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A special Trapdoor Insert

As with Paul Curry's Power of Thought (which could have been Steve Beam's Power of Thought if I had been born about 30 years earlier) I got carried away with the following effects. The following tricks are related more through their parentage than they are in effect. They all have "new deck order" in common. In addition, they all feature a card or envelope stabbed into a spread. Spend a few minutes with these. They're worth it.


This first effect is meant to be performed with a pack in new deck order. In effect, a card is pulled out of the left side of the face down card spread. It is replaced in the right side of the spread. The deck is spread face up and the cards are back in their original new deck order. While this doesn't have much in common with Moe's Move A Card, that was the trick which subconsciously moved me in the direction of this effect.

The Work. Start with the pack in new deck order. Not all card companies are consistent in the order of the cards in a new pack. Therefore we will assume you have the deck in ace to king order

(CHaSeD) from the top of the pack. In addition, the seven of clubs (seventh card from the top) has a pencil dot on its back in each of its non-index corners.

You are facing the spectators. Spread the pack face up on the table from left to right. Ask a spectator to slide a card out from "this side of the fan." Tell him this as you casually gesture to the left side, near the seven. When he removes the card, scoop up the spread.

Immediately respread the cards face down from left to right. "I will place the card in this side of the spread." You are gesturing to the right side of the spread. However, since the spread is face down, it is still the same group of cards from which the card was taken. All that is necessary is to use the value of the selection to compute where it should be placed in relation to the marked seven of clubs.

If the card is the ten of clubs, it should go in as the third card to the left (below) the seven. If it is the five, it should go in two cards to the right (above) the seven. Square the pack and riffle it as if you are doing something magical. Immediately respread the cards face up from left to right. The cards are back in their original order.

Regurgitations. While the method may seem transparent, you should dwell on a few details. First, the trick does not stand on its own. It should be combined with another trick where the order of the cards seems to be fixed. The best example of this I can think of is Wayne Kyzer's Ordered from #27, page 480.

You may feel that it's obvious that a face down spread is the reverse of a face up spread. (That is, that the ends would reverse.) However, this is not always the case. Executing a spread with a turnover flourish does not reverse the ends.

When making the original spread for a selection, spread the clubs suit and the first few cards of the heart suit in a wide spread. Ensuring that the spread of the top 16 or so cards occupies the same space in the spread as the rest of the pack will guarantee a card close to the seven is removed.

If they do remove the seven, it is a simple matter to replace it back in the face down spread quickly. Visually count to six by threes. Insert it in the seventh position and continue with the trick.

Finally, you should be able to reinsert the card quickly into the face down spread. Any pause will cause it to appear as if you are being too selective regarding where you are going to place the card.

I know this is a relatively weak opening for a group of related card tricks. Stick with me a moment to see if you don't things improve dramatically. (What do you mean, I shoulda stuck with the sixteen page format?)


This is similar in effect to its predecessor. Those of you who don't like bold magic may find it more to your liking.

Effect. The deck is spread in the magician's hands for a free selection. The face of the card is not seen, but it the card itself remains in full view from this point on. The deck is spread slowly for the return of the card. It is important that the spectator knows that she has a free choice where to replace the card. The pack is turned face up. The cards are in new deck order. The noted card was replaced in its proper position in the sequence.

The Work. Start with the pack in new deck order. (Again, from top to bottom, we will assume ace through king, with the suits in CHaSeD order.) Spread the cards for a selection, casually cutting the pack at the point where the selection is removed. The spectator is to keep the card face down and not look at its face.

Spread the pack slowly for the replacement of the card. Ideally, it should go somewhere in the middle third of the pack.

Leave the card outjogged in the spread as you square the balance of the pack. "Before I push your card in the pack, I guess we should all see what it is " Spread through the pack and execute Bill Simon 3 wonderful Prophecy Move (explained on page 730 of this issue). This cuts the pack in the process of turning the spectator's card face up. This replaces the selection back in the proper sequence with the rest of the pack. Square the pack.

Turn the deck face up. All of us like to have things our own way. I prefer to have things neatly in order like these cards. Spread slowly from the face of the pack— being careful to time the spread so that you don't reach the reversed card yet.

Stress that they had a free choice where to replace their card. No doubt, you messed up my orderly world. Spread to the face down card, showing the cards both before and after it. Outjog the face down card. There is one card missing from the sequence. There is also one card we haven't seen. At this point, transfer the spread to the left hand. Use your right hand to remove the outjogged face down card and flip it face up. Insert it back in the spread in the same position, completing the sequence. As I said, I like things my way.

