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Mind Phantom

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Reply with quote  #1 
For me it would have to be the Brainwave Deck from Jon Tremaine's Mentalism tape.

They have ANY choice of card to pick with. No sleights and it's the only one with an X on the back of the card. You can also do some by-play with the crowd by passing around a " invisible deck ". I made my deck out of casino cards and I use the patter of marked cards.

I also like Kenton Knepper's Sleightly Touched, because the spectator handles the deck though-out the trick. And of course, ends with a big finish.

I think both effects have a sort of "free-will" type of feel to them. For a non-gaff effect I would have to say Alan Ackerman's 
Quick Coincidence would fit the bill here.

What makes for a perfect card trick?

Rick,





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Magic Harry

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Reply with quote  #2 
I don’t think there is a one fits all answer to this question. What do others think?
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Zero

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Reply with quote  #3 
Define perfect in terms of card effect because I don't necessarily agree that a handoff effect is particularly better than one that requires handling, especially considering context for effect can change how one feels also. we may value a different kind of interaction. 
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RayJ

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Here is my candidate for the "perfect" card trick.

Setting:  You are next to a body of water, one where the spectator cannot reach the surface.  This could be a bridge, on a cruise ship, etc.

Effect:  The cards are riffled and you stop when the spectator tells you to.  The card you stopped at is noted by the spectator and the cards gathered back together.

            You concentrate your focus on the cards and cast a shadow over them or utter a magical incantation and then with a grand gesture you spring the entire pack 
           
            over the surface of the water, scattering them widely.  All of the cards are face down with the exception of the spectators!  Truly a triumphant ending.

Method:  The entire deck is made up of double-backers with the exception of the force card, which is a double-facer.  No matter how the cards land, you will get the required outcome.

Drawback:  Someone might be so excited they jump into the water and you'll have to rescue them.  
Another drawback:  You have to replace the cards after every performance.
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Harry Lorayne

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Reply with quote  #5 


   Oh, c'mon.  I've written quite a number of books that contain quite a number of perfect card effects.  Start reading the good stuff, guys.
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Magic Harry

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Reply with quote  #6 
Great trick idea. But is it the best card trick? Like I said, it's all subjective. What constitutes the best card trick or any trick for that matter? The most surprising, entertaining, unexplainable, magician fooler?
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RayJ

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magic Harry
Great trick idea. But is it the best card trick? Like I said, it's all subjective. What constitutes the best card trick or any trick for that matter? The most surprising, entertaining, unexplainable, magician fooler?
Magic Harry


But Harry, that's the whole point of these types of questions.  There is no single perfect trick that rises above all others in every situation for every audience.

So what I did was have a little fun and I gave what would be a very mystifying trick for a specific set of circumstances.  

Ordinary people don't know about double-backers.  Ordinary folk don't know there are double-facers and they don't know you can force them to select a card.  Or at least they generally don't.  So this trick would be perfect.  They cannot fathom how it is possible with their limited understanding of magic.  

I could have substituted a card index for the force and then you could have ANY card they name end up in the same situation.  But that is too much work probably for the added impact.

Any time someone asks about a perfect this-and-that or the best this-and-that it is fraught with difficulties and needs clarification, distinctions, situations, limitations.  That is why I tend to SHUN (tion) those sorts of questions.  😉
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EVILDAN

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Reply with quote  #8 
I think the perfect card trick depends on who's performing, who's watching and in what context it occurred. 

I've been to a lot of lectures and shows and have seen a lot of card magic over the years. 
And yet, the one that stands out to me is the time I saw Harry Lorayne get dragged into a lecture during one of the NY Magic Symposiums, he asked for a deck of cards gave it a shuffle and then cut to the four aces. 

BLOWN AWAY!!!

I've since learned it, and now I perform it and to me this was the most memorable card trick I ever saw. But is it the "perfect" card trick? 
Probably not. Put another magician in a structured show where they are performing HaLo Aces as part of their set and I don't think it would have the same impact on me. 

