Switchycoo

Effect: A card is freely chosen and shuffled back into the deck. The spectator is asked to name a small number, something between one and eight. The card at that number is counted to and turned face-up In place. It is not the selection.

The eight-car d packet is ribbon spread face-up on the table. None of these car ds is the selection either. The card that was first turned up, the card that rested, and still rests, at the chosen number, lies face-down in the spread. The performer snaps his fingers over this card and turns it up, showing that it has magically changed to the chosen card.

Method: Begin by having a card chosen, noted and returned to the pack. You must now reverse this card and secretly position it second from the top of the pack. There are several methods of accomplishing this, but perhaps the simplest is a reversal Dr. Jacob Daley devised many years ago:

Give the deck a shuffle and control the card to the top. Take the deck into left-hand dealing position and execute a double turnover, showing the selection is not on top. Then, tilt the outer end of the deck upward, angling the top of the pack out of the audience's view. With the deck in this position, take the top card into the right hand and turn it face-down, leaving the face-up selection on the deck. Replace the top card square onto the pack and casually lower the left hand, bringing the top once more into view. If you are working in surrounded conditions, where tilting the pack does not provide sufficient cover, turn the left hand palm-down and lower the deck away from the left palm to exhibit the bottom card. This is not the selection either. While the deck is held in this position, with the right fingers draw the lowermost card from beneath the pack, turn it faceup and slip it under the pack once more. Then turn the left hand palm-up, bringing the top of the pack into view.

Form a left fourth-finger break under the top two cards as you ask the spectator to name a number between one and eight. You will now count that many cards from the top of the deck into the right hand, but with one small artifice: begin by pushing off the top two cards as one, concealing the reversed selection. If the left thumb is placed at the far left edge of the deck as it begins to push, it is not difficult to move the pair above the break to the right as one card.

On the count of two, push over the next card from the pack and take it onto the right hand's double. Continue to count cards into the right hand, reversing their order, until you reach the chosen number. Turn up the card that falls at this number and take it, outjogged for about half its length, onto the right-hand packet. Then continue to count cards face-down onto the packet until you have reached eight.

Mentally note how many cards you have counted onto the faceup indifferent card and, as you push off the final card, spread over that many more cards as well. For example, if five is the number named, you would count off four cards, turn up the fifth and count three more cards onto it. As the last card is dealt, spread three additional cards to the right in the action. Then drop the left hand and deck casually to your side and form a fourth-finger break under the spread cards. (If pinkie counting is among your skills, you may prefer to use this technique to obtain the break.) Meanwhile, draw attention to the right hand and its packet by naming the face-up card and asking if it is the selection.

When the spectator tells you the outjogged card is not his, raise the left hand again and place the right hand's packet on top of the deck. Bring the right hand palm-down over the deck and, with the fingertips, contact the far end of the outjogged card. Also contact the near end of the block above the break with the right thumbtip (Figure 112). Simultaneously push the packet forward about half an inch on the deck and push the outjogged card inward until it projects from the packet for only an eighth of an inch (Figure 113).

Immediately grasp the packet by it outer end and turn it faceup, end over end, square onto the deck. This brings the Jogged card, now face-down, to the inner end of the pack. Hold no break under the packet after this turn. Without hesitation, regrasp the packet by its ends from above, right fingers at the front and thumb at the back. Press down and in with the thumb on the injogged card, forming a break over it as it is pushed flush, and lift the packet above cleanly away.

Ribbon spread the packet from right to left, displaying seven faceup cards and an eighth card, face-down, among them. Unknown to the audience, this face-down card is not the indifferent card just displayed, but the selection. It occupies a position in the spread that seems correct, though it is not. It lies at the proper number, but at the wrong end of the row. However, this discrepancy goes unnoticed for several reasons. First, the packet was turned over before it was spread, which confuses the issue; and second, because the spread has been made from right to left, and because people normally count from left to right without thinking, from the audience's perspective, the card seems properly positioned from their left.

Ask if the selection is one of the other seven cards. The answer, of course, is no. Remind the spectator that he named any number he wished. Then snap your fingers over the face-down card and dramatically turn it up, showing that it has changed to the selection.

A few face-up cards remain hidden under the top card of the pack. Secretly straighten them when attention is relaxed. You can cut them to the bottom and right them there with a half pass. Or you might use the Braue reversal as follows: Form a left fourth-finger break under the top card. With the right hand, gather the eight tabled cards and lay them face-down onto the deck. Then grasp the upper portion of the pack by its ends, taking over the break with the right thumb. Using the natural bridge between the reversed cards and the pack, gently lift these cards away from the rest, while maintaining the thumb's separation between the face-up cards and the face-down cards above them. With the left hand, flip the deck face-up. Lay the right hand's packet momentarily onto the face of the deck, releasing the cards below the break; then turn the remaining face-down packet face-up over the deck and lay it back onto the face.

The neat switch of a card at a specific position, featured in this trick, should be studied, as it can undoubtedly be adapted to other effects as well.

September 1958

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