Mental Magic With Cards - Hugard
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MENTAL MAGIC WITH CARDS BY
JEAN HUGARD Originally Published for the Profession By CALOSTRO PUBLICATIONS 1935, P. 0. Box 76, Times Square Station. New York, N. Y.
CONTENTS INTRODUCTION The Importance of Showmanship CHAPTER I: FORCING THOUGHT PRINCIPLE Several Methods of Forcing a Certain Card. Card and Number Divination. CHAPTER II: THE KEY CARD PRINCIPLE An Example of Presentation. The Three Heaps. The Trio. The Moving Finger. A Card and a Number. Divining a Card. The Count Down. The Six Piles CHAPTER III: THE NAIL OR PIN MARKING PRINCIPLE Thought Card Discovered A Test Discovery An Envelope Mystery A Variation CHAPTER IV: THE PREARRANGED PACK PRINCIPLE Method of Changing Packs Partial Set-ups Mephisto's Message Thought Card to Pocket Finding a Number Mental Spelling
Set-up of Full Pack Reading any Card Called For Locating a Page and Word by Cards Clairvoyant Reading of Several Cards A Startling Experiment Novel Card Reading CHAPTER V: VARIOUS PRESENTATIONS OF THE ONE WAY DECK PRINCIPLE CHAPTER VI: TRICKS WITH ASSISTANT AS THE MEDIUM FIRST METHOD SECOND METHOD CHAPTER VII: CODES FOR MIND READING WITH CARDS Talking Codes First Method Second Method Silent Codes Method One Method Two Silent Code for Confederate CHAPTER VIII: FORCING DECKS CHAPTER IX: THE MARKED CARD PRINCIPLE A Card Prediction. CHAPTER X: THE IMPRESSION OR CARBON SYSTEM Method One Method Two CHAPTER XI: THE MIRROR PRINCIPLE CHAPTER XII: A PREDICTION CHAPTER XIII: THE TELEPATHIC BRIDGE GAME
INTRODUCTION The Importance of Showmanship Before entering on an explanation of these mind reading effects, a description of
the proper method of presentation and showmanship is desirable. The author of a booklet recently published, describing the difference between a magician and a mind reader, writes that the magician repeatedly shows his hands empty and protests that he does not use this or that sleight, whereas the mind reader does none of these things, presenting his feats without flourishes or any suggestion whatever of cleverness in manipulation. Now, if that author had written "manipulator" instead of "magician" he would have been right. A finished magician will avoid all unnecessary and ostentatious display of the front and back of his hands, showing hands empty and so on. His every move will be a natural one and only such as would be used by anyone under similar circumstances. In every way possible, he will strive to give the impression that he himself plays only a passive part in connection with the wonders that happen. These observations apply with even greater force to exhibitions of pretended mind reading with cards, which should be handled without any display of flourishes or fancy moves, with the possible exception of the riffle shuffle which is now in such general use that no suspicion of cleverness is apt to be attached to it. The waterfall finish after the shuffle is taboo. It is better to affect a slight awkwardness; for instance, while shuffling, you may drop a card occasionally, but, be careful not to overdo this, either. In short, handle the cards just as any card player would. In the selection of an assistant from the audience, it is well to have the spectators decide who is to be the subject of the test in order to offset any suspicion of confederacy. If more than one person is to take part in the experiment, let the one first chosen select the next and so on. Sometimes it may be necessary for you to choose someone whose appearance leads you to believe he will be more inclined to help than to hinder you. Have experiments requiring friendly subjects follow others in which you have shown your powers with assistants chosen by the audience. Pretense of hypnotizing the subject will add to the effect and showmanship.
CHAPTER I: Forcing Thought Principle Several Methods of Forcing a Certain Card Knowing how to induce a spectator to think of a certain card is important. A good method is by ruffling the cards. Take the deck face downwards in the left hand, thumb on the back near its inner end. Bring the right hand over the pack, fingers at the outer end, thumb at the inner end. Bend the cards upwards before the subject's eyes and let the outer ends of the pack spring free. Stop the movement for a moment so that only one card may be plainly seen, then slip the tip of the second finger of the left hand under it and continue the ruffle. Another way is to secretly push the upper portion of the deck a trifle upwards, the resulting break being hidden by the fingers of the right hand. When the cards are ruffled, there will be a slight stop when the lowest card of the upper portion is reached. In either method one card only has been seen by the spectator and that will most likely be the card he will think of. When presenting the pack to his gaze, it is advisable to ask him to take no notice of the bottom card but to make a
"mental note" of any other card he sees. Again, you may spring the cards from your right hand into your left, face upward. Let the cards shoot down so rapidly that no one of them can be identified, but about half-way through the deck, stop the action for a moment, then spring the remainder. The only card that you, yourself, could distinguish will most likely be the card mentally selected by the observer. To locate a freely selected card, you may spring the cards face downward, stopping at the spectator's request.. He lifts up the last card that has fallen and looks at it. You quietly sight the face card of those in your right hand and when the card is replaced on the left hand portion by the spectator you drop the right hand portion on top of it. Thus you know the chosen card lies next below the one you just noted so that you can find it when you want to. Another very easy method is by means of a simple cut. You hold the deck towards a spectator face down on your left hand, asking him to choose a card. Let him cut the pack and look at the bottom card of his portion, take this from him and slip the tip of the little finger of your right hand between the packets as you reassemble the deck. A moment later, divide the pack with your right thumb at the position held by the little finger tip and then riffle shuffle the two packs. You have only to let the bottom card of the right hand packet fall first and the chosen card will be at the bottom. A more subtle procedure is this. Have the deck well shuffled and hold it face downwards in your left hand. Take off cards one by one with your right hand and hold them facing the spectator. Count mentally each card as you take it and keep these cards well squared, so that the person can see only the last card. Take the cards rather slowly and at the same rate of speed throughout and keep separating the hands some little distance apart. Watch the spectator's eyes, they will follow the movements of your right hand in taking and exposing each card. When the eyes rest, note the number of that card but continue to show five or six more cards at exactly the same pace before you ask if a mental selection has been made. You have then only to shuffle off the cards above the one noted to get the card at your command for any finish you may wish to make.
Card and Number Divination. A deck having been well shuffled you take it and by one of the methods previously explained force a spectator to think of a certain card and bring this card to the top by means of a simple cut. in the course of a shuffle, run six cards on top of it so that the card will lie seventh. This may easily be done by a riffle shuffle. You have only to hold back several cards from the top of the left hand packet and let them fall last. Two or three riffles will enable you to do this in the most natural manner possible. Now ask a second spectator to think of a number between one and ten. if seven is chosen-gazing steadily at him, make a false shuffle leaving the top seven cards in their original position. Lay the deck down. Have the card and the number called and, if all goes as you have arranged, let a third spectator take the pack, deal off
six cards and show that the seventh is the card thought of. A very astonishing result. If you exercise a little care in the choice of your two assistants, the chances are that the trick will come out right, but supposing some number other than seven is called. For six, you simply have six cards dealt and the next card shown. For certain other numbers you will have to deal the cards yourself. If eight or nine are chosen, make a false count once or twice as the case may be. For two, three, four, or five palm off the number of cards required to make the count correct. Don't be in a hurry, talk at length on the extreme difficulty of reading the thoughts of two persons at the same time and don't look at your hands while palming the cards. If some other number has been thought of, proceed as follows. Deal cards to the number called and lay that card, whatever it may be, face down on the table. Run through the pack, faces to yourself and slide the chosen card behind the others, getting it to the top. Then show the faces to the company, proving that the card is not there by simply not showing the top card. With the pack in your left hand, take up the card on the table with your right, go to the spectator and show it to him so that he alone sees the card, claiming you have made a complete success. Turn to your table, make the bottom change, and lay the spectator's card down. Palm the bottom card in your left hand. The spectator claims you have made a mistake. You maintain that you showed him the card he thought of. Keep up the argument as long as it amuses the rest of the company, then let him turn over the card on the table. It is his card. "As for the card you thought you saw just now," you continue, "It has been in my pocket the whole evening." You thrust your hand into your pocket and bring out the palmed card.
