Mental Exploits

The special type deck refefed to in 'Mental Exploits' is credited to its originator, Joe Berg, who tirst placed it on the market a number of years ago, under the title of 'The Ultra Mental Deck.' It was the first of a series of 'Brain Wave decks' involving slight variations. This was the first deck of this type and the best. It is furnished with these routines, which greatly expands the deck's usefulness and utilization, with the permission of Joe Berg

The advantage of this deck is that all cards have the same color back -MAY BE SHUFFLED (by performer) - no markings on the backs and no need to COUNT to locate the desired card. The effect can be repeated over and over again with the SAME deck.


Here is a terrific publicity stunt that can be arranged most anywhere and with an absolute minimum of effort.

Select some prominent radio or TV program - newscast show wherein guests frequently appear, or a variety show. Contact the person in charge, by mail, telling him that you would like to try an experiment in Extra-Sensory Perception on his show. That you are mailing him a deck of playing cards, with the tax seal still intact. He is requested to open the deck, throw out the joker and advertising card - shuffle them and then take ONE card - of his choice - and insert it in the deck UPSIDE DOWN - and seal the deck. He is to tell NO ONE the name of his selected card!

At the appointed time, you will appear at the station and appear on his program, and prove your ability as a mentalist and reveal the identical card from your pack, in reversed position. To make the situation more appealing, you can (safely) announce that should you fail, you will donate $100.00 (or more) to any charity!

You send an ordinary deck of cards, tax seal intact, and your letter to the TV or radio artist. Contact by phone to confirm the stunt, and time you are to appear on the program and reveal your prediction.

When you appear on the program, either you or the artist summarizes what has transpired, and the fact is made known that ONLY the artist knows the name of the card. Mentalist explains that he 'sensed' the card that would be chosen and reversed in the deck, and consequently, reversed one card in his own deck.

TV artist breaks seals on his deck, and reveals his selected card for all to see. (If a radio program, a running commentary is given of the experiment.) Mentalist withdraws pack from his pocket, takes the card from case, and fans cards, face up ONE and ONLY one card is reversed - this is removed and is revealed to be the identical card selected -several days before hand by the studio artist!

As a real-klnker for - a • smashing climax, me.ntali.sfc t;o repeat the feat! Turning his back, he states that he will reverse, another card in this deck rs A':TY studio spectator merely THINKS cf a card. Now, facing the audience, he rc-.nuesto them to name alcud their mentally selected card -withdrawing the deck, only ore card is reversed and that is the mentally selected card.

This xoutxiii -Jr-- PERFECT for clubs, .luncheon ar.-.d banquet dates and NEWSPAPER Publicity by -.ailing a fair .sealed deck to the club President or entertainment chairpsn, or at a newspaper to the City Editor. Dr>n't: .overlook this treasndoi'3. impact cental test. Uce it, and you will agree its sensa- ..-tional!

(An Alternate Publicity Prediction Suggested by Dave Dowds)

As. in the fix at 'exploit1, arrange, your appearance on a prominent TV or radio shew. The special deck i.3 sent by registered mail, SEALED to the person in charge the shev, with the instruction he is to bring it to the show - untanpered nnd still sealed. That, with the aid of the deck in his possession, yea propose to read his mind!

. .. When doing the. presentation, give a brief resume of the prior happenings; that the sealed deck was sent to tl:?. recipient, who confirms the deck has not-been tampered with, and the seal is still intact. Ask your ^¿siel-.ant to THINK of any one of the 52 cards;in the deck. lie does so. Bring out the fact that it would be impossi'- le for you to KNOW, in advance, what card -he would select. He is.then asked to- break the seal on. deck, and hand to the performer, He is: then .g.s.ked. -to stcito ale; id the name of the mentally selected. ccrd.

Removing the carde carefully sr-.d deliberately, r-erf .'".me? fans the-deck - faces u.v- .- chi:;» ir.3 all. c^rds c.'.--2?v. one, WHICH I'' KEVEXv-EU- Performer states - "I knew Thursday when I sent you wy. deck, by fchar. yp'.i definitely would select (cue mentioned card), and therefore, I reverend that one card in the deck,.

This lientfl Exploit can also be used in person? 1 ,. sending the deck to i. premineni" per.00:1, chairman cf the event, etc., , tb~-,t will b.e present. It nokes good publ icity - pre;, ioir.g to rend ruch-3.r. 1 -auch a person's mind i.ig yc ur perlc me.-ire.

