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In relation to the 'Solitaire King' effect In this Issue Is a card oddity which wis shown me a few years ago by a professional gambler who used it as a form of solitaire. Shuffle any deck and deal off twenty-five cards, discarding the rest of deck. Turn these face up, lay them out in five rows of five cards each, and then move them around at will, until you have five complete poker hands consisting of straights, full houses or flushes, according to the way they may be arranged. There can be no paira only or three of a kind only hands as all cards must be used. This can always be done regardless of what cards you have to work over. Sometimes it is easy and other times you'll spend an hour before you realise it. It is a fascinating puzzle and if you try it and get stuck, send me the names of the cards and a stamped envelope. If I can't figure it out, I know a fellow who can.

Lurking in my notebook is another cute bit of knowledge. Someone shuffles a deck and names any two different values. You fan the face up deck and invariably can show the two value3 side by side somewhere among the cards. The chances in favor of this are quite high and it has been used extensively as a betting proposition.

anyone turn over three cards, wagering that among the three will be an Ace, Deuce or Jack. It looks to the spectator as if only twelve cards out of the fifty-two can lose for them, but the percentage is confuted differently and is high in your favor. Never let it be said I have advocated betting, but in case someone's mind turns that way,these two items are safe even money wagers.

In The Book Without a Name was an effect called 'Seven Keys to Baldpate.' It made use of a Yale or Corbin padlock and seven keys, only one of which would fit. The keys were to be mixed and each of seven people would pick one out and hold it in their closed fist. The performer would now pass from one to another and finally stop in front of one whose key would be tried and found to open the lock. I used a small size changing bag and extra keys in the method given. Robert Thrasher, of Elmira, New York, and I were together not long ago, and in talking about the effect evolved, not alone a better method, but a much improved effect from the standpoint of the audience. One needs only the padlock and eight keys, one of which fits the lock. These keys all look alike, but only seven are used openly. One of the dummy keys is used secretly. Have the real key with a ribbon tied to it. Hand the dummy keys to a spectator with the lock end have him try them. Then hand him the real key which opens the loclc. Now hook the lock into his coat lapel and snap it shut. Remove ribbon from real key and toss it into a hat or bowl with the others. Really, though, you switch it with a simple coin move for your dummy key. And at this time, no one expects anything, most attention being on the lock in the lapel. Now have the keys mixed and picked out by seven people. Pass along and finally stop in front of one. Have the real key in your left hand finger palmed, take the key from spectator, make a change over palm and toss the real key to spectator with lock. He removes the padlock and all is well and can be checked.

I wonder how many passed up the shrinking dollar stunt that Max Holden described in the Linking Ring for May? It's an excellent table trick and new. By rolling a bill real hard between the hands it is broken down and appears to have become much smaller than an ordinary bill with which it is compared. The more it is broken up and the finer the wrinkles get, the smaller the bill looks, and the picture, figures and design appears smaller and is not distorted. It takes three or four times to do well, and the bill is getting smaller all the while. I patter along about showing them a practical explanation of deflation. The dollar on the table is a pre-deflation do liar and the one you vise is what happened. When Mr. Roosevelt decreed that the dollar drop to 59 cents, all members of the house and senate went out on the capitol steps with a pile of bills beside them, and worked night and day to make the dollar worth 59 cents. While gabbing about this, you keep rolling bill hard and unrolling to show how it gradually drops to about 90 cents, then 75 and finally to approximately 59 cents in size. It's silly but funny and an awfully Interesting stunt. (English readers note: My apologies for the used up space here. I tried it with a ten shilling note and it doesn't work worth a hoot.)

For those who use the canary in the electric light bulb, I've thought of a variation whi6h would be very effective. Instead of a bird use water. Have the bulb burning as usual and vanish a glassful of water, not the glass, Just the water. You can use a Poo can or any preferable method. Instantly, and coinciding with the vanish, the light goes out, bulb is unscrewed and found full of water when broken. The contrast of water into a burning bulb is very strong and impressive. To fill a bulb hold it in a pail of water and with a pair of shears cut the tip off. The vacuum In the bulb causes it to fill Itself and the small hole is then waxed over.

