There are various systems to set up the deck during performance without the spectators becoming aware ol it This is obvioush a tremendous and extremely powerful weapon, since you can have the deck shuffled before the secret setup and later remind them of their shuffles during the stacked-deck tricks.
Such systems are scarce in the literature. In fact, there is barely am thing more than that of the English magician Nikola (an excellent one, incidentally, that I'll briefly describe later). This is based on a simpler one described by Galasso in 1593, Cardoso in W>I2. and others (see bibliography)
This being a subject that has always caught my interest. I hav e wnrked hard and patiently on it, and hen- are the resi.lt>, which I believe aw extremely practical.
A. Setup from a New-deck Order
(and Bringing the Dick on .m y to new-dec k Orphr)
As we know, one of the special featuws of Mnemonica is that it can be set it up starting with a brand new deck as it comes .mm the factory. I s also possible to set a shuffled deck into new-deck order openly and under a logical pretense (IrU tell you a few of these later), and from there obtain thp Mnemónica stack.
Since the stacking techniques have already been taught in Chapter Two of this work, here 1 will mention only the presentational ploys that justify the necessary actions. Wrm Faro Shuffles
Since the deck has just been unsealed (or you have openly set it up from -\ce to King), it becomes logical to shuffle it thoroughly before performing an\ tricks And what can be better than four out-faros? You next run the top twenty-six cards singly, overhand fashion, reversing their order. One further shuffle (a partial faro of the top eighteen cards) is all you need to complete the Mnemónica stack.
Theshufflesare, of course, accompanied by a script that underlines them, as well as by subtleties that conceal their precise nature, which I described under the title of "Evil Ruses" in my book, overly cited by me. Sonata.
As I mentioned in Chapter Two, the Mnemónica stack can be achieved with antifaros, as well as with faros, starting from new-deck order. In Appendix Y I'll explain how to justify the antifaro procedures.
Justifying the Open Setting Up of Ace-to-King Order For this I occasionally employ the ruse of leaving any card of the deck inside the card case and performing several tricks that don't require a stack. I then say, 'For the next trick I need to make sure the deck is complete, and I quickly count the cards and find only fifty-one. "A card is missing. Let me check which one it is.' 1 proceed to arrange all the cards by suit and from Ace to King, with the help of three spectators, each ordering one suit while 1 do the fourth. Since I know which card is missing, I keep the corresponding suit for myself. When I "find out" which is the missing card, 1 say, "How weird. The deck was complete..." and I look inside the card case, where i find the allegedly lost card. I slip it into position and proceed to "randomize" the order of the cards through faros or antifaros, while actually attaining the Mnemónica stack. Thus method obviously requires having a good, interesting line of patter to cover the procedure (unless you are a great ad-libber by nature or through experience). B From a Random Order
This is the most interesting case of the lot. You perform an assortment of Tí J? SpeCtat0r Shuffles ihe deck repeatedly. You do a couple throueh npu' T v ** ^ ^ 3re OVer <and without ever PaSSÍng
Stack in ? 0rder) you have your hands the complete mnemonic e*and are ready to proceed with the miracles it makes possible.
L In One Stage
The setup is accomplished, in this case durino n,« <
mnemonic order. u 10
a. the Galasso-Cardoso Method
This idea seems first to have appeared in the 1593 Italian work Gukhe de carte belhssnm di regola, e di memoria by Horatio Galasso. It was more widely read in Gaspar Cardoso de Sequeira's 1612 book, Thesouro di Prudartcs. published in Portugal. As Cardoso explains it, you ask the spectators to give you the Ace of Oros (as per the Spanish deck), then the Six of Copas (adding five to the value of the first card and using the next suit of an established sequence), then the Caballo ( Horse) of Espadas (for a value of eleven in the forty-eight-card deck), followed by the Four of Bastos and so on, until all the cards of the deck have been used. You take each card onto the last, as they are given to you, and end up with a stacked deck. (This kind of stack, which follows a system of adding five, four or three to the value of each card, was centuries later made popular in North America by Si Stebbins.) Although Cardoso doesn't state the intended effect directly, Galasso does: This was presented as a feat of memory, in which the magician asks for all the cards in an apparently random order without repeating any. Cardoso then describes several tricks done with the stacked deck. His predecessor. Galasso, actually provided a routined series of effects using the stack. Naturally, you could, likewise, ask for the cards in mnemonic order.
