The Card and Crystal Ball

The invention of this trick has been claimed by many but the credit cannot be apportioned with certainty. The effect is that a spectator selects a card from any freely shuffled pack and places it in the performer's hand, held behind his back. Keeping the card in that position the performer gazes into a crystal ball and reads the name of the card correctly.

Place a small crystal ball in the left coat pocket. Hand the pack to a spectator to shuffle, then turn your back and have him put any card face down between your hands. Being face down you know which are the index corners and you quickly tear one off. Hold it between the tips of your left first and second fingers, plunge that hand into your left coat pocket and bring out the crystal with the corner of the card face up underneath it. Now with great apparent mental exertion, and repeated requests for the spectator to concentrate on the card, you get first the color, then the suit and finally the value. It is good acting here that puts the trick over. Drop the ball plus the corner into you pocket and bring the card forward, covering the torn corner with the fingers. You can drop the card into your right coat pocket and immediately repeat the effect, or at once go into some other trick.

This is a good way of using up old or incomplete packs. If you have, on occasion, to do the trick with a borrowed pack, it is well to have a new pack with you which you present to the owner, asking permission to keep the other pack as a memento of a happy occasion.

The trick may be done by placing the card just inside the sleeve of the hand which holds the crystal. With a little care this can be done quite cleanly. The variation was introduced by Joe Berg.

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