Mixed Reaction

Stewart James' "Miraskill" is one of those simple tricks that has stood the test of time. The following effect begins with the first stage of "Miraskill" but then moves into a second phase which employs a totally different principle of Gene Finnell's.

Before commencing secretly steal out any two black cards from the pack and place them out of sight as they are not used.


1. Hand the pack to a spectator for shuffling. As he is doing this take a piece of paper and write:


Fold the paper and place it on the table. He now carries out the Miraskill procedure as follows:

He is to turn over cards two at a time and if they consist of two reds he places them in one pile on the table If they are two blacks he places them into a second pile beside the reds, and if they consist of one red and one black he places them into a third discard pile. This procedure is carried out until the pack is depleted.

2. Ask the spectator to count the red cards then the black cards. He then opens the prediction and finds it to be correct, because there will always be two more reds than there are blacks.

3. You now ask the spectator to pick up the discard heap and hold it face down. This discard pile is now in the same order as it would have been had the pile been set in red-black-red rotation and Riffle Shuffled. In other words, it is at the second stage of the Gilbreath Principle.

Have the spectator deal the packet into two face down piles, dealing alternately left then right as in a two-handed game.

Explain that you will now make a second prediction and ask him to hand you any pile. Take this pile and turn it face up. You now push off pairs of cards without reversing their order and if they are of opposing colours, drop them face up on the table forming a single pile.

If they are both the same colour, turn the pair face down and drop them onto the tabled pile, and continue in this manner through the packet.

This will result in a single pile with some cards face up and some face down.

Ht Ht Ht Ht Ht Ht Ht Ht Ht Ht Ht Ht Ht Ht Ht Ht Ht Ht Ht

4. Explain that the prediction you have made is - you will remove cards simultaneously from the top of each pile and, if both cards are face down there will be NO MATCH IN COLOUR, however when a face up card is showing on top BOTH CARDS WILL MATCH. If you now carry out this procedure, you will find this to be the case, thus concluding a seemingly impossible trick.

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