Symmetry, Parity and the Chimera Deck

Book by Ben Harris
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4.9 | 22 reviews
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Symmetry, Parity and the Chimera Deck

74.95 usd

Book by Ben Harris (74.95)

Out of stock. Email me when new stock arrives.
Symmetry, Parity and the Chimera Deck - magic
Symmetry, Parity and the Chimera Deck Symmetry, Parity and the Chimera Deck Symmetry, Parity and the Chimera Deck Symmetry, Parity and the Chimera Deck Symmetry, Parity and the Chimera Deck Symmetry, Parity and the Chimera Deck Symmetry, Parity and the Chimera Deck Symmetry, Parity and the Chimera Deck Symmetry, Parity and the Chimera Deck Symmetry, Parity and the Chimera Deck Symmetry, Parity and the Chimera Deck Symmetry, Parity and the Chimera Deck

Ben Harris is a creative force that regularly astounds our entire Vanishing Inc. team. He has created some of the best-selling effects in magic. But, Symmetry & Parity might just be his most ambitious and impressive project ever.

This innovative kit is dedicated to one versatile idea: how to elevate the principles of the classic Svengali Deck into something 10,000 times more amazing. Ben has rebuilt the concept from the ground up to unlock powerful new applications that transform the classic trick deck into one of the most powerful gimmicked decks available today.

Symmetry & Parity is a one-of-a-kind project that combines a stunning 130-page hardcover book with everything you need to start performing immediately. This includes three custom-made gimmicked decks that can’t be purchased anywhere else, as well as a handmade gimmicked card box specially designed by Ben with its own sneaky principles.

This is so much more than just slapping a new coat of paint on an old magic shop deck. Ben Harris has created a:

  • Revolutionary way to seemingly allow your spectator to shuffle the gimmicked deck
  • A color-changing deck routine with three different changes that takes advantage of a new style of Svengali deck
  • The cleanest full-deck Oil & Water routine imaginable
  • And so much more…

Symmetry & Parity is a masterclass in stripping an effect to its bare bones and rebuilding it in a way that offers the same clarity, but with just enough added complexity to prevent the audience from ever deconstructing it. In essence, by offering no plausible solution, a simple magic trick becomes a true miracle in the eyes of your spectators.

The ingenious discovery that allows participants to seemingly shuffle the gimmicked deck is worth the price of the book alone. But, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. There are a variety of new applications for this powerful principle ranging from magician-foolers to a string of impressive effects that can be done one right after the other.

You can learn as you read without every building a single gimmick. The three included gimmicked decks are specially-printed by the United States Playing Card Company and Ben’s ingenious, handmade Tardian Case comes ready to use. Everything is packed in a gorgeous box set that you will display proudly in your library or on your shelf.


Since publishing this project, Ben has continued to find additional ways to evolve it. He's compiled all of these innovative ideas into an 80-page bonus PDF that is included with every new purchase (and was automatically added to the account of anyone who bought it previously).

You'll find creative new displays, forces, configurations and uses for the cards that all exponentially increase their potential. There's also three bonus routines and an Invisible Card concept that will have your brain flooding with ideas. This incredible offering is worth the price of the set alone. But, you'll get it at no extra cost.

Check out Ben's amazing two-part blog exploring the ingenious level of thinking that went into Symmetry, Parity and the Chimera Deck

Read Now

"It's a been decades since I've had this much fun with a box of ingenious magic." Richard Kaufman

"Ben’s ingenious reimagining of a classic principle has led to these remarkable decks. With them you can create visual, stunning card magic that looks utterly impossible. I can’t wait to perform these incredible routines." Marc Paul

"This lavishly produced literally a thing of beauty." David Regal (Genii Magazine, Jan, 2023)

"The trick of 2023! I give it 100%" Craig Petty (MagicTV)

130 Pages | Full Color | Hardcover

Be Ready to Perform

The three specially-made decks you receive offer new possibilities on the Svengali Deck principle. However, as most magicians already own one, a standard Svengali Deck was not included. Some of the routines do use just a regular Svengali Deck though. So, if you need one, you can grab it by clicking the button below.

