If you don't want to buy one at the magic shop, you will have to obtain one red and one blue bridge deck. You need 52 cards.5
You can make 2 Brainwave decks out of these two decks. Here we will make only one, in which the black cards have red backs and the red cards have blue backs. This makes it easier to remember where to find the cards: The red cards are under the red backs and vice versa.
3 Aveiy circular adhesive labels would be perfect for this! You can get them from office supply stores. BP
4 The badges Punx used cost about 1 mark in 1980. In the States you can buy these badges for about 25 cents each or less in quantities from a carnival supply house. There are some very nice LOUD toy pistols that use plastic "blanks," which will really surprise an audience. If you are working in a place where a really loud noise would not be appropriate, use a traditional cap^pistol. A small pistol is best for this, especially if the "sheriff' is a large man. BP
5 As opposed to the 32 card "Skat" decks — still popular in Germany. BP
Sort the two decks according to their values, as follows:
Ace of clubs to King of clubs - red backs Ace of spades to King of spades - red backs Ace of hearts to King of hearts - blue backs Ace of diamonds to King of diamonds - blue backs.
Now prepare the FACES of these cards with roughing fluid. This is available from most magic dealers.6 Try it first on scrap cards to see how much fluid you need to apply to get the proper amount of holding power! You must be able to separate the cards effortlessly, without fumbling. At the same time, however, they must stay together well enough that you don't reveal any of the concealed cards prematurely.
Depending on the strength of the fluid, you can either apply it to the entire surface with cotton or you can simply apply it in the shape of a cross or a wavy line. As I have said, you will have to determine this through trial and error. However, a correctly prepared Brainwave Deck will last about 500 performances.7
After you have prepared all the cards, allow them to dry for one hour (!!) Assemble the cards as follows: Alternating face up and face down: King of Diamonds - face up
Ace of Clubs - face down Queen of Diamonds - face up Two of Clubs - face down, etc.
The last card of these two suits is the KING OF CLUBS, face down - that is, back upwards. - Now you
6 Krylon matte finish makes a great roughing fluid. It comes in a spray can and dries very quickly. Two medium coats will do for a Brainwave Deck. BP
7 Eric Lewis' A Continuation of Miracles (Magical Publications, Sierra Madre, CA. 1980, p. 25-6) has information on the rough and smooth principle. BP
begin again, as before with the King of Hearts face up, the Ace of Spades face down, etc. as above. The last card, which will be the top card of the pack, is the face down King of Spades. - If a red card is named, take the cards from the box with the red side showing. If a black card is named, take the cards from the case with the blue side showing.
If the pairs of cards do not move smoothly over one another, lightly powder ONLY THE BACKS of them.8 In no case should you allow the powder to fall upon the faces of the cards, otherwise the rough and smooth effect would be destroyed.
If you wish to show a red card, such as the seven of hearts, reversed in the deck, you must take the deck out of the case so the red backs are facing the audience. Then you spread the cards from hand to hand, stop at the 7th card, and separate the cards. As you know, the seventh of hearts with the blue back lies underneath the 7th card. Always keep the halves of the deck separated at the point where the card lies, and show the card slowly and clearly!! Then put everything back as it was, so the deck is always ready for the next performance.
To make it significantly easier to locate the correct card, you could mark the upper left corner in pencil, using a mark that is not visible at a distance greater than 1 meter. Place a dot in the upper left corner of the top card, a "2" on the second, a "3" on the third card, etc. The card lying above the jack is marked with a "J," use a "Q" for the queen and a "K" for the king. The card above the second ace gets a dot, and the series repeats itself for the rest of the pack.
8 The old standby for this was zinc stearate baby powder. This is no longer available, although zinc stearate itself is, if you buy a huge quantity from a chemical supply company. Calcium stearate powder is much better. BP
Mark both sides of the deck using this method. Then you will be able to find the selected card with certainty.9
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