There are lots of new card tricks coming out all the time making big claims for powerful effects which are easy to do. How does this one measure up? Find out in our Ultimatum Deck review…

The effects

The deck is a sort of utility deck which enables you to perform a variety of effects. But here are a few that are taught:

Repeat Any Card At Any Number – 2 spectators choose a card each and name a number each – and their cards are found at the numbers – it doesn’t get cleaner than that!

3 Choice Cuts – 3 spectators choose a card each which are returned and lost in the pack – then a spectator locates all 3 by simply cutting the deck.

Luck and Intuition – again 2 spectators choose a card each – the first is found by them ‘guessing’ the number it is at, the second by them simply ‘throwing’ their card into the deck as you dribble it to the table – both are successfully found.
steve brownley ultimatum deck review

What do you get?

You get the Ultimatum Deck itself – which is a cleverly ‘gaffed’ deck in regular bicycle stock. It can be handled relatively freely but enables you to do some astonishing effects. You also get a card which provides details to the online teaching video.

The teaching video itself is in two parts. The first has been shot recently by Alakazam and involves Steve Brownley talking through and explaining the effects to Mark Elsdon who adds some helpful clarifying comments. The second part comes from an earlier release of the effect by Russell Hall and Magick Enterprises – the quality of the filming is slightly poorer but it is still easy to follow and includes some extra ideas. The whole thing starts with some ‘live performances’ which give you a realistic idea of the impact of these routines. The total running time is almost one and three quarter hours.

What do we think?

The routines are very strong – no doubt – and are easy to do. I would say the ad copy in this instance is very fair. Regular readers will know I love ACAAN effects and this is a very strong version with a good degree of freedom. It looks impossible – and is all but self-working. You will need a bit of thinking on your feet for some numbers – but most times it will be straightforward.

Almost all the routines will be improved by the use of a false cut or shuffle or two – and a simple cut is briefly taught and some references for others are given too. This isn’t a radically new principle you’re buying – the ideas involved are old – but the very simplicity of the method is one of the strengths to my mind.

I’m not generally a fan of ‘special decks’ – since each one takes up valuable pocket space. But I have to say, that for the ease of use and the variety of effects you can achieve with this, I could definitely see this finding its way into my pocket. If you are a highly skilled card magician you can probably perform many of these kinds of effects with sleight of hand – but this takes all that out of the picture making it accessible for any level of performer. You’ll need a bit of practise to make sure you can handle the deck confidently and casually, but if you do that you will have some miracles on your hands.

Recommended and available direct from Merchant of Magic £27.99 at time of writing. (Also available in blue)

Review copy kindly provided by Murphys Magic to whom dealer enquiries should be directed.

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