MENTAL EXPLOIT ifc' (fa a 'starcl?ng m^ntnl 'affect in /NY program) . .

In 4^ing Clv.b Work, or -. herev^r y_>u appear as a meritalist,.- incorporate: this startling effect. The deck can be previously mailed to any officer of the club, entertainuent chairman, etc. or given to the person-during the performance. The : oucine can be presented as a 'coincidence' or a 'do-as-I-do' effect with startling results. The effect contains all the necessary a true 'mental miracle', and will enhance yovr ion . zs a mentalist.

MENTAL EXPLOIT #4 (Wherein a spectator proves Extra Sensory Perception)

After having completed a mental test of some astounding nature, explain to the audience that most people possess the faculty of extra-sensory perception, and might be surprised if they would test their abilities.

Any spectator is selected to participate in the test. Mentalist asks that if he were to write the name of a playing card on a slate, how many in . the audience could GUESS the card? The answer, of course, is that the participant would have only ONE chance in FIFTY-TWO of hitting the right card -not a very good percentage.

Mentalist states that he has reversed one and only one card in his deck (hold up), and asks the spectator to concentrate and see if he can name the card - whatever card first enters his mind! (A card is named aloud). Mentalist removes card from deck and reveals only one card in reversed position, withdraws and exhibits. It is the same card named by the spectator. Mentalist remarks, "I knew you could do it - you do have strong psychic powers,"

"Maybe you were just lucky - let's try it again" (with same spectator or another). Performer turns his back to insert another card upside down in his deck. The card is named and, of course, proves the spectator correct. AND the procedure can be repeated a third time if wished. The audience is then informed at the conclusion of the third effort that the chances- of success in three tries has risen from one in 52 to one chance in almost a million - so, it must be extra-sensory perception, (2) mindreading or (3) mental projection of thought from the performer's mind.

I prefer to place three decks on a table, stating that in each deck I have reversed ONE CARD. Decks One, Two and Three are used with participants One, Two and Three. This makes for a stunning climax.

To employ freely selected spectators from the audience, and let THEM bask in the limelight is, indeed, good showmanship. Your efforts become a participating GAME and lends authenticity to your other exploits. This is a comparatively NEW approach in mentalism.

MENTAL EXPLOITS #5 (Mindreading).

The procedure, of course, can be reversed and the mentalist presents the effect as a mindreading effect. In such case, any spectator is asked to stand, and think of card. Performer turns back for a moment, then faces audience. He states that he has read the spectator's mind - (he is pretty sure). In proof of his assertion, he states that he reversed the mentally selected card, while his back was turned. Spectator states aloud the selected card, and performer reveals the one reversed card - which is the selected one. This, too, can be repeated.

MENTAL EXPLOITS #6 (A Prediction)

This is a honey of a psychic trick.Performer-makes a pencil prediction on a match pad and tosses it into the audience to any legitimate spectator to hold. Any spectator is asked to think of a card - and then name it aloud. Performer removes cards from case that has been in plain view since the start of the test, and fanning them out, reveals one and only one card to be face down - which is the selected card. Spectator with prediction is asked to open the match pad and to verify the prediction. This is done, spectator' verifying the prediction.

The prediction? - That is a subtle touch added by your author. On the match pad is previously written, "The selected card I have already reversed in the deck." As you fan out the cards, you are calling attention to the faces of all the cards - and one and only one is reversed in the deck -the selected card - and the se1acted card was - turn it over and reveal as the selection is again stated - turn to the spectator holding the prediction -ask him to open it - and to stand on his own two feet and tell the audience whether or not the prediction was 100% correct. He naturally answers in the affirmative - and you get credit for correctly predicting the name of the selected card!!

NÖTE? The above is reprinted from Nelson's Encyclopedia of Mentalism. MENTAL EXPLOITS #7 (A double clincher).

An especially devastating effect can be arranged by utilizing a combination of the Ultra Mental Deck, pocket indexes and the Nelson Mental Gimic. In this routine, the mentalist writes out the prediction on a slip of paper, and places it in the Mental Gimic - suspended in mid-air by a thin upright wire - reveals the mentally chosen card as reversed in the deck, and then hands his written prediction directly to any spectator for verification -revealing the NAME OF THE CARD - which apparent^ was written even before the spectator was selected.

