Less is More by Ben Earl (Book)

Book by Benjamin Earl
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Less is More by Ben Earl (Book)

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Book by Benjamin Earl (From $50.00)

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"Benjamin Earl is one of the best cardmen around today. Less is More, is a bona fide winner! It gets my highest recommendation." Steve Forte

"Ben has cleared a path for all of us to follow." David Williamson

When Benjamin Earl takes a shuffled deck and cuts to the four Aces it feels completely authentic; as if his deft fingers can somehow locate them by touch alone. But here's a secret: he has developed techniques and psychologies that fake this seemingly-impossible feat. In Less is More he takes us on a journey, and his "Real Ace Cutting" is the final destination.

The journey starts by looking at Henry Christ's classic "Fabulous Four Ace" routine and improving it one piece at a time. His noble list of goals for the routine include removing anti-climatic moments and ensuring that the revelations build in progressively stronger and more distinctive ways. He achieves this in spades.

That routine is the springboard for further experimentation and Ben's analysis of the four-Ace effect leads him along many interesting paths, stripping away every unnecessary action in order to illustrate how less is more. He teaches twelve complete Ace cutting effects and gambling demonstrations (including a multi-phased routine that requires absolutely no sleight of hand) and provides thorough and thoughtful analysis on their construction.

Amongst the effects, Ben also teaches a collection of original moves and techniques, focusing on three areas: maintaining a stack while a spectator shuffles the deck, maintaining the stack himself and producing the Aces. In particular, the Sting Cut and his Real Optical False Shuffle are two moves that introduce the idea of improvisation into the mix. 

Less is More is a gorgeous 142-page hardback book, bursting with high-quality photographs. It's as much a book on the theory and construction of card magic, as it is a tome of workable effects and world class card technique. Careful study of this work will enhance your card magic to new levels. 

For the collectors, we have produced 200 deluxe editions that include a signed and numbered bookplate by the author, along with a tipped-in signed playing card, all housed in a gorgeous leatherette slipcase. These limited editions will never be reprinted. Choose which version when you add to cart.

"I think this is absolutely terrific. I loved reading it. I loved watching it. I loved thinking about it. Hell, I’m still thinking about it. I may even start working on doing it." Jamy Ian Swiss (talking about "Real Ace Cutting" from Less is More)

Contents of Benjamin Earl's Less is More

  • Evolving with Simplicity
  • Thanks to Henry
  • Henry in Isolation
  • Instant Isolation
  • Henry Topped
  • The Sting Cut
  • The Any Card Game Control
  • The Real Optical Shuffle
  • Finessed Frank Thompson Cut
  • The Bounce Cut
  • Spectator Shuffle Holdout
  • Half & Half Control
  • Shuffled Ose Control
  • Deep Slug Control
  • Blinded by the Hand
  • Wide Awake Scream
  • The Back Room Demo
  • Clean Cutter
  • Clean Cutter 2
  • Flow Productions
  • Stem Cell
  • The Resourceful Professional
  • No-Motion Four Aces
  • Real Ace Cutting

142 pages, hardback.

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Customer reviews for Less is More by Ben Earl (Book)



Less IS More. This is a small format, hardback book, approx. 8 1/4" X 6" in size. However, it's bigger on the inside than it is on the outside.

I found a video of Benjamin Earl performing on P&T and was blown away by his skill and deceptive handling of a deck of cards. He performed his Real Ace Cutting routine and I instantly became an admirer. When I discovered he had written several books, I made it a point to acquire this particular one and I was not disappointed.

The pages contain stories of several past effects which Earl explains how he simplified or modified. He explains why he did it, which was to give it more experiential impact for the audience and to the performer. His effects (as well as the past ones) are described clearly and are easy to understand. The technical moves are explained with clarity and when necessary, are accompanied with photos (all are in B&W).

I have hundreds of magic books in my collection and this one has become one of my favorites.

Highly recommended.



A friend introduced me to Ben Earl’s work about a year ago and it was the best thing that ever happened. I instantly became a fan of his work. what i love about Ben is that what he teaches is far and beyond just the effect and he does it so eloquently. he undoubtedly is my favorite at this moment in time. I am 69 and my only regret is not knowing about Ben years earlier. I highly recommend all things that Ben has to offer. You won’t be disappointed.


Mohammad Zubair

As the title says, Less is more .. no crap, no words more than needed. Excellent and easy read. I am looking for the accompanying live performance / video with this. As a beginner, I find this small book will keep me busy for a few months at least. Just like 'Inside Out', this is one of the best purchases I made in recent times. No regrets despite it's small size and limited number of tricks.



Read this book! It will not only teach you how to perform a multitude of routines through Ben’s clear language and excellent illustrations but it will instill the pursuit for simplicity into everything you do as a means to improving your performance. That’s the fundamental lesson of the book and bringing it home through a concrete example is priceless.



This is great! I practiced some of the routines right after reading them and whenever I got them down there was something even better on the next pages. Even if you won't do any routine from this book it is completely worth reading it since Ben Earl's thinking can be applied to pretty much everything else you already have in your repertoire!



I got this book just because it had Ben's name on it, because I loved his work since I first watched Past Midnight.
I have to say that it's one of the best purchases that I've made this year. Really a work of art on card magic. It isn't about the tricks, but about Ben's thinking about card magic and card moves.
If you like card magic, I assure you that there is something for you in this book. I mean, if Bill Malone, David Williamson, Steve Forte and so many other legends like Ben's work...



