Synthetic Seconds

A stooge in the audience does all of the work, but you can fool magicians with it, and sometimes that's a lot of fun and satisfaction.

Someone shuffles the deck and cuts it into two nearly equal plies. A spectator is asked to take a card from the center of one pile, remember it, and place it on top of the same pile. Another spectator (who is your stooge) Is asked to do the same with the other pile. Spectator number one may now place either pile above the other, and cut the pack several times.

You now ask for the names of the two cards, and announce that you will cause them to come together in the deck. If you are performing before magi, present It as a feat of second dealing (that is, holding one card by second dealing until you reach the other). Deal the cards rapidly onto the table face up. When you reach one of the chosen cards, pause for effect, then deal the next card which (if your stooge has been faithful) should be the other chosen card.

Here's the how. When the deck was shuffled, the stooge noticed the bottom oard of the paok. If he didn't get the glimpse then he Insisted on shuffling the deck a bit himself. After the deok Is out Into the two piles, it Is the original lower half from which the stooga Is asked to take his card. Of course he forgets the oard he draws and remembers only the bottom card of the pile. It is this oarA that he later names as his. Regardless og how the piles are gathered and out, the spectator'a card and the oard the stooge names as his will come together.

You will be amazed at the gullibility of some members of the profession!


Bxere is little that Is strikingly original about this effeot, but I have found the routine to be an extremely successful table trick, particularly In a tavern that is not too well lit.

a black thread about fifteen Inches long is used. At one end is a safety pin and an ordinary pin is at the other. The safety pin Is fastened to the front of your ooat, about an inoh Inside and just below the lapel. Stick the other pin Into the inside of the eoat somewhere where It will be out of the way until you want to use the thread*

Shortly after you have lit a cigarette procure the pin la the fingers and secretly push it up Into the base' of cigarette. Since no one suspects a trick as yet, you can continue to smoke it without fear of the thread being noticed.

Pick up the nearest empty beer bottle ( assuming youare In a tavern) and hold It horizontally by the neck with the left hand. Balance the cigarette on It as shown, allowing the olgarette to hang slightly over the far side. Take the bottom of the bottle in the right hand, and tilt it first to the left and then to the right, 'allowing the olgarette to roll back and forth aoross It. It looks like genuine jugglery. How rotate the bottle away from you, then rotate It toward you. With a little prao-tloe and oare the cigarette should remain Immovable.

As a finale, turn the bottle right side up and rop the lit cigarette inside. The bottle should be held at a distance that permits the cigarette to drop below the opening but to still remain Inside the neck. Move the bottle forward and baok to cause the olgarette to rise

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Into view and then fall. Do this several times, then remove the cigarette and extend it forward with the bottle for examination. This pulls the pin out of the cigarette and pin and thread fall Into lap.

Do not hold the bottle high above the table during the first part of the routine. Then If the cigarette accidentally falls off the bottle it will merely drop to the table and you can pick it up again and balance it once more.


Apparently there are innumerable versions extant of the spelling trick in which the performer spells through a packet of thirteen cards, permitting a spectator to try his band occasionally only to invariably turn up the wrong oard, usually a Joker. I devised this routine three years ago, adding to the effeot several features of real magic and a good deal of comic by-play that greatly lessens the usual monotony of the trick.

The set-up is as follows, from top to bottom. 3-Joker-8-Aoe-7-Jack-6-2-5-Ciueen-10-9-4. I shall give the routine oard by oard. In eaoh case remember that after the spelling has terminated It Is the next card that is turned over.

ACBt Spell "Ace," turn over ace and discard.

TWO! Spell "Two" the same way.

THREE: Spell "Three" likewise.

POUR: Hand the deck to a spectator and ask him to try four. He does so and gets the SIX instead. Say, "No, no, like this." Take the packet (leaving the six on bottom) and spell out the four, discarding It.

FIVBs Ask him to try five. Again he gets the six. If he is at all intelligent, at this point he will surmise that you have so arranged the cards.that after he has spelled through them incorrectly, they will be set correctly for you. He will probably ask you to let him try again. Look embarassed and finally consent to it. Of course if he does not wish to try again, suggest that he do so. This time he gets neither the six nor the five, but the Joker. Say, "See what you get for being skeptical." Take the packet (Joker on bottom) and spell "five" discarding It.

