By Steve Kuske
Other poker demonstrations are pseudo-serious or plain entertainment. The layman will see this as a genuine demonstration of card cheating as done by a real mechanic — and it is, only better.
Effect: An examinable deck is shuffled by the spectator till sundown. The magi then riffle shuffles the deck a few times. The spectator fairly cuts the deck. The magi then deals poker hands and deals himself a full house. %
Please consider the problem before reading the method. This trick involves no palming, switches, lapping, stocking, jumping the cut, or trick cards.
Method: This is a method right out of Expert Card Technique that cheats us to get a few good cards. The method is altered to deliver you a pat hand, and therein lies the merit of this trick. Take a new deck that has a borderless back design and throw away Queen, Jack, Ten, Nine and eight. Remove the Aces, Kings, any Jokers and edge mark them in a manner suitable for your lighting working conditions. I use an eraser and remove a think crescent of ink on opposite corners of the backs.
Performance: Let the deck be examined and* shuffled. As you riffle shuffle the deck your goal is to space the marked cards more or less evenly throughout the deck. Of course the edge markings show where the marked cards are if the cards aie spread slightly. After the cut you then deal 6 hands of poker, using a second deal to save the marked cards for yourself.
Comments: The dealing of 6 hands is a strength of the trick as you can brag that you will beat your opponent and 4 of his pals as well. Dealing yourself a pat hand gives the trick real punch, so practice the shuffling so as to give yourself a high percentage of success. The borderless back design of the cards makes a so-so second deal look like a great one, and also makes the demonstration appear more fair as casinos use borderless playing cards. It is hard to deal the cards with a steady rhythm. The trick will look more smooth if you deal your opponents cards' face up, and pause to make comments.
THE LADY VANiSHES
By Jan Heins
Here is a trick for the non-expert which has proved to be very effective for lay audiences and has on occasion fooled magicians.
Take any Queen (actually any card will do, but a Queen makes sense of the title of the effect) and apply glue to about two-thirds of its face surface. Stick it onto the card and put the rest of the cards inside the case.
Prior to performance place a duplicate of the card in some apparently inaccessible place — say the coat pocket of your intended victim.
To perform, remove the cards from the case and rest them on top of the case — face downwards. Apparently show the bottom card by raising the end of pack, but it is the card stuck to the case which they see. This is a simple matter unless you have the case the wrong way around.
Hand the pack out to be shuffled. Perfohn your favourite magical gesture and have victim search the pack for the noted card. When he cannot find it — suggest he looks in his pockets.
Alternatively you could turn your back as he shuffles the pack and looks for his card. When he fails to find it take the pack from him and ask the name of the card. You look through the cards and accuse him of removing it. This he will deny and you reply by saying, "You are sure you did not put it in your pocket?" Persuade him to feel in his pockets where much to his surprise he will find the card.
The effect is best used as an opener as the case is already in your hand which makes the procedure quite natural and preferable to performing it later on in the programme when the action of picking up the case and resting the pack on it would look extremely suspicious.
DAI VERNON'S "CENTREPIECE" Described by Phil Goldstein
Some time back, Dai Vernon posed the following problem: the four Aces are shown and placed into the centre of the pack. The performer now deals out two four-card hands. When these are turned up, it is seen that the performer has dealt himself the four Aces — apparently from the centre of the deck.
I published a solution under the title "Poker Angle" in the March, 1978 issue of S.O.B. Jr., and a modified version, "Bi-Angle", in the October, 1980 issue of New Tops. Recently, Dai developed his own routine, based on my solution. The result is a most impressive demonstration of card table artifice.
To begin, state that you will remove the four Aces from the pack. In fact, five cards are taken — the Aces plus an indifferent card. The indifferent card is positioned fourth from the face of the packet. Fan the cards face up as four, using a Single Buckle Spread (the indifferent card being hidden squared beneath the third card). Just the four Aces will show. Square the packet, and table it face down.
