magic like no other...
Dumbfounded Devin Knight Effect: The performer shows a blue deck of cards and shuffles it until he feels psychically inclined to stop. He really does not know the order of the cards. The deck is returned to its case and given to a participant to hold. The performer never touches the blue deck again. A red deck is now shown and shuffled by the performer. He has a second participant freely select a card from the red deck. The participant may change his mind, as there is no force. Next, a number is obtained by chance. No mathematics are involved and there is no force of the number. The number is arrived at by chance. After a card has been chosen and a number obtained by chance, the performer says that he thinks an incredible coincidence has occurred. The participant, not the performer, removes the shuffled deck from the blue case. The participant has been holding the blue deck before a card was selected from the red deck. The participant deals the blue backed cards face up on the table one at time until he comes to the number obtained by chance. The face down card at that number is turned over; it is the same as the card chosen from the red deck! An unbelievable coincidence has just occurred. This is one effect that will leave your spectators dumbfounded, hence the name of the effect. Again, the performer never touches the blue deck after it is given to the participant. The deck is a regular deck of 52 cards with no duplicates and it is not gimmicked. No deck switches and no gimmicks. There are no multiple outs; the ending is the same each time. The spectator always deals from the facedown blue deck to the number obtained by chance. The card is always at that number and never the next card on top of the deck.
Props Needed: Two complete decks of cards. Remove the Jokers and advertising cards. One deck should be blue and the other red.
Secret: The secret relies on a clever principle and is self-working. You will need to arrange both decks in the same order, and then reverse the order of one deck. Here is how you prepare the decks. Take one of the decks and thoroughly shuffle it. You may even want to run through the cards face up and move around some cards if there is any clumping of suits and values. Once it appears that the deck is in a random order, you can then set up the other deck. Here is the quickest way. Begin by first arranging the second deck in the same order. Reverse the order of the second deck by dealing all 52 cards, one at a time, into a single pile. This deck should now be the reverse order of the other deck. The two decks are now “mirroring” each other. As an example, if the top card of the facedown blue deck is the QS, then the last card of the facedown red deck would be the QS. Continuing, if the second card of the facedown blue deck is the 10H then the second card from the bottom of the facedown red deck would be the 10H. FINALLY, TAKE THE TOP CARD OF THE BLUE DECK AND TRANSFER IT TO THE BOTTOM. YOU MUST DO THIS; OTHERWISE THE EFFECT
WILL NOT WORK. Put the cards back into the cases and you are set to perform. The blue deck is used as either the coincidental or premonition deck depending on your presentation.
BASIC HANDLING: This handling is the basic and easiest method. It does not require you to shuffle either deck. This version is what I call my NO-TOUCH ACAAN. It is best to start with this version to learn the basic principle. From there you can venture into the more advance versions that allow shuffling of either one or both decks. The great thing about the basic version is that you have instant reset. If you are doing walk around magic in a restaurant, you can immediately repeat it at the next table.
Secret: This effect’s secret is pure simplicity. Hand the blue deck to a participant to hold. Tell him that you will not touch this deck again. Have another participant take the red deck and hold it face down. He is to cut off a large block of cards from the top and place them face down on the table. Tell him to deal the top card of the cards remaining in his hand face up on the table. It will be his chosen card. Tell him we need a random number for the effect. Since there is no way anyone could have known how many cards would be left in his hand, you ask him to spread and count the cards remaining in his hand. This number of cards remaining in his hand is a number that you could not have previously known. It is a number arrived at by chance. Assume the number is 22. Remind your participants that a card was freely cut to and a number was obtained entirely by chance by counting the left over cards. Point out that if the first participant had cut one card deeper or one fewer, then the number would have been different. You tell them that you had a premonition about a playing card last night. Tell them that you placed that card at a particular position in the blue deck. Ask the second participant holding the blue deck to remove the cards from the case. He is instructed to deal the facedown cards one at a time face up on the table until he reaches the number obtained by chance. He deals the cards face up on the table one at a time until he comes to that number; in this case the number is 22. Amazingly, the card at position 22 from the top of the deck is a duplicate of the selected card! As incredible as it may seem, this effect is self-working. If you follow these directions, it does not matter where your first participant cuts the deck. The effect will always work. Since there are no sleights involved, you can focus 100% on presentation.
