Francis Haxton

A LTHOUGH there are so many books describing countless card tricks there are all too few of them o: use lor platform work ; it is for such work that I feel certain you will find the following effect to be most suitable. Direct in its appeal and not requiring a lot of concentration on the part of the spectator, as is the wont of so many card effects.

Effect.

A pack of cards is removed from its case and fanned, backs to the audience, showing them all red. Now turning the cards faces to the audience the performer counts off ten cards. He then asks a spectator for a number to be given between one and ten. On receiving the number he counts off the cards and shows the card at that number He then closes the packet and drops it into a glass tumbler, with the backs of the cards to the audience. A card is selected by another spectator from a blue backed pack in a similar manner and this packet is dropped into another tumbler.

The performer now states that no matter how the cards were mixed he would be able to find the card that was chosen, for, he goes on to say, at the same time taking the red backed packet from the tumbler and spreading the cards, " You chose the only blue backed card in this red backed packet." This he shows by counting, and it is seen that the blue card is at the selected number. The same routine is gone through to show that the other spectator has similarly selected the only red backed card in the blue backed packet.

Method.

Sin you have not explained what is going to happen, the sudden revealment of a different colour backed card in each packet has an immediate response from the audience, a response that has pleased me so much that I have put this effect into my current programme.

You will require two glass tumblers, a pack of red backed cards and a pack of blue backed cards. The preparation is very simple, all you need to do is to put a red backed card ninth down from the top of the blue backed pack and a blue backed card ninth down from the top of the red backed pack. The cards are then replaced in their respective cases.

Presentation.

First remove the red backed pack from its-case and fan the cards face to the audience. This will give you the opportunity of seeing whether the fanning has revealed any part of the back of the blue card; if it has you just spread the cards slightly to cover this and then turn the fanned backs to the audience. Now again turn the faces to the audience and say that you are going to count off ten cards. This you do and as you say " ten " you part your hands which are held about shoulder high and turn the backs of the cards half towards the audience. This should be done in an apparently casual manner. Its purpose is to give the audience an opportunity of seeing that you have red backed cards in each hand. Now place the balance of the pack aside and ask for a number between one and ten. As you do this hold the cards in your right hand, fingers at the top, thumb at the bottom, the backs towards you. Now idly shuffle off one card, dropping the balance on top and at the same time spreading the cards faces towards the audience saying you are going to count down to the number given. This gives you the opportunity of getting a break with the left fingers under the top two cards as you close the fan, the top card of which is the blue backed one. At this point the cards should be at about chin height facing the audience. Say Number six is given. Push off the two top cards as one, from your left hand into your right, counting " one." Then the next card in front of these counting " two." As you take the fifth card you push the top card in your right hand back on to the left hand packet with your right thumb, where it is retained with your left thumb. It is now in a position to be counted as number six in a perfectly natural manner. The spectator is asked to remember this card and you complete your count up to number ten and drop the packet backs outwards into one of the tumblers.

A similar procedure is followed with the blue backed cards and it only now remains for the performer to show that in each case the spectators selected the only odd coloured backs in the packets.

Note.

After the first count, in my presentation, I count the cards again very slowly to give the spectator an opportunity of confirming the position of his card. You can put everything into this part for the odd coloured back is now at the freely selected position.

Stewart James gave a sweet reply to my request about " What is a re-hash ? " when it comes to writing tricks—"A trick is NOT a re-hash if its entertainment value is improved, the method of working simplified, or the mystery deepened."—JINX, page 345.

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