Selection

that deals. Assume he chooses the stacked portion : magician goes to spectator number two and, after a short shuffle, commences to run the cards in a fan, requesting the spectator to touch one and at the same time counting the cards. Contrive to have the spectator touch the ninth card, then you can, after the card has been ' peeked' at, close the fan deliberately and hand the packet to the spectator. Should a card further in the fan—say the eleventh— be touched you close it as before and then run two cards, drop balance of pack underneath and hand the packet over. Should a card be touched sooner than you wanted—say sixth card—you still close the fan, genuinely after the card is noted, but you undercut about half the packet, run three cards on top and drop the packet underneath again. These moves will be accepted as genuine light shuffles and will not be suspect, as your volunteer does not know what you are going to do at this stage.

Now we return to spectator number one who has the stacked packet. You announce that you want someone in the audience to call " Stop " to the dealer at any time they wish. There is a reason for asking the audience to stop the dealer, rather than the dealer stopping himself, and is a further aid. Some people are slower than others in stopping when dealing cards and you may be unfortunate in your choice of volunteer, for you must have him stopped before the eights and nine's have all been in your choice of volunteer, for you must have him stopped before the eights and nine's have all been dealt. By having anybody in the audience call " Stop " you greatly improve your position, as you have people of mixed characteristics and, I think, you are safe. If, however, you feel anxious after about five cards have been dealt (I should have mentioned that you ask the spectator to deal deliberately) you can introduce another aid used by experienced performers, that of looking up suddenly, and enquiringly at your audience, and you will get the call.

I have never had it happen, but since we must guard against all eventualities, if the eight cards had been dealt without being stopped, I would immediately take the remainder of the pack from the spectator, add the dealt cards back on top, and, addressing the audience, say that I had apparently not made myself clear as to what I wanted them to do, and start again. Of course if spectator one turns over an eight, spectator two counts off eight cards and turns up the next.

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