Card tricks constitute the broadest field of impromptu magic. There are many magicians who specialize in card tricks only, and the skillful sleighs and passes that are possible with cards are exceedingly numerous. On the other hand, there are many perplexing tricks with cards that require very little skill, and some of the best of these form the present article.
Before attempting to perform card tricks. the amateur magician should first learn to shuffle and deal cards with ease and precision If he handles the pack clumsily, the people watching him will quickly realize that he is not performing feats of skill; but if he proceeds with smoothness, they will attribute his tricks to skill in sleight-of-hand, and will take an interest in his performing.
A great many card tricks consist of the surprising discovery or revelation of a certain card which has apparently been chosen at random by a spectator. Therefore, the magician must find ways of learning, or of controlling a selected card, either before or after it is taken from the pack. We will first consider a number of simple but effective methods by which this end may be accomplished. There are other methods which form intrinsic parts of certain tricks, and they will be explained later in the article.
1. The “One-Way” Pack
Certain packs of cards have what is known as “one-way” backs. This is particularly true of high cards. Instead of a symmetrical design on the backs of the cards, these packs have pictures or initials. Suck a pack is especially suited to the needs of the magician. He first arranges the cards so that the pictures are all pointed in the same direction. Then he fans the cards and allows a person to select one. As soon as the card has been drawn, the magician quietly turns the pack around. Thus when the chosen card is re turned, its design will be reversed. The pack may be shuffle& but as soon as the magician runs through the cards, he will discover the one that is reversed, and will know that it is the chosen card.
“Bicycle” cards do not, as a rule, have “one way” backs. There is one exception, however, in the pattern known as the “Emblem Back.” This design is reversible, although it does not appear so at first glance. Such a pack is the best available for this trick.
2. The Pencil-Mark Pack
Any pack of cards may be made “one-way” by a very simple process. Square up the pack and make two or three straight pencil lines at one end of the pack, the lines crossing every card. When a card is selected, the pack is turned around, and the chosen card is returned A glance at the marked end of the pack will reveal a break in the pencil lines; at the other end of the pack, tiny pencil dots will appear. The breaks at one end and the dots at the other indicate the chosen card, and the pack should be cut at that point.
3. Pointed Cards
A glance through a pack of cards will re veal the fact that certain cards are “pointers.” Take for example, the seven of spades. It has seven spots and five of them point in one direction. The nine of hearts has five points in one direction. The aces of spades, hearts and clubs are “pointers.” The seven of diamonds is a “pointer,” because it has one odd point above the center.
To make use of this interesting principle, take all the “pointers” from a pack, and arrange them with their principal point3 in one direction. Group these cards at the center of the pack, and fan the cards so that one of the “pointers” will be selected. Turn the pack around, and let the chosen card be returned After the pack has been shuffled, a glance a the faces of the cards will reveal the chosen card, for it will be pointing the opposite way from the others.
4. The Double Card
This is an ideal form of “card locator” for the magician who performs with his own pack. A pack of cards with white magic should be used. Take the odd card which generally comes with such packs and trim off the white margin. Then paste the trimmed card on the back of one of the cards in the pack. At a very close distance, the double thickness can not be detected.
As soon as a card has been taken from the pack, square up the cards and riffle one end of the pack. Your finger will encounter a sudden stop as soon as the double card falls. Let the chosen card be replaced at that point, and it will be directly above the double card. Then the pack may be squared up and cut. Your fingers will naturally lift off the cards above the double: card, and thus the chosen card will be brought to the bottom of the pack.
5. The Short Card
The short card serves the same purpose as the double card. It is simply a card which has about a sixteenth of an inch trimmed from one end. It is handled just the same as the double card and serves as a locator when the chosen card is replaced just above it.
The short card, however, may be adapted to any pack of cards, if the magician takes the precaution to carry a pair of small scissors (preferably folding ones) in his pocket. By pocketing a card from the pack, and finding an opportunity to leave the room, he may trim the end of the card and return it to the borrowed pack.
6. The Bent Corner
In this trick, the magician fans the pack and holds the cards with the faces toward a spectator, inviting him to touch one of the cards. As soon as the spectator does so, the magician’s left thumb, which is hidden behind the pack, bends up the corner of the selected card. After the pack has been shuffled, a glance at the corner of the pack reveals the position of the chosen card, and the pack can be cut at that point.
