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Tins IS ONE of those tricks 1 developed specifically to tool Fred Robinson and Eric Mason. Fred was very taken with the idea and expressed the opinion that it represented something of a breakthrough—a flattering tiling to be told by such a knowledgeable man. I must, though, place on record that, although what follows is my own origination, die idea ofhaving a freely named card appear at the same position in two different packs is not new. Paul Curry receives credit for rhat cffect, having founded it in 1 947 with his trick "The Power of Thought.* I was unaware of this at the time I came up with "Do You Want to Continue?' Fortunately my presentation (which 1 really enjoy) and method arc entirely different from Mr. Curry's.

Effect AND PKESENT/yllon: The performer explains that what he is about to do is not so much a demonstration as an enigma. An enigma of such high improbability, it Ibeen known to have given many people sleepless nights.

So before I continue*w he adds as a sort of warning, Y will offer you the opportunity to stop me now, and saveyourselves hours of possible frustration!

"Do you want me to continuef"

Alter such an introduction, most people will be unable to resist saying yes. So two packs of cards—one red backed, the other blue—are introduced in their cases and placed on the table.

; tiARRiE RiCKUiDSQX . .

Address) ng one spectator, the pci/on ner pmcccds, V would like you to think of any card other than tf?ejoker. Try to imagine that you are u>a!ki?\g to the beach uthenyou suddenly see afew tards tying on the ground So you pick up mx) of them. What are they?" ' . - / . ..

ilie spectator names two cards. For the sake of this.description, lets assume them the six of spades and the fbnr ot diamonds.

"Okay> keep one ofthern and throw the other away Or if you prefer, you can. tois hotly away and pick \tp a completely different one. 1 'he choice is entirely yours. " Eventually. the person dccidcs on a card; lets say the six of spades. "Find But before we go atiyfu rthery may I givetyou the chance to stop me now, or do you want me to continue with the demonstration ? Doing so may cause many sleepless nights! You want me to proceed? Very well hut entirety at your own risk!

"Please assist me by doing exactly as I do." He pushes the cased red pack over to the assistant. Carefully, so thar then? is no suggestion of manipulation, he opens the other case and removes the blue deck, holding it in his left hand. The spectator does likewise. *

"AW these packs have been arranged in a special u>ay. Something inexplicable is about to hitppert

"Do you want me to continueV''

When the audience has reassured him that they arte prepared to risk sleepless nights, he resumes. 7 want you to tnatch my pace as we deal cards onto dye table. Do exactly as I do." '

Both parties deal their top cards bice up onto the table in unison, disclosing two completely different values. The;/ repeat this, each dealing a second card on top of their first, then a third card and a fourth, etc. During these actions, it is noted that no two cards being turned up together are identical in both suit and value. After a while, rhc performer interrupts: "Let megiveyou another opportunity to stop, now.

"Do you want to continuef"

After the spectator has .Naid, ,4Yes,,: the performer comments diat several cards have been removed. While >aying this, he sets his pack on the table and ribbon spreads both of the face-up piles one with each hand, leaving them in this condition.

"Have you noticed that r/v six of spades hasnt appeared yet, in either pack? But have you also noticed thai; so far, there have been no matching pairs of cards? Tots is strange, and 1 know you are already beginning to feel uneasy

"Doyou want me to continue? I suggest we stop now.: "This .suggestion is rejected, so die performer carefully picks up his pack and resumes the

Thea ter of the Mind simultaneous dealing. Scill there are no matching pairs and no sign of die six of spades.

. .When a few more Girds have been dealt in unison, rhe performer stops the spectator, saying, 'Please keep i))e next card face down and deal it without looking at it/'

When diis is done, he continues, 7 knowyoufeci <t little apprehensive or anxious. I must tell you the more dfydytzcaLyou are, the more distu rbing tins, puzzle becomes. Why don i you stop right now and give yourself an escape route?"

litis offer being declined, che performer carries on. "Fair enough! Well take offa few more cards and place them face up in tl>eir respecth* columns. Notice how there are no matching pairs and no six of spades. For rhe !asr time...

"Do you want me to continue?

"Very well please turn over one of those two face-doum cards. "The person does so and discovers a six of spades. Just as they are about to go for rhe other iace-dovrn card, the performer inrcrjecrs. "Wait! You still hair a chance to escape.

"Do you stitl want to continue? "

Of course they do, the second card is turned up—and it is the matching six of spades!