b. THE Nikola Card System
In 1927, the English professional magician, Louis Nikola, published his procedure, which is more dramatic than that given by Galasso and Cardoso. He forced three cards—the last ones of the stack—onto three spectators and gave each of them a third of the deck, asking that they bury their respective cards in their packets. They each shuffled their padcets.and sorted their cards by suits. After this Nikola asked for the cards in mnemonic order. The spectators were baffled on seeing that no cards were repeated during the procedure. Furthermore, when each spectator had only one card left, those caids turned out to be their selections. It's a great effect that needs to be tried in front of an audience for its strength to he appreciated. The dramatic tension builds as fewer and fewer cards are left in the spectators' hands, without the magician calling for the same card twice. And the deck ends up in his hands in mnemonic order?
This method was widely used in France fn>m. it seems, at least thenine-
teenth century. It is particularly practical for stacking the pjqu* ** of thirty-two cards consisting of the Ace through Seven and the King
Of each suit. The last card of the desired stack was forced and a spectator was asked to concentrate on it and show it to the rest of the audience. The magician turns his back to the spectators "so as not to see the card" and makes use of that opportunity to run the right ■HHHV^HHHHHHHI
h^d to his left hand, and insert the first eight cards of the desired stack between his left thumb and forefinger. He also slips Cards 9 through 16
of the stack between his left index and middle finger, Cards 17 through
24 between his middle and ring fingers, and the remaining seven between his ring finger and little finger (Fig. 28). The procedure can be completed quickly, in whatever order the cards are found. The cards of the first packet are immediately arranged as required (not difficult-
there are only eight), and then the next packet, and so on. As he does this sorting, the magician dramatically names the card the spectator has taken, inserting some doubts, hesitations and silences to build the effect and provide whatever time his secret actions require.
Though this may sound complicated, Gaultier tells us that the celebrated and exquisite French technician Moreau could stack the deck with this system in half a minute. 1 will try it out right now and see how practical it is and I'll come back and tell vou.
I tried it out with twenty-six cards (a half stack). At the first attempt it took me seventy-five seconds, and the second time only a minute. I'll try it again.
lhird attempt took me just fifty-two seconds! That makes my day, but it seems quite possible to make it in half a minute or less. I think I'll use it perhaps even for the whole stack.
d- Racking a Borrowed Deck
When I first thought of this, 1 realized it is only useful in certain situations but such wonderful situations! Suppose you're visit-mg someone's home, or you're at a bar, and someone (maybe even "other magician) has a deck of cards. Borrow the deck for a trick nd have ,t thoroughly shuffled. Force the first three cards of the and l^ve the deck in your pocket as you begin to P "orm a donation. "Perhaps it's better if I do it at a distance," you
suggest. Take the deck out of your pocket arh.aii, u own deck (face up if its back doesn't h put it inside the case for the borrowed d^ L ^ Jnd
Yo;'.,h"" ra,m - zzz xr speaking with pauses and hesitations, and eventually n 1
the borrowed deck, out of sight, and returned it to your pocket Since you apparently can't come up with the name of the third card vou return to the room and take the deck (your own) out of the case on the table and hold it between your palms "tofeel the vibrations Put the deck into your pocket and, after some mumbling, the card suddenly comes to your mind and you name it dramatically. Bring out the borrowed deck as if it were the same one that went in, place the three selections on top, put the deck into the card case and return it to its owner. Perform a couple of tricks that don't use cards, then borrow the deck again (while fervently hoping that the person doesn't have two identical decks) and proceed to perform mnemonic miracles with the newly borrowed pack/
II. In Two Stages (Half and Half)
The strategy here consists of setting half the stack during one trick and, after performing, if you wish, one or more tricks that require only a halt stack, setting up the other half during another trick.