CHAPTER II: The Key Card Principle An Example of Presentation. Since space will not allow for giving the patter for every experiment, the presentation of the following trick must serve as an example on which to base others. A simple effect has been chosen to show how it can be built up into a seeming miracle of mind reading. You have any pack thoroughly shuffled and request the audience to choose the person who is to act as the medium. This done, hand the pack to him and, in so doing, tilt the inner end slightly upward so that you can read the index of the bottom card. You say to him, "Now, Mr. Jones, will you kindly divide the pack into seven portions, face down on the table? No need to deal them, just cut the pack into seven heaps. You all know that from the earliest ages, seven has been regarded as a mystical number. Greece had her Seven Sages. There were the Seven Sleepers of Ephesus and Seven Wonders of the Old World; in Holy writ, we have the Seven Seals, the Seven Stars, the Seven Lamps, the Seven Loaves, Seven Mortal Sins and Seven Virtues. There are seven days in the week, seven notes in music and seven colors in the spectrum. A volume could be written on the number
seven. To me, being the seventh son of a seventh son, it is peculiarly significant. "I will ask Mr. Jones to take the top card of any heap, pick it up very carefully so that I cannot possibly get a glimpse of its face, and impress its denomination firmly on your mind. Replace it, and now, to avoid suspicion of any manipulation of the card I will place three heaps above it and three below it, making it safe from interference." You must note which heap has the original bottom card of the pack and this heap is the first of the three that you place on the selected card. If, by one chance in seven, the top card of this heap has been chosen, simply tell the subject to put it on top of any other heap. In either case you know that the card is the next card below the one you sighted. at the bottom of the deck. Gather up the other three heaps and place them underneath. Square the pack by tapping its edges on the table. You then say, "You will have noticed that I have not touched the card, that I have not seen it or any other card in the pack and to avoid any suspicion that I might know even its approximate position in the pack, will you kindly cut the cards several times?" See that the cuts are completed. "You must all be satisfied that I cannot possibly know where the card is? Good. I will lay the cards out face upwards so that Mr. Jones can see his card and while my back is turned I want him to take out his card, but to be very careful not to disturb any other card." Spread the cards and note the one that follows the original bottom card of the deck and turn away. The subject takes his card out of the line. You continue, "I will ask someone else to gather up the rest of the pack and place it in his pocket. Done? Thank you. Now, Mr. Jones, will you put your card face down on the table, place both hands on it. Ready?" You turn and face him. "Now, please look at me and concentrate on your card. Are you doing that? I don't seem to get any impression. Let me just touch your hands. Contact makes it easier sometimes. Yes, that's better. It's a red card with an intricate pattern . . . a court card . . . a diamond . . . the king of diamonds." The card is turned up and shown to be correct. It will be seen that the trick is made up of the simplest possible elements, but presented in this manner, it will be found to create a striking impression.
The Three Heaps. At any favorable opportunity secretly note and memorize the two cards at the top of the deck. Invite a spectator to cut the cards into three heaps and watch where the packet with the two known cards is placed. Let us suppose that the top card was the ace of diamonds, followed by the seven of spades. and that they are on the top of the third heap after the cutting has been done. Claiming clairvoyant powers, pick up the top card of the first heap, saying confidently, "This card is the ace of diamonds." Looking at it but not letting anyone else get a glimpse of its face, you find that it really is the ten of diamonds.
Take the top card of the second packet in the same way, saying, "And this card is the ten of diamonds." Place this on the other card in your hand and smile cheerfully as if you had scored another hit. Suppose it is the jack of spades, take up the card on top of the third heap, (ace of diamonds) and call it the jack of spades. Slip this card behind the other two and throw all three on the table, face up. "There they are, just as I stated, ace of diamonds, ten of diamonds and the jack of spades. Would you like a further proof? Very well." Knowing that the card now on the top of the third heap is the seven of spades you proceed to name the top cards of the three heaps in exactly the same way as before.
The Trio. Any pack of cards having been freely shuffled by the spectators, you take it and, under pretense of removing the joker, you memorize the three cards lying above the bottom card. Suppose these three cards are the king of clubs, nine of spades, and ace of diamonds. Commit them to memory thus . . . king, nine, ace . . . club, spade, diamond. This is much easier than taking the name of each card separately. Lay the pack down and ask a spectator to cut it as nearly as possible into two equal parts. To find out how closely he has come to an exact division you pick up the original top half of the deck and he takes the lower portion. You each count your cards by dealing them on the table. The positions of the cards are thus reversed, the original bottom card will now be the top card of the spectator's heap and under it will lie the three cards memorized by you. Ask which half you shall take. If the packet just counted by you is indicated, take it and lay it aside. If, however, the other portion is chosen, take it up and hand it to the spectator. In either case he gets the packet with the three memorized cards. Instruct him to take off the top card and push it into the middle, then to do the same with the bottom card. This is mere camouflage but it helps to confuse the helper. Next, he is to take the top card and lay it face down before him, hand the second card face down to any one he pleases and do the same with the third card. Go through the usual routine of having each person concentrate on his card and you successfully read their thoughts. You may effectively pretend to get the cards by automatic writing or by asking the subjects to make mental pictures of their cards and then you make a rough drawing of each.
The Moving Finger. Any deck may be used and it may be freely shuffled by the spectators. First it is necessary that you find out secretly the name of the top card, in the following manner:
Explain to a spectator what he is to do after your back is turned. He is to think of any number, deal cards face down until he reaches that number, turn that card, memorize it, replace it on the top of the deck and then bury it by placing the dealt cards on it. Illustrate this by saying, "Suppose you thought of six. You would deal off five cards thus, then look at the next card, the sixth, replace it and put the dealt cards on it." You look at the sixth card, but you don't let the subject or any one else see what it is. To bring this card back to the top of the pack imperceptibly, you pretend that your subject does not understand what is to be done so you go through the procedure again. Suggesting that the number might be seven, deal off six cards, point to the next as being the one to be memorized, but don't turn it over, simply pick up the six cards just dealt and drop them on the pack. You now know the top card formerly the sixth and the knowledge has been obtained in such a subtle way that no one can have any suspicion that you could know any card at all. You turn away; the spectator thinks of a number, deals to it, looks at the card, buries it by replacing the cards dealt, gives the cards a single complete cut and squares the pack. Then he calls, "Ready." Turn, and taking the cards, spread them face up on the table. Watch for your key card, the one preceding it on the right will be the spectator's card. Tell him that you will pass your index finger along the line of cards and that when it reaches his card he is to think, "STOP! That is my card!" Act accordingly, passing your finger over the cards slowly until the card is reached, then hesitate, moving the finger back and forth, finally dropping it on the card.
A Card and a Number. Any deck having been freely shuffled, you take it back and holding it in your left hand, riffle off the outer left corners of about a dozen cards with the left thumb. Lift these cards off the pack with the right hand and get a glimpse of the bottom card of the packet. The position of the cards enables you to do this imperceptibly. Count these cards, face down, reversing their order, thus bringing the sighted card to the top. Spread this packet in a wide fan and invite a spectator to touch one and make a mental note of it. Quickly note at what number in the fan the chosen card lies, close the fan and drop the cards on the table, face down. Lay the rest of the deck on top and invite the spectator to cut. Complete the cut. Tell the subject that you will deal the cards face up and that he is to count as you deal so that he will know at what number in the pack his card lies but on no account to give any indication when the card appears. Supposing that the card touched was the sixth card in the fan, you have merely to count till you reach the card you sighted originally, when you know that the selected card is the fifth one beyond that. Note the number and the card but continue the deal without any alteration of pace. When you have dealt about three-quarters of the pack, stop and ask if the card has been seen and if the number at which it lies has been noted. Drop the rest of the
cards on top of those dealt. Grasp the spectator's hand and in the usual hesitating, groping way, give out the number and the name of the card.
Divining a Card. You secretly get the ace of spades to the bottom of the deck. Shuffle thoroughly by both the riffle and the overhand methods, retaining the ace in that position, and being careful not to allow anyone to get a glimpse of it. Lay the pack face down on the table for a moment while you explain that you are going to ask someone to merely think of a card. Pick out a likely looking person and hand the deck to him, holding it in such a way that he will see the ace of spades, saying, "Will you think of a card? Just any card that comes into your mind. You have done that? Please shuffle the cards and keep your thoughts on the one you have selected. Thank you." On your table you have a blank card and a pencil. Take these and on the card draw four lines right across it, leaving the second and fourth spaces a little wider than the others. Place this on the back of the deck and hand it, along with a pencil to the spectator, with a request that the card thought of and any four others be written in the spaces. You say, "You may write it first, or last, or in the middle, anywhere you wish and any other four cards in the other spaces." This will tend to influence the person to write the name of his thought card in the second or fourth spaces. Turn away but covertly watch the subject's actions while he is writing. He will hesitate a little before writing the names of each of the four indifferent cards but will write the name of his selected card quickly and, most probably, in the second or fourth space. With a little practice you will have no difficulty in deciding on what space the chosen card has been written. Take the pack and the list card from the spectator and glance at the names. Note the card written in the space you decided on and toss the list card on to the table. This should be done in the most casual manner to give the impression that you have not read any part of the list. Ask your subject to think intently of his card, run through the deck, take out the card you have decided on and put it face down on the table. There is a big chance that the ace of spades will have been selected, owing to the manner in which you handed the deck out in the beginning of the trick, and if you find that name written in the space you fixed on, you may be certain you are right. Hand the list back to the subject and have him cross off the names of the four indifferent cards. The name of the remaining card is called and you turn up the card you laid on the table.