And, put my wife in my place at the Magic Symposium and she could care less. Card tricks bore the hell out of her. Break out a deck of cards and her mind is already out the room thinking about other things that she could be doing instead.
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jim ferguson

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Reply with quote  #9 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RayJ
Here is my candidate for the "perfect" card trick.

Setting:  You are next to a body of water, one where the spectator cannot reach the surface.  This could be a bridge, on a cruise ship, etc.

Effect:  The cards are riffled and you stop when the spectator tells you to.  The card you stopped at is noted by the spectator and the cards gathered back together.

            You concentrate your focus on the cards and cast a shadow over them or utter a magical incantation and then with a grand gesture you spring the entire pack 
           
            over the surface of the water, scattering them widely.  All of the cards are face down with the exception of the spectators!  Truly a triumphant ending.

Method:  The entire deck is made up of double-backers with the exception of the force card, which is a double-facer.  No matter how the cards land, you will get the required outcome.

Drawback:  Someone might be so excited they jump into the water and you'll have to rescue them.  
Another drawback:  You have to replace the cards after every performance.



Derren Brown did this exact piece on one of his shows. I think (but may be wrong here), that it was filmed in Venice.


Jim


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RayJ

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Reply with quote  #10 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jim ferguson



Derren Brown did this exact piece on one of his shows. I think (but may be wrong here), that it was filmed in Venice.


Jim




How did it go over?  How did you react to it?

BTW, the plot wasn't my idea nor was it Derren's.  It was written up in a book as a "dream" effect, no method given.  I read it in the late '70s probably.

It really is a "perfect" trick in many ways.  For example, one limitation would be examination of the cards.  Well, if they are in the water and you can't get to the water, good luck.  Second, another thing which plagues magicians is the infamous "do it again".  With this, your cards are gone.  Don't ask me what you do if someone hands you another pack from their pocket or purse.  Obviously you would either defer or do a different trick.

It is the ultimate visual trick with the cards floating upon the water, shimmering under the light and their card staring them in the face.  

The stuff that dreams and memories are made of.

Edit:  I believe it is Racherbaumer's 'Arch Triumphs', 1978
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Chi Han

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Reply with quote  #11 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jim ferguson



Derren Brown did this exact piece on one of his shows. I think (but may be wrong here), that it was filmed in Venice.


Jim




It's the vernon boat trick.
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Magic Harry

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Reply with quote  #12 
You're right, RayJ. These types of questions do initiate a lively discussion with many examples and opinions. Thanks for putting me in the right mindset. I hope I wasn't being too argumentative.
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RayJ

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Reply with quote  #13 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Magic Harry
You're right, RayJ. These types of questions do initiate a lively discussion with many examples and opinions. Thanks for putting me in the right mindset. I hope I wasn't being too argumentative.
Magic Harry


I didn't take anything you said as argumentative.  
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Socrates

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Reply with quote  #14 
EvilDan alluded to this in his post, but the situation and setting is key to the perception of the trick. A key card effect with an engaging presentation can absolutely stun the laity, but may bore a group of magicians seeking complex slelights and methods.

Are we talking about the perfect card trick for us the performer, or perfect for the audience?

The Biddle trick could be considered a good contender - simple to perform but stunning to an audience... well I like it anyhow 😉
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Harry Lorayne

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Reply with quote  #15 


    of course, Ray.  There is no "best."    It's always according to the situation/location/audience, and so on.  
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marv long

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Reply with quote  #16 
Yea but what does Harry know?[biggrin]
Harry - Love it that you are still actively involved with the magic scene. It makes me happy just to see your posts.
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Harry Lorayne

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Reply with quote  #17 
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   I think you're right - what the heck do I know?!     Thanks for "them kind words," marv.  
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Paco Nagata

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Reply with quote  #18 
Professor's Thriumph.

