Second Thoughts

Book by Ramon Rioboo
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Second Thoughts

59.95 usd

Book by Ramon Rioboo (59.95)

In stock.

Ramon Rioboo has a reputation as an innovator of card tricks capable of fooling and entertaining the most knowledgeable audiences, whether magicians or the public. His methods defy the common expectations of mathematically based solutions. They are at the same time simple and sophisticated, often seasoned with a touch of sleight-of-hand. His constructions make the math and the manipulation invisible. They are pointedly designed to fool everyone, and they do. Riob贸o delights in taking what spectators know or suspect and using it against their reasoning to leave them with a sense of pure astonishment.

While his first book, Thinking the Impossible showed Riob贸o鈥檚 ability to fool the best and brightest, all who have read Second Thoughts, his newest collection of card magic, judge it to be not a sequel but a step up to a new level of ingenious deception. It is a substantial gathering of truly baffling card magic, designed to be performed with an air of casualness that baits the trap and then springs it down hard onto your rational mind.

For those who have read Thinking the Impossible, Second Thoughts will delight with its advanced skullduggery. For those just meeting the card magic of Se帽or Riob贸o, take a deep breath; you鈥檙e going to need it when his magic leaves you gasping in disbelief.

As befits a longtime friend of Juan Tamariz, Ram贸n Riob贸o knows what makes a baffling card trick and how to manipulate minds as adroitly as hands do playing cards. When you open this book, be prepared to marvel at familiar effects that suddenly take a turn into the twilight zone, as well as effects you鈥檝e never dreamed possible.

Riob贸o鈥檚 magic is like no other鈥檚. Procedures that appear totally innocent and unpremeditated conceal a level of deceit and cunning that produces events seemingly beyond explanation.

Second Thoughts is a generous second helping of Riob贸o magic. In it he explains nearly fifty tricks and routines, gives a selection of his favorite tools for constructing marvels and rounds things out with essays explaining his thinking and the theory behind his unique brand of card magic.

Second Thoughts will have you rethinking your approach to card magic and applying Riob贸o鈥檚 ideas to make its effects entertaining, its methods impenetrable. Second thoughts for everyone!

After graduating with degrees in screen writing, direction and journalism Ram贸n Riob贸o settled into a twenty-year career as a writer and director for TVE (Television Espa帽ola). He began to practice magic as a hobby in 1987. While his discovery of magic was later in life than usual, his deep passion has made up for lost time. His main interest is card magic and the principles of psychological deception. He is the recipient of the Ascanio Award (1992) and the First Prize in Card Magic from the XIX National Magic Congress (1993, Barcelona). Riob贸o is also a member of the prestigious Escuela Magica de Madrid. He is the author of two books on card magic, Thinking the Impossible, being the first.

"His effects fool me, and his ingenious methods amaze me." R. Paul Wilson

"Ramon Rioboo constructs card tricks with so many devious and interlocking layers of deception you just can't crack the code." Steve Beam

"Wow! This new book is an incredible compendium of some genius-level thinking about card magic. Ramon鈥檚 forte is methods based on hidden mathematical principles, cunning psychological ploys and crafty stacks. Add in several innovative new sleights, some inspired use of gaffs and some extraordinary yet commercial presentations and you have a collection of fabulous new material that will be used by magicians for decades to come. But this book contains so much more. The theoretical underpinnings of Ramon鈥檚 style and approach are thoroughly examined and explained. And keener students will be pleased to know that鈥檚 just the start; Ramon discusses much of his philosophical research and conclusions about what makes for strong magic, powerful tricks and successful magicians.

If you like fooling other magicians, then this book has your name written all over it. If you are a professional performer, there are at least half-a-dozen killer tricks that you鈥檒l want to add to your repertoire immediately. And I finally have an answer to my question: 鈥淚f Einstein had been into card magic, I wonder what kind of book he would have written?鈥 Now I know. Highest recommendation. Mark Elsdon

"Every card magician will be fooled by his creativity and deeper concepts and thinking about card magic. I suggest you get his book before you become fooled, fried and Rioboo'd by somebody else." Raj Madhok

"I was super impressed. Not just the volume of tricks (which there were a ton of!) but I found very often I was highlighting things throughout the book. Tools and insights within those tricks that I can apply to other areas. If you're looking for a book with a lot of really great material plus a lot of nuances you can apply to other areas of magic that you do, check out Second Thoughts." David Corsaro

Hardbound. 356 pages.


Customer reviews for Second Thoughts



When I review a product, I鈥檇 like to judge the product by itself alone. I will try to put myself into readers鈥 shoes and give the most honest review.
If the product is good, I say it out loud. At the same time, if there is bad about the product, I don鈥檛 hesitate to say it.
I believe by giving you the most transparent information, you will have better knowledge to judge.
Helping my readers is my biggest goal with this review.