The Count Down Secretly get two known cards, say the two black kings, to the top and bottom of the pack. Shuffle freely by both overhand and riffle methods, keeping both cards in position, but creating the impression that it is not possible for you to know the
whereabouts of any card at all. While shuffling, explain to a spectator that he is to think of any number, say between one and twenty, that you will then turn away and he is to deal cards to the number thought of, look at the last one dealt, drop the rest of the pack on top, cut the deck and carefully square it. When he says he has fixed on a number, repeat your instructions, hand him the deck, impressing on him to deal carefully, card by card and turn away. Don't hand the deck to him till the last moment or he may be tempted to shuffle the cards himself. When your subject announces that he has done his part, take the pack and run over the faces of the cards. Watch for the king that was originally on the top. Counting it as one, continue the count till you reach the card before the king that was originally on the bottom. That will give you the card and the number thought of. Do all this as casually as possible, as if merely playing with the cards and all the time urging your subject to concentrate his thought on the card and the number. Finally complain that you are not getting a definite impression, take his hand and press it to your forehead then get the number and the card in the usual mysterious fashion.
The Six Piles Any full pack of fifty-two cards may be used. The trick depends on your having placed secretly six cards of one suit on the top and six more of the same suit on the bottom. To do this, first run through the cards to see if the full number is there and discard the joker. Take this opportunity to place several cards of one suit, say hearts, at the top and bottom. Then say there are several cards which you find it hard to get a mental impression of and run through the deck to find them. Take out one card of the suit you have decided to use, in this case a heart, and any three cards of the other suits. This action will give you ample opportunity to place the remaining hearts at the top and bottom. Put the four discards and the joker in your pocket. Riffle shuffle several times without disturbing the top six and bottom six and, if you know how to make a false cut, do it. Hand the pack to a spectator and instruct him to deal six heaps by laying out six cards in a row and then dealing a card on each in rotation until the pack is exhausted. The result will be six heaps of eight cards with a heart at the top and bottom of each pile. He is then told to take a card from the middle of any heap, note carefully what it is and place it on top of any other pile, squaring the cards carefully so that you can get no clue to what he has done. Turn your back while he does this. When he says he has followed your instructions turn and give him pad and pencil and have him write the name of the card, tear off the sheet, fold it and put it in his pocket. It is well to do this for two reasons, one is to avoid all chance of the subject failing to remember his card, and the other to get the company accustomed to the use of a pad which you may use in some other trick to get the name of a card by the impression or carbon method.
The piles are assembled by the spectator in any order that he likes, but you see that each pile is picked up complete. The chosen card will be that one which is between two hearts. You spread the pack out on the table being careful to have every card showing. Tell the spectator that you will run your forefinger over the line of cards and that when it comes over his card he is to think, "STOP! That is my card!" You do this rather slowly, beginning with the top card of the pack and mentally count till you come to the chosen card, but do not stop, simply make a mental note of the card and the number and continue to the end of the line. Reproach your assistant for not having concentrated on his card and make him admit that he really didn't think you could read his mind. Gather up the deck and lay it aside for the moment. Take his hand and tell him to make a mental picture of the card. Then you name it in the usual hesitating manner. Compliment him on his success and hand the pack to him. Tell him you will turn your back while he deals the cards slowly, face down. You turn away and as he deals, you count; when the number is reach at which the card was in the line you call, "STOP! That is your card!" He turns it face up and finds it is his card. The slip is taken from his pocket and the card is verified.
CHAPTER III: The Nail or Pin Marking Principle Thought Card Discovered Beforehand, place a small black pin in the lower edge of your vest. Introduce the trick by having a deck shuffled freely by one spectator and ask another spectator to think of a card. Hand the deck to him and have him remove the card thought of and put it face down on the table. Over it he is to spread his handkerchief so that you cannot possibly get a glimpse of its face. While this is being done, get the pin between the tips of your second and third fingers, right hand, point downwards. Put this hand on top of the card, which is still covered with the handkerchief and your left hand on top of your right. Invite the spectator to place his hands on yours, explaining that you cannot do a thought reading trick without contact with the medium. Under cover of this arrangement push the pin into the top right hand corner of the card, making a tiny raised spot on the face of the card, invisible to any one not looking for it, but easily found by the tip of your second finger when dealing the cards. Having done this, ask the spectator to take the pack, insert the card in it and shuffle freely. Meantime you drop the pin on the carpet unperceived. When he is satisfied that his card, (though lost to sight, to memory clear), take the deck and deal face up, asking him to keep his mind intently on his card but to make no sign when it appears. When your finger-tip tells you, you hold the thought card, note what it is but continue the deal with no change of pace. Having dealt the whole pack without finding the card, accuse the subject of having let his mind wander from the matter in hand. You insist that the experiment is a genuine one, tell him you will try again and that if he will cooperate with you, success will be assured. Let him again shuffle the cards.
Spread the cards face up in a wide row. Grasp his left hand with your left and sweep your right hand over the cards. Drop it dramatically on his card. He will then probably be inclined to think that there really is something in this telepathic business after all.
A Test Discovery For this mysterious trick an unprepared deck shuffled by anyone may be used. Make the most of this by having the cards shuffled by several spectators. When you take the cards back, ask the audience to select someone to help you to avoid all suspicion of confederacy. This diversion will give you ample time to mark the lower right hand corner of the top card by pressing it between the ball of your right thumb above and the nail of the second finger below. The little hump that results can readily be detected when you deal the cards later. Lay the pack on the table. Ask the subject to come forward and instruct him thus: first, he is to think of any number between one and twenty, then he is to deal that number of cards on the table, take any card he pleases from those remaining in his hands, commit it to memory, and put it on top of the cards dealt. Shuffle the remaining cards and drop them on top of the other packet. While he deals, you move around casually, but you care fully note the number of cards dealt. To further convince everyone that his card is now lost, let him cut the deck several times, making complete cuts. Then deal the cards, one by one, into two equal piles, put the heap on which the last card fell on top of the other one, make another complete cut and finally square the cards. Now, take up the pack and as you deal them face up, go over what has been done, enlarging on the fact that not once did you touch the cards and the impossibility of finding the card in any other way than by having it named and searching the pack for it. In the meantime you are feeling each card, as you deal it, for the hump on the corner of the original top card. When you reach this card deal it on the others, then pick up all the cards dealt, turn them face down and place them under the cards in your hands, then put the pack down. You say that your subject's subconscious mind kept track of the wanderings of the chosen card throughout the numerous shuffles, cuts and deals and that it will be possible for you to find it by making contact with his subconscious mind. Grip his hand and urge him to dismiss all thought of the card from his conscious mind; he is simply to make his mind a blank. After a moment or two, announce dramatically that the card lies at a certain number from the top of the deck. The subject deals to that number and turns up his card. The simple rule to determine the position of the card is this. If the subject dealt an even number of cards before looking at one, divide that number by two and the resulting figure will denote the position of the card from your key card. If, however, he dealt an odd number, say, seventeen, divide it as nearly as possible in half, thus 9 - 8. To the larger figure add 26, one-half the cards in the pack, and the total, in this case, 35, will give the position of the card. Be careful to have a
complete deck, then if the various steps are carried out correctly the experiment cannot fail and will remain a mystery, even to magicians who do not know the principle.
An Envelope Mystery In this effective experiment, three cards are selected and sealed in envelopes by the spectators. They concentrate on their cards and you read their thoughts correctly. Any three envelopes are used and you hand them to different people. The first one you don't interfere with, on the second one make a mark by pressing the top right hand corner between the ball of the right thumb above and the nail of the second finger below, and on the third envelope make two marks in the same way. Do not press heavily, a very slight lump can be readily detected by the right thumb when the envelopes are returned. Force three cards by any of the numerous methods and, if possible, use a different method for each card. The first card is taken by the person who holds the unmarked envelope, the second goes to the person having the envelope with one mark on it and the third to the holder of the one with two marks. Each is told to memorize his card, place it in his envelope and close the flap securely. With as much fuss as possible, have a blindfold tied over your eyes. Any one of the envelopes is handed to you and you put it to your forehead, holding it by the ends with both hands. You know at once which envelope it is and therefore what card is in it and you build up the effect by asking the person to concentrate on his card, to imagine he sees a large picture of it on the wall, and so on. Act as if the necessary information comes to you by degrees, make a mistake in the number of spots, or the suit, then correct yourself. In short, act the part as you think it would be played if mind reading were a fact, Open the envelope, tearing off the marked end, remove the card and show it. Repeat with the other two.
