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Expert at the Card Table by S.W. Erdnase (Book)
List price:$9.95
Price: $7.76
You save: $2.19 (22%)
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For almost a centuury, this book has been considered indispensable to attaining the highest level of card mastery. In it, S.W. Erdnase, a supreme master of card manipulation, teaches card enthusiasts how to perform the dazzling tricks and sleights-many of them how own creations-that made him famous.

The first section of the book deals with card table artifice, or, to put it more bluntly, cheating at cards. Step by step, Mr. Erdnase demonstrates his own systems of false shuffling, false riffling anc cutting, dealing from the bottom and such slick moves as palming cards, "skinning the hand," even three-card monte.

The second section covers legerdemain: the art of forcing a card, one- and two-hand transformations, the devious "slide" and more. Card handlers will love Erdnase's selection of dazzling card tricks, including The Acrobatic Jacks, The Exclusive Coterie, The Divining Rod, The Invisible Flight, a Mind Reading Tick and many others.

In an informative foreword to this edition, Martin Gardner relates the unhappy details of the author's personal life, and recounts the history of this famous book, whose methods, Mr. Gardner asserts, "are as useful today by magicians and card hustlers as they were in 1902. This book is still the bible of card 'mechanics,' and as much a delight to read as it was in the early years of this century."

Manufacturer Says

Paperbound, 144 5 3/8" by 8 1/2" pages, 101 illustrations.

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Customer Reviews (showing 1 - 10 of 11)
2 of 2 magicians found the following review helpful:
Best book there is Report this review
Verified buyer Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on September 15th, 2012
If you're learning card magic, this is your bible. By it and memorize it.
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1 of 1 magicians found the following review helpful:
classic Report this review
Verified buyer Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on November 6th, 2007
this is where dai vernon got started. i think thats all i have to say.
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1 of 1 magicians found the following review helpful:
The Cardman's Bible Report this review
Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on April 3rd, 2010
This book has been known as the cardman's bible for a very long time. Surprisingly, many who have declared themselves card magicians have not even picked up this book. And yes, I was among them until recently. At the recommendation of a few big card guys, I decided to finally pick up this book, and it is actually easier than you think. Given that this was written more than a century ago, there are still a lot of items in the book that are relevant to modern conjurers. If you're a close up card guy and you're interested in table work, this is the book for you. Study it. Dai Vernon was most famous for his intense study of this work, and maybe that says something about the book.
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1 of 1 magicians found the following review helpful:
A little difficult to understand Report this review
Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on April 5th, 2010
WHen it comes to classical magic texts, I try not to review them because usually the auther is dead or it's a proven gem and doesn't need a review. But I want to make an exception with this one. I think that only now is it coming into play with a lot of magicians and we should realize it's real potential.

FIrst off, this is something I should address. The instruction is very difficult to understand. He uses slang words and other terms used in the gambling scene that some of us might not understand. But if you are looking for some excellent techniques, go here. THere are a ton of things in here that are hidden and not commonly used. ALl of it requires pristine practice and effort. You might find yourself like I did, working for months on one sleight. But the BEST description of the pass is in here. Just a heads up.

Over all I need to give this a 4 out of 5. The reason being the illustrations were also a little bit hard to understand at time and the descriptions are a little "varried". But I want to make sure you read the forward/introduction. Martin Gardner is an AMAZING writer and I highly recommend you read it. You gain a lot of good insight to the book that can help you out later on. I know you want that out of a product :)
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1 of 1 magicians found the following review helpful:
There's some good stuff Report this review
Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on April 5th, 2010
Like a lot of magic books, you are probably going to only use a few things, but don't let that scare you away. Although you probably won't use a lot of the 'tricks' in the book, you will certainly take some of the ideas. If you are a beginner, it will give you a good understanding of how magic works and you will improve as a magician. The price isn't that bad so I would recommend it.
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1 of 1 magicians found the following review helpful:
Something for everyone! Report this review
Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on April 5th, 2010
This has some of the basics to the very advanced in card sleights. There is really a lot to be found in this book it's like bobo's modern coin magic, if you get this you can be kept busy for a very long time and since there is such a variety you can choose which ones you want and what ones don't like and it doesn't matter if you don't use it all because it is super cheap anyway! A must in your library!
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1 of 1 magicians found the following review helpful:
Really Good Report this review
Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on April 6th, 2010
A must have for the serious card worker. This is the book that started it all for so many and one that Vernon not only mastered but talked about frequently. If you want to learn card slights this is the book you must have in your library. Do not hesitate buy it now and enjoy.
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1 of 1 magicians found the following review helpful:
a classic Report this review
Verified buyer Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on February 7th, 2012
It's amazing that a book published in 1902 could read so easily and give such incredibly useful guidance. Sure, many of the techniques in this book have been tweaked over the decades, but others are still state-of-the-art. If you really want to refine your card handling, and also get sage advice on presentation of magic, this book is a gem.
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1 of 1 magicians found the following review helpful:
EXPERT AT THE CARD TABLE Report this review
Verified buyer Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on May 5th, 2012
ECELLENT BOOK WISH I HAD THIS BOOK WHEN I FIRST STARTED IN MAGIC IN THE EARLY 70'S.
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1 of 2 magicians found the following review helpful:
Read it with a DVD set Report this review
Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on April 3rd, 2010
I'll be completely honest. I struggled greatly with this book. I got it as a freebie with the "Wesley James" DVD-set that covers this book. I stayed true to reading it but found S.W. Erdnase (or E.S. Andrews or whatever his name was) style really hard to follow. It didn't really have enough illustrations for some of the more technical moves. On top of that, at some points, it seemed like there was no rhyme or reason to what was coming next in the book. Unlike Royal Road, this book felt less "journey like" and more sporadic.

All that said, I think it's important to read this book but, as with Royal Road, I would encourage reading it with the DVD-set as an accompaniment. I found engaging my mind with the book and then moving on to the visual/audio of the DVD to be an effective way of learning.

Either way, $9 is not much for a classic piece of literature from the magic/gambling world.

Hint: By the DVD set (if I haven't made that clear enough yet)
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