Starting Easy

77le simplest things are the privilege of the great masters.


A Psychological Test

This is a wonderful interpretation of the classic effect usually called Spectator Cuts to the A«*, wherein a spectator does exactly as the tide stat« He cuts a shuffled Lk into four approximately equal piles and, on turning over the tor, card oí each, he finds an Ace.

Tills particular version Is amusing and involves the audience emotionally. The tnrly marvelous thing from the viewpoint of the method, is that you can use any borrowed ami shuffled deck.

The presentational idea employed here, the use humorous questions, Ls Herb Zarrows, the creator of various miracles and the worid-famous false shuffle that bears his name Mr. Zar-row used this ploy in the context of a similar, yet different, effect" Johnny Thompson, one of the most versatile giants in our ait, and a close friend of Zarruws. liked the idea and devel oped his own remarkable version"


In the course of a personality test a spectator ruts to four ranis dial exactly match the "psy-chograrrf the performer lias previously established for this individual.

Construction, Management and Script

T\ im to someone and explain to him: "7lie following experiment has been specially tailored to your requirements. It's a psychological test thai will let us know mare nlxyul the atfili lies hidden in your personality. I need, however, to ask you a Jew peisonal questions for this—not intímale questions, but still my personal ones. Is this okay with you?"

If you deliver these lines with tongue in cheek, while assuming an impisliantfle and a I winkle in your eye, the spectator will harcfly refuse you, as he should be veiy interested—as will everyone else—in finding out how in the world you are going to fulfill such a claim. In addition, people an? interested in hearing other people admit thing* about themselves, even if it is trivial infonnalion they alrearfy know; but dial's (almost) anotherfitoiy.

Hand die deck to die spectator, requesting dial he shuffle it thoroughly and cut it. After he lias done so, take it back and explain in your most convincingpseiul< ^scientific manner, "ffy means of this shuffle you hair brought the amis into a specific ontrr that mmxjnndsto your unique personality. No othrr person on emth would luur creah d the same on In:"

Considering the passible arrangements into which fifty-two cards can fall during a shuf-fle-a figure with more than fifty zeros in it-vour statement is ¡>erfe<ily tnte. I loweven we don't want to burden the audience with diis kind of information I mention .t to you as just a private aside.

Starting Easy

as you are saying the above, spread the deck briefly fece up in your hands, in illustration of your statement; and in doing so, secretly note die rearmost card in die deck. For the sake of description we will assume this lobe the Four of Hearts. Turn the deck face down and place it momentarily on the table, in fjont of tire spectator. Although this method of glimpsing is perfectly legitimate and wffl pass unnoticed, you may want to use a more subtle technique, such as the toj>card riffle glimpse (Volume 2, page 355). Using this Smpse you can take die deck back from die spectator, glimpse tire top card and then set die deck in front of him without overtly looking at die faces of die cards.

.fo)V JanmnJ first or iifter December thirty-*Bm is 0*JM and it 'is hoped you have chosen to perform this

^^Thisisdbvkw^anonser«quesMnar 0n the peifomiei's person-

spectators don. catch d*

¡sss^sesesssss aifify retort, jm Ous is a vmj dca r ago resting on lop die start'Here you simply name the mate of the card sighted mom of the deck.

Pick up die deck and spread it, with the faces toward yourself, imtil you reach the Four of Diamonds, which you proceed to place face up and to your left at Position A on the table.

As you go through these actions, be careful to leave die orrier of the cards unchanged in the deck The Four of Hearts must still be on top. As vou spread die deck—or better, as you square up the rank after having placed the Four of Diamonds on the table-suireptitioi^J < UKMfieiiuty of the card second from the top, which we will assume to be the o!?£?^ d0Wn onw more ^ deposit it momentarily on the table in fro"

*«k near die spectator somehow links it with his reactions and pmvuies a ttttie mom mtngue, without von.---------------w- - - J

«^rZ"l"r"iUg' du m mr socks and then the shoes or vi* question ****»>out your conclus= —


conclusion: "Eight ofClubs-

seize the deck, spread the CARD COLLECE

the third <3*1 tan theZ,SgK

Tbm again to the assisting spectator and casually ask him, smiling and as if it weren't a qui*

aren%t 'Wtlfflteult "Most onhetime the spertatOT^simity answj, No. Tbwhich youtapne<fiately retort with pseudoseriousne«, "Qunm nf Hearts; wry dearty the Queen of.Hams." Look for the Queen of 1 leans in .he deck, .since thus is 2 twin of the card you previously spotted tiurrl from the top. Place it face up at P. «ition (•■ that is, to the nghl of the pair of cards already nesting face up on the table. This action «ill alkrw you to sight die fourth card from the left of the race-up spread, which we will say is the Six, ,f Diamonds. Place the balance of the deck back in front of the spectator as you come to your last question.

