One of the easiest forms of magic, Card Tricks have been around for as long as people can remember. These tricks have in fact grown in popularity with each year that has passed. Street performances by skilled magicians such as David Blaine and the introduction of large gaming facilities, such as the casinos of Los Vegas have contributed to the increased popularity of card tricks.
Many amateur magicians specialise in card tricks due to their versatility. They are small, easy to handle and extremely cheap. They also do not require any special props or abilities, other than a fair amount of practice and a good routine, to make them work.
Most professional magicians guard their secrets jealously. There are the occasional performers who hold sessions and seminars that introduce youngsters and amateur magic enthusiasts to the wonders and intricacies that surround the performance of card tricks.
These educational gatherings, together with the many hundreds of booklets, videos and websites are available to the public. These many items now reveal the secrets behind such astounding card tricks. Elevating cards into the air, card vanishing, but ever popular, tearing a card and restoring it to its original shape.
Sleight of hand, card marking, trick decks and a variety of other ploys are used in performing card tricks. Good sleight of hand card tricks are never easy and improve only with time and practice. Card marking which is also popular with many magicians is often undetectable to the audience or person watching the trick.
There are many ways of marking cards. Juice marking and pin pricks are the most popular methods amongst beginners. However, more sophisticated techniques such as tinting the uniform back of cards and using luminous marked cards (that can only be detected through specially made sunglasses) are also used.
The ‘gambler’s riffle test’ (which entails the rapid flipping of the pack to see if there is any change in the outer design of the cards) and shining light off the card to detect punctures or other markings; are just some methods through which marked cards can be detected.
However, all card tricks, no matter how complicated they may seem, are based upon a few basic principles that are then developed to produce an entirely new trick. Professional card manipulators have swelled the ranks of magicians in recent years, and include the talents of such skilled performers as Richard Pitchford (Cardini), Ed Marlo and Allan Ackerman as well as other veterans of the art.