A Variation In a variation of the preceding trick, you mark nine envelopes thus: the first with a pin prick at the top left hand corner, the second at the middle of the top edge, the third at the top of the right hand corner, the fourth at the middle of the left side, the fifth in the middle of the envelope, the sixth at the middle of the right hand side, the seventh at the lower left corner, the eighth at the middle of the lower edge and the last at the lower right hand corner. It will require no great effort to identify each envelope by feeling the little lump on each with the ball of the thumb. Place them in order, one to nine, on top of the original package of envelopes, and keep the paper band around it intact. You have a deck which has been arranged in a certain order according to a formula that is familiar to you. False shuffle the cards and have several complete cuts made by spectators. Put the pack on the table and let a subject cut it where he pleases, lay the cut portion aside and take the top card of the remainder. Instruct
him to memorize the card and put it in an envelope giving him the top envelope of the package. He puts his card inside, closes the envelope and puts it in his pocket. Follow the same procedure with eight other spectators, making sure that the cards go into the marked envelopes in their proper order. While this is being done you have ample time to get a secret glimpse of the bottom card of the portion cut off and this gives you the necessary clue to the cards in the envelopes. You request a spectator to blindfold you in any way he wishes, to satisfy himself that you cannot possibly see a thing. Then the envelopes are handed to you in any order and you hold each one to your forehead with both hands. Do not be in a hurry and don't make any obvious feeling movements with your thumbs. Each thumb will be in position to feel a mark on the edges of the envelope in hand. If there is no mark there, remove the envelope from your forehead for a moment, saying that you cannot get any impression. Take a fresh grip, bringing your thumb over the middle of the envelope and find the mark as you raise it to your forehead once more. Take out each card as read, and show it, crumple up the envelopes and toss them aside.
CHAPTER IV: The Prearranged Pack Principle Method of Changing Packs Many of the best mind reading effects are obtained by having the cards arranged in a set order which is memorized by the performer. There are two systems in general use, the "Eight Kings Threatened To Save, 8-K-3-10-2-7", etc., and the Si Stebbins system. Full details of these are given in various text books on magic. A third system which is far in advance of either of the aforementioned is the Nicola System which is fully explained in Nicola's book. This system has many advantages over the others and is strongly recommended to the student. But whichever arrangement is used, in order to get the best effect, a deck with the same back pattern should be first introduced and freely handled and shuffled by the spectators, then later this deck should be secretly exchanged for the set-up pack. There are many ways of doing this imperceptibly, a good one being the following in which the switch is made during the execution of a good trick, in which you apparently name the card at any number of a shuffled pack. You have the prearranged pack in your upper right vest pocket. The other deck with similar back pattern having been shuffled by a spectator, put it in your inside coat pocket. Invite someone to call any small number, and instantly you name the top card of the set-up deck in the vest pocket. Draw cards from your coat pocket, one by one, up to one less than the number called, then take out the top card of the deck in the vest pocket, but in doing this, insert the fingers in your coat pocket so that the bulge in the cloth outside is visible to the spectators, and draw up the vest pocket card with the thumb. Produce three cards in this manner, laying them aside face up in a pile and keep the cards from the other deck in a separate heap. Finally pick up this pile with your
left hand and take out the balance of the deck from the coat pocket. At least, that is what you appear to do, really you drop the cards you have just picked up into your coat pocket and bring out the prearranged pack from your vest pocket. Drop this on the three cards left on the table and you have not only done a very effective mental trick, but you have imperceptibly switched the packs and you are ready to proceed with any effect for which the set-up is necessary. The free preliminary shuffling of the ordinary deck by members of the audience will make it unlikely that any spectator will want to shuffle the cards again. This is a point which should never be neglected when using a set-up pack.
Partial Set-ups Mephisto's Message Arrange sixteen cards of mixed suits on the top of the deck thus: 3, 2, court card, 5, 2, court card, 5, 3, court card, 5, 3, 2, 5, 3, 2, court card, and note the twelfth card from the bottom of the pack. To present the trick, write the name of the twelfth card on a slip of paper and seal it in an envelope. Let a spectator initial this on the outside and put it in his pocket. Ask another person to cut the deck as nearly as possible in half and hand him the lower portion to deal and count, to test his accuracy. No matter what the number may be, you say it is near enough. Counting has reversed the order of these cards and the noted card is now twelfth from the top. Slip a rubber band around the packet and let someone hold it. From the upper packet ask someone else (always have as many of the audience participate in these effects as possible), to deal off sixteen cards in four piles. Owing to the arrangement, it will make no difference whether he deals the cards as in dealing hands for a poker game, or each pile of four separately, the total of the spots of any pile will amount to twelve. Count the court cards as two, the actual number of their spots. Any pile is now chosen and while the spots are being counted pick up the other three heaps, drop them on the pack and shuffle the cards. Ask the spectator holding the banded packet to deal to the twelfth card and turn it up. Your prediction is taken out and read aloud. It names that very card.
Thought Card to Pocket To prepare for this fine effect, take the following cards of different suits: 2, 3, 5, 7, 8, 9, jack and king, and, from another pack with similar backs, pick out the duplicates of these cards. Place one of these duplicate cards in each of your pockets with the exception of your inside coat pocket. Memorize the position of each card. The best way to do this is to put the two in your right coat pocket, the three in your right trousers pocket, five in lower right vest pocket, seven in the upper right vest pocket and so on in order, the king going into your left trousers pocket. A few minutes practice will enable you to find the right pocket the
moment a card is named. Shuffle the other set of eight cards and drop them on the top of the deck. To present the trick, take the deck and cut at about the middle, but keep the tip of your left little finger between the packets. Hold the deck up to a spectator and spread the eight cards below your little finger tip before his eyes asking him to mentally select a card. Cover the bottom card with your left hand and do not expose the faces of any cards but the duplicate eight. Close up the deck, but keep your little finger in position above the eight cards, and turn away as the spectator writes the name of his card on a slip of paper. Quietly, and without moving your elbows, cut the pack at the little finger break, palm off and put the eight cards in your breast pocket. When the spectator is ready tell him to fold the slip, put it in the middle of the pack and place both in the card case. After a few moments of patter about the power of thought transmission, etc., let someone take the cards from the case, read out the name on the slip and then search the pack for the card. Of course it has disappeared (along with all the others from which a choice was made, but no one else knows that). You take the card triumphantly from your pocket and throw it down proving that you read his very thoughts. Take the first opportunity of removing this duplicate card from the deck and replacing the eight from your breast pocket.
Finding a Number Beforehand, you have placed on the top of your pack fourteen cards of mixed suits running thus: joker, ace, then spot cards from two to ten in sequence, jack, queen, king. False shuffle the deck and deal off fourteen cards, thus reversing the order, which will run from the king down to the ace, the joker being the fourteenth card. Invite a spectator to cut the dealt packet and see that the cut is completed. This may be done as often as desired. Finally cut yourself and note the bottom card as you do so. The number of spots on it, or if it is a court card, its numerical value, jack 11, queen 12, king 13, will be your key. Suppose you have cut a four to the bottom. Instruct a spectator to think of any number between one and fourteen, then to take cards, one by one, from the bottom of the packet and place them on the top to the number he has mentally chosen. When he has done this, the fourth card will give you by its spots the number of cards moved, The trick may be repeated any number of times so long as the sequence is maintained. Add the value of the last key card to its position in the packet and you get the key to the next operation. In the case just given, suppose the fourth card is a six, add six to four and you know that the tenth card will denote whatever number of cards the spectator moves next. If none are moved, the joker turns up. When a total of over fourteen is reached, subtract fourteen, the remainder will be the new key. If the total is fourteen, secretly sight the bottom card and you can then read the spectator's mind without first turning a card. If total is fifteen, get a glimpse of the top card and do the same. In presenting the trick, you turn your back while the cards are being moved, and
have the subject put the packet on the table before you turn around. Take no notice of the cards for the moment. Tell the spectator to concentrate on his number, hold his hand, or place your hand on his forehead, or go through any other routine you use in pretending to read his mind. Then confidently announce that you have read the number. To prove the assertion, take the packet, remove the key card without looking at the faces of the cards, and lay it face down on the table. The subject names his number and the card is turned revealing the same number of spots. Be careful to replace the key card in its proper place in the sequence.
