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In an early issue of The Bat the publisher, Lloyd E. Jones, wrote: "There are fellows
who would like to do a few card tricks, nothing elaborate, but simple tricks that can
be done at any time. There are so many good tricks available that it seems a shame
that most people who like to do tricks and even those who call themselves
magicians are at a loss when handed a strange pack of cards. They fumble, they
hem and haw, perhaps they can't think of a single thing to do, perhaps they have no
time to prepare their especially wonderful trick, perhaps they have left that
prepared deck at home.
Here then is the answer, card tricks that work themselves, no set ups, no sleights,
no fake cards, tricks that are really impromptu, so that you can borrow a deck, ask
someone to shuffle the cards and start right in doing tricks. Recently I read a book
labeled "Impromptu Card Tricks" but some depended upon decks that were prearranged, some required forcing, palming and other sleights, some required waxed
cards and needle punctured cards, one even required a newspaper with a secret
pocket. This is not my idea of "impromptu."
Here is a feast for the card gourmet. In the nearly 40 years that have gone by since
I wrote the original "Encyclopedia of Card Tricks" I have made notes of tricks that
have come to my attention from many sources and in a variety of ways, so that
sufficient material has been accumulated to fill another Encyclopedia. The best
impromptu effects were drawn from that material for this book.
Here are some of the finest creations of such noted magical inventors as Gerald
Kosky, Bob Hummer, Eddie Joseph, Stewart James, Ed Marlo, Ralph Hull, Jack Miller,
Francis Carlyle, Frank Garcia, George Dean, Sid Lawrence, Scalbert, Tom Sellers, Ned
Rutledge, Percy Bee, Rufus Steele, Paul Kahn, and others, including of course some
of Glenn Gravatt.
Sometimes two originators get the same idea. There is no way to prove who thought
of it first, so while assignment of credits cannot be guaranteed to be correct, credit
has been given where known. However in many of these cases I have taken the
liberty to make changes, hoping that my efforts might improve the original.
In preparing this book I tried out all the tricks to see if they actually worked as they
were supposed to. They worked but I was amazed to discover how effective they
were, more wonderful than they sounded by just reading them. In many cases
simple mathematics are converted into little mysteries, disguised with misdirection,
and the magician has little to do but direct the proceedings.
Too many so-called self-working card tricks call for long drawn out procedures
involving endless counting and dealing. They may be mystifying but they can be
very boring, and your primary purpose is to ENTERTAIN. I have tried to avoid this
fault. There is of necessity a certain amount of counting and dealing but this has
been kept to a minimum and is very limited. No counting is lengthy and no dealing
is excessive. So while some of this is inevitable only tricks have been used that are
not too time consuming.

50 Modern Card Tricks

There are a great many card tricks that are so old and have appeared in print so
often that many laymen are familiar with them. These have been omitted. Likewise
many have been published apparently for the beginner or rankest amateur because
they are easy to do but are so simple you could hardly hope to fool anyone with
them is these sophisticated times. These also have been omitted.
No one likes to read long winded' descriptions so those in this book are purposely
brief, the way in which the trick is presented being left to the good judgment of the
performer. The wise magician will use showmanship to put an effect over and cloak
it with suitable patter, some of which is designed to mislead the onlooker away from
the real method employed. Also a good performer will not just simply run through
the deck to find a chosen card, but reveal it is some dramatic manner. It hardly
needs to be mentioned that in all cases where you reveal a chosen card you keep it
face down until the spectator names his card, then you turn it over.
Out of all the tricks that follow, there are only one or two where perhaps it is not
feasible to use a borrowed deck. There are only four or five where a spectator
cannot shuffle the pack at the start, and even a shuffle is possible with these few
tricks if you are able to sight the top or bottom card afterwards. You will find all of
them really impromptu, easy to do, no skill needed, mystifying and entertaining.
50 Modern Card Tricks
Ambitious Card No Sleight Method
Effect: A card is shown, then placed in the middle of the deck with half of it left
protruding. The card is then pushed flush with the deck and a moment later is
shown to have come to the top. This effect is usually accomplished by sleight of
hand but Frank Garcia has devised a very clever method, one that is so easy anyone
can do it, yet beautiful to watch and very confusing even to professional card men.
Take the deck and state that you will remove a card. What you do is to fan the pack
before you, square up any 2 cards in perfect alignment, and remove them as one.
You can remove the top 2, the bottom 2, or whatever happens to be easiest for you.
Now this is far different from the sleight commonly known as the "Double Lift,"
which requires practice and is difficult for some. You merely remove 2 cards from
the deck keeping them evened so that they appear as one. This is quite easy. You
hold these in your right hand while retaining the pack in the left. With the right hand
display the 2 cards as one, asking them to pay particular attention to it (front one of
the 2) so that they will recognize it when they see it later, that it is very important
for them to remember it.