MENTAL EXPLOITS 7/8 (Double Prediction).

This routine iuvr" t'v: use of. t.h:: "Mtie Mental Deck and a nail writer. Performer state;: that he \ri31 uake a prediction and record it on a card, and seal in envelope. ' lei" ee do«.« and envelope is -laced in view of all. MY spectator is chosen to act as a participant. Performer withdraws a pack of cards from his pock .. end asks any spe tator to first mentally select any card in the deck - then name it. aloud. The sealed envelope is picked up (and while talking with audierce), writes the name of the selected card on the face of the envelope with a STYLUS nail writer, using red carbon paper inside the envelope against the face of the enclosed cardboard. Envelope is opened and card removed, w: th the narac of selected'card -written in red. Naturally, when first pretending to: write his 'prediction, the performer uses a RED pencil.'actually writing nothing.

Performer then removes cards from case, and reveals the selected' cara is the. only one reversed in the deck. Some people will argue that this last step is unnecessary, but experience has taught that, it DOES heighten the effect, and i s a point of much later speculation.

MORE: In all effects where spectators are selected, it is wise that the selection of participants be made in the fairest possible manner. A good method is for the performer to turn his back momentarily and toss a ping pong ball into the audience. Whoever receives the ball is to assist, or may, if they wish, toss it at random to another spectator. In each case, it should be brought out in the patter that there positively exists NO collusion between the performer and spectator, i.e., "On your word and honor, no collusion whatever exists between us, and you haven't the slightest idea what I am about to ask you to do. Is that correct? Such statements will clarify the situation, or an offer of $100.00 to be given to charity to anyone who can prove that you use confederates.


As the performer searches for the reversed card, the various faces are shown. The reversed card is revealed in the deck - and then dramatically turned over, and the face displayed. This slight delay in revealing the card builds a dramatic climax, and is only possible with this deck.

The deck-is cleverly ..gaffed. It is a complete deck of 52 cards, all the odd number of cards facing one way, and the even number facing the other. The value of each pair of cards total 13, and each pair of cards are of the same color, but of opposite suit. Thus, if the arrangement of the deck is disturbed, to reset, pair up the cards, back to back, so the faces total 13, and of the same color, but opposite suit. As the Kings are 13, they back up themselves.

The cards are prepared with a special compound, which causes the backs to adhere to each other, if slight pressure is brought to bear. Thus, you can cut the cards and even shuffle them, with care. Place all cards in pack, so that all odd cards face the front of the card case. Spectator may call any of the 52 cards (no joker) and you remove the deck, fan and find his card, which is upside down.

Whatever card is called (illustration, say the 3 of Clubs, you subtract the number 3 from 13 leaves 10), take the same color (black) but opposite suit (spades) and that card locates the selected card. Remove the cards from case with even cards showing as the top of the deck - fan thru deck until you locate the 10 of Spades, EASE the pressure and part the card underneath it (card paired with 10 of spades), which is the 3 of Clubs upside down. Increase pressure, and fan on thru the deck, showing that to be the only card upside down, or in reverse.

When fanning or running the cards from hand to hand, do so with slight pressure on the faces of the cards. That causes them to adhere to each other, revealing only the faces. To 'kick' loose the selected card, ease the pressure and allow it to slide into view. A few minutes practice may be necessary to get the knack of the cards.

If the card of odd value is called, remove the cards from case with even faces showing. If an even card is called, you must remove them with the odd faces showing. Remember the rule - subtract the number of the card sought from 13, take same color, but opposite suit. Desired card is immediately underneath, and in reverse, ready to be revealed by relieving the tension on the cards as they are fanned. , ;

Needless to say, only the faces of the cards, are shown. Card produced upside down, and then replaced in the pack. Selected card must later (before trick is again performed) be paired up again with its compliment card, and odd cards all facing one ,way. -Place King of Clubs and King of Hearts with odd cards, King of Spades and Diamonds facing the even cards, and remember this arrangement as the King is 13 and backs itself up.


For many years there has been a very good trick where you mark a cross on a card, make a written prediction naming that card, and then give the pack to the subject who is supposed to mark any card behind his back - but the pencil you: hand him is faked so that it will not write. This means that, although he thinks he has marked a card, in actual fact he has not: upon checking through and finding your card marked with a cross, he wrongly supposes that it is his - and, of course, the prediction foretells that this card would be chosen.