Speaking of a Poo can reminds me of a Jory funny comedy stunt in which it was secretly used. One was made to fit into a derby hat. As usual, the opportunity rises for the practical joker to pour water into the hat and stand by, waiting for the deluge. However, the hat is put on and taken off with nothing happening and the joke rebounds. It's very funny to watch because Just the opposite to what you expect happens. Perhaps Frank Lane can use this at the next convention.

Why don't more magicians be up to date and timely? I've seen two different performers do a burglar card trick lately with the worn out 'cop and robber' talk. Use 'G-man' instead of 'cop' and make a modern manhunt of it. You'll get their interest quicker and they'll remember how you 'caught Dilllnger' longer than just a card trick about burglars.

Magicians could learn a lot by digging into old magazine files. There are two tricks being used a great deal to-day, but no one is doing them as they were originally performed and the effects in those days were much better. The Vanishing Bird Cage is the first. The cage and bird were shown and vanished. Then the performer would explain that any fear for the bird was groundless because the bird disappeared first, followed by the cage. They both vanished so close together, however, that it appeared as one disappearance. After saying this, the performer would reach under his coat and his hand would come out holding a canary which would fly away. I've always thought this a pretty finish and remember trying to get Keating to use it at the time he was making Broadway extremely birdcage conscious. The S.P.C.A. was interested and the usual 'to hurt or not to hurt' controversy raged. This finish would have been timely and a cute come-back, but Fred couldn't see it my way, or else was too tired to bother. I heard a short time ago that, while working on a picture, he did the cage vanish with a pigeon. It may have been ballyhoo (Fred had lobby photos once holding a parrot cage about the size of an Austin) but I know him well enough to guess that he might try such a thing. If he did, he must have looked like Lionel Strongfort in his prime, after the cage and pigeon were out of sight (?).

The other trick is The Cards Prom the Pockets. Performers invariably have the deck shuffled and then pull out the card called for. When Her bert Brooks Introduced this stunt he tossed a deck out for a three card selection. Each spectator who took a card wrote his name on It and shuffled his card back himself. Brooks put the halves into his trouser pockets and had the three cards named. He reached In his pockets and drew out the cards, returning them to their owners for verification. Then he said that It was easy because he could find any card called for, and as cards were named, he produced them. The indexes were in the double pockets to start. The deck from which cards were selected was of normal size but taken back while the cards were being marked and changed for a narrow deck. In his pockets he could pull out the three marked cards and return them. The other cards called for came from the indexes. This was subtle because the locating of the three marked cards impressed that the same deck that was shuffled was being used. If you do the effect, try this version by the originator of the trick.

Others may have thought of this but 11 ve never seen it in print and I thought of it through necessity. I don't suppose there is a reader who hasn't been handed something as a joke and asked to take it out of somebody's pocket. If the article is reasonably small like a pen, pencil, or watch, I can tell you a cute wrinkle. Just do a simple card location and pick on the goat-to-be to help. Have him shuffle the deck after returning his card and when you take deck you use your own method for getting the card to top or bottom. Now ask him to come over and stand beside you and your right hand drops to pocket and gets the article. He is on your left and you merely put the deck into his pocket with both hands, and leave the article there. Now have him name his card and you reach in with one hand and produce it. Take the deck out immediately and sit him down for another trick. He never knows what hit him when later, the article Is found missing and you, with obviously empty hands, take it from his pocket. It's a good angle to know, anyway.


Some things come to light through accidental discovery and others by hard work after the conception of an idea. This is one of the latter. I play solitaire a lot and thought how effective It would be if one could play such a game and win at will. Obviously, the deck would have to be stacked. I wondered if I could take a commonly arranged deck according to one of the popular magical aysterns and win at one of the best known solitaire games. The game described below is known as 'canfleld' and it can be beaten with a deck stacked in the 'Eight King' ditty set-up. Have any Jack at the bottom and go ahead. I went through the entire deck card by card when set In the Si Stebbins A-4-7-10 etc., arrangement but none would work out. After a few tricks at a card party with an arranged pack, it is a nice finish to say you'll show how you can always win at solitaire. False shuffle the deck and go ahead. There is one spot in the whole thing to watch out for and not miss. About the middle there will be two red sevens upon either of which a black six is to be played. Always put it on the right seven and you are safe. I am giving here lnstrc-tlons for the game Itself.