Buy Svengali Deck


Customer reviews for Symmetry, Parity and the Chimera Deck



I always liked the Svengali Deck. and I had always been fascinated by thinking of different ways to handle it differently than other magicians. Its use seemed so obvious that I wasn't even interested in using it in public anymore. The best thing that Ben Harris has done with this wonderful production has been to work on three presentations that in themselves are worth the entire package. 8.06e+67.. should give a lesson in creativity, thinking and scripting to every magician in the world, my sincere congratulations to the entire Vanishing Inc team and Ben Harris for this wonderful Magical Birth!


Laura Bautista

I am super reluctant to the Svengali deck, which is why I am so interested in all projects that try to give a twist to its magical principles. In this case Ben Harris has embroidered it. More than a monothematic book, it is a thesis on thousands of unimaginable possibilities that are accompanied by three decks that are worth knowing. You don't have to be afraid of gaff decks, you just have to know how to use them, and this book gives you hundreds of ideas about it.



I usually have some trouble with magic books as I don't always get what the author of the book tries to explain. That's why I often tend to buy video workshops. OK, English is not my primary language and I usually read German books but that doesn't mean that a magic trick is easier to understand, especially if it is a translation of a foreign book.
But this book is so easy written an comprehensive that I had no trouble following the different steps of the tricks. The nice illustrations are also very useful.
And for sure, the Svengali deck has never been my favorite gimmicked deck. But the is an entire new approach for me. The tricks are great and I can't wait to learn an test them.
The book comes in a beautiful box. Inside the box there are 3 gimmicked decks and a card box.
There's no regular Svengali deck inside but I mean that's not a problem.
So, for the moment this is my favorite book and I will study all the tricks.

VI Monthly


A masterpiece of thinking on elevating the internal "engine" of a classic deck of magic. As usual the Vanishing Inc production value is superb. The book is beautiful and Ben Harris' thought therein too! If you like gimmicked decks you get three to add to your classic version. This is well worth the price. Routines for the standard version are well crafted with a great presentation. You will enjoy reading the book and enjoy performing the effects!



This book - imho - is a must buy for every magician. I am not a card man but the thinking behind this trick deck is absolut great.
Quality of props and production of the book is outstanding.



Ben Harris's Symmetry, Parity & the Chimera deck is the BEST Magic I purchased in 2023 to date. It passes the "spouse test;" you know, when you can talk about something magic-related and there's no yawning, checking the time, or the sudden need to send an email.

In Symmetry, Parity & the Chimera deck, Ben Harris takes the engine of the Svengali Deck and asks, "What if?" What if the principle was applied in several different ways? This beautifully produced boxed set contains a dynamic, engaging book, three custom-made decks, and a beautiful card box, all of which set my imagination to flight to heights that I haven't experienced for decades. My enthusiasm was so contagious as I read Ben's book that my wife asked follow-up questions.

The plots of the performance pieces are compelling and each makes sense. I've enjoyed reading and playing with this and think that you will too. For fans of The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy and Dr. Who, there are additional treats along the way! Get yours today and remember, always bring a towel!



Oh wow, this product is just wicked in the best sense in every way. It takes the Svengali concept to new heights. The production value of the book is fantastic, lots of photos. Ben Harris is definitely brings a very old concept to life. Its also fairly easy to perform. Doing an ACAAN is a breeze with this deck. The decks provided are clever and there are some real innovative thinking in here. Do yourself a favour and get this, its very entertaining and will keep you busy for hours.



This project was such a pleasure to dive into. Not only are the effects so brilliantly devised, the book is a wonderful read. 10/10



I am only a quarter of the way though the book, and this purchase has already paid for itself with the Resurrection Shuffle. I decided to follow the author's advice and read the book from front to back. The book so far is a performance within itself with the inflections of a live show with the turn of every page.

