There have been many stabbing tricks where a playing card is tossed or inserted into the pack to locate two previously selected cards. The premise has promising aspects, but many methods are weakened by requiring the magician to perform the toss or insertion and manipulate the adjacent cards or sections. This method eliminates these flaws.
Effect: Two spectators each freely select a card in the familiar peek fashion. The deck is given several cuts to the table, then is ribbon spread face down. The performer picks up an extra advertising card that was earlier placed aside and hands it to one of the spectators. He asks this spectator to insert the advertising card anywhere into the face-down spread. After he does this, the ribbon-spread is immediately flipped face up. Upon noting the cards immediately on either side of the advertising card, everyone realizes that the spectator has amazingly stabbed between the two selections.
This method has its roots in The Card Ideas Of Simon Aronson.
Requirements: Two gaffed cards are needed and are made from the advertising cards included in most packs of playing cards, particularly those manufactured by the U.S. Playing Card Company. Gaff # 1 consists of a playing card back that matches the deck is glued to one side of an advertising card. Gaff # 2 consists of a playing card—say, Ten of Diamonds—that is glued to another advertising card. Weldwood Spray Glue is recommended. Both gaffs should display different sides of the advertising card. Finally, put a pencil dot or nail-nick at the outer left and inner right corners of the playing card's back (Gaff 1).
Set-up: Remove the regular Ten of Diamonds from the deck and place it aside. It will not be used. Gaff # 1 is placed on top of the deck with the playing card-side exposed. Gaff # 2 with its advertising-side up should be at the side of the performing area where it is casually placed. Owing to its "throwaway" nature, it has built-in "harmlessness" that takes potential heat off it.
Method: Shuffle the cards, retaining Gaff #1 on top. Have a card peeked in the lower third of the deck and retain a left pinky break below the selection. This is easily done by slowly riffling through the bottom third. While maintaining the break, approach another spectator and have him peek at a card about two-thirds from the bottom of the deck.
Your first finger releases this card and your third finger picks up the break above the second selection. Your right hand then cuts the deck as follows: With your left thumb resting lightly on the top card of the deck (Gaff #1), your right hand slip-cuts all the cards above your third finger break, retaining the top gaffed card and places this talon on the table. Your right hand cuts off approximately half of the cards above your pinky break and drops this talon on the tabled portion. All the cards above the pinky break are cut onto the tabled deck. The remaining left-hand talon is deposited on the tabled deck. The gaffed card is now in the approximate center of the deck with the first selection above and the second selection below it.
Ribbon-spread the deck face down from left to right in a slight arch so that the cards are all seen to be face down and the center is readily available to the spectator. Casually look around the table and when your eyes "notice" the advertising card (Gaff #2), pick it up and say to a spectator, "I would like you to insert this card somewhere in this deck, like this."
To demonstrate, insert the card into the spread for about a third of its length. Do not call attention to the advertising card, but simply hand it to him with your attention on the deck. This will focus the audience's attention on the same deck. Have the spectator insert the card somewhere in the spread as you casually gesture to the center section of the spread. During this procedure, scan the cards to sight the location of Gaff #1. This is easy due to the markings on the back of the card. As long as the spectator does not insert his card next to Gaff #1, proceed as follows:
Turn the deck face up and ribbon-spread, revealing the accuracy of the insertion-stab. It has located the two selected cards. You may prefer to merely flip the face-down ribbon-spread to instantly cap the effect. The cards can be flipped as long as Gaff #1 and #2 are no more than 7 or 8 cards apart. This allows for a 17-card leeway at the center of the deck. If the cards are further apart, square the deck, turn it face up, then spread the cards. This makes it difficult to discern the exact location where the spectator inserted the advertising card. If the spectator is a bit feisty and inserts the card near an end of the deck, merely close the spread, give the cards a cut, then turn the deck over and ribbon-spread. In all cases, make sure that the face-up spread is wide open so that it is apparent that no cards are concealed in the spread.
If the spectator happens to insert Gaff #2 next to Gaff #1 , ask, "Do you have understand? Now try again."Suiting your words to the action, remove the card and gesture for the spectator to insert the card again.
The importance of treating the advertising card in an off-hand, low-key manner cannot be overemphasized. If you are convincing in creating this impression, the final result will be miraculous. In sessions, Aronson often leaves the gaff on the table for an hour or more to dull the suspicions of my compeers before he uses it. He also has loaded it beforehand in another magician's card case.
There are other alternative methods of controlling Gaff #1 to the desired position. Other combinations are also possible, such as having two cards selected and then the stab-insertion locates their mates.
Was this article helpful?
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.