“ Brand: Wizmo „
The Svengali deck! I must say that this is an amazing feet of design and a great idea, it is a must have for all budding magicians. To start off, I would like to explain that I am not a fan of revealing the secrets of a trick, it's not exactly fair on the creator of the trick because they have created the idea and toiled to make the idea into a physical sell able trick, it's their property. In this case, I see it differently because it's a deck of cards and not exactly a magic trick. To write a review which gives any real information on the item I will have to reveal the secret to some extent, but you have to buy the product, to use the secret which is why I am going to reveal it.
~~What is the Svengali Deck?~~
The Svengali Deck, is a Gaff deck of cards. The cards cannot be used for Card Games and other magic tricks which require a full deck of cards (Explained in the Secret below). For those who don't understand the term Gaff, it basically means that the deck of cards is manufactured differently to a normal deck of cards so that it can be used as a magic prop, to force cards or to perform other magic tricks, which wouldn't be able to be performed with a normal deck of cards. In a way this is kind of cheating, but that is basically what most Magic Tricks are based on?
The Svengali deck in the picture is a Bicycle Deck, produced by the United States Playing Card Company. The USPC has been the leader in the playing card category for over 100 years, so the quality of these cards is not a problem. It is very likely that these cards are better than you've ever used before. Bicycle cards have a UV500 Airflow Finish, which makes then amazing to use and they slide very easily. Other companies have also done their own version of this, so if you are going to buy this product on Ebay, make sure that it is a "Bicycle" Svengali Deck, with the back design in the image, if you want the best quality.
~~Example of a Magic Trick~~
The classic magic trick which is performed with the Svengali Deck goes as follows.
The Magician shows the deck to the audience, riffling the cards showing that all of the cards are different. He then turns the cards over and riffles through them again, asking the spectator to say stop whenever he wishes. The Magician stops at the Spectators command. He then removes the card which the spectator has stopped on, shows the card to the spectator and puts it back into the deck. He then waves his hand over the deck, turns the top card over, which turns out to be the spectators card. At this point the Spectators are pretty impressed. The Magician then waves his hand over the deck and riffles through the cards again, this time all of the cards are the spectators card. Guaranteed you will get good reactions every time.
This is the classic trick which is done with the Svengali Deck, but to be honest there are Hundreds of tricks which can be done with the deck, it is an amazing deck of cards.
~~What is actually happening?~~
This is the secret of the deck. Half of the deck consists of the same card. This card is random for every Svengali deck produced, The top card of the deck is a random card, the next card is the repeated card, the next is a random card, the next is the repeated card, all the way through the deck it alternates between a random card and then the repeated card. The way in which the Riffles work, even though half of the deck is the same card is that the repeated card, for the sake of explanation we will use the Ace of Hearts. All of the Ace of Hearts are a few mm shorter than the other cards. When you have the deck in order, half of the deck the Ace of Hearts and one random card in between each of the Ace of Hearts . When you riffle through the deck one way, you will catch the cards sticking out of the deck, all of the random cards, so you will not see any Aces of Hearts. When you want to show that all of he cards are the chosen card you riffle it back the other way. Because the bottom card is an Ace of heart, all of the Ace of Hearts show and none of the bigger cards. When you want the Spectator to select a certain card, you simply riffle through the deck, you will always stop on a Random card, because they are taller, you then take the card after the random card, which is always the Ace of Hearts. That is pretty much it with this deck, although this modification to the deck means you can perform tricks that you never could have done before with a normal deck.
I have been using the Svengali Deck for some time now, it has never failed me yet. The cards themselves are very good quality if your using the Bicycle version of the deck and are a thrill to use. It astounds people every single time. The box which they come in, being the Bicycle cards box is durable and easy to carry around with you, which is an added advantage.
~~What Do I Like About Them?~~
What I specially like about the deck is that there are hundreds of tricks which you can perform with it, it is not limited to one magic trick, which a lot of magic props are. The deck is very cheap for the amount of use you will get out of it. Another thing which I specially like about this prop is that it doesn't take hours of practice to get used to using the product and to learn how to use it. The Svengali Deck makes difficult sleight of hand extremely easy, it makes hundreds of effects instantly possible.
~~What Do I Not Like About Them?~~
One of the main drawbacks of these cards is that you can't use them for card games or other tricks which require a full deck of cards. Secondly, you CANNOT let the spectator shuffle or examine the cards at any time, it will mess up the order of the cards and the trick won't work! Being realistic, I think that that is really the only two drawbacks of the cards. If your buying a deck of cards for card games - This is NOT the deck for you.
~~Other Effects Possible With This Deck~~
~ Riffle through the cards and let the spectator say stop whenever, you can then reveal to them their card before even showing it to them.
~ Make the spectators card jump to the top whenever you want to. To add to this effect, you can double lift to show that the top card isn't theirs before making it jump to the top.
~ Cut the deck into 6 piles (It doesn't have to be 6, can be as many as you want, within reason) and then let the spectator pick one of he piles, their card will be on top of that pile. In fact you could then show them that their card is on top of all of the piles, but that would give away that you have more than one of that card.
~One at a time, take a card off the top of the deck and put it on the table, take the next card off the top and put it on top of the card on the table, repeating this till the spectator says stop, they will stop at their card and you can show them the card before, showing that they are different.
These are just a few examples of the other countless effects which you can do with this trick!