As far as can be ascertained the plot of the Ace to Ten or Clubs of one packet magically becoming arranged in the same order as a similar packet, was conceived many decades ago by Herbert Milton.
The idea attracted the attention of relatively few other performers which include Nate Leipzig, Charlie Miller and Jack Avis, but despite its clear cut uncomplicated effect has not become popular with magicians in general.
The following presentation of the 'Sympathetic Clubs' theme gets a very strong response from the spectators probably because the spectator plays an active role in determining the outcome. It also brings the effect, generally regarded as being more suitable for platform presentation, into the field of close-up magic.
The performer commences by removing the Ace to ten of clubs from a blue backed pack and arranges them in numerical order with the Ace at the face of the packet. They are displayed — the packet cut and placed aside.
A red pack is introduced which the spectator riffle shuffles twice and then removes the ten clubs keeping them in the order left after the two shuffles. One of the cards is found to be reversed and left as such.
When the two packets are compared they are found to be in exactly the same order with the same card reversed.
In brief, the effect is achieved as follows. After arranging the ten clubs from the blue pack in numerical order they are counted from the right hand into the left Biddle fashion during which certain cards are 'biddled' changing the order of cards from being in numerical order to one which corresponds to that of the ten clubs which are on top of the red pack. The two riffle shuffles which the spectator gives to this pack distributes the ten clubs throughout the pack without changing their order. Therefore, when they are taken from the pack in rotation both packets will be in the same order.
Here are the details of the Biddle sequence and the move for secretly reversing one of the cards.
First, arrange the ten clubs in order and hold the packet face up in the right hand with the second finger at the outer end and the thumb at the inner end in the approved manner.
The left thumb pulls the Ace at the face of the right hand packet onto the left hand. The Two is now pulled onto the fingers of the left hand, so that it can be stolen back beneath the cards in the right hand as the left thumb pulls off the Three from the face of the right hand cards onto the Ace in the left hand. The next face card in the right hand — the Four — is pulled off with the left thumb at the same time returning the stolen Two beneath the right hand cards to those in the left hand. The order of the cards in the left hand reading from the face is now 4 - 2 - 3 - Ace. This move is standard practice and wellknown.
The Five and Six are next pulled singly onto the left fingers and then stolen with the right hand beneath its cards as the left thumb pulls off the Seven. They are returned to the left hand packet beneath the Eight. This latter is stolen beneath the Ten with the right hand as the left thumb pulls off the Nine. Finally the Ten with the Eight concealed beneath it are placed as one card on top of the others in the left hand.
To secretly reverse one card turn the packet over face downwards and turn the top card (the Ace) face up on the rest. As this is done secure a finger break under the top face down card. Use those two cards held as one to turn the third card (the Two) face up. Square up the three cards and turn them face down retaining a break between them and the rest of the cards.
What has been achieved here is that the Three is now face up using a method described in Expert Card Technique (page 109). Three more cards are pushed beneath these three with the left thumb and the six cards squared. The right hand turns them over showing a Five at the face. Place these cards below those in the left hand.
The above sequence should be rehearsed until it is committed to memory and can be performed without hesitation.
Prior to performance take the ten clubs from the red pack and stack them by going through the above sequence. Place them on top of the pack and put it into the case.
To begin the trick remove the ten club cards from the blue pack and arrange them in order. You then slowly and casually show them to be in numerical order as you perform the biddle sequence explained above. Each card should be called as it is received into the left hand.
Turn the cards face downwards and perform the moves for secretly reversing a card pattering that the cards are in order from Ace (show Ace), Two (show Two), Three, Four, Five (show Five at face of cards in the right hand) to Ten (show Ten on face of left hand packet). Place the cards in the left hand on top of the right hand packet and put them aside in such a way as to suggest that they cannot be interferred with (in a glass, encircled with an elastic band or under a coin).
You now take the red cards, and if you so desire give them a brief false shuffle retaining the stack intact. Cut the pack at about twenty into two piles and ask spectator to riffle shuffle the two halves together. Square the cards and repeat the above, this time cutting at about thirty. On completion of the shuffles the ten clubs are removed in order from the top. The Three which is reversed should remain so.
The ten blue clubs packet is now placed beside the red packet and the spectator invited to remove and show the top card of both piles simultaneously — they match. He is asked to continue showing the cards of both packets in a similar manner revealing that both are in exactly the same order throughout.
This is a gag I often use which always gets a laugh. You will need a glass eye with a miniature card stuck on the back, say the King of Clubs. Have a regular King of Clubs the twenty first card from the top of a face down pack.
Commence by having a spectator cut a small portion from the top of the pack and then you deal twenty from the top in a face down row. Request spectator to count his cards and while he is so doing get the glass eye into the finger palm position.
Let's assume he has twelve cards. You count backwards from the twentieth card turning each card face up until you reach the twelfth which you push towards him telling him that the card was arrived at by pure chance as you had no control of how many cards are cut from the top, but he just happened to cut twelve, so all is fair.
Continue by saying "To prevent you cheating I'll keep my eye on your card" — as you say this, mime taking out your eye producing the glass one and keep your eye closed. Place the glass eye on the chosen card.
Gather up the rest of the cards as you recap on the fairness of the procedure and that he could not cheat as you had your eye on the card. Ask him to pick up the glass eye and place it aside and turn the chosen card face up. As the King of Clubs is revealed remark "It's an 'eye' card." Tell him to turn the eye up and he sees the miniature 'eye' card. Take the glass eye and fake transfer to the other hand which bangs it back into the head and re-open the eye which has been kept closed throughout. Dispose of the eye by picking up the cards placing both in the pocket. It's a fun thing and should be played for laughs.
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