Insured Prediction

one less tilan I>ai Vernon ant\

one of I lis most talented students, BniceQsvon,* master in hisownright. FtanBwceCeivon the trick was handed over to Jon Racherbaumer* who published Qawnfevendon in The Hiem-jMnt 7* Racherbaumer in turn showed it to Hany I,oraync, whose flair for good card tricks and a powerful performance style are uncontested* Richard Vollmer, whom I consider one of die worlds leading diinkers when it comes to automatic card tricks and related matters, has been performing tills effect for many years and lias come up with manysubUetirs c >f his own.'1' Having performed this piece for a long time, I was also able to arid several practical details, as well as to identify theoretical notions, which; will be addressed in the foDowingdescnptioa

The perfc inner places aside wliat he calls two insurance cards". When he later apparency fails to locale die spectator's freely thouglit-of card, diese two cards reveal die identity of die selection. As an i u lexpected din iax, the \alue of die "insurance cards" is used to locate the selection in die deck, even though die cards have been shuffled several times by die spectators!

Constmction, Management and Script

Ilave the deck shuffled and cut by a spectator. As he indulges in diese activities, introduce die theme of this illusion, ¿Jong diese lines: iTht$ is a very difficult experiment Art unity it is so difficult, I don't know if it wiH work at nil. However, if it works, / pmrnise that you will remember and talk about it for a very long time. "With these words, you certainty have delivered a prologue, and high expectations, diat should capture any audience's interest.

Vast in case it shouldn't work, IUplacean insurancecaid aside herem the table Since it is twice as difficult, I will take two."Saying this, take the deck from the spectator and turn it face toward you in readiness to spread die cartls face up in your hands. As you are turning the deck, its an easy matter to sight the index of the top card. Personally I like to pick up a left lit de-finger break while the deck Is still face down in dealing position, then turn the deck sidewise and face up. Tlianks to Tbnkai's pivot spread, the ujp c^ard is automatically kicked to the right and its index l>ecomes visible to you

tnn achieved by Using the pad of your left index firmer to pull the |0WBr. S SIS bit - you start spreading the cards face up tn your hands. Well the can) spotted is the Five of Spade*

You must now place two cutis face fan on the table; oneaFivefthe value of the Rlira,^, SSI aLlier a spade (the suit of the glimpsed card) In addibon, the values of the* So S should add to thirteen, a number easily remembered, as it corresponds to the Ziber of cart Is in a suit Actually (he two cards could add up to another number, but fnnnd that keeping the sum the same makes performing this effect much easier, especially for the infrequent performer. After some trial and error, here is what IYe found to be the most efficient method of adiieving the desired result;

As you start spreading the caids with the faces toward yourself, look for the first Five and set it face down to your right on the table. Let's say this is the Five of Diamonds. As you place the card down, mentally subtract five from tliiiteen, which gives you eight. You now look for the Eight or Spades (spades because tlial is the suit of the glimpsed card) and place it, also face down, next to the Five of Diamonds. The configuration of the cards on the table doesn't matter, because the presentation will later take care of any possible misunderstandings. I find it less confusing to locate these cards in two steps, rather than trying to do the mental arithmetic and search for the correct cards on one pass through the deck. It takes almost the same amount of time and is much safer. Notice that during these operations the order of the cards remains unaltered, so tliat the glimpsed Five of Spades is still on top of the deck. Place the two insurance cards well to your right, so tliat they don't occupy the central space needed during the performance; they come into play only at the end

Scpiare up the balance of the deck and place it face down in front of the spectator. We will call this "the spectators space". It will be associated with the spectator's actions, rattier tlian yours. This is initially established during the shuffles he gave die deck. The space will eventually grow to be perceived as "off limits" to you, in the sense tliat you do nothing to any cards when tliey are in this space—or so it will seem Tills thought will be develoix*! as we proceed

Pointing to the two insurance cards, you explain, "Right now you aiv not supposed to know anything about the identity of these cruris. Actually, I might not even be using them, (/" everything woite out. "You want to convey the idea tliat 110 one knows Uiese cards, including yourself, although your wording mast not include yourself, because tiial might provoke contradiction. You imply your lack of knowledge to make the last phase of the trick more coherent, during which you will act surprised at Uie identity of die two caitls.

While keeping the deck witJun the s!)ectator's spat*, start dribbling cards onto the table until me tr,. calls stop Place the undribbled portion of the deck momentarily aside, as vou pick up

"okm 1 mmid w <° «M> n™ »»* rmm v**

me th""L " M -vou ** saying diLs, count off exactly ten caids and tman,, I,,,.,. sp?cktor> so,hal he may do as instructed. It should not look as if vou were S W trT1 number 0fcank 1 it easiest to eye count the cards in groups of Tfemfa? Si f^^^espreading technique taught on page 510 of Volume 3. shuffle Z, ?'"1' CaSUaL ^ a»" as you give him die ten caids to

The foUowm^ will satisfy anyone who thinks von know the number of ihLsrouldbeiniportaiii to the method: "You •,,,,„„„ ,,-J (//.,

/ o^/dn i Jm» ^ W flo^ to s/op me. ^ / omnot 3 «« iSt^o/

007 r ^tH9\Thespedatarwill have to agree with each of thLe statement* 0*/ ^ r ifcfofc / ^ m nundKfr ofmnls, J

Oier^ore m yw to Kptm one tuv or three canLsJnnn those you an holding, an top qf the deck ielide I turn my back. The spectator doe* as instiucted while you ton away U doesn t matter if he puts back no cards at all or any other number, provided he has left himself a few. Lets assume for this explanation (hat he puts liack two cairis and keeps eight.

