My Opening Act:
Deciding to show off your ESP skill and having only a deck of cards and a rubber band, you hand your deck out to be shuffled to a nice man named Ted. After he is finished shuffling, you ask Ted to place the rubber band around the cards to make them tamper-proof. You ask Ted if he will stop you on a card as you riffle them past his eyes. To prove to Ted that all is on the up and up, you offer to stare at his girlfriend Mary during the selection process.
The cards are now riffled past Ted’s eyes, asking for him to say, “stop.” Now, with Ted remembering his card, Mary shuffles the cards with great care. Without looking though the deck, you cut to the card you believe to be Ted’s card. You offer to reveal the selection, but instead you decide it would be better if Mary, who could not have seen it, reveals the card. You place the card in a visible place and ask her to try to use her mental powers to guess its identity.
She tries and fails by naming the Two of Hearts, only to find out it was the Five of Clubs of which Ted was thinking, and your hand turns the card over, revealing it to all. Not wanting her to feel bad, you tell her that she named the right card, only in the wrong place. Saying so, you take out your zippered wallet, and inside is the card that Mary just named. All are amazed!!
The Lucky Chip:
The performer displays a poker chip. A spectator thinks of a card, removes it to show the crowd and shuffles it into the deck. The deck is then Ribbon-spread on the table. The spectator uses the poker chip to choose a card via a process of elimination. After some humorous by-play, it is eventually revealed that the spectator has, through the aid of the chip, managed to locate the chosen card.
Milking the Boards:
The magician removes any four of a kind from a deck of cards. We will assume he uses the deuces. He places them on top of the pack and then shows how a gambler might stack the deck so that the deuces would fall to the dealer. He does this by slowly milking the top and bottom cards together, resulting in a card between each of the deuces on the bottom of the pack. Now, he explains that he must bring the stock to the top of the pack if it’s to be used in a game. He starts an Overhand Shuffle, running cards singly when he gets near the bottom of the pack so as not to disturb the stack. This sends the stock to the top of the pack. “You may be wondering what would happen if a third person now wanted to join the game. This happens all the time!” He pauses for the predicament to sink in with the audience. “I would just start all over.” Flip the top four cards face up and show that they are the four deuces.
Aces Over Easy:
In the course of an Overhand Shuffle, the performer shuffles off four packets. He then shows an Ace on the face of each packet. One by one, the Aces are cut back into the deck. The deck is spread, and the Aces are together, reversed face up in the center.
The magician removes the four Queens and shows the images of the ladies all to be facing in the same direction (left-facers). A member of the audience chooses one of the Queens. The magician turns the card around 180 degrees and tables the card. It is now looking the opposite way from the rest of the Queens.
JOHN B. BORN
The Perfect Pick:
The magician stands across the room. The spectator spreads the cards across the table, removes any card, places it in his pocket, and closes the spread. Against impossible odds, the performer uses psychology to read the spectator and to reveal the card.
Dr. Jaks Goes to Mexico:
Although the Dr. Jaks “Dictionary Trick” was described in The Sphinx in 1949, it did not come to my attention until Karl Fulves published an extensive retrospective on it in his magazine Latter Day Secrets (Issue No. 6, 2001). Although the trick would appear to knowledgeable magicians to employ the one-ahead principle, it in fact employed a two-ahead principle, which made it all the more baffling. The refinement I offer here retains the two-ahead method but makes it appear to spectators that you could never have been “ahead” at all.
A Sure-fire Prediction:
A comedic feat of perverse mentalism.
The Sting, Too:
With a spectator-shuffled deck, the card shark demonstrates the art of riffle-stacking and provides a free lesson in the art of the con.
The Pub Shuffle:
Here’s a quick, red/black, false, tabled Riffle Shuffle.
This is a switch of four cards that is rather easy to accomplish.
Open Spread Switch #1:
You spread a deck of cards face down from hand to hand and invite a spectator to touch any card. When he does, you outjog that card, and then you turn all the cards above it and below it face up, leaving the selection face down and still outjogged. Everything looks very fair, yet you have managed to switch the outjogged chosen card for the top card of the deck.