Place the card (cards) on top of the pack, immediately pushing the top card forward
so that it projects a couple of inches from the narrow edge of the deck. The placing
of the cards and the pushing out of the top card is all done in one action, and
without hesitation. The projecting card is of course the indifferent one but is
presumed to be the one just shown. Hold the deck slanting downward so they
cannot see the face of the projecting card. Now comes a beautiful move. Cut the
deck about in half, bringing the TOP half of the deck, in the right hand, over and on
top of the protruding card. About half of this card extends from the center of the
deck at the outer edge.
The protruding card, buried half way down in the deck, is pushed home by the left
index finger so that it is flush with the rest of the cards. The pack is squared up. The
magician snaps his fingers, then turns over the top card to show that the card he
inserted in the center of the pack has come to the top in a mysterious fashion. Very
The Professor's Card Trick
Start by saying: "I once knew an old professor who did a trick that went like this:
First he had someone shuffle the deck. (Have a spectator do this.) Then he turned
his back because if he didn't he might be accused of peeking. (Turn your back.) Now
turn over the top card and lay it face up. If it's a picture card, discard it. They drag
the problem out too much.
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Now notice the number of spots on the card. Deal that many face down on each
side of it. For instance, if it's a 3,spot, deal 6 cards, 3 on each side. The face up card
in the middle is your des, tiny card. Please remember it. Turn it face down and deal
9 cards on top of it. Nine is a number of great portent. Pick up that center pile and
give it a good shuffle. Now pick up the other 2 piles, put them together, and shuffle
them. Put all the cards together and shuffle the whole batch.
This done, you turn around and take the cards. Continue: "The professor would look
over the cards, looking for one, your destiny card. He always gave the impression
he was hard at work on a tough problem. " You imitate the professor looking at the
cards. What you actually do is to count them.
Deduct 10 from the total. Half of the result gives you the value of his card, that is,
the number of spots. For instance, if 18 cards, 18 less 10 leaves 8. Half of 8 is 4,
indicating a 4, spot. If there is but one 4-spot in the group, toss it out face down.
Have him name the card he remembered. Turn it up to show you have discovered it,
notwithstanding all the shuffling.
If there are 2 fours, or whatever, put one on top and one on bottom. Square the
packet. When he names his card show the correct one. Either is equally effective. If
there are 3 of the same (unlikely in a small group) put one on top, one on the
bottom, and turn the other face up in the center. While doing this, turn your back,
stating that you have found his card and are placing it in a distinctive position.

