The Combination Deal


Ever since I have performed card magic, some of my favourite tricks have been those where a prearranged deck could be given to a spectator for a short shuffle.

And so I was very delighted when the Magic Magazine published the two effects "The Mathematician's Poker Game" (No. 11. Vol. 3. Feb.. 1955) and "Dealing with a Bridge Deal" (No. 1. Vol. 4. April 1955).

I studied these methods and worked out quite a number of other solutions for the same purpose. The following one is, I think, the best one. It is not so very different from the original methods, but there are a number of points in it, which prove quite practical.

THE SET-UP : An entire pack can't generally be set up before the spectators, and so it does not matter if my set-up is a little bit more complicated than the original one. The pack is set up in fours, i.e. four kings, four threes, four jacks and so on. Till now it is the same as the original poker set-up. But now the order of the suits is important.

The order of the suits in each group is governed by the well known word "CHaSeD", i.e. Clubs, Hearts Spades and Diamonds. So you set up for example first the Queen of Clubs then the Queen of Hearts, Queen of Spades and Queen of Diamonds. Now for the second important point concerning the suits. It is only the absolute order of the suits in a group, which is important, and not the suit of the first card of a group. Thus you can cut each group at a different spot, so that one group begins with Spades, some others with Hearts, others with Diamonds and the rest with the Clubs. You must cut the groups like this. Otherwise if you would do the Bridge Deal, each hand would consist of only one colour, or if the set-up were disturbed, two colours. But if each group begins with another suit, the Bridge Deal looks quite nor mal. The order of the groups doesn't matter. Just alternate with high and low cards as you like. The above may seem very complicated, but this is not so. Just try once and you'll never forget it.—And now to what you can do with this set-up.

THE POKER DEAL : With the above setup you can do the Poker Deal exactly as described in the Magic Magazine by Dr. J. Scott Inglis. That the order of the suits is arranged specially does not matter at all. Even you can't recognise any particular order, when you deal, just because the cards look perfectly mixed.

I want to stress just a little point, which was not mentioned in the original description. After the first deal you will have one or two cards left in the hand. Put them on the top of the rest of the deck. It does not matter if you have these cards left but you must have enough cards when you take them for the first deal. If you have not enough it will spoil the whole deal. And another thing. At the third deal, the regular one, it is stated that most of the hands contain full houses, etc. This is actually impossible. The best hand possible is, when you are very lucky four of a kind, then 3 of a kind, or a pair. It is impossible that you get five cards which belong together. Anyway the effect is pretty good.

Also something else which is possible. You can, with this SAME set-up do the Bridge Deal as stated and even a much better Bridge Deal. I always make quite a point of it, when, after I have received the shuffled pack, I ask the spectators if they prefer to play Bridge or Poker, and suit their choice.

THE BRIDGE DEAL.— After the short shuffle and cut deal out four hands of Bridge. Due to the special colour and group set-up you now can do amazing things. I want to explain the method I use for the demonstration. I ask three spectators who are seated at the table at the respective places, each to pick up his cards and I take my hand, the fourth. And now I can name all the cards each player holds. Before doing so I stress the point, that the pack was shuffled by a spectator and cut. You can even let a spectator deal the cards.

Now for the naming of the cards, which is extremely simple. Let's begin with the player opposite to you. He holds exactly the same cards as you, as far as value and colour, i.e. red or black. If you have the 10 of Diamonds, he has the 10 of Hearts. If you have the 6 of Spades, he has the 6 of Clubs. If you have the 3 of Hearts, he has the 3 of Diamonds. You always name the card of your hand, the same value but other suit of the same colour. That is very simple indeed.

Regarding the player to your left. This is equally simple. Due to the "Chased" Set-up, he has the same value cards as you, but always the next suit. If you have the Jack of Hearts, he has the Jack of Spades. All cards you have in Diamonds, he has in Clubs, all your Club cards he has in Hearts, all your Heart cards in Spades. That's all.

The player to your right. He has also the same value cards as you, but of the preceding suit. All your Clubs, he has in Diamonds, your Hearts he has in Clubs, your Spades in Hearts and your Diamonds he has in Spades. That's it.

You can always reconstruct this, by knowing that the player to your left gets the card after you and the player to your right gets his cards before you.

And there is something more. Due to the shuffle naturally some cards will be disturbed. But most of these you can immediately recognise. It is possible that your hand does not contain a certain value. So you just don't name the other cards of this value. This is automatic. But instead of the missing card you will get another card. So you will have two cards of the same value. And again it is simple. If you have two cards of the same value, leave this value out, as it will be disturbed. That's all.

THINK A CARD : With the same facility you can do the original Bridge Deal. That is, any spectator thinks of any card in his hand of his favourite colour, which you name immediately. Just look at your cards of the colour which corresponds to the chosen colour of the spectator and you know all. The following is just elimination. There will be at the most 4 cards of this suit and you just ask an informing question.

Personally I always do the following routine. After the three spectators have picked up their hands, I reveal the thought-of card of one of the spectators and finally, as a climax name all the cards of the other two spectators.


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