MATHEMATICAL BLACK JACKS or HENRY CHRIST
When Charles T. Jordan was reigning king of the card trick originators back in the early 1920's, one of his card table problems v/as named "The Keystone Card Discovery." Students of the Jordan school of cardology will recognise a similarity of procedure in what follows, but will also see a decidedly different approach, presentation, and especially the never observed method of handling the cards that "does" the trick and confounds those who may try to follow your actions in an effort to duplicate things.
The performer borrows a deck and tells a tale of the two black Jacks. Back in now dim eras the cards were designed with a mathematical quality. The Jack of Spades holds an hour glass in his left hand while the Jack of Clubs holds an object then used as a measuring stick. Thus, the performer tells, because the black Jacks signified the measurement of time and tides they have mathematical properties possessed by no other card or cards even, though the designs have changed to some extent since those bygone days. (Most cards, especially Bicycle, can be shown to have these characteristics to-day.)
This theme material was contained in Zovello's History of Playing Cards, a valuable booklet for any person interested in cards, and obtainable from magical dealers.
The two black Jacks have been removed from the pack and show during this discourse. How they are put back and lost during a shuffle. The performer can do this himself and make use of any favorite sleight and shuffle to finally deposit the cards on top. Or he may have them returned by a spectator and accomplish the same result by means of the Hindu shuffle (Jinx No. 56).
The performer now cuts the pack into two face down piles, "slip-cutting" one of the two black Jacks onto the lower half. Thus the cards appear as in Fig. 1, a Jack unbeknown on top of each heap.
The probability of finding one Jack, says the performer, is 25 to 1. He asks a spectator to mention a number between 1 and 10. '.Ve shall assume that 7 is chosen. With both hands, the performer deals a card face down from each pile into piles at the outside of the packets. The cards are dealt simultaneously. When the 7th card in each packet is reached they are turned over to show that neither is a Jtilack Jack. Then they are deposited upon the outside heaps as were the others, the outside heaps picked up and returned to the tops of the original Jpiles. Illustrations 2 and 3 depict these actions.
A second person is now asked to name a number between 10 and 20. Once more the cards are dealt singly and simultaneously to the sides. Let us say 12 was the figure called. 77hen the 12th cards are reach, they are turned and again everyone sees that no black Jack has been discovered. (Fig.4) However, this time, after showing the cards, they are replaced on the INNER piles from where they were picked up, and the outside heaps picked up and placed on top of their respective piles. This simple change of procedure is NEVER noticed when the effect is first presented before ANYONE, yet it is the key to the effect's working for you while not working for others although they may know or surmise the principle in general.
Two people have tried to locate the Jacks' but have failed. The performer says that the black Jacks, having been mathematically endowed,take every opportunity to display their prowess. Re suggests that the difference between the two selected numbers be computed. In this case, 7 and 12, the difference is 5.
For the last time the cards are dealt off into their side piles. On the 5th count the two cards are tossed face up in front of all piles. THEY ARE THE BIACK JACKS TOO HAVE FOUND THEMSELVES! (Figs. 5 and 6 show these final moves.)
NUMft&RS 7"AND ~I2 CALLED
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