OPINION: Packet Tricks

OPINION: Packet Tricks
With the new release Chop Shop, John Bannon has made Packet tricks cool again. Okay, it may not all be John’s work, but I’m chuffed to see how popular the packet trick is again.

A good packet trick effect packs small but punches way above its weight. In this day of EDC’s what could be more convenient than a card trick that doesn’t require a whole deck.

What makes a good packet trick?
1. A good story or hook to capture the audience’s interest.
2. Visual surprises like colour changing backs or appearances.
3. A kicker ending, something the audience never sees coming to round the effect off.

Having just 4 or 6 cards generally means they are simple to do, often a series of multiple lifts, false counts and possibly a display well, all within basic skill levels.
The use of rough and smooth or sticky stuff of late has also given a new lease of life to the genre, helping with the visual side of things whilst making handling even easier.

Purists will go to Twisting the Aces (Vernon), Dr Daley's Last Trick or even Ambitious Classic (Jennings) but if you willing to add gaffs you have NFW (Gary Freed), Twisted Sisters (Bannon) and Stand-Up Monte (Garret Thomas) from the newer generation. The Upper Hand by Gary Jones has even taken a traditionally difficult effect 'signed cards to pocket' and made it so easy to be virtually self-working.

I believe a professional could do a walk a round set with just packet tricks but from a hobbyist point of view they are a must to have in your wallet so you are ready to fire on demand. If you still need convincing check out Tommy Wonder's Taming card.

Pop one in your wallet and just see how much fun they are.
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