Already in its second (revised) printing …

Doug Dyment’s


Card Contrivances
For the Mystery Entertainer

Featuring the following …

  • “The DAO Cycle” is a new, sequential, cyclic stack for a full deck of playing cards, lauded by one reviewer as “arguably the best available stacking system for standard playing cards”. It exhibits a highly random appearance, with no recurring sequences or obvious patterns of values, colours, or suits (when magical luminary Eugene Burger was shown a deck arranged in DAO order, told that it was a stack, and challenged to find any ordering, he was unable to do so after close to ten minutes of examination). Nonetheless, it takes but a moment’s effort to determine the card following (or preceding) any other. The method is both logical and completely consistent, with no exceptions or special cases. Hardly more difficult to learn and remember than old (and much less deceptive) classics like “Si Stebbins” and “Eight Kings”, and much more easily acquired and retained (and faster in operation) than the well-known BCS stack, the DAO Stack has already become the favourite of many leading performers, and may well assume the same role for you.
  • “PokerFace” combines high audience involvement, an entertaining and credible plot, and deep mystery all in one: “… what has to be the best mental card effect I’ve ever seen.”, said one reviewer. A deck of cards is shuffled, then cut several times (by multiple participants), in very fair fashion (there is no opportunity for peeking cards, reading marked backs, sleight-of-hand, etc.). Three cards are chosen by as many audience members, who then attempt to conceal the cards’ identities when questioned by the entertainer. The remainder of the audience is surprisingly successful at determining the chosen cards, under increasingly difficult conditions, and the entertainer brings the effect to an unexpected conclusion by naming the final card under seemingly impossible conditions. A room full of entertainment with no more than a regular, ungaffed pack of cards.
  • The introduction of coloured Zener (ESP) decks (in which each instance of a symbol is of a different colour) has been a boon for psychic entertainers of all stripes, as it means that all 25 (or 30, using six colours) cards in a pack are different, increasing the difficulty of identifying a chosen symbol. “The ChromESP Cycle” offers, for the first time, a deceptive full-deck stack for such a pack (of either size), one that exhibits no discernible pattern or repetition of sequences, yet allows for the simple determination of successive (or preceding) cards in a cyclic fashion. Drawing on the same fundamental concept as the DAO stack, but incorporating symbols and colours instead of numbers and suits in an innovative fashion, this may well inspire you to add a multi-hued Zener deck to your performing repertoire.
  • “PokerPlay” has been crafted to be the ultimate demonstration of hypnotic influence. Using just ten standard, ungaffed playing cards, two hands of poker are dealt, one for a participant, the other for the entertainer. The participant chooses which hole card goes to each player, and then proceeds to choose each and every additional card for the two hands. No sleights, equivoque, or actual hypnosis are involved: the dealing is completely fair (on several occasions, the participant is allowed to inspect both cards before choosing which to keep or relinquish). And yet, at the conclusion, when the hands are fully and fairly exposed, the entertainer unfailingly wins. The effect can be repeated multiple times, each with different cards and different outcomes (the winning hand can range from a high pair to a royal flush, as desired; the final results are under the control of the entertainer). And everything is easily and quickly “reset”, for the convenience of walk-around performances.
  • “The de Zener Cycle” offers a new stack for a traditional, monochromatic Zener (ESP) card deck (25 cards: five black symbols repeated five times each). Unlike the previously published “Polliwog Progression” (which can be found in Stimulacra, and uses a mnemonic technique), the de Zener stack is completely algorithmic in nature. But, like its predecessor, it uses all 25 cards of the standard pack, is cyclic (so can be mixed using any method that does no more than repeatedly cut the pack), and exhibits, even with careful inspection, no repeated patterns (or “clumping”) of any kind. A perfect tool for a variety of classic ESP demonstrations.
  • “The Silk Load” introduces a powerful new concept for the Tarot (or other cartomantic) reader, permitting as many as half a dozen or so cards to be secretly added to the top of a legitimately mixed pack, using an innocent, elegant—and surprisingly inexpensive—prop that is perfectly suited to the reading environment.
  • You’ll also be treated to a comprehensive review of “card clocking” technique (along with some previously unpublished improvements to the traditional methods); an optical illusion that is not only startling, but suitable for platform demonstrations; and even more footnotes than you expected, from a Life Member of the Psychic Entertainers Association.