Pick up the pack, obtaining a break beneath the top two cards. The Ace packet is taken and apparently inserted into the centre of
the pack. Actually, it goes into the break, but via the Depth Illusion ("Tilt") technique, the audience will believe they are in the middle.
Dribble the pack to the table, to prove (to any informed spectators) that no breaks are being held. State that you will retrieve the Aces by using the legendary Centre Deal.
Pick up the pack, and deal out two hands, turning the cards face up as they are dealt. The first card is dealt to the spectator. On the next, perform a Second Deal, giving an Ace to yourself. Deal the next card normally to the spectator. Second Deal an Ace to yourself. Deal the next card normally to the spectator. Deal the next card (an Ace) normally to yourself. Second Deal the next card to the spectator. Finally, deal the next card fairly to yourself — the last Ace.
It is true that the above routine requires some skill in Second Dealing — but, properly presented, you will be given credit for far greater skill.
Most prediction effects involve a force of some kind, and unless the force is skillfully performed the impact of the effect is considerably lessened. The beauty of the following effect is that no force is used — in fact it is the very freedom of choice given to the spectator that makes the effect so strong.
This is what happens. The performer hands the spectator a pack of cards to examine and shuffle. When they are satisfied that the cards have been well mixed, they are asked to spread them face down on the table and to remove ANY card and place it, still face down, to one side.
The performer then recaps on what has been done, and tells the spectator that before he began the experiment he had a feeling that from out of the entire pack they would remove a certain card. He admits that he might be wrong in this, but he thought that the card they'd remove would be the six of diamonds and he turns over a business card he has been holding and shows the six of diamonds written down.
The spectator is then invited to turn the selected card over for the first time and it proves to be — the six of diamonds!
The method is very simple. The performer uses a marked pack of cards and a thumb writer. Knowing that, the working should now be obvious.
The spectator is given the cards to examine and shuffle and is told to remove one card keeping it face down on the table. The performer simply reads the marking on the back of the card, makes a note of it on the business card with a thumb writer (the initials of the card will do, i.e. 6D), and patters to the effect that he anticipated that the six of diamonds would be the card they'd remove from the pack.
It's as simple as that, and yst to the spectator it's almost a miracle for the spectator knows that he could have removed ANY card from the pack and yet you had anticipated the very card he did remove.
Whilst the above method is perfectly adequate the following variation and embellishment may find favour with some subscribers who have a liking for more sophisticated means for achieving their effects, and also are not averse to a little extra preparation.
You will require a packet of small envelopes into which your business card will fit snugly. From one of these remove about an inch square from the bottom left hand corner of the address side and put the envelope on the bottom of the packet which hides the cut out.
Put a secret mark on the backs of the Ace to ten of diamonds denoting their value — a pack with a geometrical back design will make this a simple matter. These marked cards are returned to the pack so that reading from the top of the face down pack they become every other card. A quick way to do this is to put them on the top and give the pack an in-faro.
Commence the performance by shuffling the cards — false shuffle with faces towards the spectators retaining the set-up. The spectators seeing the face card changing will accept that the cards are well mixed. Put the pack face downwards onto the table.
Remarking that you will make a prediction write the following on your business card. The brackets indicate a space to be filled in later:
You will stop at the
Place it writing side hidden onto the table, and take the packet of envelopes and remove the prepared one. Open it out keeping the cut-out towards yourself and put your prediction card inside so that the space in your message registers with the cut-out. Seal and drop onto the table address side undermost.
Put the pack infront of spectator and ask him to take one card at a time from the top of the pack and to stop any time he wishes. Demonstrate what is required of him by removing the top card and put it onto the table, otherwise he may keep the cards in his hand after removing them and this is not desired.
'When the spectator stops, one of the marked cards will be either on top of the pack, or on top of the pile of cards he has removed. Pick up the envelope and point to the marked card saying, "This is the last card you removed" or "This is the card at which you stopped," whichever applies — at the same time filling in the blank space through the cut-out with your nail writer making your prediction tally with the marked card.
You now put the envelope back onto the table (they will not remember that you even touched it) and pick up the marked card dropping it face upwards onto the table.