"And now for the fourth and final question, which vM cotrqiele a pretty dmr piclu re of ycurperSOnMly: Do you eat a banana while you jxxl it, or do you [>cri it and thru rat it}" Of course it doesn't matter wiiat your spectator answers, because your diagnosis is immediate and dead earnest "Six of Hearts—it couldn't be anything else. A typical case of Six qf Hea rt His." Look for the Six of Hearts in the deck and place it face up at the right end of the line of cards on the table.

Let's look at the situation right now. On the table is a row of four face-up cards; from left to right: the Four of Diamonds at Position A, the Eight of Clubs at Position B. the Queen of Hearts at Position C and the Six of Hearts at Position D. The top four cards of the deck should be the four mates in the same order from top down: the Four of Hearts, followed by the Eight of Spades, the Queen of Diamonds, and the Six of Diamonds fourth from the top. > W-MH

"These aiv tlpw your four personal cards. As you can easily understand, they in Add be totally different cards had we done this experiment with somebody else or had your answers been different. We can look at these cards as farts in your life. So please don't worry and don't try to attach any value to them, as they aiv marly to be seen as statistical information. We now come to the psychological test proper, which will slurw (f your personality really matches the data provided by you under strict scientific conditions." If your audience is not highly amused at this point, change the audience or your career plans.

You now ask the spectator to cut the balance of the deck into Tour approximately equal piles. If vou place the deck behind Card D and just ask him to make four piles by cutting the«leek progressively to the left, as is suggested in many textbooks, tire last packet with du- rek™ cards on top Ls often considerably smaller than the other packets I My the spj^or dn>ps too large a, xrrtion tan die bottom for the first pile leaving a small ^ ^ nils renders the execution of die technique about to be described more .UF a I(Lj *

sure dint he fulfills his task abiding to your reqvrirema^ ^ ^

die deck behind die Eight of Oul«, which Ls the card at Position H No »«tato * ^

sarv—hist do it Ask him to art about half of the deck. < rr mayV a little n on- In.. th< « V

the Queen of Hearts. This leaves a little less than half the cards al B and a little more than half at C ^ '

Starting Easy

, , *sk him to ait about half the pack« N°, u to the spot behind D, and half from

^ j bellind B to A. The paekel behind me 1 learts now has the relevant .mis on top.

With your right hand, pick die top eanl off die packet at A and place it fac e down in your left hand, which receives it in dealing position As you take die card, use a covered end grip (Volume 1, page 17). This lias no function yet, but it serves to establish a situation of conditioned naturalness (Volume 2, l>age 450), which will cover the execution of a sleight tliat will occur in a moment.

Take the top card from Packet B and Packet C in exactly the same way, placing them one after the other onto the card already in your left liand. While doing this, yoi i look at the cards and your hands, thus focusing the audience's attention on your actions. As soon as your right hand is over the locket at Position D, poised to pick up what seems to be the fourth and List rM look up at the subject of your test and remark, "Weivffl iwwseejf you haw ¡Kissed the test."Keep youreyes on the spectator for a second Then look at the audience, moving your gaze from led to right wliile nodding and smiling. If you liave tieen able to establish a good rapport with the audience-arid your theme presentation should make tiiis easy—you will

I ave enough psychological and physical misdirection to be aide to lill ;il least foiu* cards with your nghi liand fn«n the top of the last packet and then deposit these carets on top of those inj our left Imd But even if someone looks direcdy at your liancLs, he'll lx> unable to disc-em m, IT y°"|XJ,fHnu the ™*«saiy actions smootldv. Tlie covered end woiaiKlZ^S^ conditioning sufficiently veil the secret action-die h ITLs aUowed 10 ^over Uic ,o pjdc ,jIj Uie foiir or n,ore moment for v. w rich .» i ^ Vl('k "p a sin«le ranL You will notice tliat you tire allowed a top card, whid, vou ,»H 2T U'J Uie i™'1'' end of the packet to catch just the when you do tlie mulMe n!' I ^ ?? ^ avvay-Mow youraelf the same action and time ^^attenti, AmRdo ,he acdon to° slowly or too rapidly will draw or two. Afler perfuniiinpih •<*' ^haneasy "latter to estimate and reel four canlsp'lis |,lrkuiS >q> exactly four C -Jts liS a WhiJe yr,u W,H amaze yourself by, more often tl^m 1

