From two packets, two spectators each select a card and each is returned. Using the cards as a Lie Detector, you ask each of them the same two questions to which they can either lie or tell the truth. No matter how they respond, you produce both cards using their answers. There is a final kicker that proves you could never have failed under any circumstances.

This, along with the other effects in this chapter, is based on the classic Martin Gardner "Lie Speller" plot. I based this routine partly on "Divisory Capacity" which appeared in my book, Duffie's Card Compulsions. It uses the Hamilton/Finnell "Free-Cut Principle."


1. Remove nine red cards and give them to spectator A without showing the faces. Ask him to mix the packet. Remove nine black cards and give them to spectator B also without showing the faces. Ask him to mix his packet. Discard the rest of the deck.

2. Ask both spectators to cut off a portion of their packets and to look at the card at the bottom of that portion. Spectator A replaces his cut-off portion on top of spectator B's balance and B replaces his cut-off portion on top of A's balance. Therefore, the two portions are exchanged. Finally, they place one packet on top of the other and give the combined packet a few straight cuts.

3. Take the packet and spread it from your left hand to your right with the faces toward you, saying, "This is difficult. I should not have let you cut the cards so much." As you speak, look for a division point where the colors meet and push over the first card of the next color. This card is one of the selections so make a mental note of its color. That is all you need to remember. Separate the spread at this point taking the upper section of the spread into your right hand. Square both packets, then lower both hands. Each hand holds a face-up packet. Look at the two cards showing and ask, "Have I been successful?" Both spectators will tell you that you have not, to which you say, "I do hope you are both telling me the truth, because I rarely fail!"

Place the right-hand packet below the left hand-packet and turn the assembled packet face down. Hold it in left-hand dealing position.

Position Check: The packet is face down. A selection is on top and you know its color. The next eight cards are the opposite color. The next card is the other selection, and this is followed by eight cards of the opposite color.

4. Let us assume that the top card is a red card. This, therefore, is spectator A's card. All you need to know is to which spectator the top card belongs.

Push off the top nine cards without changing their order and place them face down in front of spectator A. If the top card was black, you would place this packet in front of spectator B. Place the remaining cards in front of the other spectator.

5. Start with spectator A. Pick up the packet and spread the cards face down between your hands, as you comment, "I have a strong feeling that your card is among these cards. I am going to put you through a lie detector test. In order that see that I am serious, I will ask you two questions about your card. When you answer, you can either tell me the truth or you can lie. In response, I will spell your answers using the cards" As you close the spread, retain a little finger break below the top three cards.

You now proceed as follows:

a) Ask, "Is your card a red card or a black card?

If he says "Red", transfer the top three cards as one to the bottom, then two more singly, as you spell, R-E-D.

If he says "Black", drop the break and transfer five cards fairly to the bottom as you spell, B-L-A-C-K.

b) Ask. "Is your card a face card or a spot card?

Both words spell with the four letters. Spell his answer by transferring one card from top to bottom for each letter. Remind him of his two answers then turn over the top card of the packet. This is his selected card. You can now make further comments about his truthfulness and so on. Place the card face up onto the table, then place the rest of the packet face down in front of it.

Turn to spectator B and repeat the previous actions using the packet in front him. At the end, his selection, too, is placed face up onto the table with the rest of the packet face down in front of it. At this stage, each selection is face up in front of a face-down packet (figure 1).

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