In this age of instant gratification we as magicians tend to look past the written word for our magic education, and go straight to DVDs and instant downloads. When we do look to text we tend to look at something new, and shiny. I think we need to look at our history to help us learn and improve.
I urge you to not overlook this book. Years ago when I read this for the first time, I had already learned most of the core sleights and concepts. When I read the royal road I skimmed over many portions of the book because I was already familiar with the technique. Even though I was familiar with the techniques, I had not really learned how to properly apply them. Sure I could do them in context of the trick I was trying to perform, but I could not really apply that information to other effects.
This course in magic, and that’s really what it is, is designed to teach you not just the techniques, but how, and when to apply them. In each chapter you are learning a new concept, method, or technique, and the chapter also includes effects that put that particular method into practice.
If you are new to card magic, or if you just have not gotten around to reading this book, then The Royal Road to Card Magic is for you.
For new or beginners in card magic this is an absolute must read. The strong foundation you will build by actually working through this book will set you up for a strong future in magic.
If you have been in magic a while and not read it, or maybe you have read it but not gone back to it, I recommend you pull it off your shelf and go through again with a true student perspective, and see what you may have forgotten, or what you never learned.
If you have been in magic for a while, you still need to read this book. It will help fill in gaps and increase your overall understanding of move you may have been doing for a long time.
Don’t expect to just read this, and run the tricks in a few days. You really need to study this material. Read through with your cards in hand and really take the time to fully understand each section before you move on to the next. Each new section builds on what you learned in previous chapters so you really need to understand each section before moving on.
The language in this book is by no means current. The provided patter is not the way we use our language today, but the concept behind the patter is the same, and is relevant. Your script or patter is there to assists with the illusion you are demonstrating and can help with misdirection. Don’t overlook what the provided patter is there to help you do. The way the authors speak to you as the reader can make certain portions a little difficult to understand, but there is a solution, that I will share with you shortly.
You may sitting there reading asking, Hey magic review guy, what about the Card College Series? Don’t you think that it is better than The Royal Road to Card Magic? The answer is that they are both absolutely fantastic. In my opinion as someone who has studies both, you should read all of it, but I recommend that you read The Royal Road to Card Magic first. Let Card College help you make modifications to the foundation that your build with The Royal Road To Card Magic.
Royal road runs around $15 dollars, depending on which published version you happen to pick up, and each of the 5 volumes of Card College run $35-$40. If you don’t have either I say spend $15 for Royal Road and then assess if you plan to keep going with card magic. If so, then the Card College series is wonderful, and with the strong foundation you will have developed you will be able to move on to many other fantastic texts and videos.
For those of you who feel that you learn better from DVDs, and who need help overcoming the language used in the book there is a solution, and I actually recommend this to everyone. R. Paul Wilson on The Royal Road to Card Magic is a companion 5 DVD set to the book. Having both the book, and the DVD set allows you to read through the book, and then turn to DVDs for a lesson on the exact same thing. R. Paul Wilson agrees that you need to read the book, and then go to the DVD. The two pair together perfectly and the DVD really does guide you through the book. Think of it as having a private teacher walking you through the book step by step.
I challenge you to go read The Royal Road to Card Magic and try out the material. I know I have fooled laymen and magicians with items from its pages.
