You remove twenty-five cards from the deck, spread the cards, and invite a spectator to reverse any one card. The card remains in its position. You now give the gathered cards to the spectator and ask him to spell "Out Of Order" using the cards. He then gives the packet a few cuts and deals the cards into five hands of five cards. Each hand contains a random assortment of values, except the one with his reversed card. That hand contains Four of a Kind. It seems that his reversed card protected its hand, while the other four hands were thrown—Out Of Order!

I based this routine on a Karl Fulves effect called "Draw Test," that appeared in his magazine, Rigmarole. I published a version of this routine using an ESP deck in The Budget.

Remove five sets of Four of a Kind from the deck. Set them in a rotational stack which consists of a series of five cards repeated four times. Here is an example of the arrangement using Aces, Twos, Threes, Fours, and Fives. In performance, the values should not be in a numerical run. The stack reads, from top down:

Ace-Two-Three-Four-Five-Ace-Two-Three-Four-Five-Ace-Two-Three-Four-Five-Ace-Two-Three-Four-Five. Set the packet on top of the deck.

1. Give the deck a Jog Shuffle retaining the top order, then push off the top twenty-five cards into your right hand. Place the remainder of the deck to one side. Give the packet to a spectator and ask him to give it a few straight cuts. Take the packet back and spread the cards from hand to hand face down. Invite the spectator to turn any card face up but leave it in its original position in the spread. Close the spread and obtain a little finger break two cards below the reversed card. Double Undercut to the break to bring the reversed card to third from the bottom.

2. Give the packet to the spectator and say, "It is a little known fact that playing cards have a built-in intelligence. They can understand certain commands. Let's try an experiment along those lines. I want you to input a command to the cards. You do this by spelling the words of the command. The words are: O-u-t O-f O-r-d-e-r. You deal one card for each letter in the command." Spell the words slowly as he deals so that he deals the correct number. It doesn't matter if he is dyslexic, as long as he deals ten cards! Once he has done that, tell him to drop the remaining cards on top and to give the deck a few more straight cuts.

3. Now, tell him to deal the cards into five hands, just like in a game of Poker. He deals five cards rotationally in the same direction five times. His face-up card will appear in one of the hands (figure 1). Once the five hands are dealt, say, "One hand contains your randomly reversed card. By reversing that card, you told the deck to ignore your "Out Of Order" command for that hand only."

Turn over all of the other hands and spread them showing that they contain mixed values, saying, "You see that each of these hands is out of order." Finally, turn over the four face-down cards around his reversed card revealing Four of a Kind, saying, "That's what I call perfect order!" The card he reversed will either be one of the foursome or it will be the odd card. Either way, this hand is the only one of its kind.

deck is thoroughly shuffled by a spectator. You give your pocket diary to a second spectator who examines it and retains it in his possession. A second spectator cuts the deck and turns over the cut-off portion. The value of the card at the face indicates a month in the year. If he cut to the Six of Clubs, the other spectator opens the diary at the month of June. The value of a second card cut to is added to the first. This might be the Ten of Diamonds which would give a total of sixteen. The total indicates the sixteenth day in the month. The two free selections now make up a composite card—a Six and Diamond—the Six of Diamonds. You ask the spectator to read out what you wrote against the sixteenth of June. It is the Six of Diamonds. Everything can be examined.

Arthur Carter seems to have been the first to introduce a diary trick featuring playing cards for a magical effect in 1953. Tom Sellers does manage to predate this with "A Memory Feat (Magic Wand, June 1935) but his effect was of the giant memory test and not a magical one. The most famous version is Ted Danson's "It's a Date" which appeared in The New Pentagram (March 1970). The Danson version alone popularized the genre.

Any deck is used.

The preparation of the diary is simple. Enter the following cards against the shown dates. I add the word "The" at the beginning of every card. It sounds more dramatic when read aloud by the spectator at the end.

11th January = The Ace of Diamonds

12th February = The Two of Diamonds

13th March = The Three of Diamonds

14th April = The Four of Diamonds


15th March = The Five of Diamonds 16th June = The Six of Diamonds 17th July = The Seven of Diamonds 18th August = The Eight of Diamonds 19th September = The Nine of Diamonds 20th October = The Ten of Diamonds 21st November = The Jack of Diamonds 22nd December = The Queen of Diamonds

Fill in all the other blank dates with random cards. Do not repeat any of the Diamond cards.

