Baffling Discovery


Performer places five cards in a row on the table, turns his back and asks a spectator to look at one of the cards, remember it, and replace it in its original position. Magician then gathers up the five cards, and showing his trousers' pocket to be empty, places the cards in it. He states that he will remove all the cards but the selected one from his pocket. He does so, and finally removes the fifth card and shows it to be the selected one.


Take deck of cards and hold it with backs of cards up. Secretly palm off four cards with right hand and place them in right trousers' pocket, backs outward, as you reach in for a handkerchief.

Have spectator shuffle deck thoroughly.

Count off FIVE cards, one at a time, and place them in a row on table, Figure 1.

Place rest of deck aside.

"This is really an experiment in psychology to determine certain mental reactions and harmony of thought. I have placed five cards in a row on the table. Beginning with the left, we will number them one - two - three - four - five."

Point to cards as you call them out. Then say to spectator:

"When I turn my back to you, sir, will you please look at one of the cards and remember it. Replace it in its original position so that I cannot tell which one you selected. If you care to, move the other cards a little also. Remember your card and its number in the row."

Permit spectator to select card and replace it.

"Are you ready? All right."

Turn and face audience again. Pick up the cards, starting with number 1. Place it on top of number 2, then both cards on number 3, and so on.

Place cards in left hand, and with right hand show right trousers' pocket empty. This is easily done by pushing the four concealed cards into upper corner, as you have been taught to do. Replace pocket. Take cards from left hand and place them in right trousers' pocket also, BEHIND the four concealed cards. Backs of all cards must be outward.

To spectator who selected card:

"Will you please think of your card for a moment. That's enough. I believe I have the right impression."

Reach into right trousers' pocket with right hand.

"I shall separate the card you selected from the others and remove the four cards which you did not select. The selected card will remain in my pocket."

Remove the four concealed cards (the outermost cards) - one at a time - and place them in left hand with backs to audience. These are the four cards that have been in your pocket from the very first.

"You did not select any one of these so I shall replace them on the table. First, however, what was the number of the card you selected? The second card, you say."

Place the cards in a row again on the table, starting with number 1 and leaving a space for number 2 (or whatever number the selected card happens to be, Figure 2.

Reach into pocket with right hand. Quickly push out of the way the outer card, which was the first card in the row you placed on the table at the beginning. (If some other card was selected, push forward the proper number of cards to enable you to get at the selected card.)

Lift out the second or selected card and remove it from pocket, back toward audience.

"I reserved a space on the table for the card which I left in my pocket. I believe this is your card."

Turn face of card toward audience and then place it in second position on table.

"The Seven of Clubs (or whatever it may be) is the card you selected."


Regardless of which number spectator selects from the five cards, you will have no difficulty in producing the selected card. When spectator calls number of card, merely push forward the cards not wanted and bring out the selected card. ALL of the original five cards from the table are in your pocket, though spectators think you removed four of them when you brought out the four concealed cards.

Learn to remove any one of the five cards in your pocket without fumbling. You must do it as though there were really only one card in your pocket. The best way to pick out the selected card is to push the top of each card forward with your thumb and hold it between your first and second fingers until you reach the selected card. The first and fifth cards are easy to remove. If number four is called, you can reach it quickly by starting from the rear.

When you finish the experiment, four cards remain in your pocket so that you may repeat the effect once or twice more. Do not be in a hurry to get these four cards out of your pocket when you are through. When you are ready to remove them, place the whole pack in your pocket and then remove it with the four cards. Or, you may perform the Cards Up The Sleeve. As you already have four cards in your pocket, begin by False Counting 8 cards as 12, and then proceed.

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