Memorized Deck Tricks In Jinx

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in 161 ^ Cardoso (who sometimes signed as Car-dozo) published in Coimbra, Portugal, his Thesouro dePrudentes, in which he describes the mathematical stack wherein the values are arranged at regular intervals and the suits go in rotation. This stack, popularized in America three centuries later by Si Stebbins (and Howard Thurston), had been in use a11 the vv hile area of Southern Europe.


Manuel pratique d'illusionisme et de prestidigitation (1935) includes several tricks with a stacked deck (pp. 274-283). These tricks were published earlier by his compatriot Gombert in 1929 (see Gombert below).

This book also includes a trick based on another by Ponsin: A spectator whispers the name of a card to the magician, after which the magician forces that card on a second spectator. Lastly, Ceillier describes a trick based on another by the great Robert-Houdin: A spectator takes a card from one deck and the magician palms its duplicate from another. He then has the remaining cards of the second deck scattered on a tray and shuffled around by the spectators. The magician secretly adds the palmed duplicate to those on the tray and, resting his thumb on it, instructs the spectators to take groups of cards, arranging matters so that the last one remaining (the card he is controlling) is the one that matches the selection.

Chesbro, Verne

In The jinx, No. 103, July 27, 1940, he describes ''Mentelimination'' (p. 622), a divination effect cloaked as a super-memory feat, in which the magician seems to memorize the entire deck to discover the one card missing. This is done, even though the cards are given honest riffle shuffles. Chesbro also extends his method to allow for three or four selections to be made simultaneously. a stack and key cards are responsible for these masterpieces of cleverness and subtlety. See also J. G. Thompson, Jr. in this bibliography for another brilliant effect.

CiurO, Padre Wenceslao

In his work Mnemotecnia Teatral (1959), he exposes various methods using syllables to memorize a stack (some are ingenious, such as the one on p. 130). He also describes a very curious effect: After some apparently honest shuffles, a spectator gives the deck a cut. The magician secretly learns



the identity of the top card, after which he directs the spectator in laying out all fifty-two cards, face down, in different spots on the table. On turning them face up, they are found to be perfectly arranged by suit and value, in four rows. There are also some minor tricks on pp. 137-143.1 should point out, as always, the warmth, the psychological subtlety and extraordinary clarity of the writings of Padre Ciuro, with whose books so many of us in Spain started our magical ramblings.

cuve, Paul

In the book Card Tricks Without Skill (1946), he describes Annemann's "a Real Psychic Card Test" (p. 141), which was originally published in The jinx No. 3, Dec. 1934 (p. 11), and later in Encyclopedia of Card Tricks (p. 232) by Hugard, under the title "The Psychic Card Test".

On p. 152, there is this quick effect: a spectator cuts a packet from the deck, takes the card he cut to, looks at it, lays it on top of the other packet and completes the cut. The magician, who has his back turned throughout this procedure, now turns to face the audience again and names the card as well as its exact position from the top (which he learns by subtracting the mnemonic number of the card from 53). a simple glimpse of the bottom card is used. It's an excellent idea, which I built on in "Exact Location", described on p. 145.

There are other tricks with an "identity pack" (using a periodical numeric order) on pp. 146-157.

Close, Michael

In his book Workers 5, which lives up to the standard of the entire series, the author (with whom I have so many common loves: magic, music, piano, the memorized deck...) makes some general observations on mnemonic stacks (p. 122), which are interesting, as are ail of his writings, and which I enthusiastically recom-^^^^^^^ mend. He then explains several mnemonic-deck tricks, fnr, such as: "^e Wishing Trick" (p. 126), in which a called numbere^r ^ °f a shl,ffled deck, followed by an any-card-at-any-use of tho a f°r S,m°n" (P' 131>' which g»ves two tricks that make of "Simon Z^u Sltf; and "My°Pia" (P- 134)> an ingenious variation which he applies T " Then COmes a chaPter (P" 138) *

sonal hand 1 inv' f memori2ed deck to five effects and provides his per-

Deck,The Birth iTT^ ^ ran8ta» from classics like The InviSib'e b>' Roy Walton mi r°?/ ^ Card Stab and The Haunted Deck to effects

' Goldman and Simon Aronson.

Mnemonic a 377

In "Jazzin", Michael Close discovers a beautiful analogy between jazz and the memorized deck, and reflects on the unlimited possibilities of using it to improvise pretty pieces of artistic magic. 'ITiere are more than forty pages here (122-163, plus a detail on p. 91) full of psychology, subtleties, ideas and effects that every mnemonicaddict should read. On the topic of improvisation with a memorized deck, also see p. 162 of the book in hand.

Coleman, Walter W.

In The Unking Ring, Vol. 22, No. 7, Sept. 1942, he described "Spauldin^s 'Audience Rapport'" (p. 21).

Corinda, Tony

In his classic work Thirteen Steps to Mentalism (1958-1960), he describes several sorting systems in "Simple Card Systems" (p. 73). 1 le also describes a quick trick arid some good ideas for glimpsing a key card to determine the identity of a selection.

Curry, Paul

Memorized-deck material from this clever creator is pretty scarce. In his early book, Something Borrowed, Something Neiv (1941) there is an interesting thought-reading effect, "Think of a Card" (no page number); The magician asks someone to think of a card and then appears to have trouble getting the thought, so he asks the spectator to cut his card to the bottom, look at it intently and bury it in the center of the deck while the magician turns his back. Glimpsing the bottom card tells him the identity of the selection. Fred Braue, in The Fred Braue Notebooks, Volume Four (1985, p. 13) added a presentational touch to Curry's trick. He asks a female spectator to hold his wrist, so that she can attempt to read the thought through him. The magician presses his middle finger and thumb of that hand together and the lady feels "something". On being asked, she will name the suit thus transmitted to her. The same is done with the value, and she appears to have guessed the card, using the magician as a mental conduit. The lady often ignores the fact that the magician transmitted the card deliberately to her.

Daley, Jacob

Within that incredible collection of ideas that are the celebrated Jacob Dalei/'s Notebooks (1972), are various excellent thoughts using a memorized deck (which indicate the high esteem this superb magician had for the stacked deck).


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Fundamentals of Magick

Fundamentals of Magick

Magick is the art and practice of moving natural energies to effect needed or wanted change. Magick is natural, there is absolutely nothing supernatural about it. What is taught here are various techniques of magick for beginners. Magick is natural and simple and the techniques to develop abilities should be simple and natural as well. What is taught on this site is not only the basics of magick, but the basics of many things.

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