Small but expensive volumes on magic always carry high expectations. Fortunately Less Is More proves it's title right: first in its status as a product, then second in following its theme throughout its pages. It reminds me of Maue''s Imagine in the way it builds on its valuable ideas and techniques leading, almost like a novel, to its conclusions. Need I add I recommend this highly?



There's not much else to say about this book that others have not already stated. First, the book should have been named <=>. That would have been so clever. Second. Why are you still reading my review when you could be reading this book? The first day I got it, I spent all day reading it and finished in one sitting. That's how good this book is. The effects and techniques, along with the psychology behind them taught in this book are in my opinion. Necessary. For any aspiring card magician.



I was fortunate enough to be able to see Ben perform his ace cutting routine at Magi-Fest this past year (2017), and when he finished, I knew that I had to purchase his book.

I was not disappointed at all and neither will you be.

Not only does Less is More have some amazing routines, sleights, and thoughts, but it is wonderfully produced and will sit very nicely on your shelf with your collection of other Vanishing Inc. books.

If you want to practice some fun sleight of hand, and learn some awesome ace cutting routines, this is the book for you.



I concur. This book will make you think differently about some aspects of performing card magic, whether you agree with BE or not.



There are so many gems in this book. The deception techniques Ben teaches are amazing. I got the Deluxe Edition and I am so happy I did. I love everything in this book, cant wait to put it to work.



The book is a good and relatively easy read. There would be no problem for anybody somewhat versed in sleight of hand to be able to do the routines in the book after few weeks of practice. But being able to perform these routines is another matter. The real value hides within the journey Earl leads us on. The revolution from the "Fabulous Ace Routine" by Henry Christ to Ben Earl's "Real Ace Cutting" is a process happens from the within. The materials in this book not only allows us to cut aces "for real", but also more importantly, be present in the moment.



Brilliant thinking, direct and impactful magic. Just buy it. You won't be sorry.



I really hope no one else reads this book and can keep it just to myself. If you want to understand something technically beautiful, something that others will look to you in awe then stop reading and buy this book before it goes out of print. Simply put this will become a modern classic. #realdeal

VI Monthly

Ali Said

I got this before the official release and I have to say, it is one of my favorite books on card magic. Ben Earl understand what makes good sleight of hand.

Techniques may be simple at times, and other times, they require some serious choreography and psychology to make them deceptive. But all the sleights/techniques discussed are elegant. Elegance is what resonates from both the magic Ben performs and the magic he teaches.

My absolute favorite thing about the book is the journey towards perfection. The way Ben keeps pushing things further, rectifying weak points and adding more subtleties is just inspiring to read.

I am already using some of the sleights. I have already started practicing some of the tricks and hopefully working my way up towards 'real magic' territory.

Yes, it is an inspirational book in my opinion with a main message: keep pushing the limits towards perfection.

Highly Recommended!



Quite simply the best book I have read all year. Beautifully produced. Well written. Excellent photography. Ben Earl is easily one of the greatest card magicians alive. There are some wonderful sleights in this book and if you are interested in ace cutting effects this is essential reading. My highest recommendation.



Rare does a book come along that offers so much insight and real card work. I received my copy yesterday and poured through it. Intriguing concepts, great insights, new discoveries, all within a handsome presentation. Magic books can run the gamut - from the simplistic and pedistrian to the complex and etherial. This new addition to my library fits the bill - challenge me, encourage me and amaze me. Nice work from the folks from Vanishing Inc and hats off to Mr. Earl for understanding that less is more.



Ben is the future of magic. I have the series of less is more booklets released over the last couple of years and is truly the icing on the cake. His teaching is clear and guaranteed to make you a better magician. BUY IT NOW!



I bought this amazing book while visiting Blackpool magic convention and I have to say as soon as I read it it instantly went into my top 5 definitely recommend it.



I have read this book since the first time I bought it around November 2021, and unfortunately this book does not resonate with me.
As the title implies, this book focuses on simplicity, either in technical method or effect construction.
The concept of simplicity drew my attention in the first place, with my assumption that I could benefit from simple and strong card magic out of this book.
But even after reading it multiple times (as I really want to absorb and understand the materials), I could not get optimal value out of the book.
There are multiple objectives in magic.
If you aim mainly for simplicity, this book is for you.
But if you aim for the strongest possible effects, especially in card magic, there are definitely other great books out there.
This book is not for me. At least for now.
But I'll keep reading just in case my magic literature expanded and I could absorb more value out of it in the future. I hope that day will come.


Community questions about Less is More by Ben Earl (Book)

Have a question about this product? It's possible others do too. Ask here and other Vanishing Inc. Magic customers will be able to respond with assistance! Alternatively, email us and we can help too.

  • Iain asks: Is this suitable for not quite intermediate and not quite a beginner ?

    • 1. Vanishing Inc. Magic responds: That is subjective. I'd say that if you dedicate study, practice and rehearsal to the book, you will learn a lot.
  • Nishanth asks: Is the real ace cutting section in the book the same material as the download real ace cutting.

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    • Nishanth asks: Do you need do be able to do any special shuffles like the faro shuffle

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