“The Royal Scam” is a John Bannon’s packet card trick. Although recently released in 2023, I believe this effect first made its appearance more than 10 years ago.

This is a beautiful packet card trick. As with most of John Bannon’s card effects, it is visual, easy to follow, and has a couple of unexpected endings.

The effect is as follows: the performer shows a packet of Aces of Spades that he collects from blue back decks of cards. He uses them to practise his card magic. In particular, he practices how to do certain moves with cards, misdirection and ways to win at cards. He offers to demonstrate.

He places 2 Aces of Spades face downwards on the table and 2 Aces of Spades face upwards on the table. In his hand he holds 4 face-up Aces of Spades.

To demonstrate the magic move, the performer replaces one face-up Ace of Spades from his hand with a face-down Ace of Spades from the table. Magically, all the cards in his hand turn faces down. Now he replaces one face-down Ace with a face- up Ace, and all the cards in his hand magically turn faces up. He repeats this 2 more times, once with the remaining face-up Ace and once with the remaining face-down Ace from the table.

Even without exchanging any cards from the table, the performer causes the cards in his hands to turn faces up and faces down. There are now 2 piles of cards on the table. One pile consisting of face-up Aces of Spades, and the other pile consisting of face-down Aces of Spades.

After showing these magical moves with the cards, the performer proceeds to show misdirection. He turns over the pile of the 4 face-up Aces and they now have different colour designs on each of their backs.

To show how he wins at cards, the performer now turns over the pile of face-down Aces to Spades only to reveal that he holds a royal flush in Spades, the highest ranking hand in poker! All the cards can be given for examination.

You receive all the necessary specially printed cards in a black plastic wallet. The entire package is contained inside a nice cardboard magnetic book type holder. The link to a set of tutorial videos is printed on the inside front cover of the book holder.

There are 2 videos. There is a 3 minutes performance video which is also the trailer for this trick. The explanation tutorial video is 7 minutes long and requires a password which is given with the link. Although the performance/trailer video shows John Bannon performing this effect, the tutorial video features Liam Montier from Big Blind Media, the company that produces the trick.

Liam is as competent as John Bannon, but some purchasers are disappointed that John Bannon is not the one explaining the effect in the video.

As you can expect, since all the cards are examinable at the end, no gaff cards are used. However, you need to know how to perform 3 sleights-of-hand or moves with cards. They are all standard moves used in packet card tricks. They are all taught by Liam.

You will learn the Hammon Count, the Elmsley Count and the OPEC Count. The OPEC Count is an acronym for “out of position Elmsley count” and is a variation of the Elmsley Count. All the 3 sleights-of-hand are within the reach of an average card magician.

Unfortunately, the nice folder casing contributes nothing to the effect of the trick, except to increase the cost of the product. If the product price could be lowered (using standard packaging) and the explanation video featured John Bannon, I believe the product would sell better.

Nevertheless, for those who appreciate good packet card tricks, these 2 downsides will not affect your decision to purchase the trick. This is the reason for the 5 star rating. (Rated 5/5 stars)