7. False Shuffling
False shuffling is the means whereby a card may be kept at the top or the bottom of the pack while the magician is shuffling the cards. A false shuffle should not be shown as a trick in itself. No especial skill is required in false shuffles; anyone who can shuffle a pack of cards in the ordinary manner can execute the false shuffle just as easily.
First, suppose that the pack is to be shuffled in the dovetail fashion, by cutting it into two heaps and riffling the ends together. The magician has located the chosen card and has cut the cards to bring it to the top of the pack. In riffling the ends of the pack, he merely retains the top card with his thumb, so that it is the last card to fall and its position is undisturbed.
Second, for an ordinary shuffle, to keep the chosen card on top of the pack, grip the pack between the thumb and fingers of the right hand, the thumb at one end and the fingers at the other. Hold the pack with the bottom card facing the audience. Now the left thumb comes up, and pulls away some of the cards from the bottom of the pack. As it does so, the left fingers bring along the top card also. Then the right hand, aided by the left thumb, shuffles the remaining cards in front of the first group. The chosen card still re mains on top. If the chosen card is originally on the bottom, the right hand holds, the pack with the back of the top card toward the audience. Otherwise the shuffle is the same. In order to avoid confusion, the reader should study all card tricks with the pack in his hands. He should begin by laying the cards on the table as though ready to be dealt. The uppermost card is then known as the TOP card; the lowermost is the BOTTOM card. These conditions are always considered the same, no matter in what position the pack may be held.
Third, there is a very simple shuffle hi which the chosen card is undetectably transferred from the top of the pack to the bottom, or vice versa. Hold the pack as previously described, with the top card toward the audience. The left thumb pulls away the top card alone and the remaining cards are then shuffled on top of it, so that the chosen card becomes the bottom card. To bring the bottom card to the top, the magician should first take the precaution of turning his right side toward the audience; then he takes the pack between the fingers and thumb of his right hand, with the top card toward the palm. The left thumb pulls down the bottom card alone, letting it fall into the bend of the left fingers; then the remaining cards are shuffled from the right hand into the left, the desired card then being on top of the pack.
8. Cut to the Card
The items previously described in this article are not complete card tricks in themselves. They are methods that lead up to clever conclusions which would be impossible without their aid. The following trick, which is a great mystery, is dependent upon a method given before.
Effect: A card is chosen and returned to the pack, which is thoroughly shuffled. The magician takes a card from the pack, and exhibits it. It is not the chosen card. ‘With a sudden movement, he thrusts the card face up into the center of the pack, and using it as a lever, lifts off the upper portion of the pack. When he turns the upper portion face up, be hold! the chosen card is on the bottom of the upper portion! The quick thrust into the pack has discovered the chosen card.
Method: Refer to trick six of the present article. The trick is performed by the aid of the bent corner. When the magician holds the pack, he turns the edge toward himself and looks for the bent corner, which stands out quite plainly. It is a simple matter to thrust the odd card, face up, just below the card with the bent corner.
9. The Spelling Trick
A card is selected from the pack and is re inserted. The magician cuts the pack several times. Then he asks the name of the chosen card. Suppose it is the queen of clubs. He deals off the cards one by one, spelling a letter as he deals each card, thus: “Q-U-E-E-N 0-F C-L-U-B He turns up the last card. It is the queen of clubs!
Method: After a card has been taken from the pack, square up the cards in the left hand and then start to push the top cards to the side so that the chosen card may be inserted. In so doing, count the cards as your left thumb pushes them to the right, and as soon as you have reached eleven, calmly lift that group of cards, and let the chosen card be placed under them. This must be done nonchalantly. After your right hand has lifted the eleven cards, the left thumb should still push along a few more cards in a careless manner, but the break should be made just below the eleventh card.
The selected card is then the twelfth from the top of the pack. Cut the pack into four heaps and lay them thus:
1 2 3 4
Heap 4 is the top heap, tam at least fifteen cards. heap 2. Then drop heap and it should con Throw heap 4. on 2 on heap 1, and place heaps 2 and 4 on 1 and 3. This apparently mixes the cards, but it does not change the position of the top twelve (This procedure is known as a “False Cut.” It may be employed in other tricks instead of using a “false shuffle.”)
Then ask the name of the chosen card. No matter what that card may be, you can spell its name in such a way that your count will end on the twelfth card.