Some readers’ comments:

“I have finished reading through Doug Dyment’s Tricyclic book and am very impressed. Doug provides three new stacks: one for a regular deck of playing cards, another for a pack of Zener cards, and finally an easily-resettable one for the classic Ten-Card Poker effect. Any reputable mentalist would want to keep all three of these new Dyment tools handy.

Doug has certainly gone the extra mile to provide accurate footnotes and credits. He provides a few solid presentations, including one using the DAO stack that would easily fit in any act as a showpiece moment.

Anything I say about the DAO Stack will seem biased … so how about I simply tell you that all the other professional mentalists who are enthusiastically raving about this are not wrong. Doug Dyment’s Tricyclic is money well spent.” — [USA]

“I love ‘PokerPlay’ … It is certainly a gem and worth many times more than the price of the book.” — [USA]

“Excellent material as always! … well credited, well written, thoughtful.” — [Canada]

“This is an absolutely brilliant piece of work … an invaluable tool for magicians and mentalists alike.” — [USA]

“Man, I got one word: great. Just the effect ‘PokerFace’ is worth ten times the price; I myself would never release such a signature piece … outstanding. Performed ‘PokerPlay’ today … it got a strong reaction, simply killed. Hey Doug, hold some of this stuff underground: we don’t want the whole world doing this great material.” — [USA]

“I went through the DAO stack, was impressed, … Good stuff.” — [USA]

“For those of us, like me, who enjoy performing effects that rely on some degree of memorization, this little book is a gem. But it is even more of a gem for those who shy away from memory work, because in it Doug Dyment explains what are arguably the best available stacking systems for decks of standard playing cards and ESP cards. Added to that are some elegant and simple ways of ‘clocking’ decks of cards (i.e., quickly identifying a card missing from standard and ESP decks), and some clever poker stacks, all explained with Doug Dyment’s customary erudition, lucidity, and dry humour.” — [UK]

Tricyclic is terrific!” — [USA]

“[The DAO stack] is the best I have seen up to now. And I don't say the above lightly. In Doug’s stack, the ratio of randomness of cards vs. simplicity in the ‘calculus’ is the best one I’ve ever found.” — [USA]

“… the DAO stack is amazing and will definitely become a staple in my card tricks. [It] is far better and easier then any other stack I’ve studied …” — [USA]

“Well, I’ll tell you only one word [about the DAO stack]: adopted!!! Until now I was in favor of the BCS, but never dared using it for more than one card, as I was afraid the audience would feel what I was doing: calculating. Your system is far easier ... and I'm super happy with my purchase!” — [Belgium]

“[The DAO stack] is a fantastic system and I was ready to go in less than 15 minutes.” — [UK]

“I’m enormously impressed with the DAO stack. I’ve been perfectly happy with Si Stebbins for a long time, not really worrying about the obvious order when fanned neatly (I simply don’t fan neatly). However, contrary to my expectations, the DAO stack is so easy to use that there’s little point in my not using it.” — [UK]

“DAO Stack = Marvellous! Certainly the best. After struggling to get my speed up with the BCS, this is a breeze. To my eye the cards look just as random as in the BCS; I’m astounded the stack is cyclical! It’s amazing how mathematics and a patient mind can create something so beautiful.” — [Germany]

“For those who don’t use cards in mentalism, think again, and I mean seriously think! Doug Dyment has again written a brilliant book, after Mindsights and Stimulacra, on the use of stacks in mentalism using cards, ESP symbols, and Tarot, in his new publication Tricyclic. There are excellent effects to illustrate the use of each stack. Doug has a new stack for playing cards called ‘The DAO Cycle’, which is easy to learn and use. The book is very well illustrated, easy to understand, but above all thought-provoking, and as ever Doug is meticulous in his crediting of all relevant references. Miss this one at your peril!” — [UK]

“… very impressive. [DAO] will be my stack of choice moving forward… please continue producing work of the highest quality!” — [UK]

“The DAO stack was worth the price alone: easy to remember and so random in its layout. I have been struggling to do the maths (never my strong point anyway) with the BCS but this stack is easy to get to grips with. PokerFace is just impossible-looking. PokerPlay and the ESP card stack are equally as good.” — [Ireland]

“… pure brilliance! After 5 minutes’ reading I’ve switched from the BCS to DAO, primarily because of its ease in reading the previous card, which is not so easy with the BCS, and opens up another range of possibilities and handlings… several useful tools and ideas! Thanks so much!” — [USA]

