Blindfold Card Reading

This bit of mental work is particularly mystifying because of the use of a blindfold. EFFECT:

Performer divides a deck of cards into two parts. He gives these halves to two spectators and has them shuffle the cards. One of the spectators is asked to pass through the audience and have about ten cards selected, one at a time. The other spectator is then asked to collect the cards, having each member of audience put his own selection into his half of deck. A third spectator is then asked to shuffle cards again. Magician then passes a blindfold out for examination. He goes back to stage and blindfolds himself. He states that he will pass the cards off one at a time with faces to audience and will pick cards selected. In rapid succession, Magician tells cards selected and names them.

PARAPHERNALIA:

2 -- A blindfold. This should be made of black velvet or velveteen, doubled and about two inches wide. Sew black braid or tape at each end to make tying on easy.

SECRET AND PATTER: To Prepare:

Thoroughly shuffle deck of cards and divide it into halves. Take one of the cards and at two opposite corners on the back prick a hole with a pin. Make these holes just within the printed part of card so that they will not be noticeable, see Figure 36.

Now force the pin through from the face of the card also, so that pin prick can be felt on back of card.

Use this card as a guide. Place it on another card of this packet, faces of both up, and using holes for guide, push pin through bottom card at opposite corners, Figure 37.

Do this with the guide card for rest of this half deck. The pricks are made in opposite corners so that regardless of position of card, pin prick can be felt at lower right corner on back of card.

The other half of deck is left unprepared. Place prepared half, faces of cards up, in left palm. Notice first card of prepared half. Then place unprepared half on top. By remembering first card, you can easily find place to divide the two halves of deck when time comes.

Have blindfold in coat pocket.

To Perform:

Come forward with cards in left hand.

"I have an interesting experiment here in which I use a deck of cards as a fairly rapid method of gaining control of thought waves. I am going to divide the deck into two halves and give one-half to one gentleman here and the other half to another gentleman over here."

Fan cards a little, separate them at key card, and hold half of deck in each hand.

"Will each of you please thoroughly shuffle the cards?"

Give each of two spectators half of deck. Then say to one holding unprepared half:

"That done, I am going to ask you, sir, to go to about ten or so members of the audience and have each select any card he chooses from your half of the deck and hold that card."

Now, to gentleman with prepared half:

"And you, sir, will you please follow the gentleman and have each spectator who selects a card place his card anywhere in your half of the deck?"

After cards have been selected and returned to prepared half of deck, take remainder of unprepared cards and casually drop them in your right coat pocket.

Take prepared half with selected cards in it.

"I believe that you have collected all the selected cards, have you not? Is there any card which has been missed? I believe not. Now, sir, will you please shuffle the cards thoroughly to mix them up well?"

Give cards to spectator to shuffle, then take them again.

Take blindfold from coat pocket and give to spectator to examine.

"In work of this kind, I find that darkness helps me to gain rapid mental impressions, and for that reason, I have my eyes blindfolded. Will you, sir, please examine this black velvet bandage? You will notice that the bandage is very heavy so as to exclude all light."

Take blindfold again. Go up to stage, place cards on table, and blindfold your eyes. You will find that because of the heaviness of the velvet, the blindfold does not fall in to your cheeks at the bottom and you can easily see under it. Audience believes that you are unable to see, but in reality you can see objects close to you. If you bring a card close to you suddenly, you can get a glimpse of it. Experiment with the blindfold to test its possibilities for yourself.

Pick up cards again and hold in left hand, faces of cards toward audience.

"You notice that I have had a number of cards freely selected and returned to the deck and then thoroughly shuffled in. It is impossible for me or anyone else to tell the location of such cards at the present moment. However, I shall pass the cards one at a time from my left hand to my right, and when you who have chosen cards see your card, concentrate on it and think of it to yourself. I shall endeavor to catch your thoughts and stop at your cards."

Begin passing the cards by reaching over with right hand and taking rear card. Hold it up for a moment.

As you take the card, run your right thumb over lower right corner of card to determine whether it has a pin prick in it or not, Figure 38.

The SMOOTH cards are the selected ones. Pass the cards along, feeling for the pin prick on each one, until you come to a smooth card. Hold it up.

"I get the impression that this is a selected card. Who selected this card? Speak out, please, and say, 'here'."

As you say this, make a gesture with the card to bring it close to your body and thus get a glimpse of the card by looking down under your blindfold. The movement is in toward your body and out again at once so that audience sees it just as a gesture and does not suspect anything.

"The Ten of Diamonds -- is that correct? Thank you."

Drop card to floor or table.

Continue this until you have run through all the cards. Hold each card up for an instant, then drop to floor or table. When you come to a selected card, ask who selected it, and name the card.

"I have discovered each and every card."

Remove blindfold with a quick flourish and make a slight bow.

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