I've come to the conclusion that when Banachek releases something I just get it. His thinking and
routining and subtleties are always first rate. There are very few mind readers I feel that way
ESP opener includes the ESP cards shipped to you, plus a video download (14 min, 38
seconds). Clear, easy to follow instructions.
The perfect opener for walk-around, table
hopping, close up situation.
I love it. Highly recommended.
4 of 4 magicians found this helpful.
The effect is good. I think it is a solid opener for an ESP card routine. I don't believe it would
be a good opener for approaching a table. The introduction of cards with symbols no one is familiar
with seems a bit odd. Maybe that is just me.
My problem with this routine is not with the
instruction or method, but with the production. I received two sets of cards with my order. However,
neither one of the sets were gimmicked like the set Banachek uses in the instructions. This doesn't
make then unusable, but it does make all of Banachek's teaching on how to guide a spectator to name
a specific symbol a bit obsolete...and not in a good way. Because my set of cards were gimmicked
differently than what was shown in the video, the accompanying PDF that was specially made to work
the way Banachek does it is now also useless. To be practicing scripting and the psychological
wording to guide the spectator to the correct symbol and then receive a totally different set of
cards is a bit frustrating.
Another problem is that the cards are sent printed on bicycle
cards. The symbols on the front, bicycle back design on the back. Granted, Penguin does send a red
set and a blue set. However, I expected to receive the cards that are shown in the preview. I don't
like the idea of spectator's knowing that Bicycle cards can just be printed in anyway a magician
wants them to be printed. The bicycle back design is a bit of a turn off for me.
and this may be specific only to my set, but my gimmicks were poorly made. I can't say too much
without revealing the method, but my cards were barely usable when not held in a death grip.
I am a fan of Banachek and his thinking. Purchased this already knowing the method to receive
the cards and additional points from Banachek. But due to my cards being different, Banachek's
touches and subtleties are wasted.
I wish the PDF contained the symbols in different sizes
and the gimmick material separate so I could make my own cards.
Worth purchasing, but be
ready to do a a bit more work to make it performance ready.
3 of 3 magicians found this helpful.
The first phase involving the choice of symbols cannot be done because that card, or a PDF template
with it, is not included in the package.
The second phase includes two different sets of
the gimmicked ESP cards (one red-backed and one blue-backed). Penguin certainly did not understand
the significance of having the star be the key symbol as Banachek shows in his demo video and uses
in his explanation. In my package, one set has the plus sign as the key symbol and the other has
the wavy lines. Though Banachek doesn't explain this, there is a specific reason (those who have
Banachek's Psychological Subtleties) why the star is the symbol
Sure, the cards are still
usable and I can do a very similar routine, but not the one that Banachek explained and not the one
advertised. For this, I give it ONE star. But not that my one-star rating is for the entire
Penguin package, not Banachek's wonderful routine (which would get a much higher rating).
Should Penguin send out and/or replace packages to all customers making sure that the star is
the key symbol, and include the choice cards shown, then my rating would be significantly higher.
3 of 4 magicians found this helpful.
This is a fun little routine.
Great to get you going with a mentalism routine.
I've used it
at the restaurant I perform in and it
gets a good response.
Clear instructions with
Hey, it's Banachek :)
A PDF with the symbols you need is also
It's in my show for good...until i wear it out then back to Penguin for another
I should buy two.
1 of 1 magicians found this helpful.
So it is like an invisible deck, however my cards are not sticking well. Good trick but I may return
1 of 1 magicians found this helpful.
so easy to do plus deceptive, what would expect from banachek? Very good effect...
Not everything shown in the video was included, at least not how I expected it to be. The ESP symbol
selection card was added as a downloadable printable after the fact, so I guess everything is now
complete. I was not expecting Bicycle backs on the ESP cards, I thought they would have a design
similar to what was shown in the video. I was informed that those shown in the video are Banachek's
business cards. My mistake.
The effect is as shown. The method is extremely easy to perform. The
cards are not examinable. Everyone I have shown this to has been astounded.
I love this effect! Highly recommended! As a lifetime magician, I had figured it out before I
purchased it. I was right, but so much the better! It works very cleanly and simply. There is
minimal sleight (if you can even call the move a sleight), so it is all performance. As a Catholic
priest, I don’t pretend to have any “magic” abilities. So I warn people to be aware of how other
people may try to influence their beliefs. I pull out the cards and tell them which card I will try
to influence them into selecting, and that they should avoid it. Then I offer them each card
slowly, each a little differently. After the selection, it is revealed that they took the card they
were to avoid. I then explain dramatically, “There are many ways to secretly influence someone - by
subtlety of the voice; through natural body language. Or by cheating! I use the third way!”
Always good for a surprised laugh! Enjoy!
The video: Banachek does a great job of explaining the handling and presentational options without
repetition or superfluous words. He even addresses problems you might have with handling the cards
The cards: you get two sets, so you can use two different symbols. My sets came
with red and blue backs, not ideal if you want an alternative for walkaround situations. The
preparation in my case is rather “tight”, making it a bit difficult to separate the cards, but this
is not a problem, Banachek shows you how to deal with it. Personally, I’m quite fine with this.
What could be better? Banchek employs a psychological force in one of his presentations. For
this, he uses another card with the five symbols printed on them. It would have been nice if this
card (or a PDF template) was included in the package. But then again, this variation might not be
possible with the force symbols you get, anyway (at least, it’s not possible for me). You might have
to prepare your own sets and try to make up that additional card yourself to be able to perform all
of the variations. This might annoy some people and it brings me to another question: In this case,
as I knew exactly what the trick was before buying, I was mainly interested in the video. Would it
be possible to offer different ordering options, so customers could choose between complete package,
download only and props/replacement sets only? That way, one could watch the video first and decide
afterwards if one would like to have the props, too. (Of course, this would only make sense in those
cases where the gaffs are rather easily made and are not specially printed, for example.)
Honestly the only thing I dislike about this effect is some of the handling in the trailer. I
suspected slight of hand based on the performances there, but this requires none. In reality, the
cards can be handled and displayed much more freely. I really enjoy using this as a walk-around
opener. It gets people talking and establishes me as a skilled influencer.