The Trapdoor Published by Trapdoor Productions Copyright 1991 by Steven L. Beam

Written & illustrated by Steve Beam Cover Design by Lisa Weedman

All rights are reserved by the contributors.

Trapdoor Productions 407 Carrington Drive Knightdale, NC 27545


This is almost identical to the previous trick in method but not effect. It's a strong opening prediction trick.

Effect. A deck is removed from its case. It is not shuffled. Instead, an envelope is removed from the magician's pocket. The envelope is labeled "PREDICTION." The magician asks that the envelope be placed somewhere in the middle of the pack.

The magician takes the pack and spreads it face up on the table. It is in perfect order, except that one card is missing. Strangely, it is missing from the same place where the envelope is located. The magician asks that the envelope be removed by a spectator and opened and the prediction read. When the contents of the envelope are removed, it is seen to be the missing card.

The Work. Take any card from a deck which is in new deck order. Place it inside a bank envelope — one as close in size to a playing card as you can find. The envelope must be opaque. On the back of the envelope, write the word "Prediction." Place the envelope in your breast pocket with the writing toward you.

Arrange the rest of the deck in ace to king order, suits in "CHaSeD" order. Cut the pack at the missing card. That is, to restore the pack to its proper sequence, the card in the envelope would have to be placed on top or bottom of the pack.

To perform, introduce the pack. Place it face down on the table. Bring out the envelope, keeping the writing from the audience. Ask that the envelope be "stabbed" into the middle of the pack. Square the pack.

Pick up the cards and spread from left to right. "Did you notice the writing on the envelope?" As you say this, execute the Prophecy Move (explained later in this issue). This turns the envelope over so that the writing is visible. It also places their card in sequence. It also cuts the pack so that this sequence is in the middle of the deck. (Do you see why I like this move so much?)

They can now read the word "prediction." Square the pack. Stress the fact that they had a free choice where to place the envelope. They could have placed it deep or shallow in the pack. However, they placed it in one position out of 52. "Was there any reason for choosing that location over the other 52 possible locations?"

Spread the deckface up on the table in a wide spread. The place where the card is missing from the sequence is filled with the envelope. Make a big deal about it. They were able to locate the position where the card was missing. "Let's try for a double whammy... open the prediction and read it out loud." They do, and they remove the chosen card.

Regurgitations. I refer to "reading the prediction" so I don't telegraph the climax. One does not normally "read" a playing card. I also refer to the double effect — so they appreciate that two things have happened. One, they mysteriously found the location of the missing card. Secondly, I predicted it.

Since the spread at the end of the trick doesn't start with an ace and end with a king, you may wish to spread the pack in a circle. This way, the card on which the spread starts won't matter since there is no beginning or end of a circle. This idea was suggested by Scott Robinson and is applicable to several of these stabbed effects which use the Simon Prophecy move.

STUCK ON YOU Steve Pressley

I was over at Steve's house for a session and I showed him the trick I just explained. This is his version of the same effect.

Effect. An envelope with the word "PREDICTION" clearly visible on it is placed on the table. The magician introduces the deck and asks that the spectator cut off the top half and insert the envelope.

The deck is immediately spread face up. The deck is in perfect order with the exception of one card which is missing. This place is marked by the envelope the spectator placed in the pack. The magician opens the prediction envelope and removes the missing card.

The Work. Start with an indifferent card (joker) placed in an opaque envelope. Write the word "PREDICTION" on one side of the envelope. On the same side, smear a small piece of magician's wax. There should be so little wax that it is invisible when smeared. Place the envelope on the table, writing side up.

Explain to the spectator that he is to lift up half the deck and drop the envelope on top of the lower half. The upper half may then be replaced. "The envelope marks the place where you cut the cards."

Pick up the pack and turn it face up. As you do, give the pack a gentle squeeze — allowing the wax to take hold of the adjacent card.

Immediately execute a face up table spread. The card beneath the envelope will cling to the envelope and hide underneath. Upjog the envelope in the spread.

Call their attention to the fact that the deck is in perfect order except for the missing card. "Let me read the prediction to you." Pickup the envelope by its edges — dispensing with any thoughts that there may be something beneath it. Open the envelope and pretend to remove its contents. Actually, remove the card underneath which is clinging to the wax. Casually discard the envelope with the joker still within.


This version requires a lot more effort than any of the others, but it is very strong in effect. It is guaranteed to get a response from both magicians and laymen.

Effect. A deck is fanned before a spectator for a selection. The card is removed and its face signed "to personalize the effect." The card is replaced in the pack.

An envelope with the word "PREDIC-

TTON" is introduced. The spectator is instructed to place the envelope in the middle of the spread.

When the cards are spread face up, they are seen to be in perfect order. Only one card is missing, the chosen card. In its place is the envelope the spectator stabbed into the pack.

