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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on 1 February 2001
This is the famous first book on card magic. It makes no excuses for being originally written as a way to cheat at cards for money. A few of the sleights have been updated since, you wouldn't want to deal from bottom as described within, and you wouldn't want to deal seconds as described here either, but the rest is pure magic. This only deals with 'PURE' card manipulation, no dodgy decks for erdnase. If you are prepared to put in the practise, and you want to be more impressive than David Blane, buy this book, if you want quick easy magic, but only being able to do one trick, buy a svengali deck. by the way, S.W. Erdnase is actually E.S. Andrews backwards. A professional gambler and cardsharp of the early 1900's.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on 15 December 2003
After reading the previous reviews on this book I feel compelled to clarify. The Expert At The Card Table is the first advanced instructional text ever released for card mechanics and card magicians. This is the reason why it is of such importance but it is also the reason why it's not for everyone. As it was written over a hundred years ago, many of the techniques explained have been superseded but there is still a wealth of useful information for the serious card worker (the palming techniques, for example, are still extremely practical and were tens of years before their time when the book was written). Most people who are serious about cards have studied this text - not just read it, studied it. This is a book for the student of card work and it's history, it's not a book for someone with a casual interest who wants to learn a few basic tricks. If you fall into the latter category then The Royal Road to Card Magic or something similar is more suited to your requirements.
A review of this book would not be complete without mentioning The Annotated Erdnase by Darwin Ortiz. This book offers the reader an expert's insight into this classic text. Darwin Ortiz is the world's foremost expert on cards (in respect of the fields of "magic" and crooked gambling) so his opinions have to be respected. It's sadly out of print but is still available from some dealers and a used copy may be available on this site.
In summary, for the beginner or someone with a passing interest, The Expert At The Card Table really isn't worth buying but for the individual aspiring to become a serious card worker knowledge of this text is essential.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 23 August 2001
This is a good book, and to be honest there aren't many similar books to choose from. My only real critisim is that you often have to reread sections before you fully understand what to do. More diagrams should be included. I'd like to read the royal road to card magic as it comes highly recommended and is possibly a better book. However, despite the critisms this is still a good book and is well worth the money.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 28 August 2010
this is a very good book for learning all the basics, and even later on much more complex sleights ect.

i do feel however that the lack of pictures can sometimes make it very difficult to work out what he is saying.

in the first couple of chapters there were two moves that i couldn't do as i didnt understand then, and they may only have one picture which didn't show the bit i was confused about.
although sometimes the picture was the confusing bit and it allowed to learn the move.

this book is good, but can be very confusing at times, and in turn quite frustrating.

i was able to get a film called 'weapons of the card shark'. which has most if not all of the moves in it, but in a video form which is much easier to understand.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 26 July 2001
This book is an excellent piece of history. The first complete course on card manipulation, it is fair to say it changed the course of card magic in the 20th century. Dai Vernon, the father of modern magic knew the book by heart by the age of 12.
It is less detailed than some parts of Royal Road to Card Magic (which is my view is still the place to start as a beginner) and some of the descriptions require intense concentration. However it does have some gems within it's pages including a good description on how to perform the classic 3 card monte effect.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
this book is over 100 years old and is still a gem. I wouldn't reccomend it as a book to get if you're only beginning to learn card manipulation... "The Royal Road To Card Magic" would be a better starting point
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on 25 December 2012
This book has stood the test of time, it inspired the legendary Dai Vernon, who championed its contents throughout his life. Darwin Ortiz took eight years to write "The Annotated Erdnase," this alone should put the significance of the book into context for all would card magicians. As for myself, The Expert at The Card Table has brought me back to a point of simplicity, elegance, grace, exacting technique and the psychology of deception and advantage play. This is a book to be studied over a lifetime, absorbed and wrestled with. In doing so, each man will develop a personal relationship with the subject matter. Each man can then bring his interpretation to the subject of sleight of hand mastery. I highly recommend this book to all students of card magic.
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on 31 March 2014
it is an amazing book for every magician/card magician and even beginners! i totally love it even though the cover was crumpled and a bit ripped on the left hand corner! its an amazing book though
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on 27 February 2013
This book is a miracle... Best book I can suggest, if you believe in reading and practicing. sometimes it takes time to understand the hand position, but with practice things work out pretty well.
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on 30 May 2015
Great book, great price, great seller. Obviously has some signs of wear and tear but these are minuscule and you ARE buying a used book. 5/5.
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