All Backs is a classic card routine popularized by Dai Vernon in which the cards start appearing to have backs on both sides.
Edward Marlo, in The Cardician (1953), states "the effect of causing a deck of cards to change to all double-backs then later to all double-face cards was first brought to the magic-world's attention by Ralph W. Hull, when he sold his NRA Deck in 1933. Later, in Hull's the booklet, More Eye Openers (1933), he introduced the 'Magic Picture Book Deck', which was an impromptu version of the NRA deck."
In third edition of Expert Card Technique (1950), Dai Vernon introduced his impromptu all-back routine called The All Backs and declares that "Magicians know only too well that women, generally speaking, are allergic to card tricks. This trick is an exception to the rule. Mr. Vernon has used it before all kinds of audiences, even those comprised exclusively of women andwith complete success. The women are intrigued by it. It is one trick that they remember and talk about and invariably when another occasion arises it is the one trick they request to see again."
Publications and variations
- Ralph W. Hull's Magic Picture Book Deck in More Eye Openers (1933).
- Vernon version in Hugard's Magic Monthly, Vol. VII, No. 1, june 1949, page 552. (later expanded in Expert Card Technique third edition).
- A Lesson in Card Handling by Dai Vernon in Expert Card Technique (3rd edition) (1950)
- The Trick Deck by Ed Marlo in The Cardician (1953).
- Elmsley's version in Routined Manipulation Finale written by Lewis Ganson (1954)
- Bob Read's version All Backs and Additions in Thanks to Pepys (1974)
- Ackerman All Backs routine from Don England's T.K.O.s written by John Mendoza (1981)
- The Inside-Out Deck in CardWorks by Richard Kaufman (1981)
- Larry Jennings All Backs Routine in Louis Falanga's Lake Tahoe Card Magic written by Mike Maxwell (1985)
- Darwin Ortiz's Back Off in Darwin Ortiz at the Card Table (1988)
- Back Ordered from Focus by Phil Goldstein (1990)
- All Backs Routine is in Focus by Phil Goldstein (1990)
- Bruce Cervon version in Ultra Cervon (1990)
- All Backs in Karl Fulves's Verbatim illustrated by Joseph K. Schmidt (1993) - created from a typed manuscript by Hugard from 1930.
- The Beast with two Backs in The Crimp (Jan 1994)
- All Backs in Genii 1999 February - created from a typed manuscript by Hugard from 1930.
- Darwin Ortiz's New Back Off in Scams and Fantasies with Cards (2002)