H 8s Qc 5h 6h 8d 2c 10h 7s Ad Qs 2s Kc 9h 8h 3d Ac 3h 10s 7d

One would have to count ten cards before the stack was repeated. Also, you are able to have neighbouring cards showing the same suit or value, which is a convincing advantage of this system.

Let us presume that the stack is memorised. It resides in the pad, so that the face Seven of Diamonds is showing. The deck is in the right inner jacket pocket with the face card facing the body. A pen is in the left inner pocket. You have approached some spectators and they are delighted to see you. A deck of cards is taken from its case and handed to a spectator on your right for shuffling. As she does so, you comment on her nimble fingers. Given that her shuffling is mediocre at best, this comment is made in good humour. After she has finished, you say to her and the group, "Despite the nimbleness of your shuffle, I often come across one flatulent cynic who believes that I am able to follow the distribution of the cards during the shuffle, and therefore actually memorise the order of the deck. So I am going to ask you to pass them to so-and-so, and have him shuffle them too. Ah, even more dangerously nimble." Pause while she shuffles, and then reach into your pocket to remove the pad.

You will need to judge the timing here, but as you hold the pad in your left hand, your right gestures for the return of the cards to the table and then goes into the jacket to take out the pen. During this time, you have allowed the cards to dislodge into the left hand and taken them into something resembling a cop position. The right hand places the pen on the table, and then removes the pad from the left. As you take the pad, ask the spectator to your right if she trusts the other spectator's shuffling. Thus the only bad angle for the cop is covered. The right hand places the pad on the table, and picks up the deck. Glimpse and memorise the bottom card. The deck is placed directly on the cards in the left hand, and the entire deck is spread towards the audience without you seeing the faces. This you do as you say, "Good. Because I want you to be happy that this is a very jumbled deck before we start.." The top third of the deck is not spread, but rather pulled back behind the spread a little to hide the surplus cards.

The deck is turned face up and placed in the left hand for a moment. The left little finger breaks into the deck about twenty or so cards up. These are copped again as you ask the spectator on the right to take the cards (as the right places them on the table and the left pulls up the right sleeve to hide the cards) and turn them face down. After placing the cards on the table, the right hand picks up the pad and places it into the left hand, which manoeuvres the cards back into the shell. The right opens the pad and removes a sheet of paper, handing it to the spectator. You also hand her the pen as the left hand returns the pad to the right inside pocket.

AJJ has seemed immensely fair. Nobody will suspect any foul play so far, as all your actions have been above board, and the effect does not appear to have started. However, you now know a stack of 20 cards in the deck, and somewhere in the middle is a short card, which marks the top card of the stack - the Seven of Hearts. The group is asked if they believe in telepathy. I shall briefly give my opening words to the presentation:

"You will all be aware of the situation where you are thinking of someone in particular, and suddenly they call you out of the blue. Sometimes the telephone may ring and you are certain of who it will be even though you had no prior knowledge that they would call you. Well, we are all intelligent people and are aware that there are several hundred times a day when we think of people and they don't call, or when a feeling of certainty turns out to be wrong. Of course we forget these occasions. But if you pay attention to the feelings of certainty that turn out to be correct, and learn to harness them by memorising them at a physiological and emotional level, you will be able to trigger off the same feeling neurologically at a later time, with the same degree of correctness. There is nothing psychic about this process - it is merely about learning to manage your mental states. This is what I want to demonstrate. There's a limit to what you can influence with this procedure, otherwise we'd all be millionaires, but certainly in a game of poker it is an enormous advantage to trigger off that feeling of certainty and know for a fact the position of cards in a deck that someone else has shuffled. That's where I use this skill to my own advantage. But let's see how well you do before I start."

The tone has been set, and the last comment was addressed to the spectator with the pen and paper. Tell her to clear her mind, then reach over and deliberately cut the deck at the short card, saying, "I want you to think of a number between one and ten..." Snap your fingers and look at her as you finish saying this, to encourage her to do so quickly. Immediately continue, "... and write it down on the paper." This she does. You need only pen read the number. Hopefully it is a seven. If she has a thick pen, she will write large. It is very easy to tell which one of ten numbers she has written. Turn away after you have read the number, and ask, "Done that? Good." Turn back and continue, "Now think of your favourite suit -you know Diamonds, Hearts, Spades and Clubs, and draw that there too." The verbal force of the Heart is achieved by a) asking for the favourite suit, b) naming the suits in the order mentioned, c) gesturing at the spectator to emphasise the Heart, and slightly mumbling the last two and d) casually drawing the Heart in the air with both hands as you instruct her to draw it. Again, pencil read to judge your success. You turn away as before as soon as you have the information.