You get a 356-page 6" x 9" hardbound book with 115 clear black&white pictures.
The pictures are well selected to aid the explanation.
The book comes with full-color dust jacket.

The book is well written with a nice format which is easy to follow.
It prints with nice quality paper. If you own Ram贸n's previous book 鈥橳hinking the Impossible', you will be delighted to find that it feels thicker and nicer in hands.

Number of Tricks: 42
Number of Tricks Need Table: 35
Number of Tricks Done in Hands: 7
Number of Memorized Deck Tricks: 3
Number of Moves: 3
Number of Principles: 3 + many introduced in the tricks
Number of Articles about Theory: 6

The book is purely a card book. There is not even a single non-card trick.
Ram贸n Riob贸o鈥檚 card material contains a lot of mathematical principles and psychological subtleties. In other words, you won鈥檛 find exciting new card move or difficult sleight-of-hand magic in the book.
Some readers may avoid 鈥榤athematics鈥 in their magic, but as Mr. Riob贸o explained in the first article in the book, there is nothing wrong with mathematics, as long as it makes the tricks more magical.
In fact, many of the tricks in the book doesn鈥檛 look like 鈥榤athematical tricks鈥 at all. They are skillfully structured and look more magical than many sleight-of-hand tricks.

The quality of a book often depend on number of 鈥檚urprise鈥 in it. Namely, how many nice & better combination of known materials (moves, plot, presentation etc), and new & worthy material.
This book comes with both! Many effects look totally impossible to the most intelligent onlookers. I was constantly surprised by the cleverness of the material as I went through the book.
For some effects, I even fooled myself when I was following the instruction.

Besides 鈥檚elf-working鈥 tricks, the book contains some tricks involving memorized deck and special cards.

I usually rate a trick based on several factors:
1. Practical of Effect
2. Effectiveness (how magical the effect is)
3. Creativity

Sometimes, even I rate a trick (5/10), that doesn鈥檛 mean it is a bad trick. Maybe I just think the method is not particularly new or interesting. The effect may still be ok.
And even if an effect was very magical and creative in execution, I wouldn鈥檛 give high rating if it involves a lot of procedures or easy to mess up. This book comes with a few.
As a general guideline, a trick rated 7 or above is good. A rating of 9-10 guarantees a great trick (even if you don鈥檛 do it, it contains a lot of new things you can learn).
I will try to give a reason if I rate an effect low score. I hope this will give you a better idea of my reasoning.

The Good-Old Crimp
My Spelling System (9/10)
The Gene Finnell Free-Cut Principle
The Injog Cut Control
My Bottom Palm (7/10)

(Article) What the Ruses are About
The Optical Cutting Deception (9/10)
Strategy for Ascertaining One Card of Three (3/10): Not too original and it鈥檚 not too convincing
Dribble and Packet Replacements (10/10)
My Packet-Turnover Shuffle (9/10)
My System for Showing Blue and Red Backs (10/10)
Cut, Shuffle and Restore (8/10)

(Article) Reflecting on Our Magic (9/10)
An Adjusted Prediction (8/10)
Klondike Poker (10/10)
Impossible Dribble (8/10)
Shy or Showoff (7/10)
Nuclear Weapons (5/10): Too many procedures. It鈥檚 not too good even with interesting presentation.
The Twenty-first and Whatever (7/10)
Signed Card from Packet to Packet (10/10)
The Whispering Card (7/10)
Heart and Fortune (9/10)
Saint Rita and the Zodiac (7/10)
Cards That Manifest Themselves (8/10)
Fair Value (8/10)
21st Century 21 Card Trick (8/10)
More Piles and Total Freedom (8/10)
Free Cut, Spell and Reinhard (9/10)

(Article) Magician, Method and Effect (9/10)
The Prophecy of Absent Magician (5/10): This involves 鈥楳iraskill鈥 principle. But I don鈥檛 see much magic in this trick.
Controlling Chaos (9/10)
Mysterious Divination (10/10)
Same Number for Three (10/10)
Grand Telepathy for Five (6/10): A simple alteration of the trick can make it much stronger. But a much indirect approach was chosen, which I don鈥檛 like.
Double Allerton (7/10)
Divination through Another鈥檚 Touch (8/10)
A Magic Card and a Magic Number (6/10): The setup is too obvious and not well hidden.
Divine and Locate (9/10)
The Bad-Luck Card (8/10)
A Taste for the Ladies (9/10)

