Make It Easy To Watch!

This morning a buddy of mine sent me a video of a magician doing a card trick and wanted to know my thoughts on it. The thing that stood out to me, and is something that I should have realized before is that most of us are doing card tricks for social media incorrectly.

Many videos of just the hands have them coming down from the top of the screen, or are from the spectators point of view showing more of the magician. If you are doing any card tricks that require you to spread the cards, the indexes are upside down.

If you are someone that frequently handles cards, it’s pretty easy to tell what is what. However, most people are not. If you asked someone to memorize a card and they saw it upside down there’s a great chance they will struggle with it. It’s also visually unappealing to look at. Here’s my suggestion, use a left handed deck of cards.

left handed cards

This cards spread this was a so much easier to identify for someone that’s not familiar with cards. If you don’t spread the cards, like in an ambitious card routine then it’s not really a issue.

Best Card Gaff!

One of the coolest card gaffs is the Modern Flap Cards by Hondo. He makes the as a premade gaff, or as a video where you can learn to make your own. The video is the way to go, as you’ll be a lot more versatile with what you can do. There’s a little bit of a learning curve to making them, but it’s really not that hard.

I use one in my preshow video in my cruise ship show, and in a lot of social media videos. I haven’t used them in a live show, simply because I don’t really have a place for them. The problem is a playing card is small, and the change is hard to view from the back row.

It hit me a while ago that you can do the change with the card isolated in a cup. I hadn’t had time to really play with it before the self quarantine, however I played around with it and here’s the card color change change in a cup:

There’s a little bit of knack to do the move in a cup. In a nutshell I’m using the weight of the card to keep the change from happening. It’s all about the angle you lean the card at. I think the next time I make some of the flap cards, I’m going to have a bit less tension, so that I have more wiggle room with the angle of the lean.

The discovery of doing the change in a cup is the direct result of playing with the gimmick and a good example of why you should be playing with gimmicks beyond what’s in the instructions.

Creative Funk…

Creativity isn’t something you can force, but there are things you can do to stimulate it. Lately I’ve felt pretty uncreative, however I’ve had a tough performing schedule which didn’t leave a lot of time to play with ideas. Then somehow like magic, the last couple of days I’ve had some great ideas. The main … Continue reading “Creative Funk…”

Creativity isn’t something you can force, but there are things you can do to stimulate it. Lately I’ve felt pretty uncreative, however I’ve had a tough performing schedule which didn’t leave a lot of time to play with ideas. Then somehow like magic, the last couple of days I’ve had some great ideas.


The main thing that changed in the last few days was that I opened myself up to new ideas. I starting looking for them, not waiting for them to pop into my head. Taking control of creativity is the first step to being creative.


Another big change was that I was playing with things a bit more. I’m back to working through card tricks at night while sitting on the couch while my wife watches TV. Sure going through a book on card tricks isn’t exactly creative, but it’s making my brain learn new things, and that opens up my brain to forming new ideas.

Playing Bigger…

Making the tricks that I currently do play bigger is something I’m always working on. There are a lot of ways to do this, however one challenge has always been card tricks. I don’t do a lot of them in the show, but those that I do are generally limited to poker sized cards. One … Continue reading “Playing Bigger…”

Making the tricks that I currently do play bigger is something I’m always working on. There are a lot of ways to do this, however one challenge has always been card tricks. I don’t do a lot of them in the show, but those that I do are generally limited to poker sized cards.


One trick that I do uses cards in a holder on a pole. This is one of the rare instances where I can use jumbo cards, but haven’t. Last night I 3D printed out a new holder for the trick that will take jumbo cards.

My concern is that the pole won’t be able to hold the larger cards. When the cards on the end, the weight will make the pole bend. I do have a shorter pole than I normally use, and that would help with the bending a little bit.

Larger cards will help solve the problem of cards being visible from a distance.

Something Special…

When I do roving magic my main tool is a regular deck of cards. The reason for that is you can do a lot just a deck of cards. Also they are larger than a rubber band or a coin and when someone walks by they know that you are doing magic tricks. When doing … Continue reading “Something Special…”

When I do roving magic my main tool is a regular deck of cards. The reason for that is you can do a lot just a deck of cards. Also they are larger than a rubber band or a coin and when someone walks by they know that you are doing magic tricks.


When doing roving magic I also try to pack one other thing to perform that’s special. Something that’s fairly unique, so something that they wouldn’t see another magician typically do. Frequently this is the Linking Pins or something I’m working on that uses a unique prop. I save this for special groups that fun to work for.


Last night at a roving gig in addition to my normal card set, I did a trick with a nut and a bolt. Basically the nut and bolt unscrew while covered by a cup, then you repeat it. It’s a great trick and something that I love doing, but more importantly, it feels special. People really seem to dig the special trick, and can feel that it’s not something from your normal set.

Have Deck Will Travel…

It’s kinda amazing what a deck of cards has allowed me to do. I’ve been flown across the country to an hour of cards tricks and paid an amazing wage for it. That and I don’t even think I’m that good compared to a lot of people. So why do people hire me? While I … Continue reading “Have Deck Will Travel…”

It’s kinda amazing what a deck of cards has allowed me to do. I’ve been flown across the country to an hour of cards tricks and paid an amazing wage for it. That and I don’t even think I’m that good compared to a lot of people.


So why do people hire me?


While I do have some technical skill with a deck of cards, I know how to sell it. I can convince you that what you are seeing is amazing, and not just a card trick. I know how to trim the fat off a routine and not bore you.


I’m very fortunate to be able to do what I do for a job!

Gaffed Cards…

One of the things that I want to play with this summer are gaffed cards. More specifically, I want to use flap cards to do some changes. I’ve got a few ideas for what I want to do with the flap cards. Ideally I want to put together a close up set that’s 5 mins … Continue reading “Gaffed Cards…”

One of the things that I want to play with this summer are gaffed cards. More specifically, I want to use flap cards to do some changes. I’ve got a few ideas for what I want to do with the flap cards. Ideally I want to put together a close up set that’s 5 mins that can be projected onto a screen.


This is one of the places where a flap card will shine, because people can’t reach for the cards, and it allows you to more easily ditch things. The formal close up allows you to do some fun magic that’s highly visual…and doesn’t require a lot of space in the luggage.


Last night I was playing with more traditional “dental dam” flaps. They work great, however they have seams in them that the more modern “Hondo” style flap cards don’t have. Hondo has really solved a lot of problems with the dental dam flap cards. However, the Hondo flap cards do have their own disadvantage, and that’s that you can potentially see the elastic as it’s on the outside of the card.


All in all, I think both gimmicks have a place where one is better than the other. Now to figure out what I want to do in my card set….