at your own performances.

    b) Perhaps you're using too much ink. Try putting just a dab, and then using the pad of your little finger to smear the ink across. This will help to eliminate the shine.
  8. That's the thing about marked decks : everything is hidden in plain sight. I'm not saying that the score is invisible ; if you were to say that you're using marked cards, 100% of your specs would see the marks, you have to understand this... The second someone suspects modifications on the backs and starts scrutinizing them, be sure they'll find the marks, just like they would notice a thumbtip on your thumb if they were suspecting something fishy with your hand. So you have to use the score wisely, and be careful not to be EVEN suspected. It's a simple matter of common sense really (glimpse the right way, frame your tricks to divert the specs from the actual method, etc...).

    To compare once again with the TT, if you were to perform several identical tricks involving one (say, you vanish a silk, then a spongeball, then a bill...), people would end up watching you hands and fingers more closely, which is not a good thing cause some might notice the TT. It's exactly the same with the Score, as it's also a utility "gimmick" in my opinon : if you're overusing it an draw people's attention to the fact that, somehow, you might know the identity of the face-down cards, then they might watch more closely and discover the secret. Used the right way at the right moment, people won't event question your cards. Because, really, unless they have a reason to, who ever pays attention to the back of the cards used when in the middle of a trick, or during play ? Do you ?

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