ACAANs always intrigue me. I’m always on the lookout for the ultimate one that truly melts any
magician’s mind. Free by Think Nguyen brings that task another step closer toward that lofty goal.
I’ll tell you what blew my mind... in the demo, you see the spectator shuffle half the deck
and then the other. The handling seemed to be very free. I was like “how the heck — ?!!” So I had to
I’m so glad I did. As usual, the solution is stupid easy. It looks great. More
importantly, it looks EXTREMELY fair. Guess what else... no prep is needed AT ALL.
Unfortunately, this isn’t perfect or the ultimate yet. But dang it, this is good and I’m happy.
I’ll answer some questions you may have now:
1. Do you need to be a sleight of hand
No. You will want to practice this a bit to make sure you can do the moves cleanly
without anything looking awkward.
2. Do I have to practice a lot?
Not necessarily. See #1.
3. Any arts and crafts?
4. Any prep?
5. Do you end clean?
But let’s expound on this... if your spectator is Penn, Teller, or any very experienced magician who
doesn’t want to be fooled, they might be able to figure it out if they examine your deck. But for
the laymen, let them look all they want! (Unless they are crazy detail oriented)
6. Can you use
a spectator’s deck?
I always thought this was a funny question, picturing random people who
just happen to have their own deck of cards in their pockets. But yes, you really can... but I would
chance it on anything but a brand new deck.
7. Is this good for walk-around?
This is the
biggest (and only real) downside to the trick. Once you perform the trick, you’ll want to either use
a fresh deck or you’ll have to ditch the previous card picked. You could give it away, but review
question #5 and be selective. Unless you add something to the routine that gives you permission to
do a little damage to the card first, such as a t & r of some kind... even better, one that is a
corner type t & r. For most cases, this is a one-off... perfect for the “you’re a magician? Show me
one trick!” scenario. You really shouldn’t repeat this with the same deck. I can think of a way you
could get perhaps one extra performance out of it, but you’d still be taking a chance. Also keep in
mind that the deck you use will not be in perfect condition when you’re done with this trick. (One
8. How is the teaching?
Think does a nice job. Honestly, the sound is a
little quiet and I do wish there was at least one more camera used for angles. But this is simple
and to the point.
I hope I didn’t give away too much info. Just tying to give you a fair
review. Part of a defined act, this is great... especially if you can do a deck switch and continue
with other tricks... or use this at the end, though I feel personally like this is more of an
If you’re looking for a really fair ACAAN, so far, imho, this is as good as it
4 stars for Mr. Nguyen!
By the way, I always try to be honest and
straightforward in my reviews, while being respectful to the magician. If you appreciate my reviews,
can you please click the "Yes" button below beside the question, "Did this review help you?" It's
not like I actually benefit in any way by your clicking it... but it would be nice to see if my
reviews are helpful or not. I hope they are. If you ever have suggestions or comments or questions
about my reviews, please feel free to leave me a constructive comment. I'm just trying to be
helpful. I love the Penguin community and hope that I can someday contribute my own product. :-)
Thanks for reading and for any (hopefully positive, but either way, at least kind) feedback.
98 of 99 magicians found this helpful.
I love the ACAAN plot. I’ve tried a slew of them Over the years and have a few favorites (SCASN is
one of them). But, shoot! This might be my new favorite. The method is SO clever. I definitely
wouldn’t have ever thought of it myself, yet it’s direct and relatively easy.
through a lot of variables in this download to cover almost any contingency. He teaches a few basic
moves to straighten things out and make their number hit their card every time.
I have to
say, I was fooled badly when I watched the trailer. And I was delighted when Think explained the
method. To me, the fact that the spectator shuffles all of the cards really makes this a complete
I don’t know if I’d say a beginner will find this easy to do, but I do think this
is the kind of thinking that can elevate any magician’s repertoire and it’s well worth whatever
effort they need to put in to make this trick their own.
If I was just starting out and I
wanted to learn one card trick, I would take the time to master FreeCAAN.
15 of 16 magicians found this helpful.
The method behind this CAAN is both clever and practical. I can understand why it has received
numerous five-star reviews. However, there are a couple of things you should be aware of that could
make a difference to some. First, the methodology necessitates that you do something that will
require practice and a fair amount of audience management in order not to draw attention to it. Not
hard to do, but maybe hard to make it look above suspicion. Second, and this is likely more
important to ACAAN aficionados, the demo is a bit misleading at a critical point. It's hard to say
more without giving away the secret -- and the end effect is exactly as shown -- but getting there
is not portrayed with 100% accuracy. All things considered, I think this is a solid effect at a
fair price if you're okay with the necessary concessions. I plan to use it.
13 of 13 magicians found this helpful.
This is a simplified version of a classic effect. Card at any number is one of the great mental
effects. Performing it can be extremely complex depending on what version you use. Think Nguyen has
come up with a method that eliminates a lot of complexities. However this method will take a lot of
practice. But it is well worth it. He has come up with a great effect that is devastating to a lay
audience. His tutorial is excellent. He lays out step by step how to perform the effect, and he
addresses the complexities clearly. This is a good effect.
9 of 9 magicians found this helpful.
