Mystic Discovery

Another ingenious mental effect with cards. EFFECT:

Performer has a deck of cards thoroughly shuffled by a spectator and has him select a card and place it in his pocket. Another spectator takes the deck and also selects a card and keeps it. Magician now takes from his pocket a watch chain. The first spectator is asked to hold the free end of it, and the Magician then tells him the name of his card. The second spectator then holds the watch chain and is also told the name of the card he selected.



A set of marked cards are used in this experiment. Even though they are shuffled, performer can tell at a glance which cards have been selected by looking at the edge of deck.

First make a KEY CARD. Take one of the extra cards with advertising on, which usually come with a deck -- or use the joker. Mark this card on the back as shown in Figure 39.

Now continue these marks over the left edge of the card so that they can be seen when card is held with only this edge toward you. Use a pencil in marking. You are now ready to mark the deck.

Pick up a card and place it on the Key Card -- backs of both cards up. Say the card is an Ace. Make a little dot on the EDGE only of the Ace just at the point where the marking for Ace is on the Key Card.

To differentiate between suits, use this code:

For a Heart - two dots, close together.

For a Spade - three dots, close together.

For a Diamond - a short line along the edge of the card.

Thus, if this Ace which you just marked is a Club, the mark is one dot at the point where Aces are marked, according to the Key Card. If it is an Ace of another suit, follow the code and place the mark indicated at the Ace point.

Sometimes the edges of the cards may be marked with black and red ink, but care must be taken that the ink does not spread. If you mark this way, use this code:

For a Club - one black dot.

For a Spade - two black dots.

For a Diamond - two red dots.

Here, I am using the first code in pencil. After you have marked the first card, place it aside and take another. Remember, ONLY ONE EDGE OF CARDS IS MARKED.

Assume that the second card is the Seven of Hearts. Place it on the key card and mark the edge at the Seven point with two dots. Continue in the same manner to mark all the cards.

Now place the cards together and square up. Hold left edge of deck toward you and this is what you see:

Thirteen rows of markings -- because there are thirteen cards in each suit.

Four kinds of markings in a line in each row because there are four suits of each card.

The rows indicate Ace, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven, Eight, Nine, Ten, Jack, Queen, King.

The markings indicate Club, Heart, Spade, Diamond.

Figure 40 shows part of the edge of the deck with markings on it.

Remove any card from the deck. Then hold the marked edges toward you again. You can see immediately that one of the thirteen rows has only three markings instead of four. The row in which the marking is missing will tell you what number the card is, and the code tells you which suit it is.

Assume that you removed the 2 of Spades. The second row has only three markings left — this tells you a 2 has been removed. The missing mark is Three Dots — this tells you that it is a Spade, Figure 41.

To Perform:

Come forward with deck of cards. Be sure that all marked edges are together. Give cards an overhand shuffle. Hand them to spectator and ask him to give them an overhand shuffle also. The danger of a riffle shuffle is that some of the cards may be turned so that the markings are not all together.

"While the cards are still in your hands, will you please remove one card, remember it, and place it in your coat pocket so that there is no way of my seeing it."

When he has done this, take the cards from him, square them up, glance at the marked edge to see which card has been removed. The three marks in one of the rows instead of four will tell you.

Give cards to another spectator.

"And will you, sir, also remove a card from the deck, remember it, do not let me see it, and place it in your coat pocket?"

This done, take the deck again, square it up, quickly look at edge and determine which card he removed. Place deck aside.

Take watch chain from your pocket.

"As you perhaps know, metal is a good conductor, and I find that a watch chain is an excellent means for carrying vibrations. (To first spectator) Will you please just take one end of this chain in your hand, and I shall hold the other end. Now, concentrate on the card you selected."

Suppose the first selected card is the Seven of Diamonds.

"First the color. I get it -- RED. Now the number -- SEVEN. And the suit — DIAMONDS. The Seven of Diamonds."

Ask first spectator to take his card from pocket and show to audience, then return it to you.

Now go to second spectator who selected card.

"Will you also please hold one end of this watch chain while I hold the other end. Think of your card."

Suppose his card is the King of Clubs.

"First the color -- I see many colors -- must be a court card. Think of it -- concentrate, please. It is a King -- the King of Clubs. Is that right? Thank you."

Take card and hold up to audience. SUGGESTION:

A marked deck like this may be used in many ways in conjuring. I call it the Devil's Deck.

In Lesson 29, I taught you an experiment with "X-Ray Cards," in which you prepared the cards with holes through the index corners to determine selected cards which are placed between them.

Somewhat similar to this is an effect which you may work with a marked deck instead. Mark the edges of about twenty cards, leaving rest of deck unprepared. Give marked cards to someone in audience and you retain unprepared ones. Have spectator select a card from his packet and place it anywhere among your cards, which you hold behind your back. Offer your packet for shuffling. Take the cards back, quickly note marked card by looking at edge of packet, then hold packet to side of your head and name card. Remove this card from your packet and repeat experiment.


The paraphernalia described in this lesson can be obtained from the Tarbell System at the following prices, postage prepaid.

Collection Basket Crystal Balls, size 2" Crystal Balls, size 2 1/2

Crystal Balls, size 3" 5.25

Crystal Balls, size 3 1/2" 7.25

Crystal Balls, size 4" 9.25

Crystal Balls, size 5" 12.25

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