HF. performer removes a transparent plastic envelope from his pocket and dis-M&wr/I P^y5 lts c°ntents: one playing card and a twenty dollar bill. ()nlv the back of fccSyy the card can be seen through the envelope. The per former proposes a small wager to someone in his audience; a wager widi no risk to this person. The spectator is to name any card in the deck he wishes. The performer claims that he has already anticipated the spectators selection and placed it in the envelope. If he is wrong, the spectator wins the twenty dollar bill. If he is right, the performer wins due credit for a remarkable feat of precognition. More favorable terms could not be asked.

The spectator considers carchdlv, then names a card. To assure that there is no misunderstanding—after all, twenty dollars is at stake here—the card named is removed from the performers deck. Then the card in the transparent envelope is cleanly removed and shown. It is the very one named, and the performer wins a well-deserved round of applause!

Some dccadcs back Davenports of England released Elizabeth's fantastic Joker; a card prediction that depended on apparatus for its success. In the lebruary 1982 issue of Pabular (Vol. 7, No. 2, p. 995) Wally Boyce contributed a method for accomplishing this effect without recourse to special apparatus. "Elizabeth 2nd', as he called it, was a distinct improvement over the original in that it used only a common envelope, one fcke card and two gimmicked decks. The effect was a good one, and Mr. Boyccs method had several solid ideas. Walt Lees, then the editor of Pabular, made this assessment: 'This is one of the best non-sleight of hand effects that I have seen for some time." But he went on to point out a major problem with the method. The envelope containing the prediction card was also shown to hold a joker with a different colored back. Mr. Lees rightly observed that "The chief problem is to justify die presence of the odd joker, which seemingly plays no part in the trick.' I his is a hurdle that will need to be got over by presentation alone.' There were several other awkward moments as well, necessitated by method but not suffiuendy obscured by presentation: No reason was offered for finding the named card in die deck; and the envelope had to be brought over the pack for a moment before the prediction card was shown. However, the trick had enough merit that I took on the challenge of trying to resolve its weak points. The result is a method that is still very much Wally Boyces, but with changes made to the dressing and presentation that substantially strengthen the effect. And there is one byproduct of my alterations: Once in a while you can do precisely what you claim, with no trickery whatever!


You will need a transparent envelope, without a flap and open at one end and a side. It must he slightly larger than an unfolded bill. A tour through a well-stocked stationery store will turn one of these up. While you may not find the exact size you need, you will find larger sizes that can be cut down to the desired dimensions. Neatly trim a sliver from one side of rhe open long edge, so that your fingers can enter the envelope easily and without hesitation.

Next take a larger denomination bill and stick a Queen of Hearts face down to its center, using a small bit of magicians wax. Position the card somewhat askew but with no portion of it projecting beyond the bill. The best bill to use is a twenty, so that the wager is substantial and creates interest from the start. The bill, though, should not be too high in value. A hundred dollar bill would make the bet seem too pat and people wont take the wager seriously. (This sound bit of psychology was mentioned to me by Joop Fenstraa, a Dutch magician, who often performs "Elizabeth III".)

Insert rhe bill and its attached Queen into the envelope and slip a large paper clip over rhe open edge, trapping rhe contents inside (Figure 1). The paper clip should be as conspicuous as possible: oversized and bright red or made of brass. It must also be heavy, as you wish it to clatter on rhe table when you drop it.The reason for this will he made clear shordy.

Finally, you will need two special decks of cards with backs matching the Queen in the envelope.These are essentially untrimmed MeneTekel decks, which are easily put together from two regulation packs. Sort the cards of both decks into suits, then assemble the duplicate cards in pairs. Gather all the spade and heart pairs into one deck, all the club and diamond pairs into the other. The cards needn't be in a particular order, but the pairs must be kept together. You dont need to include the Queen of Hearts in the spade-heart deck, as it is covcrcd by your prediction card. Instead, you should add two jokers to that deck, in case your spectator should be a bit capricious. Case both decks and place them in separate pockets, remembering the location of each.

Introduce your wager by bringing out the envelope and exhibiting it on both sides, letting rhe bill and single card be unmistakably seen. Toss the envelope nonchalantly onto the table, with die card lying beneath die bill and out ui sigliL. (Arranging, as we just have, to get the card out of sight early in die procedure, allows die maximum amount of time for die spectators to forget the orientation ol the card in die envelope.) Also keep the envelope near you, so that it is in your control il yon find you have a grabber in the group.

