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Scarne on Card Tricks

by John Scarne
#2 Gambling author
$8

(2 reviews, 11 customer ratings) ★★★★★

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Scarne on Card Tricks by John Scarne
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Scarne describes 155 easy to do tricks with cards. No sleight of hand skill whatsoever is required in these tricks. But don't assume that this makes them weak effects.

For this book Scarne obtained from Dunninger, Cardini, Dai Vernon, Francis Carlyle, Cliff Green, Russel Swan, Nate Leipzig, Thurston, Houdini and other famous magicians and card experts the secrets of some of their most notable tricks and effects. Together with these he has included many entirely new creations of his own. The demonstrations and explanations of the tricks are accompanied by illustrations. In addition, Scarne has included full instructions on preparations, patter, presenting shows, etc., so that this work is a complete guide for the card trickster, amateur or professional.

Paul Fleming wrote:

"Among the multifarious illusions of the conjurer," wrote professor Hoffmann some sixty years ago, "few are more truly magical, or to the uninitiated more inexplicable than a really good card trick." Fortunately or unfortunately, it is not given to all of us to master the intricacies of expert card manipulation and win the fame of a Leipzig, Vernon, or Daley. But it is possible today, in contrast to Professor Hoffmann's era, to become a card wizard without bothering about the "pass," the "palm," or indeed any of the sleights that seemed indispensable to card conjuring less than a half century ago. Strangely enough, the latest addition to the literature of card magic without sleight-of-hand is the work of a man who is himself one of the foremost experts in the field of advanced card technique, whose services in both entertaining and instructing the American forces during World War II have made his name - John Scarne - a familiar one to a host of young war veterans.

Scarne on Card Tricks (which must not be confused with his Scarne on Cards, a book that dealt primarily with card games and not tricks) is a collection of 155 feats with cards. It runs into 308 pages of clearly written, well printed, and neatly cloth-bound text, with 82 illustrations. Anyone who has followed conjuring developments during the past few decades is bound to meet up with old friends in this volume, but he is equally certain to make many new and welcome acquaintances as he marches through the really amazing selection of card mysteries that Mr. Scarne has brought together here. According to the preface, he has included approximately thirty original tricks of his own, and, though we have not attempted to make a tally of such matters, we noted, in the course of our reading, that he had a hand in modifying, and doubtless improving, many others. With lavish hand, Mr. Scarne bestows credit for originating, suggesting, performing, "being identified with," or "favoring" tricks. In dispensing credit, it is doubtless better to be generous than niggardly, but the present reviewer must confess to experiencing surprise upon finding his own name among those with whom, according to this book, a certain variation of The Card on the Ceiling "has been a great success!" However, the mention of such well-known card experts as Baker, Cardini, Daley, Gibson, Houdini, Leipzig, Le Paul, Thurston, Vernon, and Zingone, in connection with specific feats with which they have in some way been associated is a commendable practice, and one which, among other things, probably attracts some readers to worthwhile tricks that might otherwise be overlooked.

Card tricks are notoriously hard to describe in a limited space, and non-sleight-of-hand feats present special difficulties because they are likely to involve much counting, noting, remembering, cutting, replacing, and other actions which make monotonous reading and in some instances, be it confessed, even monotonous witnessing in actual performance though we are not implying that this is true of Mr. Scarne's tricks. The reader will find here many contrasting types of feats - old and new, simple and complicated, slightly puzzling and most astounding, amusing and serious, virtually instantaneous and time-consuming, and so on. He will find, also, tricks that make use of a few cards, a full pack, several packs, and (in a single instance) no cards at all! Here, we rejoice to report, are such old favorites as The Card in the Wallet, Birds of a Feather, Follow the Leader, the Four-Ace Trick, The Telephone Trick, Do As I Do, The Piano Card Trick, and many others, usually in several versions and always without the need of sleight-of-hand. Spelling tricks, reversal tricks, feats of prediction and divination, mind-reading tests, the separation of red cards from black and of blue-backed cards from red-backed-these are but scattered examples of the scores of mysteries that Mr. Scarne offers his readers.

Scarne on Card Tricks is not just another magic book for boys (though we could have made excellent use of it in our youth as the boys and young men of today will doubtless do). It is, on the contrary, a volume which contains many outstanding feats with playing cards, among which any would-be conjurer who possesses a fair memory, a modicum of personality, and a reasonable amount of industry can select a dozen or so, rehearse them thoroughly, and build up (among laymen at least) a reputation as a card expert. It is a book that is almost certain to produce a bumper crop of conjurers with cards!

Included is a new hyperlinked topical index which makes this ebook a much better work of reference where it is easy to quickly find effects belonging to a certain category.

