Analysis

When I begin this routine, I once again talk about my being banned in certain casinos. Remember, I normally would not do all these routines in one sitting. Also, the Card Calling routine is used in my stage act so any duplication of patter is in a different performing environment. It is quite alright to say the same thing on stage that you said earlier to a few people when doing close up. It is, in fact, a good thing as those people will be saying to their friends, "Yes, he told us earlier how he is banned from playing Blackjack!"

When I begin the routine, notice how far I am standing away from Annie and I don't even appear to see what the card is that she is turning face up and burying in the deck. In truth, I don't think it would even matter to most people, but if someone was looking, it appears I haven't even seen that. You can see how I turn my head away at that point.

I direct Annie to deal the cards the way I need them for whatever amount of spectators I will be using. I sometimes actually do this with up to five people playing the game besides the dealer. Notice how I instruct her to put the rest of the deck down when she is finished. She doesn't do it at first, but I make her do it before I move on. I don't want her absentmind-edly cutting the cards or dropping them!

When I begin with the actual demonstration, I have Cassandra secretly look at her hole card and then tell her what she is holding. Notice that this has nothing to do with the Blackjack routine and is for effect only. In a real game, it wouldn't matter if I knew what the hole cards were and it wouldn't help my play at all, but it is a vital part of the routine and just reinforces my powers! Since I always do this routine after doing a few others, it only comes as a "half surprise" that I can do this! It also reinforces the mental giant theme that I hope I have developed by now. Remember, I make it a point to stress that I won't explain how I can win at Blackjack and the telepathy portion of this routine further enhances that confusion! Cassandra has a 17 and I advise her to stay.

When I turn to Janelle, she peeks at her hole card quickly. I know what it is, of course, but because she looked at it so fast (I saw that out of the corner of my eye), I ask her to look at it again. I want to portray the fact that such a fleeting glance was not long enough for me to pick up on the exact card. I often have someone think of something a second time and look a bit troubled as though I'm not sure if I got it right the first time. That adds so much realism.

She has 15 and I tell her she looked at a black King. Notice that with both her and Cassandra, I do not name the exact card. Just the value and color are enough for now. That looks better and not too perfect. It gets as good, or better, a reaction than if I had named the suit, too.

I ask Janelle if she should hit the 15. I always do that with an iffy hand. She says, "You tell me!" and that's just what I want! At this point, I want the players to be asking me what cards to hit and how to play their game. If I can get them there, it means they have surrendered themselves completely to the belief that I am the supreme master of Blackjack and anything I say, goes!

Notice here that I tell Janelle that she should probably take a hit and that she should wind up with about 20. I do not say she will get a 5, but that she will wind up with about 20. I want the audience themselves to do the figuring, small as it is, so that they deduce she needs a 5. Also notice how, at this point, I make mention of the dealer's Ace and how she needs to play aggressively because of it. I also mention how I feel good about the hit because of the other cards showing.

All of this implies I am doing some kind of card counting without my actually saying so. If anyone is bothering to try to figure this all out, I am now using telepathy, some kind of clairvoyant sense about how the cards will come up, and traditional methods of card counting all rolled up into one! As I said in the beginning, "I will try to explain what I am doing, but it is a little complicated!"

Just before Janelle is dealt the card, I say that she might get a 19 or 20. This is different from what I said before. I first said it would be a 20. The little bit of hedging with the 19 makes it almost sound as if I am backing off a bit and am not sure of myself. I want that because, a moment later when she gets the 5, it vindicates me!

Now we come to John. He is lucky enough to catch a Blackjack, but I don't say it. Instead I say, "Oh, that's good!" That is even better than saying what it is! It plays like I just had an instantaneous conversation with John where his mind said,

"Blackjack!" and I say, "Oh, that's good!" Nothing more needs to be said and I don't. Instead I just let him turn over the hole card and show everyone what it is. When the Ace appears, it is evident to everyone what I meant by my comment. He stays, of course.

Now I get to Annie and announce that she has a soft 14. She turns over the hole card to show it is so. I have to tell you, my mind is racing here to figure out what will happen and how I can best play up the ending. I, in fact, have a perfect setup going that could not be better. I am thinking, "Man, this is going to be so good!"

And then I blow it!

See, I know that the next two cards coming up will be the Jack of Hearts followed by the Queen of Clubs! That means the dealer will go from a soft 14 to a hard 14 then bust with another 10! It is perfect since all three players will win and the dealer will go from what at first appeared could be a Blackjack to a bust! Perfect!

Knowing all this, I go into a huge build up of how everyone likes to play with me as I somehow can control the dealer to bust so often. I have everyone right in the palm of my hand and am all set for the huge finale! Then, because I have gotten so wrapped up in this perfect ending, I announce that Annie will draw a red Jack and, when she does, I jump the gun and announce, "You bust! You win!" Everyone does applaud, but, months later, when I get the first copies of the video, I look at this routine and think, "You imbecile! You blew it big time!" And I did.

I suppose the lesson to be learned here is to keep your cool. Good as the ending was, can you imagine how much better it would have been if I kept it going?

After the first Jack, I could have talked about how unlikely the dealer would be in drawing another high card. I could have mentioned how often this happens in Casinos and the dealer winds up with 21. Then I could have said that I would stick to my feelings and believe another picture card was coming, perhaps a black Queen. That would have been great. Hopefully, you will never make such a blunder!

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