Naturally, before setting up *
any cards you should first separate the halves of the stack, using Lennart Green's angle separation (Fig. 29), Harry Lorayne's great divide, Hofzinser's spread cull (see Appendix VI, pp. 356-363) or the strip-out technique described on p. 279.
a. Memory Jumble
I have already described a trick that I devised for the purpose under discussion, titled "Memory Jumble" (p. 195). At the end ol that tnck you have a half stack at your disposal. You can then wsort to the between the fingers" method, explained above, to stack the other half, or to Nikola method, but using only half the deck, which makes the pnxe»
^There will be cases in which vou won't be able to leave «he room or ^ ^ Going ,„ , distan( corner, with your back turned to the group, .an P o privacy you to stack "BU.d.e ;,v.e". ^ ^ £ ^L't on the next page for the half slack, but it is also good for the lull require a table.
n brief as you only need to call for twenty-six cards. In that case it is idvisable to take an open glance at the cards to be stacked before you ;aII ,or them, during which you pretend to memorize their names (and not their positions).
Over the many years I have studied and used Mnemonica, I have invented and tried various systems for setting it up secretly. One of them turned out to be extTemely practical, especially for setting up a half stack.
Take the deck face up (that's the deck face up, not you) in right-hand end grip (thumb at the inner end, fingers at the outer). The system consists of your leit thumb peeling the cards off the deck, one by one, into the left hand as you talk leisurely with the audience and pretend to toy with the cards. Whenever the card you peel off doesn't belong to the half of the stack you want to set (any card with a mnemonic number above 26), steal it under the right hand's cards as you peel off the next one, using the well-known Biddle-Kaidyro procedure. Cards belonging to the half being stacked are arranged as you transfer them from one hand to the other, slipping them between the two pertinent cards in the left hand; that is, between a card with a lower mnemonic number and another with a higher number. I'll give you an example that should make everything clear.
Suppose the top card of the deck is Number 8 (the 5¥). Peel it into your left hand (Fig. 30). Hie next card is 23, so you peel it onto the first (Fig. 31). Then comes Card 48. You peel it onto the left hand's packet
Mnemonic a s 291
(Pig. 32), but you also c.itch a little-finger break unHo, , n. is 25. Peel that card onto 23 as your right finge "at V,«' right hand's packet (Pig. 33, act,on ^JTC^^ off that card, slipping it between 8 and 23 I or such n t ' 1 1
fingertip now contacts the underside of 23. Since the next caid is 12 it must be peeled onto 8, so the right fingertips grip the spread of cards that is above the break and pull those cards to the right to clear the w w for the new card (Pig. 34). Maintain a break between those spread cards and the rest of the right hand's packet. Next comes Card 37 and, si you don't want to set it now, you just since
you just put it, upon transferring it from hand to hand, above the last card you have stacked, which is 25, obtaining a little-finger break under 37. On peeling off the next card, you steal back the card above the break (37), leaving it under the right hand's packet.
Under the spread, the left fingers help in adjusting the positions of the cards as you find the spot where the next card must be placed. Iventu-ally the first stolen card (48) will appear again, telling you that the half stack has been completed.
In performance, to avoid arousing suspicion, you will occasionally need to close the left hand's spread to conceal the fact that you are slipping cards into specific positions. The best times to do this are those during which you transfer one of the cards to be stolen back (from 27 to 52). Then, before continuing, you resprcad the left hand's cards to find the spot into which the next card must be fed. Practice will best teach you how to find the spots where cards must be transferred and inserted. The actions appear quite natural and should look as if you are merely running the cards from hand to hand. This impression is enhanced if you look away from the deck as you peel off the cards. I should also point out that, when vou carry away part of the spread in your right hand, you should almost close that spread portion, so that the spectators only see that part of the spread remaining in your left hand. This makes it look as if the card being peeled off goes above all the cards ,n the left hand.
