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3 Secrets by Ken Niinuma and produced by Vanishing Inc contains three great card effects.
The DVD kicks off with ‘Thunderstruck. This is a version of John Bannon’s ‘Play it Straight’. A card is selected. The pack is cut into three piles and shuffled some face up, some face down. The cards are further mixed face up and face down in the hands. When the cards are spread on the table all the cards of one suit are face up in numerical order, except one card is missing. This is the spectator’s selected card. This is normally where the effect ends but this version has a kicker ending. After all the mixing, the rest of the pack is shown to also be in numerical/suit order. This is a very nice addition to an already great effect.
The effect itself is quite easy to do and should be achievable if you are comfortable handling and shuffling cards. I think the centre section of the routine needs to be performed quite sloppily to make it look convincing. If you are not careful it could just look as if you are turning cards back (which you actually are). There is an initial setup but what’s good about the kicker finish is that it is very simple to reset the trick and literally takes seconds.
The second effect is ‘Crackdown’. This is a sandwich effect where the Jack trap two selected cards under impossible conditions. This is probably the hardest effect on the DVD and does require a few sleights. Having said that it isn’t too difficult and everything explained in the explanation. I’m personally not a great fan of sandwich effects but if you are then I would definitely recommend checking this version out.
The final effect is called ‘Waltz’. This is my favourite of the three effects and is actually self working. The deck is cut into two piles and handed to two spectators. They can shuffle the cards as much as they like. Each spectator is asked to cut off a pile of cards from the others pack and give them a shuffle. When they are happy they each look at the top cards of the packets they have shuffled. These cards can be signed. The cards are put back in to the pack (one is left face up) however the spectators like and the pack it given a final cut (optional). The whole pack is they dealt into 3 piles. The face up selection is seen to appear in one of the three piles. The other two piles are discarded. This is repeated another two times. You are left with the spectator’s face up card and one face down card. This is the other spectator’s signed selection.
This is one of those tricks that you have to try to believe it works. Two methods are shown on the DVD, however if you were to use a breather crimp on one the cards then this could actually be performed completely hands off. One of the two versions taught enables you to do this effect with no set-up at all. If you are familiar with the Faro shuffle you will be able to do this version. It should be noted though that if you are just one card out at the start then the effect will not work.
This effect does require a bit of dealing so you will need to fill the dead time with patter but I think this is a really great effect that I will be using a lot.
The whole DVD is subtitled in English and I did have to rewind and pause the footage a few times to keep up with the explanations. It would have been good if the subtitles were paused automatically at key points.
The title of the DVD ‘3 Secrets’ is also a hint. There are three hidden effects on the DVD. I won’t say what they are or where you can find them but the are equally as good as the main three.
The DVD navigation has been made to look like a book so you have to click and turn the page to get to each effect. I wasn’t two keen on this as I prefer everything to be easily accessible on one screen. This is purely a personal preference though.
Ken Niinuma isn’t a name I had heard of before watching this DVD but I will look forward to checking out any of his future releases.