METHOD: llie two packs need to be arranged, but the question is how to do so in a maimer that only the chosen card appears at the same location in both? The solution I finally derived was based on die method for a very early Stop Trick—one 1 Itad used previously in my lQose-up Memory Demonstration" (p. 1U7) and which I would eventually adapt in my first solution for uAnyCard at Any Number" (see p. 257). The solution is a secredy faced dcck. I still dearly remember when 1 first realized thar T could use this principle to produce a card at any position 1 desired. 1 was in New York City at the time, and when the idea hit me, I felt like Achimcdcs, and nearly ran down the streets, shouting, 'EurekaT (Magic, over the years, has given me so much joy.)

While 1 use a memorized dcck and would recommend you do likewise, the trick is pertecdy workable using a crib.

You will need two packs of cards* one red backed die other blue. Remove the jokers, then shuffle the red one. XX'Tien it is diorouglily mixed, arrange the blue-backed pack in the same order. Or, if you are using a memorized deck, arrange both packs in that order.

When both decks are in identical order, put the red dcck into its case.

If you are using a shuffled order, you will also need a cxib, which is simply a small paper on which you write the location of every card from the top of rhe red pack to its face.

Next lake die blue deck and, holding it face up, deal the cards alternately into two piles, turning each card face down as it i* dealt. At the finish, one pile will contain all the cards that rested at odd-numbered positions in the red pack, the odier will contain all the cards that Lad even numbered positions. Switch the positions of the top two cards of the face-down, odd-numbered packet,'but leave the even-numbered cards as die)' are.

Place these two piles face to face, '"boxing" the deck. On top is the card that occupies Position 1 in the red pack. On the bottom Ls the card that occupies Position 2.

Take the two blue-backed jokers, place them face to face and insert them into the center of the blue pack at the point where the halves meet. Slip this prepared deck into its blue case, and be sure you know which half is uppermost when you later uncase the pack. Either mark the case or memorize the position of rhc deck in relation to the case. Stow the crib anywhere handy.

In performance, you hand the red cased deck to someone and have any card named. Once you know what it is, use cither vour memory system or che crib to discover its location in the red pack. For instance, assume that the six of spades is tenth from the top. You now need to work out where it will be in the blue pack.

Since it is situated at an even number in the red pack, it is in the lower (even) half of die blue one. For cards at even-numbered locations in rhc red pack, simply divide by two. For instance, the tenth card from the top in die red pack is tht fifth from rop in the even half of the blue pack.

Odd-numbered positions follow the same rule, except you round the odd number up otic, dien divide by two. For example, the eleventh card in the red deck is eleven plus one. or twelve. Half of twelve is six. The card is in the sixth position in die odd-half of die blue deck.

Having worked out die relative positions of the cards in the two packs, you now need to do one final calculation: Subtract rhe lower number from the higher.

In the case of the slx of spades above, the answer would be five (ten minus five equals five). This is one of the two key numbers you need to remember. The other is ten, rhe position of the card in die red pack.

Instruct your helper to do exacdy as you do. Quietly adjust the blue case, so that when you remove the pack, die six of spades will be in the lower (faceup) half Remove the pack from the case and place it in left-hand dealing position. The spectator docs rhe same with die red deck


In unison, you both deal your top cards face up onro the table. You then each deal the next card on top of the first. Carry oil in tiiis manner until you have each dealt five cards (your first key number).

At this point, stress that so rar rhere have been no marching pairs. As if to emphasize the fact, ribbon spread both race-up piles, side by side. In doing •so, you execute the only move— if it can be called a move— in the entire rriclc You secredy reverse your deck. I lercis what happens. Your right hand reaches • across and spreads the spectators face-up pile. Under cover of this larger action, your left hand quietly corns palm down and deposits the b ue pack on the rablc. thus aiming it over in die process. As soon as it has done so, and as a continuation of the action, it ribboo spreads your own face-up packet beside the spectators.

The relative speeds of your hands sliouid be coordinated so that both finish their separate movements at more or less the same moment. In other words, the right hand starts slightly earlier bu: makes a larger movement and also is the one on which you focus your gaze. "Ihe process of setting down die pack is a small, insignificantaction, immediately followed by the left hand traveling rapidly away and toward the other face-up pile. This draws attention to diosc cards and away from die pack leave the two spreads side by side and pick up the blue pack. Both sixes of spades are now fifth from rhe top. So all that you have to do is keep count until each of the tabled spreads contains nine cards and the tenth is about to be dealt. If you and the spectator deal your cards onto die ends of your respective spreads, maintaining die ribbon formation, it is easy to see how many are 011 the table.

The top card of each pack (the tenth, your second key number) i.s now the six of spades. Deal these lace down in unison. Then die two of you deal a few more cards face up. When you fed the rime is right, have bodi of the face-down sixes nirncd over and displayed to he the only matching pair.