INSTANT RESET: The basic method allows you to reset the decks instantly. If you are doing walk around magic in a restaurant, you go to the next table and immediately repeat the effect with different results.
Resetting The Blue Deck Your participant deals the cards into a face up pile on the table, therefore keeping the cards in the same order. All you have to do is pick up the face up cards, turn them face down and drop the cards back onto top of the deck. The deck is now back in its original order and ready for your next performance.
Resetting The Red Deck Since you had your participant spread the cards in his hand to count them, the cards remained in the same order. (If during a performance, you are concerned about your participant accidently mixing them, then take the cards and spread count them yourself keeping them in order.) Take the facedown packet of cards that was counted, pick up the face up chosen card, turn it face down and drop it on top of the cards in your hand. Finally, take the block of cards your participant cut off and place them back on top of the cards in your hand. The deck will now be back in its original order.
Advanced Methods These methods allow you to shuffle either one or both decks. The selection of the card appears even fairer, as your participant can change his mind and the effect will still work. The only thing is that these methods will not allow instant reset. You will need to mirror stack both decks again. However, the effects are so strong; it is worth destroying the stacks each time.
The Revised Selection Process This method of selecting a card appears as fair as you can get. The procedure is very deceptive. It will throw off magicians who think you may be using mirrored decks. The setup is the same as in the basic version. Only in this version, the selection of a card is slightly different. Place the red deck face down on the table. Reach over, cut off a small block of cards (about 7 or 8) from the top, and place the block to the right side of the deck. Repeat this, while explaining to your participant that you would like him to cut off small blocks of cards as you are doing and stop anywhere he likes. Let your participant cut off blocks of cards, putting them on top of the other pile to the right of the deck. Once he stops, tell him the top card of the remaining talon is his freely cut to card. Have him turn it face up. See Photo 1.
Ask him if he is happy with this card. If not, have him turn it face down, drop it on top of the right packet, and cut off another block of cards. He can do this until he is satisfied that his selection was a free choice. Once he has made his selection, have him place his chosen card face up on the table away from the other cards. Tell him we need to obtain a number by chance. Since there is no way you could have known how many cards would be left on the table after his multiple cuts, you ask him to count the cards remaining in the deck. The cut off cards to the right of the deck are ignored. He only counts the cards remaining in the deck. This number of cards left in the deck is a number you could not have previously known. It is a number arrived at by chance. Assume the number is 14. Remind your participants that a card was freely cut to and a random number was obtained by counting the left over cards. Point out that if the second participant had cut one card deeper or one fewer, then the number would have been different. Say you had premonition about a particular card and placed that card in a certain position in the blue deck. Ask the participant holding the blue deck to remove the cards from the case. He is instructed to deal the facedown cards one at a time face up on the table until he reaches the card in the same position as the number arrived by chance. He deals the cards face up on the table one at a time until he comes to that number; in this case the number is 14. Amazingly, the card at position 14 from the top of the deck is a duplicate of the selected card! Again, as incredible as it may seem, this effect is self-working too. If you follow these directions, it does not matter how many blocks of cards your participant cuts off the red deck. The effect will always work. The multiple cutting off blocks of cards, with the option of him changing his mind is a real mind-blogger. The multiple cutting throws off magicians who know about mirrored stacks as they are normally used to seeing it done with one cut as in the basic method.
HOW TO SHUFFLE EITHER ONE OR BOTH OF THE DECKS Shuffling either one or both decks adds a new level of mystery to this. It takes the effect from being a premonition effect to being an impossible coincidence. The shuffling of the cards will puzzle those familiar with Eddie’s Joseph’s Staggered effect. The shuffling appears real as part of both decks is actually shuffled destroying the stack. This is a real magician fooler when you add the shuffling.