Immediately place the cards remaining in your right hand, which will be four or more, onto the three cards in your left hand, holding a left litde-iinger break below them. All of this can be covered and justified by one sentence, such as 'Yauhx rut aincthj to these four amis"

The left hand holds the packet in dealing position as the left thumb pushes the top can! to the right. It is taken by the right hand and flipped face up like the page of a book onto the packet "WelL, the first ami—is the Sir of Diamonds, and amrthj mutches your personal card,, the Sir qf Hearts." Point to die Six of Diamonds and then to the Six of I learts on the table, your eyes following your right index finger.

Study die temporal coordination of look and actions, as well as the riivthm. Done comxllv.

no one will suspect you are doing soniediing different tan what you are pretending to da, namely, picking up the top card of each packet

Take die packet from die left hand into right-liand covered end grip as your left Uiumb casually peels off the top three cards, one after the other, into your left hand. (The illustration shows the liands after the first two cards have been peeled off, with die right hand held in open enrl grip to expose the action. In performance a covered end grip is used.)

. . _ „„ ^e's intention, raise Ihe finger and foUow it with your _ ivhfl, this finger has g^*»* . gx,<tatois' eyes and youis. Mold everyone's gaze -K X a fine ^¿¡¡Ssps all the cuds above the break i,, cov^^

. . _ „„ ^e's intention, raise Ihe finger and foUow it with your _ ivhfl, this finger has g^*»* . gx,<tatois' eyes and youis. Mold everyone's gaze -K X a fine ^¿¡¡Ssps all the cuds above the break i,, cov^^

i Wy when the right hand places the Six of Diamonds <uid the cards secreted beneath it onto the pile liehind tlie Sx of Hearts, do you start to look down at your lefl hand, which pus!tes ovw the top card and in thai action spreads the other two cauls slightly, exposing the tad that you aie holding three cards. As you do this, say, "Not bad for a sta ft " As the right hand leares its packet, tl«? index finger genUy kicks the face-up Six of Diamonds, so tlrat it rests slightly askew on ils pile, unobtrusively proving its singleness.

The principle of direction of attention employed here has been depicted in the last four illusions m minute detaiL Tliis manner of managing the eye to lead the spectators' attention

Plrted U]G pmced^ has been conv SeZ: 3 ^cal point of view. ( 'sm,

»^'uZn" :ml lmc0h* «tabUshed face or (7arl' runi ,Jle «wee eartfe (anJ ; Ttl,e other- and place effect rî, PiJ° ***** ^ mate. The final carrk r' m by ,hfJ delation of the (<m fo l)y the spectator speaks for itsdC

Tb end ar u I as a kind of epUogue, shake the spectators hand and pa« on your good wishes: Vonipritulalims! You have passed the test and wa„ now look tnmml abrigfdfutum "

Final Notes

1. rITie presentation of this effect requires a lit de acting ability. Not in the sense of Robert-Houdinfe often misinterpreted quote tliat the magician is an actor playing the part of a magician, but in the sense erf playing yourself as you would behave in a similar situation With the exception of the third question, which die spectator at first won't even identify as being one, all questions need to be asked tongue in cheek. You will notice tluil the spectators answers and reactions will be a source of situational humor, always different, which will again cue you to react as spontaneously as you can. The Master, Dai Vernon, once said that in magic there should \ye no other kind of humor titan that arising from astonishment To this I would i*ld humor derived (torn a situation necessary to the proceedings of tl»e effect

2. There are almost a hundred different methods to do the effect called Spectator Cuts to the Aces, and if you already luive a technical solution to this problem, by all means use it, nither tlian the one explained above. To make this description complete I have opted for detailing an easy and straightforward system built on ideas laid down by Neal Ettas in 1967 and Ijy Edward Mario in 1976.14 For an alternative method, which n\ay l>e tised hea\ I suggest you read The Poker Players Royal Flush" in Chapter 61 (page 1286).

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