$23 (List Price: $25)

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The Blurb

Max Maven takes you on a gambler’s holiday, where you’re
always a winner!

Comes complete with pair of dice, 2 poker chips, 10 special
cards and instruction sheet.

No sleights required, and tipping is optional.

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My Comments

Anything from Max Maven is worthwhile.  Unfortunately, the
specifics of this effect in the blurb are frustratingly
absent.  The effect is that ten cards are shown.  They are
shuffled and placed face-up in a circle.  A poker chip is
placed at the top of the circle and the performer announces
that, to be fair, the point that the chip is at is where the
count will begin.  Two dice are rolled a few times to show
that they're legitimate.  The dice are rolled a final time.
The chip is now moved around the circle, one card for each
count, and for the number of times the dice shows.  The
performer now shows a prediction that matches the results.

Packet tricks have always been problematic due to the often
inexplicable existence of a small, separate packet of cards.
There has to be a good solid reason for the performer to
carry around the props.  In this case, the gambling theme
serves as a wonderful explanation.  These props are
souvenirs from a trip to Vegas.

As to the workings, Max has taken an old force principle
(one of my very favorites, in fact) and has re-worked it to
eliminate the one basic flaw in it.  The dice make perfect
sense to use because it fits with the gambling theme,
although one can have two participants hold up fingers on
their hand and be able to obtain the same results.

The big drawback to this routine is that it uses cards from
non-existent casinos.  They look real, and to anyone who
doesn't know Las Vegas, they could pass as legitimate.
Otherwise, it may look suspicious when you say you have
souvenirs from Las Vegas and your participants, who've been
to Vegas, don't recognize any of those places.

There's a solution to this.  Get a set of real cards.  And
some of you know where I might be going with this.  This is
an absolutely perfect companion effect to Bryn Reynolds'
Double Down, which uses, and comes with, ten different and
authentic casino playing cards.  You'd only need to provide
a chip from one of the casinos (there are many internet
sites from which you can obtain one), add a graphic (which
is easy to do with desktop publishing, and you're all set to

You get one page of instructions, the dice, two chips (for
different outcomes), and the necessary cards, all in a small
plain white box.  If you already have Double Down, I highly
recommend this effect.  It's one more powerful piece to do
with that set of cards (though as I said you have to add
something yourself).  If you don't have it, then, by itself,
Viva Las Vegas is definitely recommended if it suits your
style, but I'd also suggest you get Double Down at the same