Finish by saying (with tongue in cheek) : "I sure would like to know how the old
professor did that trick. I could never figure it out.
Note: You may prefer to have 7 cards dealt on the "destiny" card instead of nine.
This number fits in well because, as you tell the spectator, the number 7 has always
been considered a mystical number, in all ages, and especially in biblical times, and
has been thought of as a "lucky" number. In such case, subtract 8 from the total
number of cards and divide the remainder by 2, giving you the correct number of
spots on the "destiny" card.
Cards and Dice
A spectator, after shuffling his pack, is handed a pair of dice. While your back is
turned he makes a pile of 13 cards, discarding the rest of the pack. He is then to roll
the dice, add the 2 numbers on top, count that far down in the 20"'card heap, and
to note and remember the card at that number.
He then totals the 2 numbers on the bottom of the dice, counts to this second
number from the top of the pile and notes that card. Thus he has selected 2 cards
by chance, his choices governed by the roll of the dice. He then conceals the dice or
changes them so you will have no clue when you turn around.
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If desired 2 spectators may take part. One notes a card as far down in the heap as
the total of spots on top, the other does the same with the total of spots on the
bottom of the dice.
You turn, take the cards, and place them behind you. State that you will divide the
cards into 2 piles, find both cards, put one in each pile and at exactly the same
position, all without looking at the cards.
Count off 6, reversing them in the process, that is, reversing the order by putting
one atop the preceeding and so on. Bring these 6 forward and place on the table.
Bring forth the 7th card and lay it beside the 6...card pile. Bring forth the remaining
6 cards (without reversing their order) and lay them beside the others so that you
have two 6-card piles with a single card in the center.
Ask him to name his cards. This done you turn up the 2 top cards, both at the same
time, using both hands. Place them below the other heaps, face up. Turn up the next
pair, and continue until his 2 cards appear. They will both turn up at the same time,
verifying your statement you would put each one at exactly the same place in it's
respective pile.
Should the top numbers of the dice be 7, the bottom will also be 7. Thus he would
only note 1 card instead of 2, but he says nothing about this to you. In such case his
card will be the center one, the single one between the 2 piles of 6. When you have
turned up all 6 of both piles and haven't seen his card, it is the single one in the
center. However, before you start turning cards you ask him to name them. Since he

can name but one you immediately turn up the single center card which is still more
wonderful since you have apparently separated it from the other 12.
You may wish to use 3 dice. In such case use 20 cards. The procedure is much the
same except that when you put the cards behind you, you count off the top 10,
reversing their order, bring these out and place on the table. Lay the other 10 down
beside them without reversing them. Thus you have 2 piles of 10 cards each. Since
the number of cards used is even, there is no center single one.
Kosky's Automatic Placement
Gerald Kosky's method of automatically bringing a noted card to any position in the
deck you wish, originally issued under the title: "No Clue."
A spectator shuffles his pack and while you turn your back he removes a small
amount of cards, any number up to, say, about 15. He counts them, puts them in
his pocket, counts down from the top of the deck to that number and notes and
remembers the card at that position.
He then deals from the top of the deck, a card at a time, FACE UP, merely calling out
whether the card is red or black. He does this until you stop him. The dealt off face
up pile is turned face down and the rest of the deck put on top. You know where his
card lies and can reveal it in any way you wish.
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To bring his card to any desired position subtract the number you want the card to
be at from 52. Suppose you wish his card to be 30th from the top. Subtract 30 from
52, "giving 22. Therefore you have him deal off 22 cards from the top of the pack
into a face up pile, at the same time calling out their color. When he has dealt 22,
say "stop." The 22-card pile is turned face down and the cards left in the hand
placed on top of that. The calling of the colors is simply misdirection and a ruse to
have him cut or transfer 22 from the top to the bottom of the pack.
Marlo's Automatic Placement
There are a number of ways whereby you can automatically bring a card noted by a
spectator to any position in the deck you wish. Knowing its location you can then
reveal or produce it in any manner you please. This is Ed Marlo's version.
A spectator shuffles his deck and while you turn your back removes a bunch of
cards which he silently counts. He pockets these or puts them out of sight as they
are to be discarded and no longer used. He then notes the card as far down from
the top of the deck as the number of cards he removed. If he took 10, then he looks
at the 10th card from the top.
You turn and take the cards. Emphasize that you have no idea as to how many he
discarded, therefore you cannot possibly know where his card lies in the pack.
Nevertheless you intend to find it.

