So here’s my ambitious start for natemarx blog 2.0. Let’s talk magic. I’d like to begin discussing about one of my favorite card magic plots, The Cannibal Cards. I’ve been into card magic right from the start. I guess that’s where most young and young at heart magicians begin their magic journey nowadays. Simply, because you can buy a deck of playing cards almost anywhere. Finding one isn’t that difficult.

I love classic card magic compared to the new trend of card magic nowadays that are fast and furious like most young magicians perform. I don’t intend to down throttle the fans of the Buck twins, its just that I love the Dai Vernon type of card magic. Flourishing or XCM has never been my genre.

The reason why I love this effect it’s because it portrays a slightly creepy tale of murder and deceit. It has comedy, suspense and packs a good kicker. I love effects that involve a lot of patter since it can attract your audience to be more focused and involved in what you are doing. Moreover, it explains the mystery why sometimes there are cards that are missing from the deck though the explanation itself is a presentation of a mystery.

This effect was developed by Lin Searles way back in 1959 and was later modified to a variety of modifications by magicians. If you are a non-magician, here’s a gem of knowledge for you (some of the card effects that you see close up magicians perform today are products of tons and tons of innovations, effort not to mention the gruesome criticism of magicians).

Below is a list of publications that followed after Searles’ marketed it in 1959.  (source:

So here’s one of the commonly used patter or presentation on the Cannibal Cards

There were 4 cannibal cards (usually the King of Clubs, Hearts, Spades and Diamonds since they are carrying a weapon). They found three missionaries who got lost in the jungle. One by one they devoured the missionaries and in the end they ate each other.

The ending of this plot differs depending on the preference of the performer. The classic plot ends with the three other cannibals and the three missionaries on the belly of one of the cannibals. Bill Malone’s version ends with the Cannibal Cards disappearing.

Up to now, I am still performing this effect because I love it. I simply love it because it can be creepy and funny at the same time but you end it with a killer mystery.

This effect receives a 10 starts out of 10 for me.

Here are some presentations on the Cannibal Cards by Michael Ammar, Michael Hankins & Bill Malone



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