The Mathemagicians

You remove the two black Kings, referring to them as "The Mathemagicians." Then you place a prediction on the table, saying, "This is my insurance in case our Mathemagicians let me down." A spectator now thinks of any number from one to ten inclusive and removes that number of cards, secretly, from the deck. You take the deck and place one King on top and one on the bottom, then you toss the deck from one hand to the other. The Kings remain in your hand and a face-up card is seen to have appeared between them. This might be a Seven spot. So you state that the Mathemagicians have calculated that the spectator removed seven cards from the deck. But they are wrong, The spectator counts his cards proving that he actually removed one less than that—six cards! Reminding the audience of your "insurance" you turn over the prediction and ask the spectator to read it out—"YOU MISSED BY ONE!"

Finally, pointing out that you prefer perfection, you flip over the Seven spot to reveal that it has changed into a Six spot!

This again uses Reinhard Müller's "Three Card Catch" variation. See "I'm So Confused" for a description of this double revelation. The "You Missed By One" prediction is Larry Becker's with different wording.

Before you start set the top eleven cards on top of the deck, disregarding suits:

Any card - Ace-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-Jack - rest of deck.


1. Take a piece of paper or a blank card and write "YOU MISSED BY ONE!" on it, then place it writing-side down on the table. Now run through the deck and remove the two black Kings, placing them face-up on the table.

2. Give the deck a Jog Shuffle retaining the top stock then hand it to a spectator, asking him to think of any number from one to ten inclusive. Turn your back as he deals off that number of cards from the top.

3. Turn round again and take the deck face-up into dealing position. Now pick up the Kings and do the Müller "Three Card Catch Variation"—the Kings going face-down on top and bottom (really second from the bottom). After the toss, turn your right hand and place the deck facedown on the table.

4. A face-up card has appeared between the Kings. The value of this card will be one more than the spectator's number. Transfer the top face-down card to the bottom bringing the face-up card to the top, then you announce that this is the number that the spectator is thinking of.

As you are speaking, buckle the bottom card and lift off the top three as one. Immediately place this triple under the remaining card, then flip over the entire packet (Fig. 1). This should appear as if you flipped the packet over with the top card. Toss the top face-down card onto the table. This is now the correct card.

Casually show the remaining cards as two Kings. To do this, buckle the bottom card and grasp the top double between your right fingers and thumb, then snap the two (?) cards together. Finally, place the single card on top of the double then drop these cards onto the deck to ditch the face-down card.

4. Now finish as in the description at the beginning, showing the insurance prediction, then finally show that the card has changed into the correct value.

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