The magician has a card freely selected from a blue deck of cards. Something happens. The card suddenly changes into a red card. “Let’s try another card,” says the card handler. A second card is freely selected and remembered. In a flash, the entire blue deck is transformed into a completely RED deck. Every single card is shown to be red, except one card. He missed one. But wait. What if that one blue card was actually the selected card? It is! There’s more. In the blink of an eye, this blue card suddenly changes into a red card to match the rest of the deck.
Hard to Improve on Perfection:
I just discovered something after many years of doing the same thing over and over. It’s nice to know that we all still learn, or at least some of us still do.
Curse of the Rasta:
This is a version of Peter Kane’s Gypsy’s Curse using non-gimmicked cards.
Tipping the Sleight Fantastic:
Many years ago, I saw Christian Stelzel perform and teach The Thumb Slide from Hugard and Braue’s More Card Manipulations, Series 3. Those authors credit it to Prof. Hoffman’s description of a move by Carl Hartz. I began learning to do the move, but I kept missing the slide of the selected card to the top of the pack. Happily, the miss produced a very cool result; the card was pushed directly into gambler’s cop position in a natural and easy action.
You have the four Aces face up on top of the face-down deck. One by one, you pull the Aces off and insert them into the deck at different places. The Aces remain outjogged as you insert them, and the audience can clearly see that the Aces are distributed at different intervals. The Aces are pushed flush fairly. Suddenly, all four Aces are on top.
We have $1.00 stores in town that sell many beginners’ magic tricks. I bought some marked cards, stripper decks and Svengali decks for only $1.00 each. The following is a very effective mental trick using the $1.00 Svengali deck.
This is a prediction effect featuring a five-card variation of the Corvello force.
An Ace-cutting routine in which the spectator and the magician cut for high card. The routine uses the Stevens control which is explained at the end of the routine.
The following idea is a Hold’em stack for seven or eight hands with one Faro Shuffle. It is designed to fool a card man.
The performer displays and tables the Jacks, Queens, Kings and Aces in four face-down piles. Each pile has a face-up leader card outjogged beneath it to identify its denomination. The participant freely switches the leader cards from pile to pile. Despite her switching, the mates follow the leaders! For the finale, the performer introduces a Ten, switches it for the leader Ace and buries the Ace in the center of the deck. The leader Ten attracts its mates, and the Aces are found reversed in the center of the deck!
A packet of red-backed cards is tabled, sight unseen. The participant selects and signs a card, say a Queen, from a blue deck. The card is lost in the deck. The performer cuts the red packet into the deck, claiming that they will find the selection. The deck is spread, and a blue card is found sandwiched between the red cards. The sandwiched card is shown to the participant, but it’s not her card. The performer turns over three of the red cards, and they are all Queens. The fourth red card is turned over, and it’s the selected Queen, complete with signature!
A card is selected–let’s say the King of Diamonds–and lost in the deck. The magician then asks the spectator to use his intuition to try to find his card in the deck. He fails and instead finds the Seven of Hearts. The magician claims that the Seven is an indicator card and tells him that the selection is among the top seven cards of the deck. The Seven is placed aside, and the magician hands the spectator the top seven cards. The spectator eliminates all but one card. This card turns out to be… the Seven of Hearts. The card on the table is turned over and revealed to be the King of Diamonds. The mates of the King then show up for a spectacular finale.
A spectator chooses a card (totally free choice) and remembers it. The card is fairly cut into the middle of the deck. The magician picks up a borrowed bill and says, “Now, watch carefully as George (Washington) performs his magic.” The bill is folded. The magician blows on the bill. When it is unfolded, there is now a huge hole where George’s portrait was! The magician spreads the deck. George’s portrait is discovered on the back of one card in the deck. The card is turned over and seen to be the selection! The card is left face up on the table. The magician continues, “Obviously, George is a busy guy and can’t stay on the back of your card.” The magician folds up the bill and waves it over the card. The spectator turns the card over, and the portrait has vanished. The magician unfolds the bill. It is now fully restored and handed back to the spectator for complete examination.
J. K. HARTMAN
A new approach to the classic Card At Any Number theme is relatively easy and quite effective.
An 18 page treatise on the Jennings Visitor plot, featuring My Visitor II and The Discolored Visitor.