“By this morning, I have my three decks formerly kept in the BCS order reset for DAO. Instead of a half hour to learn the system and a couple of weeks to get really proficient, I learned DAO in one minute and for me it was faster than the BCS about a minute later. The calculation of the next card is foolproof and lightning-quick, with less chance of errors. And I like the idea that I have a quicker reverse calculation should I need it.” — [USA]

“Great tools in Tricyclic. Big thanks! … I’ve loved Osterlind’s stack, but the excellent DAO stack is so easy, with, in practical terms, very little loss of subtlely.” — [UK]

“I finally purchased Tricyclic from Doug’s site about a month ago. As has always been the case, I am happy with Doug’s book and his service. I knew I’d wish I’d bought it earlier. His style is easy to read and understand, and his footnotes are in depth, plentiful and, well … so derned interestin’.

Now I never been to London, and I never been to France, and I never seen any Queen in her undies as the fella’ says. But I reckon that after readin’ this material, I’ve seen somethin’ every bit as stupifyin’ as you’d see in any of those places. (It was ‘Big Lebowski Night’ yesterday at my place.)

I memorized Juan Tamariz’ ‘Mnemonica’ stack several years ago which puts me in the minority of buyers of Tricyclic who were looking for something other than the acclaimed ‘DAO Cycle’. For me, the dangling carrot before me was ‘PokerPlay’, an unusually fair ‘Ten Card Poker’ type hypnotic effect without using hypnosis or a ‘Jonah card’. ‘PokerPlay’ is part of my repertoire now and I’m enjoying it.

The single effect, ‘PokerFace’, makes me want to learn and use the ‘DAO Cycle’ as, to my surprise, the effect is more easily accomplished with the ‘DAO’ than with my memorized deck. The ‘de Zener Cycle’ algorithmic stack for monochromatic Zener cards is also something I’ll use. There’s a Zener stack for coloured Zener decks called ‘ChromESP’ that I may learn if I ever decide to use multi-colored Zener packs.

Finally, Doug’s section on ‘card clocking’ contains a gem or two that can be unearthed without much digging. Any mentalist who uses cards would benefit from learning more about clocking the deck and this book contains a succinct explanation for neophytes as well as newly published touches to simplify the process for the initiated.

Sometimes there’s a man … I won’t say a hero, ’cause what’s a hero? But sometimes, there’s a man — and I’m talkin’ about Doug Dyment here — sometimes, there’s a man, well, he’s the man for his time and place. He fits right in there. And that’s Doug. With Tricyclic. And sometimes … Ah, I lost my train of thought here. But … aw, hell. I done praised it enough.” — [USA]

Wow! What a wonderful read! DAO is soooo disarming. The underlying concepts gave me a rush … I feel the ‘de Zener Stack’, apart from being genius, will be amazing to perform. What I actually loved the most were the presentational tips hidden in ‘PokerFace’ and ‘PokerPlay’ … I applaud you for your teaching methods and that in itself inspires me when I construct, test, or simply analyze my routines. I am really looking forward to your future releases.” — [United Arab Emirates]

“This book is inspiring. Don’t miss out. Buy it.” — [USA]

“… very practical stuff inside. I’d say ‘The de Zener Cycle’ and ‘The Silk Load’ give me ten times a very good reason to have purchased the book.” — [France]

“Doug Dyment is brilliant. Period. Everything he has published has great value. The DAO stack is an excellent addition to the battery of tools available to performing mentalists and magicians … very easy to learn and use. Even more of a breakthrough, in my estimation, is his work with ESP card stacks. Amazing thinking really. But neither DAO nor the ESP stacks are my favorites from Tricyclic. I love “PokerPlay”. Doug has, yet again, stood on the shoulders of many magicians and mentalists and brought new work to the ten card poker deal. His work moves away from the Jonah card principal into amazing new territory.” — [USA]

“I loved Tricyclic.” — [USA]

“I love the DAO Cycle.” — [USA]

[Tricyclic] is great! I am in awe of the amount of time Doug must have spent thinking about the stacks explained in this book — his commitment really shines through in the text. There are also some great effects in the book, some that utilise the stacks, and some that stand on their own. I think this book will become a standard reference for this type of work in the future — well done Doug!” — [Australia]

