Here’s a question I get asked a lot: What’s your favorite card effect? This is an impossible question to answer. It’s like asking what someone’s favorite movie or what their favorite food is. It’s too difficult to narrow it down to one. So, I’ll try to narrow it down to my top three. (And, I’m only going to narrow it down to my three favorite plots! I told you it’s impossible.)


  1. Impossible location type effects. This effect will always make an audience gasp with shock. Consistently, a signed card to wallet, card case, or key case (or anywhere really) always hits an audience hard. My favorite moment in the effect is when I say, “That means that the card must be in my wallet.” (Or wherever.) Saying this before the reveal begins the NFW moment which is any magicians favorite drug.


  1. I’m also a huge fan of proposition bet effects. They’re so much fun to perform. I usually teach a game that seems impossible for the spectator to lose. I bet money and give them tremendous advantages, and yet they just can’t win. These effects are always hilarious and it’s always fun to be interactive with your audience. These effects are the fastest way to connect with your spectators and establish a con man persona. (If that’s your thing.) Check out my effects, Game Changer and Catch Me if You Can.


  1. And my number one favorite plot—any new-deck order (aka NDO) closer will always be on the top of my list. I have invented six or seven NDO effects to date. In mine, I always show the deck completely mixed or incorporate spectator shuffles. (You read that right, spectator shuffles!) This leads to an amazing climax when you show the deck in new-deck order! (Look for an effect called, Liar Liar in my latest set of lecture notes. The deck is shown face up three times and the cards are obviously mixed. At the end, all of the cards are in full NDO.) The audience walks away knowing you can control all fifty-two cards in a deck. You are a God. (Which is a very addictive feeling I might add.)


Ultimately, I strive to connect with my audience during every trick I do. I want them to hang on my every word and be emotionally invested in the plot. So, it doesn’t matter if I’m betting $100.00 to find 8 cards in 60 seconds, or openly shuffling faces into backs, my favorite effects are the ones I can feel the audience watching closely and responding to my patter, laughing at the jokes, leaning forward in their seats or standing up to get a better view, etc. That’s why I can’t narrow it down to one specific effect or plot. In any effect I do, when I feel the audience connecting with me—I know I’m performing my favorite effect.


It’s also worth mentioning that my top-three list is always changing. I’m constantly creating new effects and audience testing my material. For a while, shuffle-tracking effects were my favorite, then NDO’s, then signature transfer effects. So, in 6 months, I’ll write a new blog with my new favorites. And by the way, The Dark Knight is my favorite movie and steak is my favorite food… for now.

Copyright © 2024, Card Magic by Jason Ladanye LLC, All Rights Reserved.

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