This is a good mental effect and nothing impairs the trick excepting one detail - the pencil is faked and must therefore be switched at the conclusion. This effect is literally the same - with the improvement that there is no fake equipment used. The. pencil is a special one, so designed that it will write on rough surfaces - but not on smooth or glossy ones. A playing card, by virtue of its linen polished finish, has a shiny smooth surface. The carbon pencil cannot grip on this finish and consequently, will not mark. That is the basis of the trick. The moves are as follows:

1. Prepare by marking a cross on a two or four (any suit). The pips on the cards recommended leave a large white space suitable for marking and show the cross clearly. Suppose you mark the Two of Hearts...

2. Place this card out of sight soi.aewhere in the middle of the deck.

3. Write a prediction stating that the Two of Hearts will be chosen.

4. Hand the prediction (folded) to the spectator, telling him that it is in his care, and that no one must touch it from then onwards.

5. Take the Carbon pencil supplied and pick up a scrap of paper. As if showing the spectator what he must do, draw a cross with the pencil on a piece of paper. Thic shows him that the pencil writes -- WITHOUT SAYING SO!

6. Tell him to pick up the pack., hold them behind his back and cut or shuffle them. (Better to say "cut" or they may drop them whilst trying to shuffle.)

7. Next they take the pencil and "mark a cross on the face of any card after giving them a good mix,"

S. When this is done have them "cut the pack several times (because, if not, his card would be on the face, when the marked card may in actual fact be elsewhere) and then spread out the cards face upwards and find the chosen card" (The marked one.)

9.(Alternatively, you may have him deal them one at a time on to the table so that the card marked with the cross is found.)

10. When the marked card is located, and you have made it clear that no other card is marked, ask him to read the Prediction whereupon he finds that it names the card "he marked" - how can that be explained?

NOTES: To achieve best results with the carbon pencil, just before handing it to the spectator for writing on the card, wipe the tip with your dry fingers to remove any carbon particles which may otherwise cause a faint marking.

To add to the effect, apart from drawing a cross on paper before he is allowed to write, when you get the pencil back, say "Did you draw a circle like this, or a cross like this?" and draw each sign as you speak, once more adding conviction to the fact that that pencil writes, but only doing so on rough paper!

Nothing can be more natural than that which is unfaked


Effect: Five ESP cards are given to the spectator with the request that he mix the cards (face down). Magician also shows five cards which are put in a skeleton stand. The five cards are put one each in a different section of the stand. The spectators see the five different symbols and the stand is turned with the backs of the cards towards the audience. The spectator either hands his cards to the magician one at a time and suggests where he would like his cards placed or puts his cards in the stand himself. The stand is turned around, the cards taken out of their respective spaces and are found to match, pair for pair, right down the stand.

Secret: You will need a card stand (see illustration) and two packets of cards. One of the packets consists of five.different ESP cards. This packet we call #1 and it is the one that is given to the spectator. These cards are roughed on their faces. The other packet is packet #2 and is the packet used by the magician. Packet ft2 consists of ten cards, five pairs of duplicate ESP cards, that are roughed on one half of their faces and facing backs. The backs of the back cards of each pair are also roughed (see illustration). A pencil dot is placed on the upper left hand corner of each of these ten cards; that is, on the end opposite the roughed ends. Make sure each pair of cards is kept together at all times. Now take up packet #2

uxards-ls_kept-±ogether ^tHemovethe elastic band.-from packet #2 and hold as follows; Your right thumb at the bottom-center of the cards and the rest of your fingers side by side at the back of the cards. Move your four fingers to the left and your thumb to the right and you will find that you have fanned the cards, separating five different pairs of cards. (Keep plenty of' pressure on the cards as you fan them and do not relax your pressure until the cards are in the plastic stand») As you fan the cards, you will find that a matching mate of each card will stick to its own.; thus the spectator will only see five different cards. Keeping the cards in their fanned position, remove them one pair at a time with your left hand. As you do so, buckle the cards a bit with your left hand fingers as you remove them from your right hand. This will prevent the pairs of cards from separating as you lower them into the separate sections of the stand. Make sute that the dots on the cards are at the top left corner as they are fanned in your right hand and that the dots stay at the top of the cards as they are put in the plastic stand.

You now have what looks like five different cards in the plastic stand.

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  • Mirren
    What is mental exploits?
    3 years ago

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