My Favorite Card Tricks: Michael Vincent

By Alex Robertson - Thursday, October 15, 2020

We asked some of magic's greatest minds to share with us their favorite card tricks. This week is the turn of Michael Vincent. You may know him from his appearance on Penn and Teller: Fool Us, or his many magic products including The Quest for Mastery, Rhapsodies in Silver and Other Mysteries and more recently Synergy. Michael has had a very classic approach to magic that has always been very elegant and classy. Over to Michael.


To begin, I am thrilled to be asked to contribute to this conversation. I have read through all of the blogs and I cannot disagree with any of the routines offered up as favorites.

I for one am grateful because it has kept me engaged with a subject I am still very passionate about; Epic Card Magic.

I hope you all enjoy what I have to share and say on this topic because it is not easy for me to choose three routines. As I think about three epic routines, I think it is important to share why. What makes these routines special for me?

Firstly, these routines fit my identity perfectly. What is my identity? When it comes to card magic, I am not a magician or gambling expert, my identity is that of a sleight of hand artist.

This is interesting because it means I go deep and wide with my stories and presentations. Keep in mind, I pride myself on stealth mode execution where my lay audience do not even feel any jiggery pokery has taken place.

So my first routine is: Pandora’s Paradox.

This routine is deeply profound, engaging and very moving. It is the classic Card in Box. First person I saw present this was Tommy Wonder. I always loved The Signed Card to Ring Box, it was always used as tagged on item to my Ambitious Card or Card to Pocket. I do not use it this way any more. I wanted to feature The Card in Ring Box as a stand along classic. Credit to Roberto Giobbi, Card College Volume 5. His routine started the conversation for me. Pandora’s Paradox is truly an epic experience, watch this video:

This routine features one of my favorite premises, The Signed Card to Impossible location.

My second routine is... Synergy. This routine started life as Do As I Do from The Royal Road. Over the years, I have become fascinated with this premise using one deck. Synergy is an updated item from a routine I created called Kismet which appeared on my Classic Magic Collection Volume one.

Synergy is all about engagement with the spectator, building rapport, trust and reading their mind. It is a stunning effect. It has always been a stunning effect because they did it, that is how the routine ends. So when they remove my card from their pocket it is an epic moment and very satisfying.

My Final routine is The Travelers by Dai Vernon.

This routine for me qualifies as an epic, dramatic and suspenseful experience of pure theatre. Yes magic happens - in this routine I allow the magic to happen without too much fanfare. My version of this routine took twenty five years of study and practice. My goal was simple; my intention was to remove all four aces from four different pockets...........with EMPTY HANDS............NO KIDDING.

If I could not achieve this outcome the routine would not be worth performing. That is how I felt about Dai Vernon’s original, it was a constant method in progress rather than an effect that has already happened. This simple distinction transformed my relationship to this effect and all of my card work.

Can I stand in front of an audience with empty hands and remove the four aces from different pockets? I needed to solve this, if only as an academic challenge. When I did, I got excited, I just felt I want to see if the audience would enjoy it.

I needed to find the narrative that would bring this to life and give meaning to my passion for magic. Watch this video presentation:

I no longer use this presentation, I have created a much better conversation for this routine. At the very least you will see what I have done and where I have taken Dai Vernon’s great idea.

So, those are the three routines I have chosen for this excellent series. All three have been in my life for a very long time. I hope you enjoyed the performance and found something of value.

If you would like to purchase my book on The Travelers please communicate with me here.

Michael Vincent

Reader comments:


Thursday, 15 October 2020 18:25 PM - Reply to this comment

Very nice!


Saturday, 08 January 2022 14:18 PM - Reply to this comment

OK, I cannot believe there are not more comments on this. I just watched it and all I can think to myself is: "This is how you take other magicians' tricks and ideas and make them your own." Mr. Vincent took "Travelers" and used it as a climax to his act. But perhaps more importantly, Mr. Vincent WOVE the trick into his own act, adding touches and subtleties that he clearly has collected over the course of his life's study and performances. When he said his age, I have to admit that I felt inadequate, being 47 years old. I have only 4 years to get to his level, if I even ever can get there. Mr. Vincent is a class act, and the more I see of him, the more I am convinced of this.

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