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Chicago Opener (World's Greatest Magic) Review

Official Review

April 6th, 2015 8:12am
Reviewed by Doc Johnson

The beauty of this is you get to see five different performers with six very different versions of this classic.

I found that some I really didn’t care for at all and others I found to be just tremendous. My favorite by far is Bill Malone’s version.

I also really enjoyed Michael Ammar’s original Red Hot Mamma routine.

Most of the routines are well suited for beginner or intermediate performers with a bit of practice.

The effect sets up easily and cleans up easily as well.


There are so many versions of Chicago Opener. This DVD has some really good versions. However, if I had to pick one of the best I’ve seen, I might pick Pop Haydn’s version. His routine is on his DVD entitled “Pop Haydn’t Chicago Surprise”.

All you need is a regular deck, but you will need one card from another deck. Also, you would need a second card from another deck if you want to repeat the effect with different outcomes.


This is a great DVD with several versions of this great effect.

Available at your favorite Murphy’s Magic dealer

Product info for Chicago Opener (World's Greatest Magic)

Author: Various
Publisher: L&L Publishing
Average Rating:  (1)
Retail Price: $19.95
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Manufacturer's Description:

The card trick popularly known as Chicago Opener had its origins in an effect invented by Al Leech that was originally called Hot Card Trick No. 1 and then later rechristened Red Hot Mama. The trick became immensely popular and many working performers immediately added it to their repertoires, notably Frank Everhart and Jim Ryan, who each sometimes get credit for its invention (Everhart's version was published in a Frank Garcia Book as Chicago Opener and Ryan's as Red Hot Mama in a book on Ryan's magic by Phil Wilmarth.)

Despite its muddled origins, it remains one of card magic's rare effects - an astounding miracle that is relatively easy to perform. What the audience sees is that the magician causes a freely-selected card to change its back color (say from blue to red), which is then tabled. The performer then claims to be able to repeat the effect and a second card is selected. This second attempt fails - no second red card is found - but the performer makes good by turning over the first red card and showing that it has now magically changed into the second selection.

On this DVD, you'll meet a number of world-class performers with their own unique takes on this wonderful piece of card conjuring. Bill Malone is first with a mentalism presentation for this classic while Michael Close adds his own very funny - and amazing - presentation, complete with a very original method. Michael Ammar presents two handlings for his signature version of Red Hot Mama. He also performs and teaches the traditional handling, as does Daryl who also adds some important finesses. Finally, Dan Fleshman adds a powerful Card to Wallet kicker to this already spectacular trick.

There's a reason that this effect has been a part of most professional card magicians' repertoires ever since its first publication in 1950 - it's a killer trick. So, whether you call it Red Hot Mama or Chicago Opener, if you're a magician who aspires to entertain with a deck of cards, you need to learn this trick - and you'll find no better resource than the performances and explanations on this DVD.

Mind Reading Magician - Bill Malone
The Dumbest Casino in the World - Michael Close
Bluefield Debut - Michael Ammar
Bluefield Debut 2 - Michael Ammar
Chicago Opener - Daryl
Momma in My Wallet - Dan Fleshman
Red Hot Mama - Michael Ammar

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