Edward Victors


About 1952 or 1953 Willane released, through his Methods For Miracles series, Edward Victor's "Eleven Card Trick," one of the greatest of all impromptu card routines.

In the years since, the Victor trick has attracted intermittent interest. Those who know the trick and actually use it tend to be those on the inside who trade good material but keep it sub rosa. In recent years in this country there has been a resurgence of interest in the 11-Card Trick, do mainly, I think, to the fact that Derek Dingle uses it constantly in his close-up work.

Since it uses just 11 cards and a false count, the Victor routine can perhaps be thought of as a packet trick. If so, it stands as a landmark as to what really can be accomplished with a packet of cards.

The routine is published here with the hope that it will reach the widest possible audience. The count requires practice. So for that matter does the entire routine. Those who use the trick would state without hesitation that it is a spectacular effect. Those who don't know the trick and are reading it here for the first time should know that Victor's 11-Card Trick easily rates as one of the ten best impromptu card tricks ever recorded. This should be incentive e-nough to practice one of the outstanding contributions to the art in many years.

The Effect The services of a spectator are required to act as an assistant. He is jokingly asked if he can count; having replied in the affirmative,he is given a pack of cards to shuffle, after which he is told to count eleven cards onto the performer"s open hand.

This having been done, the performer takes the pack from him and instructs him how to hold his hands. He places the pack into one of the spectator's hands. He is just about to place the packet of eleven cards into the assistant's other hand when as an afterthought he checks the count, but finds that he has ten cards.

After slightly admonishing the spectator, the performer asks for another card to make the count up to 11, so the assistant hands him one.

Again the performer counts them and still finds only 10, so yet another card has to be taken from the assistant. Once more the performer counts them and still there are only 10. By this time the assistant has become suspicious and will want to count the cards himself so he is asked to check the cards. The pack is removed from his hand as he is handed the 10 cards to check. He finds there are only ten cards.

Suddenly the performer has an i-dea. Taking back the 10 cards once more, and handing the assistant the pack of cards, the performer asks for 3 more cards to add to the 10. This, as the assistant will confirm, makes 13.

So, as only 11 cards are required, the performer hands two cards badi now to the assistant, asking him how many that should leave. The assistant naturally answers 11. The cards are counted again but there are still 13. So yet another two are given back to the assistant. Once more the cards are checked. This time there are only ten.

One more card is taken from the assistant and finally the count of 11 is found to be correct.

At last all seems ready, so the pack is again taken from the assistant and placed aside. He is handed the 11 cards and told to count 6 onto the performer1s left hand and 5 onto the right hand. He deals the first 6, but unfortunately finds he has only 4 cards left. In desperation the trick has to be abandoned.

(At this point Willane summerizes the method. But as this is essentially a repeat, in condensed form, of the working itself, and in the interests of saving space, the summary of the method will be dropped and we'11 skip directly to the presentation)

Patter And Working

"I want to show you a rather wonderful trick. It necessitates the use of 11 cards. I presume you can count, Sir? Here is a pack of cards. Will you shuffle them well and deal off eleven cards face-down on my left hand?"

Hand the pack to your helper. As he is dealing them, slightly push the 4th card to the right with your left thumb.

When the deal is completed, insert the left little finger under the 4th card from the bottom of the packet. Then transfer the packet to your RH, this hand taking the packet by the four fingers on the top edge and the thumb on the bottom edge.

At this stage the cards appear to be held quite naturally but the gap previously made by the little fiager, when it separated the 3rd & 4th cards, is now held by the right thumb, making it convenient to release three cards from the bottom by a slight relaxation of the thumb.

Now take the pack from the assistant with your LH, holding it face downward flat on the hand.

"Now sir, will you please stretch your two hands out like this."

Illustrate this action by holding your own two hands together, but in so doing, the RH first passes over the left and then the hands are separated and held palms up. The packet of 11 cards is only over the pack for a fraction of a second, but during this time the three cards are dropped onto the pack.

