You patter about marked cards and display a jumbo deck, fanning them with the faces to the audience. Mention that, while many gamblers like to mark the backs of the cards, the fronts are the ones you prefer. Run through the deck face up, and state, "All you have to do is check the upper left hand corners of the cards and you can immediately identify any card in the deck." This invariably gets a laugh because it is so silly.
The deck is squared and handed to a spectator in the front row who is instructed to run through the pack, face up, calling out the name of any one card that he sees there. Immediately after the spectator does so, the performer reclaims the deck and removes the spectator's freely chosen card, placing it in his handkerchief pocket by one corner. Stating that he has a small confession to make, the performer states that the cards are not marked, front or back.
As this is said, the mentalist runs through the cards showing the backs of the cards being alike and unmarked. Continuing, the performer explains that a smart gambler never marks all the cards in the deck. He only marks those cards that he actually needs. "And tonight, the only card that I needed was the one card out of 52 that you merely thought of," states the mentalist. Removing the spectator's card from his handkerchief pocket, the mentalist continues," and to prove it, this is the ONLY marked card in the deck. Turning the card over, the audience sees a bold " X " mark across the back of the spectator's mentally selected card.
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Today I'm going to teach you a fundamental Mentalism technique known as 'cold reading'. Cold reading is a technique employed by mentalists and charlatans and by charlatan I refer to psychics, mediums, fortune tellers or anyone that claims false abilities that is used to give the illusion that the person has some form of super natural power.