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Invisible Deck

What can you do with an invisible deck of cards? You can do one of the most mind blowing magic tricks with cards ever created. Used by professionals and beginners. It’s a mechanical deck, so works itself. All you need to add is the presentation. No physical skill is required at all.

What is the effect?

Invisible Deck

You remove from your pocket an "invisible" deck of playing cards. It's an imaginary deck. Clearly you're just miming. There’s lots of scope here for some very funny bits (that actually date back to Vaudeville). Miming taking them from the box, shuffling them, accidentally dropping one etc. Then you hand them to the spectator who mimes taking one out and reversing it in the deck. You ask the spectator to box the cards and hand them back to you. Instantly, they appear to become visible. But, when they were invisible you asked the spectator to turn a card over in the deck. You ask them to name that card. Very slowly and cleanly, with no funny moves, you remove the deck from the box, spread through them and one card is face down in the spread. The spectator then removes the card. It is the only face down card. it is, of course, their freely selected card. All that remains is for you to enjoy the applause, praise and admiration of your peers.

If you’d prefer a more street magic approach, as seen in David Blaine’s first special an alternative presentation would be that you ask a spectator to name any card in the deck and they can change their mind as often as they want. It truly is a free choice. You then remove a deck of cards, explain you knew this was going to happen, and to prove it spread through the cards. One is facedown card. It is their card.

The history

The notion of using an “invisible” deck to play cards go back to 1922 when on June 25th, the Morning Telegraph published a description of Hamtree Harrington playing poker with imaginary cards, it was a "masterpiece of comedy" they report. The first use of the idea as a magic trick?That goes back to 1923 and is credited in The Magic World to Leslie Henson.

Most of the bits associated with the popularised Don Alan routine actually go back to a Laurel and Hardy film, Oliver the Eighth. Jack Barty presents an entire invisible deck routine: takes cards from box, overhand and table shuffles the cards, plays a game of solitaire and so on.

A year after the film, Annemann describes the effect in The Jinx, but offers no method. U.F. Grant later offers to solutions in 50 Crazy Card Stunts.

It went on to be popularised by Bob Longe, Don Alan and Eddie Fields.

Easy to do card magic

Despite sounding impossible, this is actually very simple to do. It is a trick deck of cards. You can open the box, read the instructions and be performing the trick in under 10 minutes. The deck is created in a special way that does the work for you. There is absolutely no sleight of hand required.

Who should buy an Invisible Deck?

Invisible decks are suitable for beginners because it is so easy to do, but also is very popular amongst professional magicians too. You’ll be getting gasps from your friends and family the same day you get this wonderful trick deck.

Many amateur magicians refer to the invisible deck as the ultimate safety net when working with a real deck. Imagine the situation.You are performing a card trick at a party with a standard deck and something goes wrong. You lose control of the selection, a "grabby" member of the audience insists on shuffling, you forget what you’re doing. Anything. If you have an invisible deck in your pocket, you’re saved. You go through the whole magician in trouble premise, pretending it’s gone wrong and say “I had a dream this trick would go wrong today. So last night I took one card out of a deck and reversed it. It’s here in my pocket. What was the card you selected?” Boom. Miracle.

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An old Invisible Deck video from our YouTube channel

Alternative to buying an invisible deck

You can make your own invisible deck by using the Harry Robson Roughing Stick. 30 years in the making, this stick will let you make your own decks up in minutes. There’s no residue and you get enough to make over 150 invisible decks. You will, however, need to know how the basic trick works in order to be able to use this.