For example, ace of spades; spell A-C-E 0-F S-P-A-D-E-S, and turn up the next card.
Ace of clubs; Turn the top card of the pack face up and appear surprised to find that it is not the ace of clubs. Toss it aside, and start spelling with the second card: A-C-E 0-F C-L-U-B-S, and turn up the next card.
Ace of diamonds: Spell A-C-E 0-F
D-I-A-M-O-N-D. Turn up the last card on the letter D. It will be the ace of diamonds.
Queen of diamonds: Spell Q-U-E-E-N D-I-A-M-O-N and turn up the card on letter D.
King of diamonds: Spell K-I-N-G D-I-A M-O-N-D-S and turn up the card on the letter S.
By employing one of these various methods to suit the chosen card you can always end your spelling on the twelfth card. The joker should not be used in the pack. As soon as the chosen card is named, you can do the spelling mentally, or with your finger tips. With a little practice the trick presents no difficulties.
10. The Wise Queen
This is a very effective mystery. A spectator is invited to shuffle the pack. The magician takes the cards and asks, “Which is your favorite queen?” Suppose the queen of diamonds is named. The magician runs through the pack and removes the queen of diamonds. Then he lays the pack face down on the table and divides it into three piles. The spectator selects one of the piles and removes the top card; he lays it face down on the table with out looking at it.
The magician remarks that the queen of diamonds is very wise. He holds the queen to his ear, and pretends to converse with it. Then he touches the queen to the card that is on the table and again holds the queen to his ear.
“Ah !“ he says, “The queen tells me that that card is the nine of spades.” The card is turned up, and it is the nine of spades!
Method: In looking through the pack to find the queen of diamonds, the magician calmly glimpses the top card and remembers it. When he cuts the pack, he lifts off about two-thirds, leaving a small heap; then he moves to the right and drops another third; and he drops the top group in the center. He therefore knows the top card of the center heap, which we are assuming to be the nine of spades. When the magician asks a spectator directly in front of him to choose a heap, that person will almost invariably take the center heap, which fits right in with the magician’s plans. The top card of the heap is chosen, and the rest of the trick is merely by-play.
Should the spectator choose another heap, the magician need not worry, for he has not yet stated what he intends to do. He turns to another person and says, “You take one also,” at the same time indicating the other end heap with a wave of his hand. If the spectator takes that heap, the magician says, “Now we have one heap left. We will use it.”
If the second spectator takes the center heap, the magician immediately forgets the first per son, and centering his attention on the second person, tells him to lay aside the top card of his heap.
11. The Four-Ace Trick
There are many variations of the famous Four-Ace Trick, some of which require exceptional skill. The following version is quite easy of execution, yet it is thoroughly mystifying.
The magician lays four aces face down on the table so that they form the corners of a square. Then he deals three cards on each ace. He asks that one heap be chosen. That heap is placed to one side and the others are picked up and are pushed into the pack.
There are now three aces in the pack; and a fourth ace, with three indifferent cards, is on the table. The magician snaps the pack, and says: “Go!”
Then he deliberately riffles the end of the pack, very slowly, before the eyes of the audience, so that they may see every card. But as he runs through the pack in this manner, not an ace appears. The three aces have disappeared! Some one is invited to turn the cards on the table, and there are all four aces!
Method: Three duplicate aces, spades, clubs, and diamonds, are required. The ends of these aces are previously trimmed about a sixteenth of an inch. This should be carefully done with a large pair of scissors.
The three short aces, and the genuine ace of hearts, are the ones that are laid on the table, thus:
Ace of Diamonds Ace of Hearts
Ace of Clubs Ace of Spades
The three remaining aces, which are genuine, are the seventh, eighth, and ninth cards down from the top of the pack.
The magician carefully shows the aces on the table, and puts them faces down. He deals three cards on the ace of clubs, three on the ace of diamonds, three (aces) on the ace of hearts, and three on the ace of spades. Then he asks a person to call one, two, three, or four. As soon as the number is named, the magician counts around the square of piles, in such a manner that his count ends on the ace of hearts, thus:
* I * 2 2 3 3 4
* * * I I * 2 I
He picks up the remaining heaps and inserts them in the pack, which may be shuffled. When he riffles the end of the pack, the aces will not appear, for, being short, they will fail in back of other cards, and will be passed un seen. When the heap on the table is turned over, it will be seen to contain all four aces.