Since always I've considered this card trick as the perfect one.

As you can see I'm in the Ray's thread of thought.

Why do I think so?

Well. Vernon's Thiumph is so beautiful, ellegant, magical and clear, as well as impromptu, that I consider it as just THE CARD TRICK.

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TheAmazingStanley

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Reply with quote  #19 
I forget what it’s called but this actually made one of my spectators say “that’s impossible.” Now, there are a million tricks that might make people say that, but this is simple to the point that it almost feels like cheating. It’s kind of like a power to weight ratio. High impact, low complexity. It even has a beautiful symmetry to it.

Anyway this is the one where you have the four aces, have them point to one, turn them over and say good choice, there are three blue cards and one red, which just happens to be the card you pointed to. Probably just luck. Pick another one.

Then, depending on the suit of the second selection, either the red card is now the second selection, or, total brain melt, it’s now three red and one blue, which is of course their card.

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Paco Nagata

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Reply with quote  #20 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheAmazingStanley
I forget what it’s called but this actually made one of my spectators say “that’s impossible.” Now, there are a million tricks that might make people say that, but this is simple to the point that it almost feels like cheating. It’s kind of like a power to weight ratio. High impact, low complexity. It even has a beautiful symmetry to it.

Anyway this is the one where you have the four aces, have them point to one, turn them over and say good choice, there are three blue cards and one red, which just happens to be the card you pointed to. Probably just luck. Pick another one.

Then, depending on the suit of the second selection, either the red card is now the second selection, or, total brain melt, it’s now three red and one blue, which is of course their card.

According to the description it looks like
"All the Non-comformists" by Martin Gardner.
A great card trick which I have had regularly in my personal repertiore :-)

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Heartistry

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Reply with quote  #21 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harry Lorayne
.
   I think you're right - what the heck do I know?!     Thanks for "them kind words," marv.  

Harry, I too am delighted you're posting. This is my first post here on the Forum, and it's a joyful synchronicity to read you here on the same day I have been studying your "Numero Uno" (and loving it). I tip my hat to you. Thank you.


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Alan Smithee

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Reply with quote  #22 
"All card tricks are perfect and they are perfect because they're card tricks."

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AlexStrand

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Reply with quote  #23 
This isn't a particular trick, but some of the best reactions (in my limited experience) has been when revealing a card via a DL and having the spectators hold the "wrong" card, then the selected/thought of card appears in the spectator's hand.
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Mike Powers

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Reply with quote  #24 
AlexStrand - you're right about the power of that simple effect. It's super strong. I think Kostya Kimlat devotes some attention to the details of how to squeeze out the maximum effect. 

Mike
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Michaelblue

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Reply with quote  #25 
Simon Lovell's SLOB fits in perfectly
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Medifro

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Reply with quote  #26 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Magic Harry
Great trick idea. But is it the best card trick? Like I said, it's all subjective. What constitutes the best card trick or any trick for that matter? The most surprising, entertaining, unexplainable, magician fooler?
Magic Harry


I agree that the question doesn't make sense. It's like asking what is the perfect painting, or film, or script. 

I think what is meant is what card tricks are the most impossible. I think that is also asking the wrong question. A better question would be: What can we do to make the effects we do more impossible? The answer is by improving the effect design, which may involve the presentation, method, and maybe the effect itself.

Most published card tricks in my experience, while "nice", can be vastly improved by improving effect design. Nick Trost and Roy Walton's tricks are examples of these tricks. Darwin Ortiz's Designing Miracles and Juan Tamariz's Magic Way are great to learn this skill.

In thinking of card effects that are extremely well-designed as published, these examples come to my mind:
New Hitchcock Aces by Darwin Ortiz 
Tamariz Neither Blind or Stupid 
Mark Elsdon's Inevitable  
Jack Parker's Hof-City 
Paul Vigil's Wild Card 
John Bannon's Stranger's Gallary 




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