The Royal Road...

All beginners in magic should address their questions here.

The Royal Road...

Postby Guest » December 15th, 2002, 2:42 pm

As a newbie, I have just recently purchased and am working through The Royal Road to Card Magic. The book recommends that you do not learn EVERY trick, but focus on a few tricks with each technique.

1) Which tricks from this book have you had the most success with?

2) Are there any supplements that you recommend while working through this book? The supplements don't have to be card related although I have a decided preference for card magic.

3) When I've made it through this book, where should I go next?

Thanks in advance :)



Re: The Royal Road...

Postby Guest » December 15th, 2002, 6:19 pm

I would say that 50% of my repertoire comes from this book.It was written before 1954, after all.

You probably don't need to go any further once you have read this thoroughly. I suppose if you insist then Harry Lorayne's Close Up Card Magic would be a safe bet.

Supplement? I suppose the other Harry book called "The Magic Book" would round off your education.

Oh, don't forget presentation, though. You will get that from a very advanced book called "Expert Card Technique" also by Hugard and Braue. Avoid the tricks in there. You will need 35 fingers to master them. Instead go the back section and read the advice on presentation. Priceless.

I am not going to recommend specific tricks from the Royal Road.
I rather hope you won't do them although you probably will.

Jon Racherbaumer
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Re: The Royal Road...

Postby Jon Racherbaumer » December 15th, 2002, 6:36 pm

Royal Road was the fifth book on card magic that I bought and studied as a youngster. R. Paul Wilson has spoken eloquently about this work. So have others. In fact, I think that Mr. Wilson is in the process of putting out a DVD that will dramatically show just how good this book and its material is and can be...

Perhaps Mr. Wilson can further enlighten us re this project?


Dave Shepherd
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Re: The Royal Road...

Postby Dave Shepherd » December 15th, 2002, 6:58 pm

To answer a couple of the questions Darren posed, I regularly perform Design for Laughter (with a bit less of a "sucker" presentation) and Cards Across in paying gigs (and also for fun).

And in casual, impromptu situations I'll sometimes do good old Obliging Aces, from Chapter 1 (overhand shuffle controls, I believe). Yes, it's a lot of shuffle, shuffle, shuffle, but it always seems to get a strong reaction.

But now that I think on it, I'd have to agree with Card Trickster and say that you should choose the tricks you like best. It may not be these. For example, there's an interesting card to pocket, and an interesting ace assembly, and much other fantastic stuff.

I'd agree with the authors in saying that you don't need to learn all the tricks cold, but maybe you'll want to just run through the steps of each one once as you come to them to decide which ones to master.

As to where to go after Royal Road, I would say if you are really interested in cards you'll need to get the Card College books, by Robert Giobbi. Work through them, volumes 1 through 4. Like Hugard and Braue, Roberto always gives the reader some great routines to motivate the learning of new sleights.


Re: The Royal Road...

Postby Guest » December 15th, 2002, 7:07 pm

The second trick in the book is terrific. "Poker Players Picnic".

I suppose you could say I performed this trick for royalty. I showed it to Prince Phillip, the Queen's husband years ago. The press came up to me afterwards and said "you badly fooled him. That's one trick the Duke doesn't know" I got the impression from the reporters that the Duke did a few card tricks himself.

This item gets a terribly strong reaction from laymen. All the so called "improvements" which people have tried to incorporate to avoid the dealing that goes on are a waste of time.

They all involve some kind of contact with the cards. The Royal Road version is the only one where the cards are not touched by the magician throughout.

Completely self working too. Better effect than 90% of the finger flinging garbage that you read nowadays.

I have never seen a magician do this method. They should.

Charlie Chang
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Re: The Royal Road...

Postby Charlie Chang » December 16th, 2002, 12:33 pm

Of course, I am a huge fan of this book. It's well written, well thought out and includes enough great card magic to last a lifetime.

There are problems with the book such as the slightly disappointing illustrations and a few bad effects or methods, but essentially the book is one of the finest introductions to card magic ever written.

The DVDs are about to enter post production. This is more than a matter of editing. We have gathered valuable advice from magicians around the world for the novice magician to learn from and the seasoned professionals to consider. I am also hoping to have bios of several important card conjurors on each disc. this will show those new to card magic that there is a rich history behind the book and help them, hopefully, to appreciate their work, which is represented within Royal Road.

Royal Road is more than a beginner's book - it is a gold mine of great material. People who have spent their lives ploughing through books on card magic are going to be shocked at what they find in Royal Road. The methods are very good and some of the effects are downright baffling, even to magicians.

Michael Skinner was renowned for baffling top magicians before saying, simply, that "it's in Royal Road"!

As an example, check out the palm replacement taught there - it's the best method I am aware of.

Many people ask if I have updated the handlings or the sleights - the answer is both YES and NO. I wanted to retain the RR approach and simply give a solid working method for each sleight and not bother the student with variations. "Here's the tool - go and use it" is the approach. In some cases I have decided to take the student a step further on some moves but only after they have learned to use the basic method. In the case of the double lift I have shown the method from RR then explained why it should be learned then disregarded in favour of a more natural handling. For the pass I tip my work on making the pass instantaneous and silent - NOT invisible but imperceptable.

I have worked to iron out problems with some of the effects and have added several new effects by myself, Roy Walton and Dai Vernon. These effects illustrate the proper use of moves from the book very well and will be of great interest to people learning card magic.

One other point is that, whilst all sleights are taught and fully illustrated (Tim Trono and Adam Slye worked hard to get the best angles for every sleight) I try to encourage students to read the book FIRST, try the move, then watch the DVD to assess their progress and stop problems in their tracks. The idea was to help them to understand the text, not replace it. Of course, they could still simply watch the footage instead but I think that reading and watching would teach much more than just the moves.

As to the original question - check out The riffle shuffle chapter for some serious foolers...

Bill Mullins
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Re: The Royal Road...

Postby Bill Mullins » December 16th, 2002, 2:18 pm

How many DVDs will it be? Will there be a package deal, including the book?


Re: The Royal Road...

Postby Guest » December 16th, 2002, 2:50 pm

Wow! These answers are what I asked for and more. This forum is my best "find" in magic so far. Thanks for all of your help, and any that may come later.

The DVD's sound like a great resource, especially since by the time they come out I will have been through portions of the book. Please keep us posted on them.


Philippe Noël
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Re: The Royal Road...

Postby Philippe Noël » December 26th, 2002, 12:24 pm

Mr. Wilson,

Can you tell us what were the favorite effects of Michael Skinner in Royal Road to Card Magic?
I am looking forward to discover your DVDs.

Philippe Nol

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Re: The Royal Road...

Postby CardFan » December 26th, 2002, 1:37 pm

I've been reading and learning routines from Royal Road the past week or so (in large part because of what has been said about it in the Forum). I've had it for a long time but never really got into it--until now. This is one great book with many, many gems...

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