Ask if anyone is interested in a small gamble. You propose that someone name any card in a standard pack, and that you will influence him to choose the very card you have placed with the bill in the envelope. If you fail in this, the bill is his to keep; but if you succeed, the group will give you an enthusiastic round of applause. Few individuals will resist such terms, and you can be assured that you now have everyone s interest.

Ask the person who accepts yout wager to name any card. If lie names the Queen of Hearts, you have won fair and square—though you have made the best ol the situation, since this card is the most popular choice after die Ace of Spades; and die Ace is seldom named under these circumstances as ir seems too obvious. Consequently, the Queen is named more often than any other card. When you hear "Queen of I leans" leave the spectators lips, forget the prepared decks in your pockets. Simply pick up the envelope, remove the paper clip and take out the bill and card, pushing with your rhumb on rhe card to break it loose from the bill. Make your actions as clean and open as possible, while you dramatize the effect to the best of your ability. Then turn the card over and accept your rightful reward.

The rest of this discussion is necessary only for those times when another card than the Queen of Hearts is named.

On hearing the card chosen, you immediately bring die prepared deck that contains it from your pocket. Now you must justify the use of the deck to the spectators. To do this, I've come up with the following strategy: "Now lets make sure that there is no misunderstanding. I do, after all, have twenty dollars riding on this." Under diese circumstances, such caution is logical and understandable. As you say this, you uncase the deck and run quickly-through it, faces toward yourself, to find the named card. Cut rhe pack berween rhe two duplicates of this card, sending one to rhe rop, the. other ro bottom. 1 ower rhe face-up deck and deal the card on its face onto the table face up. Following this, turn the deck face down and hold it in left-hand dealing grip.

"This is the card you named, right? There is no misunderstanding, is there? You have chosen this card and no other." Wait for the spectator to affirm his choice. Having his confirmation and the card face up on the table leaves no chance for later claims that you misheard the name of the card. This, by the way, is a genuinely wise precaution, as there are people who may be inclined to lie to win such a wager. Consequendy, your actions are clearly founded and reasonably motivated.

While you extract this confirmation from the spectator, using the exchange to focus attention on him, push over the top card of the pack slightly; then form a fourth-finger break beneath it as you push it square again. Your next obstacle to overcome is to crcatc a logical reason to set the envelope briefly onto the deck, so that you can steal away the duplicate card above the break.

With your right hand, pick up the envelope by its open side, your thumb contacting the paper clip. Then, as you hold the envelope stationary, smoothly bring the deck under it (Figure 2). You do this to allow the right hand to remove the paper clip from the envelope;

a task requiring both hands. While your left: thumb holds the envelope in place, your right thumb and fingers slip off the clip and toss it carelessly to the table. You have used a large, heavy, brighdy colored paper clip to attract the eyes and ears of the spectators, diverting them momentarily from considering that the envelope is lying on the deck.

The instant you have dropped the paper clip, bring your right hand back to the envelope and grasp it again at the right side, thumb above and fingers below. At the same time use the right fingertips to catch the top card of the pack and pinch it against the underside of the envelope. Then immediately move your left hand and deck to the left and from under the envelope. Simultaneously turn this hand palm down and extend your forefinger to point at the face-up card on the table. With this finger, slide the card forward one or two inches, focusing full attention on it. As you do this, say, "This card should match the one I placed in the envelope." Draw your left hand inward and deposit the deck face down on die table, making this action as inconspicuous as possible. You don't want to do anything that encourages your audience to notice or recall that you have been holding die deck.

Note that, in the actions above, the envelope is not moved from its spot. Rather, the paper clip is removed from it, then the right hand grasps the envelope while the deck is moved from beneath it. All the while the envelope remains essentially motionless. This absence of movement subtly suggests that nothing is happening to the envelope, and attention on it is minimized during the brief moments required to load the card. Additionally, all actions here form a continuum of motion, allowing no notable pause as the envelope is placed over the deck: This detail is smoothly obscured widiin the entirety of the other movements.

Now bring your left hand back to the envelope and grasp it, along with the hidden card beneath, at the fingertips. This allows the right fingers to release their grip, move into

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