If she has written the Seven of Hearts, or something close to it, have her turn over the top card of the deck and congratulate her accordingly. If she has written, for example, the Six of Hearts, preface the revelation by saying that a couple of cards either way will be allowed. The bottom card of the deck that you memorised earlier will be the bottom card after the cut, so you have another opportunity here - she can turn over the whole deck and see her card. Do not ask her to reveal her card before turning the top card or the deck over. If you know what she has written but are unable to make it fit with either of the cards, you ask her to concentrate on her card while you face away, and slowly you reveal what she wrote.

If she was successful in divining the top or bottom card, pause and allow the effect to sink in. Then offer to continue with the rest of the cards yourself. If you had to divine her writing, now offer to do the same with the deck. Either way, you now begin to read the cards. Apologise and say that you will have to, in the interests of fairness, face away from the cards and therefore from her during the effect. When you are safely facing away, have her turn the first card face up on the table, using those 'famous nimble fingers.' Give a vague description of it: "It's a black card, and a Seven or an Eight again - am I right?" Become more specific with the next few and pick up speed as she goes through the deck. It is an idea to turn back briefly after the second card has been dealt and named to check that she is dealing them face-up into a pile. Continue with this until the

_ last card of the stack has been reached. Stop, as if for breath and readjustment, and turn back to the spectator. Gesture for her to take the remaining cards and tell her to shuffle them 'even more.' "Splendid!" you exclaim, as you pick up the dealt stack and casually false overhand shuffle it yourself. Run the Seven on the top to the face of the packet. When she is done, hold your packet in the right hand, clipping it with the first and second fingers crosswise near and parallel to the outer short edge. The left hand reaches out and takes her packet between the thumb and forefinger, but near the bottom edge. You will apparently take this packet and hand her your own, but as the hands come together for an instance, the packets are swapped. The outer end of the left hand packet is fed between the right finger and thumb, and the inner end of the right packet is taken by the first and second fingers of the left. Each hand grips the other's packet and the right hand moves forward and hands the spectator the very same packet that she has just shuffled. This move is a development of a sleight by Dr. Daley, who apparently exchanged the cards perpendicular to this move - i.e. left to right and vice versa. There is also a similar idea by Karl Fulves that Tamariz describes in the video Lessons In Magic Vol. I. I feel that these sideways variants are not as deceptive as performing the exchange 'forwards.' Experimenting may convince you of the same.

"Nimble as ever - shuffle these too," you say as you look her in the eye and make the exchange. Do not shuffle the same stack again, but rather place it in the centre of the table. As a reason for this elaborate shuffle, I mention that the spectator is performing a 'Las Vegas Shuffle' - separately shuffling each half and then the two together. I add that it is supposed to remove any effects of static from the deck. I think that is something that I heard Chad Long say, and it stuck in my mind. Thanks, Chad. Retrieve her packet when she is ready, with the left hand again, and Zarrow shuffle the two packets together. As this false shuffle is completed, note the top card of the left packet that goes on top of the stack that is fed beneath it. If you know that it is duplicated in your stack, you must lose it from the face. This can be done by slipping it into the middle using the slip-force handling, as you casually slap the pack together a couple of times to show, without saying as much, that no fingers are left in the deck, and nothing protrudes.

Finally place the cards in front of the spectator, for the second phase of the effect. Explain that you wish her to cut off some cards from the deck while your back is turned. After that, you continue, you will attempt to take the exact same number from the deck, without looking. You will achieve this not by any telepathic means, but merely by working with the feeling of certainty that you have described. To ensure that she leaves enough cards for you to do this, tell her to cut off less than half of the deck. As you explain this, pick the cards up an inch or two off the table and dribble them back down so they form a slightly messy pile. This will look, if anything, as if you are making sure that any irregularities in the squared deck do not affect where she cuts. In fact, this is true. Given the introduction of the new stack, and the placement of the short card, it is all too possible that she might cut the entire stack away if you leave the deck neatly squared. Mime for her the action of taking some away, and explain that she is to put them straight into her pocket. Then turn away.

