This routine uses two spectators; you'll see why in a moment. Select them by asking for any Poker players in the audience to hold up their hands. In this way, you are assured of two volunteers who know how the game is played. The poker hand chart is prominently displayed in full view of the audience
Show the ten cards (fanned in a mixed order) to the audience noting that just 10 cards are used, a random selection of Kings, Queens, Jacks and Tens. To eliminate the possibility of manipulating the cards in any way, ask that the two spectators do all the shuffling and dealing. Call attention to the sign, explaining that even if anyone in the audience is not familiar with the rules of poker, they can easily determine the winning hand by consulting the list.
Mention that you will attempt to "psych out" my opponents utilizing the awesome Power Of Suggestion. Asking the two spectators to close their eyes, gesture hypnotically and command them that on the count of three, they will open their eyes as two of the unluckiest poker players the world has ever known - a condition which will persist until such time as the two subjects hear the sound of tumultuous applause. "Ready? One, two, three, open your eyes!"
Hand the packet of 10 cards to the spectator on your right, asking him to shuffle them, face down. Have him deal 5 cards, face down, onto the palm of your outstretched hand. As he does so, note whether or not he has dealt the marked Jack. If he has, immediately hand the packet to the spectator on your left and ask the dealer if he is sure that he shuffled the cards well. Regardless of his answer, turn to the spectator to whom you gave the cards and say, "If things don't work out, don't blame me, blame him. He dealt the cards." Take the remaining 5 cards from the dealing spectator on your right and play a hand of poker with the other spectator.
In the event the dealing spectator does not deal the Jack, mention to him that the first wager is worth $500. Ask the spectator what kind of hand he is holding, allowing him to consult the chart if necessary. As soon as he has announced this, expose only enough cards from my hand to beat him. Let's assume that the spectator on your right is your first opponent. Hand the complete packet of ten cards to the other spectator for the second hand, and announce that it will be worth $1000.
When the spectator on the left has finished mixing the cards, retrieve them and momentarily fan them with the faces toward the spectator and ask him to confirm that he has indeed mixed the cards well. As this is done, note the position of the marked Jack, counting from right to left as you look at them. All that's important to remember is whether the card is in an odd or even position.
You now close the fan and, holding the packet face down, you state that you will now utilize the world famous Australian deal. You explain that it's called that because every other card is dealt down under. (Note: To know whether the top card of the packet is to be dealt "down under" the deck, or "out" to the spectator, simply remember "odd is out" and "even is under." In other words, if the Jack is in an odd number position, the first card should be dealt out to the spectator. If the Jack is in an even position, the first card is dealt under the packet (placed on the bottom) and the second card of the pack is dealt to the spectator.
Complete the alternating "down under" deal and you will have automatically ensured that the spectator will receive the marked Jack. This is extremely clean since you do not cut the cards or alter their position after the spectator has shuffled the packet. Naturally, you also win the second hand.
To get a chuckle, comment on how "normal" the two spectators look even though they are under hypnosis. Hand the packet to the spectator on your right and state that you will play one more hand for $2000, only this time, you will allow him to alter the odds unmistakenly in his favor. Tell him to look through the cards and to remove any three of a kind that he wishes. Naturally, he'll remove the 3 Kings. Even if he doesn't, it won't make any difference, Take the remainder of the packet from the spectator and state that to make sure there is no cheating, you will give the cards one final "Las Vegas Computer Shuffle."
Perform a reverse faro, by pushing the cards singly off the top of the deck into your other hand. Do not reverse the order of the cards. Outjog the first face down card of the packet and injog the next, outjog the third card and so on until you have 4 cards outjogged and 3 cards injogged. As you are performing this Reverse Faro, note the location of the marked card. Pull the injogged 3 cards clear of the other 4 cards and, if one of them is the marked card, place the group of three under the remaining 4 cards, otherwise throw them on top of the 4 cards. The object is to bring the marked card to a position on the bottom or second from the bottom of the face down packet of 7 cards. This can easily be accomplished in one or two reverse faro shuffles and strip outs.
Hand the packet to the spectator on your left and instruct him to deal 5 cards face down. The remaining two cards he is to give to the spectator on your right to complete his hand. Naturally, you will be holding a full house while the spectator on your right will not have improved his hand beyond the 3 of a kind. Have the spectator call out what he is holding, and you do likewise, proudly displaying the full house.
All that remains is to state that in addition to being able to "psych out" an opponent, every gambler worth his salt should also possess great intuition. Turn the order of ranking chart so that the audience can see the prediction printed on the reverse side. State that it will be necessary to awaken the two subjects with a tumultuous round of applause. (Sneaky huh!) You immediately shake hands with your two fully awake volunteers and take your bow.
That's it. It's quick paced, has built-in applause cues, and for a change it covers the fact that not everyone is familiar with the ranking of poker hands. Effects such as this are extremely entertaining, even in an otherwise straight mental routine. I hope you enjoy using it.
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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.