By Russell Niedzwiecki
Russ Niedzwiecki showed me the prototype for this handy device a couple of years ago at the Collector's Workshop convention. I thought it was a clever idea with a lot of possible applications. "Switch*A*Roo" allows you to easily and undetectably switch one or more playing cards (or business cards). Here's the action: you show a playing card and place it into your outer breast pocket of your jacket. The card does not leave the spectators' sight. (In other words, you don't push the card into the pocket and then pull it back out.) You then reach for the card and hand it to the spectator. In the act of removing the card from the pocket it is switched. The switching action is completely natural and cannot be seen.
The "Switch*A*Roo" device is 2.75 inches wide, 3.5 inches tall, and .75 inches deep. It is designed to fit in your shirt pocket (which must be opaque) or in the outer breast pocket of your jacket. I have found that a dark jacket helps hide the slight bulge which the device produces. "Switch*A*Roo" will hold up to ten cards, but I think that six is a more reasonable number. You can do asymmetrical switches, and the device works equally well with playing cards or business cards.
The instructions contain four simple tricks (including an ace assembly which would probably stump magicians), but I think that this device is most useful if you come up with your own applications. I prefer to use it as a "clean-up" device (for example, a completely examinable "Pothole Trick") because the switch occurs after the audience thinks the effect is over. If you can think of a reason to use "Switch*A*Roo," and if it fits your style of working, I don't think you'll be disappointed. Recommended.
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