What to do when a spectator asks to see your deck ???

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by CardMagicNJ, Mar 6, 2018.

  1. #1 CardMagicNJ, Mar 6, 2018
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 7, 2018
    Sorry I'm not trying to be a hog this is my last question lol. When you're doing to here than there hand trick, when a trick is over what would you do if a spectator says let me see that deck?? Obviously I tried to write after the trick hide the duplicate card and stuff in my pocket in case they do want to see it because then when I look at it it really just baffles them or how it really happened. Anybody have this happen and what are some good responses to say to somebody like that without coming off as a jerk. Thx.
  2. Try to palm or cop out the duplicate card if you can. If you can't it's probably no big deal. It's risky but, in my experience, most spectators won't notice a duplicate left in the deck anyway, as long as they aren't next to each other.

    If you aren't open to letting them handle the deck, they'll think there's something going on with the cards, which in their minds is the same as figuring the trick out. So I'd avoid telling them "no" outright in any form because it will simply raise suspicion.

    Also, a little "subtlety" you can use which usually avoids this question entirely is letting the spectators handle the deck whenever you can. If they can shuffle, let them shuffle. If they can hold the deck at any point (even with a gaff deck. Just let them hold it at the beginning when it's in the box), let them.
  3. Two-fold suggestion.

    1) If I were performing, and someone insisted on seeing the cards, and it was a casual situation where allowing that wouldn't be a huge problem, I would either risk it (most people will be satisfied with a casual "Ok" if they ask to see the cards) or I'd cop/palm the duplicate out and hand it over.

    2) I would examine my performance to see what motivated the person to want to see the cards instead of just enjoying the trick. This generally results from challenging the audience, and is something that can be avoided in almost all situations with a simple change of scripting.
  4. Well said Christopher I appreciate that. Yeah I think that's a great idea I've never told anybody know I've just always been worried about " getting busted ". Since their left holding the one Jack of Spades I guess I could either swing cut the top of the half of the deck over and do a cut or I guess because I have big hands I could Palm it but that is not one of my strong points. Either way I like your point about the scripting I never insult spectator if anything I build their confidence and lower mind to let them feel like they're in control. I'll say something like once a trick twice a lesson and plying that there is a method to it and that I believe that they're smart enough to figure it out if they see it again so if anything I try to compliment them in a subtle way. But thank you again for that great advice I just happened to me for the first time the other week.
  5. Antonio thank you for your reply I I think you're right and I'm just going to have to let them handle it hoping that they don't see it. And if they do hey well said you're a very observant person you got me I'm only human right ?? Thank you for your suggestion.
    Antonio Diavolo likes this.
  6. @CardMagicNJ: First, I don't believe there is any need to apologize for posting frequently, and it is certainly not "hogging," particularly if the question or comment is one of legitimate interest to members, as IMO your posts have been. Actually, posting new topics and questions by members is kind of the life-blood of the Forum (again IMO). It keeps things from getting stagnant and boring and stimulates discussion from which we can all learn and benefit - and yes, have fun. So don't hesitate to bring it on...

    I made a decision long ago not to use duplicates or gaffed decks, with the one exception of the ID as a closer, and which is just too strong not to do). Like many magicians, the Bicycle decks I use for the ID look exactly like the regular Bicycle decks being used for the prior effects. In decades of doing the ID, I have not had a single person ask to see the cards. They are probably just too stunned.

    As time went on, I realized that there are literally thousands upon thousands of strong card tricks to choose from, so many that can be done impromptu with an ordinary deck, containing no gaffs or duplicates. What card trick could be stronger than Out of this World, and they can examine til their hearts' content (well, not immediately before the presentation, of course). Then again, there are tons of great card tricks requiring no set-up whatsoever, the AC being just one case in point. So, by using a perfectly innocent ordinary deck with no dirty work to be found, in the event they ask to examine (which really shouldn't happen often at all - and really only just happened to you recently for the first time), well, you can say, "Knock yourself out." And when their suspicions are quashed it will only heighten their opinion and impression of you as a skilled magician, and they will sing your praises to others, as well.
  7. I do enjoy my gaffs and duplicates, but you hit the nail on the head. After performing something AND they can look at it, they don't even know what they're looking for at that point and it leaves them more baffled and impressed. If you are performing with gaffs, duplicates, or gimmicks, there is also the risk it approach. I've performed a few mismatched pip tricks and it is rather amusing when the spectator is staring at a Jack of Spade Clubs and then keeps going on through the rest of the deck. But typically, the safest way is to cop it or lap it.
  8. First, design your performance so that the audience knows that the deck is normal by showing instead of telling. Second, design your performance so that there are no suspicious moves or anything where a spectator gets a sense that you did "something." Third, maintain control of your performance. That means the spectator shuffles the deck when you want them to, not when they want to. They see the deck when and how you want them to, not whenever they please. Finally, be entertaining by making the effect about more than what you are doing. If your presentation makes the spectator want you to succeed because of the context you put the trick into, they are invested in the illusion and won't want to try to figure out how it is done.
  9. First off, family and friends are really hard to perform for. They do things that normal people don't do when they watch magic.

    Second, people from the age of 8 to 15 are hard to perform for. They know enough to get that it's not real magic, and often times they don't respect your personal space or property.

