Review: The 52 to 1 Deck by Wayne Fox and David Penn

Reviewer: Michael Siegel

You are mingling around at a party. The energy is low. The music is stale. The conversation is dull. The appetizers are bland. To spice up the evening you casually mention in passing that you happen to be a magician (or mentalist). Suddenly, the ears of the small group of girls and guys perk up as they focus on your every word. Like the Sun post-Copernicus, you are the center of attention. What do you do now?

You take out a deck of cards. You spread the deck unquestionably showing to the skeptical crowd that all of the cards are in fact different. You ask a smiling and excited young lass or lad to look at the spread cards and to mentally select one. You gather up the cards and put the deck squarely on the table. You cut off some cards from the deck. You ask the young damsel to tell everyone the card that she was only thinking of in her mind. You show the card that you cut to and it is the exact same card.

Now you might want to put away the deck and go grab some chips. But not yet. You immediately repeat the effect with a different maiden. She is shown that all the cards are different and is asked to mentally select one card from the spread. You square up the cards and cut the deck. She reveals the thought of card that was locked in her thoughts. You show that again you have cut to the exact same thought of card.

But you still are not yet finished. You do this for a third time with another smiling lassie. She eagerly mentally selects one of the cards from the spread. Nothing is written down. But instead of you cutting the deck, you ask another girl to cut the deck. The thought of card is revealed. The girl shows what card she freely cut to and, lo and behold, it is the same as the thought of card. The once quiet crowd goes wild as you humbly accept the applause and accolades, not to mention a few phone numbers, from the cheering crowd.

This is the 52 to 1 Deck by Wayne Fox and David Penn.

This is a terrific deck and routine. The principles used in the gimmick deck have been applied in other gimmicked decks and other effects.  However, this is the first time that these principles have been combined to be used in this type of routine.  The blending of these magic principles along with the fabulous routines by Wayne Fox and David Penn make the 52 to 1 Deck incredible and entertaining.

The instructional video is 68 minutes long. It has several live performances by Wayne Fox and David Penn with real people in real environments. There are no screaming teenagers running away from the camera in shock and awe. But you do see genuine, excited, entertained reactions from the real spectators.  The instructional video also goes over how to set up the deck. The simple set up will take no more than 5 minutes. If you happen to mess up doing what needs to be done to a few of the cards, no worries., These cards are regular playing cards and you can replace them with cards you have from any matching deck. The rest of the cards are specially gimmicked allowing you to freely show that the spread cards are in fact different. No rough and smooth. All you need to do is spread the cards.

Once you set up the cards, it is very easy to do this routine. Now I should mention that the video demo does edit out a question that you need to ask the person before cutting the cards. However, this is no big deal. In fact, you do not even need to ask a question, but rather make a statement and can obtain the confirmation of what you need to know. This effect can and should be repeated to the same people.

The way that the deck is set up and gimmicked, you will be able to cut to the person’s thought of card 9.9 times out of 10. The .1 time that you do not, you can simply recut the cards and get it.

Wayne performs it three times with the third time letting the spectator cut the cards herself.  While this certainly can be done and is absolutely mind blowing, it does take a little bit more spectator management. If done, I would recommend that you hold the deck in your hands to give you a wee bit more control of the cards.

You can certainly do the regular routine by cutting the cards to exactly the place where the thought of card is located. This is certainly is impressive and extremely magical. But for me, I prefer to do it slightly different with more of a mentalist approach. After the person has mentally selected the card, and I squared up the deck, I ask the person to focus on the card in her mind. I then ask her to hold my left hand and to transmit to me the thought of card while I cut the deck with my right hand.

The instructional video also has several excellent and interesting variations of the basic routine that can be used in a variety of settings including a terrific stage routine. This is a wonderful deck and a great effect. I highly recommend this 49 to 1 Deck, I mean, 52 to 1 Deck. I give it 10 out of 10 lucky charms.

Please support intellectual property. Only buy original. Available from all reputable Murphy’s Magic dealers.

(10 / 10)

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