There are twenty-eight cards in the tableau of this game and they are laid out as follows; There are seven cards In the first horizontal row, the first six from left to right being played face down and the seventh face up. There are six cards in the second row, the first five being placed face down and overlapping the five cards directly above in the first row, and the sixth card is placed face up. The third row has five cards with the last one to the right face up. The others are face down and all overlap the cards in the row above. Continue in the 3ame manner with the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh rows, the last card of each row being placed face up and the other cards of each row being face down. The last or seventh row has only one card, face up, being the bottom card of the column to the extreme left.

TThe object of the game is to build the suits separately and In sequence from ace to king, in spaces to the top of the tableau. These are called foundations. To play, remove any aces which happen to be exposed face up and place at the top to form the foundations. Follow with deuces, threes and so on in same suits if the cards are available« When any card that is face up in the tableau is played on the foundations or moved to another position, the card immediately above it in the same vertical column must be turned up, and becomes available for play.

Plays must then be made in the tableau in descending sequence and in opposite colors, black on a red and a red on black. All cards in each vertical row are moved at one time. As many moves as possible should be made as it is to the player's advantage to turn face up as many cards In the tableau as possible. A move once made cannot be recalled and a red seven for instance once played on a black eight spot cannot be removed to the other black eight spot once the original play has been made. Vacant spaces at the top of the columns can be filled only with kings.

When all possible moves have been made in the tableau, the play proceeds from the stock In hand. Cards are turned face up in groups of three and the top card of this one pile Is always available for play under the above rules. When no more plays can be made in tableau or from stock face up on table, the next three are placed face up on top of it. The stock is gone through as many times as possible until there are no more possible plays. The stock is never shuffled but picked up, turned face down and gone through again as before. Do not reverse the three cards when taken from stock but take them off In solid groups of three.

Personally, I think this an excellent stunt at card parties and places where cards are in evidence. It is always a simple matter to leave the room for a few minutes and stack one of the decks taken away with you. My book 'The Book Without a Name' gives a mechanical and fast set up method for the 'Eight King' system. It is different from the usual card stunt. It makes use of a game which everybody knows is difficult to win, and it serves the purpose of convincing watchers that you are a great card man. Cold decking a solitaire game is nothing. I only claim the originality of the effect and the discovery that the 'Eight King' stack will beat this particular game.

The Jinx is an independent monthly for magicians published by Theo. Annemann of Waverly, N.Y., U.S.A. It can be obtained direct or through any magical depot for 25 cents a oopy, and by subscription is $1 for 5 issues postpaid to any address in the world.

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Sessj written very finely in the center the na:.;e of a card. The coin and stamp are in my pocket and after borrowing one from the hotel desk, I reach into pocket and bring out coin and marked stamp. The stamp is wet, but only on the corners and tossed to the ceiling. Perhaps a week later, or whenever I can be back in the same spot doing a few tricks, I manage to force a card and have It pocketed. Pretending to forget it I go on with others until the selected card Is mentioned whereupon I say that X have no way of telling what it is unless I look on the underside of the stamp on the celling. Try It once and see how quickly they all rise to the bait. They'll bet most anything that you are bluffing, especially when they know you took one of the house stamps and put it there a week before. Have the selected card shown to everyone and then tell the spectator that It Is up to him from then on. I've had them call the house boy with a ladder and get it down, and I've had them (especially the goat) talk about it for a week and wonder everytime they look up whether or not the name is really there. Anyway you look at it, the stunt makes talk.

