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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 pre-arranged, 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
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
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
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
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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 effective.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 right."
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
Your prediction proves correct. The trick works automatically. This
is credited to Bob Hummer.
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
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.
Think of Any Card
A spectator shuffles his deck, then thinks of any card. You take the
deck and state that you will match the suit and the value of the
card he is thinking of by dealing 2 face up piles and finding 2
cards to match his, one face up on each pile, leaving the packjust
as he has shuffled it and without changing the order of the cards.
He now names his thought-of card. Suppose it is the 7 of Hearts.
You start dealing and before all the cards have been dealt, there
appears a 7-spot of some suit at the face of one pile, and a heart
at the face of the other.
50 Modern Card Tricks
No matter what card he may mentally choose, you succeed in
matching it with the 2 significant cards.
Secret: There is nothing for you to do. The trick works by itself. It
might fail once in a hundred times but it seldom happens. You do
not claim that the first card dealt to a pile, say that on your left,
will combine with the next card dealt, that on your right. What
never occurs to the spectator (and might not occur to you) is that
you have 2 chances for every card dealt.
Deal slowly. Suppose, as before, the 7 of Hearts is thought of.
Suppose, further, that somewhere in your deal, a heart is dealt
onto one heap. The card on the other heap may be a 7, and you
are through. But assume it is not a 7. You deal a card on it
(dealing to each heap in turn) and perhaps a 7 will then appear.
You therefore have had 2 chances instead of one. And so on
throughout the deal.
Easy Follow The Leader
No Sleights
There is an old trick usually known as "Follow The Leader"
wherein one red card and one black are laid out face upward to be
used as "leaders" or guides. A packet of red cards is placed under
the red leader, and a packet of black under the black. No matter
how often the leaders or the packets are exchanged, the cards
follow the leader, the blacks always turning up where the black
leader is, and the reds where the red one is.
A number of different methods have been printed but they require
sleight of hand and a degree of skill. The method to be described
is simple and easy, using no sleights of any kind, yet very
effective. This once appeared in a magazine, usually the burial
ground of much worthwhile material. Its name, and that of the
originator is omitted here, not intentionally, but because of lost
Deal 6 black cards face up to your left and 6 red ones to your
right, openly. Put the left (black) pile on the right hand pile. Hold
the 12 cards face down in the left hand. Run 8 cards from the left
to the right hand, counting aloud as you do so "1, 2, 3," etc.
After 8 have been counted, spread the 4 in the left hand, saying
"and 4 makes 12." Casually add the 4 to the bottom of the pile in
the right hand. Thumb off the top 6 without reversing their order,
turn the packet face up, squared, and place it at your left. Say
"the blacks go here. The red ones go here." Put the others face up
at your right.
Remove the top card of each pile as a "leader" card, placing it
face up above its own pile. Turn the 2 five...card piles face down
under their leaders. State you will show how the cards play the
game, "Follow the Leader."
Transpose the 2 face down piles, putting each where the other
was. Remove the top card of each pile, showing it has followed its
leader. Place them face up on top of their leaders. Transpose
50 Modern Card Tricks
the face down piles again. This time remove the bottom cards of
the piles and add them to the leader piles face up.
Again transpose the face down piles. Remove the top cards and
add to the leader piles. The next time, instead of moving the face
down piles you transpose the 2 face up leader piles'! Turn the top
cards of the face down piles and add them to the leader piles.
Finally, transpose all cards (all 4 heaps) criss cross or diagonally,
interchanging the left hand face up cards with the face down card
at the right, and the face up cards at the right with the face down
one at the left. Turn over the remaining face down cards.
Thus, in spite of the continual changing, all cards have followed
the leader.
No Questions Asked
A Glenn Gravatt simplification of an involved Eddie Joseph
creation. A spectator shuffles his pack, and while your back is
turned, deals 15 cards in a pile FACE UP. He is to select anyone of
the 15 cards and remember it. Also he must silently count the
cards as he deals and remember both the card and its number.