A spectator is invited to cut off a small packet of cards. You correctly estimate the number of cards she cut. But in the process, you also find four Aces.
Pole Dancing & SOFA KING:
Two routines featuring word play, puns and clever thinking.
Another Late Night Session:
The deck is divided in two, and your helper peeks at a card in one half. He shuffles these cards and buries them into the other half. You immediately cut to his selection.
My thought processes resulting in this effect were spurred on by David Jade’s “Cutting off Colors” from the March 2004 issue of MAGIC magazine. I felt that the Mechanical Reverse could be eliminated. I also wanted to reduce the bulk of the cut-off cards by using a gimmicked card.
Kranzo’s Kool Kut:
This is an in-the-hands false cut that retains the top stock while the face card of the deck changes.
This is an in-the-hands production of four cards that is ideal for the stand-up or walkabout performer.
A card is selected and replaced into the deck. The cards are shuffled thoroughly, and the deck is placed in the middle of the close-up pad. All four corners of the mat are folded over until the deck is completely hidden. A spectator places their finger on top of everything to hold it all in place. They name their selection and remove their finger. The mat springs open and slaps the selected card onto the table!
“The Cheesy One-hand Top Palm Control” is something I have used for a long time to control selected cards. Give it a try.
“catching a spectator’s thoughts” (reading his mind), you tell him from which of three shuffled piles of cards a thought-of card has been removed and into which pile it was then inserted. (Three piles for one spectator; 3-4-1.) For the “kicker” ending, you name the thought-of card.
Sandwich Plus Two:
The effect here is that two “special” cards find and sandwich three free selections, one at a time.
Up My Sleeve!:
Here we have a version of the classic “Cards to Pocket” (or “Cards up the Sleeve”) effect, wherein the performer shows a small number of cards and magically causes them to leave one at a time and arrive in his pocket. There are many methods and approaches to this effect in the literature, but the one you’re about to read is one of the more deceptive as much care is taken to divert attention from the moves and get far ahead of the spectators.
The Incredible Six-Card Trick:
The performer tries to show the audience a trick with six cards, but the number of cards keeps changing, almost seeming out of control.
Doc John’s Aces:
This is based on an effect by Karl Fulves, called “Naming the Aces,” that appeared in Self-Working Card Tricks. Ryan has added a bit of equivoque and a card-to-pocket ending.
This is an extension of John Bannon’s “Last Man Standing.”
In 1979, Max Maven published a small pamphlet called Cycle, containing four packet tricks, each using the same set of cards. What was of interest was that the effects were modular. At the end of any trick, you could immediately go into any one of the other ones. This put you in an unusual situation, as you could structure a routine on the fly and decide how long or short to make the total performance. This chapter is contains the complete Cycle booklet.
STEVEN MAYHEW and ANTONIO CABRAL
The Way of All Flesh:
An impressive and diabolical display of card control.
One card – a prediction – is taken from the deck and laid aside, face down. Three other cards are then removed, and the rest of the deck is set aside. Esperanza and Eduard are asked to think of any one of the three cards. The cards are shown first to Esperanza, one at a time, and then to Eduard. Esperanza is asked to name the card of which she is thinking. She says the Three of Hearts, which only makes sense, because she saw three Threes of Hearts when she was shown the cards! Then, Eduard is asked to name the card of which he is thinking: the Seven of Hearts – for all he saw was three Sevens of Hearts. Some confusion arises from these disclosures, but the performer clears it all up by adding Esperanza’s Three to Eduard’s Seven, arriving at ten. And because they have both thought of hearts, the Ten of Hearts is the result; and the prediction card proves to be just that! The performer then comes clean. “I cheated. I really gave you no chance to come up with anything but ten.” With that, he flips the three cards with disputed identities face up. They are now all Tens – Clubs, Diamonds and Spades!
The Clip Force and Applications:
This force uses the Adrian Plate Clip, which was first published in Magician’s Tricks: How They Are Done. Jim also explains further applications, including Spectators Find the Aces, and The Cardman Makes Good.