SHUFFLING THE RED DECK It is beyond the scope of this release to describe basic card sleights. Most magicians will know the simple shuffling techniques described. There is nothing difficult, just a jog shuffle which most magicians can do. If you are not familiar with injogs and jog shuffles, then I refer to you such beginner books as The Royal Road to Card Magic. These directions are written from a right-handed perspective. If you are left-handed, then reverse these directions. Here is how you can shuffle the red deck from which the selection is made. Remember, the red deck is the reverse order of the blue deck, with one card displaced from the top and placed on the bottom as previously described. The selected card will ALWAYS come from the lower half of the red deck.
Here is why. As you show your participant how to cut off blocks of cards, you ensure that you cut off almost half the cards before stopping. You then have him cut off a block of cards and continue until he wishes to stop. At this point, more than half the cards have been cut off and placed on the packet to the right side of the facedown deck. This means your participant will always stop in the lower half of the red deck when he selects a card. With this thought in mind, you can shuffle the upper half of the facedown deck. Hold the cards facedown in your right hand in an overhand shuffle position. Shuffle off the top half of the deck into your left hand, injog the next card, and drop the rest of the deck (mirror stack) on top of the shuffled cards in your left hand. Press down on the injogged card with your right thumb, getting a break above it. Shuffle those cards, below the break, back onto the top of the mirrored stack in your left hand. You may repeat this as many times as you wish. The order of the mirror stack in the bottom half of the red deck always remains intact. You have actually shuffled and mixed the top half of the red deck. The lower half is still mirror stacked! When your participant cuts off blocks of cards, ensure that he does that a few times. He will always stop in the mirror-stacked portion when he makes his selection. Remember, the top section of the mirrored stack has actually been mixed. You do not know the order of the upper half, which has no bearing on the effect. Other magicians can see the cards are being shuffled (for real apparently, as part of the cards are actually shuffled.) This eliminates the idea of a stack as nobody thinks about the bottom half being a mirror stack of the upper half of the blue deck! HOW TO LET YOUR PARTICIPANT SHUFFLE PART OF THE RED DECK Here is an added bit of business that will let your participant shuffle half of the cards, while you shuffle the other half. Remember, he will make his card selection from the lower part of the deck. Tell him to cut off about half the deck. Tell him to shuffle his half and you will shuffle the other half. You give your half a false shuffle. This must be a false shuffle that keeps your entire mirror stack intact. If you do not know how to do such a false shuffle, then refer to one of the many books on basic card sleights. Have him drop his cards on your half. You now do the jog shuffle, as previously described. This will keep the mirror stack in the lower half of the deck intact. Place the deck on the table and show how your participant is to cut off blocks of cards onto the table. Have him continue cutting until he cuts into the mirror stack at the bottom and makes a selection of a card.
HOW TO SHUFFLE THE BLUE DECK Because the blue deck in a mirror stack of the red deck, that means that the selected card will always be found in the upper half of the blue deck. Here is why. Your participant always selects a card by cutting into the lower half of the red deck. That means the number that his selected card will be at in the blue deck will always be fewer than 25 cards from the top. Since the selected card will always be found in the upper half of the blue deck, then the lower half of the blue deck can be shuffled. It is as simple as that. (This is the opposite of what you did with the red deck, as with it, the upper half was shuffled and the lower half left intact.) Here is how to shuffle the blue deck. Hold the cards facedown in your left hand in an overhand shuffle position. With your right hand cut off the bottom half of the deck, injog the first card of the right
hand section onto the cards left in your left hand. Shuffle off the rest of the cards in your right hand on top of the injogged card. Undercut the cards BENEATH the injogged card (this will be the mirror stack) and drop it on top of the deck. The top of blue deck will contain the intact mirror stack that matches the mirror stack in the lower half of the red deck. You can repeat this shuffling sequence as many times as you wish. NOTES: More advanced cardmen may wish to enhance these jog shuffles, by running four to seven cards before injogging a card, cutting to the injogged card, then running the four to seven cards back to return the upper pack of the deck to its original condition. In these directions, I have only explained the simplest way to do a jog shuffle.
SCRIPT There are three ways you can present this effect. Here are the possible ways with presentation ideas.