Mental Spelling Arrange three sets of five cards as follows :-10C..9C..4H..3S..9D AC..6S..KH..7S..JD-6C..AH..JS..QH..4D, and put them on the top of your pack. The first card of each group is spelled with ten letters thus-T E N 0 F C L U B S , the next with eleven, and so on, each card taking one more letter. The spelling is uniform the word "of" being used in each case. To present the trick, take off three packets with seeming nonchalance, but being careful to have exactly five cards in each, and lay them on the table without disturbing their order. Ask a spectator to take any one of the heaps and mentally note one card. Drop his cards on top of the pack, then take up the other two hands and put them on top of all. Any one of the five cards from which a mental selection was made, is now in the right position to be spelled in the usual way, one card being dealt for each letter, after which the next card is turned up. As soon as the three sets have been put on top of the deck, a false shuffle should be made. An easy one is this. Lift the lower half of the deck with your right hand in the usual way for beginning an overhand shuffle. Slide the first card of this portion off with your left thumb so that it will project a little at the back of the cards in your left hand, that is, inwards, towards your body. Shuffle off the rest of the cards in your right hand freely on top of this, then pick up the cards under the projecting card and drop them on top. Your set-up cards are again on the top. Lay the pack down. Instruct your subject to set his mind on his card and proceed with your pretense of mind reading, hold his hand to your forehead, read his pulse, any rigmarole you choose, but do it seriously. Announce that you have received an impression and that you will place the card in such a position as to prove positively that you have read his mind. Take the pack and shuffle it, repeating the false shuffle just described, and execute several false cuts if you can. Then hand the cards to the spectator. Let him name the card he thought of and spell it out, dealing a card for each letter. The card following the last letter is turned and proves to be the very card he mentally selected.
Set-up of Full Pack
Reading any Card Called For Place a prearranged pack in your inside coat pocket. With the duplicate unprepared deck force the thought of a card by one of the methods explained on Page 8 and hand the deck out to be freely shuffled. Take it back and pretend to put it in your inside coat breast pocket. In reality, you turn your right side to the front and under cover of your coat put the deck in your upper right vest pocket. Press it home with your thumb and insert your fingers in the inside coat breast pocket, pressing slightly outwards so that the bulge in the cloth outside is seen by the spectators, convincing them that the pack is really put in that pocket. Draw out the arranged cards one by one, impressing on your subject that he must think intently of his thought card. Hesitate whenever you produce a card similar to his, one with the same number of spots but of a different suit, and so on, and finally bring out the card itself, or really its duplicate. Let the spectator name his card and then turn over the card you hold. In placing the cards down as you take them from your pocket lay them face up, one on the other, so that the pack remains in perfect order for any further demonstration. It will be noted that this trick provides for another switch by means of which you get possession of a new set-up deck while doing a trick.
Locating a Page and Word by Cards For this trick the best set up is the "Eight-Kings" formula, but you omit the court cards. The spot cards will run thus:-8, 3, 10, 2, 7, 9, 5, 4, 1, 6- repeated four times. Mix the suits freely and place the court cards at the bottom of the deck. If the spot cards are cut for the choice of three cards there are only ten combinations possible as follows: 8-3-10 - 3-10-2 - 10-2-7 - 2-7-9 - 7-9-5 - 9-5-4 - 5-4-1 - 4-1-6 - 1-6-8 - 6-8-3. Take the total of each group of figures to represent a page and the highest of the three figures to denote a word and make up a list of ten pages and words from a book or a magazine. Write each word and page opposite its group of figures on a small card and put this in your pocket. To present the trick you take the deck, set up as above, from its case, divide it at the bottom spot card and riffle shuffle, running the court cards in amongst the spot cards. Then saying that you are about to have some numbers chosen by pure chance, you run through the pack and discard the court cards, putting them aside. Cut the spot cards several times. Then have a spectator cut the pile and take the next three cards. You sight the bottom card of the packet cut off the one just over the three selected and at once you know what the three cards chosen are. Tell the subject to add the spots of the three cards and to note the number of spots on the highest card, then taking the first to represent a page and the second a word on that page, hand him the book so
that he can look up both and impress them on his mind. While he does this, you have all the time you need to palm your list and note the page and word opposite the combination that has happened to be cut. Then, with much effort, you announce the word and the page in the usual fashion.
Clairvoyant Reading of Several Cards Having successfully switched the deck for the one set up, you make a false shuffle and have it cut several times by spectators. Invite some one to divide it into as many heaps as he wishes by lifting off a packet and putting it to the right, an other packet to the right of that, and so on. One packet is then chosen by the spectator and is covered with his handkerchief. Lift this packet and while wrapping the fabric round it rather tightly you are enabled to read the denomination of the bottom card. Put the parcel in the spectator's pocket. As you gather up the other piles glance secretly at the bottom card of that which was to the right of the one chosen. The card following this in your formula will be the top card of the chosen packet. You already know the bottom card so that you are now in a position to name all the cards in the packet and tell how many cards it contains. A better procedure is to have yourself blindfolded. Request the subject to take the parcel from his pocket, take out the cards and look at the top card, concentrating his thought on it. You "read" the card in the usual fashion. Let him turn the packet over and mentally transmit the bottom card to you. He "succeeds" is doing this, and you now tell the name of the card. Next, ask him to count down to the fifth, or any other number and you read that one too. Finally ask him to count the cards in his packet and send you the number mentally. Of course you get it and you congratulate him on his great powers of concentration.
A Startling Experiment In this trick, there is no need to introduce the arranged pack by making a switch. Simply take the pack from its case, false shuffle and cut several times, hand the deck to a spectator, asking him to cut. Then say casually, "Give the cards a shuffle," indicating with your hands the motions of an overhand shuffle. As soon as he has made a few moves of an overhand shuffle, say, "That's fine. Now put the cards on my left hand and cut anywhere you please." He does this and removes the top card of the packet remaining in your hand. Take the cut portion from him and complete the cut. Give him the deck, tilting the rear end upwards a little as you do so and so getting a glimpse of the bottom card. The card he has taken is the one following this in your formula. The spectator pushes his card into the deck anywhere he wishes, squares the pack and hands it back to you. After the usual by-play, you read his thoughts and name the card. The trick depends on the fact that you allowed the subject to make a partial shuffle only, by which the greater number of the cards would still be left in
their set-up order, so that the odds are greatly in your favor. If, by mischance, the trick fails, lay the blame on your subject, accusing him of not having set his mind on the card and try again with practical certainty of success. The principle has just been "discovered" by some of the alleged master minds of mystery, but it is probably as old as the pre-arranged deck itself. RobertHoudin, who flourished just about a century ago, enlarges upon it in one of his books and further says that gamblers, even in those days, made great use of arranged packs, thus increasing the odds in their favor, since after very thorough shuffling some of the cards will remain in sequence.
Novel Card Reading After having executed several false shuffles and cuts, place the pack behind your back. Push the cards off slowly and allow a spectator to take any one that he pleases. As soon as he removes a card, slip the tip of your left little finger on top of the next card as you turn to face him. Keeping the pack behind your back, cut the pack at the break and palm the top card in your right hand. That card will be the one following the card chosen. Instruct the spectator to note what his card is, then to place it against his forehead and fix his mind steadily on it. As you say this, bring your right hand forward with a natural and appropriate gesture towards his head and thus bring the palmed card directly into your line of sight. Note what card it is, drop your hand behind your back and replace the palmed card on the pack. Proceed with your pretense of reading your subject's mind by naming his card with as much dramatic by-play as you can command.
