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Hands Down Review

Official Review

August 31st, 2016 4:39am
Reviewed by James Sanden
“Hands Down” by Daryl Davis and Daryl Williams, is an ungimmicked solution to the classic “Which hand?” plot. While not as direct as other methods, the biggest advantage of this approach is that it’s impromptu, as well as offering several very clever variations that increase the impact of the routine.

The plot of “Hands Down” is slightly different than most versions of the “Which hand?” effect, with the performer instructing the spectator to transfer the object, in this case a crumpled piece of paper, from hand to hand behind their back based on their answers to a series of questions. The method, while not completely invisible, is well disguised, particularly when combined with the subtleties taught on the DVD. Variations include also divining a name the spectator has written on the crumpled piece of paper, demonstrating that you knew every answer the spectator would give, as well as predicting the final hand the spectator will choose. A version using a playing card is shared also, but this is much weaker than the other handlings and approaches taught.

The instruction is clear and complete, if a little basic. One of the two main versions uses a center tear (which is not revealing a secret as this is mentioned in the ad copy), and this time honored method is taught well, though the more important aspect of how to gain the information subtly and get rid of the evidence without being noticed is glossed over. The routine’s handling provides a great deal of cover, but some suggestions for how to handle these other critical parts of the performance effectively would have been welcome.

The “Which hand?” plot is a venerable one, but in the hands of a weak performer can be anti-climactic. By including asking questions as part of the procedure, as well as offering a very powerful kicker, “Hands Down” helps make this classic effect build to a solid conclusion. Keep in mind that in other versions of this plot the performer guesses the hand the object is in multiple times, while in this handling it only happens once. But if you like the idea of combining the “Which hand?” plot with a divination, the fact that this routine is impromptu, and don’t mind asking questions of the spectator before revealing the hand holding the object, you won’t be disappointed.

Available at your favorite Murphy’s Magic dealer

Product info for Hands Down

Author: The Other Brothers
Publisher: Vanishing Inc.
Average Rating:  (1)
Retail Price: $15.00
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Manufacturer's Description:

This is, quite simply, one of the best close-up mentalism effect we have seen in the last few years. It's that good. You ask someone to write down the name of a friend. They hide the paper behind their back. You can tell them which hand the paper is hiding in, and then you divine the name of their friend.

Sometimes combining two great effects causes confusion. But sometimes the combination makes BOTH effects stronger. In this case, a center tear is combined with the "Which hand?" premise, and they work seamlessly together. The presentation guides the spectator logically from one amazing effect to the next. "Hands Down" takes less than two minutes to perform and leaves a memory that will last a lifetime.

There are multiple versions of this simple, but ingenious principle taught. In one version, you show the audience that you can keep track of every time the participant swaps hands. And another version uses the principle with playing cards, ending with a thought-of card reveal.

The effect is easy to do, explained in great detail, and does not involve any special apparatus (no magnets, rings, electronics, etc.). You can do it with objects found in any bar or venue.

Running time: 22 minutes.

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