Preparation

In addition to the regular card case, you will need a matching x-ray card case.

This is a case that has had a small window cut into the lower right corner of the flap side. This window should be just large enough co allow you to read the index of the face card of the deck when it's in the case. (See illustration 1.)

You can easily make such a case by sliding the cellophane sleeve off the box and cutting the appropriate hole in the cardboard with a pair of cuticle scissors. Afterwards, slide the cellophane back on.

You will also need a pen and a small piece of paper or card for writing. Your business card, if you have one, is ideal for this purpose.

Also, the deck must be in a memorized stack order.

Method and Handling

Phase One

The x-ray card case should be lying off to one side, window-side down. (As you might expect, the case will be kept window-side down throughout most of the effect.) Have the ungaffed case in any easily accessible pocket. Begin with a couple of convincing false shuffles. Then have the spectator give the cards a square cut. Pick up the deck and explain that you will riffle up the front of the deck until the spectator calls stop. With your head averted, do so. Instruct the spectator to remember the card she stopped you at. Stress the importance of her remembering the card since it'll be a while before you return to it. (Make sure the other spectators get to see the card.)

You must now glimpse the spectator's card. (See Maximum Rtsh for information on glimpsing.) As soon as you've glimpsed the card, drop the deck on the table in front of the spectator. Since the deck is in memorized order, as soon as you see the spectator's card you'll know its numerical location in the deck. Forget the card but remember the number.

Ask the spectator to cut over a group of cards. Stress that she can cut the cards at any point, near the top, the center, or the bottom. When she has done so, have her place the original bottom portion on top to complete the cut. Then have her square the cards as they lie on the table.

Have her again cut over a group of cards and complete the cut. Instruct her to cut the cards again in the same way. (Without saying so, you want to condition the spectator to understand that when you say, "Cut the cards," you mean square cuts, not multiple cuts.)

Have the spectator cut yet again. Have another spectator cut in the same way. Have the original spectator cut again. (Remember, in each case the spectator gives the deck a square cut and completes the cut.)

Explain that you're going to turn your back. While your back is turned, the spectator is to once more cut the cards in the same way as before. Turn your back and let her do so. Turn back to face the audience and have the spectator cut the deck again.

Explain that you will turn your back again. This time, the spectator may cut the cards once more, or not cut, as she wishes. She should nor tell you whether she has cut. Turn to face the audience. Offer to let the spectator cut one more time if she wishes. (All of this amounts to a hell of a lot of cutting; that's the point. See my comments on this in the Analysis section.)

Keep in mind that you haven't touched the deck since the spectator selected her card. You're going to continue to stress your lack of contact with the deck. Pick up the card case in your left hand, holding it more or less in glide position. Instruct the spectator to pick up the deck and slide it into the case, keeping it face down. When she has done so, close the case.

You now explain that, for what you're about to attempt, you need to bring your hand close to the deck.

As you explain this, you're going to casually gesture with the cased deck and. in the process, glimpse the bottom card. Your right hand takes the case at the flap end, fingers on top and thumb underneath. Turn the case over. As you do so, the

Because you don't want anyone to suspect that you're going to manipulate the cards in any way when you do, you've enclosed the deck in the case to insulate it from any possibility of sleight of hand.

window will come into your view. As soon as you've glimpsed the card, cover the window with your thumb as in illustration 2. Gesture casually with the case, then place it window-side down on the table.

Determine the stack number of the card you glimpsed. Again you can forget the card but remember the number.

this action, you perform a simple calculation. If the number of the selected card is higher than that of the bottom card, subtract the smaller number Irom the larger and remember the result. Alternatively, if the number of the bottom card is larger, subtract that number from fifty-two, then add the result to the stack number of the selection and remember the total,

Your goal is to determine the present location of the selected card in the deck. If you keep that in mind, you don't even have to memorize what I've just explained. Common sense will tell you what calculations you have to make. (If you don't trust your common sense, just memorize what I explained.)

You can take as much time as necessary to do this. Just keep feeling for those vibrations until you've finished your calculations. (If you should grimace, gnash your teeth, or start sweating blood while you do your mental math, the audience will just assume you're straining to detect those psychic vibrations.)

Once you've finished your calculations, call out the number. Let's assume the number is twenty-nine.

Remove the deck from the case and place the box aside. Hand the deck to the spectator and instruct her to deal twenty-nine cards in a face-up pile on the table. Just as she is about to deal the twenty-ninth card, instruct her to deal it face down to one side. Turn the dealt pile face down. Take the rest of the deck from the spectator and drop on top.

Have the spectator announce the name of her selected card. Then turn over the tabled card to reveal that it is her card. Drop the card face down on the deck.

Hold your hand palm down over the case as if attempting to sense some vibration from the cards. During

Phase Two

Give the deck a false shuffle as you allow this first phase to sink in, (Don't make the shuffle sequence too long; no one will suspect a stack anyway.)

Announce that you U attempt to take things a step further. Repeat the process of having the deck repeatedly cut just as in the first phase. Don't leave anything out: having another spectator cut also, having the deck cut while your back is turned, turning your back again to give the spectator the option of either cutting or not cutting, giving her one last chance to cut after you turn back. (In other words, everything is the same as before except that this time the spectator does not peek at a card.)

Again, have the spectator slide the deck into the case as you hold it. Turn the case over, glimpsing the bottom card of the deck as before. Once again, forget the card but remember its stack number.

At this point you're holding the case window-side up in your right hand with your thumb covering the window. Have the spectator hold out her hand palm up. Turn your right hand palm down and place the case on her palm. Have her place her other hand on top so that the cased deck is sandwiched between her hands. (The cellophane on the card case keeps her from feeling the hole cut into the box.)