As the group reacts and relaxes quietly right tout reversed cards so that the whole pack is face down. There is no need to make sleight of this, as all attendon is on your helper.

There is a special case that you must remember, but it isn't difficult. If the spectator names one of the cards very near the top or die bottom of the red deck, rhe handling will become either awkward or impossible. There are several avenues you can use in these rare instances.

1) Switch to another trick, in which you use rhe card named in some fashion. Nothing has yet happened, and no one bur you knows what was planned.

2) Say, 'Thar is a very good card but if you pick another iljis experiment will prove muehrnore interesting. 'This is in fact true, so you should have no .trouble saying it earnestly. I have used diis approach and found it doesn't lessen the final impact of the effect.

3) In the patter, recall that you ask the spectator to pick up two imaginary cards and dispose of one of them. If. when he names the two cards, you find he has picked a tro ublesome one, celt hi m he must now eliminate one. Ask him to hand you one of the invisible cards. You then use the magician's choice to dispose of the unwanted one. That is, if he hands you die undesirable card, it is eliminated and you dirow it away; and if he keeps the undesirable one, you have him dirow it away and use' die one he handed you. Should he name two undesirable cards* encourage him to exercise his freedom of choice still further by throwing these two

. away and picking two more. And if he should dien pick two more undesirable cards, making this one of the uniuckiest performances on record, resort to Plan 1 above.

July 1984


WILLIAM H. McCaffrey's "Prize Winner" {Greater Magic, p. 564), commonly called ''Premonition/' is a powerful trick. A spectator freely names any card and that uird is subsequently found to be missing from the deck.

Gene Grant enhanced die phenomenon with liis 'Delusion Deck" (marketed in 1957 and later described in l^ttinftlniredibU Mental Secrets, 1980, p. 39), a mechanical approach diat achieved die same effect but with a substantial addition: The spectator does not actually tell you what card he has in mind until after he has checked through the deck and discovered it to be gone!

My ob jective was also to show die card missing before knowing its identity. However, I wanted ro improve the procedures suggested by Gene Grant. To an extent I think I have achieved this, hut the ^Premonition? effect only occurs fifty percent of the time. If it comes off, it looks like a miracle, with no natural explanation. When it fails, there is a clean alternative effect which, while not quite as dramatic is still strong.

EFFECT: With the deck in full view, a .spectator is invited to think of any card. The card is not named out loud. The performer deals the pasteboards lace up into a pile, counting each one, until forty-nine cards have been seen. Only two cards remain. The fifty-second Gird is missing.

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The spectator confirms thai, so far, he has not seen his mental selection. He is then requested to extend his hands, palms up. The final wo cards are placed facc down,, one 011 each hand. The spectator turns eidier card over— ir is not his mental selection. There is tension in the room. A single card remains, its identity unknown.

u What is the card in your mind? 'asks die per for met The spectator names the card thar he has been merely thinking of. T he remaining face-down card is turned over and it is not the mental selection.

" There are fifty-one cards beforeyotu Not (me of them isyours. "With a flourish die seer pulls die card rhc spectator named from his pocket and says, 'Fifty-one and one makes fifty-two! "

As I have mentioned, this is what happens half the time. Fhe alternate outcome is diis: The performer and spectator follow the procedure just described, but after half of die cards have been dealt, the spectator Ls asked ii he has seen his mental selection. \

He replies that he has and is instructed to push it fr6m the spread I Tie performer places the card in a drinking glass, facing the audience- -Attention Ls dien called to the faces of the other cards, any of which lie could have picked. As die cards arc being exhibited they're all seen to liave blue backs. The selected card is then rurncd round and shown to be from a different pack with a different colored back-

MEIHOD: You will need a red-backed deck, a blue-backed deck and a blue card case. From both decks take all the odd-numbered hearts and spades» and all the even-numbered clubs and diamonds. Jacks count as eleven, queens twelve and kings thirteen. Put the remainder of the cards aside. We will use some in a moment for a card index.

Shuffle the twenty-six blue-backed cards, then lay them on die tabic face up in a pik\ Now arrange the matching red-backed cards in rhc same sequence. Place these cards face up onto the blue-backcd cards.

Finally» go through the combined red-blue deck and remove :he red-hacked ace of spades. Discard diis, as it isn't wanted.

The order of die cards from the top down should be: twenty-six blue-backed cards, followed by rwenry-five red-backed duplicates in the same order, less the ace of spades. Place the deck into the blue card case.

Now for the card index. To enable you :o produce the desired card rapidly a system of distributing and locating the twenty-six possible choices must be used. While it would be pcrfecdy acceprablc to have them in a pockct index, I find diese rather bulky. For diis reason, I devised the following approach.