Behind your back she removes some, and hides them in her pocket. When she has done this, bring your hand behind you as if you were going to try to cut some cards, then stop before you touch it. Explain that if you touched the deck, you could probably guess by feel roughly how many she had taken. And this would confuse you, as you are trying to keep a clear mind. Tell her instead to pick up the cards and to deal them one at a time, face down, into your hand, and that you will attempt to stop her at exactly the number that she has in her pocket. Before she starts, ask her if she feels that there is any way that you could possibly know how many cards she has. For all you know, she herself has no idea. Yet you are going to tap into that feeling of certainty, and see where it stops you. Explain that she herself might even feel a strong sense of having dealt the right number (especially given her earlier success), but that she should not let that stop her dealing. She begins to deal the cards into your hands.

The reader might also like to ponder what is about to happen. You are about to meet the challenge with resounding success. At no point do you look round, nor must you indulge in any real chicanery. The answer is simple, and it is not directly concerned with the stack - this can be done impromptu. What is important, however, is the position of the short card, the Seven of Hearts. Unless you lost the top card after the Zarrow shuffle, it is positioned twenty-one cards from the top. (Position twenty, otherwise). The spectator cuts off X cards from the top, leaving the card in position 21 minus X. Then she deals into your hand behind your back, reversing the order of the cards. You need only stop her at 21, and say that you feel that she has gone too far. 21 minus X were dealt first into your hand culminating in the short card, followed by the number X itself, to make up the 21 that you have just counted. If, like me, you were away when they did adding, fear not. All you need to do, after you have stopped her, is to reach behind you with your other hand, and lift off all the cards above the short card. Gesture for her to take these, explaining that you believe the number contained there will match her pile exactly. They will.

Now, as you hand her that pile, turn back round. Place the remaining pile in your hand face-up on the table, near you. You will be looking at the point in your stack where she cut, but that need not worry you for a moment. She will count the pile you gave her, one at a time face down onto the table (tell her to do so 'so everyone can see' if she does not) and arrive at a number - let us say twelve. Tell her to count the cards in her pocket, and as she does so, clear away the packet that she has just counted as well as the remainder from the deal. When she brings out the new packet from her pocket, she should now count facedown onto the table. She will, in doing so, reverse her entire pile, and in doing so will bring her part of the stack into its original order. (The throbbing behind the eyes that you are currently experiencing is nothing compared to what I suffered working this out.)

This final subtlety means that moments after she has reacted with wonder that you were correct in your estimation of the number of cards in her pile, you can turn away again and exclaim - "Twelve cards, which if I am correct, are the..." and then rattle off the first eleven cards of your stack, plus the extra top card that you noted from the Zarrow. The face card of the face up pile on the table will remind you when to stop.

Rather involved, I'm sure you'll agree, but very clean in the handling and simple in presentation. Your aim is to have them remember that you touched nothing and looked away throughout. You'll find that it really does look like you are doing what you proclaim to be the case. The best of luck.

A final th ought on 'PleropWria'

I mentioned earlier that my desire in forming the effect was to read the cards from a deck that was shuffled and dealt by the audience, therefore eliminating the possibility of chicanery in both areas. I also mentioned that at a gathering of magicians I would wish to have a member of the audience remove a deck from his pocket, and then to read the cards as he sits in the audience with the pack. This, indeed, was my original desire. 1 have done this, with great success, by an application of pick-pocketing skills: namely exchanging their own deck for my own, directly in the spectator's pocket. I find someone who I know will be sat at the front (or I do this before the show starts while I chat to people near the front), and then during the course of conversation make the exchange. Before beginning my presentation, I tell him (now that we have struck up a friendly rapport) that I will need to borrow a deck at some point during the routine, and ask him if he has one. He replies in the affirmative, and I ask him if it is a regular deck. He confirms that it is, and I say, "Excellent. That will save some time when I ask for one. Thanks."

When I come to perform 'Plerophoria' during my set, I ask the audience if anyone has a deck I can use, and catch the eye of the spectator, raising my eyebrows. I found from experience that the effect is more convincing if he brings the deck up to the table and places it face down in front of him. I must then stall a little as I talk about certainty, and assure the audience that he is not a confederate, which he will be eager to deny. I always try and do this with someone who has a group of friends at the front that can confirm that he is genuine. The main reason for stalling is to cover the fact that the deck is not going to be shuffled. If the deck is brought out and immediately read, the absence of a shuffle will be felt. If this is done while the spectator is still sat in the audience, the effect will not be credible. But if he sits with me at the table, an audience will begin to consider other possibilities, and their minds become foggy.

Just a thought.

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