What is the best card trick book?
If you want to take your card magic to the next level, you NEED one of these books.
Today I’m going to be counting down five card trick books that include:
- Ancient secrets of magic!
- Hundreds of new tricks
- Mind bending sleight of hand techniques
And much more!
Read on until the end to learn about my ultimate guide to learning magic.
Let’s get started then.
Pick 5: Royal Road To Card Magic
Difficulty: Beginner (although children may need help)
The Royal Road To Card Magic is one of the most popular card trick books for beginners; and that’s for a reason. It is an easy to understand book that walks you through classic tricks and sleights.
The great thing about this book is that it doesn’t just teach you moves, but how to actually use these moves in tricks. So you’ll receive training on the different shuffles, controls and all kinds of sleights PLUS how to use them in over a HUNDRED different tricks.
This book was published originally in 1949! It has been updated since then but if you’re intimidated by the old-fashioned writing style feel free to go for a more ‘modern’ book on this list.
The important thing is that the actual card tricks and techniques taught are JUST as relevant and useful now as back in 1949. If anything, it’s a testimonial to the book that it has managed to remain a classic over the years.
I know this is what many magicians recommend to people starting out in card magic, so it is definitely a safe bet. You might not be blown away but you will 100% find some tricks you can learn and enjoy.
Pick 4 (KIDS PICK): Joshua Jay’s Amazing Book of Cards: Tricks, Shuffles, Stunts & Hustles Plus Bets You Can’t Lose
Difficulty: Beginner (written with a younger audience in mind)
This is the best book on the list if you’re picking a book to get your kids started with.
The difficulty with learning magic is that the majority of the teaching books are REALLY old and quite often, REALLY boring.
Luckily, we have books like Joshua Jay’s that help create a more fun and engaging way to learn some cool magic tricks.
In this book you’ll get some expert teaching. Joshua Jay is actually a full time magician who is regarded as one of the best up and coming magicians in the world right now! He fooled Penn and Teller, set a Guiness World Record for card tricks, and has won multiple awards!
Here’s a great video of Joshua Jay doing his thing on the hit show, Penn and Teller Fool Us.
Incredible, right? And this is the guy teaching the magic?
Sign me up!
I’ve only ever heard good things about this guy so you are definitely getting a safe bet here.
This book has all the teaching you need on learning different shuffles, moves and flourishes PLUS a whole bunch of awesome tricks that are guaranteed foolers. This product has overwhelmingly positive reviews on Amazon and is looking like a real winner!
You also get an instructional DVD along with this product which is another plus. One of the big problems people have with magic trick books is that sometimes the text instructions just don’t cut it. It can be really hard to visualize what is meant to be going on, but that is solved with the addition of the DVD to the book.
Pick 3: Expert Card Technique (and Expert At The Card Table)
Difficulty: Very advanced (gives me headaches…)
So I realize that I’m once again cheating slightly by including not one but TWO books in this pick, but that is because these two books are actually so similar that it made more sense to include them together.
Expert At The Card Table was written first WAYY back in 1902 by an author under the name of S. W Erdnase (a pseudonym). Who the actual author of this book was is still unknown, but it has become one of the ‘go-to’ books on the subject.
Expert Card Technique was written by two authors, Frederick Braue and Jean Hugard, a little later down the line in 1940, so it is also pretty old. However, the techniques are still employed by many working magicians today.
Expert Card Technique and Expert At The Card Table are often called the ‘Bibles’ of card magicians.
They contain almost ALL of the techniques and sleights possible with a deck of cards. This might not sound like much but it is an incredible resource; it’s like a dictionary for magicians.
When they’re stuck on a move, they open up the book at find what it has to say about it.
For example, stuck on your pass?
There’s a full chapter dedicated to that move!
And even better, these books aren’t just dedicated to sleights but also include some of the highest level tricks and routines.
Surely, with all this information, these books must be expensive?
