Many years ago David Devent, the great English conjurer, was approached by an acquaintance new to slight of hand with cards. “Mr. Devant,” said this young man, “I know three hundred tricks with cards. “how many do you know?” Devant glanced at the youth quizzically. “I should say,” the magician responded dryly, “that I know about eight”
Devant was making a point with which all professional magicians are familiar. To perform card tricks entertainingly you must not only know how the tricks are done, but how to do them. There is a vast difference between the two, and if proof were needed, one need only watch the same feat performed by a novice and by an expert card conjurer. The novice knows the mechanics of so many tricks that he cannot do any one feat really well; the professional performs a smaller number of tricks which he knows how to present in such a way as to creat the greatest possible impression upon those who watch.


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