If I suspect I'm in fast company, or if I know I'm being scrutinized to an unusual degree, there's a variation that goes by everyone. You probably won't have much use for it, but for the sake of completeness, here is my under-fire peek:
We'll pick up the action at the point when two cards are left on the table and the subject's card is the lowermost of the three gathered in the left hand. "There is something...with both of these cards." I hold my right hand over one card, then over the other, back and forth. "Yeah, something's going on here. I really think this is the card you [I point to the subject] wrote a specific persons name on; but there is something here, too."
I openly pick up the problem card (not the one I've claimed belongs to my subject) and read the name to myself. Wise ones will suspect I am peeking for a one-ahead or some other ruse. This is a red herring. But I also get a strange psychic hit by doing it. Here's what I mean:
As I read the card I've picked up, I square the three cards in my left hand. Two things now happen simultaneously: My left hand turns palm down, so that I can secretly glance at the name on the bottom card,
Tangled Web while my right hand throws its card writing-side up onto the table. All eyes follow and read the name on the tossed card, giving perfect cover for the glimpse. (You know, big motion covers small motion.) I peek the name, but don t pause for even a blink.
My right hand slides the card lying name upward toward the spectators and adjusts its position for reading. At the same time, my left hand turns palm up (rotating the cards again writing-side down) and relaxes. This is covered by the question, "Whose writing is this?" and I make eye contact.
When I find out who wrote the exposed name, I say, "I asked you to pick a name at random, but be honest. You actually know someone with this name, don't you?" I point at the card. Most often I will immediately get a yes. If not, a little fishing will turn up someone in his life with the name (if desperate, I'll go for a celebrity). "So there are some feelings connected with that name for you. Good. I thought it was me."
I flip the card under discussion writing-side down and drop the three cards I'm holding onto it. Carefully pushing them aside, I now go into the reading with the final card.
Finish as above.
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