ID VS Svengali deck

Struggling with an effect? Any tips (without giving too much away!) you'd like to share?

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Wich do you like most?

ID
15
56%
Svengali deck
12
44%
 
Total votes : 27

Postby dat8962 » Feb 2nd, '06, 15:45



When I do use the Svengali, I sometimes find that it pays to have two decks, each with a different force card. If someone has seen one before they won't be prepared for a deck swap and seeing a different force card.

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Postby Arthur » Feb 2nd, '06, 15:50

Anyone know the name of the deck that one can use to perform the trick (not sure what its called), in which one shows all the cards to be blank both sides, then shows them to be painted on the back, then finally they appear as normal cards? It involves a few riffles, I think its almost like a svengali but works sideways as well, if ya know wot i mean.

I need to do that trick!

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Postby seige » Feb 2nd, '06, 15:51

Arthur wrote:Anyone know the name of the deck that one can use to perform the trick (not sure what its called), in which one shows all the cards to be blank both sides, then shows them to be painted on the back, then finally they appear as normal cards? It involves a few riffles, I think its almost like a svengali but works sideways as well, if ya know wot i mean.

I need to do that trick!


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Postby Zero000 » Feb 2nd, '06, 16:29

i'd agree with zach. it suprises me how many people know about a svengali deck. even me myself bought a cheap one on the streets not knowing what it was. thats was about 7 years ago.

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Postby Mandrake » Feb 2nd, '06, 16:45

Re Mental Photography, there's a review and details of a superb patter/routine here.

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Postby magic_evmeister » Feb 2nd, '06, 20:36

Forget about the svengali, buy a mirage deck. It's the same as a svengali with an "added kicker" if you will.

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Postby mark lewis » Jun 5th, '06, 13:49

I must advise you that EVERYTHING you can do with the so called Mirage deck [edited by mods] can be done with the svengali.

You CAN fan them. You CAN spread them. You CAN shuffle them. And you don't have to worry about [edited by mods].

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Postby seige » Jun 5th, '06, 13:52

Mark, I wholeheartedly agree. But there's one or two things you CAN do with a mirage that you can't do with a Sven, but in all honesty, I prefer using a Sven for a Sven, and a ??? for a ???.

That should make some sort of sense to those who know.

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Postby Stephen Ward » Jun 5th, '06, 13:53

Very true :lol:

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Postby mark lewis » Jun 5th, '06, 13:57

What pray tell can you do with the Mirage deck that you cannot do with a svengali?

I cannot think of a single thing.

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Postby seige » Jun 5th, '06, 14:11

mark lewis wrote:What pray tell can you do with the Mirage deck that you cannot do with a svengali?

I cannot think of a single thing.


Firstly, you can deal the cards face up, one at a time to a table during a counting routine. Unless you are very deft, you can't do this convincingly with a Sven.

Secondly, you can perform a more convincing table spread for a 'touch the back of any card' style force.

Thirdly, you can overhand shuffle the deck. To my mind, and experience (obviously no where NEAR the experience of Mark's) this is near impossible with a Sven.

Mark... I was actually agreeing with you above. I have read your excellent Svengali book (which I stock in my shop, incidentally) and you know the Svengali deck inside out.

I don't personally use the Mirage deck these days... I find a Svengali to be more than adequate and versatile in terms of it's simplified handling.

However, there IS a place in the market for the Mirage, even if it is just added confidence for Svengali deck first-timers.

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Postby mark lewis » Jun 5th, '06, 14:40

I will agree that you cannot count the cards face up so I will reluctantly concede the first point to you and am mortified to find that you are correct here.

However I am still raging triumphant over the second and third point. I cannot agree that you are unable to spread the cards face down with the svengali deck in a force situation. Indeed that is what I do in the very first trick in my routine. The cards are spread in an instant and a selected card is chosen face down. Forced of course since the key card is the only one available since the cards fall in pairs.

You can also overhand shuffle the deck without any problem. I do all the time. This can be seen in the video on my website as well as the face down force thing. It is also described in my wondrous book.

