Today we wanted to talk to you about the invaluable card sleight known as The Second Deal…
The second deal is a method of manipulating a deck of cards during a card game or magic effect for the purpose of cheating or forcing a card at the time of your choosing!
Now, this move happens to be…
- One of the most coveted moves in card magic ✔️
- One of the most highly regarded false deals in the world of close-up ✔️
- A legendary card cheating technique ✔️
…so setting aside a little bit of time each day to learn this is definitely a worthwhile investment!
About a month ago, me and Jacob set ourselves an ambitious challenge:
We gave ourselves 100 hours (that’s just 50 hours each) to try and master this move as best we could!
Watch our journey below to see how insane this project turned out to be…
How to ‘Master’ the ‘Second Deal’
The first stage of being able to do the second deal is learning the method behind the second deal. We set our sights on all of the magic resources at our disposal:
- Youtube videos ✔️
- Classic magic books ✔️
- (More Youtube videos) ✔️
Now, if you’ve watched the video, you’ll definitely be able to tell that we are NOT sleight of hand experts!
That being said…
..if you want to see a breakdown of how WE as beginners/intermediates approached this move, we shot a 20 minute explanation exposing the ‘nitty gritty’ of our techniques.
Experts can sometimes forget what it was like to be a beginner and so we hope this content has real value to those who are in the same position as us!
- How to perform the ‘standard’ second deal
- How to perform the ‘flip’ second deal (and why this variation surprised us)
- How to perform a move we like to call the ‘bird’ deal (as soon as you watch the tutorial, you’ll see why we call it this)
- The difference between Jacob and Benji’s second deals (you can pick your favourite tips from each of us)
- The strange ‘rollercoaster’ movement your thumb makes to push over two cards as one EVERY time
- A few more fun variations on the second deal that we didn’t show in the official video (one of these variations is actually criminally fooling)
The moves featured in our project aren’t original to us, and can be learned elsewhere.
The second stage to learning how to do the second deal is by far the biggest:
Practising the second deal!
Once we had both chosen the method we wanted to go with for the second deal we immediately sat down and started practising.
What we found was really interesting…
Around 50% of the improvement that came about during this project happened in the first 10 hours while the remaining 50% came about in the last 40 hours.
The US army secret to mastering the second deal
A friend that works for the US government’s anti-crime department once shared the following advice with me:
“Slow is smooth and smooth is fast.”
This line, she told me, is drilled into new trainees when they’re learning how to operate a gun.
Rushing inevitably leads to mistakes, which often adds much more time than if you had done it slowly and correctly the first time.
This advice is also golden for magicians.
When we decided to learn the second deal, we spent a few hours learning the ‘mechanics’ of the move—and then dove straight into practicing.
As we practiced, we noticed that we were caring less about doing the move RIGHT, and more about doing it FAST.
See, we’ve grown up watching clips of card sharks like Richard Turner perform the second deal at blinding speeds—and that was exactly what we wanted to do.
We were in such a hurry to get to their level that we didn’t allow ourselves time to practice slowly, and our technique often stalled as a result.
On the other hand, it was usually when we stopped and corrected our technique in ‘slow motion’ that we made progress.
Slow is smooth, and smooth is fast.
Learn moves slowly but accurately—and the speed will come with time.
While shooting filming this project we actually stumbled on a way to use the second deal that we instantly fell in love with.
Your spectator cuts the deck ANYWHERE.
You deal cards face-up and stop on a random card. You deal face-up and the spectator calls out stop ANYTIME they like.
Somehow, both you and the spectator choose a card of the same value!
The effect looks like it’s over…but then, in an astonishing moment, you reveal that when the spectator cut the deck earlier, they cut to a perfect match of the chosen card!
Now, this effect is NOT easy.
It requires some advanced techniques—from stack work to second dealing.
So we racked our brains and created an impromptu version of this effect!
These effects are some of the most powerful applications of the second deal we could come up with—that we may even release them as standalone effects!
- Zero gimmicks used
- The spectator really can stop you whenever they like
- The spectator can genuinely cut the deck ANYWHERE
- New creations and are not ‘polished’ or widely tested
You can get lifetime access to them immediately in our ‘behind the scenes’ membership, that features our entire journey learning the second deal.
Finally, once you’ve got your second deal to a standard you’re happy with, the final step to mastery is to get into the habit of using the move during your performances!
If you’d like to here more from us then you may enjoy listening to our informal interview, where we discuss:
In this informal interview, we discuss:
- Our journey learning the second deal (we go into MUCH more detail than we could in the YouTube video)
- The hardest second deal technique (we were surprised by how much easier one technique was than the other)
- How long we think it takes to ACTUALLY master the second deal
- Our complete second deal rankings (including which method of second dealing is most practical and useful when the ‘rubber hits the road’)
- The ‘economy of motion’ problem with the flip second deal (and how to solve it)
- The strengths and weaknesses of our individual second deals (and how we plan to improve)
- Our opinion on how far out you should push the card before performing the second deal
- The ONE thing far more important than the speed of your second deal (if you neglect this step, you’ll likely never master the move)
- And much more
Well that it for today folks!
We really appreciate you taking the time to read this!
If you want to hear more from us than we highly recommend you sign up for our daily newsletter where we show magicians, like yourself, how to get the maximum results out of everything they do—from practice to performance—by studying timeless principles of success found both inside and outside of magic.