Although I have not reached the section on the Chimera Deck, I already know it's going straight into my Lubor's gift to unveil with the Tardian case.

To address the elephant in the room. Yes, the Svengali Deck was probably your first gimmick deck, and yes you can probably reverse engineer the decks included this set, but there is absolutely no benefit in doing so. The book and deck sets are at a such price break that you would actually be losing money if you did so. Also, the book is worth the price of admission especially when it comes to the thoughts and inspiration behind transforming existing methodologies into something new. The buck does not stop here.

Albeit a complete and satisfying release in itself, Symmetry, Parity and the Chimera Deck is also a seedling to inspire the visionary magician in each of us.



I absolutely love this set!

I have been enamored by mechanical decks ever since I bought a Fox Lake Svengali Deck from a pitchman at the Michigan State Fair in 1962 for $1.50 (I still have that dog-eared deck…). Though I have a moderately large collection of these types of decks, and have performed with them for years, Mr. Harris truly has surprised me with his creativity.

The 3 decks in this set will not only astonish any casual spectator, but have the potential to stun other magicians, and the cardbox included in the set is a gem as well. The accompanying book is easy to understand, and beautifully illustrated. The development and application of new concepts in the old Svengali principal are wonderful and fun to play with as well as to perform.

Congratulations to both Harris and the staff of VI for bringing us “users” a whole new set of ideas and applications. It is worth every cent of the price!

VI Monthly


An amazing project in which Ben dives deep into the workings.

The was he teaches us clear, and he really does tear this trick/method apart and by building it back up again, leaves you with more than you started.

Get the set/kit, you will be glad you did.



I’ve been a fan of Ben’s thinking for years ever since a bought his Easy Action Card To Pocket YEARS ago. Great book and packaging with two amazing decks. You can’t beat a book!


Mohammad Zubair

Beautifully made with great content.

3 decks given with the book and it opens a plethora of tricks you can perform with those decks. I wish more books like these are released focusing on specific trick decks. This is similar to new angle, but this comes with all the tools needed to create true magic with playing cards.



Oh wow! A classic reimagined. Ben's thinking on the svengali deck is great. Ben goes into his method of getting the svengali deck shuffled by spectators all while making it seem like the entire deck is getting more and more mixed. The 3 decks that came with the project is very well made and very cleverly. The production quality is amazing. Highly recommended.



Most magicians likely consider the Svengali Deck a cheap trick. But its ease-of-use should not deter real magicians from employing it, because it has power when clever ideas are applied. Ben Harris explains some VERY clever ideas for using Svengali decks. And Vanishing Inc. Magic includes three very handy and beautifully presented decks to quickly employ Ben's ideas.
We pay a premium for these supremely-presented Vanishing Inc. props, as has been the case with other VI products. And I am glad I paid that premium. Supporting Ben Harris and Vanishing Inc. are both worthy things to do, and the reward for me is that I gained entertainment, education, thought-provoking ideas, and very useful gimmicks.
Well done, as usual, Vanishing Inc. Magic! Thank you for your great work!

VI Monthly


This book blew my mind. I’ve already read it through twice. The routines inside are gold, but just the idea of using the Svengali deck in different ways has helped spark my creativity which is a gift in itself. I highly recommend it!



I bought the symmetry, parity and the chimera deck. The book is super high quality. I would prefer there to be video instructions available also though.



Fun is important to me. This collection of cards and an extensively integrated book.
This collection is fun as well as effective and entertaining.



The svengali deck, or should I say the principle itself, is one of magic’s great underrated tools.

As a working pro, I’m a big fan of the concept, and utilize it in many ways, “Symmetry, Parity” had my curiosity instantly, and I ordered with great hope that I wouldn’t be disappointed. Of course, Ben Harris is hardly one who disappoints!