"Please count the caids silently to yoursefp Have him do so as you look away. Then have him hide liis cards somewhere, placing diem, for instance, in his shirt pocket: Otheis in die audience will probably count silently along with the spectator, which is all righL T\im 1 jack as you explain, "You note have an imjxnlant numtxr in you r wind, which y$u lime nndwd without my having been able to influence you lisychrjloyuully. This is your magic mnn bek " Whatever meaning the spectators attach to this statement, it will liave the effect of a plausible explanation and serve as a smooth transition to the next step.

Take the balance of die deck and count ten canLs face down, one by one into a pile. This reverses the order of the cards and brings the five to the eighth position from the top of the packet—how convenient =

Tm going to take ten mnlsfwrn the deck, since I think I gave you appmximatdy that number of cants to begin with. And as I show you the caids I would like you to rerttember the one that falls at your mugic number. So if you r nu mber lUQSfaw; please remember the fourth (ant I mill show you, okay?" Wait for him to agree as you pick up the dealt pile and hold it farv down in dealing position. Show him one card after die other, dropping each card face down onto the table, forming a pile. Due to the underlying mathematical principle, you are forcing the Five of Spades, which is at a position in the ¡jacket identical to die spectators number.

Remind him to remember his ami can* as he is the only pen™ who kmws it U"a tew other spectators have counted the cards too. they will know las iwmbffiffd also rvm,,nU r the card which never hurts.

i . j hini voiir ten-card packet and ask him to shuffle it thoroughly, losing tif m^ take a U but only thought of one, and he Ls now hopeK

J^^vcard packet and shuffle everything.

, - him * break instinct him to replace these cards somewhere in the center or IX^^^m^ lasting in front of him, and to shuffle the lot. This phased T ^^raS and worth many times the little detour necessary to anive at the

Sons The practice oi giving a meaning to certain actions ls especially important in self-worSg tricks, which often r^uire procedures that are otherwise odd or meaningless.

Tfefl vour audience "You (tin now imagine why I said at the beginning that this is a ixry difficult avperiment Ptti qomj to try to divine and toade the cxinl you aw merely thinking ofv R the deck and spread it, face toward you, in your liands.

When you arrive at the Five of Spades, silentiy count it as one and continue counting until you read) tliirteen Should you reach the end of the spread before reaching tliirteen, simply spread tlirough the deck a second time, resuming your count. Again it Ls easier, faster and more efficient to count the cards in groups of two or three, rather than singly. When you arrive at the tliirteenth card, take one more card and break the spread at tliat point, so that you are now holding a partial spread in yoiu* right hand l\im your right hand palm down and use your fingers to push off the top card, face down, onto the table. As ¿ill attention is on this card, reunite the remainder of the deck by placing the right liands cards face up under those in the left liand. Since you had to lower the right ltand's cauls to place the card onto the table, your right hand rises from l>elow and quite nationally places its cards beneath those in the left hand This looks as if you reunite die deck in the same way you separated it, and obscures the fail that you have just cut the cards. The Five of Spades is now thirteenth from the t)ack of the deck

I n *11,0 ranl a™1 it aloud, with an affiniiative tone, as if you isr - —

You inunedialely n ,,ly a little annpyed, "1 didnt say it xim }mrmnL IJm ^ „ ^

Queer, of Duunnnibi. Here you MSnfi Uie card just turned >m " ,

« fits perfect* * .Ms ^ for vario* rr^^ZZ^^ZZ heard it before. Everyone w,ll lflug^ and you nod your head as if you had an*

^dho^uUy there are lots of them-becotoe too sony for you, brighten up and ex'tain,,

"But fntunatdyhuve taken, pivcaulions ago ins, ftfe happening. RenLber my h,v msumnce canls?'