    That said, most the time when you give them the deck they don't know what they are looking for. Even if they find a duplicate, all you have to do is act surprised "Oh, why is that there! Sorry, I have a bunch of decks and they get mixed up sometimes."

    So, I'd cut the card into the deck and let them check it out. If this kind of feedback occured a lot I may stop performing the trick or seriously change the routine.
    Antonio Diavolo likes this.
  11. Sounds like you and I use the same technique....ha ha. I too have ditched all effects that use gaffs or duplicate cards when performing and then kill them with the matching Bicycle ID towards the end after they "think" they have already handled the same deck. I love it!
  12. While this is a little bit of a tangent, I've oddly found success with Strippers over ID with the people I've performed for recently. ID and Brainwave decks can be seen on so many different platforms/TV that I guess the new park I've started strolling has some google-savvy folk that makes them an instant "Oh the cards are just blah blah blah" audience. However with a pack of strippers and some test fodder from the encyclopedia of card tricks I left a few people dumbfounded.

    You'd think it would be the opposite, as I remember getting a stripper deck and a svengali deck when I was about 5 as birthday party favors and everyone knew what the gimmick was. I also have to weigh in the routines too as most people who get busted with a stripper deck have no subtlety about it. If you cut to my card 5 times in a row, yes I'm going to suspect your deck, or if you pull out all 4 aces in one gesture. I'm sure I'll have my fumble with them soon enough again though... I even have to admit that when a magician is performing for me and asks for me to take a card out and show it, I change its orientation a few times without even thinking about it.
  13. Maybe it's because the stripper deck is so old, it's new.

    If you really want to have some fun and use it in a way that blows minds to kingdom come, prepare ahead by turning all the black cards one way and all the red cards the opposite way. Riffle shuffle a couple of times to mix up the cards well. To begin, spread the cards face up smartly on the table to show they are completely mixed. Then riffle shuffle a couple times, and start doing table cuts that consist of stripping cards out and slapping them on top (but coming a bit forward with the cards you've stripped out before slapping them on top). After two or three cuts the colors are separated. and you can spread face up to show this, and watch jaws drop. It looks really cool, like a professional gambler, shuffling and cutting really crisply. It seems like the cards should be getting even more hopelessly mixed during this shuffling and cutting sequence - certainly not separated.

    I have fooled knowledgeable magicians with this, who never dreamed this would be something that was done, or could be done, with a stripper deck. My patter is that, years ago, a professional gambler taught me how to control cards, and that no matter how many times the cards are shuffled and cut, the result is the same. I suggest doing the shuffling, cutting and face-up revelation sequence no more than 3 times though. It gets stronger with each repetition. The last time, after you spread face-up to show the separation, split the deck at the separation, gathering and squaring up the red cards from the table. Do a nice fan, and as you close them, it will reverse their orientation, and then set them down. Then gather up the blacks, square up and fan those as well, but when you close the fan make sure they stay in the same orientation. Overhand or riffle shuffle the two halves together accordingly and you're clean - just in case.

    Try it. It's great fun, and you'll amaze yourself with it...
    Timewise64, RealityOne, ZackF and 2 others like this.
  14. I just did and I think I actually giggled at the end result. I imagine with some creativity and false cuts and shuffles, you could end up with the cards in new deck order too, if you wanted that to be the final kicker instead of repeating it. That part I'd have to think on (assuming it isn't already written somewhere)
  15. There is a truth to that. People that I perform for that are older - say over 50 - often think that a stripper deck is the method. Most younger people haven't seen it or just dismiss it as a magic kit trick.

    I've been working on a project based on strippers and short cards and have found a lot of interesting stuff. Hugard and Braue's The Stripper Deck booklet has a lot of good stuff in it. The key is not handling it like a stripper deck. There was a great effect a couple of years back in Genii when they did a tribute to the Jinx - nobody has any idea that the secret is a stripper deck.

    I've done the red/black separation (Encyclopedia of Card Tricks, p. 263) in my kids shows. I take a shuffled deck and shuffle it further. I hand the top part of the deck to one kid and the bottom to another. I have two parents pick a card from one deck and return it to the other. I tell the kids to shuffle the cards and then to look through the deck and use their psychic abilities to pick out one card that just seems to jump out at them. The kids find the card the parents selected and I remind them that a magician never reveals their secrets.

    If you are into arts and crafts, you can make a stripper deck so that the red and black cards can be separated regardless of orientation, so a spectator can shuffle the deck before you do.

    A stripper deck is also easy to use to control a single card using a riffle shuffle. I used to have a card selected and returned to the deck and then put the deck in the box and close the lid. I would then have the spectator name the card and apparently pull the card out of the closed box.

    I think that is where a deck switch would come in handy. When I do Cub Scout shows, one of the requirements for their elective is that they learn to perform magic tricks. I show them an easy trick where they can reverse a card that is reinserted into a closed deck which can be found in Mark Wilson's Complete Course. I perform the effect and then explain it. I then perform it again having the card inserted into a spread - which gets a great reaction because I'm not using the method I explained to them. Then I put the deck into my jacket pocket as if I'm done. I then ask if they want to see something more impossible and pull out the ID. I have them decide on a card that they want reversed in the deck and then reveal it.

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