Binary Code by Rick Lax – Magic Review

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Binary Code by Rick Lax review
Binary Code by Rick Lax Review & Difficulty

This will be a review of the card trick Binary Code by Rick Lax.  This is the trick that he performed on the Penn and Teller show and was able to fool them with it.

Rick describes this as being an easy trick, but in order to actually get a performance that is like the one on Penn and Teller, it will take practice and it makes the trick more difficult than described.

He does offer an easier method, but it will not be as good as what you saw on the Penn and Teller show.  So, if you are looking to replicate that performance, it will not just be a simple and easy trick to do.

Binary Code Review

Binary Code by Rick Lax Review

This is meant to just be the review and not for it to be revealed or to be a tutorial.

Rick Lax Binary Code On Penn & Teller

Rick Lax performed Binary Code on Penn & Teller, where he was able to actually fool them.

However, he added elements of poetry that really added to the trick, beyond just the method that is taught in the Binary Code trick.

Free Mentalism Guide

Binary Code by Rick Lax Difficulty

I would say that the difficulty level when doing a full performance is a medium difficulty level.  The way that Rick performs it on Penn and Teller is a good performance and he incorporates many things into the trick, including his reciting of a poem while he is dealing the cards.  All of these touches will increase the difficulty.

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The trick does use some sleight of hand, which is usually not common in tricks by Rick Lax, since he is not known for doing sleight of hand tricks, or being a great sleight of hand magician.  He will generally find the easiest methods to perform, especially with card magic.

But, it is only one card sleight that is used, and it’s a medium level sleight.  A beginner could get fairly decent at it with practice.  So it could be a beginner trick if you do the most basic performance, but to improve the performance, I think this goes a little beyond a beginner trick.

Also, the way that Rick does the dealing and the sleights in the performance, adds to the difficulty level.  He does these very elegantly, which will take some additional practice to replicate.

Rick does offer an easy way to do the trick, but it will not have the same performance level or impact as what he has done on the Penn and Teller show.

Binary Code Rating

I give the trick a 3/5.  This is because I don’t think this is the best effect that can be performed as a magic trick.  It is a demonstration of the skill of memorizing the colors in a deck of cards.

The problem is people can do this in reality, and actually memorize the values of the cards besides just the colors.  And it doesn’t involve a trick, it is actually a skill that is performed.

Rick uses a trick to accomplish this same thing.  Because of this, the deck can’t really be shuffled in a fair manner.

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Also, the trick pretty much requires a setup deck.  The way that uses a borrowed shuffled deck is not as good as having the deck already set up.

Furthermore, the trick can be quite long and might be boring, especially for audience members who have short attention spans.  The trick just doesn’t have a magical element that wows people.  Rick actually has to recite a poem in the Penn and Teller performance in order to make the trick more interesting.

The only thing I like about the trick is the method, which to me it’s always fun to learn new methods.

As far as card tricks go, however, I think there are some better options.  But with that being said, there is a fairly new principle that he uses that you don’t really find elsewhere, and that could be something that you might find useful.  Just don’t expect too much from it.


I just don’t find this trick to be extremely magical.  The method is the only thing that is interesting and that gets it a 3-star rating.