Runaway Joker is an engaging little card trick which Alakazam put out years ago and has now been re-released with the compulsory streaming videos. It is really Nardi’s take on the classic ‘Chicago Opener’ – but with an amusing presentational hook around the Joker. Here’s our review

The Effect

A spectator chooses and signs a card which is lost in the deck. The performer then shows the Joker – which visually vanishes from its card (leaving a ‘blank Joker’ card) and is found to have travelled through the deck and landed on the back of the spectator’s chosen card. Just as quickly the Joker vanishes from the back of their card again.

What do you get?

The slim package contains the gimmicked cards you will need to perform Runaway Joker, and a card with a link to some online instructions. You need to supply your own regular red Bicycle deck. The gimmicks are nicely printed and should last well.

The online instructions run to around 25 minutes and clearly explain the essence of the effect. Nardi covers two different handlings – one ‘at the table’ and one ‘in the hands’ (more suitable for walkaround. Both versions are pretty easy to do. There’s no live performance here which would have been nice.

The instructions are clear, though a little more detail would have been nice (for the beginner) on some of the moves. Three different possible handlings of the visual ‘vanish’ of the Joker are taught in some detail, but there are a couple of other basic sleights in use which are only briefly covered.

Peter Nardi - Runaway Joker - reviewIf you’ve been around in card magic for any length of time I suspect you will have no problems at all, but I mention it for completeness. Nardi also offers some nice little tips on handling – I particularly liked his idea so the spectator can watch the Joker cycling through the deck!

He also explains a couple of ideas if you want the Joker to come back. But I’m not sure I’d bother – since the whole premise of the trick is that he runs away…

As usual with Alakazam products, your purchase gives you access to other ideas available for free via the Alakazam website. Though at the time of writing none have been uploaded!

A Runaway Success?

Runaway Joker is a fun little effect. The engaging premise and very visual effect should appeal to a wide range of audiences. And it is easy to do with minimal re-set. Well worth a look – especially at the current reduced price!

Runaway Joker is available from MagicShop.co.uk for £7.92 at time of writing (it is in a sale which finishes in a couple of days! Normal price £20.50)

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

Peter Nardi – Runaway Joker 2nd Edition – review
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