That’s what I expected too but you can actually find this for an absolute steal on Amazon. If you’re happy to buy used, you can go as low as a few dollars.
Imagine that! All of card magic’s secrets, for only a few dollars. Crazy.
Pick 2: Mark Wilson’s Complete Course In Magic
Difficulty: Intermediate (but accessible for beginners)
This is the safest bet in my eyes. It might be a little higher priced than some of the other books but you’re paying for quality and quantity here.
This book manages to strike a great balance between being too hard for beginners and too easy for magicians with a bit of experience.
It was first published in 1975 and has since established itself a reputation as one of the best complete courses in magic out there.
What do you get?
Over 500 pages of expert instruction from professional magician Mark Wilson with more than 300 techniques shown, 2,000 illustrations, and a whole host of incredible tricks and routines.
The truth is, it isn’t just card magic you’ll be learning here. You’ll also get awesome training on coin, rope and other types of magic that you perhaps wouldn’t have considered exploring otherwise.
Why isn’t it No.1?
Just for the reason that it isn’t specifically geared toward card magic. There’s a ton of card tricks and techniques taught but it isn’t the only thing covered. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, some people might be fans of the extra flexibility and different kinds of magic you get as a result, but I could hardly put it at the top of a list that focuses on card magic!
Pick 1: Strong Magic By Darwin Ortiz
Difficulty: Advanced (for magicians only)
I love this book! The thing is, I’m cheating slightly by including it because it isn’t specifically about card magic.
Rather, this book is all about how to get better reactions to your magic and understanding how to really work your audiences. It might sound boring, but if you’re looking to take your magic to the next level or even into a career at some point, you NEED this book.
It’s written by Darwin Ortiz (who is commonly named one of the greatest card magicians of all time, coincidentally) and was published in the 90s so is a bit more ‘up to date’ than the previous book.
What will you learn?
Too much to put into a list!
Some of the most valuable insights I gained from this awesome book revolved around building a routine and above all, persona (or brand) for your magic.
For example, Darwin talks about the importance of using a ‘hook’ within your magic. A hook is a quick and visual trick that gets the audience’s attention. For example, the floating card is a great hook because it is very visual and doesn’t require any talking or discussion.
Once you’ve got their attention with your hook, you can go into your routine that you’ve set up.
This is just the kind of thing that you will learn in the book; loads of tips and hints like this are dropped throughout every chapter.
Who would I recommend it for?
DISCLAIMER: This book is mainly targeted at magicians who are looking to take it to the next level, rather than people looking to just get started. The majority of this book is focused on theory rather than actual tricks.
But if you’re a magician who’s hoping to go pro at some point, this is a must have!
Why is this the No.1 pick?
This book is my highest pick on the list because of one main reason.
The others all teach you how to DO the tricks. But this one really teaches you how to PERFORM them.
The biggest difference between a bad and good magician is that the good magician knows how to perform. In fact, it often has very little to do with how ‘advanced’ the tricks are; many of the best magicians in the world use incredibly simple tricks and techniques.
The secret lies in being able to perform and work an audience. And the best way to master that art is by reading and implementing the tips in this book!
Think of it like playing the Piano. It’s one thing being able to know which notes to play, and it is another skill altogether to know HOW to play them; playing them softer or louder, crescendo or diminuendo, etc.
It’s the same for magic. Just learning the tricks and moves themselves is no guarantee that you’ll be able to wow people. The key to wowing them is knowing HOW to sell the tricks and perform.
Most of these books are available at Penguin Magic and Amazon!
Do you understand? Feel free to leave me a comment or contact me using the email form below if you still have questions that you want answering!
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If this post on the best card trick book for magicians has made you want to learn magic, check out my ultimate step by step guide on how to learn magic tricks right here! This course is packed with info on how you can learn awesome magic for free through places like YouTube, as well as my personal recommendations on where to get started.
You might also be interested in my personal favorite magic trick books; these cover a whole variety of topics (not just card tricks).