Short film about an incredible 19-year-old card magician, Franco Pascali

There are two kinds of magic tricks. One kind makes the spectator think: "That magician must have a lot of skill to pull off such a difficult trick." The other kind makes the spectator think: "That was impossible." I saw Pascali perform at the Magic Castle in Hollywood last year, and he does impossible magic. Enjoy this brief film about Pascali, directed by Jacob Rosenberg.

When I met Franco Pascali, I was struck by how much I felt like I was meeting and hanging out with a young street skater. However, instead of witnessing skate tricks he destroyed me by his usage of cards. Much like the world of skateboarding that I was raised in, magic and cardistry are intensely personal and individually orientated in terms of the endless practice that is required to master them. Tricks are performed with decks and each person embodies a style that is distinctly their own. That style is reflective of the influences they devoured when they were coming up and their intrinsic sensibility that they develop as they mature. As I spent time with Franco I immediately wanted to point my camera at him to capture the way he dressed, the way he talked, the breathtaking way he moved cards and the feeling I had in encountering such raw talent. This is our first film.

Franco Pascali is 19 years-old and lives in Los Angeles. He is a director of magic at Theory11.

Photos by Stephen Vanasco Read the rest

My card trick book is on sale for 99 cents

I became interested in magic when I was a young teenager, then dropped out for one reason or another. About five years ago I started getting interested again, this time in card magic (as opposed to stage magic). I had fun making doctored cards to use in my tricks, so in 2015 I wrote and illustrated a self-published ebook called Trick Decks: How to Hack Playing Cards for Astounding Magic. The sales exceeded my expectations, and it was at the top of the "magic" chart in Amazon for a quite a while.

Occasionally I reduce to price of the book. For the next few days, I've dropped the price of the ebook from $2.99 to 99 cents. It will go to $1.99, then back to $2.99.

Trick Decks will show you how to easily make different kinds of trick card decks to perform stunning magic tricks. You can make the decks from ordinary playing cards and easy-to-find tools and materials. No special skills are required and these cards are fun to make.

In this ebook you will learn

The best way to mark cards How to make a stripper deck that lets you pull selected cards from the middle of the deck Two ways to make one of the greatest trick decks of all time: The Invisible Deck How to make the Brainwave Deck: A spectator’s thought-of card is the only one face up in the deck and with a different colored back than the other cards Nightmare Card: A card chosen by the spectator vanishes and reappears in your pocket

Find out more about the ebook at Trick Decks website. Read the rest

Use borderless cards for three card monte

Everyone should know how to play three card monte. I learned decades ago and it has been immeasurably helpful.

This video by The Card Trick Teacher will teach you the con, and the sleight of hand. It is very simple to learn 'the throw.' The thing these internet videos leave out is, don't use bordered cards! You'll get caught really, really quickly.

These Bee Club Special playing cards do the trick. The pattern on their backs runs right up to the edge of the card, and it is very hard to see that the throw is happening. They are also made by US Playing Cards, and are the same lovely quality as my beloved Bicycle decks.

Remember, you need a few friends to make this hustle work.

Bee Premium Playing Cards (Colors may vary) via Amazon Read the rest

Get my card trick book for 99 cents - today only

Trick Decks, my e-book about making your own trick magic decks is just 99 cents today. Tomorrow the price goes back to the regular price of $2.99. Learn more about the book on the Trick Decks website. Read the rest

Learn epic tricks with the Penguin Magic starter kit, 59% off in the Boing Boing Store

Penguin Magic is a great way to get into magic tricks, and master the art in no time. Read the rest

Get my card trick book for 99 cents - today only

Trick Decks, my e-book about making your own trick magic decks is just 99 cents today. Tomorrow the price goes to $1.99, and the day after that it goes to its regular price of $2.99. Learn more about the book on the Trick Decks website. Read the rest

Foreword to Trick Decks: How to Hack Playing Cards for Astounding Magic

Jason wrote a terrific foreword to my $3 card magic e-book, Trick Decks: How to Hack Playing Cards for Extraordinary Magic, and has kindly given me permission to reprint it here. Jason was instrumental in rekindling my interested in magic, so I was thrilled to have him write it. Thank you, Jason!