The prediction envelope is opened. Inside is the spectator-signed selection.

The Work. Yes this is basically a card to wallet routine dressed in a tuxedo (or poor man's card to wallet). However, I prefer it over the card to wallet in effect. You must make a simple well known gafftogetthe card in the envelope. Start by taking the opaque banker type envelope to be used and sealing the flap. Cut the bottom of the envelope open and apply rubber cement to the inside of the cut edge. If the two sides of the mouth were pushed closed, they would seal permanently. However, you will place a pen inside and place the entire works in your inside breast pocket, opening up.

Start with the deck in new deck order (or ace to king). Spread the cards for a selection. Have it removed and signed. Keep the spread separated at the point where the selection was removed. After it is signed, have it replaced on the top of the lower half, from where it was removed. Execute the spread pass, bringing it to the top of the pack. Palm the card in your right hand. (I said this was the poor man's card to wallet, not the lazy man's version.)

Open your left coat flap with your left hand. Palm the card into the open envelope. As soon as the card is in the envelope, remove the pen and place it on the table. Casually reach in and remove the envelope, pressing the glued end as you do.

Show that the word prediction is on the envelope. Turn the envelope writing side down. Ask that it be placed in the middle of the pack. As explained in the earlier effects, execute the Prophecy Move in the ruse of turning the envelope over to show the word "prediction" again. This cuts the pack and places the selection in the correct location in the sequence. Square the deck and then execute a face up table spread.

Call attention to the first climax. The cards are in order and they were able to place the envelope in the one position which lacked a card.

For the second climax, open the envelope and remove the card keeping it face down. Lift both the envelope and the card up with your left hand so that the face of the card is toward you. Now grasp the card with your right fingers on the face and thumb on the back so that the fingers cover the signature. Turn the card over toward the audience. Your prediction matches the missing card.

For the third climax, I not only predicted the card that would be missing from the deck... I predicted the card you would select from the same pack — an impossibility.

For the fourth climax, Stay with me on this. It's starting to get eerie in here. I didn't just predict a card which would be missing... I removed and sealed the very card you would later select in the envelope... the very... same... card...

As these last words are deliberately spoken, slowly slide the hidden card out from behind your right fingers. They will now see their signature and will be thoroughly burned.

If you decide to follow this with anything short of a head long plunge from Niagara Falls, it had better be something else from the pages of this magazine. Nothing else will even come close.

The Prophecy Move Bill Simon

I am including a brief but complete description of Bill Simon's Prophecy Move since knowledge of the move is essential for several of the routines described in this issue. One of the things which makes this of such value is that it may be done under almost any any conditions and while the spectators are burning your hands (assuming you are using inflammable cards). It was originally described in Bill's Effective Card Magic (1952).

Take a banker's envelope (an envelope that is about the same size as a playing card) and place it in the middle of the pack. Note the top and bottom cards before starting. At the conclusion of the move, the top and bottom cards will be sandwiching the envelope in the middle of the pack.

Hold the pack in the left hand in dealing position. Spread the cards into your palm up right hand until you come to the envelope. Separate the spread at that point, taking the cards above the envelope into your right hand. See figure 1.

Prophecy Moves Bill Simon
Figure 1

Turn your right hand palm down. Take the envelope from your left hand between the right thumb and the back of the top card (back card of the right hand's packet). See figure 2. Rotate the right hand palm up again, turning the envelope over. This displays the other side of the envelope (outjogged on the right packet) to the audience. After displaying the envelope (and don't rush this) place the left hand's packet on top of the right hand's packet as your left hand takes possession of the pack. Square the cards, leaving the envelope outjogged.

That is the move. If you have done it correctly, the card beneath the envelope will be the former top card of the pack you glimpsed. The card beneath the envelope will be the former bottom card of the pack. (If it didn't work, tell everyone you learned it from the Simon book.)

Under the watchful eyes of the spectators, you have secretly cut the pack, without disturbing the relative position of the envelope. (Note that you have turned the envelope over.)

You can use a card case, a card, a double faced

card, a wallet, and just about anything else in lieu of the envelope. I described it using an envelope because that's what the tricks in this issues use.

For another excellent and humorous use of this move, refer to Siamese Stab in Issue #7.

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Fundamentals of Magick

Fundamentals of Magick

Magick is the art and practice of moving natural energies to effect needed or wanted change. Magick is natural, there is absolutely nothing supernatural about it. What is taught here are various techniques of magick for beginners. Magick is natural and simple and the techniques to develop abilities should be simple and natural as well. What is taught on this site is not only the basics of magick, but the basics of many things.

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