The great advantage of this method lies in the fact that it's very easy quick and natural, and that it doesn't require previous splitting of the deck in half (the cards to be stacked from the others,, but aUie through the actions described, you divide the halves and at the same time set up the half stack.
thirty-five cards. Furthermore, with practice you win note mat every time an unwanted card turns up, there comes a moment of rest and relaxation (since you don't need to find its spot in the spread), which allows you to convey a disarming impression of nonchalance.
As the setup procedure is carried out, of course you'll need to do some talking, preferably about something unrelated to the cards and as interesting as possible. You might leisurely chat with the spectators about incidents in previous tricks, asking them questions, waiting for their answers and so on. As you talk away, keep your hands low and relaxed, and while you appear to toy with the cards, you arrange them.
. two-pile Divination I thought it would be possible to combine the Galasso-Cardoso-Nikola method with a presentation in which cards called for are divined, as in the classic trick "The Three Piles" (p. 85). The combination turned out beautifully. Let's look at it.
Say you already have half the deck stacked (1 to 26). You will now proceed to arrange the other half. Using any of the culling methods mentioned earlier (Green angle separation, Lorayne's great divide or Hofzinser spread cull—see Appendix VI, pp. 356-363), divide the unstacked half into two packets, one consisting of Cards 27 to 39 and the other of Cards 40 to 52.
Drop one of the packets on top of the stacked pile and position the other below it. Perform one or two overhand shuffles, actually shuffling off no more than the top thirteen cards, leaving them on top, and the bottom thirteen, leaving them on the bottom. Give the deck a complete cut and obtain a break between the two portions.
Do a dribble force, asking someone to call stop as you dribble cards off the bottom of the deck, and timing things so that you are stopped at the break. (Or use any other method of forcing a cut at the break.) Cut at the point you've been stopped, complete the cut and give the top thirteen cards to one person and the bottom thirteen to another. Instruct each of them to fan his cards with the faces toward himself (as if holding a hand for bridge) and to sort the cards by suits.
^tting the stacked half aside, you proceed to name the cards in each packet, calhng for them one at a time to smashing effect. Of course you
Ca °!o ? C<lrdS in mnemonic order but, for the sake of subtlety, call for 40 41 r!; ?l°Wed by 38 and 37- *ese from one spectator; and then ' and 42 from other. Continue with 36, 35, 34, 33 and 32 from mnkmonica / 293
the first spectator; and 43, 44, 45 and 46 from the second I,' matter to arrange the cards in mnemonic order asT" 1 ° Tple you (some above and some below the cuds you h ' J IZ You finally ask for Cards 3, 30. 2, 28
tor; and after some doubts, small error* ln i specta-
remaining cards in rap.d succession, from 47 to 52. Add the h5 stack you ve just assembled to the one previously stacked and vou have £e entire deck in mnemonic order.
d. Divining One Card Out of Thirteen
I came up with this method years ago and have been using the first phase of it ever since. The second phase is a bit newer, but has proven tremendously practical and deceptive. 1 think the two in combination make an extremely clever way of stacking the second half of a mnemonic stack (the first half being already stacked).
Force the AV (51) and have it returned anywhere in the deck. Shuffle the cards without disturbing those already stacked (1 to 26). Next hold the cards faces toward you and take out Cards 40 through 52, which include the AT Hand that packet to the spectator, asking him to sort the cards by suits You guide him in this, using the packet containing Cards 27 through 39, which have been brought together behind the stacked half. Set the stacked portion down and fan the rest of your cards with their faces toward you, asking that he do likewise. Tell him to begin by gathering all the spades together. As you demonstrate the procedure with your packet, you actually bring together Cards 30 through 34, in mnemonic order. Gather those five cards in your right hand and show the face of the packet to the audience, exposing a spade (the 104, which is 34). Turn the faces of your cards again toward yourself. Tell the spectator to gather all the diamonds in his packet, and you assemble Cards 35 through 39 in mnemonic order on the face of the right hand's cards. Once again, show the face of your sorted packet, exhibiting a diamond (the AH You then say, Ami so on." as you proceed to arrange Cards 27,28 and 29 and put them under Card 30. This is very simple, since only three cards remain unsorted in your left hand and they may even happen to be in order or require the shifting of only a single card. Put your cards face down under the twenty-six on the table. You have already stacked thirty-nine cards and the stacking of the last thirteen will have gone unsuspected even among the most discerning onlookers. Such is the mental misdirection generated by the fact that you are demonstrating a procedure, with the only actions that appear important being those carried out by your helper with his packet/
^method of stacking* gamp of cards secretlyon.-1 have used for ^^
with total success, even under the scrutiny of experts; and no. only w.th theMru the spectator has finished
sorting his thirteen cards by suit, tell him to give you all the spades.