What Mark teaches you, in this fantastic book, is magic. Magic you can appreciate immediately, and marvel at its workings without ever performing for more than yourself.

Herein lie activities that are fun for the whole family!

Activities that create illusions you’ll never forget – or forget how they work!

The entire STEM course load that is so popular today is here in Spades! Clubs! Hearts! Diamonds!

It is truly magic on so many levels.

So much about magic is intentionally damn confusing. I have a large library of books on card magic. Few of them are comprehensible to folks who don’t spend hours trying to figure out how to use them! It is like law school! Fancy names for card sleights that are harder to remember than the moves themselves, illustrations from Lascaux, and dialect from the renaissance-faire are frequently used to keep the barrier to entry high.

Mark has worked hard to share easy, achievable methods to get immediate, amazing results. You can delight in magic in a way that took me over a decade, working with only a single deck of Bicycle 808 playing cards and a candle, in a damp, dark room, trying to perfect a double lift.

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TV Magic Cards with Marshall Brodien - the best commercial ever

I wonder how many thousands of kids were introduced to the joy of magic from buying TV Magic Cards after watching this commercial that ran on TV ad nauseum in the early 1970s. Read the rest

My new e-book: how to make cool magic trick card decks

Trick Decks: How to Hack Cards for Extraordinary Magic is my $2.99 Kindle e-book that will show you how to easily make different kinds of magic trick card decks. You can make the decks from ordinary playing cards and easy-to-find tools and materials.

It contains full-color photos and illustrations and clear instructions, as well as links to helpful videos. No special skills are required and these cards are fun to make for beginners and experienced magicians.

My 12-year-old daughter and I have been using these hand-made decks to delight friends and strangers with amazing tricks. Best of all, no one has ever guessed the secret to these tricks!

For more information, watch the above video or visit my website, trickdecks.org. Read the rest

Invisible Deck - one of the greatest card tricks ever

The Invisible Deck is one of my favorite trick decks because the effect is simple and stunning. It blows people’s minds.

Take a look at this video above of David Blaine using the deck on a man in the street.


As you can see in the video, Blaine walks up to a man and hands him a deck of cards, which are in a closed card box. While the man is holding the deck, Blaine asks the man to visualize a card in the deck, and to imagine it turning over in the deck.

The man says “ten of diamonds.”


“Check this out,” say Blaine, taking the deck from the man and removing the cards from the box. He fans out the cards. All of them are face up but one: the ten of diamonds. The man is visibly stunned.


“That is unbelievable. That is just terrific. How’d you do that? How’d you do that? It’s so mind boggling I don’t even know what to say about it.”


I used the Invisible deck on my friend and he had a similar reaction. He told me the next day that he was up all night trying to figure out how I did it. (Of course I didn’t tell him.)


I have written a book about making trick card decks (available soon!) that will include instructions for making an invisible deck. If you don't want to wait, you can buy an Invisible Deck from Amazon for under $10.

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Dots Impossible card trick

Dots Impossible ($10) is another trick that fooled eagle-eyed, always suspicious Carla. I fanned a packet of six cards, face down, and told her to pick one and put it face down on the table. Then I showed her the faces of the other five cards. Each had a large red dot. I asked her to flip over her selected card - it had a blue dot. I repeated the trick. No matter which card she picked, it was the odd one out.

This trick uses a simple but effective sleight which is very easy to learn.

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How to make your own sliced deck of cards

A few hours after I ordered a box of half-wide playing cards I realized I had the tools and materials to make my own. Read the rest

NoPhone is a black piece of plastic shaped like an iPhone

From the Kickstarter page: "The NoPhone acts as a surrogate to any smart mobile device, enabling you to always have a rectangle of smooth, cold plastic to clutch without forgoing any potential engagement with your direct environment." Read the rest