I once received a shipment of cards cut on the svengali principle but it also featured in addition to this the Mirage principle. It was supposed to be an added advantage but I went nuts trying to do the thing so I sent them all back.

Incidentally there is a good mirage routine described in one of the Routined Manipulation books by Lewis Ganson. I think it is entitled "How Right You Are" However I think it can be done just as well with a svengali deck although I haven't studied it enough to be completely sure.

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Postby seige » Jun 5th, '06, 15:01

Hi Mark...

I wasn't saying they're impossible to do, more that the Mirage makes these moves easier.

I agree with you 100% that the force and the shuffle CAN be done with a Sven, but in terms of a quick result the Mirage makes the job easier.

Anyhow, we could trade pros & cons all afternoon... but that's not what I was aiming at. In fact, I was more trying to justify the Mirage in my own mind.

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Postby Farlsborough » Jun 5th, '06, 15:26

Shame the vote is no longer needed :(
I would have gone for a Svengali, a few normal decks and ********** with which to make Invisible, Brainwave, pop-eyed popper and more... 8)

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Re: ID VS Svengali deck

Postby Barry Allen » Jul 1st, '21, 18:45

An old thread - but one that I found interesting.

Firstly, I've never understood why people prefer an ID over a Brainwave Deck. My reason being
that the effect of a named card turning face down can be achieved in a myriad of ways; using a normal pack and sleight of hand.

Dare I say, with the correct presentation, it can even be better than that achieved with an ID - as you can get the spectator imagine that they're turning their chosen card face down, whilst the pack is held in THEIR hands. They can also then spread through to it. I won't go into the Modus Operandi that I use - as this is an Open Access part of the forum; and I only have Restricted Access at the mo.

Suffice to say that I believe that a Brainwave Deck is a much better effect than an ID - as not only is their freely thought-of card reversed - but it also has the added incredible kicker of having a different coloured back. This overcomes any doubt in the minds of the spectator(s), that you've simply achieved the result by flipping the card over by sleight of hand.

Just a tip, that most people probably know anyway. When you come to their face-up card in a Brainwave Deck, if you nonchalently turn the upper half face up as you point to their face-up reversed card, it just subtlely flashes the face of a completely different card; just an added little convincer that the pack is genuine.

Another little tip when using ANY packs of cards that rely upon a roughing substance. Having the cards in your trouser pocket keeps them warmer; which I find anyway enables the cards to adhere better; if indeed whatever substance you are using is getting a little 'worn out' during the course of an evening. This also aids what is now termed 'pocket management'. Knowing the exact trouser pocket where you keep your gaffed deck, should help avoid any confusion - if you are also using a normal pack of the same brand/case design.

As for Svengali Packs. I first demmed these as a 14yo at a Joke/Magic shop in Greenwich, South London. They blew people's minds. I have no doubt whatsoever that if you walked into a shop, such as Hamleys today, a well-structured Svengali routine would STILL be blowing people's minds.

Let me relate just one reason why I think this is. Just a few weeks ago, my Son (aged 30) had a few friends over for his Birthday. He asked me to do a few things for them; so I grabbed a pack of Waddingtons from the table. For some reason, my Son just said "and he don't use any trick cards either". One of his friends said "what are trick cards?". This statement immediately stopped me in my tracks. I asked all five lads "has anyone heard of trick cards then"? Not a single one acknowledged that they had - and these were guys who ranged from their Mid-20's to 30ish? I was truly dumbstruck. It certainly didn't seem a million years ago when audiences weren't often checking to see if the cards you were using were either Svens or Strippers!

I think we often forget that whereas years ago, kids would get a pack of Svengali's (or similar) as a Christmas gift, over the past few decades, it's probably been replaced with a computer game, etc? A pack of trick cards just "izzzzn't Kooool" I guess.

Here's another point. Even those who may be older AND have had a Svengali Pack at some time, can still be thoroughly entertained with a well-structured Svengali routine - look no further than how Mark Lewis holds a crowd on Youtube.

Maybe a question is then, should you present a Svengali routine today - if working a professional engagement? HELL YES!

