35 Really Useful Card Sleights DVD

Paul Gordon

Overview by Al Smith

This collection of sleights and subtleties is what it says it is: 35 Really Useful Card Sleights. There are no tricks to be found anywhere, but there is plenty of chat and loads of pointers on mix and mingle usage.

Those of us who love to tinker with cards tend to spend time messing around with moves and principles that we rarely, sometimes never use. Nothing wrong with that; even though such activity has been known to bring snorts of derision from certain quarters. It’s fun and can be therapeutic. And, frequently, out of this fun comes practical benefit. Some moves stay with us. Gimmicks that take up no space in the back pocket and don’t need to be got rid of after use. They become part of our makeup. These are the sort of moves included on this DVD. Here’s the list:

John Quine’s Keeper Move, Benzais Spin Cut, Double Cuts, Frank Thompson False Tabled Cut & Paul Gordon’s Finessed Card Control, Riffle Force, Slip Cut Force, Underspread ‘Hofzinser’ Force, One Hand Palm, In-Hands False Cuts, Block Push Off, Multiple Card Shift, Dingle No Lap Switch, Wes James’s Unloading Move, Reverse Faro, Jog Shuffle, Straddle Faro, Stud Double Lift, Pinky Count, Elmsley, Hamman, Flushtration & Jordan Counts, Marlo’s ATFUS, Hartman’s Secret Subtraction, Braue Add On, Braue Reverse & Switch Out, Marlo’s TILT (Vernon Depth Illusion), Side Steal & Paul Gordon’s Palm Addition, Top Change, Olram Count, Tenkai Optical Revolve, Secret Add On and Double From Packet.


Because we’re individuals with different traits and we carry our idiosyncratic burdens and demons, not all of these moves will find their way into the stockpile of all card persons. That’s as it should be. But collected together and presented like this does give us a chance to consider which of the delights suits our style and personality.

This is a nuts and bolts, virtually unplugged DVD. No packaging to speak of, it comes in a plain, see through snap-disc holder, bearing the title and little else. On the DVD itself, Paul Gordon rationalises this approach adding:

“I had thought of using modern graphics, snazzy titles and loud rock music to help 'sell' this project. Then I thought better of it. I thought you’d appreciate more content and less gloss.”

Following that statement, the official introduction to the disc gets under way and offers more proof that Mister Gordon has a sense of humour. Shot in glorious black and white and reminiscent of an old cinema newsreel, Mister Gordon advises us that this will be the only time we see his face during the tutorial, all attention will be on hands and cards.

There’s something in this hands-only approach that other DVD “tutors” might want to ponder.

Following the black and white introduction we drift into colour and first up is a five minute Paul Gordon Showreel intermission. This consists of a series of live action footage clips from various performances. They serve as a sort of demonstration of the practical nature of the some of the material and as a reminder of other Paul Gordon wares.

The performance pieces have a place because they give substance to the subject. However, the plugs are a bit blatant and because of that they could be interpreted, even dismissed, as filler. But they’re not filler, simply because, following this interlude, we move into the core of the stuff on offer; and what the title says is what we get. Clear and to-the-point demonstrations and explanations of 35 Really Useful Card Sleights. Added to which, amid the general comment and conversation there are reams of solid—useful—information.

My views on magic’s DVD revolution are no secret. For every good one, there are dozens that are little more than a money-grubbing waste of space and should have been smothered at birth.

This is one of the good ones. And at a mere fifteen quid, it’s very good value for money. Even if you already know the moves, it’s nice to see them performed, and analysed in this manner. And if you don’t know the moves this is a good place to start checking them out.

Some of the material has been scattered here and there and explained on other Paul Gordon DVDs, but not all. And as far as I can tell this is all new footage. So if you have some of Paul’s other work, don’t let that put you off. It’s still value for money..


£15.00, plus £3.00 handling, this to cover shipping to any outpost in the known universe. Well, the world as we know it at least. Running time approximately 85 minutes. From: www.paulgordon.net/shop.html or 01903 211785. Paul Gordon, 1 Wakeford Cottages, Selden Lane, Worthing, West Sussex BN11 2LQ


© A E Smith, February 2010




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