(Article) Magic and Knowledge (8/10)
The Underground Stop (6/10)
The Rioboo Lapping Technique (8/10)
Back-Color Transposition (7/10)
Impossible Prediction (6/10): A similar effect can be achieved easily instead of using a sleight which is not done by many.
The Black-Hole Principle (10/10)
I Always Miss. So I Never Miss (10/10)
Mr. Galasso and the Black Hole (10/10)
Touch and Telepathy (8/10)
The Principle of Inverted Compensation (9/10)
The Roulette Deck (7/10)
Swindle Deal for Three (7/10)

(Article) Difficult, Improbable and Impossible (9/10)
The Stapled Card, without Jokers (8/10)
Two Cards and Two Envelopes (8/10)
Black Widow (6/10): I prefer a non extra card approach.
Prophecy, Value and Suit (7/10)
A Quick Trip (7/10)

(Article) Seen, Noticed, Suspected (9/10)
Double Magic Trup (9/10)
Out of Touch (10/10)
Premonition and Divination (6/10): Heavy gimmick (but readily available) deck is used
Guaranteed Premonition (6/10): Heavy gimmick (but readily available) deck is used

1. It is well written. Very easy to read.
2. Tons of very clever material. You will be delighted by the number of clever applications and unknown principles.
3. Detailed analysis of the effects at the end of explanation. This gives the reader better understanding of the effects.
4. Most effects are easy enough for beginners.
5. Almost all effects are foolers (even to magicians).

1. Some tricks look very similar.
2. Many tricks involve card dealing. But it doesn鈥檛 mean they all look mathematical in nature. I point this out because some performers just don鈥檛 like dealing cards.

Ram贸n Riob贸o鈥檚 Second Thoughts is a sophisticated book.
Though many of the effects are easy enough for beginners, it doesn鈥檛 mean it is for beginners.
It鈥檚 like Sonata in classical music, which music knowledge will make the listening experience more enjoyable; people with considerable card knowledge will appreciate the book much more than an ordinary curious person does.
There are very few similar books on the market which can guarantee an intellectual journey with readers. But this book can do it, and did it perfectly.
I鈥檝e already picked up some material immediately because they are very magical and clever.

Some people may dislike the fact that the effects are not direct enough. People may ask 鈥榳hy would you separate the card into piles in order to select a card?鈥
But the fact that non-direct selection process is not confined to some tricks in this book. As magicians, we always have to live with the procedures of tricks. How to make the procedures relevant often defines how good the performer is. So, if you only read and do visual magic, this is not a book for you.

The book also provides a lot of 鈥榠ngredient鈥 to you for making your own good magic.
I foresee that I will re-visit the book many times in future just to get inspiration.
I will recommend this book for any serious student of magic, and all card magic lovers.
I hope you will enjoy this intellectual journey as much as I do.

Book Quality: 8/10
Effectiveness of Tricks: 9/10
Practical: 8.5-9/10
Creativity: 10/10
Cost Performance: 9/10
Final Score: 9/10



I have mixed feelings about this book. I'm not saying it's bad, but it's not what I expected. Influenced by reviews I'd read here and there, I was expecting very clever tricks, hiding mathematical principles behind stratagems, to produce automatic tricks that didn't look like automatic tricks. In truth, the routines contained in the 'no manipulation' section are rather laborious, too procedural for my taste, rather suspicious and immediately leading one to think that they are automatic tricks. But the book is no less interesting for that. It is well written and well crafted, and Ramon Riboo has a personal style and way of writing that I really enjoyed. What's more, every part of the book is full of excellent ideas that you can pick up and use in your own way. There's a lot of interesting stuff in the first 35 pages, such as "Cut, Shuffle and restore", the "Packet-turnover shuffle" and "the optical cutting deception". As for the tricks, I'd say that almost none of them work for me as they are. There are ideas to be taken up but almost always something to be modified. Take Klondike Poker, for example. This trick proposes a very ingenious method for obtaining automatic card control at a given position, but the method of revelation seems to me to be laborious, time-consuming and confusing. Riboo himself admits that the strong point of this trick lies in the automatic control method and that the reveal mode can vary. The fact that you have to change the tricks is not a problem in itself, and can be seen in a positive light by saying that the book stimulates the imagination and creativity. And it does. On the other hand, I find that too many tricks have an uncertain outcome and force the magician to constantly improvise and adapt according to how things are going. Some people may like it, but I don't find it reassuring. I don't regret my purchase, I was just a little surprised. Special mention for "Signed card from packet to packet", which I particularly like.


Professional Review Second Thoughts

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  • Brett asks: Are you going to republish Rioboo's previous book for those of us who missed it the first time?

    • 1. Vanishing Inc. Magic responds: We are not the publisher of Rioboo's books so cannot reprint them.
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