The reading of this may appear weak, but the fact is that the dropping of the 3 cards is absolutely invisible provided the whole action is smooth and the demonstration quite natural, and by this time your assistant is holding out his hands palms upward.

You promptly place the pack in his left palm and appear to be going to place the eleven (really 8) cards in his other hand, but as an afterthought decide to check the count, as you say, "This is a wonderful trick with 11 cards which you have dealt out yourself."

False count the cards as 10. This false counting will be fully dealt with later.

"Excuse me sir, you have only dealt me TEN cards. I want ELEVEN. Please hand me one more."

The assistant does so. Place the card on top of the packet in your hand. Now you have 9 cards.

"Now I will show you a wonderful trick with 11 cards, 1, 2, 3...etc." False count as ten.

Here you just give a surprised glance at your helper, saying, "Well really, sir, can't you deal me ELEVEN cards? One more please."

The assistant hands another one over. Now you have ten. "Now perhaps I can show you this wonderful eleven card trick." Count the packet genuinely as ten.

"Still TEN. If you don't believe me sir, please count them yourself."

Take the pack from the assistant and hand him the packet of TEN. He counts them and finds TEN only. Take the packet back and return the pack to him.

"Well, as you evidently cannot give me eleven cards, I have an idea. Please give me three cards." Spectator does so. "Now how many do I have?" Assistant answers 13.

"Now if I give you back TWO cards, how many have I in my hand?" Give the assistant two cards. And in answer to your question he will say, 'eleven.'

"That is what I want, eleven cards."

False count your packet of eleven cards as thirteen.

"Well really sir, this IS serious. Please take these two cards back. That will give me eleven."

Give the assistant two cards. False count your packet of 9 as 10.

"Ten again. Give me one more card please." Assistant hands you one card. "Now at last we should be right."

False count your packet of ten cards as eleven and look relieved. "At last we have 11 cards. Please take them..." Take the pack away from the spectator and put it aside, giving him the packet apparently consisting of 11 cards, but actually only TEN. "...and deal six cards on my left hand and five on my right I will then make one card jump visibly from one hand to the other."

Spectator deals six cards onto your hand and finds he has only four cards left.

"I'm sorry sir, but as you cannot give me ELEVEN cards, I cannot possibly show you my wonderful jumping trick." Take the packet from the spectator and conclude.

False Counting (By Willane) (Introducing this false count, Willane comments, "Like so many ef fects in magic, descriptions seldom convince even an experienced manipulator." If you have actually seen this false count performed, nothing more need be said, because it is an excellent count. If in reading this you get the impression that the count is impractical or awkward, that may be because you have not put in the time to master this deceptive move. KF)

To Practice- Hold the eight cards face-down in the LH, ALMOST in a dealing position. I say ALMOST because there is a slight difrerence, The bottom left corner of the cards must press into the fleshy part at the base of the thumb, and the left thumb, in "pushing off" must be slightly more to the left than in the ordinary deal.

In my particular case the "side" rather than the "ball" of the left thumb is used; however my hands (this is Willane speaking) have long digits and this may not apply to other hands, but it is mentioned so that it does not escape notice.

To commence counting, the top card is SLOWLY pushed to the right. However, and this is important, it is not pushed parallel to the others but by reason of the leTt lower corner pivot, it describes an arc.

This is perhaps best described by saying that if it were pushed far e-nough, the left side of the top card would be in a diagonal line with the upper right and lower left corners of the other cards. However in use it is pushed a little short of this distance and is now ready to be taken by the RH which carries it to the right.

Now as it is being taken, the left thumb jerks back to its previous position and slowly pushes the second card to the right ready to be taken by the right thumb & fingers. This one is taken in the following way.

Card No. 1 is laid over Card No. 2, at the same time covering part of the left thumb, so that at this stage the left thumb is between Card No. 1 and Card No. 2.

As soon as the RH holds these two cards securely by their right edges they are both drawn to the right on the count of TWO- at the same time jerking the left thumb back to its previous position ready to slowly push Card No. 3 to the right.

