Bluff Card Stab


RAVELLI who is a young Swiss student, showed this very effective version of location by card stab to Jack Avis who was good enough to pass it along to the Pentagram with Ravelli's permission. It is an individual handling and although requiring little skill needs assurance. Hesitancy will kill the effect and possibly expose the method.

Let Ravelli tell the story himself.

I have played about with many knife forces and have tried inserting knives all around the pack. Although many of the moves described have their points, to me many of the actions are unnatural and with the object in mind of attempting an easy and natural location or force the method to be described was evolved. When I have shown it its appeal has been apparent to magicians and laymen alike.

The effect is brief. A spectator takes a card from a pack, looks at it and replaces it in the pack. A second spectator is handed a knife and he is asked to push it into the pack at any spot he wishes. When the pack is seperated at that very point the chosen card lies above the knife.


A pack of cards A knife.


The two spectators you intend using you should be placed right and left respectively. There should be nobody behind you !

Show the cards and then approaching the spectators on the left force him to take a known card. The purpose of this force is to obviate a glimpse which would otherwise be necessary.

Ask the spectator to look at the card and remember it. He is not to show it to the other spectators. The pack is now fanned and you ask him to replace the card. To allow this the cards are seperated near the centre the spectator's card going on the lower portion whilst the remaining cards go on top. In this process however you have inserted the little finger beneath the chosen (?) card and this break is maintained as the pack is closed and squared up.

The pack is kept in the left hand with the fingers naturally held against the right side whilst the thumb lies along the fore-edge keeping the pack well squared.

Addressing yourself to the spectator on the right at the same time handing him the knife. Tell him he may insert the point of the knife anywhere in the pack and in so doing he will automatically find the card chosen by the spectator on the right. Now a word or two regarding the insertion of the knife. It should not go into the pack less than ten cards from the top or bottom. The reason for this will aparent later. If the spectator should stab the pack at such a point, it is best to say, 4 No, I am afraid that you are wrong, try once more.' (Actually it is seldom that this is likely to happen). With the insertion of the knife there are three alternatives. 1. The knife can go above the break. 2. It can go below the break. 3. It can enter at the break (This last alternative has occurred several times). Let us take case 1.

In this case you ask the spectator with the knife to lift it slightly. As he does this you grab the cards above the knife with the right hand. The hold is important, the thumb being at the inner right corner whilst the second third and fourth fingers at the outer end of the pack with the first finger lying alongside the second finger above the left side of the pack. Ask the spectator to move the knife a little higher so that the knife is about three inches above the break.

At this point you bring the cards up leaving the spectator holding the knife some few inches above the patck. Now comes the vital part of the effect. You look towards the spectator saying, 4 You will agree that I separated the cards at the point where you stabbed the pack is that correct?

He will answer in the affirmative. As you say this you have turned the packet in the right hand so that the bottom card faces you. No glimpse of this card must be caught by any of the spectators. Look towards the spectator on the left saying,

4 Would your card be the____of ... . (Naming the force card). Apparently you are naming the card that you are looking at. Your right hand turns down again and the packet of cards cut off goes down on top of the remaining cards. At this point the spectator will undoubtedly say ' Yes.'

Synchronising with this the right thumb picks up the cards above the break adding them to the packet. The hands separate again the left hand placing its packet to the left of the table whilst the right hand moving towards the right of the table turns over its packet exposing the force card. The timing of this 4 adding' action is most important and smoothly performed there is no suggestion that anything has been lost or added. You have confirmed by your action that cards chosen by the spectator has been found by his colleague.

Incidentally in the turn over of the packet, it is the first finger pulling upwards which makes for a smooth revealment of the faces of the cards.

In the second case the difference is that after the cards have been lifted, the right hand thumb taking care of the break, the cards underneath the selected card are released and not added.

Of course if you are very lucky the spectator achieves the miracle for you.

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