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25 Methods For Switching Decks

by Floyd D. Brown
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25 Methods For Switching Decks by Floyd D. Brown

Every magician, at one time or another, needs a sure-fire method of switching decks. With this clever publication, you get 25 of them.

Newly revised and updated, this must-have reference not only includes the mechanics of the switches themselves, but also offers a behind-the-scenes peek of how performers work their magic with cards. Included is the full handling of Herbert Brooks' sensational card-from-pocket mystery, just as he performed it for years on the vaudeville stage. Some of the methods involve no apparatus, others rely on props owned by most magicians.

Paul Fleming wrote:

Lovers of card magic have devised many set-ups (or systems of prearranged cards) and various types of prepared packs (such as Svengali, Mene Tekel, "strippers," and "longs and shorts" to mention but a few), which enable them to perform tricks far more astounding than can be presented through sleight-of-hand alone, even by the most skillful performers. The remarkable effects produced with "special" decks are described in most of the standard works on magic that deal with card tricks; in Greater Magic, for example, almost a hundred pages are devoted to magic with prepared cards. However, there is one difficulty in working with prepared cards. It is, as John Northern Hilliard puts it, "the fact that such cards must be imperceptibly introduced and later disposed of, or that the whole deck must be switched before and after the effects obtained by its use have been performed .... Careful attention must be given to these methods [of switching], for it is quite beyond the pale to bring out a special pack for a certain effect and immediately after the feat put it away."

It is the purpose of Floyd Brown's 25 Methods for Switching Decks to suggest to the reader a variety of ways to make the necessary change from the regular to the special pack. The need for many methods lies in the fact that not only must the "switch" be executed perfectly, but it must also blend in with the conditions of the trick that is being performed; indeed, unless it does so it almost certainly will not be perfectly executed, for the moves involved in switching a deck are among the most subtle in the whole field of conjuring. For example, the device that Mr. Brown calls the "hat switch" should not be used unless there is a plausible excuse for having a hat at hand. Otherwise, its use would be sure to arouse suspicion, and there is nothing much worse than a "deck switch" that is detected or even suspected by the audience. The twenty-five methods described by Mr. Brown should meet the needs of practically every magician who needs to substitute one pack of cards for another. There are "switches" for the stage, for club work, and for almost any conditions that might be imagined. We shall not attempt to describe the differences in these methods, or even to appraise them except to say that they appear to us to cover the field exceedingly well and to be, in general, entirely workable. We cannot approve the "plant switch," because it makes use of a confederate; and we are not quite sure that we understand the "writing table switch," perhaps for the reason that a drawing, though mentioned in the text, has been omitted. We should note that the author explains one complete trick - an effective feat which he calls the Brooks' Card Trick. We are not told whether the "Brooks" in question is Herbert Brooks, who was once a leading vaudeville performer with cards (and the "Brooks Trunk"), but in any case the trick is a good one.

This is a mimeographed manuscript, which runs into six large pages. As a rule, we dislike magical publications that appear in this form, especially when, as in the present instance, the mimeographing is none too good. However, the material here presented is unusually good and we believe that 25 Methods for Switching Decks will prove very helpful to many magicians.

The 25 methods are:

  1. The Plant Switch
  2. The Hat Switch
  3. The Blackout Switch
  4. The Thurston Switch
  5. The Half-Deck Switch
  6. The Egg Bag Switch
  7. The Chinese Switch
  8. Brooks' Card Trick
  9. A Handkerchief Switch
  10. Another Handkerchief Switch
  11. The Side Coat-Pocket Switch
  12. "One More Trick" Switch
  13. The Paper Switch
  14. The Hip-Pocket Switch
  15. Combination Coat & Vest-Pocket Switch
  16. Rising Card Box Switch
  17. Change Bag Switch
  18. Black Art Switch
  19. An Easy Box Switch
  20. Another Box Switch
  21. The Card Servante
  22. The Vest Pocket Switch
  23. Another Vest Pocket Switch
  24. Standard Card Tray Switch
  25. The Writing Tablet Switch

Don't take our word for it. Here's what magicians from around the world have to say about 25 Methods for Switching Decks:

"Mr. Brown has a fine collection of methods for performing this magically useful, but infrequently described, operation. Even if you never do a card trick, you should read this worthy little volume for instructions on how to exchange articles similar in appearance." - John Mulholland

"To the best of my knowledge, this is the only book devoted solely to the subject of deck switching. This little-known booklet has some first rate switches." - Paul Marcus

"Card wizards are few indeed who won't at times use a stacked or prepared pack to work something really super. And the best way to allay suspicion is to have a deck freely handled by the crowd and then secretly exchange it. Those desiring good ways of doing so can find them in this clearly-written treatise." - Tom Bowyer

1st edition 1943, PDF 24 pages.
word count: 8193 which is equivalent to 32 standard pages of text

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Reviewed by Maximiliano Sanchez (confirmed purchase)
★★★★★   Date Added: Friday 14 February, 2020

An awesome & devious book! LOL Love this read. PRACTICAL!
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