Method and Handling

Begin with a couple of false shuffles. Turn to a spectator and explain that you're going to riffle up the outer right corner of the deck and you want him to tell you when to stop. The card he stops you at will he his selection. (This is the standard riffle peek procedure.)

All you need to accomplish during this selection process is to ensure that the spectator stops you no further up in the deck than the twenty-second card. (As you'll see, the number twenty-two is pivotal in this effect). If you riffle slowly, this will usually happen automatically. 0 you approach the top third of the deck and the spectator still hasn't called stop, riffle through the rest of the cards rapidly. Then explain to the spectator that he should stop you before you run out of cards. (Say this with a smile, not a smirk.) You won't have any problem the second time.

It will also make your life easier if the spectator doesn't stop you too far down in the deck. Start riffling rather rapidly and slow down after about a dozen cards have gone by. (I've gone into detail on this for the sake of completeness and to reassure those with limited experience in spectator management. The fact is that getting the spectator to stop you around the middle of the deck is the easiest thing in the world.)

When you're stopped, allow the spectator and the rest of the audience to clearly see the card and instruct them to remember it. Riffle off the rest of the deck but c^fth a left fourth-finger break below the selection.

You must now glimpse the spectator's card. Due to the positioning oi the pips on playing cards, which technique you use will depend in part on whether you're right-handed or left-handed. Since I'm left-handed, I'm not the best person to teach you righries how to do a glimpse. Fortunately, there are good descriptions in sources that you should already own, [See Expert Card Technique, p.99 or Card College, Volmri£ 2, p.259.]

If you're left-handed, however, it's not easy to find a good glimpse in print. I had, of necessity, to invent one myself. For the benefit of my fellow lefties. 111 teach my glimpse. I've dubbed it the sinister glimpse. Once you have your fourth-fin-ger break under the chosen card, bring your left hand over the deck in Biddle-grip position. Your left second, third, and fourth fingers should cover the entire front of the deck, the second finger pressed against the tip of the right thumb. Your left hand holds the cards above the break as your right hand pivots the inner end of the lower half to the right for about a quarter inch. Your left second finger acts as the pivot point in this action. illustration 1 shows this position with the right thumb pulled away for clarity.

The tip of your right fourth finger presses up against the inner left corner of the selected card. Maintain this pressure as you square the two packets. This will cause the corner of the selected card to jog out.

Your left hand now grips the entire deck. Turn your left hand back toward the audience as your right hand releases the deck. (This will bring the face of the deck up toward you.) Pivot the right hand so that the second, third, and fourth fingers are against the right edge of the deck and the thumb against the left edge, the forefinger curled against the face. If you now glance down, you 11 be able to read the exposed index corner of the selected card. (See illustration 2.)

As soon as you've glimpsed the card, push it square with the deck with your right thumb and pivot the deck into face-down dealing grip in your right hand. You should be making some comment about the deck or the selected card as you do this to justify your glancing down at the deck momentarily.

As soon as you've glimpsed the card, table the deck as you stress that you will not alter the position of a single card. This is an important point for the audience to appreciate, so don't be afraid to hammer it home. My patter at this point is, "Obviously, I have no way of hrunumg what card Sam stopped me at or where it might he in the dacfe—except that it's somewhere around the middle. [As I say this, I glimpse the card.] But, wherever it is in the deck, that's where it s going to stay. Because Vm not going to shuf/Ie the cards. Im not going to cut the cards. I'm not going to manipulate the cards in any way. 1*11 just square up the deck so that every card stays in its original position"

Since the deck is in a memorized stack, as soon as you see the card you'll know its numerical position. Let's assume that when you glimpse the card, you note that it is the 29th card in your stack, I mentioned earlier that 22 is a pivotal number in this effect. Subtract 22 from the stack number of the spectator's card and remember this number as your key. In our case, 29 minus 22 gives us the key number 7. At this point, you can forget everything else: the spectator's selection, its stack number, and the number 22. From this point on, all that matters is this key number.

Start to deal the deck into two piles, the first in front of the assisting spectator, the second in front oi yourself. As you do so, explain that you're going to give the spectator a chance to win some money. Stop dealing when you've dealt your key number, in our example, seven cards. As if suddenly remembering something, gather up the dealt cards, place them on the bottom of the deck, and place the deck aside. Take out your hundred-dollar bill and place it on the table in front of the spectator.