Before commencing, remove the Ten of Diamonds from the deck and place it face down beneath the diary. Keep the diary in your breast pocket with the card on the inside and facing you. You will find that you can bring out the diary along with the card easily. Alternatively, leave the Ten in the deck and crimp it, edge mark it, or shorten its corner. In this case, you omit the add-on from below the diary and the Lin Searles move.

1. Give the deck to a spectator and ask him to shuffle it. Introduce the effect, saying, "Through the ages, playing cards have been used to predict the future. Card reading is still very popular today. So is astrology, the study of birth signs and their astrological meaning. I am going to conduct an experiment in this area." As you are speaking, take the diary out of your pocket along with the concealed Ten of Diamonds. Hold the diary by its right long edge. Your thumb is on top, and your fingers are below supporting the card (figure 1).

Hold out your left hand and take back the deck face down into dealing position, as you continue, saying, "We all have dates that have a special meaning to us, the day we were born being the most obvious. I would, however, like to conduct this experiment using a random date. One that has absolutely no meaning to anyone at this moment in time, because at this moment we don't know what that date will be."

During the foregoing patter, casually place the diary on top of the deck, gesture with the empty right hand, then pick the diary up again. During this, you leave the Ten of Diamonds on top of the deck.

2. Hand the diary to a spectator, saying, "This is my diary of delusion. It contains only the names of playing cards. These are randomly entered throughout. Have a look through it and see that this is the case."

3. Go back to the spectator who shuffled the deck, and say, "You will now use the playing cards to determine a month, a day, and finally, a name of a card."

Extend your left hand toward the spectator and ask him to cut off about half the deck, saying, "The value of the card you cut to will indicate the month. Aces, counting as a one, will represent January through to Tens which will represent October. As Jacks are eleven and Queens are twelve, these cards will represent November and December, respectively. If you cut to a King, you will need to change it for another card."

When he makes the cut, tell him to turn the packet face up and lay it back on top of the deck. Draw attention to the card that is face up on top of the deck. Let us assume that this is the Six of Clubs. Say, "Are you quite happy about the cut? You can do it again if you are not. Okay, you have cut to a Six and that corresponds to the sixth month which is June."

Turn to the spectator with the diary, and say, "Please open the diary to the month of June."

face-down face-up

4. You now carry out the Lin Searles Turnover Force which is based on the Christ Force. Push over the Six and take hold of it at its right edge between your right fingers and thumb (figure 2). The right hand remains static as the left hand moves away with the deck. The left hand moves toward the table and, as it does, it turns palm down (figure 3). When the left hand reaches the table, it immediately spreads the deck (figure 4). The upper half of the deck is face up and the lower half is face down. Done correctly, the audience will be oblivious to the fact that you have just reversed the deck.

Your right hand places the Six face up onto the table in front of the spread of cards.


5. Continue, saying, "Now we need a day in that month. For this we will use the first face-down card that you marked with your cut. We will add the value of that card to the value of your first card. That surely will give us a completely random number."

Push out the first face-down card from the spread and turn it over. This card is the Ten of Diamonds. Add this to the Six to give a total of sixteen. Turn to the spectator with the diary and say, "Please find the sixteenth day in the month of June."

6. Continue, saying, "Finally, we need a random playing card. The two cards you cut to are a Six (Point to the Six spot on the table) and a Diamond (Point to the Ten of Diamonds). Combining the value and the suit gives us the Six of Diamonds."

Continue, saying, "We started this experiment with no knowledge. We had no month. We had no date. And, we had no playing card. You shuffled the deck. You cut the deck. You alone controlled the destiny of the cards—or did the cards control you? Let's see." Turn to the spectator with the diary and say, "We arrived at the Six of Diamonds. What have I written against the sixteenth of June." He reads aloud, "The Six of Diamonds." Applause!

You give a spectator a small packet of cards for safe keeping. These, you state, are a prediction. You place a deck of cards onto the table and cut off about one third. You give this packet to a second spectator. The second spectator now eliminates all but two of his cards. He has complete freedom and there is absolutely no equivocation. You now ask the first spectator to count the prediction packet. There are four cards. The second spectator adds together the values of his two remaining cards. They give a total of five. Has the trick gone wrong, the audience wonders? The first spectator turns over the four cards in the prediction packet revealing four Fives!

This is a variation on a trick I originally published in Abracadabra, number 2590. I would like to thank my friend, George McBride, for pointing out to me that the packet can be given unlimited straight cuts at any time during the elimination.

The set-up for this is so simple that it is impossible to forget. Just say "21, 34," to yourself and you have it. Remove all the Aces, Twos, Threes, and Fours from the deck and place them on top of the deck in the following order, reading from the top down:

The four Twos-the four Aces-the four Threes-the four Fours-the rest of the deck.

