Impromptu Match Divination

Five wooden matches of the kitchen variety are placed in a row on the table. While the magician's back is turned, a spectator picks up any one of them, blows on it, and replaces it on the table. Turning around, the performer immediately points to the chosen match.

Large wooden matches are used. With a razor blade or knife make a tiny nick in the dark portion of the head of each match. The smaller the better. When the matches are placed on the table in a row, these identifying marks are placed parallel to the table and on top, that is, they are directly opposite the surface. See illustration right. When a match is picked up and replaced, the mark which is never seen by the spectator is never placed directly in its former position. Thus, you can identify the chosen match. Be sure to have the spectator blow on all sides of the match so that it will be well turned around.

Another identifying mark which can be used, especially for an impromptu presentation, is the long channel-like hollowed out portion of the match stick. One is always much deeper than the other shallow ones. All of these trough-like sides should be placed parallel to each other and to the right side when the matches are placed on the table. If they were placed on top, the spectator might get wise.

Still another good identification mark is that on the heads of some matches. The sulphur extends down on the match stick farther on one side than on the other sides. Five of these marked in this way will work very effectively.

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