He will give you three cards (Fig. 35). Lay them face up on the table and then drop the Q* (48) face down into your left hand, fol-I,nved by the ]* (45), also face down. Turn the third card (the 44, Number
40) face down on the table as you say, "This may be your card." *
Ask now to give you all the clubs he holds, and lay them face up on the table. Take the 7* (47) and drop it face down onto the left hand's cards. /' :v already got three, none of which is your card." Toying with your cards as you say this, slip the top card between the other two. You are arranging the cards in order as you appear to be trying to decide which card, among all of those possible, is the selection. Pick up the 9* (44) and A* (43) from the table and drop them face down onto the left hand's three cards. Turn the remaining 6* (50) face down on the table, beside the 44, commenting, "This could ■
also be your card. " Fig. 36 shows the faces of the cards, so that you can follow the procedure. In performance the cards are face down and the larger packet is in your left hand.1
Ask for all the spectator's diamond cards and lay them face up on the table. Take the 10* (49) and, almost without looking, put it face down under the left hand's cards. Take the 44 (42) and drop it face down onto the left hand's packet. Do the same with the Q4 (46). Only the
** (52) remains, and you turn it face down on the table, leaving it as another possibility.
jUck, but to arrange any *tup for later use-secretly or openly—in a trick. By openly,
"-n * an etfecl in itself; for example, the arranging of a complete suit from Ace to King that will Uter appear magically,
SU880St ^ y0U f0,,°w ** <*P»anation with the required cards in hand; ahmt t 7 *100 ** is actually very simple and the action* I
t Note that Y0V reCCiVC theiTL
of th/paclLi'if >OU aside polities are those belonging to the two en*
fctttooeof the pa T ^- m mncmonk: Order. That is, you have left Card 40 (U* ^ ^ p- v and 50 (third from the end). You will later set aside the Card* 51
Mnemónica y 295
Ask for the spectator's hearts as you casually shift the top card of the left hand's packet (the Q*) to the fifth position from the top (Fig. 37). Take the hearts that the spectator has provided and look at them without letting them be seen. Drop the 7* (41) face down onto the left hand's packet and set the A* (51) face down with the three cards on
Take the four contenders from the table and mix them face down, keeping track of the At. By asking for a number from one to four, or through equivoque or any other method you prefer, force the A* on someone. Take the other three cards, look at them and, after brief hesitations, drop Card 40 onto the left hand's packet, followed by ">2. Finally put 50 under the packet. Only the A* remains on the table Point to it, saying triumphantly, "That must be your card Have the selection named and dramatically turn it up. After a pause to allow the effect sink in, drop the A* face down onto the left hand's packet, cut two cards from top to bottom, and bring that packet together with the thirty-nine cards already arranged and waiting to complete the Mnemónica stack, e. Using the Methods for Stacking the Whole Deck
Though it may be painfully obvious, it doesn't hurt to mention that, to stack the second half of the deck you can resort to any of the methods described for stacking the whole deck, such as the Nikola ploy or "Between the Fingers". III. In three Stages (A Half, a Quarter and a Quarter)
At times it may be useful to stack the deck in three stages, tanning with half the deck, then a quarter, and finally another quarter In between these stages you could perform a few tricks that Ic^e thehal stack, or three-quarters of the deck, intact. These include tho>e using only a few cards, etc. I will now describe severa - ^ i > stacking a' quarter of the deck (thirteen cards), after half the deck already been stacked. H^^H^H
THE Clock | This is one of the more recent methods I have devised, h is very useful and extremely easy. Force a card from among Ihe thirteen you want to stack and have it returned (with your back turned, if you wish) anywhere in the deck. Extract the thirteen target cards from the deck and have them shuffled. Retrieve these cards and arrange them face up on the table in clock configuration, one card for each of the twelve hours. The thirteenth card is placed in the center to serve as a clock hand (Fig. 39).
