The Vanishing Inc. Team’s Favorite Card Tricks

The history of card tricks is a long and fascinating journey that has seen the introduction of a seemingly infinite amount of card magic. It can be quite a daunting task trying to figure out which card tricks to learn, especially for beginner magicians. Since everyone on the Vanishing Inc. team is a professional magician, we spoke with them to put together some great suggestions to help you get started.

If you're looking for advice on mentalism, coin magic, Zoom magic or card magic basics, we have information on them too. If you want to learn magic tricks or even bar bets and flash paper we can help at our magic conventions or on our main site but we're talking about card tricks today.

Here are some of the Vanishing Inc. Team’s favorite card tricks and where you can learn them.

Haunted Pack (Joshua Jay)

Let’s start with one of our cofounders, world renowned magician Joshua Jay. While Josh has created a ton of card magic tricks that are used by magicians around the world such as the Phantom Deck, Inferno and Out of Sight (which was actually used to fool Penn and Teller on their TV show Fool Us, one of his favorite card tricks to perform is actually the Haunted Deck. Also known as the Haunted Pack, this easy card trick is a classic of magic where a deck of cards magically splits itself in half and shoots out a spectator’s selected card.

While the Haunted Deck has been performed on TV specials by other professional magicians like David Blaine, Dynamo and Michael Carbonaro, Josh uses his own unique version inspired by Steve Valentine. He performs it much slower than most magicians, estimating the animation lasts upwards of 20 seconds. It truly looks as if the deck is haunted by a paranormal spirit as it slowly moves on its own.

Beyond making the effect feel more believable, Josh’s method for the Haunted Pack is also way more practical than other versions. It uses Yigal Mesika’s Magic Loops and ends completely clean instead of leaving a loop of invisible thread wrapped around the deck of cards. Josh loves this card trick so much, he performed it for guests after nearly every performance of his off-Broadway show Six Impossible Things.

Where can I learn the Haunted Deck?
You can learn Josh’s amazing version of the Haunted Pack by checking out his acclaimed DVD set Unreal.

Get Unreal

Multiple Revelation (Andi Gladwin)

Next, we have our other Cofounder Andi Gladwin, a professional magician who you probably recognize from his television appearances on shows like Penn and Teller: Fool Us and Masters of Illusion. Andi’s favorite card trick is one that he performs as often as possible, the Multiple Revelation card magic plot.

Multiple Revelation is not a singular trick, but rather a concept that has inspired countless amazing card tricks. In its most basic form, this is like a “Pick a Card” trick on steroids. Multiple playing cards are selected, lost in the deck and then found in increasingly impossible ways. These types of Multiple Revelation card tricks offer endless presentation possibilities.

Andi has spent his life studying the Multiple Revelation plot. He feels it’s the best type of card magic because it can be performed for audiences of all sizes, engages multiple spectators at once and gets through all the boring procedural stuff in the beginning. After that, it’s just a rapid-fire succession of increasingly magical moments—something not many other card tricks offer.

Where can I learn a Multiple Revelation card trick?
Andi teaches a powerful Multiple Revelation routine called the Fireworks Card Routine during his At the Table Live Lecture 2.

Learn the Fireworks Card Routine

The Willy Wonka Card Trick (Kyle Littleton)

Our Warehouse Manager Kyle Littleton has also appeared on Fool Us and is the innovative mind behind mind-blowing close-up magic tricks like No Sense, 3G and 400 Lux. Yet, one of his favorite card tricks is not one of his own creations but rather an intriguing effect known as the Willy Wonka Card Trick created by the super creative magician Scott Robinson.

Kyle is a huge fan of Scott’s work and greatly appreciates how the Willy Wonka Card Trick is super visual and quick, offering multiple magic moments in less than a minute. His own distinct take on the effect is one of his go-to tricks when he only has a few minutes to impress someone.

Where can I learn the Willy Wonka Card Trick?
While Kyle has not yet exposed the secret to his unique version of the Willy Wonka Card Trick, you can learn the original handling in Scott Robinson’s best-selling book Pure Imagination.

