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The Ambitious card: Card Magic Techniques

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This version of The Ambitious Card makes use of the following techniques:

The Double Lift

The Glide


The Controlled Shuffle

If you are not yet familiar with these methods I suggest that you study and practice them carefully before you attempt this routine.

You can find them all here: The Magic Tricks Guide to Fundamental Card Magic Techniques

So, if you are ready to try this, let's take a look at the routine. It's a simple enough routine if you have mastered the fundamental techniques but performed smoothly and with pazzazz will bring real pleasure and surprise to your audience.

Here's the effect, step-by-step:

ambitous card

The magician makes a nice, clean spread on the tabletop and the spectator selects a card freely from the deck. Here it is the Jack of Diamonds. The spectator memorises the card, which the magician does not see.

ambitious card

Next, the deck is cut and the spectator's card is placed in the middle.

ambitious card

The magician shuffles the pack explaining that the card is now lost somewhere in the deck.

ambitious card

The magician lifts the top card and says, "Is this the card you chose?" It isn't and the spectator says so!

ambitious card

"Oh," says the magician. "That's a bit awkward. Is it this one, then, at the bottom?" It isn't. "This one?" No.

ambitious card

"Look, I'm sorry," says the magician. "This doesn't seem to be working out. Can I ask you what card you selected?" The spectator replies (in our example, but it can be any card at all) "The Jack of Diamonds." The magician says, "The Jack of Diamonds?! No wonder! He's a real trickster. He'll have hidden himself away in there for good. But you know, he's a very ambitious card and sooner or later, he'll work his way to the top. Shall we take another look?"

ambitious card

The magician turns over the top card again and this is the Jack of Diamonds!

location pass

The top card is turned over and revealed to be...

the glide

"You see? He's a cheeky little guy," says the magician, placing him back face down on top of the deck.

ambitious card

"But I'll tell you something," continues the magician. "He's messed with my tricks tonight so I'm not going to let him stay there at the top. I'm going to stuff him right back in the middle where he belongs!" And he takes the card from the top and stuffs it into the middle of deck.

location pass

"There," says the magician, satisfied. "Sorry about that. Now, let's try something else."

ambitious card

The magician takes up the top card and...can you believe it? It's the Jack of Diamonds back at the top again! "I am so sorry," says the magician. "I told you he was ambitious. He really wants in on this trick."

ambitious card

The magician stuffs the tricksy card firmly back in the middle again...

ambitious card

But when the magician picks up the top card to make a new's still him, the pesky Jack of Diamonds back at the top!

ambitious card

"Right, that's enough!" says the magician, slamming him back down on top of the deck. "I'm going to get rid of him!" But when he picks up the top card this time - the Jack has disappeared!

ambitious card

"Oh this is too much!" says the magician. "He's hiding again. Okay, let's find him!" So saying, he makes a face-up spread on the table top and both he and the spectator search for the card. But it's not there! "Well, the heck knows where he's gone," says the magician. "But at least he has gone. Maybe now I can do a trick for you." And he gathers the pack back up.

ambitious card

"Right, sorry about that. Now, where were we?" says the magician, turning over the top card still the Jack of Diamonds! "Ah, forget it!" says the magician and throws the cards away in disgust. "Do you want to see a coin trick?"

It's a great routine and if you practice it well and get the pacing and timing right, it will really give pleasure to your audience and build your reputation as a charming and skillful magician. Be aware, however: do not try this until you have really got it right. This routine relies for it's success on many different skills of manipulation, timing, misdirection and presentation. It's a professional routine and takes work to bring up to performance standard.

The explanation for this is on its own page (link below) because the photographs use memory and I don't want you to have to wait ages for the pages to download. So, what do you want to do now?

Have you checked out these cool card decks? These are the ones used by professional magicians. The mark of expertise: The Magician's Favorite

Would you prefer a video tutorial to make this complex trick easier to learn? There's a great tutorial to a fantastic version of the embitious card that you can get here: Ambitious Card Video Tutorial

For anyone interested in taking card magic seriously, I'd like to personally recommend the Complete Card Magic - 7 Volume Set on 4 DVDs, which is a detailed course in all aspects of coin magic, tricks and performance. It contains video demonstrations and explanations of nearly all the techniques, sleight, effect and routines that any amateur or professional could want to master card magic. I've studied the DVDs and think they are superb. For most people the text and line illustrations of magic books require a deal of work to interpret and understand. Here that work is done for you: you just watch, repeat and learn. If you regard these DVDs as a complete course in card magic, you will learn to a very high professional standard. It's simply the best there is - and the price is amazing, too!

Get Complete Card Magic Magic Now!

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