Contents: Part One
I. The Overhand Shuffle, I Position of the Pack in the Hands Execution of the Overhand Shuffle Using the Overhand Shuffle Controlling the Top Card Controlling the Bottom Card Retaining the Top and Bottom Cards in Position Top Card to Next to Bottom and Back to the Top The Run The Injog The Undercut Overhand Shuffle Control Retaining Top Stock Overhand False Shuffle Overhand Shuffle Practive Routine Tricks with the Overhand Shuffle Topsy-Turvy Cards A Poker Player's Picnic A Pocket Discovery Telepathy Plus Thought Stealer Pinkie Does It A Card and a Number
II. The Riffle Shuffle Riffle Shuffle Control Retaining a Card at the Top of the Deck Retaining the Bottom Card or Cards Riffle Shuffle in the Air Tricks with the Riffle Shuffle An Instinct for Cards Mirror of the Mind Ultra Card Divination
III. Flourishes Displaying the Top Card The Ruffle The Click Spread and Turnover Gathering the Ribbon-Spread Pack Springing the Cards A Flourish Count Throwing a Card Waterfall Shuffle The Fan One-Hand Fan Thumb Fan Pressure Fan
IV. The Glide Design for Laughter The Observation Test
V. The Glimpse Bottom-Card Glimpse I Bottom-Card Glimpse II Bottom-Card Glimpse III Top-Card Glimpse I Fan Peek Tricks with the Glimpse Gray's Spelling Trick Round and Round
VI. The Key Card The Key Undercut Key Undercut Shuffle Tricks with the Key Card Do as I Do The Three Piles The Twenty-Sixth Card A Meeting of the Minds The Non-Poker Voice Intuition with Cards Sliding Key Card
VII. The Palm Top Palm I (Single Card) Top Palm II (Several Cards) Palm Glimpse Replacing Palmed Cards Tricks with the Palm Card in the Pocket Now You See It! Grab-Bag Card Good-Luck Card Do It and Fail Gathering of the Clan Spring Catch A Vested Interest Piano Trick
VIII. The Backslip Backslip Force Backslip Control Tricks with the Backslip Lightning Card The Tantalizer Under Your Hat
IX. The Overhand Shuffle, II Injog and Break Overhand Break Control Overhand Lift Shuffle Lift Shuffle Force Spread and Break Holding a Break Spread and Break Control Tricks with the Overhand Shuffles The Sevens Obliging Aces Leapfrog Spectator's Card Trick A Poker Puzzle
X. False Shuffles and Cuts Optical Shuffle Charlier Shuffle The Cut Palm Cut Tricks with the Shuffles and Cuts An Incomprehensible Divination Circus Card Trick Black Jack, Detective
XI. The Double Lift and Turnover Double-Lift Glimpse Double-Lift Card Reverses Rapid Transit The Trey Ambitious Card Throughth and Consequences Insidious Dr. Fu Liu Tu
XII. The Pass Riffle Pass Spread Pass Spring Pass Tricks with the Pass Off Agin, On Agin, Finnegin! Kangaroo Card Righting a Wrong Blindfolded Pack Double Speller
XIII. Miscellaneous Flourishes Color Change Double Color Change The Changing Card Self-Cutting Deck A Pretty Cut Pop-Up Card A Bit of Byplay Charlier Cut Acrobatic Aces
XIV. The Reverses First Method Second Method Third Method Fourth Method Reversed Location Tricks with the Reverses Spellbound A Tipsy Trick Double Reverse Mentalivity Mountebank Miracle
XV. The Hindu Shuffle and other Controls Hindu Shuffle Control Hindu Shuffle Force Hindu Shuffle Glimpse The Step Natural Jog Twelve-Down Riffle Tricks with the Hindu Shuffle All Change Here Ewephindit
XVI. The Classic Force One-Hand Force Bottom Force Slide-Out Force Two-Card Force Riffle-Break Force Sliding-Key Force Double-Lift Force Cut Force Tricks with the Force Justice Card Trick Fours of a Kind Pulse Trick
XVII. Top and Bottom Changes Top Change The Changing Card Top-Change Byplay Bottom Change Top and Bottom Changes
XVIII. Arrangements Tricks with Arrangements The Selective Touch A Future in Cards Jacks Wild Think Stop Deal Away The Educated Cards Reds and Blacks
XIX. Routines Routining Card Tricks A Table Routine Card-Discovery Routine Razzle-Dazzle Routine
XX. Platform Tricks Conus Ace Trick Ladies' Looking Glass Everywhere and Nowhere Egyptian Pocket Cards to the Pocket Enlarging and Diminishing Cards Three Cards Across Everybody's Card I Everybody's Card II Index