Card No. 3 is taken in exactly the same manner, that is, No. 1 and No. 2 are laid over the left thumb, and each time a card is taken the left thumb quickly jerks back to its original position.

After about 3 or 4 cards are taken in this manner no spectator will pay attention, subconscious or otherwise, to the fact that the thumb jerks back quicker than their own would do in counting cards. It will be accepted as part of the performer's mannerism.

So having reached Card No. 5, let us make this one a "false count"

Every action is the same except that the right fingers do not grip the now protruding 5th card and neither does the left thumb relax pressure on it, so that it is drawn back with the thumb in the left jerk as the RH comes away with still only four cards. ^

After genuinely taking 2 more cards the procedure is repeated and thus 8 cards can be counted as ten.

This method of "false counting" can be learned in a few minutes but it is best to determine beforehand on which cards the "false counts" will occur. In connection with this routine I always counted the eight cards as ten by "false counting" on Card No. 4 and Card No. 7.

Then on the second count the nine cards are counted as ten by false counting on Card No. 5.

Similar arrangements should be made when the hand holds 11 cards which are to be counted as 13.

All sleights or false moves must imitate natural actions so closely that they are indistinguishable and if the sleight cannot quite match the natural action, then the natural action must be modified to match the sleight.

It is surprising how quickly a performer can educate an audience,so if the reader uses this method, remember when counting GENUINELY to count in exactly the same manner and at the same tempo as when false counting.

(At the start of the routine there is a way to dump off the unwanted 3 cards without moves. The idea is to make it appear as part of the effect. When the spectator hands you the packet of 11 cards, express doubts a-bout the accuracy of the count. Then count 11 as 14. State that you have three cards too many. Remove 3 cards from the top of the packet and place them on top of the deck. Then proceed with the rest of the routine exactly as written.

(Note also that it is not necessary for the spectator to hold the pack in his hand. Once the cards have been dealt out, the balance of the deck can be tabled. Other than these minor changes, the trick should be Jofld. just as Victor~*devised it.

(With tricks like this there is a temptation to try to improve and/or change it. The use of a smaller packet of cards is one change that will suggest itself immediately. All that can be said is that if you saw the trick done and knew the tremendous impact it has on audiences, you would know that it's fine as is. KF)




Tricks based on familiar games have built-in audience interest. The game can't be too abstract because the appeal is limited. Thus, while chess undoubtedly holds possibilities that boggle the mind, the game itself is too little known to capture wide audience interest. Over the years I've found that popular board games like Monopoly are a source of virtually surefire plot ideas. Here is one.

Effect: Spectator rolls a die and by this means chooses a card. Say the card is the AS.

The die is placed on top of the AS. Performer removes a magic amulet from his pocket. Actually it is a game piece filched from a Monopoly set and he places it on top of the card, next to the die.

Mumbling the sacred words, "Park Place," the performer looks at the die and the game piece, and says to the spectator, "For some reason this reminds me of a game, of..."

Unless he has lived on Mars,the spectator will be certain to recognize the game piece, and he will complete the sentence by saying, "maybe Monopoly?"

Performer slides the chosen card out from under the game piece and the die. He turns it over, face-up. The

card is now blank, and written on its face are the immortal words, "Go directly to jail."

Performer acts bewildered, then turns over the card case. It has been cut out (see sketch on the right) and resembles a jail cell. Inside the card case is found the chosen card, the AS.

Method; Since you have to carry the game -piece, the die, the prepared card box and the "Go Directly To Jail" card with you, the trick can hardly be called impromptu. And because you have all this in the way of visible apparatus, there is no reason why you can't fake the whole thing and use a bank of forcing cards to insure that the spectator chooses the AS.

What I do is this. Six AS from a matching deck are pencil dotted on the back. These cards are distributed thru the pack. A 7th AS is on top of the deck. Remove the AD.

To make the blank, erase the pips from the AD. This can be done with a pencil eraser. (Cont'd on pg. 1199)

THE No. 15

0 0

Post a comment