Matrix by Mickael Chatelain

Review area devoted to tricks and effects where props are involved.

Moderators: Mandrake, bananafish, Lady of Mystery, support, nickj

MagicWorld Magic Shop for Magic Tricks A web site set up to sell my book, THE STRIPPER DECK, and future magical/mentalism titles. Sorcery Shop - Home of the ITR World-Of-Magic, Suppliers of quality Magic Worldwide Playing Cards for Magicians Web Design for Magicians

Matrix by Mickael Chatelain

Postby cactus mx » Aug 29th, '09, 11:42

The Effect

A card is shown having 4 holes, one in each corner. It is reversed on the deck (face down), after which the magician takes the card and visibly moves 3 holes to one corner using just two fingers. After reversing it on the deck again, the card is handed out for inspection. It can be obtained in both Blue and Red Bicycle Riders - I have the blue one.

Watch it on YouTube here:

You can get it, for example, at


I bought it in Belgium for € 49, which translates to about $ 70. However, most US shops sell it for about 80 to 90 bucks. This can be explained by the fact that the trick is manufactured in France and that it is of course much cheaper to get it to Belgium than it is to ship it to US magic stores. Nonetheless, the price still is pretty steep.

The package contains a DVD, a gimmicked card and two punched cards.

(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)

I'd give it a 2. It requires some sleights but these are done in such a quick and almost unnoticable way giving it a 3 would just be overkill.


When the guy at the magic shop showed it to me, I was baffled. When not knowing what is going to happen, all you see is simply those holes moving on the back of the card. This is exactly what I like about this trick: it's very visual and surprising. After practising for a couple of hours (I like to take my time as not to 'ruin' my money spent) I showed it to some relatives of mine. Over here, people tend not to scream and such when seeing a magic trick as opposed to what I see on magic video's filmed in the States, but this was actually the first time my spectators did. They touched the card after the trick, and really thought it was magic - which is of course what any trick wants to achieve.

The DVD that comes with it has some street performances in France, several in-studio close up performances which also explain the trick and some little promotional films for other Chatelain tricks and DVD's. The trick is well explained with English subtitles. However, I suggest another routine which can be found in this review. The subtitles come in French, English and Spanish. Overall, a well produced DVD.

The gimmick itself is very well constructed. I'm new to Mickael Chatelain's tricks, but if any of his other gimmicks are made like this, I'm in. It is in your spectators view almost all of the time, and they don't see it because they don't have to to look for it. All they want to see is the card with the holes in it (people who have this will understand it better). This is also where the sleights come in: when done in a nonchalant way, it will be absolutely unnoticeable. Just for your understanding: the moving of the holes does not require any sleight at all, it is almost self-working. The lazy ones could simply take this one card out of their wallet, do the hole move and put it away again without ever doing anything. Not that I'm supporting this, but now you know.

In the routine I came up with, I force the punched card as if I don't know that the card has holes in it. The spectator of course notices this and gently lets me know. I tell them that I was not counting on her choosing that card - and turn their card round so that I too know which card she chose, but that I will do another little trick, on the offbeat. This is when I start moving the holes. Because of the fact that they were expecting another 'choose a card and I'll find it somehow'-trick, the fact that it goes totally elsewhere really nails it. It's just an idea, I'd be glad to hear some other suggestions!

On a side note: I've read some reviews on other fora, and one of the questions which came back was whether the card in the end could be handed out as a souvenir. It actually can: get a forcing deck matching the gimmick and a puncher. You'll figure it out in about a second.


A very strong, well constructed trick. It is almost invisibly gimmicked when performed right. The price is high for just one trick, but the reactions are great and the gimmick is so well constructed. Watching yourself do it almost looks like real magic.[/url]

cactus mx

Matrix by mickeal Chatelain

Postby BobbyT » Nov 17th, '09, 13:42

Hello cactus mx,
Just read your review of Chatelain's matrix. Very informative, thank you. I'm wondering how the gaff card compares with R Paul Wilson's Know'Em Dead routine using the same 'hole moving' princible.
I've yet to decide which one to buy, so any info from readers would be helpful.
Thanks again.

New User
Posts: 9
Joined: Nov 17th, '09, 13:31

Postby Mr Grumpy » Mar 16th, '11, 23:02

VERY old thread being bumped up here...

