By Mark StrtVMGS

Effect - The performer proposes a fictional trip to Las Vegas to place one lucky bet. A money clip is removed from the pocket and the stack of bills shown freely. The spectator cuts the stack anywhere and places the selected bill aside. Then a small packet of playing cards from various casinos is also shown and one card selected face up. It is shown to be from {for instance) the MGM in Las Vegas, An amount for a bet has been randomly decided (let's say $5.00), and a random casino has been chosen.

Upon completion of all this, the performer points out the money clip which has been in full view since before the experiment began. It is round in shape and the face of the clip has not been seen. Upon turning it over, it is found to be a souvenir from Las Vegas containing an actual $5.00 chip from the MGM! What are the odds?!

Method - The inspiration for this is the recent release of money clips which are designed to hold one actual chip from a casino. I found mine at New York, New York Casino in Las Vegas.

This is simply a combination of two forces. You will need to obtain the money clip (see afterthoughts for ideas that don't use the money clip); a chip from a casino (I use a $5 chip from the MGM); a stack of fairly crisp bills (say 20 bills), out of these half will need to be $5 bills for the force later on, the rest can be a mixture of other denominations; a small stack of playing cards with different backs from various casinos. I use middle value spot cards of both colors. Half of these cards will need to be from your force casino (in this case the MGM).

To prepare the bills simply trim all of your force bills l/32nd on an inch on each long side. This makes all of these bills narrow. When alternating with the other bills, the spectator can cut the stack anywhere and the bill on top of the remaining stack will be one of your force bills. These bills are folded in half and placed in the money clip, which should have the chip already in place.

The cards are prepared in a somewhat similar fashion. Rough the front of each X card and the backs of each of the force cards. Alternate the cards and they will adhere in pairs, with the force cards being the face card of each pair. These cards can be overhand shuffled and the force will still work. Here's the working.

Remove the money clip containing all the bills and remove the stack. Place the money clip face down without comment. Casually fan the bills in groups. This will help conceal the alternating status of the stack. Fold the stack and place on the table in tent fashion. It will resemble an inverted 'V' shape. Have the spectator cut the stack anywhere they like. Due to the shape of the stack of bills, they can really only cut from the sides. Of course, they will cut to one of your force bills every time. Place this bill aside. If you want to facilitate reset at this point, simply take the cut off portion of the stack and place it to the bottom of the stack. When the chosen bill is returned later, simply place it on the bottom and you are reset.

Now for the cards. I keep the cards in one of those vinyl folders that packet tricks come in. Or simply keep them in your shirt pocket Bring out the cards and casually fan the backs showing all the different casinos that are represented there. Now overhand shuffle the packet and fan them face up. Have your spectator touch any face up card. Square the packet bringing the chosen card to the face. Peel away the single face card, leaving the roughed mate behind. You can now reveal the chosen casino on the back of the card.

Ail that remains is to turn the money clip over and reveal that the outcome has matched! Return the selected card to the face of the packet and the selected bill to the bottom of the stack. Place it all back where it belongs and you're set to do it again.

Afterthoughts - Simplicity itself! I'd like to thank my dear friend Lee Earle for the suggestion of narrow bills for the money force. Great idea. Thanks Lee.

One thing you might want to try for improving the effectiveness of the card force. I end rough' the cards. All that this means is that the faces of the X cards and the backs of the force cards are roughed on the ends only. Mentally divide the card into thirds and only rough the outer 3rds. When spreading the cards either face up or face down, you can spread very clean singles by simply pushing on the center third of each card. Pressing on either end will spread doubles.

When I spread the backs I spread from the center in groups, similar to the spreading of the bills described earlier. This will show all different casino backs, including the force casino with no single one standing out. Likewise I also spread the cards face up singly when I first display the stack. This gives a very fair display and also dis" Z7 +

pels any thoughts of roughed pairs, should anyone in your audience be aware of the principle. When it comes time to force the card, spread the cards from the ends, they will adhere in pairs (you can also overhand shuffle in this fashion). You could also simply deal cards from the top to the bottom, actually dealing doubles. I do it as described. Cut the selection to the face as described earlier and cleanly deal off a single top card by pressing in the center. It's subtle, but really helps 'sell' the illusion.

I have also toyed with the idea of making a double face chip to put in the money clip. With two packets of cards available set to force different casinos, I could repeat with a different outcome. Simply open the money clip and turn the chip over, revealing a new casino.

If you can't locate the money clip, there is an alternative. You could have a small coin envelope in your wallet along with the bills. When you remove the bills, the coin envelope, which contains the appropriate chip is also removed and just placed aside with the wallet. Don't call attention to it, just do it. Perform as outlined above and the denouement is in the envelope ready to be revealed.

You could also make a money clip that would work. Obtain a plain money clip and obtain a chip. With a marker, black out the entire backside of the chip. Glue this portion to the money clip using a permanent glue. You're all set. It's not quite as pretty as the real money clip, but is every bit as functional. Enjoy!!

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