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The Royal Scam (Cards and DVD) by John Bannon - DVD

List price:$15.00
Price: $11.25
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John Bannon's first effect in the Fractal Card Magic Trilogy.

The magician displays several Aces of Spades with the same back design. Explaining how he practices with all the same card, he shows that adding a face-up card can cause the whole pack to turn face up, and vice-versa.

While moves are nice, he shows that while moves misdirect you, he took the opportunity to switch in several cards with various back designs. Of course, in order to win money, several other cards change to a Royal Flush in spades. Ends absolutely clean and examinable!

Bannon's brilliant handling is explained fully on the enclosed DVD, which includes a downloadable e-book in PDF format. Gaffed cards included.

"I love John Bannon's thinking! Royal Scam is another fine example of his brilliance."
- Paul Green, 2008 Magic Castle Close-Up Magician of the Year

"This is well worth the venture. Highly recommended."
- Paul A. Lelekis, The Linking Ring, May 2008

"If you are a packet trick kind of guy, I can't imagine that you would not love this trick."
- Gary Plants, M-U-M, May 2008

"The multiple phases and double-whammy ending make for a visually interesting and magically potent combination...It may be just what you're looking for."
- Jason England, Magic Magazine, April 2008

Running Time Approximately: 19mins

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A Keeper! Report this review
Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on April 2nd, 2010
The Royal Scam is a packet trick and a damn good one. If you are a packet nut - this should be in your collection. The trick comes with a DVD as well as the cards required for the trick.

Degree of Difficulty

Intermediate to Advanced. I had this down in one night and performed it the next day to the amazement of my normally skeptical family. So why would I rate the difficulty intermediate to advanced? Because, I am a false count freak so these counts were fairly easy to learn. If you're Elmsley Count is weak you may have some difficulty. Bannon does teach the Elmsley Count in the "More" section of the DVD. Lastly, the routine is fairly involved although once you get the repetitions figured out, it's not too bad.

The instructional material is top notch. John Bannon is a very good teacher. He runs through the Elmsley Count fast but it is covered in great detail in the "More" section. In fact, he does a great job teaching the Elmsley and the covers some sublety that students of false counts will appreciate. Bannon credits liberally along the way and there is even a "Credits" section on the DVD that provides the creator, the move, the year and the source or publisher.

Provided on the DVD is an e-Book (PDF file) that provides even more detail into the credits, the packet set-up is deatiled and the complete patter is provided.

Quantity of Effects

Well, you're buying a packet trick so you get a packet trick. But wait, there's more! Bannon throws in a nifty trick called Living Is Easy. So here's what you'll learn:

The Royal Scam
Hamman Count
Elmsley Count (aka Ghost Count)
Takagi Count
OPEC (Out of Position Elmsley Count)
Glide (as an alternative to the Hamman Count)

Living Is Easy
Marlo Switch as a control (very cool!)
Slip Shuffle
Tilt move

The Royal Scam is an immediate addition to your repertoire. It is easy to perform (assuming your counts are good) and has an astounding ending. It is one of those trick like the Color Monte where the spectator just doesn't see it coming. The climaxes are going to fry people's minds.

I'm sure Bannon has been called a genius with packet tricks. He may be, but what I see is a lot of hard work and experimentation to perfect this little masterpiece. I can't imagine not using this as much as Twisted Sisters. The quality of the e-Book is top notch. It is well written, the pictures are clear and the patter is excellent. The quality of the card stock is standard Bicycle stock and the odd-backed cards are beautiful and colorful.

My one complaint...the music is insufferable! The DVD constantly loops this depressing, morose theme. My daughter walked in as I watch and asked "why does that guy look so unhappy?" I don't think Bannon was unhappy! The music sounded like someone just died. And why play it so loud during the instructional material? Why play any music during the instructional material?
3 of 3 magicians found this helpful.
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Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on July 12th, 2010
In a previous review, I had indicated my displeasure at the poor presentation. I did eventually figure it out, and the trick definitely is great. It does appear though that Mr. Bannon assumes we know certain things. For many (probably most) magicians, this may work fine. For some of us in the earlier stages, we need a little more clarity at certain points. For example, instead of just saying "at this point perform "move X" to get the card from the bottom to the top," say "you'll need to perform "move X" here. If you're not familiar with this move, please see the bonus section of the dvd for a step by step instruction."

I gave it a 5 to balance out the lower rating I gave it in my previous review. This trick definitely kills. It needs a bit of practice, but you'll love it when you get the hang of it.
2 of 2 magicians found this helpful.
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Poor, poor instruction Report this review
Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on July 11th, 2010
Don't get me wrong. The presentation of this trick is phenomenal, and kills IF you are "in the know." Unfortunately, Bannon's explanation of how to do it is truly awful. At one stage, he literally has you pull the bottom card off the deck and show it as a face down card in his hand. Problem? If you've followed him to the T up until then, the bottom card is a face up ace. I reversed the video and went through it in extreme slo-mo at least a dozen times to see what I was missing. Clearly Mr. Bannon has a bit of a warped sense of humor in that he's pulling one over on the people who paid money to learn this trick.

I had three friends who were all better than me take a look at this, and they all came to the same conclusion. What he asks you to do in the instructions just does not add up to the performance as shown. He needs to get several magicians who don't know this trick to watch the video first, then come back with questions so that he realizes what he didn't explain well enough. I don't think he actually showed the instructions to anybody before releasing it for sale. A potentially great trick is now a bunch of useless card unless I can just figure it out on my own. $15 for a small packet of cards seems a bit steep.
3 of 5 magicians found this helpful.
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Great trick, Geat props, Instruction ? Report this review
Verified buyer Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on June 3rd, 2014
This is a great trick if you like ''gambling" or "packet" card tricks. There is a lot of magic going on in this routine rigth to the end of it. The only concern I have is the instruction that are to fast to capture everything. I had to replay the dvd many times to catch up. In the end when you do the routine, this is great and frankly impossible to figure out by the audience because there is to much surprises. I give 5 stars for the effect but 3 stars for the instructions.. Overall 4 stars. I will put this routine in my repertoire.
1 of 1 magicians found this helpful.
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Royal Scam Report this review
Verified buyer Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on December 24th, 2013
Anything that Bannon puts out is good. Royal Scam is one of the best packet tricks there is ---period. A series of AS are shown and displayed on the table. One by one they are picked up and placed on a packet in your hand. The packet in your hand follows an ace placed on top and turns over face up or down to match. At the end, nine cards are on the table, four face up and 5 face down. The four face up aces are turned over to reveal different color backs and the face down cards are turned over to reveal a straight royal flush. All the cards could be examined!!

I have been performing magic for over 50 years and have most of the packet tricks that have been produced, probably over 50, so I can speak from some experience.

Merl Hamen
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