Holding the deck facing him, show him the top card, asking him to watch for his
card but to give you no indication when he sees it, just watch for it, and perhaps
you will get the proper vibrations. Pass the next card to the other hand, then the
next, and so on. In doing this do not reverse the order of the cards. That is, each
successive card as it is passed from the top of the deck to the other hand goes in
front of the previous card, maintaining the original order.
When you have shown him the faces of 22 cards (you count silently as you pass
them) ask if he has seen his card. Of course he has because originally he was asked
to remove a "small" bunch, to count them, and look at the card at that number. Put
the 22 cards at the bottom of the deck. In other words you have simply cut 22 off
the top and transferred them to the bottom. Having him look for his card is just an
excuse to transfer the proper number.
The card he noted will now be 30th from the top. You can reveal it in any way you
please. It will be 30 because you cut 22, and since there are 52 cards in the pack,
22 from 52 leaves 30.
In the same way you can automatically bring his noted card to any position in the
pack, depending upon the number of cards you transfer from the top to the bottom.
To put his card 32nd, cut off 20. 52-20 equals 32. To put his card 27th, transfer 25.
And so on.
Eddie Joseph has a similar method called "Dumfounder." Spectator first calls any
number between 25 and 40. The trick proceeds as above. You then cause his noted
card to appear at the very number he called. You simply subtract that number from
52, and cut the resulting
50 Modern Card Tricks
number from top to bottom, using the ruse of running the cards from hand to hand
while he watches for his.
Mathematical Card Trick
Admittedly old, in fact so old as to be brand new to the present generation. It is too
good a feat, considering the ease with which it can be accomplished, to be lost to
present day performers. As another excuse for describing it here, a few unique
twists have been added.
Like many good tricks many have tried their hands at devising variations to make
this one still better, and splendid methods have been published by Lloyd E. Jones, G.
W. Hunter, and others including Professor Hoffman (Angelo Lewis.)
First remove 6 cards from a pack, without revealing their number, and place them in
your pocket. While you turn your back have a spectator shuffle the deck. Tell him to
deal 3 heaps of cards, any number he wishes, just as long as the heaps have the
same number of cards. In order not to prolong the trick he should not deal too
many, neither too few, say any number from 5 to 12.

Having done this, you tell him to take 2 cards from each outside pile and put them
on the center pile. This done, he is to return the entire left hand pile, what is left of
it, to the main deck. He is now to count the cards in the right hand pile and remove
that number from the center pile, putting them back with the main deck. Lastly he
puts what remains of the right hand pile back with the main deck.
You state that you have no way of knowing how many he dealt in the first place, or
how many he returned to the deck, so there is no way to tell how many he still has
on the table before him. However, if he will hand you the deck while you still keep
your back turned to him, you will show him and the rest of the audience how quickly
you can tell how many are missing from the deck.
He hands you the deck. Take it in one hand. Hold it close to your ear, and riffle the
corner with a riffling sound audible to all. Say "there are 6 missing, therefore you
have 6 cards on the table." This action will invariably produce a laugh, as it always
did in connection with another trick by the very funny "Amazing Ballantine. "
The spectator must admit you are correct. You then state further that you knew in
advance just what he was going to do and to prove it you pull out the cards you
placed in your pocket and count them aloud for all to see. There are 6.
Mathematical Card Trick No.2
Bruce Elliott credits this to Jack Miller. A spectator shuffles his deck and while you
turn your back he deals 2 small piles of cards, not so many as to prolong the trick,
but as many as
50 Modern Card Tricks
he wishes, and silently so you can have no way of knowing the number dealt. Each
pile must have the same number.
Ask the spectator to return one card from the left hand pile to the main deck. Ask
him how many he would like to discard from the right hand pile. Suppose he says 3.
Remember that number. Spectator returns 3 to the main deck from the right hand
pile. Now tell him to take as many cards as are left in the right hand pile from the
left hand pile and put them back with the main deck.
This done, you remind him you did not know how many cards he dealt in the first
place so could have no idea how many remain. Yet you call the correct number, in
this case, 2. Sure enough, he has 2 cards left.
The answer must always be one less than the number he called out. In the case
assumed he called 3, so the answer is 2 cards left.
Add a Pair
Hand pack to spectator. Turn your back to him. Tell him to remove any 2 spot cards
and add the spots together. A 7 and a 5 would total 12. So he puts his 2 chosen