Write on the stamp with ink. Pencil writing doesn't take on the glue surface. Use small stamps. Comemorative or double width stamps overlap the coin and the wind catches them. A silver dollar will put them up however. If you want to have printed up some gummed stickers with your name in bold type, use them Instead.

T 5 SUPER SLATES. (Anonymous)

For many, many years dealer's catalogues have listed 'spirit slates' where two slates and one flap make a spirit message possible. A moot question is, "Why does a message appear only on one side?" In this version, nothing else is used, but after the two slates have been shown and openly numbered on four sides, they are opened to show a genuine chalk message on the Inside of EACH slate, and are left with the audience. It would be best to follow these directions with a pair of slates and flap in hand.

Put a message on one side of one slate and In the upper left corner the figure 1. Cover this with flap. On one side of the second slate put another message, or continue the first. Mark this with the figure 4. Put this slate with message side down on the first slate with flap, and keep all numbers to the front end.

Pick up the slates, and holding them together and tipped forward a little so that top surface can be seen, first or top slate Is slid off and put under the second slate. State that you will number each side and with chalk put the figure 1 on upper left corner of top slate (flap). With the same move as before, slide this slate off and put underneath. Mark the new surface with the figure 2. Kow turn the two slates completely over (never end for end - numbers always stay at front end) and mark the new surface with figure 3. Lift this slate off and put underneath (the flap has dropped off onto top of bottom slate) marking the new surface (back of flap) with the figure 4. Now — with a remark about the slates having been marked, slide top slate off about an inch to the right and, grasping it near upper right corner with right thumb underneath and fingers on top, turn it outward end for end and at same time bring it underneath the top slate and square. The flap is on this slate, held in place by flngerB, and the two slates are placed for the moment on your table. You pick up a ribbon, or preferably a large and heavy elastic band. Pick

Page up slates, leaving the flap behind, and remarking that they will be securely held together, make the same move as Just described, turning the now top slate over and bringing it back under the other. The messages are now both inside and slates are fastened. '.Then revealed, everything can be examined and the numbering all checks perfectly.

Be careful when handling that the undersides of slates in hand cannot be seen as the messages are there several times. These moves are all simple, and although it may take several readings with slates In hand to conquer the problem, you will be more than satisfied and pleased with the result. You can vary by having card names appear, one on each slate. Or again, have on each slate the answer to one question. Finding writing on both slates after openly numbering will fool well posted conjurors.


Here is am old card principle in a new dress and for a different effect. Magicians all know the old stunt of putting four aces on top of the deck and having it cut into four piles. Then cards are moved from pile to pile by the spectator, at the performer's direction, and for a climax, the top card of each pile is turned and shown to be an ace.

Now try it this way. While seated at a table, write a prediction on a piece of paper, fold, and let someone keep. Pick up the pack, false shuffle by dovetailing to keep the top four intact, and go through the procedure. When the top cards are turned over they are indifferent and apparently there by chance. Tell the spectator that the first card will indicate a page, the next will Indicate a column, the third will be for a line and the last will indicate a word in that line. Pick up the daily newspaper (which, of course, you have glanced at previously) and in this way a single word is reached. Your prophecy is found to be correct!

Just in case, this effect is read by someone not acquainted with the maneuvre of the cards I shall give an example. Once the principle is known and understood, you will never do it twice alike. With the four cards on top, have it cut into four piles. We shall call them 1,2,3 and 4; the set of four being on top of pile 4. Move two cards from 4 to 1. Move two from 2 to 3. Move one card from 1 to 2. I'ove two from 4 to 3. Move one card from 3 to 4. All are now distributed to the top of each pile. Don't learn a routine. Just follow the cards In your mind and point to the piles, telling spectator how many to move and to which pile. Have them turned over and take the highest for page, next highest for column, next for line and smallest for word. By stacking four cards and noting one word you have a neat stunt.

The Jinx is an independent monthly for magicians published by Theo. Annemann of Waverly, N.Y., U.S.A. It can be obtained direct or through any magical depot for 25 cents a copy, and by subscription is §1 for 5 issues postpaid to any address in the world.

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