Magicians have a fear of their methods being revealed. However, if you are toying with the idea of using a Svengali routine, then you may find this idea useful. It has probably been done or even suggested before, so I'm not claiming the idea is mine - although it might be to some extent?

I use patter along the lines of "people often ask how did I get started in Magic. Well, I started out by selling the most amazing set of Trick Cards ever known to Mankind. Would you like to see a demonstration......because it won't cost you a copper coin and (give a wink) this may take some of you folks back to your childhood".

So in other words:

- You've told them it's a trick pack from the outset - so it overcomes someone blurting out - "they're a trick pack....I used to have them". To be honest, this would only be said anyway later in a routine. Telling them they're trick cards from the outset, takes the wind out of anyone's sails.

- You are performing it as an example of your old-style dealer-dem; so it should flow as such. Remember that generally, most people enjoy watching a 'grafter' in full flow. As an aside, when I was a kid growing up in the East End of London, I learnt more about patter, audience engagement and presentation from grafters flogging towels and pots & pans, etc. in Petticoat and Brick Lane, than I ever learnt from Magic Clubs; or indeed from other Magicians! Something must have stuck - because thoroughout my life, I'd like a pint for everytime I've been asked "were you ever a second-hand car salesman"? Maybe, it's the quick-talking, rough as a dog's rear end, Cockney accent! Anyway, moving on......

- Lastly, you've reeled 'em in by offering to take them back to their childhood. For the vast majority of adults, it's somewhere that they are only too happy to go back to. At this stage, are some people subliminally back in child-mode at this point; so they won't interrupt and will do as they're asked? Who knows.

As an added aside, if you revert later in your set to using a normal pack, then in between effects, try this out. Keep forcing whatever the Sven Pack Force Card was on the person that primarily helped you during your Sven routine. It becomes a running gag. Then, even when another person selects an entirely different card, Top Change it to the Force Card as you hand it to the 'Sven assistant". When they turn it over and it's changed yet again to the Force Card......it gets them howling! Even with a difficult group, try this out and you will usually get the audience eating out of the palm of your hand.

I'm not saying that this has never been thought of or done before - BUT I have certainly never read this idea elsewhere. It has been my 'out' for many, many years if I've had a difficult group of people. I'm 57 and winding down now - so I certainly don't mind sharing it. Hopefully, somebody somewhere will read this idea, appreciate the value of it and put it to good use.

The fact remains, in my opinion anyway, that there isn't ANY routine with a pack of cards that can match a good Svengali Demo. Think about it - you've got almost EVERYTHING complete in one routine:

- Multiple ways of card reveals (and from a 'freely' sighted/chosen card).
- Card Transpositions - that can be cleanly achieved in THEIR hands.
- Card at any number - which incidentally, is oh so strong if you ask them for their birth date.
- Ultra-clean Ambitious Card routine.
- Mind-reading (if that's your type of thing)!
- Easy card to cardcase, etc.
- Incredible change of the pack to their chosen card; before it returns to a normal pack. Yes.....it normally gives away that you're using a trick pack/Sven under normal circumstances - but you've already told them at the outset. Suffice to say that this finale, to my mind anyway, is pure card magic eye-candy - a real 'WOW' moment for the majority of people watching. It's also undoubtedly the reason why hundreds of thousands of Svengali Packs have been sold throughout the last Century. In my view, you don't therefore waste it!

To my mind, there isn't a card routine anywhere that can provide so much entertainment value, in just a few minutes. I'm not saying this as a novice - but as someone who has spent a lifetime handling a pack of cards; and spent thousands of hours studying Vernon, Hugard, Lorayne, etc. I have often asked myself 'why' - but I know why; it's because I adore practicing and performing Card Magic. Like many of you, I've seen such beautiful Magic produced with playing cards; by so many superb Magicians over the years. However, nothing has EVER hit me so hard than when I first saw a pack of Svengali Cards demmed - and at this time in my life, I don't think that any other card routine EVER will.

I wonder what others think?

Last edited by Barry Allen on Jul 1st, '21, 23:23, edited 1 time in total.
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