CHAPTER V: Various Presentations of the One Way Deck Principle In certain popular brands of playing cards, there are irregularities in the patterns of the back at each end of the cards. In some instances the margins are narrower at one end of pack. If such a pack is arranged with the exactly similar ends all pointing one way, then if a card is turned end for end and the deck mixed, that card can be picked out with ease and certainty, merely by a scrutiny of the backs. Even when the difference in the markings is minute, so minute as to be invisible to the uninitiated, any one knowing what to look for has no difficulty in finding a reversed card by glancing at the backs. This principle is the basis of some of the best effects of the so-called mental feats. Perhaps the most useful pack for this purpose is the brand known as League Bicycle Cards No. 808. In the center of the back pattern there is a circle and in the circle a winged design made up of three wings. When the cards are held in one way the center wing will face to the right hand side, but when a card is reversed the center wing faces to the left. The marking is so bold that it can be detected at a distance of fifteen to twenty feet if you know of it and look for it, but the difference will never be noticed by the
uninitiated. Take a pack of this brand and set the cards with the pointers all one way. Let a spectator shuffle them, then offer the pack for a free choice. Reverse the pack and have him push the card in at any point and shuffle again. Under the pretense of showing him that his card is still in the pack, hold the cards upright before his eyes and run them over, faces towards him, and count them to yourself as you do so. When you come to the reversed card, bend the lower left corner up and read the index, making a mental note of it and the number at which the card stands. Continue to run the cards to the last one. Ask him if he has seen his card and he assents. Lay the pack down and have him blindfold you. He then deals the cards face down and when he reaches the number you noted you call, "STOP! That card is yours!" He turns over the card and it proves to be his card. One of the best ways of applying this principle is this. Having set the cards all one way, you hand the pack to a spectator to shuffle. Instruct him then to fan the cards with their faces toward himself, take out one card and lay it face down on the table. He is then to shuffle the pack again, replace his card and again shuffle. Let him then hold the pack upright in his left hand, faces towards himself, and take them off, one by one, with his right hand, removing each one to a distance of about six inches. When he arrives at his card, you tell him he is to merely think, "STOP! This is my card!" You impress on him that he must be careful to make no outward indication of the identity of the card. By the aid of your greatly developed "mental powers", you stop him when you see he has taken the reversed card. The strong point of the feat is the fact that from first to last you do not touch the card. A similar feat can be done with two people and again you do not touch the cards. With the cards all set the one way, let one person offer the deck to a second spectator, who draws a card. The first turns his back and the second replaces the card in the deck. In the action, the deck is automatically reversed, so that you can get the chosen card at your pleasure and reveal it in any way you please. Here is another subtle way of utilizing this principle. The pointers being set all the one way, have the pack shuffled by a spectator. Take it back and, by way of illustrating what you want him to do, deal out a row of four cards face down, then a second four on top of these so that you have four piles of two cards each. Spread the rest of the cards fanwise in your left hand from left to right to show how well mixed they are and close the fan by placing your right hand on the left side of the fan and pushing the cards all the way around to the right, thus reversing the cards. Take the deck thus in your right hand. Push two of the piles on the table together with your left hand and drop the pack on them. With your right hand pick up the other two packets and place them on top. You will thus have four cards on the top and four cards on the bottom with the pointers reversed. Hand the pack to the spectator to deal four piles as directed and it follows that there will be a reversed card at the top and bottom of each heap. You turn your back and tell him to take a card from the middle of any heap, place it on the top of any other heap, reassemble the heaps in any order he pleases and shuffle the deck.
His card will then be the only card that is between two reversed cards. You can sight it by spreading the cards in a wide fan upright, faces to the spectator, showing him that the card is still in the deck, and turn back the lower left corner to read the index. Or you may run the card to the bottom in shuffling and get a glimpse of it in laying the pack on the table. Then read the spectator's thoughts by naming the card in the usual way. There are many ways in which this principle can be utilized and the foregoing should be looked upon merely as a basis on which to work out your own combinations.
CHAPTER VI: Tricks with Assistant as the Medium FIRST METHOD The usual method of presentation is to have the medium blindfolded and seated, with back to the audience, as far away from the performer as the room will permit. Cards are selected by the spectators and the medium names them correctly. There are several ways by which the trick can be done. One of the simplest and most effective is for the medium to have memorized six or eight cards as in the 8-King3-10 arrangement. These cards in the order as memorized, the performer has in his pocket. At a favorable opportunity, they are added to the pack and forced on various members of the audience. The medium then calls the cards in the usual piecemeal fashion. A more subtle procedure is this. You false shuffle a prearranged deck and you have it cut by several spectators. Then have a card freely selected by one of the audience. As the card is taken, separate the cards a little at that point, a packet in each hand. In putting them together again slide the top card of the lower packet to the top of the upper. Repeat this operation four times with the final result that on the top of the packet you have five cards to cue the medium as to the identity of the cards drawn. You turn your back, asking those who selected cards to hold them up for all to see them, and you slip the five top cards into your pocket. Then let each person replace his card and shuffle the deck. While this is being done you introduce the medium who is blind-folded and seated with back to audience. You have ample cover to quietly slip the five cards to the medium, who then proceeds to name the selected cards. To do this in their proper order the medium holds the five cards face up and names the cards preceding them in the prearrangement. The blindfold causes no trouble since the cards can easily be seen by looking down the nose.
SECOND METHOD In your right trousers pocket, place a two or a four of any suit from the pack to be used and also a stub of a soft pencil or a pencil thumb tip obtainable at all magical supply houses. These cards are the best for the trick on account of the large
proportion of surface not covered by the spots. You have the pack thoroughly shuffled and allow three or four persons to select cards while the pack is in their own hands. You see what these cards are and remember them. Take the pack, get a glimpse of the bottom card and force it on some other person, and you tell him to put the card in his pocket without looking at it. The other cards chosen are now returned to the pack by the spectators themselves and they each shuffle the deck. While this is being done, write the names of the cards, in short form, on the card in your pocket thus, J S, A H, 10C, and so on, writing the forced card last of all. The card in the pocket should, of course, face outwards. As soon as you have done this, turn the card over in your pocket and palm it. Take the deck back and add the palmed card to it on top. The medium may be seated as far away as possible, with his back to the audience, or in an adjoining room. The pack is taken to him by one of the audience and all he has to do is to read the names on the top card and pick the cards out one by one, naming them as he does so in the usual way. For the last card, the forced card, you have the spectator take it from his pocket, look at it without allowing anyone else to see it, and then hold it face down. The medium names it correctly. The pack is returned to the audience and, since the medium has pocketed the message card, there is no clue left to the mystery.
CHAPTER VII: Codes for Mind Reading with Cards Talking Codes First Method For this code, it is necessary first to memorize the letter-number system as set out below. This is a very easy matter since the letters chosen can easily be associated with the numerals they represent, thus 1 has one stroke, n two, m three, r is the last letter of the word four, and so on. The value of the card to be transmitted is indicated by the first letter of the first word in the phrase spoken. This is so worded that you may address it to the spectator. Thus your do not appear to communicate with the medium at all. The presentation is this. Introduce the medium and blindfold her (have a lady assistant if possible). Let the spectators shuffle the cards, then taking the pack, spread the cards face up before a spectator and ask that a card be merely touched. Suppose, for instance, that it is the five of clubs. You say to the person, "Put your finger on the card and fix your mind on that card only." Again to signal the jack of spades, you would say to the spectator, "Allow me, finger on the card, please." For the king of diamonds simply say nothing at all.
"Let your mind concentrate."
"May I ask you to concentrate?"
"Are you ready to concentrate?"
"Fix your mind on the card."
"Tell the medium to name your card."
Ch - J
"See if you can concentrate."
"Please, let your mind concentrate."
"Put your finger on the card."
"Place your finger on the card."
"Finger on the card."
Second Method This is an improvement on the foregoing method in as much as a good part of the signaling is done simply by silence on the part of the transmitter. The code words
are addressed to the spectator but to shorten the signals required, the cards are divided into groups of three as follows: Values
Ace, Two, Three
No code word
Four, Five, Six
Seven, Eight, Nine
"Thank you, sir (or madam)."
Ten, Jack, Queen
"Thank you very much."
For example, suppose the spectator picked up a five, the words, "THANK YOU," conveys to the medium that a card of the second group has been taken, that is, a four, five or six. Again, "THANK YOU VERY MUCH," would signal a card of the fourth group, a ten, Jack or Queen. To signal which card of a group has been taken, the following signal phrases are used: First: "Concentrate on it." Second: "Concentrate on the card." Third: "Concentrate on your card." Example:-Suppose the card to be a SIX. This would be transmitted as follows: "THANK YOU. CONCENTRATE ON YOUR CARD."
SUITS: Clubs: No code word Hearts: Insert the word PLEASE Spades: Use the word PLEASE at the end of the last sentence. Diamonds: Prefix the word NOW For instance the FIVE of CLUBS signal would be, "THANK YOU. CONCENTRATE ON THE CARD." So the expression, "THANK YOU. PLEASE CONCENTRATE ON IT," would convey the FOUR of HEARTS.
The expression, "THANK YOU VERY MUCH. CONCENTRATE ON YOUR CARD PLEASE," would indicate the QUEEN of SPADES. For instance, "THANK YOU SIR. NOW CONCENTRATE ON THE CARD," tells the medium that the card is the EIGHT of DIAMONDS.
For the KINGS use these sentences: KC: "Ask the medium to name your card." KH: "Please, ask the medium to name your card." KS: "Ask the medium to name your card, please." KD: "Now ask the medium to name your card." It should be clearly understood that for the group of the first three values, ace, two and three, only the position and suit signals are required, thus-Ace of Clubs, "CONCENTRATE ON IT." Two of Hearts, "PLEASE CONCENTRATE ON THE CARD." Three of Diamonds, "NOW, CONCENTRATE ON YOUR CARD." These codes are simple and easily learned, but they must be well rehearsed, so that the necessary sentences come readily from the transmitter's tongue, as if spoken casually to the spectator. The medium, on the other hand will naturally give out the names hesitatingly and with effort, as if the information were coming to her by degrees.