1-Do Not Shuffle Either Deck This is the easiest way and requires no ability to false shuffle a deck. The strong benefit of this method is that it allows instant reset when working in a strolling environment. Your presentation should be along the lines that you had a premonition about a particular card. Say you placed that card, in a certain position, in the blue deck. Give the blue deck to a participant to hold. Point out that you will not touch the blue deck again. Remove the red deck from its case and have a second participant cut to a card as described in the basic method. Have him spread the remaining cards and count them. He announces the number. The participant holding the blue deck removes the cards from the case facedown and deals cards face up into a pile on the table until he comes to the card at the announced number. The two cards match, proving your premonition was correct. The strongest thing about this presentation is that, if you wish, you can do the effect 100% hands off with your two participants doing everything. The fact you never touch either deck during the presentation makes for a real miracle effect.
2-Shuffle The Red Deck And NOT The Blue Deck Your presentation should be along the lines that you had a premonition about a particular card. Say you placed that card, in a certain position, in the blue deck. Give the blue deck to a participant to hold. Point out that you will not touch the blue deck again. Remove the red deck from its case and shuffle it so the bottom mirror stack remains intact, as previously described. Show how the second participant is to cut off small blocks of cards placing them to the side of the deck. Have the second participant start cutting off blocks of cards and once he is into the lower section of the red deck, tell him to stop whenever he likes. After he stops, give him the choice of changing his mind and cutting again. Once he has made his final selection, have him place that card face up on the table. He counts the number of cards remaining in the deck and announces it. Have the first participant remove the blue cards from its case and hold them facedown. He deals cards face up on the table so everyone can see the cards are different. When he comes to card at the announced number, it is seen to match the chosen card. Your premonition was correct.
3-Shuffle Both Decks – The Impossible Coincidence This is my favorite presentation. It presents an effect that appears to be impossible. The idea of a stacked deck does not seem possible. It is one of the strongest card effects you can do. It is not played as a premonition, but as an amazing coincidence. You can add a mental flavor by saying you will shuffle each deck until you feel psychically inclined to stop, saying that you think you have stopped at such a time to create an amazing coincidence. Start by saying to your audience: “When a deck of cards is shuffled, the odds are astronomical that a deck in the exact same order has ever existed before. Mathematicians tell us that a shuffled deck can have more than 80 million trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion different combinations. That is an 80, followed by 66 zeros. Technically, there are more ways of arranging a standard set of playing cards than there are stars in the universe. With that thought in mind, I would like to try an amazing coincidence. I am going to shuffle both decks until I feel psychically inclined to stop.” Shuffle the blue deck retaining the order of the upper half of the mirror stack. Tell the audience that you feel now is the time to stop. Place the blue deck on the table in front a participant and say that you will not touch the blue deck again. Remove the red cards from the case. Turn them face up and spread the cards showing them to be different. Turn the deck face down and shuffle the upper half of the deck retaining the order of the mirror stack in the bottom half. Place the red deck face down on the table and cut off small blocks of cards placing them to the side of the deck. Tell another participant to continue cutting off blocks of cards until he wants to stop. Once he stops, give him the opportunity to change his mind. If he changes his mind, allow him to place the card he stopped at on the discard pile and cut off another block. Have him turn the card on top of the remaining deck face up and place it aside. Refer back to Photo 1. Tell him that no one could have known where he would have stopped, so no one could have known in advance how many cards would have been left on the table. Tell him had he cut one card less or one card more, then the number of cards left on the table would be different. Tell him to pick up those cards and to count them aloud by dealing them one at time on the table. Assume in this case, there were 11 cards left; point out again, that you had no way of knowing that 11 cards would have been left on the table. This was a number arrived at by chance. Tell your first participant to pick up the blue deck and to deal 11 cards face up on the table. When he comes to the 11th card, it will be the same as the card chosen from the red deck. This unbelievable coincidence will create a reputation for you that will be long remembered. CREDITS: The development of this effect was based on Eddie Joseph’s Staggered effect. Karl Fulves had a similar effect in his Self‐Working Mental Effects and gives Joseph credit for the original idea. Other performers with effects using this basic principle are Nick Trost ‐ Somewhere, Aldo Colombini – Twist of Fate, and Barrie Richardson – Act 2.