Steve Pressley

This is something I am getting a lot of use from. It's a self-working, borrowed and shuffled deck, behind the back, double prediction effect. The spectators do all the work for you (which is an added bonus until they get around to unionizing.)

Effect. A spectator shuffles his pack and hands it to the magician who removes two predictions. One is placed in front of each of two spectators. The order of the cards is not changed at all from the shuffle. The magician turns his back as he returns the deck to one of the spectators. He asks the spectator with the deck to think of a secret number, between five and fifteen. He is to deal that number of cards to the table. He is then to hand the deck to the other spectator who has a prediction in front of him. The second spectator is instructed to think of a secret number between five and fifteen. Like the first spectator, he is to deal that number of cards to the table. The balance of the deck is discarded as the first spectator places his cards on top of the second spectator's cards.

The magician turns to face the audience. He takes the assembled pile and explains that since the piles are combined, there is no way he can know what the two secret numbers are. One at a time, he deals the cards to the table and asks the first spectator to remember the card which falls at his number. This is repeated with the second spectator.

The packet is shuffled and handed to the spectators to remove their cards. Each is directed to place his selection on the tabled prediction in front of him.

After a suitable build-up, the predictions are turned over. Despite the fact that they had secret numbers which lead to secret mental selections, the predictions match the selections in both color and value.

The Predictions. Offer the deck to be shuffled. Take it back from the spectator and spread the cards with the faces toward you. Tell the audience you are looking for two predictions. Spread through the pack quickly. When you reach the back of the spread, remember the two last cards in the spread. Assume the top card of the pack is the king of spades and the second card is the three of hearts. When you get to the back of the spread, the three of hearts will be on your right and the kingof spades on your left (spreading from the left hand to the right).

Remember red three and black king. By remembering them in this order, you won't have any trouble matching the prediction to the correct spectator. Pretend that you have missed finding the predictions the first time through the pack. Start at the face of the pack again, spread through the deck to locate the other cards which match the same criteria (red three, black king.) When you come to them, remove them from the pack. Place the three of diamonds in front of the spectator on your right and the king of clubs in front of the spectator on your left. (This is the same order their mates were when you spread through the deck the first time.)

The Secret Numbers. Close the spread and hand it to the spectator, the one on your right. Ask him to think of a number between five and fifteen, so as not to take too long, and remember that number. Turn your back. Ask him to deal that secret number of cards onto the table as silently as possible.

Instruct him to hand the remainder of the pack to the second spectator who has a prediction in front of him. Ask the second spectator to think of a secret number between five and fifteen and deal that number of cards onto the table.

Finally, ask the first spectator 10 place his packet of cards on top of the packet in front of the second spectator. Since the two cards you have predicted (top two cards of the deck) are now on the bottom of the pile dealt by the first spectator, they will be sent to the middle of the combined packet.

You may now turn around and take possession of the combined packet. Turn the packet face up and spread it on the table from your left to your right. A cloth performing surface will facilitate an even spread. Pick up the top card of the spread, the right most face up card, with your right hand. Transfer it to your left and use it to point to the other cards in the spread. When I made my prediction, I had no idea how many cards would be on the table since you hadn't even thought of your secret numbers then. This is misdirection to cover what you are about to do. (You can simply double undercut the bottom card to the top, but I prefer this open approach.)

Slide the face up card in your left hand under the left most end of the spread. Use this card to scoop up the rest of the spread. With this natural action, you have transferred one card from the face of the pack to the back of the pack. Without this transfer, the trick will not work.

The Selections. Flip the packet face down. Turn to the first spectator, the one on your right. Tell him to remember the card which falls at his secret number. If he is thinking of the number five, he is to remember the fifth card. He is not to give you any clue when he has noted and remembered a card. One by one, hold the cards up for him to see and then place them in a pile on the table. In addition to showing all the cards to him, this also reverses the order of the cards in the packet.

When you run out of cards, pick up the packet and turn to the second spectator, the one on your left. Repeat the dealing procedure, asking him toremember the card which falls at his secret number. When finished, pick up the packet, shuffle it, and remind them that they shuffled the deck at the start. Hand the packet to each spectator in turn with the request that they each remove their selection and place it on the prediction in front of them.

You chose the three of diamonds. Which card in the deck looks the most like the three of diamonds? The three of hearts. And you chose the king of clubs. Which card in the pack looks the most like the king of clubs? The king of spades. Turn over the predictions to reveal the match.

The Why. In essence, you have used an old principle to force the mates to the two predictions. When you combine the two packets and the single card moves from the face of the packet to the back, the cards are set up. The first spectator's force card is his secret number from the top (back) of the packet. The second spectator's force card is his secret number from the bottom (face) of the packet. While forcing the first spectator to select the card which falls at his number from the top, you reversed the order of the cards so that now the second spectator's force card is his secret number from the top also. (And, at the conclusion of the deal, the first spectator's card is his secret number from the face.)

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