On the Fascination of Gambling for Majishuns


In a discussion on the Genii Forum a while back, Mark Lewis wrote:

I am quite astonished at the interest of magicians in anything to do with poker, card sharking and gambling generally. I strongly suspect that any book with a gambling theme sells very well to magicians. (…)
As a result I strongly suspect that if a writer was to write any kind of book concerning gambling whether it had card tricks and sleights or not would sell very well if marketed to magicians. That is probably why the Steve Forte book has done so well.

Well, my personal guess is that there are (at least) two reasons for that:

First, we majishuns simply love magic lore, stories, and riddles, the more fantastic the better. Real-world deceivers like cheats and hustlers attract our attention, earn our respect and trigger our imagination.

Second, I think we love to fancy ourselves as suave card mechanics with nerves of steel at the poker table, but because of our embarrassing shortcomings in the real world we resort to the second best thing: we pretend to be experts at the card table by doing risk-free gambling tricks and demonstrations!



One thought on “On the Fascination of Gambling for Majishuns

  1. If I am sat next to a table in a cafe-bar with a drink and listening a nice music, and suddenly a magician approaches me with a deck of cards and tells me: “May I show you a poker game story?”, I would feel undeniably and inevitably intrigued. Likewise if I were the magician showing that misterious poker game story.
    Definitelty this kind of card magic captivates, attracts our attention and sells, because it is the kind of card magic most related to the concept of playing cards itself, obviously.

    As a simple example think about the routine “A Strange Story” by Alex Elmsley in “The Collected Works of Alex Elmsley — Volume 1” by Stephen Minch (page 401; the last trick of that book). In that routine you mix gambling, magic, mistery and humour.

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