He then deals a pile of cards to the right of the face up pile, this
time dealing them face down. This pile is to contain his secret
number, that is, as many cards as the number on which his
chosen card fell. The rest of the cards are placed down at the left.
He has 3 piles, his card being in the center one. He takes this
center pile, turns it face down, and puts it on the pile at his right.
He then puts the pile at his left on top of all. Thus the deck is
complete once more.
You turn and take the pack. Stress the fact that you do not know
his secret number or the card he looked at, and will ask no
questions. Put the deck behind your back turn it face up, and
count to the 16th card from the FACE. That will be his card.
The above saves time but if you want to do it another way,
without putting the deck behind your back or turning the cards
face up, his card will be 37th from the top. (Quite naturally, since
it is 16th from the bottom.) You can therefore locate it with the
cards face down, silently counting to the 37th card. In such case it
should not be obvious to the spectator that you are counting. You
can use any pretext for passing the cards from hand to hand, such
as feeling the spots with your "sensitive fingertips" or any other
50 Modern Card Tricks
One of Stewart James' creations. A spectator shuffles his deck,
and while your back is turned, cuts off about a third or so of the
cards. He then makes 2 piles of the ones cut off, and puts one of
these piles in his pocket. He counts the cards in the other pile,
then counts to that same number in the main deck, noting and
remembering the card that far from the top.
You turn, take the main deck, and assert you will try to locate the
card he looked at without once looking at the cards. Put the deck
behind your back where you appear to be feeling for his card.
What you actually do is to count the cards, easily done by sliding
them off with the thumb from the top into the other hand.
Bring forth the pack, stating you have found his card and will now
do a surprising thing with it, that you will put it as far down in the
pack as the number of cards in his pocket, even "though neither
he nor you know how many he put in his pocket, as he did not
count those.
Mentally subtract the number of cards you counted from 51 (not
52 as you might think.) If the result, say, is 15, you reverse the
order of the top IS cards, simply running them off from one hand
to the other, each going on top of the preceding one, until you
have reversed the order of the required number. Then restore this
packet to the top of the pack. This is done openly as you are
apparently placing his card (which you pretend to know) at a
specified position.
It is now a fact that the card he noted will be at the same number
down in the pack as the unknown number of cards in his pocket.
You can reveal it by having him count the cards in his pocket, then
count to that number in the deck. Perhaps a more dramatic
revelation is for you to have him remove the bunch from his
pocket, and slowly deal cards on the table while you deal off the
pack in unison. When he is all out of cards, you turn over the last
one dealt from the pack, showing that it is the very card he noted.
Congregation of The Aces
This book would not be complete without a "four ace trick." There
are a great number of these, practically all of them depending
either upon sleight of hand or fake cards. The following, devised
by Ralph Hull, is ridiculously easy to perform, packs a terrific
wallop, and strangely, seems to be very little known.
Remove from a pack the 4 aces and any other 12 cards, doing this
quite openly. Discard the rest of the pack. Place 3 indifferent cards
face up and an ace on top. Repeat with the other cards so that
you have 4 piles of face up cards, an ace on top of each. Now
place all 4 piles together into one.
Stress the fact that there arc 16 cards and that every 4th one is
an ace. Therefore, when you deal the cards face down into 4 piles,
the four aces will be in the fourth pile. Turn the packet of 16 cards
face down and deal the first 4 in a row, counting aloud: "1, 2, 3,
4." Right hand takes the next card from the packet in the left and
starts to place it 011 the card to your left, saying "1" as if starting
to count to 4 again. Hesitate. Gesture with the card in your hand
to the fourth card, the one at your right. "Remember, the aces will
go in this pile."
50 Modern Card Tricks
I'll show you," you continue, replacing the card in your right hand
at the BOTTOM of the packet in your left, and immediately turning
the ace at the end of the row up, showing it, then turning it down
again. This is misdirection, but no sleight. Spectator's attention is
focused on the ace turned up and does not realize the top card in
your left hand has been transferred to the bottom. You merely act
as though trying to convince your audiecnce the aces actually do
go onto the pile at your right.