Visual Retention Switch:
A card lies face down on the table. You bring your right hand over, lift the corner and peek at the index (poker player style). During this simple action, you have switched the tabled card for another. A feature of this switch is that the corner of the tabled card appears to remain in view throughout, this rendering the maneuver above suspicion.
The Blackjack Stack:
After selecting a card, a spectator follows a set of blackjack rules printed on a blank card. In the end, the spectator’s card magically appears on the card where the rules once were.
Collecting – Up in the Air:
This version of the Collectors was inspired by “Distributraction” in the Classic Secrets of Larry Jennings. There is no setup or preparation involved; it is completely impromptu.
Count Me In:
This effect combines “Count on It” by Paul Cummins, from The New York Magic Symposium, Collection Three, with Roy Walton’s “Palmist Prophesy,” from The Complete Walton.
Switch on Dingle:
The magician openly removes the four Aces and tables them in a face-down row. Three X cards are placed on an Ace, which is chosen by the spectator. The other three Aces are removed from play. The magician snaps his fingers over his packet and shows that the three Aces have returned to join the chosen Ace. Finally, the Ace of Spades is removed from the Ace packet and placed onto the other three tabled cards. These are then shown to have become a Royal Flush in Spades.
Two spectators, preferably a man and a woman (in a relationship), each select a card. The man, without knowing the identity of the card he chooses, signs its back. The woman chooses a known card and signs its face. Both cards are lost in the deck. However, the performer says that the man’s selection will locate the woman’s card. The deck is spread face down to locate the man’s signed card and to see if it “attracted” the woman’s selection. The card signed on the back and the face-down card next to it are removed from the spread. When they are turned over, it turns out that the man’s selection successfully attracted the woman’s selection. To further strengthen their apparent “bond,” the magician transfers the man’s signature from the back of his selection to the back of the woman’s selection. They are now “fused” onto a single card. Everything may be examined.
Easy Coin Cut:
This is an easy version of the classic “Coin Cut” from U. F. Grant’s 50 Kute Koin Tricks (1940).
(Direct) Twisted Collectors:
This is a handling of J. C. Wagner’s “Collect Twist” (Paul Harris’s Supermagic, 1977). The following version was inspired by Ian Land’s “Second Direction” (Pabular, Volume 7, Number 11, 1983, pp. 1131-1133). This version eliminates the post-collection displacement that is used in most of the published methods (see: Bibliography). This method also allows you to spread the packet to display each reversal.
Kosky Transpo Sandwich:
This is a very clean-looking transposition between two sandwiches that makes use of a switch credited to Gerald Kosky.
King Cornelius’ Stack:
This uses a reverse 8 Kings Stack to accomplish a wonderful effect, for which John Cornelius devised a special stack.
The Old West:
The King, Queen and Jack of Clubs are interlaced with the four Aces. The three Club cards immediately vanish, leaving only the Aces. Finally, they return again.
The Queens Go Belly Up:
You spread through a shuffled deck, showing that the four Queens are present at random positions. You close the spread, leaving the Queens in place. Immediately, you re-spread the cards, showing that the Queens have turned face up; not only that, but they have come together in the middle.
A card that has been signed on both sides by the performer and a spectator is pierced with a knife. Now, using magical healing powers, the card is restored to well-being and immediately is handed to the spectator. Careful examination shows that the card is now restored completely, signatures still intact, and it becomes a souvenir that will be handed down for generations as proof of the miraculous.
A magician borrows a spectator’s credit card, sandwiches it between two playing cards and places two rubber bands around the cards to trap the credit card. The magician now picks up a paper punch, punches a series of holes in the card and obviously destroys the spectator’s credit card. The holes can be clearly seen through the card. The spectator is told that this is merely an “illusion,” and instantly the credit card is seen through the holes. The spectator’s credit card is removed and is shown to be unharmed!
A spectator is asked to think of any card and to call out the name of the card. An ungimmicked, face-down deck is handed to the spectator. The spectator is instructed to spread the face down cards between their hands. In the middle of the spread cards is a single face-up card. It is the spectator’s thought-of card.
Hancock in Your Pants:
Two signed, selected cards appear in your pocket. No forces. No palming. No duplicates.