“The DAO stack is terrific!” — [USA]

“Genius.” — [USA]

Tricyclic is simply outstanding. Every effect and stack within is well thought out and very deceptive. They are almost impossible to backtrack and there is great entertainment value therein. The genius of Doug Dyment is highly evident in, not only the effects and stacks, but making it easy for us mere mortals to understand. I cannot praise this book enough. Each effect/stack is worth the price of the book. It has my highest recommendation!” — [USA]

“I really enjoy performing ‘PokerPlay’.” — [Germany]

“This latest book from Doug is up to the same standards as his previous ones. Well thought out tips, routines, and presentations. I have already added one routine to my professional close-up repertoire and performed it forty times in the past fortnight. It’s a keeper.” — [UK]

“This has to be some of the most stimulating material I have seen in years. First, the cover illusion created a gasp. What a fine metaphor for how we will almost kill one another over what we know ‘with certainty’ is true. The ‘PokerPlay’ demonstration has to be an effect that cannot be explained—and yet so easy. I love it; I will use it! For many years I used rote memory to find cards missing from a deck because I could not clock a deck with speed—or confidence. [Doug’s] approach opens up many new avenues. [He is] the brightest person I know.” — [USA]

“I’ve used ‘8 Kings’ virtually my whole life for my sequential stack and your DAO stack immediately replaced it… Given all the stacks out there, the fact that I’m basically using the two you developed [DAO & QuickStack] for the two different purposes is a testament to your creativity.” — [USA]

“… very good work … [The DAO stack] is really wonderful / easy / intuitive. Doug appropriately notes the strengths and weaknesses of other systems and then proceeds to blow away the others … He also gives appropriate credits to other systems. What a unique concept.” — [USA]

“I've been using the Osterlind stack for some years. Not any more. [The DAO stack] is so easy in performance, it has won me over. This is indeed a new breakthrough … Congratulations! I love it.” — [USA]

“[The DAO stack] is absolutely brilliant and without doubt the best and most deceptive stacking sequence I have seen. I think I pretty well mastered it on the first read through, which is saying something.” — [UK]

“I think the [DAO] stack is excellent, a logical and well thought out progression for a cyclical deck. I see myself using it from now on.” — [Singapore]

Tricyclic is a great book. My favorites are the DAO stack and ‘PokerPlay’. All theories and breakdown explanations are fantastic.” — [Thailand]

“Richard Webster just fooled the pants off me with something from [Tricyclic] … wow!” — [USA]

“I love Tricyclic.” — [UK]

“… awesome” — [USA]

“Doug Dyment is not interested in quantity. He publishes the occasional slim booklet, none of which is meant for the mass magic/mentalism market. Tricyclic may be Doug’s best work yet. I was particularly impressed with his take on the ten-card poker deal. While the plot is similar to John Bannon’s wonderful ‘Power of Poker’, Doug has added a few sly wrinkles that powerfully make a great effect greater. Those variations were, to me, exhilarating.” — [USA]

Tricyclic is the most exciting book I’ve read on mentalism with cards in many years. It includes ideas and effects using ESP cards, Tarot cards, and regular playing cards. I’ve already started using his ‘DAO Cycle’, which is the easiest, yet most convincing, full deck playing card stack I’ve ever come across. Doug includes an excellent effect called ‘PokerFace’ that uses this card stack. I’ll be performing this regularly from now on. I’m enjoying learning Doug’s ‘de Zener Cycle’, which is a full deck stack of ESP cards. I can see many uses for this. He also includes a full deck stack for colored ESP cards, which I haven’t tried yet. I used to perform John Bannon’s ‘The Power of Poker’, but from now on will be using Doug’s version of this called ‘PokerPlay’. There‘s more in this book, including a fascinating, almost self-working, way of loading up to half a dozen Tarot cards on top of a mixed deck. Doug’s genius is in looking at effects in different ways, and coming up with elegant, easier methods of performing them. As always, he writes beautifully, and his footnotes are as detailed and fascinating as the text. I own all of Doug’s books and refer to them regularly. This one may be his best so far.” — [New Zealand]

“Congratulations on your DAO stack. So simple & effective. I ‘mastered’ it within minutes. Fond as I am of the BCS, it takes some getting used to. Anything that eases the pressure experienced during performance certainly has my endorsement.” — [South Africa]

… Doug Dyment