A place where beginners can participate, ask questions, and post their views. However, beginners typically ask a lot of questions about sources, tricks, books, and so on. In fact, all magicians are interested (or should be) in the provenance of tricks, ideas, and related matters. This department will service these needs.


Postby Guest » June 9th, 2006, 4:02 pm

I got an instructional video of a card trick called "mambo#5", probably has different names also, anyway, it contains a trick called a "backpalm"(I am extremely new to this by the way), I've been practicing it for a little while now and can't seem to get fast enough at it for the illusion to work. I'm smooth when it's slow, but when I speed up, I throw the card across the room, or just don't hold it correctly. Then it goes into a "frontpalm?" thingie, where he turns his hand around, reverses the hold and hides it again with his hand facing the opposite direction. I was fust wondering if anyone had any advise on how to do this trick more competently, other than just practicing more.


Re: backpalm

Postby Guest » June 9th, 2006, 8:22 pm

That would be this trick here by Oz Pearlman.[ WMV Demo ]

This would not be my first choice of an early trick for a beginner to learn, but it can be done.

The one thing I'd point out is that the back to front palm transposition, one of the harder things to learn in this branch of card magic, is actually accomplished behind his back in the video.

There's a book called Card Control, by Arthur Buckley that explains this better.


Re: backpalm

Postby Guest » June 9th, 2006, 8:34 pm

since your a beginner, id would not do this trick. my opinion, the trick stinks.

what you should do is get the first volume of Rober Giobbi's Card College.

i wish i would have when i first got into card magic. plenty of great material in that book.


Re: backpalm

Postby Guest » June 9th, 2006, 11:48 pm


I've been in magic a long time, first as an amateur and then as a pro for several decades. Let me give you a bit of advice that will save you a great deal of frustration. If you want to learn card magic and you're a beginner, you're best investment would be in a copy of The Royal Road to Card Magic by Jean Hugard and a set of the DVDs that are based on the material in Road from L&L Publishing.

The entire package will cost under $100....the material is first class and the DVDs have Paul Wilson teaching. It's a bargain.

After you've worked your way through the book and DVDs your skill level will be high and you'll have a solid repetoire of entertaining card effects.

Your excellent ink shows you understand the learning curve. You should be fine. Just don't rush yourself.

Good luck.


Re: backpalm

Postby Guest » June 10th, 2006, 10:17 am

thanks guys, I picked up a rather large book at the local half price books called "Mark Wilson's Complete Course in Magic". It's nearly 500 pages and has alot of card stuff in it. I'm on about page 50 now and have learned nearly nothing. There was a brief history of card magic, then went into (no kidding) full page descriptions (mostly text!!) of how to 1.shuffle 3.what cards are!! 4.the difference between face cards and number cards etc... Needless to say, I was bored senseless. The only tricks I have learned are how to get a selected card to turn upside down in the deck, and like three variations. I will be looking into the books you guys told me about, and some video instructions also. I am an avid juggler, and a couple of the guys in my juggling club do magic also, so I'll probably learn a few things from them. They do lots of card and rope tricks. Anyway, thanks for all of the suggestions on books, I will look them up.


Re: backpalm

Postby Guest » July 16th, 2006, 9:41 am

Having been a novice magician my whole life and this being as much a hobby for enjoyment as anything I agree that a great place to start is the Card College books. I have always wanted to work with cards, being more of a coin guy, and these books make learning a lot of fun. The explanination and drawings are excellent. Give these a try and I don't think you will be dissapointed. Royal Road is good too and with the addition of DVD's, that I did not have when I was working with it, I would guess the combination would be great.


Re: backpalm

Postby Guest » July 17th, 2006, 6:00 pm

Dear Hydrophidian,
The above posters have given you spot-on advice: If you can master everything in Mr. Giobbi's
"Card College" books, all will bow-down to you in abject-deference, to say the least.

Now, please take the rest of this post with a grain of salt, as you would a marginally-obnoxious pep-talk from a grizzled coach--tough, poorly-articulated love it may be: it IS intended with love after all...

While we live in an age in which we can learn a language a month or find over-whelming amounts of information on any conceivable subject at the tap of a button, there are still certain conditions that prevail: it takes TIME to get GOOD at ANYTHING (see Mr. Alexander's posts on the art of cutting silhouettes, for example).

While you may have the base of abilities to "zip up the ladder", or "pass the ABCs" quicker than others and thus get impatient, that is a good sign regarding your talent and tenacity. But you still need to know your ABCs.

You should also know that, as MUCH as you may WANT, I dare say there is WAY more out there than you can imagine, with more piling-up every day--so keep practicing, pal. The fact is, I predict, you're going to feel as if you don't know the real [censored] for a while yet. Sorry.

It's not JUST about dexterity, "finger-flinging", or the practice of physical moves--while vitally important (and the better you can get at all of the above the BETTER) it also involves among other things psychology, timing, scripting, audience-management, stage-craft. It has taken a lot of folks centuries to accumulate the information you now crave. Chill-out and keep practicing, rookie.

Everyone understands that NOT-Everyone can automatically be an N.F.L. Quarterback, or say, win the Boston Marathon with no training. --BUT quite a few assume that if you buy a couple books and/or dvds, and fiddle for a couple months with a pack of cards, you're a magician!! Sorry.

Paul Harris once said (in "Close Up Kinda Guy", if memory serves) "Practice 'till your fingers bleed". It's worth it.


David Cox
San Francisco


Re: backpalm

Postby Guest » July 18th, 2006, 9:30 am

It's interesting. People who have been doing this for decades give you advice, and you go out and buy a book because there are a lot of tricks in it. Then you get pissed off because it's boring.

If you want to learn cards, get the Card College series.

The Mark Wilson book may be boring at first. You have to realize what it's for. When it was written, there was very little in the way of video instruction. This is a self-teaching manual that was written primarily by Walter Gibson. He wrote at an 8th grade level (back then -- probably college sophomore now) so ANYBODY could learn from it.

It's intended for people who have no input from any other magicians. Oddly enough, it has some very professional routines in it. In fact, if one of us who knows how to do these things showed you some of the stuff in the book, you would be fooled and amazed.

So don't dismiss it out of hand.

But get the Card College and we won't have to go through all of this again.

User avatar
Richard Kaufman
Posts: 24240
Joined: July 18th, 2001, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Theodore DeLand
Location: Washington DC

Re: backpalm

Postby Richard Kaufman » July 18th, 2006, 9:47 am

If you want to learn card manipulations like Back Palming and related techniques, then the L&L DVD done by Jeff Sheridan, or any of Jeff McBride's DVDs on the subject, will give you the information you need.
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine

Return to “Reference Room”