You will find “real” work that takes an old, standard, beginner’s Svengali deck, and transforms it into a tool for creating true
impossibilities for a discerning, real world audience. The value here isn’t just the deck(s) themselves, it’s the well thought out details of both presentation and method. If one takes THESE things to heart, then the lessons learned from this set are MUCH MORE VALUABLE than the props.

If you’re looking for just a new trick. Well, yeah, this would do it, but, as you go through this, step back and realize the THINKING that Harris demonstrates, and allow this to inspire YOUR thinking!

The book itself is an EASY read, very well detailed and illustrated, AND, the decks are made by USPCC.

For me, it will take a little choreography and thought to work this into my existing shows, as these are “gaffed decks”, however as stand alone effects to do in a less formal atmosphere, these will be fun to perform and are very strong effects. Bravo to Mr. Harris! Money well spent!"



Ben Harris has engaged in some excellent ways of thinking about things in a way they are not normally seen and used. This beautifully boxed set includes a hardcover book, three special decks made in Bikes, and a card case (white ... a necessity due to the way it's used). "The Chimera Deck" is something new: a triple color-changing deck where you end with the most clean-looking display you could hope for. I've been playing with the contents of the box all evening.
While some of the material requires sleights, much of it is completely sleight-free. Anyone can do the full-deck Oil and Water in about ten minutes.
All in all, something special. And it's fun—not a phrase often associated with a box of gimmicked decks, but this really is a box of fun.
Richard Kaufman



Some really good material here. The book is high quality, but as others have said I wished it was a video instead of a book.

VI Monthly


The book is outstanding. 10 out of 5 stars. However, the Chimera deck I received, which is likely standard, has white boarders that are woefully too narrow rendering the deck useless. I would give still have given 3 ½ stars, given how excellent the book is, but that seems not to be an option. However the price, perhaps 25 to 50% higher than the book alone (do the numerator over denominator math before criticizing that estimate) implicitly includes the three decks. With one of them DOA, that needs to be pointed out. Expected better. Please fix for future purchasers.


Community questions about Symmetry, Parity and the Chimera Deck

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.

  • Matthew asks: Is it a full size book or mini-book like with the recent Jermay release?

    • 1. Roberto answers: The description says it’s 130 pages with illustrations.
    • 2. Ben Harris (creator) responds: Yes. It's a full sized book. Beautifully produced.
    • 1. Roberto answers: The description says it’s 130 pages with illustrations.
  • Kevin asks: If either of these turn out to be workhorses, will the decks be available individually, ever?

    • 1. Ben Harris (creator) responds: You'll always be able to make your own custom versions of any of the decks. The book also supplies detailed construction information. EASY.
  • Karen asks: What level of difficulty would you assign to these tricks?

    • 1. Ben Harris (creator) responds: Beginner level for the handlings. If you can riffle a deck of cards and cut it, then you're covered!
  • Nikita asks: Since the decks are gimmicked, do we have solutions/routining allowing to finish clean ? And consequently, are these effects suitable for close up performance (as opposed to parlour/stage performance) ?

    • 1. Ben Harris (creator) responds: Chimera Deck and Imagination Deck are performance pieces with those two decks and are not examinable. Parity Deck has endless uses and applications and is EXAMINABLE. It's my fave because of it's potential for creating new magic.
  • John asks: Are there any videos of any of the effects with the decks being used?

    • 1. Ben Harris (creator) responds: Hi. Video demo's of some of the effects can be found on my YOUTUBE channel. You can access these via Enjoy
    • 2. Don answers: Ben has posted a few videos of the decks being used on YouTube.
  • Kevin asks: The ability for an audience member to shuffle these decks is critical. However, I don't see an audience member doing this in any of the videos I have seen. How natural and reliable is this audience shuffling technique?

    • 1. Ben Harris (creator) responds: The Parity Deck can be shuffled and examined, yet it's gimmicked to the hilt. Chimera and Imagination cannot be examined. The book also teaches how ANY regular Svengali Deck can be mixed by the audience members.
  • sebastian raul asks: hi, is any video tutorial or only the book ?

