The Mexican Prediction

Effect: The performer runs quickly through the deck and sets two cards face-down on the table. He explains that these car ds, in combination, serve as a duplicate to one card in the deck. One of the pair predicts the value of the car d, the other predicts the suit.

To test the validity of the prediction, someone is asked to push any card at random out of the spread pack. When the two prediction cards are turned up, they form a precise composite of the selected card.

Method; This prediction is made possible through an unusual application of the Mexican turnover, a standard sleight that should be familiar to the reader. If it is not, it may be learned from any of a number of basic treatises on card magic (e.g., Erdnase's Expert at the Card Table, Hugard and Braue's Expert Card Technique, Hay's Amateur Magician's Handbook).

Begin by spreading through the deck, faces toward yourself. Locate any two cards of the same value, say the six of clubs and the six of hearts, and lay them face-down on the table about six inches apart, remembering the positions of the suits. Do not expose the faces of these cards to the audience.

As you do this, explain that the two cards constitute a precise prediction. Since each card in the deck is unique, it is impossible for you to set an exact duplicate of any card aside as a prediction; but you can define a card by using two others, one to designate value, the other suit. And that is Just what you have done.

Widely ribbon spread the balance of the deck face-down across the table, and invite someone to push any card they like from the spread. Pick this card up from the table by lifting it at its inner end, and in doing so glimpse its suit. The card must match the suit of one of your prediction cards (club or heart in our example). Chances of this occurring ar e excellent: just a shaving under fifty percent.

If the card is not one of the two suits required, invite someone else to push another card from the spread. Glimpse the suit of this second selection as you add it to the first. Given two opportunities, it is highly unlikely that the second card will not be useful to you. However, if luck should prove unusually contrary, continue to have different spectators choose cards from the spread until you receive one that you can use. Then have yet another spectator eliminate all the selections but one; that is, use equivoque [magician's choice) to force the required card from the group. This course, should it prove necessary, can be represented as a precautionary procedure, involving several members of the audience to assure that the final choice of a card is genuinely random.

Now, holding the chosen card face-down in one hand, use it to tap the card of your prediction pair that matches it in suit, explaining that this first card predicts the suit of the free selection. As you talk, use the selection to flip the suit card face-up on the table, executing the Mexican turnover to switch the two cards. That is, the card now face-up on the table is the actual selection, while the card you hold is one of your original prediction cards.

The second card, you explain, represents the value of the chosen card. Employing actions that closely simulate those of the Mexican turnover, flip over the second prediction card without switching it.

"A six here and a club there. Together they can represent only one possible card: the six of clubs." Now dramatically display the face of the card you hold, showing it to be both the six of clubs and the conclusion to a successful prediction.

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