.:126/365: The Svengali Deck:.

In the hands of a beginner, the Svengali deck can create quite a head-scratcher for the average layman.

In the hands of a veteran, the Svengali deck is a veritable miracle-worker.

Imagine giving your spectator a chance to pick a card, and then repeatedly plucking that card from all over the deck, all the while shuffling, mixing, and cutting the deck to her heart’s desire. The routine can go any which way you wish to take it in, because the Svengali deck’s applications, like any deck of cards, whether gimmicked or ungimmicked, is literally limited by your imagination.

Ambitious card routines done easy? You got it.

Card duplication feats? Check.

Card location divination? Absolutely.

This particular gem is a massive hit among beginner magicians who don’t want to learn the basic sleights of card magic because it allows them to do so much while investing time in developing their own patter and their own routines that go well with the deck. Svengali decks are amazing because they are an excellent gateway into card magic, although personally, I’m more inclined to teaching people how to do magic with a regular deck of cards first, before anything else, as it gets them acquainted with the foundations of good card magic.

To be honest, I find that the Svengali stunted my growth as a magician because I didn’t have anyone to guide me back then. It was a nice gateway, but I never had the resources or the wherewithal to actually pursue more magic, and relied mainly on gimmicks and the like when I should’ve been schooled in the basics back then. I was a late bloomer in card magic, and that explains why I rarely bother using card magic in my routines: I simply feel that it’s nowhere near as developed as the other facets of my performances.

So to anyone who wants to get into magic and wishes to do cards, while the Svengali deck is an awesome jumping point, make sure you continue learning, because without really spoiling anything, if the Svengali deck ends up in the wrong hands, let’s just say that there go your chances.