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  • Writer's pictureMadison Hagler

Any Thought of Card to Pocket by Geraint Clarke & Christian Grace

Here’s an overview of the effect: 

The spectator is holding a deck of cards. They count ten cards and flip them face up. They remember one of the faceup cards. They close the spread, turn the 10 cards facedown, and hold them in their hands. They name the card they are thinking of, and they can immediately count the cards and they will find only 9 cards in their hand. The cards are turned face up and spread to show their thought-of-card has vanished. The thought-of-card is reproduced from wherever the performer would like. All of this has happened in the spectator’s hands without the performer ever touching the cards.

You receive 8 specially printed cards which make this trick completely self-working. The cards have a unique feel to them; it is clear the gimmicks are printed on blank-faced cards because the ink is sort of raised up in an odd way. Laymen won’t notice, but I think magicians will be able to feel the difference. It feels like the cards are roughed even though rough and smooth does not play a part in the method. Also, the way they have designed these gimmicks is quite strange. Without revealing too much, I would feel decently comfortable with the spectator spreading in the beginning, but I wouldn’t feel comfortable with the spectator spreading the cards face up at the end. At the end of the routine, the cards require a much tighter spread to keep from accidental reveals. Think of the Princess card trick. I would suggest (as Geraint does) that the performer spread the cards at the end.

Really what you are getting here is how to make 10 cards become 9. They don’t really discuss where to reproduce the cards at any great length. They offer some suggestions, but it will really be up to you to find the best places on your person/in your environment. If we are being a stickler, technically this isn’t ANY thought of card to pocket. It’s one of 10 cards. And even then, only 8 can be thought of. And even then, they suggest only using 4 outs by narrowing their choice even more. It’s kind of up to how many outs you want to deal with.

The main hands-free method is very nice and typical Christian Grace thinking with the cards doing all of the work for you. I would assess the card-handling skills of the spectator before I did the hands-free version though. You don’t want a spectator who can barely spread cards. You want them to be able to do a nice even spread to ensure the gimmicks work as required. 

The tutorial is VERY in-depth. I’ve seen some people online say it's TOO in-depth. It’s over an hour and a half long. The tutorial covers how to shuffle the deck before you start, walks through how to perform the routine, gives subtleties you can add to the routine, different ways you can play the ending, how to fix any mistakes the spectator may make during the routine, a marked deck variation using only one of the gimmicks and a palm, a normal deck variation using only one gimmick and a switch, a cards across variation using two different colored decks of cards and two gimmicks, places you can put the outs, a two-card version where the performer’s card jumps to the spectator’s pocket and the spectator’s card jumps to the performer’s pocket, troubleshooting, credits, outtakes, and a full performance of the routine. Clearly, it’s a lot. It is a full project and not just one trick taught.

Thankfully, from suggestions made on the MagicCafe, Geraint provided a “bullet point overview” video that teaches the entire hands-off trick in under 6 minutes for those who don’t want to wade through the 90-minute tutorial or who need a quick refresher on how to set it up.

I really enjoy every version provided. They each have pros and cons, but they are all very solid methods; it’s not like the hands-free version is far superior to any other version. They are all strong takes on the thought of card to pocket. One thing to keep in mind is that all of the versions do require a setup. The hands-free version is the most intense setup. It could really only be used as an opener, but you are left with some cleaning up to do at the end, so it seems best suited for a one-off performance for some friends in a casual situation rather than a card set. I certainly don’t think it's suitable for walk around/table hopping unless you plan on this being the only card trick you do. If you DO want it to be the only card trick you do, the reset is instantaneous, making it super easy to perform on repeat. The marked deck version is probably the easiest setup, but that requires a palm, so depending on how confident you feel with that, you may or may not like it. 

Overall, it’s a great method that appears very clean; it just isn’t the most practical trick in the world. As a one-off performance, and for the right person, it would kill. For the professionals looking to add it to their set, I don’t know if this is for you. The one thing I have to commend them on is their dedication to the project and the fact that they explored and explained every single nook and cranny of the routine, leaving no stone unturned, and they provided many fantastic variations which really turn a simple self-working trick into a full project.

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