Hand Deal, in a simple two-hand version, first appeared in print in Sachs' 1885 classic, Sleight of Hand". British magician Lionel King made a feature of it in his performances during the first half of this century. Mr. King, before his death in 1958, gave A1 Koran and Billy McComb permission to use his routine. Those two gentlemen performed the experiment with great success, as have others since, including Ken Brooke. In my experience, the Nap Hand Deal is one of the strongest tricks possible for a mentalist when working private parties.
The game of Nap (short for Napoleon) unfortunately is only known in England. For that reason, British performers had an exclusive on it for many years. Billy McComb came up with the idea of adapting the presentation to the game of
"Pp. 143-146 in the second edition, pp. 134-137 in the third.
Whist for his American performances. In Germany, I use the venerable and popular game of Sixty-six, which I played as a boy with my schoolmates, cousins and friends.
All previous versions of this trick with which I am familiar use a gimmicked pack containing three identical sets of fifteen cards, and I am aware of only one method using a deck that can be shuffled and cut. It was originated by John Derris and sold many years ago by Davenport's in London.12
For years I thought about adding a version of the Nap Hand Deal to my act, but I couldn't find a method that completely satisfied me. Finally the idea of using a ridged card struck me. The principle is applied in much the same manner as just explained in "Alpha". A ridged card made it possible for me to give the deck to the winning spectator at the end of the performance!
You can use any fifteen-card setup for this trick you prefer. I personally use A1 Koran's from Al Koran's Professional Presentations by Hugh Miller.13 Unfortunately, I know nothing about poker, but I'm certain this method can also be used for a poker demonstration. All that would be necessary is to replace the Whist setup with a poker stack.
The top card of the setup is ridged. I also mark its back with a subtle fingerprint or the blockout technique previously described (pp. 25-26). The prepared deck is in its case and on your table when the presentation begins.
Ask those in your audience who play whist (or poker) to raise their hands. Invite three of these persons to come on stage, l2I have Stanton Carlisle to thank for bringing this version to my attention.
and have them stand around your card table, one at the back and one at either side. Take the deck from the case and nonchalantly cut off about a third of it (at least fifteen cards: your setup). Ask one of the volunteers to cut off about half the remaining cards. Pass the balance of the deck to a second volunteer.
As in "Alpha" you demonstrate how you wish them to shuffle their packets, while you false shuffle yours, retaining the order of the fifteen-card stock. After this, place your packet on the table and ask the volunteers to place their shuffled packets on top of yours. Then ask the volunteers to cut the cards, taking turns as necessary. While they are doing this, you must keep up a constant line of commentary. Once you see that the marked card has arrived on top of the pack, leave the table and step into the audience. With proper attention given to presentational psychology, it will be forgotten that you ever touched the cards.
Now perform the trick as it has been described in many magic texts14, but with one important difference: The winner receives the deck that has been used in the routine as a prize! This is a cunning touch for intelligent spectators to ponder, and quite a shock for magical colleagues.
"For example, the Koran routine already referenced, or the Ken Brooke Series, Volume 4, published by The Ace Place, London, England.
T^e Out of Sorts Variations
Phil Goldstein published a booklet titled Thequal. One of the tricks in it, "Out of Sorts", fascinated me. Phil has given me permission to describe his trick in this book, a favor for which I am most grateful.
The effect is presented as a demonstration of remote viewing. Apparently, the performer never sees the cards, yet he names a card a spectator is only thinking of! The effect could be the climax of a blindfold routine and, if the performer is a good showman, the audience will talk a long time about it.
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Today I'm going to teach you a fundamental Mentalism technique known as 'cold reading'. Cold reading is a technique employed by mentalists and charlatans and by charlatan I refer to psychics, mediums, fortune tellers or anyone that claims false abilities that is used to give the illusion that the person has some form of super natural power.