Theater of the Msnd ..

1) Tike one each of rhe odd clubs and diamonds and even hearts and spades char you put aside when making the special' dccL From these fabricate thirteen double-faccd cards by gluing them hack to back in pairs. Each of the doubles should consist of a like-

. valued pair, for example, the ace of cluhs and die ace of diamonds, the two of hearts and the two of spades, etc.

2) I\a the double-faced king of diamonds/clubs on top of the special deck, and secrerfy leave it behind in rhe card case when you remove die deck at rhe start of the presentation. If one of these kings is named, you can produce it with .1 flourish firom the case.

3) Divide the other twelve cards into the four groups of ascending values shown below with the pocket in which they are carried:

Group 1: A, 2, 3 Left-side jackct pocket

Group 2: 4. 5, 6 Left inside breast pocket

Group 3: 7, 8, 9 Right-side jackct pocket

Group 4: 10, J, Q Right inside breast pocket

Turn the red suits to face outward and the black suits toward you.

4} While not strictly necessary, 1 diink it worth the effort to use a nccdic to perforate the tops and bottoms of the center card of each group. This keeps the cards slightly apart, making them easier to extract cleanly. Another approach would be to lay the center card of each packct on its side while you stand the others upright.

5} The retrieval of any card is quick anc painless, 'ihere is no fumbling or complex memory system. If a red card is allied, reach into the correct pocket and pull it straight our. Should a black card be named, turn it around as you extract and display it.

When not in use, the card triplets can be held together with paper clips or ruboer bands. It then rakes just a tew seconds to prepare them for action.

This, then, completes die preparation. I jets get to the performance. Begin by bringing out the pack in its blue case and lay it prominendy on the table. Ask someone to think of any card in the deck, but not to tell you what it is. He may whisper the name to someone else, if desired. Negate the choice of the ace of ¿pades by suggesting that he avoid obvious cards like that ace, as they make things look too easy.

Remove the pack, taking it face up into your left hand without exposing any red backs. Ask the volunteer to watch for his card, but to say nothing, as you deal them into a lace-up pile. Count each card aloud After you have dealt twenty-five cards, pause and ask if rhe spectator has seen his mental selection.

. fliRRlt RlCHARi>SON

• . • * The intonation as you make this inquiry is very important. Do not make it too much of a question, but more ot a casual remark. Whatever die answer, give the impression that you expected it and proceed to the appropriate outcome as explained below:

OUTCOME ONE: If the answer is "No." continue with the first proce- ' dure given in the eiiect description, dealing dirough die rcsx of the deck. Fifty-one cards will be seen and none is the selection. Build up the strangeness of this circumstance, then produce die absent card from the pocket index-

OUTCOME rxrj; If the answer is "Yes," a bit more work is required. Spread die tabled cards and ask him to slide out the one he was thinking of. Without flashing its back, place it in a prominent position. Gather up the dealt cards, placing them on top of those in your hand. Again take care not to expose any red hacks. Now come a few moves, designed to convince the audience [hat die pack is blue backed* The feet that it came out of a blue case has already ^own the seed lor this belief

left hand, riffle your right diumb up | die inner end of the deck and form a break about ten or fifteen cards from the face. At the same ri me cu H the right middle fingertip over the outer end of the deck, so that it rests on the back of the lowermost card (Figure 1).

Cut off the packet above die break, sliding ir forward. In doing so, slide the bottom card of the deck out to join the right hand s packet hy applying pressure to the hack of this 2 card with the right middle finger (Figure 2). This is a sort of reverse Kellv-Ovette master move its effect s is ro place a single blue-backed card beneath the red-backed packet.

Indicate the face card on top of the left hands packet and remark, 'You could have thought of tins one. ' As you point to it with your right

Theater of the Mind

index linger, rotate the right hand palm.up, letting everyone see the blue back oil the right hands packet. Immediately turn this hand palm down again and drop the packet onto the deck

Repeat the whole process described in the previous three paragraphs, diis time cutting otFa somewhat thicker packet.

• Follow through with a third, similar cut and display. This time, however, cut just below center, so that you are among the blue-backed cards. This eliminates the need for the bottom slip-cut.

Retain the cui-offpacket in your right hand. You now hold roughly twenty cards, all blue backed, in your left hand. Spread these, ostensibly showing their faces but making sure that everyone gets a good look at lots of blue hacks.

Done in an offhand maimer the above actions leave a strong impression of a normal blue-backed pack. Conclude by dramatically turning over the sclectcd card, revealing that it alone is red hackcd.

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