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A couple of years ago Fr. Cyprian's Hofzinser Card Problem was published by Karl Fulves. Here is my solution to the problem using the Overture Change.

The four Aces are withdrawn from the pack and given to a spectator for him to shuffle and place onto the table face down. Neither he nor you know the order or position of any of the cards.

Have him choose a card and note it. It is then returned to the pack and controlled to the top.

Pick up the Aces and hold them fanned out faces towards the spectator in your right hand with the thumb on the back and fingers on the face making it obvious that you do not look at the faces.

Ask him to touch the Ace that is of the same suit as the card he chose and move it to the left of the fan without looking at its face. It is now in position ready for the Overture Change.

Get a little finger break under the top card (the chosen one) and switch it for the Ace indicated as the left hand turns the Ace second from the left of the fan face upwardg»(the one next to the one being switched). Turn the other two Aces face up one at a time. You now have one Ace? face down and the other three face up held in a fan in your right hand.

Remark that you could not have possibly known the order of the Aces or which one corresponded to the suit of the card you selected until you touched it. "Neither do I know the name of the card you selected so please name it". Invite him to take the face down card and turn it over — Climax.

This solution fulfils the conditions of the Hofzinser Problem in the the performer does not know the name of the card selected or the order of the Aces, and no gimmicked cards are used. Maybe Hofzinser had a change of his own to achieve the effect — if so, it is unlikely that anyone has knowledge of it. Whatever method he used it is doubtful if it was any more direct than the one explained above.

Here is another approach to this move that I have been working on for a number of years. I showed it to Harry Lorayne who committed it to memory, but as far as I know has not published it — just to be complete, it is included here.


Locate any four of a kind and cull them to the top of the pack. Ribbon spread the pack face down across the table and have someone pull four cards out of the spread leaving them face down.

After giving them a chance to change any of the four cards if they so wish, gather up the pack and get a left little finger break under the fourth card and a break under the top card with the third finger as you square up the cards.

Next, pick up the four cards with the right hand. The left hand gives a little assistance enabling the top card of the pack to be added to the bottom of the four selections. The little finger break facilitates this secret addition.

Immediately with the left hand pull out the bottom card of the packet and place it face up on top of the packet side jogged to the right at an angle. You are now in a position to Overture Change the three top cards of the pack which are marked off with the third finger break with the four cards under the angled top card of those in the right hand as follows.

Turn the angled top card face down making the switch as you do so, and then turn all cards face up — singly — starting with the bottom card and using the same left hand action which duplicates the one used when making the basic change.

Should one of your four of a kind happen to be included in the original selections, keep track of its position allowing it to become the bottom card of the packet to be switched — switching three for four to end.

The effects given here are just a few of the uses to which I have put the Overture Change. Readers who master the move will undoubtedly find many other applications and will hopefully share them with us.

Fred Robinson


London's first Psychics and Mystics Fayre happened last month. Every conceivable kind of chicanery, other than honest magic was represented. Tarot readers (not marked cards),

Fred Robinson


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Fundamentals of Magick

Fundamentals of Magick

Magick is the art and practice of moving natural energies to effect needed or wanted change. Magick is natural, there is absolutely nothing supernatural about it. What is taught here are various techniques of magick for beginners. Magick is natural and simple and the techniques to develop abilities should be simple and natural as well. What is taught on this site is not only the basics of magick, but the basics of many things.

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