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Inner Circle
Posts: 353
Reply with quote  #1 
Has anyone here ever checked out the Jolly Almanac of Card Knavery as a resource for card magic?

You can download it for free here:

It was compiled by Andrew Musgrave (aka The Burnaby Kid), and you can read more about it here:

From the Introduction of the book:

"What exactly is the Jolly Almanac? It's a single-volume introductory text on card magic that should fit easily on your shelf. It's got old material and new material. It's got classic tricks with updated scripts. It's got methods and variations on those methods. It's got a ton of principles. With sleight of hand, it's not just about how to do the move, but what move to do, when to do it, and why, and this book has thousands of words of theory to cover all of that."

Basically it compiles material from The Royal Road To Card Magic and some other sources (e.g. Erdnase) that are no longer subject to copyright, and updates, paraphrases, and annotates them. The result is a 242 page book, with the following contents:

● Introduction
● Part 1: The Overhand Shuffle
● Part 2: The Riffle Shuffle
● Part 3: The Key Card
● Part 4: Full-Deck False Shuffles and Cuts
● Part 5: The Glide
● Part 6: Forces
● Part 7: The Double-Lift
● Part 8: Miscellaneous Techniques
● Part 9: The Palm
● Part 10: The Top Change
● Part 11: The Pass
● Part 12: Miscellaneous Tricks

BoardGameGeek reviewer EndersGame  Playing Card Reviews  Magic Reviews  Board Game Reviews 


Alan Smithee

Inner Circle
Posts: 475
Reply with quote  #2 
Originally Posted by EndersGame
Has anyone here ever checked out the Jolly Almanac of Card Knavery as a resource for card magic?

I have, though not recently. It's interesting enough, but clearly not quite enough, otherwise I would have visited more often.


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Posts: 3,414
Reply with quote  #3 
I am aware of the book and I recommend giving it a look.  Especially if you are a beginner, or if there are topics it covers which you are not familiar with.  Not just for the tricks and sleights, but there's some good commentary also.  For example, the following quote from the book...

"Finally, limit your material. There's an old adage that the amateur is 54 always doing new tricks for the same audience, whereas the professional is always doing the same tricks for new audiences."

We've had threads on here about how many tricks are too many, etc.  And this quote is something to really embrace.  For a variety of reasons.

It covers a bunch of stuff, it is 242 pages and laid out as professionally as any I've seen.  What's not to like?  

Intensely Magic

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Inner Circle
Posts: 552
Reply with quote  #4 
I have recommended this for a long time. A couple of times on here, I believe.

With all due respect to The Jerx, Andrew wrote the most intelligent, consistent blog on magic we have ever had. It came to an inglorious end, but that's another story. At one point he committed to writing 365 consecutive posts and not only did  he accomplish that, but most were extraordinary in their content. Series like his exploration of the best trick in various genres were researched and developed with great care and intelligence. I still recall his conclusion on the best torn and restored card. (Spoiler Alert - The Charlie Frye trick from the Harris box set. Brilliant!) I miss him. He pops up briefly every once in a while. 

I wish a complete archive of Ye Olde Magick Blogge existed, but as far as I know, it doesn't.

You can create a pretty nice five foot shelf with free resources.

A Crappy Trick with a great presentation is still a Crappy Trick.

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