Say: "1," putting the top card of the packet on the card at the left.
Say "2," putting the next on the second from the left, and soon,
counting "3" and"4". Repeat the 1, 2, 3, 4 count untill all 16 cards
have been laid out into 4 piles.
Say: "Since the aces are in the fourth pile, there will be none in
this one." Turn the first pile (the one to your left) face up and
spread out on the table. "And of course there will be none in this
pile." Turn the second pile face up. Say "that leaves one pile of
aces and one pile of odd cards. I'll turn one of each face up so you
won't forget where they are.
Reach under the third pile, removing the indifferent card from its
face, and place it face up, just above that pile. Do the same with
the fourth pile, removing its lone ace from its face and placing it
face up just above that pile.
Continue: "Now here is the strange thing. If I exchange these 2
face up cards, their companions will follow them. Invisibly, of
course. You can't see them go." Place the face up ace above the
original third pile, moving the odd card over to what was originally
Pile No.4. All that remains is to turn the 3 face down cards of both
piles face up, showing that the other 3 aces have followed their
companion, the fourth ace.
The Sixth Card
After a spectator shuffles his deck, turn your back so as not to
witness the proceedings and tell him to deal 2 small piles of
cards, the same number in each, and to save time, not to deal too
many, say from 5 to 15. He deals silently so you can get no clue
as to the number dealt.
This done the spectator is to take 3 cards from the right hand pile
and place them on the left hand pile. He counts the number
remaining in the right hand pile and returns them to the main
deck, after which he removes the same number from the left hand
pile, also restoring them to the deck.
He shuffles the remaining cards, looks at and remembers the one
at the face of the packet when the shuffle is completed, then
places the packet on the deck. The performer turns, takes his
cards, and reminds the spectator that since at no time did he
know the number of cards used in the various transactions he
could not know the position of the noted card.
You can reveal the card in any manner you wish, as it will always
be the sixth card down in the pack. You could simply run off the
top 5, toss the 6th face down on the table, ask him to name his
card, then turn it over.
50 Modern Card Tricks
A more dramatic finish is to spread about a dozen of the top cards
in a row or ribbonspread across the table. Have the spectator hold
out a hand with his index finger extended. Take hold his hand and
run it back and forth over the spread, finally dropping his finger
down" on the back of the 6th card. He names his card, then turns
it over.
Find Your Own Card
Bob Hummer's version of the "Australian Deal" from the land of
"Down/ Under." A spectator shuffles his pack and removes 10
cards. He fans the deck before him and decides upon a particular
card, noting the number at which it lies from the top of the
packet. We will suppose he chooses the Ace of Spades and that it
is third from the top.
You take the packet, telling him you will cut the cards so he nor
anyone else will know where his choice is, as you will bring it to a
new position. Spread the cards face down and transfer 4 form the
bottom to the top.
Hand him back the cards and have him transfer, one at a time,
cards from the top to the bottom equal to the number his card
was originally. Since in the assumed case it was third, he would
move 3 cards singly from top to bottom.
You explain that he is to do the "Australian Deal," that since
Australia is commonly known as the land of Down Under, he is to
deal the top card of the packet DOWN, that is, down on the table,
the next one UNDER, that is, underneath the packet he holds, and
to continue in this manner until he has but one card left.
To keep all straight he is to call "down" when he deals to the table
and "under" when he deals or transfers the top card to the
bottom. When but one card remains in his hands he turns it up. It
is the very card he selected. He has found it himself.
Australian Aces
Originated by Glenn Gravatt. The 4 aces are laid out on the table.
You say that from the earliest of times the number 7 has been
considered a mystic number, that it appears dozens of times in
the Bible. There were dreams of 7 lean years and 7 fat years, the
river Jordan was crossed 7 times, etc. Therefore 7 cards are dealt
on to each ace
These 4 piles are combined into one. A false cut at this point,
while not necessary, increases the mystification. Ask the
spectator to take the packet of cards and to do the "Australian
Deal." Tell him it is sometimes known as the "Down Under" deal,
that if he isn't familiar with it it is simply this:
50 Modern Card Tricks
He lays down the top card of the packet on the table, saying
"Down." He transfers the next card to the bottom of the packet,
saying "Under." He lays the third card on the table, saying
"Down." He puts the next card at the bottom, saying "Under." He
repeats this until he has but 4 cards left. They are turned over,
and prove to be the 4 aces.