The Tel-Tale Joker:
Introducing the cased deck, you remove the cards and place the box aside. Turning the deck face up, you spread through until you come to the Joker, placing it onto the table. The deck is set face down onto the table. You introduce the “blindfold” and cover the deck. The spectator now reaches under the cloth, removes a card from the center of the deck and places it, face up, on top of the deck. You now pick up the Joker, place it under the cloth, and allow it to examine (?) the deck. You bring the Joker out and hold it to your ear, and it tells you the name of the spectator’s face-up card. As a bonus, the Joker tells you to turn the card box over, revealing the Queen of Hearts on the Post-it Note!
This is the same basic effect as “Tel-Tale Joker,” but it uses an entirely different method.
DIAMOND JIM TYLER
The magician displays a frog hair, which to the audience seems invisible. The magician ties the hair to a playing card and lays the card flat in his left hand. Shockingly, as he pulls the frog hair from the opposite end, the card stands up and flips over in his hand. The card is passed out to the audience for examination.
The Magic of Halitosis:
A card is signed on the face and, when blown upon, goes blank. The same card then re-appears face up in the middle of the deck. The deck is blown upon, and all of the cards then go blank. The signed card’s back also changes and reveals a humorous message. The spectator is left with their signed card, which also contains your contact information.
A magician asks a spectator to help him with something. From fanned cards, the spectator chooses a card and withdraws it halfway from the fan. The magician closes the fan around the outjogged card while pattering about how he has forgotten to wear his watch today and does not know the date. The magician turns over the outjogged card and finds that the single, selected card is not very helpful. Inspired, the magician ribbon spreads the cards face up, deciding to examine the cards to either side of the selected card. Upon doing so, he discovers that the neighboring cards show the current date.
The magician patters about alchemy and how alchemists used the elements to achieve their desired ends. Proposing an alchemical experiment, the magician states that he must first find three pure elements, represented by the Aces of Hearts, Spades and Diamonds, in the deck. After waving his hand over the deck, he turns over the first three cards to find these three Aces. The spectator(s) seem unimpressed. Noticing the lack of excitement, the magician proposes to use the three Aces to call the fourth Ace from the deck. He rubs them on top of the deck and mumbles some alchemical terms. Pausing, he uses the three cards to flip over the top card, the Ace of Spades. The spectator(s) still seem unimpressed. Then, the magician states that alchemical experiments often require giving up something to get something in return. While the magician got the fourth Ace, he had to give up the other three; turning over the right-hand cards, he shows that he is now holding three Kings.
Tip of the Trunk:
The performer cuts off a small packet of cards, which are shown and shuffled. The spectator shuffles the cards, peeks at and remembers the name of the top card, and then loses his card in the packet by spelling its name. This is repeated with a second spectator. Standing at a distance, the performer can name both selections with perfect accuracy.
The magician introduces four red-backed Kings and four blue-backed Aces. The cards are marked to help the spectator follow the cards by their backs. The Kings are placed under the card box while the magician holds the Aces. One by one, the Aces change into the Kings. For the finale, the cards change back into Aces. The Kings are found back under the box where they began.
Paparazzi Packet Trick:
This is a small packet version of the venerable Gemini Twins plot popularized by Karl Fulves. The presentational twist makes this a fun routine for the audience. In effect, the spectator seemingly selects two cards at random. The magician then shows that a different celebrity name is written on the back of each card. He then reveals that he predicted the chosen celebrities from the very beginning.
*** PAST MASTERS ***
Thoughts on Vernon’s Out of Sight – Out of Mind.
Thoughts on Roy Walton’s Overworked Card.
Thoughts on Vernon’s Matched Spell Out.
Gene’s handling of the ‘Hotel Mystery’ effect.
Four Ace Cutting
An excellent Ace-cutting effect devised by the late Michael Skinner.
Bits and Pieces:
A spectator removes a card from a face-down spread of cards. Another spectator names a number between 1 and 8, inclusive. A playing card is torn into bits and pieces and laid out onto the table. The two pieces that correspond to the spectator’s named number are turned over, and they are the only two pieces that could possibly show the identity of the card.
Oil & Water Displacement:
A beautiful displacement devised by the late Frank Thompson. This would be a worthy addition to almost any Oil & Water routine.