The Ten Best Card Tricks

The Ten Best Card Tricks…Ever

In the communiqué I emailed to you on January 27th I included the following comment:

Roberto Giobbi, a disciple of both Dai Vernon and Juan Tamariz, is also the author of the 6-volume treatise, Card College. Without question, this is the best course on card magic ever. Following the pattern of a previous classic, The Royal Road to Card Magic, Giobbi begins his course with the basics such as how to hold the deck, how to shuffle, etc. With each technique, he teaches you one or more excellent tricks using that technique. As you work your way through the six volumes you gradually master more and more sleights and a repertoire of excellent magic. Giobbi also has been writing a bimonthly column in Genii during the past 10 years. The column devotes a lot of time to the philosophy and wisdom of Dai Vernon. Vernon emphasized naturalness and consistency. He was a masterful sleight of hand artist who strongly believed that a good magician should hide his digital dexterity to enhance the appearance of magic.

In his most recent column, Giobbi listed what he considered“the 10 best card tricks—ever.” Before telling you his choices, I thought I would give the opportunity to send me your list of the 10 best card tricks. I can tally the results and compare them with Giobbi’s choices.

Only Greg Moreland bothered to respond. Here are his choices:

Out of This World

Back in Time

I Have a Surprise

Multiple Selection Routine(s)

Out of This World and Multiple Selection Routines are good selections. I do not recall Back in Time or I Have a Surprise. If I could recall their content, I might agree that they are great effects.

Giobbi prefaces his list with these words, “As a further proof of my humility I herewith publish my list of what I consider the 10 best card tricks ever invented (in alphabetical order)…”  Here is his listing:











11.  MATCHING THE CARDS (Giobbi’s adds this Leipzig effect as a “bonus.”


Most of you will recognize the first six tricks in Giobbi’s list. The ace assembly and triumph also require no further description.  RITO DE INICIACIÓ is an effect Giobbi attributes to Luis Garcia and Juan Tamariz. It has only been published in Spanish. Giobbi describes the effect thusly, “It starts out with the cards in new deck order. Then an endless series of amazing tricks are performed, several of which are the most astonishing gambling demonstrations one could imagine, and at the end—after maybe 30 minutes of great card magic—the entire order is restored.”

Tamariz demonstrated and taught the routine to Giobbi.

Giobbi further remarks, “Although everything was explained to me, I never dared to do it (you would have to practice every other day just to remember the handling).”

TOTAL COINCIDENCE is another Tamariz effect. You start with two decks, a red and a blue-backed one. Despite the fact that the spectators shuffle the decks a series of coincidences ensues, each one more amazing than the previous one. At the conclusion, despite allowing the spectators to shuffle both decks, the order of the cards in each deck matches precisely.

MATCHING THE CARDS has many versions. Dai Vernon taught his version to Nate Leipzig. When Lewis Ganson asked Vernon what he considered the best card effect, he replied, “Matching the Cards.” Vernon’s version goes as follows. A spectator chooses a card and places it face down on the table without looking at it. The performer then tries to cut to the three other cards, which match the one on the table. He shows each card as he finds it—three eights—and places them face down on the table. When the spectator’s card is turned over, it is a King! Apparently, the magician has erred. However, when the three other cards are turned face up, they also are Kings!

Giobbi’s list is good. In my opinion, however, I do not think the Ambitious Card deserves to be on the list. I know that most card magicians would disagree with me. I also am surprised to see that such classics as Cards Across, Cards up the Sleeve, the Color Changing Deck, and many others did not make the list.



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