New Australian Deal
Originated by Glenn Gravatt. A spectator shuffles his own deck,
then, while your back is turned, deals cards in a face up pile,
counting and stopping on any card. To speed up things and not
have a long drawn out procedure, he should not deal more than
12. He notes the card he stops at, and remembers the number.
For instance he might deal 5 cards and stop. The 5th card might
be the Ace of Clubs. So he remembers the Ace of Clubs, and the
number, 5, after which he returns the 5 cards to the top of the
You now turn and have him deal off 12 cards on to your palm.
Since he stopped with 12 or less, the packet will contain his card,
but you have no idea where it is or what it is.
Cut 5 cards off the top and transfer them to the bottom. This is
easily done by spreading the cards slightly, and simply re-moving
the top 5. Now his card is lost somewhere in the packet.
Hand him the cards and ask him to transfer his number (the
number he dealt off in the first place) from the BOTTOM to the
TOP of the pack. Then ask him to do the "Australian Deal." Explain
that this is sometimes called the Down Under deal.
So he deals the top card down. (On to the table.) He deals the
next one under. (Under the packet he holds.) He deals the 3rd
down, the 4th under, and so on, until he is left with but one card.
It is the very card he noted.
The Perfect Self-Working Discovery
A quick and easy revelation of a chosen card. A spectator shuffles
his own pack, then lays out 3 heaps of 6 cards each. It doesn't
matter whether they are dealt, pushed off in a packet, or how.
Magician stresses he doesn't know any of these 18 cards and will
not look at them at any time. He thereupon turns his back.
Spectator then chooses any 1 of the 3 piles, picks it up, fans it
before his eyes, and merely thinks of any card in the fan. He
closes the fan, then combines the 3 piles into one, sandwiching
the pile with his card between the other 2 piles, so it will be
buried somewhere in the middle.
50 Modern Card Tricks
The magician turns around, takes the l Svcard packet, and deals
them into 3 piles, 1, 2, 3, and over these 4, 5, 6, and so on. He
picks up each heap in turn and fans them widely before the eyes
of the spectator, warning him to give him no indication of the card
itself but merely telling him whether or not the pile contains his
The magician combines the 3 piles into one, with the pile
containing the spectator's card on top. He asserts that without
further ado he will find the card the spectator thought of, and
without looking at any of them.
He removes the top card and transfers it to the bottom. He
removes the next one from the top and places it at the bottom He
takes the third one from the top and puts that also at the bottom.
Well, that does it. I've come to your card, the one you thought of,
and without a single question," says the performer. At the same
time he tilts the packet in his hand so he can see the bottom card.
"What was your card?" asks the performer. When the spectator
names it, the card is tossed out on the table face up. It will always
be either the top or bottom one. If he names a different card than
the one you noted at the bottom, take off the top card and show
that you found it, having removed the correct number of cards to
come to it. If he names the one at the bottom, simply turn the
packet face up to show you placed it at the face of the packet.
Whether top or bottom, the finish is equally effective, as it
appears you found it and purposely placed it at that position.
For those who dislike dealing, all dealing may be omitted. After
spectator shuffles, take deck, quickly push off the top 6, then the
next 6, then the next. When he has noted a card and combined
the heaps, take packet in right hand, push off top card between
thumb and forefinger of left, second between first and second
fingers, the third between second and third fingers. Start over,
putting the fourth card between thumb and first finger, and so on,
with all the cards. Now the 6 cards between each 2 fingers are
shown separately to ascertain which group contains his. This can
also be done behind your back. Just state you are mixing the
cards a bit or that you are putting his card in a certain position
which he will see shortly.