12. The X-Ray Cardcase
The magician takes a pack of cards from the case. He holds the case behind his back and invites anyone to insert a card, face down, in the case, closing the flap of the case so that the card will be entirely concealed.
The magician then holds the cardcase to his forehead and instantly names the card that is in the case, although no one has seen it!
Method: A small hole is cut in the lower right corner of the back of the card case. The case is held back downwards, behind the back. with the thumb always covering the tiny opening.
In raising the case to his forehead, the magician moves his thumb aside and thus catches a glimpse of the index corner of the card inside the case.
13. The Color Pack
Effect: The magician exhibits a pack of cards with the joker on the face (the bottom). He riffles the end of the pack, and shows that it contains red cards only. He blows on the pack, and riffles it again. This time the cards are all black! He blows on the pack once more, and this time the cards
become both red and black. The pack may be thoroughly examined.
Method: Separate the reds from the black, and dovetail the two portions very carefully, so that every odd card is red, and every even card black. Push the two sections together, but stop before the ends are quite flush. Then put the joker on the bottom of the pack. The result is this: When one end of the pack is riffled, only red cards will be seen. In blowing on the cards, and transferring them from one hand to the other, they are turned around, and when the other end is riffled, only blacks will appear. In blowing on the cards again, the fingers push the two sections flush together; so when the cards are riffled the third time, both colors will be in evidence.
The pack must be held quite firmly during the trick.
14. The Color-Changing Card
This is a very smart and surprising trick. The magician turns the top card of the pack face up and shows that it is the six of diamonds. He throws the pack upon the floors and the card instantly changes into the six of spades.
Method: The second card of the pack is the six of spades. Just before dropping the pack, push the two top cards, as though they were one, about three-quarters of an inch over the side of the pack. The pack must be thrown squarely upon the floor, and not too violently, or the cards will scatter. The pressure of the air causes the two top cards to turn over, so that the six of diamonds falls face down, while the six of spades comes face up. To the observer, it appears as though the six of diamonds has magically been transformed into the six of spades in the twinkling of an eye.
15. The Three Jacks
The majority of tricks do not bear repetition, but here is one that becomes more and more perplexing as it is repeated. It should not be overdone, however.
The magician takes the pack and deals two heaps of three cards each, dealing the cards one at a time. He turns up the first hand dealt and shows that it contains three jacks. He gathers up the cards and repeats the deal; again the first hand receives the three jacks The deal is repeated several times, yet every time the three jacks fall in the first hand.
This is apparently a feat of skillful dealing, but in reality, no dexterity is required.. Four jacks actually figure in the trick. On the top of the pack are three jacks, then an indifferent card, and then the fourth jack. The cards are dealt one at a time, in two heaps of three each; but when the sixth card is dealt, it must be slid under the second heap, being used as a lever to pick up that heap and put it back on the pack. Then the first heap is shown to contain three jacks, which are replaced on the pack. The cards are then set to repeat the trick.
16. Card At Any Number
Effect: After a card has been selected and returned to the pack, the magician states that he will make that card appear any number down from the top of the pack. Suppose that the number sixteen is requested. He counts off sixteen cards, and turns up the last one, but it is not the chosen card. Rather surprised at this, the magician hands the pack to the chooser and tells him to count the number for himself. When the spectator counts off sixteen cards, he finds that his card is the sixteenth.
Method: The selected card is brought to the top of the pack by one of the methods previously explained; and is kept there by a “false shuffle.” When a person calls for six teen, the magician counts off sixteen cards one by one, and replaces them on the pack, before he turns up the last removed. Of course it is not the chosen card; but in counting the cards the magician has reversed their order so that the sixteenth card now is the chosen one, ready for the person to count to it.
17. The Card in the Pocket
This trick depends upon a variation of the principle just explained. A pack of cards is shuffled, and the magician tells a person to count off any number of cards, say ten, and then look at the next card (the eleventh) after which he is to replace the cards he has counted off, leaving the selected card in its original position.
This is done while the magician’s back is turned. Then the pack is given to him and, looking through the cards, he removes one and puts it in his pocket. The pack is given back to the spectator, who is told to count down to his card; but when he reaches the eleventh card, he finds that his card is gone. The magician thereupon removes the chosen card from his pocket! It must be remembered that the magician does not know the number of cards counted off by the spectator, arid this makes the trick appear very mysterious.