    • 1. Ben Harris (creator) responds: Hi there. Apologies, but there is no digital version. It's all easy to learn from the printed page with Ever Elizalde's lovely illustrations.
  • Mark asks: The pictures all show red Bicycle decks. If I buy a red Svengali deck am I assured I won't be "surprised" by blue decks in the S,P&C package?

    • 1. Ben Harris (creator) responds: Hi Mark. All the decks with Symmetry & Parity are RED backed, promise. The Chimera Deck changes from red to blue to yellow. The Parity Deck is red, as is the Imagination Deck. Other routines in the book can use any colour Svengali Deck that you like.
  • Ged asks: The idea of a side/end Svengali is an old one. I saw it in an early Abracadabra and, I think in a later Harry Stanley's "Gen." Any kid who got a box of magic tricks will recognize the method. My question. Are you going to give attribution?

    • 1. Ben Harris (creator) responds: The book deals with the history of Svengali and explores new applications and presentations for printing routines, colour changing deck routines, etc. No claim is made for inventing the Svengali Deck.
  • Kenneth asks: Can the Spec overhand shuffle with the "Parity Deck'

    • 1. Nev answers: The full deck cannot be overhand shuffled by a spectator
    Post an answer to this question
  • John asks: Red Bikes? I ask because the Svengali that first came up was Mandolin backs. Thanks!

    • 1. Chadwick answers: I've seen this question multiple times. Bicycle (bikes) is the brand, not the back design. Mandolin backs are still considered "Bikes". Most people, when asking "are they bikes?", should instead be asking, "are they rider back?"
    • 2. Ben Harris (creator) responds: You are correct, Chad. These are Rider Backs.
    • 1. Chadwick answers: I've seen this question multiple times. Bicycle (bikes) is the brand, not the back design. Mandolin backs are still considered "Bikes". Most people, when asking "are they bikes?", should instead be asking, "are they rider back?"
  • Kyle asks: Any chance of getting a signed version? I just ordered the book today.

    • 1. Jim answers: Since these are in one country, and Ben is in another, this is unlikely. Your best bet to to meet him at a magic convention.
    Post an answer to this question
  • David asks: Hi I bought this at Magic Apple in Los Angeles. How can I post a review since its not on my account here? Quick note, I’m only on page 35 and I can already tell you this man is a genius. I’ll absolutely be using this method asap.

    • 1. Vanishing Inc. Magic responds: Just scroll down to the reviews on the page and press the orange "Write a Review" button. Hope that helps and I am very glad you are enjoying it!
  • Barry asks: Can we purchase additional Tardian cases to facilitate a deck switch?

    • 1. Vanishing Inc. Magic responds: Not at this time but perhaps in the future
  • Robert asks: I already bout the package a month ago. Can I get the new book free?

    • 1. Vanishing Inc. Magic responds: You bet you can. If you bought it from us, you should find it already in your account. If you got it elsewhere, this link will help you get the PDF:
  • John asks: My young grandson is just getting started and loves magic. He’s learning sleights but right now just uses gimmicked decks like the basic Svengali and tricks that a beginner can use without skilled handling like pinkie breaks etc. Is this an appropriate set for a naive beginner?

    • 1. Vanishing Inc. Magic responds: Beginner level for the handlings. If he can riffle a deck of cards and cut it then this will be achievable
  • John asks: Will not direct me to ordering

    • 1. Vanishing Inc. Magic responds: Please email us at and our support team can assist
  • Michael asks: Understanding the great reviews and the statement that a person can make their own replacement Chimera Decks... but also understanding my own limitations (in arts and crafts), can purchasers of "Symmetry, Parity and the Chimera Deck" utilize commercially produced Svengali decks in the making of their replacement "Chimera Decks"?

    • 1. Vanishing Inc. Magic responds: Yeah this would be possible
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