Put a bridge in the packet so that you can lift it off the deck without counting (figure 1).

1. Spread through the deck and remove the four Fives. Give these as a face-down packet to a spectator, saying, "This little packet of cards is my infallible prediction. Please keep it safe between your hands until I ask for it."

2. Hold the deck face down and cut off the top 16 cards, cutting at the bridge. If you don't like crimps and bridges, you can casually push over four groups of four. This disguises the count.

Place the rest of the deck face down onto the table and ask a spectator to keep a close watch on it.

3. Give the packet of sixteen cards to another spectator. Explain to him that he is to eliminate cards. He does this as follows:

a) He can give the packet a few straight cuts. He now deals the packet into two piles with eight cards in each. He deals alternately left then right, as he would in a two-handed game of cards. Once he has done this, tell him to discard either of the piles.

b) Again he can cut the packet a few times. He now deals the packet into two piles with four cards in each. Again he can discard either of the piles.

c) After cutting, he deals the cards one more time into two piles with two cards in each. Once more he discards either of the piles. |

5. Tell the second spectator to keep his finger on the two remaining cards. Turn to the first spectator, the guardian of your prediction, and say, "Before we began, I gave you a small packet of cards. These were my infallible prediction. Infallible, because it never fails. Please count these cards one at a time face down onto the table. " As he deals the cards, count aloud, "One, Two, Three, Four. Four cards. No more, no less."

Turn back to the second spectator. Ask him to turn over the two cards that remain and to add together their values. The total will always be five. Because of the importance you seemed to place upon the quantity of cards in your prediction packet, the announcement of, "Five," from the second spectator gets a laugh. The audience expect it to be four. The trick appears to have gone wrong, as you say, "So much for my infallible prediction."

Milk this situation for a bit then suddenly look at the first spectator, saying, "I believe you arrived at the number five? Turn over the four cards. " When he does, say, "Well, four Fives seem pretty infallible to me!"

Taking the deck, you remove four cards. These, you state, will predict the location of a card not yet selected. You place this prediction packet face up on the bottom of the face-down deck, where it remains till the end. A spectator cuts off a portion of any size from the deck. He shuffles the packet of cards then looks at and remembers the card at the face. He places the packet back on top of the deck. You cleanly remove the four prediction cards from their place at the bottom of the deck. Ask a spectator to add together the values of the four cards and announce the total. The total might be twenty. The card at the twentieth position from the top is the selected card.

This uses a stack which I first published in Ellison Poland's Wonderful Routines of Magic—The Second Addendum (1994). The effect I called "The Future Packet" based on Roy Walton's "A Palmist's Prophecy." Here the stack achieves a different effect.

BETHI*- duffte


Although this is a full deck stack, if you decide to use this effect regularly, the stack is impossible to forget. The random cards in the arrangement consist of eleven court cards and one Ace. Here is the arrangement reading from top to bottom:

Five random cards-A-2-A-A-2-3-2-2-3-4-3-3-4-5-4-4-5-6-5-5-6-

7-6-6-7-8-7-7-8-9-8-8-9-10-9-9-10-J-10-10-seven random cards

With this stack you will discover that any number of cards cut from the top of the deck will always equal the total pf the values of the next four cards. The only stipulation is that the packet you cut off must contain more than four cards but no more than forty-one. That is a very big leeway. So, let us proceed with the effect at hand.


1. If you can false shuffle, do so, otherwise, simply give the deck a couple of false cuts. Turn the deck so that the faces are toward you and push off the four face cards, saying, "These four cards will predict the location of a card which you have not yet selected." Hold the four cards in your right hand and lower your left hand to bring the deck face up. Place the four cards face down onto the deck then turn the deck over, saying, "I'll leave the four cards face up at the bottom and we shall return to them later."

2. Extend your hand toward a spectator and invite him to cut off a section of the cards. Ask him to shuffle the packet then to look at and remember the bottom card. He might want to show the card to a few other spectators. As this is happening, casually place the balance of the deck that you are still holding onto the table, but turn your hand over as you do it so that the pack gets secretly reversed.

3. Ask the spectator to replace his portion of cards on top of the cards on the table. Reach forward and pick up the deck, holding it from above with the right hand in a Biddle Grip. Using -your left fingers slide out the bottom four cards, one by one (figure 1), and lay them on the table in a row. These cards will emerge face up and will be taken for the same four cards that you placed there a few moments ago.

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