SIX: Let him try six and he gets the Joker. Take the cards (Joker on bottom) and spell "six" correotly. Remark that you do not even have to spell the six correctly. Place It on the bottom and spell "pshylxe" and turn It up again. Discard.

SEVEN: Spell seven correctly and discard.

EIQHT: Remark that you will turn up the eight by either spelling eight, seven or Joker. This gets a laugh because they soon perceive that the three cards spell with the same number of letters. Spell the eight and discard.

NINE: Let him try the nine and he gets the Joker. Place it on the bottom and ask him to try again. Same result. Place Joker on bottom and let someone else try. Same result. This last time leave the Joker on top (you are getting laughs and this is not noticed). Spell the nine out yourself but peek at the card before you turn It over. Perform a double lift when you do this. Look chagrined and state that you seem to have missed it yourself. Show the two Cards as one (exhibiting the Joker). Replaoe them and slide the top card to the table remarking that with the Joker out of the way someone should be able to spell the nine. Let spectator try again, but he gets the Jokerl He dives for the card on table which turns out to be the e-luslve nine. In the meantime you have left the Joker on top.

TEN: Spell the ten and discard.

JACK: Spell the Jack and discard.

QUEEN: Ask him to try the Queen. While he does so pick up the pack in the left hand as though the trick were about over. On top of thm deck you have previously placed a king. The spectator produces the Joker again.

Take back the two cards, Joker on top, and spell the queen. The deck is still held in the left hand. Instead of showing the queen, place it face down on the table and ask him to turn it over. This directs their attention to the table and allows you to make a top change of the Joker for the King.

KINO: Hand him the king and ask him to spell the last card. He will probably laugh and pass it from hand to hand spelling out the King. When he turns it over it IS the king.

If anyone asks you where the Joker is, say, "What Jokerf"


The effect of this trick is as follows. The magician shuffles a deck of cards thoroughly aod asks someone to cut it into two piles, ohosing one of them for himself. From this pile a card is selected and removed. It is then inserted into the other pile which may be shuffled by the spectator. The magician takes this pile and fans it, faces down, in his hand, and asks another spectator to assist in an experiment in telepathy. The person who chose the card is asked to concentrate upon it while the fan is raised so that the second spectator may have a full view of the faces of the cards. He is asked to make hist mind as receptive as possible, then to run his eye over the cards. If his mind focuses suddenly on a single oard he is to remove that card from the fan and place it face down on the table. When this card is turned over it proves to be the chosen onel No, there are no stooges, and the trick seldom falls to be successful.

You will have to master a false shuffle. I shall give you two and you may take .your choice, or you may use both. The shuffles are designed only to keep separate the red and black oards.

The first shuffle is of the overhand type. The deck is arranged beforehand with the reds together'and the blacks together, It matters not which is on top. A break is held between the two halves by the right thumb as shown. Undercut three fourths of the oards and shuffle them into the left hand until you reach the break, then in-jog a card and shuffle off the remaining half. Undercut three fourths of the deck, the right thumb pushing in the jogged card and holding the break again as before. The shuffle is repeated Indefinitely, On the last shuffle you can neglect the in-jog; merely shuffle to the break and continue with those left.

The second shuffle is a riffle shuffle and more difficult to master. Once mastered it is completely convincing in appearance. To my knowledge it is here explained in print for the first time.

The cards are held in the right hand as shown in Fig. 2, and the left fingers withdraw half the deck FROM THE CENTER. The cards should be held a few Inches above the table and tilted slightly toward the audience. When the center has been withdrawn the right thumb holds a break between the two portions as shown in Fig 3. The cards are riffled together. The right thumb permits the cards to fall more rapidly so that it shuffles its lower portion into the lower portion of the cards held in the left hand. Then the left thumb allows the center portion of its oards to fall while the right thumb does nothing. Then the right thumb riffles its remaining cards into the upper portion of the cards in the left hand. In other words the red cards are riffled into red cards, and the black oards into blacks. The break makes it possible for the right hand to hesitate while the center portion of the cards in the left hand are allowed to fall. Practice this shuffle until you can execute it rapidly and follow with a false cut.

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