Method: In giving the pack to the spectator and explaining how he must count off the cards, the magician notes the top card. In counting the cards off one by one, the spectator reverses the order of the cards. ‘When he looks at the eleventh card and puts the ten cards back on top, the card which the magician knows comes directly over the chosen card. The magician merely has to look for his own card and remove the card below it.
18. The Turn-Up Card
The Turn-Up Card is a very pretty conclusion for a card trick. The magician simply slides the pack along the table, and the chosen card mysteriously turns over in the middle of the pack, and lies face up.
In its original form, this trick was done by having the chosen card on top of the pack, brought there by the magician’s customary method. As the pack was dropped, the top card was allowed to project, as in the Color- Changing Card, so that it would turn face up on the pack.
In the improved method, the magician holds the pack crosswise in his right hand. The right thumb pushes forward the top card and the fingers lift it slightly. Then he slides the cards along the table, in an easy sweep. The air pressure turns over the top card, which falls in the midst of the sliding cards just as though it emerged from the center of the pack.
There is nothing difficult about this trick, but there is a certain easy knack that, once acquired, makes the trick a perfect illusion.
19. Kings andQueens
Effect: The four kings and four queens are removed from the pack. They are gathered together in a pile, which is cut and apparently thoroughly mixed. The magician puts the cards behind his back and brings out the king and queen of clubs, then the king and queen of spades, then diamonds, and finally hearts. All the kings and queens are paired!
The cards are stacked together again, and the heap is cut. This time the magician brings out the four kings in one han4 and the four queens in the other.
Method: In arranging the cards, lay the four queens together, and the four kings together; take care that the order of Suits S the same in each group; say diamonds, clubs, spades, hearts. Put the two groups together. The packet may be cut any number of times, and you can make this more effective by taking off three or four cards from the top and put ting them on the bottom, and then peeling off five or six cards from the bottom and placing them on the top, all in one continued movement.
Simply put the cards behind your back and hold them in your left hand, your forefinger separating the top four cards from the lower so that you have two packets. With your right hand take the top cards from each group. They will be the king and queen of the same suit. The next two cards will also be of the same suit and so on.
For the second part of the trick, put the paired kings and queens in one group, but take care that their order runs king, queen, king, queen, king, queen, king, queen; or queen, king, queen, etc. Put the cards behind your back and draw off the top card between the right thumb and forefinger; the second between the forefinger and second finger. Proceed thus so that the odd cards are in one group, the evens in the other. One group will contain the kings, the other the queens.
20. Mental Telepathy
The magician shows three cards and asks person to think of one of them. He puts the three cards in his trousers pocket. Then he draws out two of the cards and lays them on the pack.
“If you have been thinking of your card,” announces the magician, “it will be the one that is still in my pocket. Tell everyone the name of your card.”
“The three of clubs,” replies the person who is thinking of the card.
The magician reaches in his pocket and brings out the three of clubs:
In his pocket, the magician has previously hidden two indifferent cards. When he shows three cards, and puts them in his pocket, he notices the order in which they lie. Then he reaches in and brings out the two indifferent cards, but does not show their faces. The audience believes that they are two of the three cards he just put in his pocket.
When the spectator names the card of which he is thinking, the magician has simply to bring out the correct one of the three cards that are in his pocket!
He then has two cards remaining, so he can repeat the trick. By watching a person’s eyes, it is often possible to discover the card he is choosing, in which case the secreted cards do not have to be used; instead, the magician can bring out the two cards that the person is not thinking of, and carelessly drop them faces up. This diverts suspicion from the usual method.
21. Long Distance Telepathy
This is an excellent trick to perform in connection with the previous experiment. After your audience is worked up to the height of perplexity, ask them to choose any card from the entire pack. Suppose the ace of hearts is selected. You then state that if all present will concentrate on the ace of hearts, any per son may call up your friend Mr. Adams, whose telephone number is Market 1416 (or what ever the number may be), and he will name the card selected.
This is done, and when Mr. Adams comes to the other end of the wire, he promptly names the ace of hearts as the card selected.
This trick will never fail to create astonishment: but the secret is very simple. On a card in your pocket, you have a list of names.
When you look on the card for the phone number of your friend, you also find the name that goes with the playing card that has been selected by the company. If the eight of spades is selected, you tell the audience to call up and ask for Mr. Hood. Mr. Klein is the key name for the jack of clubs, and so on.