Without touching them, call attention to the two cards you placed aside at the beinnnin* Actually move away from the cards by leaning backward, maybe even moving your ch5r back, and simply point to the cards. Since this is a gestum you normally don't do, it carries more weight. 'Hie spectator is sitting to your left, and Uie balance of the deck is resting in front of him You are leaning back and the two insurance cauls rest to your right on the tal >le. You are therefore far from the spectators space as well from the space occupied Iry the insurance cards. - r^iwflH

I lave the spectator t urn over either of the insurance tarda Suppose its the Five of Diamonds. Look at him and ask, "Does this card habe anything in coinmun vMi yours?" Every time I have performed tliis, the spectator l\as given rne a broad smile and answered something like "Yes, it lias the same value—my card was a Five." Seem to he a little surprised, but at the same time pleased, by this information. Then have him turn over the other canl. the Eight of Spades, and watch his reaction, which will be a strong one. Make tilings dear to the rest of the spectators—who still don't know the identity of the spectators canl—by asking him, "And drjes this can/ have anything in (nnnnon until you is?" Me will tell you that his rani was a spade, too! =

No further explanation should be required. However, if you tliink ii necessary, you can sum up: "A Five and a spade—the Five o/Sjxides. Was your canl the Five qfSpades then?" The spectator will happily confirm tliis. Nod in relief "A mij difficult experimenU indnedJ" It doesn't, by the way, matter in which order the two cards are turned up. You will always be able to use the situation to reach the desired result.

Tills way of revealing the identity of the card, which is Richard Vollmers idea, is much lietter than turning over the canls yourself and explaining that one card stands for the value and the other for the suit. Letting the spectator am I the rest of the audience arrive ¿11 this conclusion themselves, eliminates the artificiality in What I Otherwise have always considered a contrived procedure. 1

fHie audience now thinks that this is die end, and will not expect what is about to happen. The conflict created by your apparent failure, die revelation of die identity of the card m an unusual manner and the resolution, noting in a ( false) "happy ending; function as a positive insertion (VcJume 2, page 427) and will make the audience completely forget that you touched the balance of the deck as you placed down the "wrong* raid. Tlte < leek is, >resently resting in the spectator's space.

Still pointing at the two feoMip canls, explain, "These tux> cants haix vied Uu itMy afthecaid you rnmiy,I,inking of Maybe Ouy will Ml us ^v ^ v

Wait a few seconds and you will be amazed at how often someone wiD gue* that the two

, nH is in the (leek. On several occasions I have had a si^or can Is will tell you where the «uo ^ ^^ of Uie iaslirance cards. If nobody helps

(eU me to count down m theciec k ^ ^ add their mines,five and tight gels us..." vou lui" on the idea youreett.i"< v n ^ doesn^ answer, say it youreelf, since you don1! Wait for the ^^¡J^'^intem^ation, but merely use it to create anodier interactive moment that keeps conWun.c^ong< mg^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ front of the spectator. Lean back as you did befom .uiup" _ ^ ^ ^ confirmajjon and then add, "Actually you shuillal the dock yaurscu< 001 „„ 'Ls n0 way around diis trudv "Please count to the thin slutflcd and cut several fcnw * f distance, reinforcing the handsoff conditions slct-s ¡sp -—* * w<tog " ^

under which you o/?" When he says, "Five of

MneitbThe End I

Final Notes

I Tliis is essentially a self-working trick, since it doesn't require any sleights. Tills is one of its great advantages. However, a potential problem of dtis trick and most others that fall into litis category Is the difficulty of making them look magical in spite of the procedures involved

Z It is important to recognize dial tliis trick cannot be performed under all conditions, a fad dial holds true for almost any trick but which Is often overlooked. I like to do Ulis routine when Fm in an informal gathering wiüi laypeople and there ls no pressure on onefe time, which Ls seldom the case at a jiaid performance. I have, though, done the trick under professional circumstances when I've been coaxed into doing "one more" Also, it Ls a wonderful item to do for other magicians I can guarantee that you will fool even knowledgeable conjurers with iL

3. Rhydini Ls important. Every phase dial includes counting, for example, should l)e done at a faster pace Without losing clarity. Also note thai the script attends to die intellectual interest and die emotions of the spectators. These must be handled carefully to maintain interest throughout the presentation. But this is true as well of any trick invoking sleigbtrof-hand, Isn't it? So, tliis routine really needs as much practice as any more technically demanding piece, to attain an artistic quality and fascinate an audience

4. I refrained from mentioning tills in die text, so as not to make a long description any more tedious, but I invite you to notice die psychological structure of die effect Observe hpw certain actions cancel out certain others in die memory of the spectators, because they have been conceived ¿is positive insertions within the carefully crafted architecture of events. This Ls true dirough die entire course of the routine, but particulartyin the final sequence, by which time the spectators will forget thai you touched die deck, and are consequently amazed at the card turning up at die» number


counted to, even though (they think) one of them has shufiled the deck sev-eial times. This is due not only to your precise won ling (which leads to a modified méritai reconstruction of events) and die dramatic structure, but also to the management of space, which 1 have mentioned. I can remember how, many years ago, in one of my first all-night sessions with .Juan Tamariz, he analyzed and explained to me a similar efTeci, ui which tlie whole pur|>use to 1*» attained was tl\ai die spectator not remember that he touchod the deck—something duit ai-tually happened several times, as it does in this routine. If, with tlwse things in mind, you look al the alxwe effect, you wiD find concepts and strategies that you will be able to apply to many tricks you already do.

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