The Bound Deck is a difficult trick for me to review. It isn’t an outstanding or a terrible effect – it is somewhere in the middle – and those ones are always more work. Let’s have a go…

What’s the effect?

juan luis rubiales - the bound deck - reviewThis is Juan Luis Rubiales working of an effect which really goes back to a Paul Curry idea. As I was watching the effect I was thinking – I’ve seen this before – in fact it was just similar to the Power of Thought routine on the Awesome Self-Working Card Tricks DVD.

In effect, two spectators get half a deck each which is bound (hence the name!) with a small spiral binding coil. One spectator chooses a card and as the two ‘books’ of cards are ‘dealt’ it is found to be the only ‘matching pair’ across the two halves. And then, with no suspicious moves, suddenly both packets change so that it appears that all the cards match – even though the ‘binding’ prevent any tricky moves.

What do you get?

A deck of cards with the necessary holes in them to enable them to be bound. 2 small spiral binding coils. An instructional DVD.

The EMC DVDs are always nicely produced to a high quality. Rubiales’ English is a little idiomatic with quite a heavy accent – but the explanation is fairly easy to follow. The routine is, in fact, all but self-working. The cards are a standard Bicycle deck apart from the holes – so are of good quality.

What do we think?

This is really tricky. Rubiales performance, on the DVD, is really rather dull to my cultural sensibilities – but I think that is largely cultural. In a UK context I would perform this with a very different style – and in fact it would be possible to do it with only one spectator if you wanted which might speed things up (though possibly make it less magical?).

The routining is clever – and I really like the way the final ‘change’ is effected without any real moves. There are a number of clever subtleties going on here. I also think the whole concept of a ‘bound deck’ is intriguing – and would gain the spectator’s interest.

The trick essentially re-sets itself and doesn’t take up too much space in your pocket – though you wouldn’t really want to use this deck for any other effects I would have thought (you could – in principle – but then you wouldn’t be set for this effect again).

So there’s lots to like here. It feels more puzzling than astounding – but perhaps I’m thinking too much like a magician? But the thing that pushes me in a slightly more negative direction is the pricing. At our regular Murphys Magic supplier it is £38.99 (at the time of writing) which is quite steep for what you’re getting.

But if it appeals you can get it direct from

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

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