Your friend at the other end of the line has a duplicate list, so as soon as the fictitious name is given to him he knows the chosen card. Note the alphabetical arrangement of the list. The trick cannot be repeated. Your excuse for this is that so much concentration is necessary that your “mind reader” can only visualize one card in the course of an evening; so if the trick were repeated, he would simply repeat the name of the first card chosen.
22. Magnetic Cards
The effect of the Magnetic Card trick is quite surprising. The magician lays a number of cards on the palm of his hand, and when he turns the hand over, the cards remain attached to it, as though magnetized; until, at the magician’s command, they fall to the floor.
There are several methods of working this trick, and an explanation of different ways of performing will enable the reader to use the method which best Suits him.
Method 1: Tie a fine hair around the Center of the hand, so that it forms a loop about the palm. Tuck one card under the hair, and push the other cards—seven or eight of them—under the corners of the first card. The first card will then support the others. The hair is invisible at a short distance; and a spreading of the hand will break it, releasing the cards at the desired moment.
Method 2: Use a pack of cards with an ornamental circle in the center of the back design. Cut one of the circles out of an odd card, bend the circle in half, and paste it to the center of another card so that it forms a flap. The flap is gripped between the fingers, which thus support the card, while other cards may be tucked under the supporting card. When the fingers are spread slightly, the cards will fall.
Method 3: Bend up one corner of a card and grip that corner between the last two fingers, so that the card is diagonally across the palm. Pressure by the base of the thumb, at the other end of the card holds the card in place, so that other cards may be tucked into place.
Method 4: If you customarily wear a finger ring, insert the point of a pin under the ring, and tuck a card under the head of the pin, which extends towards the palm. This will support that card, and the other cards may be tucked in under it. (In tucking cards in under the supporting card, other cards may be inserted under the secondary cards, so that they will partly mask the face of the supporting card.)
Method 5: Obtain a piece of diachylon (lead plaster) from a drug store, and rub it all over the palm and fingers. The appearance of the hand will not be changed, but the hand will be very sticky. Lay six or seven cards on the table, and press the hand firmly upon them. Then lift, and the cards will come up. When the hand is shaken the cards will fall.
23. The Vanishing Card
This trick is performed with a playing card, a tumbler, and a handkerchief. The card is placed beneath the handkerchief, which is held over the glass; and the card is pushed down into the glass. When the hand kerchief is removed, the glass is shown empty. The playing card is really a piece of trans parent celluloid, cut to the size and shape of a playing card. The celluloid card is hidden beneath the handkerchief, at the outset. When an ordinary card is shown and placed beneath the handkerchief, it is dropped on the table among the remaining cards of the pack, and the celluloid card is held underneath the hand kerchief, where it appears and feels like an ordinary card. When the celluloid card goes in the glass, the handkerchief may be removed and the glass held up for all to see; for the celluloid will be invisible through the sides of the glass.
24. The Automatic Rising Card
A drinking-glass is employed in this trick also. Any card is taken from the pack and is pushed down into the glass. A spectator is told to ask the card to rise. The card, how ever, does not obey the command. The magician removes the card from the glass, strokes it on his sleeve, and inserts it in the glass, from which it immediately rises to his outstretched hand.
Method: Use a smooth-finished glazed card, and a glass with tapering sides. Take a piece of dry soap and rub it on the inside of the glass, making two narrow channels at opposite points, running from the top of the glass to the bottom. When the card is pushed down into the glass so that its edges come in contact with the smooth paths, the card will rise; but if it is not pushed in at the correct point, it will not rise. The soap should be applied carefully and evenly; then its presence will not be observable.
25. The Card on the Hand
This is a surprising finish to a card trick. After a chosen card has been brought on top of the pack by any one of the methods described, the pack is cut into two portions. The magician places the lower portion on the palm of his hand and tosses it in the air. He thrusts his hand among the falling cards, and the chosen card appears on the back of his hand, apparently caught out of the others.
Method: The magician has a tiny bit of lead plaster affixed to the back of his hand. When he places the lower heap on the palm of the hand, he momentarily rests the back of the hand on the upper heap. When the hand tosses the lower heap in the air, the chosen card sticks to the back of the hand. The hand is simply turned over amongst the falling cards, and the illusion is complete.
