Doublecross

Effect: Someone is asked to think of any card in the deck, along with its natural mate: e.g., the seven of spades and the seven of clubs: the black sevens; or the king of hearts and the king of diamonds: the red kings.

The performer shows the spectator groups of car ds from a shuffled deck, asking only if he sees one or both of his mental selections in the group. When a selection is spotted, the performer places that group in his jacket pocket. He does the same with the second group containing a selection, placing it in the opposite jacket pocket.

He now dives his hands into the pockets and quickly comes out with one card in each hand, The spectator is asked to name his choices for the first time. When the performer displays the faces of cards in his hands they are the very cards thought of.

Method: This astonishing location of two mental selections is made possible by the same cross-referencing or "matrixing" concept explained in "Cross-25" (Volume I, pp. 363-365). In that trick the deck was subtly stacked or sorted in front of the audience as part of the presentation. In "Double-cross" the performance procedure is made swifter and more direct by using a preset secret stack. This stack may seem a bit complicated at first, but it is quickly learned and assembled.

First remove the red queens from the pack and place them in your wallet. The principle on which this method is based requires a fifty-card deck. However, the queens are not without use, as will be seen.

Now sort the remaining fifty cards into two groups: in one, place all the spades and hearts (the major suits); and in the other, place the clubs and diamonds (the minor suits). Take either half and, if it is not already in a reasonably random order, shuffle it. Then arrange the mates in the other half In precisely the same order. That is, if the top card of the first half is a three of spades, set the three of clubs atop the second half; if the second card in the first group is a king of hearts, set the king of diamonds second from the top in the second group; and so on.

Next take up the half containing the minor suits, hold it face-down and form five piles of five cards each, dealing from left to right in rotation. Take up the other half pack (containing the major suits) and remove the top five cards without changing their order. Drop these onto the first tabled pile (that on your left). Set the next five cards from the second half onto the second pile, the next five onto the third pile, and so on.

You now have five ten-card piles in front of you. Starting at your left, place the first pile onto the second, these onto the third, and continue in this manner until the deck is reassembled. The stack is ready for performance.

Ask someone, preferably a card player, to think of any card in the deck, barring the joker. When he has done so, explain that every card has a mate, a card that shares the same value and color. The four of diamonds is the mate to the four of hearts, as they are both red fours. The king of spades is the mate of the king of clubs—black kings. Make sure that your helper clearly understands the idea. Then tell him that you want him to think of two cards: the card he has just pictured In his mind, and its mate. As you explain this to him, casually false shuffle the pack, retaining full-deck order,

"I'm going to put the cards in my pockets, then try to find your cards by touch alone. But it takes too long if I use all the pack. Tell me, is either of your cards here?" As you ask this, spread the top ten cards off the pack without makingyour counting apparent. Hold up the fan of cards, faces toward the spectator and away from you, so that he may see if either of his car ds is present.

If he says that he sees one, ask him if both of his cards are in the group. For now. assume that he sees only one of the thought-of mates. Next ask him if that card is of a major suit or a minor one. If he is a card player he will likely know the major and minor suits. If he doesn't, quickly define them for him.

If he tells you the card is a major suit, close the fan and place these cards into your right-side jacket pocket, faces toward your body.

If he says the card is a minor suit, place the packet in your left-side jacket pocket, faces away from your body. (Another way to remember the orientations of the packets is to note that the face of the packet, no matter which pocket it is in, is always turned to your left.)

If, however, neither selection is sighted in the first ten-card group, set that group aside and count off another ten cards from the deck. Show ten-car d groups to the spectator until both car ds have been spotted, and you have a packet in both your right pocket and your left.

You must remember only one more simple thing: the number of the group in each pocket. Since there aie only five groups, this is not difficult.

You now know the positions of both selections. The easiest way to explain this is through example. Let's say the packet in your right pocket was the second group shown; and the packet in your left pocket was the fifth group. This tells you that one of the mates lies at fifth position in the right-hand packet, counting from the outside (the top); and the other mate lies at second position in the left-hand packet, counting from the outside (the face). In other words, the number of the packet defines the position of the selection in the opposite packet. If the right-hand packet is group x, the selection in the left-hand packet rests x cards from the outside; and if the left-hand packet is group y, the selection in the right-hand packet rests y cards from the outside. (Mr, Elmsley finds that counting cards in the pocket is easier if done from the outside—the side farthest from the body—so he has arranged the packets to accommodate this.)

After locating the proper car ds in each pocket, bring them forth, backs toward the audience, and ask the spectator to tell everyone which two cards he is thinking of. Then turn the cards you hold faces outward, providing overwhelming evidence that your supersensitive fingers have served you in an extraordinary manner.

The above scenario is the one you will most often encounter. There are, though, six exceptions that can occur. Having come this far, don't grow faint-hearted now. Each of these exceptions is even easier to handle than the procedure just taught.

There are five sets of mates in the deck that will appear in the same ten-card group; each of the five groups contains one set of mates. If you are told that both selections are seen in the same group, split the fan in half, placing the top five (major suit) cards in your right pocket, faces inward, and the bottom five [minor suit) cards in your left pocket, faces outward. The number of the group once more tells you the locations of both cards. If the group is the third shown, one selection lies at third position from the outside of each packet. Note that the rules for positioning the cards in the pockets and the rule for locating the selections aie identical to the previous procedure. There is nothing new to remember.

That covers five of the exceptions. But what of the sixth? The sixth exception arises when the spectator fails to see either of his cards in the deck. If this occurs, you immediately know that he has thought of the red queens—which you have in your wallet. This circumstance, by the way, will occur far more than one time in twenty-six; for the red queens are among the most popular cards picked when a layman is asked to think of a card. That is why those cards are placed in the wallet. It is surely unnecessary to explain your course of action should you find yourself in this enviable position.

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