Read Pure Imagination

X-Ray (George)

Our General Manager George is in charge of overseeing nearly every product we stock. To say he’s seen a lot of magic tricks would be a drastic understatement. So, when he chose X-Ray as one of his favorite card tricks, that was high praise for creators Ben Harris and Steve Shufton.

Using a borrowed deck, this appropriately named impromptu card trick / mentalism effect essentially gives you x-ray vision and superhuman counting abilities. You’re able to not only divine a freely selected card, but can also name its exact position within the deck—all while the playing cards are safely secured in their tuck box.

Where can I learn the X-Ray card trick?
You can learn everything you need to know, including the presentation subtleties that make this card trick feel like a real miracle by reading the magic book or magic eBook X-Ray.

Check Out X-Ray

The Dark Force (Michal Kociolek)

Even if you haven’t read Michal Kociolek’s popular books like Plots & Methods or In Between, you’ve probably still familiar with his work. As our lead designer, Michal has created the artwork for many of our best-selling magic tricks and magic books from Harapon Ong’s Close Culls to Secrets of a Puerto Rican Gambler and For Your Entertainment Pleasure by Stephen Minch and Daryl(the same duo behind Ambitious Card Omnibus, one of the most popular card magic books of the year).

Michal loves card magic, especially card tricks that happen mostly in the spectator’s hands. While there are a variety of resources available to learn these types of card magic effects, he feels that many of them suffer from being too procedural. That’s why he prefers to perform Denis Behr’s The Dark Force.

The Dark Force is one of the fairest and most direct hands-off card tricks in existence. It is a true fooler that is a mainstay in Michal’s repertoire. While he feels that So Sato’s Bath Towel Mentalism from the book The Secrets of So Sato by Richard Kaufman deserves an honorable mention, Michal definitely finds himself more often performing The Dark Force.

Where can I learn The Dark Force
German Magician Denis Behr is a widely-respected card technician and his Handcrafted Card Magic Series is considered by many to be some of the best card magic books available. While all 3 books are worth a read, The Dark Force is available in Volume 3.

Get Handcrafted Card Magic - Volume 3

Cards Across (Damian Jennings)

Our Chief Marketing Officer Damian Jennings is definitely one of our unsung heroes. While his work behind the scenes at Vanishing Inc. is phenomenal, he’s also an accomplished performer in his own right. While it was difficult for Damian to nail down one particular trick, he let us know that he greatly enjoys the Cards Across plot

Card Across is one of the best card tricks for intermediate card magicians. This trick typically features a certain number of playing cards physically (and invisibly) traveling from one packet of cards to another. Despite being one of the oldest card magic plots in existence, Cards Across is still performed regularly because of its ability to continually entertain modern audiences.

Where can I learn Cards Across?
While the Cards Across plot has seemingly endless amounts of available presentations, Morgan & West’s Thought of Cards Across is one of the easiest, cleanest and most practical Cards Across routines ever made.

Get Thought of Cards Across

Anniversary Waltz (Matt Szat)

Beyond serving as our social media manager and host of our Vanishing Inc. interviews, Matt Szat is also a professional magician. His working repertoire features a variety of amazing card tricks. However, his favorite trick is actually one that he doesn’t get to perform at every event.

Matt believes the Anniversary Waltz is a card trick that every magician should learn. Performed correctly in the right situation (like a wedding), Anniversary Waltz can forge an emotional connection that will last a lifetime. Not to mention, your participants will also be left with two signed playing cards that have been impossibly fused together to serve as a permanent reminder of the special moment you created for them.

Where Can I Learn Anniversary Waltz?
While Joshua Jay offers a fantastic variation known as Waltzing Cheek to Cheek, Matt prefers to use the more traditional method presented by Doc Eason and Garrett Thomas.

Unlock the Secret Behind Anniversary Waltz

In addition to interviewing our team, we also spoke with some of the greatest magicians in the world about their favorite card tricks. When you’re done here, be sure to check out those responses!.