To Perform

Forgive me. For the sake of completeness I have obscured an extremely effective card force within a routine. For many years I performed the well known "Slop Shuffle" when entertaining with a pack of cards. I used it in the traditional way of apparently turning some cards face-up and others face-down until the deck appeared to be hopelessly "mixed up." Then, with the appropriate flourish I would spread the pack across the table showing that all of the cards had mysteriously turned face-down. Don't ask me why, but one night while doing the effect, I suddenly realized that the same procedure could be used to accomplish an effective card force. "Slop-Psi" was born.

Done with the proper emphasis at several points along the way, you will totally baffle the most astute spectator. The selection procedure while purposely "sloppy" appears to be quite fair. To perform the routine as outlined, you will have to be able to execute two simple card moves, The Double Undercut (see Appendix I) and the Slop Shuffle. You will also need a regulation pack of playing cards. Have them examined and shuffled and after the deck has been cut several times, face-up, have the face card signed as previously outlined.

Pick up the pack and obtain a small break between the signed card and the second card of the pack. Perform the Double Undercut move which will make it appear that you have cut the pack twice, burying the signed card somewhere in the deck. In fact, you have simply transferred the signed card to the bottom of the face-up deck.

Turn the pack face-down and proceed to give it one or two riffle shuffles, leaving the top card (the spectator's signed card) in place. As previously detailed, perform the "Slop Shuffle" telling the spectator that you will begin to "dig down" into the pack. With the left thumb, push two or three cards to the right. The right hand grasps these cards, four fingers underneath and the thumb on top, and turns them face-up as the right hand turns over toward you. The left fingers immediately slide two or three more cards to the right as before, sliding them beneath the three faceup cards being held by the right thumb and fingers. These cards are slid between the thumb and the face-up cards.

The right hand is now rotated at the wrist back to the normal, thumb up and fingers below, position. The left thumb pushes off a few more cards and these are slid between the four fingers of the right hand and the face-down cards above them. Note: at this point the cards in the right hand are partially face-up and partially face-down. This same procedure is continued at a fairly rapid pace, the left thumb feeding cards to the right and the right hand alternately turning its packet faceup and face-down to receive the cards being pushed off by the left thumb.

Forgive the complicated description, in actual practice it is one of the easiest moves in card magic. After you've built up the packet in your right hand to approximately 10 or 12 cards, instruct the spectator to call "Stop" at any time that he wishes. This is important! Whenever the spectator does call "Stop," it is important that the cards in the right hand are in a position with the right thumb on top before the cards can be placed on the remainder of the deck in the left hand. If the spectator calls "Stop" while the right hand is turned with the 4 fingers on top, simply give the right hand packet one more turn away from you bringing the right thumb up as you place the cards on the left hand packet.

At this point, the deck will contain a series of face-up cards followed by the remainder of the deck, face-down. Naturally, the first face-down card following the face-up cards will be the spectator's signed card. Follow the procedure outlined. Have the spectator guess how many cards down in the deck you went before he called "stop". Then have him verify same by counting the cards one at a time in a face-up pile on the table until he reaches the first face-down card. Suppose he counts down 14 cards. After he has dealt the 14th card have him stop dealing. Pick up the 14 faceup cards on the table and ribbon spread them. Now have the spectator deal the 15th card (his signed card) face-down on top of the last face-up card in the spread. Take the remainder of the deck and turning it face-up, ribbon spread it in a continuation of the spread on the table.

Allow the spectators to look at the ribbon spread deck for a mental count of "2" before you have the spectator remove the one reversed card out of the spread. The reason for the spreading procedure is to reinforce in the spectator's mind that the selected card did in fact, come from interior of the deck. In other words, it actually did occupy the 15th position from the top of the deck. Forgive me for making a big deal out of small points, but it's these small details that add up to the total amazement of your audience. Of course when the spectator turns over the one reversed card it is seen to be the one bearing his signature.

Usually I move rapidly through the deck timing it so that by the time the spectator calls "Stop," there are only approximately 10 or 12 cards left in the left hand. This will result in approximately 19 or 20 face-up cards on top. This will eventually position the spectator's card at a point near the center of the pack.

Naturally, you can use the "Slop-Psi" force in any manner that you wish. As I stated earlier, I routined it just to give you an idea of how it can be used. Amazingly, over the years I have never seen the slop shuffle used in this manner. But, knowing how voluminous card magic is, I wouldn't bet my life on it. Give it a try. I'm sure you'll use it often. By the way, it's particularly effective with the "Ted Lesley Working Performer's Marked Deck." In short, you hand out the pack for shuffling. When it's returned to you, you note the identity of the top card by reading the markings on its back. Then, you proceed to make your prediction and force the top card using the "Slop Shuffle" artifice previously described.

In my second book, Larry Becker's "World of Super Mentalism," I introduced an effect entitled "Mind Probe" that elicited excellent response from readers. Since the publication of the book in l979, I've greatly simplified the working and eliminated the tricky fold that was used in the original.

The Art Of Cold Reading

The Art Of Cold Reading

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.

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