  • Card on the Wall/Ceiling
    • The Card On The Ceiling
    • Variation On Card On Ceiling
    • The Card On The Wall
    • Variation On Card On The Wall
  • Do As I Do And Other Strange Coincidences
    • The Mathematical Trick
    • Lyle's Four Of A Kind
    • Five Nine King
    • The Eight Ace Routine
    • Affinity in Numbers
    • The Last Two Cards
    • Scarne's Color Control
    • You Do As I Do
    • You Do As I Do
    • Quadruple Coincidence
    • Scarne's Birds Of A Feather
    • Gardner's Sympathetic Cards
    • Leipzig's Sympathetic Cards
    • Scarne's Sympathetic Card Trick
    • The Four Deuces
    • Double Empathy
  • Reading With The Fingertips
    • Sensitive Fingertips
    • The Topsy Turvy Deck
    • The Stubborn Card
    • Separating Reds And Blacks
    • Color Scheme
    • Buckle Up
    • Calling The Cards
    • Aces From The Pocket
    • The Complimentary Cards
  • Card Locations
    • Behind The Back Trick
    • The Four Packs
    • Finding A Selected Card
    • Mind Control
    • Braude's Mental Card Trick
    • Locatrix
    • Breath Control
    • Lorayne's Mindreading Trick
    • The Impossible Location
    • Behind My Back
    • The Second Guess Card Trick
    • The Atomic Location
    • Double Revelation
    • Dice Will Tell
    • Scarne's Knockout Card Trick
    • Leipzig's Pocket Card Trick
    • The Traveling Card
    • Hands Off Miracle
    • The Stopper Mindreading Trick
  • Divinations
    • The Whispering Card
    • Cardology, Card Trick Without
    • Ribbon Spread
    • The Poker Face Card Trick
    • The Talking Card
    • Double Duty
    • The Card That Tells
    • Card Counting Extraordinary
    • Double Revelation
    • The Puzzler
    • The Magic Four Spot
    • Cardini's Color Discernment
    • Miraskill
    • The Quickie Card Trick
    • Scarne's Six-Way Baffler
    • Variation On Six-Way Baffler
    • Thurston's Card Mystery
    • Si Stebbins' Master Memory Test
    • Si Stebbins' Master Card Tricks
    • Seeing Through The Deck
    • On The Square
  • Poker Demonstrations
    • The Four Royal Flushes
    • The Dean's Poker Deal
    • The New Deal Poker Hand
    • Scarne's Drunken Poker Deal
    • Winning Poker
    • The Great Poker Demonstration
    • The Mishap Poker Deal
    • The Drunk Plays Bridge
  • Predictions
    • Scarne's Predicto
    • It's A Natural
    • Spectator's Magic Count
    • Thought Control
    • Magic Numbers
    • Double Prediction
    • Perfect Prediction
    • My Lucky Card
    • Up And Down
    • The Three-In-One Card Trick
    • The Future Deck
    • Scarne's Power Of Thought
  • Revelations
    • Hit The Deck
    • The Acrobatic Card
    • The Stapled Card
    • Double Location
    • The Card Through Handkerchief
    • The Spirit Card Trick
    • Sympathetic Aces
    • Swimmers
    • The Weigle Aces
    • Dunninger's Mental Trick
    • Egg a la Card
    • The Photographic Match
    • The Initials Will Tell
    • Thought Ablaze
    • Automatic Pencil Writing
  • Reverses
    • The Upside Down Deck
    • Reverso
    • Perplexity
    • Double Surprise
    • Cross Suits
  • Countdowns, Spellers and Stop Tricks
    • Spectator's Magic Count
    • Magic In Your Own Hands
    • Mathematical Finder
    • The Allerchrist Card Trick
    • The Triple Deal Card Trick
    • James' Miracle
    • The Obedient Cards
    • The Card Clock
    • Heath's Master Speller
    • Cardini's Mindreading Trick
    • Nomenclature
    • The Spelling Bee
    • Personification
    • Scarne's Lie Speller
    • Scarne's Red And Black Speller
    • Scarne, Please Help Me
    • The Uninvited Joker
    • Twenty-One Card Spelling Trick
    • General Arnold's Master Speller
    • Wild Bill Hickock's Hand
    • Scarne's Twenty-Two Stop Trick
    • Scarne's Tappit
  • Telephone Telepathy
    • The Wizard
    • Walsh's Long Distance Trick
    • Scarne's Phone Miracle
    • The Psychic Number Seven
  • Teleportation
    • The Love Birds
    • Flighty Aces
    • Switcheroo
    • Card Vanishes Into Pocket
    • Scarne's Follow The Leader
    • Vernon's Three Card Assembly
    • The Piano Trick
    • Carlyle's Migrating Decks
    • The Card in The Wallet

1st edition 1950; PDF 238 pages.
word count: 124188 which is equivalent to 496 standard pages of text


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Reviewed by Cortez Magicus (confirmed purchase)
★★★★★   Date Added: Friday 01 July, 2016

So many good tricks. Low easy price. Magician always benefit. Very good book.

Reviewed by Daniel Horn
★★★★★   Date Added: Wednesday 18 May, 2016

This is a great book on card magic. Period. There are lots of great effects contributed by great magicians.

Forget the comments about non-sleight-of-hand that are always attached to this book.

Yes, it was written so that, for example, card forces are always replaced with something much simpler (the "10-20" force).

If you are new to card magic, then you may want to learn the tricks as written. Otherwise, you should read the book with the idea of keeping the effect but putting back in sleights that make the effects stronger (e.g., eliminate counting procedures such as the above-mentioned force).

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