Silent Codes Method One An easy and effective code is one in which the signals are given by the direction in which you glance. The basis of this is the old principle that, with the numbers 1, 2, 4, 8, any number up to 13 can be made up. The application of the principle to the signaling of cards is as follows: For the suits Glance to the left signals-Clubs. Glance over medium's head signals-Hearts. Glance to the right signals-Spades. Glance downward signals-Diamonds. For the values of cards, hold the pack spread in a wide fan. Glance at the left end signals - 1.
Glance at the center signals - 2. Glance at the right end signals - 4. Glance at the spectator signals - 8. For instance, you present the cards to a spectator, fanned out widely and faces upwards. He takes one, say, the five of hearts, and you turn towards your medium, keeping the cards fanned with their backs towards him. You glance at the right end of the fan, then to the left end signaling "five", then gaze directly over the medium's head, signaling "Hearts".
Method Two The elements of this second method are even simpler than those of the preceding method. The signals are sent by the manner in which the cards are shuffled. Thus the code for the suits is Clubs-one riffle shuffle. Hearts-two riffle shuffles. Spades-three riffle shuffles. Diamonds-no riffle shuffle. To signal the values of the cards-Shuffle by the overhand method, run, that is, pull off with the left hand, single cards, to the value to be signaled, then finish the shuffle in the ordinary way. Medium takes note of the first overhand shuffle only. Example:-to signal the eight of spades, run eight cards sharply and shuffle off. Riffle three times. The chosen cards must be sighted. The easiest way to do this is to spread the cards upright before the spectator and have him choose a card by simply touching its face. You turn up the lower left corner of the card and read the index. The action is completely under cover. Or you may spring the cards from your right hand into your left. When a spectator calls, "Stop!" raise the right hand showing him the face of the next card. Keep the packet bent a little and you can read the lower left index with a quick glance. A very good finish to this method of presentation is to have half-a-dozen cards set up in an order known to the medium and yourself in your pocket. Have the deck again shuffled by a spectator and palm the set-up packet. Receive the deck on the palm of your left hand, have it cut by the spectator and, in picking up the lower portion, add the palmed packet. Hand these cards out to various members of the audience and the medium rapidly calls out their names.
Silent Code for Confederate The use of confederates or "plants" by a professional magician is a subterfuge he considers beneath contempt. However, for the amateur entertaining his friends, such "jokes" are permissible. A very good code is the following, made by finger
signals. To use it, you have a friend sitting in the front row in your back parlor theater who has been rehearsed in the signals and who keeps his hands on his knees or in plain sight. Let a spectator shuffle the deck thoroughly and return it to you. Holding it behind your back, allow a spectator to choose any card he pleases. He holds it up for everyone to see, then pushes it back and shuffles the cards. Your confederate who has seen the card then signals suit and value to you in the following manner:Suits by left handFirst finger extended-signals clubs. Two fingers extended-signals hearts. Three fingers extended-signals spades. Four fingers extended-signals diamonds. Values by right hand- Divide the cards into three sets, A, 2, 3, 4-5, 6, 7, 8-9, 10, J, Q. First finger extended-signals first card of set (i.e.: A, 5 or 9). Two fingers extended-signals second card of set (i.e.: 2, 6, or 10). Three fingers extended-signals third card of set (i.e.: 3, 7, or J). Four fingers extended-signals fourth card of set (i.e.: 4, 8. or Q). The thumb signals the set thusBent under the fingers-signals first set. Pressed against the fingers-signals second set. Spread apart-signals third set. Right hand fisted-signals a king. Example -ten of hearts: Left hand-two fingers extended. Right hand-two fingers extended, thumb spread apart. The code is so simple that you could impart it to an obliging friend with ten minutes training and proceed at once to "fool", using the word in its proper significance, the rest of the gathering.
CHAPTER VIII: Forcing Decks Some performers pretend to look down upon the use of forcing decks, yet the very same artists will use a shell when manipulating billiard balls without compunction. This seems to be rather foolish. Any method is legitimate, except confederacy. The use of a forcing deck will some times greatly strengthen the effect but you should have arranged in advance a method for changing the deck for an ordinary one at the conclusion of the trick. Boldly done, the following trick will illustrate the effect that may be obtained by the use of a forcing deck.
You need a forcing deck which has one indifferent card at the top and another indifferent card at the bottom. This is in its case, lying on the table. In your inside coat pocket have a deck with the same back pattern, its top card being the same as the cards making up the forcing deck. To present the trick, take the forcing deck from its case and riffle shuffle it several times without disturbing the top and bottom cards and handle the shuffles so that the faces of the cards are not exposed to the audience. Square the cards carefully and ask any spectator to come forward, cut the deck at any point, look at the bottom card of the cut portion and impress that card on his mind, replace the cut and square the deck carefully. You illustrate this by cutting the cards several times, carefully holding the cut-away from the spectators, and calling the name of a different card each time. Square the deck and turn away. The spectator cuts the cards, notes the bottom one, replaces the cut and he also squares the deck. You turn and pick up the deck. Explain to your subject that he must make a mental picture of his card and keep his mind on it. For instance, you say, as you turn the bottom card of the deck towards him, "Had your card been the . . (name bottom card) you would imagine you see a large picture of it on the wall there. Or if you had chanced to pick out the - (show top card) you would do the same with it. The more clearly you visualize the card you have in mind, the more likely will be my success. My part is purely passive." The naming of different cards as you cut, and the actual showing of the top and bottom card, will tend to eliminate the idea of forcing cards even with those who may know of the principle. Riffle shuffle the deck and place it in your inside breast coat pocket, really putting it in your upper vest pocket, as has been explained previously. Pretending great mental effort, you draw out the top card and lay it face down on the table. Take out the ordinary deck and hand it to the spectator, asking him to go through it and certify that his card is no longer there. He finds that that is so. You ask him to call its name. You turn the card on the table and so give proof positive that you have "read his mind."
CHAPTER IX: The Marked Card Principle A method of marking a card with the finger nail or a pin has already been explained. An elaboration of this principle is to have the back of each card marked so that its suit and value can be read as easily as if the card were face up. There are several different makes of such cards, the patterns on the backs of which designate the names by slight variations in the positions or coloring of certain dots or lines. A wonderful example of the ingenuity employed in designing such tell-tale back patterns is the pack known as DeLand's Dollar Deck. When these cards are set up in the Si Stebbins order, the back pattern not only signals the name of the card itself, but also the relative positions of every other card. Thus, by reading the top card, you are enabled to tell exactly at what number any other card lies, or, a number being called, you can name the card at that number. With this pack, a key card with a dial and pointer system is furnished, and with this in the medium's possession, and the top card of the deck having been signaled to him, he can at
once name the card at any number in the deck, tell at what number any card called for lies, the number of cards cut by a spectator, and other seemingly impossible feats. Used thus, with a code system to signal the top card to the medium, a baffling series of mind reading and second sight effects can be performed with a minimum of effort. Marked cards or "readers" as they are termed, are useful in the presentation of a mind reading act with a second person playing the part of a medium. Instead of having cards chosen with the pack face up, you can read the name of the card drawn by the mark on the back. Thus, to the audience, the only possible means of communication with the medium is by the transmission of thought from the spectator himself. The effect is greatly strengthened thereby. The following trick with a reader deck is given as an example. Other experiments can readily be arranged. For instance reading the top cards of three heaps becomes a very simple matter. A card can be read as the spectator draws it from the pack and it can be easily found without looking at the faces, no matter how much the deck is shuffled. Any person with keen eyesight can perform apparent miracles with these cards. Robert-Houdin tells of a French magician, Lacaze, who could distinguish at a distance of several paces a mark so minute as to be invisible to ordinary vision at close range.
A Card Prediction. You hand the deck to a spectator to be shuffled and then placed on the table. Read the top card by the marks, then write its name on one side of a visiting card. Place this visiting card on the table, written side downwards. Ask the spectator to name any number and deal that number of cards on the table, face down, then to place the rest of the cards in a separate heap alongside. Now place the visiting card, face down, on top of the balance of the deck. Instruct the spectator to place the cards he dealt on top of your visiting card, and place his hands on the pack. Put your hands on top of his and hold the position for a few moments, expatiating meanwhile on the currents of influence, and so on. Finally, withdraw the visiting card from the deck and ask the spectator to now deal cards to the number he chose, and place the card at that number, face down on the table. Then hand him the visiting card. He reads the name on it aloud, turns over the card just dealt and your prediction is found to be correct.
