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Chicago Surprise

by Haydn, Whit

Product Rating:

(Based on 2 reviews)
Category: Close Up
Media Type: Book
Publisher: School for Scoundrels

Product Description

Plot: A red-backed card is freely selected from a red-backed deck. The back of the chosen card changes color to blue so that it is easily found. The blue-backed card is placed under a saltshaker, the spectator's finger, or even under the spectator's foot. Another red-backed card is then selected from the deck. The magician, merely by snapping his fingers, changes the face of the blue-backed card to match the face of the second freely chosen card.

This 34-page booklet details all the ins and outs, psychology and theory of Whit Haydn's unique and very powerful version of the Chicago Opener or Red Hot Mama card trick-the version used by many of the top close-up workers.
Date Added: Mar 16th, 2003
MLA SKU: 01246Yk2xovquS3


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About our Syndication Service
December 14th, 2002 6:50pm
Reviewed by KimSilverman
I performed the traditional Chicago Opener for about a year, and found it great: it's quick, baffling, and funny. But it has some problems, which are well addressed by Whit's version. And Whit's version has some added advantages for me.

One problem with traditional Chicago Opener is that a different-coloured card has to be already placed on the bottom of the deck. Another is that the deck needs to be in a special order -- at least the bottom 2 cards do. A third problem, at least with the way I performed it, was that the first time a person chooses a coard from the Hindu shuffle we take the top card of the bottom half of the deck, but the second time we take the bottom card from the top half of the deck. This inconsistency is often noted by spectators and raises suspicions.

Whit's routine freed me up from all of these disadvantages, In addition it FINALLY has given me a safe reliable context n which to practice my Classic Force (which I STILL cannot do!) because in Whit's... [Read More]
May 26th, 2015 6:09pm
Reviewed by Doc Johnson

"Pop" Haydn has come out with a download video of the Chicago Surprise. It is a tremendous instructional video of a tremendous card routine.

The effect comes across so "fair" that he teaches a few alternative handlings because his presentation is so "fair" that the participant may change their mind. This makes this routine SO INCREDIBLY STRONG.

The routine has a bit of a jazz feel and is very liberating in that you are toying with the audience and your own routine, knowing you have a way to go depending upon the choices your participant makes.

Pop has taken Chicago Opener and re-worked it to have a stronger punch.


While the sleights are well within the reach of most beginner or intermediate performers, you WILL need to practice this one to get it smooth. However, it is really worth the practice.


This is one GREAT routine with GREAT explanation by Pop Haydn.

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