The above sequence is the critical part of the effect, so let's discuss it briefly. As an actor might say, you must understand your motivation. You start dealing the cards, then realize that you've gotten ahead of yourself. YouVe forgotten something you should have done before starting, namely, taking out the hundred-dollar bill. So you place everything aside and turn your attention to taking out the bill.

This all has to be timed perfecdy with your having dealt out the necessary number of cards. Yet, it can't be apparent that you're counting as you deal. Here are two suggestions. First, as soon as you've calculated your key number, divide it in half. This represents the number of rounds of cards you have to deal rather than the number of cards. Being a smaller number, it's easier to remember and to count. If your number is ten, you know you have to deal five rounds of cards (i.e., five cards to each pile). In our example we have an odd number, seven. I would remember this as "three plus one," This means that I must deal three rounds of cards plus one more card to the spectator's pile.

The second suggestion is simply to deal the cards in overlapping rows rather than in piles. Thus, you can tell at a glance how many cards youVe dealt. Since you'll only be dealing a few cards, this won't look contrived. (Furthermore, you don't have to deal both groups in overlapping rows. If you deal your own cards overlapping, that's good enough. You can deal the spectator's cards more haphazardly.)

Finally, remember that, when you gather the cards, you're simply putting them aside as unimportant. Your goal is to have the audience later forget this false start ever happened because it simply didn't matter. Additionally, the dramatic introduction of the hundred-dollar bill will capture everyone's attention and help ensure that they forget what came immediately before.

When you bring out the bill, explain that if you lose your wager, the spectator will get to keep the bill; if you win the wager, he will lose nothing. All the risk is on your side.

Pick up the deck and again start to deal the cards into two piles. (This time you don't have to bother with overlapping rows.) One pile goes in front of the spectator, next to the hundred-dollar bill. The other pile goes in front of you. As you deal, explain that you're betting on the spectator's pile. In other words, you're wagering that the spectator's card will land in his pile. If it does, you keep the hundred. If, however, the card ends up in your pile, the spectator gets the money. He therefore has a 50-50 chance of winning.

When you've dealt the entire deck into two piles, push the spectator's pile toward him, instructing him to search for his card. Stress again that if it's not there, he wins the money. Just as the spectator reaches for the cards, appear to reconsider. Pull the cards back.

Pick up your pile and deal it into two piles, one in front of the spectator, the other in front of yourself. Deal the spectator's cards on top of the pile he already has. In other words, at the end of the deal, the spectator's pile will contain three-quarters of the deck and yours will contain one quarter. You justify this on the grounds that since all the risk is on your side you should have the right to tip the scales in your favor.

Again push the spectator's cards toward him to let him search for his card. Again pull them back as you think better of it. Pick up your pile and deal it into two piles, one atop the spectator's cards, the other in front of yourself.

Keep repeating this process of dealing your cards into two piles, the spectator's getting ever larger and yours getting ever smaller until there are fifty-one cards in front of the spectator and only one in front of you. (Deal as in a card game, the first card always going to the spectator.)

This should not be presented as if this was your intention all along. Rather it should appear to be the result of your ever-dwindling nerve as you contemplate the prospect of losing your money. There is considerable scope for humor here. One thing that works well is to continually reaffirm your commitment to giving the spectator the money if his card should prove not to be in his pile. This becomes comical if you become more emphatic in this promise even as the promise becomes steadily less meaningful.

At the end of the dealing process, the lone card in front of you will be the spectator'6 selection. All there is to the method is that whatever card is twenty-second from the top when you start dealing will be the card in front of you when you finish dealing. Your false start in dealing two piles (which by now the audience will have forgotten ever occurred) positioned the selection twenty-second from the top. Therefore, it's now the card in front of you.

Say to the spectator. Till me honestly, would you be impressed if your card turned out to he in your pila?"" Although the specific replies will differ, the spectator will let you know with a greater or lesser degree of tact that it wouldn't be very impressive. Even if they should answer, 'Yes,* their lack of enthusiasm will make it clear to everyone that they mean no.

Pretend to be taken aback by this response. You then get an inspiration.

Say, "Alright then, u?ould you be impressed if your card turned out to be in my pile?" Don't wait for an answer. Pull the hundred-dollar bill back from beside the spectator's pile and place it next to your card as you announce that youll bet a hundred dollars that the card will be in your pile, because I want you to he impressed."

Have the spectator name his card, then turn over the card in front of you and pocket the money.

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