Next invite the spectator to turn the top card of both the pack and the pile of the cards he removed and call his attention to the fact that if he had stopped one before or one later the card would have been a different one.
Pick up the envelope and tearing open the end pull the card part-way out. Invite spectator to take the card and read the prediction.
By putting the pack onto the table for the spectator to remove the cards one at a time, slows up his progress and he is almost certain to stop before he reaches the end of the stack. Should he reach the end of the stack before he stops, all is not lost. Stop him and take the pack, remarking that you want it to be a completely haphazard 'stop'. Ask him to continue as before with the cards already removed and to stop anytime he wishes somewhere in the middle.
PIET FORTON'S FAN CLUB Described by Fred Robinson
This is a new and original method of producing two freely selected cards. The fan club theme provides scope for producing more entertainment than is usual in effects wherein selected cards are eventually found. Such effects often lack opportunity for spectator involvement on the way to the climax which often lacks interest.
In addition to an ordinary pack you will need to have a pen at the ready. One which will write clearly on the face of a card — a fibre or nylon tipped one is preferred to one with a ball point. Watching the magician struggling to make a legible mark on a playing card can hardly be regarded as entertainment.
Although this effect may be performed at any time it is best used after the spectators have shown some appreciation for one of the tricks. It would be somewhat presumptive to expect anyone to want to be a member of your fan club just because you claim to be a magician. So introduce it after a trick has gone really well.
When this happens, ask a couple of ladies if they would like to join your fan club, and should they show some reluctance, point out that you do not make a charge, or use any other means which you think may persuade them to do so.
When they agree, spread out the cards face up across the table and get them each to choose a card for you to sign. When the cards have been removed talk about the cards they have chosen, and use it as an excuse to tell their future etc. They will most likely enjoy this much more than any trick you have done, or one likely to do.
You now sign the cards after asking their names, telephone numbers and any other relevant details which may, or may not, be of use later on. Give them back the signed cards, and acting as though you have just had an afterthought (apologies to Harry Lorayne) suggest that they might like you to do one trick with their membership cards.
Whatever the reply pick up the pack and holding it the left hand riffle off the bottom quarter of the cards and ask one of the ladies to push her card part-way into the pack. Riffle off a few more cards and get the other lady to do likewise. Plenty of audience participation here.
Using the Multiple-Shift control the two cards to the bottom of the pack, and with a false shuffle apparently lose them somewhere in the pack.
With the right thumb take a break above the two chosen cards and with the left hand pull the top half of the pack forward and hold it in position with the left index finger. Sketch (1) shows the position at this point.
The left hand now takes the upper portion between the thumb on the face card of the exposed part of the overhanging top half and the fingers on the back of the card, removes it, and making a one-handed fan turns it face upwards. The right hand next places the bottom half onto the fan sliding the two chosen cards below the break in between two adjacent cards of the fan. See sketch (2).
Now for the difficult bit. The left hand tosses the bottom half into the air and ends up with the backs of the fanned cards facing the spectators with one of the selections sticking out from the top edge of the fan, face outwards. Sketch (3). Meanwhile the bottom half has been caught with the right hand.
The other selection which is hidden behind the one in view is dealt with as follows. Make a one-handed fan with the half in the right hand holding it deep in the thumb crotch and bring the edge of this fan just below the edge of the one in the left hand. With the left thumb pull off the hidden selection from behind the other onto the right hand fan. See sketch (4).
Both hands now bring their respective fans up with the backs of the cards towards the audience, each with a selected card showing faces outwards protruding from the top edge. This makes a nice display for the climax.
Give your fans their membership cards back — with thanks.
Finally a couple of hints. It will help when pulling the hidden selection from the left hand fan onto the right hand fan if some downwards pressure is applied with the left thumb — it will help to release the card. It will also be found that if the one-handed fan made with the right hand is to be done smoothly it will depend largely how the bottom half is caught. Catching the half with a downwards grab from above will be found to give the best results especially if it is caught with one end well in the thumb crotch.
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