Explain that, despite all the precautions you take to ensure fairness, you've found that people sometimes think that you can somehow keep track of the location of the spectator's card throughout all those cuts.

'That's why 1 finally came up with a method of proving that I'm not taking trash of the card you chose,* you explain. "Because this time you didn't choose a card. So there was nothing for me to ke^f) track of. Now that the deck is completely beyond my control, trapped in the box, trapped between your hands, I -want you to name a card11 Stress that the spectator can name any card in the deck. Advise her to think about it carefully and even change her mind if she wishes before announcing her choice. When she tells you that she has settled on a card, ask her to name it aloud.

Hold your hand over the s-pectator's hands as you apparently attempt to sense vibrations from the cards. In reality, you perlorm the same mental math as before to determine the location of the spectator's card. (In this case, of course, the named card takes the place of the glimpsed selection in the previous calculations.)

When you've arrived at the answer, announce the number.

Remove the deck from the case and hand it to the spectator as you place the case aside. Tell the spectator to count to the number, handing you each card face down. Take each card with your left hand and transfer it to your right hand, each card going und*r the one before. When the spectator reaches the announced number, have her place that card face down on the table. Take the remaining cards from her and drop them on the ones you're holding.

Have her again announce her card and then turn over the tabled card to show that it's the one she named. Drop the card face down on top of the deck.

Ironically, this phase is technically easier than the first since you don't even have to glimpse the card. However, because of the buildup, it appears more impossible. It eliminates the only theory the audience could cling to during the first phase. It seems inconceivable to people that you could somehow gain any information about the deck while it's trapped between the spectator's palms.

Phase Three

Before continuing, you must bring the deck back to its original order. In other words, you must cut the deck to bring the top card of your stack back to the top. The stack number of the card you just dropped on top (the spectator's named card) tells you how many cards you must cut from bottom to top to return the cards to their starting position. (If the top card is number eighteen, you must cut seventeen cards from bottom to top.) Do an estimation cut of that number, and then glimpse the bottom

Double undercut the required cards from top to bottom or bottom to top to restore your stack.

During these actions, patter to the effect that, because you ve been so successful so far, you're going to try to take things one final step further. Explain to the spectator that you want her to select a card in the following manner. While holding the pack, she is to cut a portion of the deck to the table, deal the next card face up onto the tabled cards, and then drop the remaining cards on top of all. Finally, she should square the cards to make sure the face-up one isn't peeking out, As you explain this, demonstrate the process with the cards.

After the demonstration, right the deck by spreading through the cards until you come to the face-up card. Flip this card face down onto the right-hand cards. Follow through by placing the left-hand cards on top of all. (JUustratum 3 shows this in action.) This will leave the deck back in its original order. Stress that the spectator is free to cut near the top of the deck, the middle of the deck, or the bottom of the deck. I illustrate each of these options with the cards, each time straightening them again as explained.

Hand the deck to the spectator and have her perform a dry run while you watch. Once she has done it correctly, take the cards back and straighten them. (A side-benefit to these demonstrations is that it appears that the cards have been repeatedly cut when, in fact, they're still in their original order.) Hand the deck back to her and turn your back while she goes through the process of cutting to, reversing, and burying a card.

Although you've repeatedly demonstrated what the spectator is to do and even had her perform a dry run, you should still walk her through the process once you're back is turned: "Ohay, cut off a portion of the deck and place it on the table. Have you done that? Good. Now deal the. next card face up on top of thenu Have you done that? Good. Nou) droj) the cards youre holding on tofj of everything- Havi you done that? Good. Now square up the cards so that the face-up one isn't peeking out Have you done that? Good. So, if I turn around 1 wont see anything, right? Good."

Magicians often complain about spectators failing to follow simple instructions, not realizing that it's the magicians job to make sure the spectator gets it right. As the above patter shows, the key is to break everything down into baby steps.

card. This will cell you how many cards off you are.

When the spectator lets you know that she has finished, turn back to face the audience. Pick up the deck and slip it into the case, I don't have the spectator do this only because of the risk that she might inadvertently expose the reversed card. You can, however, stress the fairness with which you handle the deck in casing it.

Turn the case over, immediately covering the window with your thumb. (No need to glimpse the card this time.) Pick up your business card and place it on the card case. You can slide the card over the window so that you can change your grip or transfer the case to the other hand, just to give things a more casual look.

Pick up your pen as you explain that you're going to write something. Tilt the box up so that no one can see what you write. Slide the card over so you can glimpse the face card of the deck. The next card in your stack will be the card the spectator reversed, (In other words, if the glimpsed card is thirty-eighth in your stack, you know the thirty-ninth card in the stack is the reversed one.) Write the name of this card on the business card. Place the business card aside, writing side down, and place the case on the table, window-side down.

You're in a very strong position now. It would seem that you could know nothing about the spectator's card. In fact, you can determine everything about it. I sell this next step with the following patter; If I were to ash you right nou> exactly how many cards down in the deck your card is, you u/ouidn't be able to tell me, would you? [Spectator answers no.] You cut the deck yourself and you cant tall me tuh^re your card is. [Pause] III tell you,"

Hold your hand over the case as before. While straining for vibrations you perform a simple calculation that will tell you the location of the reversed card. Think back to the stack number of the glimpsed card (not the selected card, which you can forget as soon as you've written it down). Subtract that number from fifty-two. Announce the resulting number.

Remove the deck from its case and casually slip the case into the same pocket that contains the ungaffed case. (Later you can remove the ungaffed case to put the deck away and end clean.)

Hand the deck to the spectator. Have her deal down to the number you announced. Her face-up card will turn up on that number. This is so astonishing that usually the audience will completely forget that you wrote something on the business card. Remind them. Have the spectator pick up the business card and read aloud what you wrote to show that you correctly divined the card's identity.

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