Pretending to attempt the divination of the selection, begin to remove the hour" cards one at a time, until only the selection remains. As you do this, arrange the cards in mnemonic order. The way to present this effect is to turn your back after you've laid the cards into clock configuration, and allow the spectator to switch the positions of the cards. However, he leaves the selection resting at his favorite time of day. Turn to face the spectators and tell them to think of the chosen time. Then say, "I am certain you haven't picked three o'clock because you haven't recoil eredfrom lunch.'' Remove that card. "Neither have you chosen nine o'clock, since you're hungry and haven't had dinner yet." Remove that card. Or twelve, which is the bewitched hour—or.,/' And so on. You keep removing
'hours ', and the "hand" if necessary, eventually leaving only the selection on the table.
1 he drama and suspense develop automatically as the number of cards on the table diminishes, given that the spectators know the selection and hour. Referring to hours instead of cards provides good misdirection for your arranging the cards without raising suspicion.
Another way to present this is to use zodiac symbols instead of hours. You will have to know the symbols and their order. The thirteenth card can represent the sun.
Withsome practice you could stack twenty-six cards by using two ¡h°7 Slde b>' one to indicate the hours A.M. and the other for y^S '' M.-and two thought-of cards, one for each clock. Your left ho h i ^ lhe clock at ^ft, and your right hand cards ^e dock on the right. It is advisable, with one clock face or two,
Mnkmonica ^ 297
to lay out the cards clearly to avoid confusion uh Rotating the cards at 3,6,9 and 12 a quarter turn'
It is also wise to have a phrase thought out in twelve or twenty-four hours, so that you >'■ T
take the time to find exciting phras, to £
terious symbolic esoteric, erotic, lyric. aggrele, drl^T presentation will be that much more interesting.
b. the Imaginary Trick
Of those magicians I admire for the strength and clarity of their effects as well as for the cleverness of their methods, my distinguished and dear friend Jim Krenz occupies a prominent position. To him we owe a subtle idea for stacking thirteen cards, which is based on the premise of the trick "Carbuquillo" (p. 119).
I he thirteen cards in question are on top of the deck Cut the deck and catch a break between the sections. Next execute a dribble force as you have someone call stop. Cut the deck at that point, complete the cut and deal two hands of seven cards, one to a spectator and the other to yourself. Explain that you are playing a game of "Canarian [resillo and Malilla" (a game nobody will know because it doesn't exist).
Look for the first card of the stack among the thirteen (assuming you are stacking Cards 27 to 39, this would be 27). If you happen to hold it in your hand, and you don't have the next card in the stack (28, the 3*), toss it to the table face up, saying, "The 7too of Clubs < all only be beaten by the Three of Hearts. Do you have it?" The spectator nods and tosses down the 3* Push both cards aside, face up, and say, "All right, you win. but look: I have the Eight of Diamonds and the Five of Clul.." ( arils 29 and 30. "...which am only be beaten by the King of Spades. I don'I think you have it." The spectator joyfully tosses down the K* and you gather .ill three cards, laying them face up on the previous two. Continuing in this way, you toss down the appropriate cards and say they can only be beaten by such and such, gradually stacking the thirteen cards and losing all the bets—except the last one. For that you have reserved the only card th.it doesn't belong among the thirteen being stacked. Tossing it to the tab. e, you say, "Luckily I have the Four of Clubs, which is the Cananan Mai, In;
be frustrated, since there an- no losers in such .1 card game—and you have the thirteen cards in order.
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