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Three Card Routines Review

Official Review

June 10th, 2015 10:22pm
Reviewed by James Sanden
Asi Wind has a reputation for creating powerful, effective magic using clever methods. His latest release, “Three Card Routines,” is no exception. While treading familiar territory (Triumph and Any Card At Any Number), the routines are innovative, well constructed and highly deceptive.

The DVD begins with “Double Exposure,” an unusual version of Triumph. What sets this handling apart is that, after the cards have been shuffled face up into face down, the performer takes a picture of the spectator, using the spectator’s phone, holding the shuffled cards fanned in front of their face. Then, after the selected card has been revealed and the cards have magically righted themselves, the spectator looks at their own phone and sees that, in the picture of them holding the fanned deck, all the cards are facing the same direction, except for the selection. This is a surreal moment, made even more powerful by the fact that the spectator has the photo as a permanent memento on their own phone.

The method for “Double Exposure” is clever and efficient. The explanation is clear and the camera work is excellent, including filming at hand level from the point of view of the magician, as well as using freeze frames and onscreen highlighting to emphasize critical moments. Two versions are taught, one using a cull and one without. Mr. Wind does not teach the cull in depth, but instruction on this sleight can be found in numerous sources.

Next is “Triumph and Triumph Again,” an addendum to John Bannon’s “Play It Straight Triumph. As with Mr. Bannon’s handling, the routine begins with cards being shuffled face up into face down, but the selected card is not returned to the deck. Instead, its identity is revealed when the cards are spread and all are face down, except for the cards matching the suit of the selection, which are all face up and in numerical order, the selection being the only one missing. Mr. Wind’s contribution is the addition of a second phase, wherein another spectator, merely thinking of a card, shuffles the cards face up and face down themselves. Again, all the cards right themselves, except for the cards matching the suit of the selection. As a kicker, the first spectator’s selection transforms into the second spectator’s. This description may read dry, but repeating the effect with the spectator shuffling dramatically escalates the routine and is a perfect follow up to the first phase. An alternate presentation is also taught that retains the basic elements of the routine, but transforms the effect in a very interesting way.

As with “Double Exposure,” the instruction is excellent. Mr. Wind takes the time to clearly explain the method, which is simple, efficient and deceptive, start to finish. Two presentations are taught, both of which offer different but equally interesting approaches. And while not a problem, it is of note that the routine does not reset, though I can imagine there is a way to do so in a relatively casual manner.

The final routine taught is Mr. Wind’s approach to ACAAN. His version is particularly clean and straightforward. A card and number are named, the cards are dumped out of the card case, the spectator counts down to their number and the card at that number is the one they named. One deck and no equivoque. It’s hard to imagine a more direct version of this classic effect.

The method, while not easy, is very subtle, practical and extremely effective. The most difficult aspect is the mental work involved. The quality of the instruction matches the other effects taught, and he includes a number of troubleshooting tips clearly garnered from having performed the routine countless times. My only complaint is regarding the discussion of the mental calculations used. While the time spent covering this part of the method was extensive, it was badly planned and organized. Much would have been clarified had specific examples (rather than arbitrary ones) been used and presented in a logical, progressive sequence, as well as if the basic concepts has been painted in broad strokes before delving into them in detail.

“Three Card Routines” teaches 3 extremely powerful, professional routines that are also practical. The methods involved, while deceptive, are not knuckle busting, though some mental work is required for ACAAN. The teaching is clear and well thought out, though the instruction for calculations used in ACAAN could have been clearer. These routines are all deceptive, interesting and commercial. If you love good card magic, you’ll love this DVD.

Available at your favorite Murphy’s Magic dealer

Product info for Three Card Routines

Author: Wind, Asi
Publisher: Dan and Dave Buck
Average Rating:  (3)
Retail Price: $29.95
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