Dupes is the latest offering from BBM and as its name suggests it explores the use of duplicate cards. Gary Jones and Chris Congreave have come up with most of the material and guide you through it with the occasional appearance of Ian Morain as a spectator.
Dupes by Gary Jones and Chris Congreave - DVD
Gary and Chris have a very natural manner in their performances and explanations and the DVD is well shot and easy to navigate as we have come to expect from BBM. It seems to be less wacky than some BBM discs, with the exception of the salami moment…

What about the tricks? Here’s the contents with a few thoughts.

Nearly CAAN
A very fair looking selected card at any number and dead easy to do thanks to the use of duplicates. They also teach a little 4 ace production at the start which reappears in a couple of routines using four of a kind. I like this routine a lot, but the deck is a bit of a one-trick pony…

Kicked Right Back
A nice little sandwich effect with a surprise kick. Two cards are selected and lost in the pack. The two black queens ‘catch’ 2 cards between them – but when the cards are removed they turn out to be the two black queens, whilst the queens in the performer’s hands have turned into the selections. This is a real worker and doesn’t require too much finger-flinging for a really strong effect.

Joker Surprise
The spectator’s selection is the only card which isn’t a joker. No real surprises here for the performer, but a funny effect for a layman. Again a one-trick pony, but a nice easy effect which would play well for lay-people.

C2B with Zilcho palm
2 black aces are placed in card box. Spectator’s card ends up sandwiched between the 2 aces in the card box, and the aces have changed to red ones on the way! This, for me, is one of the strongest tricks on the disc. A lot of magic happens – it looks very fair, and requires only basic card handling – and no palming.

Packed Wallet
2 chosen and signed cards are lost in the pack. The first one is found in performer’s pocket. Second is meant to appear in his wallet, but in fact the remainder of the pack turns up in the wallet, and the selection is in the performer’s hand all along. Another strong effect with a striking twist, and also a handy way to switch in a new deck! Requires some card controls and a rather bold move, but the latter is really easier than it looks.

Pocket Aces
A nice 4 aces to spectator’s pocket. Requires palming (and again some card controls) but a helpful discussion of this to reduce your fear! I rarely use palming but think I could manage this…

The Big Transpo
Spectator’s card apparently swaps places with a card in your pocket. Also a way of introducing a duplicate card to the deck. For me this is not a particularly entertaining effect, but it is fairly easy to do.

Jump Back Sandwich
Repeated signed card to joker sandwich. The use of a duplicate allows some really clean displays but this doesn’t appeal to me as much as some of the effects.

Sucker Deal
The old ‘next card I turn over will be yours’ sucker trick – but made much more powerful and visual with a dupe… However, I wonder if the dupes are seen in too close a succession in this routine which may make the workings a bit obvious.

Box Sitter
Chosen card appears under box in impossible conditions. Very clean. I like this a lot and can see this being a worker.

Pocket Interchange – and variations
The four aces and queens change places (from pockets to table) instantaneously. Very easy handling. As well as being a nice routine, it is a useful way to ditch a dupe. After the original handling several variations are provided.

First a non-pocket handling where the packets swap places on the table. Then a no gaff (i.e. no duplicates) handling is provided – which is a slightly odd inclusion on a dupes DVD (!) – but does mean you can do the routine impromptu. This requires a bit of extra handling and a slight discrepancy, but it still works! Then there is a third handling using sticky card – which is possibly even cleaner – but is obviously more gaff-intensive. Overall, I think I like the original best.

Lee Smith’s Predicto Pocket
Another ‘impossible’ signed card trick – where the previously shown ‘prediction card’ becomes the actual signed card the spectator chose. A few subtleties with the Hindu force which are nice. Possibly my favourite trick on DVD. Does require some palming (explained).

An easy to perform routine incorporating some gentle hypnotism (suggestion) to lead to a really nice reveal at the end. Also an extra non-dupe version for when you’re caught on the hop… This could be a real worker for my money.

The disc ends with a brief discussion on the use of duplicates and some tips for extra convincers.

Final Thoughts
Although most of the moves required are taught, it is probably fair to say the DVD assumes basic card control – however, I emphasise the ‘basic’ here – there is nothing out of the reach of most performers (with the possible exception of the palming).

I think most people would take at least a couple of effects from this DVD to use, and it should also stimulate further ideas with this under-utilised technique. For me – if a simple ploy like a duplicate card can reduce the amount of sleight of hand and increase the wow-factor of an effect, it is worth doing.

And if you buy it direct from BBM at the moment (£19.99) they will throw in a free copy of ‘Get Connected’ (worth £15)

Liked it? Share it...