26. The Spirit Card
The Spirit Card is a perfect little mystery that requires a minimum of skill. An envelope is shown empty, and a tiny piece of cardboard is put in it. Then a pack of cards is cut, and the envelope is inserted between the two halves of the pack. The spectators then look at the card just below the envelope. It is the four of diamonds. The envelope is opened, and the tiny card is shaken out. On it is a picture of the four of diamonds! The envelope is then tossed on the table.
Method: The envelope is a double one, made by cutting off the front of another envelope and inserting it in a genuine envelope. When the two flaps are stuck together, the envelope appears quite innocent (It is best to use a small envelope with the flap at the end.)
In the front compartment of the envelope, place the tiny four of diamonds (or whatever card you wish to use). The tiny card can be drawn with ink; a tiny photograph or a printed card is preferable if one can be obtained.
The top card of the pack is a four of diamonds. Show the envelope apparently empty, and drop in a blank card of the same size as the miniature that is hidden in the envelope. Cut the pack, and after sealing the envelope, calmly place it on the top portion of the pack, putting the lower portion on the envelope. This is a bold procedure that never fails to pass detection. The spectators look at the card underneath the envelope.
Remove the envelope, cut it under the flap, thus opening the front compartment, and let the tiny card fall out. •While every one is examining it, and the surprise is great, calmly put the envelope in your pocket. There you have a duplicate envelope, which is unprepared, and which has been sealed and opened. As an afterthought, you bring out the envelope (really the duplicate) and drop it carelessly on the table. No one ever notices this simple exchange, as it is done quite naturally. Do not say anything about the envelope; after a while some one will pick it up and examine it.
27. The Aces From the Pocket
Allow a pack of cards to be thoroughly shuffled. Show that the inside pocket of your coat is quite empty, and put the pack in there. State that the aces respond to your sense of touch, and thrust your hand into the pocket. Each time you reach in. you bring out an ace! After the aces have all been produced, the pack is brought out, and all the cards may be examined.
Method: Previously remove the aces from the pack, and put them in your upper right vest pocket. Let the pack be shuffled; no one will notice that the aces are missing, as you do not mention them until you have put the pack in your inside pocket.
Each time you reach for an ace, put your hand in your vest pocket. By holding the coat well over with the right hand, no one can tell that you are not reaching into the inside pocket.
28. The Reversing Card
The effect of this trick is not new; but the method has been so simplified that the trick may be performed with very little practice.
A card is taken from the pack and noted. It is returned to the magician, who pushes it face down into the pack, holding the pack well squared to show that he cannot keep track of the card.
The pack is laid on the table and the magician waves his hand over it. He deals the cards one by one, and suddenly he comes to a card that is face up. It is the chosen card!
To perform this trick, use a pack that has white margins around the edges of the backs. Secretly turn the bottom card of the pack face up. Then fan the cards, taking care not to show the bottom card, and have a card selected.
While those present are looking at the card, turn your back so that you will not see it. This gives you time to square up the pack and turn it over, so that the bottom card is on top (The reversal of the bottom card may be left until you turn your back, but it is safer to attend to it beforehand if possible.) When you put the chosen card back in the center of the pack, it really goes in upside down; the reversed bottom card makes the pack appear normal. Hold the pack in your left hand, the fingers at one side and the thumb at the other, with the palm upwards. As you approach the table, turn your hand over (back up) with a sweeping motion, and lay the pack on the table. Pass your hand over the pack and deal the cards until you come to the chosen card, which will be face up.
29. The Traveling Ace
Take a pack of cards and show the ace of clubs, which you place on top of the pack for a moment. Then remove the card and push it into the center of the pack; when the card is one-third in, tilt the pack up so that every one may glimpse the ace.
As soon as the ace is fairly in the pack, the cards are snapped, and the bottom card is turned up. It is the ace of clubs, back on top!
Method: When you show the ace of clubs, the three of clubs is in back of it, the two being held as one. The cards should be bent slightly outwards by pressure of the thumb and fingers at opposite sides. Then the double thickness will not be detected. The cards are laid on the pack, and the three (supposedly the ace) is removed and pushed in the center. When the card is one-third in, tilt up the pack, holding your finger tips over the end of the card. Only the center spot of the trey will be observed; push the card all the way in, and everyone will be satisfied that the ace is actually in the center of the pack.