Written by John Teo

Manufactured by: Redefine Magic

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This month, we review 2 close-up effects. Each of them retails for $15. Special discount is available for Ring 115 members at our meeting.


The “Three Card Monte” has become a classical effect in close-up magic for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it takes up very little space in your pocket as it uses only 3 playing cards. Secondly, it is very visual: a lot of magic is happening within a short period of time.

Sometimes known as “Find The Lady”, it originated as a con game played by skillful sleight-of-hand artistes in the streets. Unsuspecting spectators bet to find the “odd” card among only 3 cards, but they always lose.

Michael Skinner first came up with this effect for magicians. Using specially printed cards, it eliminates sleight-of-hand with cards. So long as you can pick up a card placed on the table, you can perform this effect. This became so popular that many variations are available.

In this version, 3 playing cards are shown to consist of an ace of diamonds, a 2 of clubs and a 3 of clubs. The ace is the obvious odd card as it is the only red card among the 2 black cards. The spectator’s job is to find the odd card or the red ace.

The performer mixes the 3 cards face downwards slowly on the table so that the spectator can follow the movement of the red card. When the supposed red card is turned over, it is one of the 2 black cards, and the ace is found in one of the other 2 cards.

The performer plays another round. This time, he places one of the 2 black cards on the table. He also shows that the red ace is in one of the 2 cards left in his hand. Yet, when the tabled card is turned over, it is shown to be the red ace, and the 2 cards in the performer’s hand are turned over to show they are the 2 black cards.

Saying that 3 cards may be a little too many cards for the spectator to follow, the performer places one of the 2 black cards aside. He mixes the 2 cards in his hand, yet the spectator fails to find the red ace. It is finally revealed that there is no red ace in the 2 cards. The ace is revealed to be the black card that was segregated earlier.

You receive the 3 specially printed cards, and a link to Jeremy Pei’s personal magic coach tutorial video. There are only 3 cards, and the cards can be shown quite convincingly each time. It has a very strong impact on the spectators. As mentioned, if you can pick up a card from the table, you can perform this trick.

Cross Town Paddle ($15)

Effects with a paddle stick are highly visual. Again, a lot of magic is happening in a very short period of time.

In this efffect, a black paddle has 4 gemstones embeded in it. The performer commences by showing a red stone at one end of a row of stones on the stick. The stick is turned over to show the same situation on the other side.

With a magical gesture, the red stone is seen to have climbed up to the second position. Again both sides of the stick are shown to have the same situation. One more gesture and the red stone moves up to the third position. Finally, the red stone magically reaches the top position.

You receive the special paddle stick with the 4 embedded genstones on both sides. This paddle is unlike other paddles available in the market. This stick has ribs at both ends which makes it easier to grip. You are provided with a link to Jeremy Pei’s tutorial video. There is one master move called the “Paddle Move” that you need to learn. This is taught by Jeremy in the video. There are other moves taught, but they are more of a magical gesture than a move.

In the video, Jeremy also teaches another effect using the same stick. This time, you show 3 gemstones only and the red one is at one end of the row. The red stone magically jumps from one end to the other end of the row. When the spectators suspect that the stick is simply turned around to enable this to happen, the red stone then magically moves to the centre of the row.

Jeremy teaches you how to hand out the stick for examination. Learning the “Paddle Move” itself will enable you to perform other types of paddle effects which you can purchased from magic deals. As mentioned, paddle tricks have a great impact on the spectators as they enable a lot of magic to take place in a short period of time.

Both effects are highly recommended!