But such a great looking trick.

Though it costs so much money (I've just seen it for almost £70), I can't risk buying it unless I know that it will fit in with my other stuff.

I use Bee cards.

OK, so clearly you can make the two 'punch cards' yourself, ie the two examinable cards, the one at the start and the one at the end, but can you either make or else adapt the card that makes the holes move, ie the gimmicked card?

Will be HUGELY greatful for any info.

This looks so good, I almost feel like switching to Bikes, but, nah, I've managed to stick with Bee cards all this time, even figuring out how to adapt an Extractor to Bee cards (not easy due to the edges looking different...)

Thanks for any help!

User avatar
Mr Grumpy
Advanced Member
Posts: 1021
Joined: Nov 22nd, '09, 13:25
Location: Manchester 39:WP

Postby Lawrence » Mar 16th, '11, 23:15

Just use one of the standard moving hole tricks out there that don't involve £70 gimmicks. £70? for something that doesn't actually show a hole moving?
I'm happy to be proved wrong (of course) but I see no benefit of this over the usual plot.

Custom R&S decks made to specification - PM me for details
User avatar
Veteran Member
Posts: 5069
Joined: Jul 3rd, '06, 23:40
Location: Wakefield 28:SH

Postby Mr Grumpy » Mar 17th, '11, 11:52

It doesn't? You mean in that the 'hole' is covered by the finger or thumb as it moves?

OK, can anyone suggest any reason why this might be worth £70, compared to cheaper hole tricks?

I certainly don't like the ones where you have to put the card into some kind of black plastic wallet. Personally, I want to avoid that.

User avatar
Mr Grumpy
Advanced Member
Posts: 1021
Joined: Nov 22nd, '09, 13:25
Location: Manchester 39:WP

Postby Le Petit Bateleur » Mar 17th, '11, 13:24

I think it is very visual, but I don't understand the premise of the trick - why does the card have holes in it?

Could this be applied to a business card?


User avatar
Le Petit Bateleur
Senior Member
Posts: 438
Joined: Dec 18th, '08, 11:43
Location: Bohemia, Czech Republic, (33:EN)

Postby spooneythegoon » Mar 17th, '11, 17:38

Le Petit Bateleur wrote:why does the card have holes in it?

Perhaps you had an air rifle when you were a kid, and used that card for target practice. Perhaps you were also a rubbish shot so when showing off to your friends you found a way to move the bullet holes etc :wink:

User avatar
Advanced Member
Posts: 1806
Joined: Oct 22nd, '09, 19:43
Location: UK AH

Postby Mandrake » Mar 17th, '11, 22:58

You lived in a tough neighbourhood? If in the USA, perhaps in one of those 'shotgun' houses - and here are the shotgun holes to prove it?

User avatar
Posts: 27294
Joined: Apr 20th, '03, 21:00
Location: UK (72:AH)

Postby Arkesus » Mar 18th, '11, 00:31

I would contest that this comes across as no more magical to a laymen, as the pips printed on a four of diamonds all shifting to the same corner of a card. Which has the added advantage that you don't remove the card away from the deck, do the biz, put it back on the deck just to turn it over, and then take it away from the deck again. (one of my pet peeves in card magic.)

Time Magazines Person Of The Year 2006.
User avatar
Senior Member
Posts: 638
Joined: Apr 5th, '08, 00:11
Location: Ealing London

Postby Mr Grumpy » Mar 24th, '11, 14:54

Arkesus wrote:Which has the added advantage that you don't remove the card away from the deck, do the biz, put it back on the deck just to turn it over, and then take it away from the deck again. (one of my pet peeves in card magic.)

I had a pet peeve, but it had to be put down.

In my slightly limited experience of using the twelve change, in which the above happens, I've never had a problem with it as long as it happens during the off-beat.

User avatar
Mr Grumpy
Advanced Member
Posts: 1021
Joined: Nov 22nd, '09, 13:25
Location: Manchester 39:WP

Return to Reviews - Tricks 'n Props

Manufacturer of modern & unique magic apparatus! Best prices around! Aeternum Servare Secreta Dude That's Cool Magic Visit Magicbox for all the latest and best effects! UK's Online Magic Tricks and Jokes Shop offers kids and beginner magic tricks and jokes. Best prices around!

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests