Royal Road to Card Magic

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Postby Bigtone53 » Aug 16th, '08, 01:11

Wild Card wrote:I just recently went back to the book and had a quick flick through and found several effects I can remember ignoring because of lack of understanding or skill. Some real gems in there.

I agree. My other interest in Okinawan karate teaches me that the more you learn as you progess, the more you realise that the advanced skills and techniques were in fact hidden in the basic first exercises . It is always good to go back and review earlier stuff in the light of later experience.

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Postby Rufio » Aug 16th, '08, 10:03

Big Tone... I love this comparison with karate. Out of the two disciplines (magic and martial arts), which would you say conforms most to the old adage of "the hand being quicker than the eye"? (or, as Greg Wilson flirts with female spectators, "the hand is quicker than the thigh - er, sorry, eye!" It is often drilled into us, but certainly the "bigger picture" is something that is based on the fundamentals of card sleights (as with most things I suppose), so yes i'd imagine the first few lessons are really significant.

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Postby MagicBell » Aug 16th, '08, 21:57

I'd imagine Magic relies more on the hands doing things without the spectator noticing. In martial arts, you don't necessarily need to be quick. You can do well with other qualities. I'm sure anyone who has been in a fight or two knows what its like to see that punch coming from a mile away but not be able to do anything in time. :lol:

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Postby Matthius88 » Nov 10th, '09, 13:26

RRTCM (obviously)

£14 (for a lovely hardback version) from an independant bookstore

(1=easy to do, 2=No sleights, but not so easy, 3=Some sleights used,
4=Advanced sleights used, 5=Suitable for experienced magicians only)

The difficulty ranges, obviously a begginers book but goes no higher than a 3 I would say. Then again, I had already learned some of the sleights upon starting this, so it may seem harder for others.

This was the second book I bought, Mark Wilson's being the first. I've got to say, I much, much preferred this. Don't get me wrong, Mark Wilson's is an astoundingly useful book for a starter, with great magic of almost every kind, but RRTCM really seemed to work for me. Then again, cards is only a small part of Mark Wilson's, so not really comparible.

The pace of this is about as solid as it gets. Everything comes in its own due time and I found the order of sleights to learn, followed by several good (and some GREAT) effects for each sleight and the ones before it, and the authors' initial instructions to try everything and take two or three things that you really like before moving on to the next chapter, is exactly what any wannabe card-conjurer needs. It will get you building the foundations of skills that will follow. And never does it make you feel like jumping ahead a couple of chapters to learn "the good stuff". Each chapter has extremely solid effects that you can use at your current level, which means you spend more time learning solid card skills and less time hunting for the best tricks.

Though there are fewer illustrations (and no photographs) than other books, the wording is extremely clear and the instructions are so well laid out that I really had no trouble at all understanding what to do. Some of the language may be dated (see earlier posts of Phalanges and Phalanx's :P) but this really wasn't an issue for me. Not being big headed in anyway, I've just read some odd books in my time so I knew what the words meant! Still, once you get past any strange words, if you encounter them, the language is beautifully clear.

As a slightly odd note, get the old brown hardback if you can. Something about it just LOOKS special. Maybe thats me being a book snob? No. Its just a matter of practicality. You are going to be coming back to this book for years to come if you buy it, trust me. I finnished the last chapter a few nights ago and picked it straight back up the next day to go back to look the miriad of effects I didnt practice as much.

9.5 out of 10. (Nothing is perfect ;) )

Solid, stable and concise. This is one of four books I have at the moment and is by far my favorite, it really helped me nail down techniques that I had learned elsewhere and taught me some great new ones. Plus there are some absolute diamond effects in here that can be easily adapted/changed/linked to suit your own personal style.

All things are subjective to individual tastes. But this really helped me.

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Postby TimLeStrange » Nov 10th, '09, 23:25

This being one of the first books I picked up from my local magic shop, also this is my first ever review.

I found this book a real eye opener for me as it has enlightened me on so many things such as simple flourishes aswell as how to correctly use certain card methods such as force and key.

It was very detailed in the explainations it gave on even the simplest effects and told you how to achieve the best results doing these effects and motions.

