Performance

In the original Berg effect, the card was selected by a complicated process of fanning the cards, counting down any number from the top, remembering a card, then dealing the deck into several piles equaling the value of card, then reassembling the deck. Essentially, the trick used a bottom card Key to locate the selection. The rest of the procedure seemed designed to nonplus the magician — in those days so interested in complicated location tricks.

Focusing on the most effective part of the trick — the fact that a second spectator mysteriously locates the first spectator's card — you can eliminate the deadwood.

In the simplest form you would know the bottom card of the deck, have a card selected, then returned as you Hindu Shuffle the deck, placing the Key directly over the selection.

You could also Force the card, or have a card freely selected and Glimpse the card so you know the identity. (I use Harry Lorayne's Super Peek from his 1979 book QUANTUM LEAPS when I do a Glimpse.) In either of these cases, you can hand the deck out for shuffling.

However, if you want to make a "brain-buster" out of this effect, use either Under Test Conditions or Test Conditions II described above, to determine the identity of the first spectator's selection in the most impossible-looking way. Now, let's get to the crux of the effect...

Once you've retrieved the deck after the first spectator's shuffle, fan the deck back-out toward the second person as you point out how you could not possibly know the card. If you notice the selection is somewhere near the center of the fan, fine. If not, close the deck and shuffle or cut, positioning it near the middle, then fan the deck again.

Ask the spectator to raise his right hand high over the fan, then extend his index finger toward you. As he does this, position the fan of cards so the selection is directly in the middle of the spread cards at the highest point.

Direct the spectator to bring his forefinger down slowly to the fan. As he does this, you ever-so-slightly adjust the fan so his finger lands touching the selection. If he brings his finger down slowly enough, you won't have a problem. With a little practice, this works 100%. Berg's original method was not as certain.

Comment the spectator is touching a card. Up jog it from the fan with his finger still on it, then have him take the card. Ask him to announce the identity of the "card he touched" to the other spectators. Their expressions will be priceless.

Handled correctly, this simple card trick, inspired by Tarbell's description, can make your reputation as a miracle worker.

The Art Of Cold Reading

The Art Of Cold Reading

Today I'm going to teach you a fundamental Mentalism technique known as 'cold reading'. Cold reading is a technique employed by mentalists and charlatans and by charlatan I refer to psychics, mediums, fortune tellers or anyone that claims false abilities that is used to give the illusion that the person has some form of super natural power.

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