I was fooled by this trick. I’ve been studying the ACAAN plot for awhile and this one got me. Many
of these types of tricks require immense preparation, multiple decks, difficult sleight of hand,
mental calculations while trying to act normal, trick decks, etc... This one is actually within the
capability of most magicians and can be done with a normal shuffled deck. There are a few moves that
you need to have down, but if you work with cards there’s a good chance you already do. Another
thing I really like about it is how fair this seems. The spectator gets to shuffle and cut the deck.
You can’t say that for a lot of ACAANs. I do have a version I like to do with a stacked deck, but I
will have to learn this one as another method when I want to perform with an unprepared deck.
9 of 10 magicians found this helpful.
Borrow a deck and perform this anywhere with no forces or gimmicks - and the spectator can count the
cards at the end! What more could you want?
This is actually a 20-minute master class on
card control that you do right in front of the spectators without them seeing a thing. Think Nguyen
does a great job teaching several card control techniques (one of which I had never seen before).
The sleights used are pretty simple and can be mastered with just a little practice.
8 of 8 magicians found this helpful.
I have met Think at a lecture in Melbourne. And this mans work is brilliant and he is a fantastic
I watched this and was fooled. I had some ideas going though my head but I was wrong.
CAAN is a brilliant plot that a great many excellent magicians have done good work with, what
Think has done is one of the best streamed lined versions I know of.
There are a few bits of
work to do but nothing too knuckle busting and easy methods to get around the main secret.
video is well explained with a good break down of the different parts to the effect.
definitely going into my working set.
This is worth the $$$$
5 of 5 magicians found this helpful.
I have seen and performed many Card At Any Number routines and this one of the best ones with a
regular deck of cards. No gimmicks, not set up, nothing to make add or prepare, use any deck yours
or borrowed and you are ready to go anything, anywhere. The process is very simple, no sophisticated
moves or slights to learn. If you can count, do a simple overhand shuffle and a very minor move, you
can do this effect … and your spectator does most of the shuffling. Sound interesting?
thing I really like about this one is that no card is forced, totally the spectators choice, the
spectator chooses whatever number they want, no influence and there is nothing difficult to learn.
Nguyen does a great job of breaking the 20 minute tutorial into easy to learn and follow segments.
There is something very special Nguyen will teach you that you can incorporate into other card
effects you do. A very nice, practical and amazing add on to your repertoire.
5 of 5 magicians found this helpful.
When I watched the performance video of the effect, I thought to myself "oh, I know how this is
done" - and then when I saw the explanation, I was way off. I love it when a method surprises me,
and this effect probably doesn't work the way you think it does. One thing I really think gets
overlooked in the explanation is that it's possible to let the spectator count out the cards
themselves for even greater effect, which is something I'm not able to do in any of the other CAAN
variants I know. Think's method will take some practice to learn and execute seamlessly, but it's
worth it for the flexibility it offers you, and Think does a very good job covering all the angles
(so to speak) in his instructional video. This is my first effect from him and I look forward to
5 of 5 magicians found this helpful.
I was scared of getting this trick because of some other reviewers' comments, but I went for it
anyway and man, do I NOT regret it!
Being a hobbyist-magician, this trick is just too good
- no gimmicks (yay) and it really feels as fair as possible. In a sense, there is no explicit "dirty
work" with most of the outcomes; and I've found an easy way to deal with big numbers the spectators
might throw at me. This will most likely replace "Ice-Cold ACAAN" in my performances, though I do
really like that idea as well.
(note: Ice-Cold ACAAN is a great effect that can become even
greater depending on your skill - it's just not as impromptu while FreeCAAN gives you 'more'
opportunities to perform "in the spectator's hands", which I prefer)
The explanations were
clear, though I found the chapters ordered in a weird way the first time through - it all made sense
and felt really complete after I watched the whole video. The main concept is really simple, but
that's definitely the beauty of the whole method.
As for my fears - many magicians mention
that this trick will "ruin" the selected card - I might agree if we're talking about top-notch magic
performed to other top-magicians, BUT if you're showing this to laymen, you can literally undo your
prep in the moment of displaying the card. I honestly expected rips or other "incurable" things
being done to the selection, but I've been using the "Main Move" in some other effects and I can
swear by it - do things right and you'll probably get away with the spectators counting down to the
card and not seeing anything suspicious. I could, perhaps, agree that it's not ideal to use with a
"Brand-New-Borrowed-Deck", but how often does that ACTUALLY happen?
Which brings me to my
main point - FreeCAAN is just too convincing and you can ALWAYS let the spectator handle the deck
while counting down to their card. If you enjoy handing the deck over to your spectators, you
'should' absolutely love this trick.
There are some slights involved, but I'm sure that any
beginner can perform this trick with little practice IF he can manage his spectators enough (I'm
hinting at getting them to choose a "comfortable" number - though it really CAN be anything 2-51);
obviously, good sleight of hand can help in any situation.
One thing that I personally
misunderstood from the demo video - you ask for a number pretty much right after the card selection,
not after you've both shuffled your piles. This does not bother me at all, as I don't see how it
spoils the effect - it really is just too good, imho. I genuinely think most magicians could/would
benefit from getting this cheap, yet really good method.
3 of 3 magicians found this helpful.