One thing that really stuck out in my mind were the many tidbits of history given in the book aswell as the many tips, it is very easy to follow and its a book I would recommend anyone pick up as I have just started to read it again as I know with books like these the more you read them the more you learn and there is always something you missed.


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Postby phillipnorthfield » Feb 28th, '10, 21:30

Whats great about this book is that you master everything in there, people suss you out, you end up moving onto complicated things from DVD's, go back to this book, and amaze people with simple key-cards

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Postby pmc magic » Mar 1st, '10, 15:35

This is a great book book for any card worker.

One item that stands out in my mind is a little gem called "Top Change By Play". Its just a small, well, by play that you can add to any "pick a card" trick and is great...I've probably used that more than anything else in the book.

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Postby JoelDickinson » Mar 16th, '10, 14:49

I have been reading this book since I was a child. I'm mid 20's now :shock:

I still pick Royal Road up.. maybe three or four times a year and I always discover something new. Thats a mystery within its self.


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Postby cymru1991 » Mar 16th, '10, 14:56

JoelDickinson wrote:I have been reading this book since I was a child. I'm mid 20's now :shock:

I still pick Royal Road up.. maybe three or four times a year and I always discover something new. Thats a mystery within its self.


I'm exactly the same (apart from the fact I'm only 18 and not mid 20s). There is alays SOMETHING to be gained by picking up Royal Road again and again and again. All in all, a WONDERFUL book. (If I were the most powerful man in the world, I would close down the entire card magic section of Ellusionist and replace it with a HUGE link for buying Royal Road... :twisted: )

James, 19, Lifelong student of magic and will carry on learning for the rest of my days if I'm a very lucky boy.
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Postby SamGurney » Mar 16th, '10, 20:16

I goddamn agree. I met someone about a week and found out they were interested in cards. I wanted to guage what sort of skill level they were at and so I asked them what sort of magicians shape their magic, I went through a list of a few of the classics (in my opinion) and I had assume that I needn't even mention that one. I nearly fainted when I found out he was buying all these gimmicked decks but hadn't read the royal road.
And yes, always something to learn, same with all the classics. Every time I read Corinda, I read it with just that little bit more insight and understanding and ability to read between the lines- sometimes that nugget of insight gained from experience in magic can make a whole lot of difference.
All the great books of the world in fact are like that. They should make authors consider that.
In fact, I needn't buy another book for the rest of my life. I could save myself a lot of money and keep reading the ones I already have.

''To go wrong in one's own way is better than to go right in another's.'' Dostoevsky's Razumihin.
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Postby magicofthemind » Mar 16th, '10, 23:30

SamGurney wrote:In fact, I needn't buy another book for the rest of my life. I could save myself a lot of money and keep reading the ones I already have.

I keep telling myself that. This time I mean it - I think....

Hugard shaped my magic development too, although in my case it was Modern Magic Manual which came first - highly recommended. There's some great stuff in Royal Road as well, but I don't do card tricks - well, hardly ever.


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Royal Road

Postby Jason Ladanye » Mar 30th, '10, 02:37

a MUST READ for anyone getting started with card magic. Even if you don't do effects out of this book, it's the basis for other magicians sleights or effects.

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Royal Road

Postby Jason Ladanye » Mar 30th, '10, 02:40

...and.... expert card technique should be right next to royal road!

-Jason Ladanye

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Re: Royal Road

Postby lenslater » Apr 8th, '10, 23:30

Jason Ladanye wrote:a MUST READ for anyone getting started with card magic. Even if you don't do effects out of this book, it's the basis for other magicians sleights or effects.

Absolutely - actually, I would recommend it in combination with some other books - for instance Mark Wilson - RRTCM has very poor illustrations, but MW illustrates a lot of the basic techniques for instance h***u shuffle is way better illustrated in MW than RRTCM - but RRTCM is much more comprehensive, and it also makes sense as a teaching guide, becoming progressively more complex. I disagree that all the techniques are only about a 3, there are some techniques described which some magicians never master (e.g. the p**s)


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Postby tryphon » Feb 22nd, '11, 14:55

This was my first serious card manual, thirty-odd years ago and I often revisit this great classic. Some of the tricks are priceless ("design for laughter", for one) and I find the progression though the various sleights very well structured.
It is a classic, and deservedly so. If you don't have a copy, buy it! You won't regret it.

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