cards to one side while he deals a pile of cards equal to the total of their spots, in
this case, 12. He then deals another heap of the same number.
He assembles these 2 heaps into one, then puts his 2 chosen cards on top of the
combined heap. Finally he puts the balance of the pack on top of all. Cards are face
down at all times.
You turn, take the cards, stressing that you do not know the 2 cards chosen,
therefore you could not know the number dealt. Likewise you could not know where
his 2 cards lie in the deck. He must agree.
Fan the pack face up in front of you, passing the cards from one hand to the other,
counting from the face of the deck. Begin your count at O. Count the first 2 cards as
0, the second pair as (41," the 3rd pair as "2," the 4th pair as "3" etc.
Removing them 2 by 2, when you arrive at a pair of cards, the spots on which total
the same as your mentally counted number, those will be the 2 selected cards. In
this case the spots on a pair of cards will total 12 as you mentally count 12.
Credited to Torn Sellers.
Perfect Force
World's easiest force. Only trouble, you need more than one spectator. Top card is
the force card. Put pack on left fingers, out near fingertips. With left hand held out
flat, go to "A." Ask him to
50 Modern Card Tricks
cut the deck. He cuts off'the top portion. You motion with your right hand for him to
put the cut-off part on your palm, (back of bottom portion.)
Move on to "B," picking up the bottom portion at the fingertips with the right hand.
Hold left hand out, with top part on its palm, saying "Will you please take the card
that Mr. A cut to?" B takes top the force card, This is the force used by Percy Bee in
England but is not generally known.
Begin by telling a spectator that in numerology everyone's personality is
represented by 2 numbers, the numbers being different in each instance. Say: "Just
by looking at you, I would guess that your numbers are 5 and 3. Let's see if I'm
Ask him to count off any 8 cards. Have him hold these 8 behind his back in order to
shuffle them behind him. Say: "Shuffle these without looking at them." As you put
the cards in his hands held behind him, just turn the bottom card face up. Doing this
behind his back, he can't see it.
Say "After you've mixed the cards behind you, turn the top and bottom cards face
up. Next, shuffle them again, and again reverse the top and bottom cards. Repeat

this as often as you wish. When you finish spread the cards on the table. Since your
numbers are 5 and 3, you should have 5 cards facing one way and 3 the other.
Note: Have your spectator stop at either 3rd, 5th, or 7th time they do this, as it is
not probable, it is possible to undue your 5/3 spread and you will end with a 7/1
spread, as you did at the start of the routine. The chances of it happing are low, but
it can happen.
Your prediction proves correct. The trick works automatically. This is credited to Bob
Before Your Eyes
A spectator cuts off a small bunch of cards, say a dozen or so and retains them,
discarding the rest of the pack. He fans the small packet of cards before him and
decides upon one certain card, remembering it, and also counting how far it lies
from the top of the packet, meaning of course, when the cards are face down.
You take the packet and say you will cut the cards to lose the one he chose so that
neither of you will know where it lies in the small bunch of cards. You cut a small
bunch off the BOTTOM and place them on TOP of the packet.
50 Modern Card Tricks
It makes no difference how many you cut off except you must know the number. Let
us suppose you cut 4 cards from the bottom and transferred those 4 to the top of
the packet.
Hand back the packet to him. Ask him to put the cards behind his back where you
cannot see them and to transfer his number from the top to the bottom, that is, the
same number his card was from the top of the packet when he first decided upon it.
This done, he returns the cards to you. Without looking at their faces you
immediately find his card. It will be as far down from the top of the packet as the
number you cut from the bottom to the top. If you cut 4 cards, then his card will
now be 4th.

Easy Reverse
A spectator shuffles his deck and deals 2 piles of 10 cards each. He picks up either
pile and from it chooses a card which he puts on the table face down. He then deals
this pile on top of his card, dealing the first card face down, the next face up, the
third face down, and so on, alternating.
He deals the other pile on top of those 10, dealing the first card face up, the second
face down, and so on. He cuts the 20-card packet to lose his card, then hands the
packet to you behind your back.

You put the top card between thumb and first finger, the second card between first
and second finger, the third card between thumb and first finger, and so on with all
20. Finally you take one group (either one) and turn it over, then combine the two
groups into one.
Bring the cards into view and ribbonspread them across the table. All cards will be
facing one way while the chosen card will be reversed in the spread.