CHAPTER X: The Impression or Carbon System The use of carbon paper to get a secret impression of writing done by a spectator has been developed in several ingenious ways. A full explanation of two methods follows. From these you may evolve one of your own methods. Perhaps the best of all is by the preparation of one of the cards of the deck in use, as follows:
Method One THE EFFECT-A spectator merely thinks of a card, then secretly writes its name on a slip of paper which he retains. The mind reader names the card correctly without asking any questions. THE METHOD-A prepared card is used. To make it, split apart, by soaking, a card with the same back pattern, as the pack to be used. Dry the back part between two sheets of blotting paper under pressure. When this is dry and perfectly flat, attach a piece of carbon paper of slightly smaller size, on the plain side by gumming it around the edges, the carbon side outwards. From another pack take a court card and, with a razor blade, cut along the line that encloses the picture around two ends and one side, leaving the line on one side intact. The result will be that the flap so cut can be opened out as on a hinge. On top of this card glue the prepared back, applying the glue to the outside margin only, so that the flap remains free to be opened out when required. Cut a small piece of thin white paper to fit between the flap and the carbon paper and attach it with a tiny dot of gum at the corners, using just enough to hold it in position. The reason for this is that the paper must be renewed for each performance and therefore must be easily detached. Now it follows that if writing is done on a slip of paper placed on the back of such a prepared card, duplicate writing will appear on the white paper under the carbon sheet. To present the trick have the prepared card on the top of the deck. Fan the cards before the eyes of a spectator, asking him to merely think of any card, not to name it or even tell anyone else what card he has in mind. As an after thought and merely as a proof to the rest of the audience, ask him to write the name of the card and hand him a slip of paper and a HARD pencil. Place the pack under the paper to facilitate the act of writing. Turn away as he writes to avoid any suspicion that you get a glimpse of the name. Tell the spectator to fold the slip and put it in his pocket. Take back the pack. You go over what has been done. Spread the pack, faces to the audience, holding the cards upright, to show how they were offered for a selection, and slip the top prepared card a little to the left and downward behind the others. Open the flap with the tip of your right thumb and bend it backward so that you can read the impression on the white slip, the work of a moment only. Close the fan of cards and hold the pack in your right hand, taking the pencil with your left. Then put the pack in your left hand, palming the prepared card and taking the pencil at the same time. Put the pencil in your pocket and leave the card there too. It only remains for you to reveal your knowledge of the card as dramatically as you can. With a little care, it is quite possible to have the names of two cards written in this manner without the one interfering with the other. In a similar manner, a playing card case can he prepared with carbon paper. If this
is used, the spectator would write the name of his thought card before the deck is taken from the case and the case would be placed under his slip of paper to act as a support while the writing is done. The name of the card would then be read under cover of removing the pack from the case, which would then be carelessly tossed aside.
Method Two THE EFFECT-A spectator is asked to think of any card, also any number between one and twenty-five, and then to write both on a slip of paper. A new deck is opened, shuffled and handed to the spectator. He finds his mentally selected card at the number he thought of. THE METHOD-Two small writing pads, such as those obtainable at five and ten cent stores for five cents, a hard pencil and a new deck of cards, are required. One of the pads is prepared by having a piece of carbon paper gummed by its edges only, to the lower side of the third page, the carbon side downwards. This pad is laid on the table with the deck and the pencil, the second pad is in the left outside coat pocket. Introduce the experiment as an attempt at thought projection and have the audience select someone to act as the medium. This done, ask the subject to think first of any card in the deck, then to choose mentally any number between one and twenty five. As an aid to concentration, tell him to write both items on the pad which you take from the table along with the hard pencil. Impress on him that he must write slowly, concentrating on each letter and figure, in order to make the impression on his mind clear and precise, (also the impression in the pad distinct). Don't say anything to him about writing plainly, as is usually done in similar tricks. Such a request at once suggests that the writing will be actually seen by you, thus arousing some suspicion in the spectator's mind. Turn away while the writing is being done. When ready tell the spectator to tear off the sheet, fold it and hand it to a third person to hold. Take the pad back with your left hand, the pencil with your right. Drop your left hand to your side and slip the point of your thumb under the first two pages of the pad. Turn to the table to get the deck and read the carbon impression of the card and number, which are brought into plain view by merely raising your left thumb. Put the pad down and take up the deck. Pass this to a second spectator to open, remove the cards and shuffle them. Under a pretense of verifying the number of cards in the deck, take the pack and apparently count the cards. Really you run them off as if counting them, but not doing so until you reach the card mentally selected by the spectator. Counting this card as one, continue to run the others singly until you reach the number that was thought of, slip the tip of the right little finger between this card and the rest of the deck in your left hand, and continue to run the cards up to the last as if counting them. "Fifty-three", you say. "That is correct," and make the pass as you turn the cards over, which action makes a perfect cover for the sleight. If you prefer not to use the pass, then simply cut the cards casually at the break held by the little finger-tip. Hand the pack to the spectator telling him to concentrate on the card and the
number, while holding the pack tightly between his hands. Review orally what has been done. Take up the pad as you speak about the name of the card and the number having been written and retain the pad in your left hand. In the usual way you read the spectator's mind, announcing the name of the card and the number and these are verified by the second spectator unfolding the slip and reading the writing. Finally you instruct the spectator holding the pack to "will" his card to pass to the same number in the pack from the top, that he chose mentally. He deals to his number and turns the card. It is the very card he mentally selected. While this is being done you have ample opportunity to change the pad in your left hand for the unprepared pad in your coat pocket. To do this deftly, hold the prepared pad between your thumb and first finger, put it in the pocket and grip the other pad between the second and third fingers. Release the thumb grip and withdraw your hand. Smoothly done at a favorable moment and with your left side away from the audience, the switch is imperceptible.
CHAPTER XI: The Mirror Principle The use of a tiny mirror or reflector for secretly reading the faces of the cards has been developed in many ways, both for magic and for gambling purposes. Perhaps the best application of this principle to mind reading effects is the following: A small mirror of very thin glass, or better, a thin metal plate nickeled and highly polished, is fixed to the back of a playing card. Place this in your right hand trousers pocket, the back of the card inwards. Let a spectator thoroughly shuffle the pack, retain one card and hand the rest of the cards back to you. In the meantime you have palmed the mirrored card and you add it to the top of the deck. mirrored side uppermost. Instruct the spectator to hold his card upright before his eyes, using both hands to shield it from any possible glimpse you might get of its face, and gaze steadily at it, concentrating his thoughts upon it. Take a slip of paper, place it on the deck covering the reflector and, pencil in hand, you pretend to try to get an impression of the card. You say, after a moment or two without result, "For some unknown reason I find that very often I get better results if my subject closes one eye." Take a step or two nearer to him. "Continue to hold your card so that I cannot see what it is. Now will you kindly close one eye and continue to look at the card with the other?" The subject closes one eye. No, Sir, not that eye, this one." As you say this remove the paper from the top of the deck with your right hand and thrust the deck in your left hand in front of the spectator's open eye, whichever it may be, at such an angle that you catch the reflection of the card in the mirror. The action should be a casual one, as if an indicatory gesture only, the hand is at once withdrawn and the slip placed on the mirror again. You continue, "Yes, that's correct. Now concentrate on the card. Try to make a mental picture of it. That's fine. It's coming over well," and so on. Pretend to get the spots one by one, drawing them on the paper in their proper positions or, if you prefer it, writing the
name of the card, letter by letter. Fold the slip and hand it to another spectator. Then have the card held up for all to see. Your slip is opened and the drawing or writing is shown to be correct. In the meantime you have either slipped a card from the bottom to the top of the deck, or better, have let the mirror card slip into your left coat pocket. It should be noted that, for safety's sake, the subject should be seated well in advance of the rest of the audience so that there will be no danger of a spectator on either side of him getting a glimpse of the mirror when you hold the pack over the subject's eye.
CHAPTER XII: A Prediction You have any deck thoroughly shuffled. Take it back and run over the faces, counting the first nineteen cards and making a mental note of the card lying at that number. Suppose it is the queen of hearts. Take out any other queen from below the nineteen cards and any other heart. Lay these aside, face down, without letting anyone see what they are, saying that you will use them as a prediction, the first card to denote value and the second, suit. Let anyone draw three spot cards openly, these also from the cards below the nineteen. Lay them out in a row with the highest card to the left. suppose the cards are 9, 6. 1. Request a spectator to write these figures and underneath them the same figures reversed 1, 6, 9, and sub tract the one from the other. He gets a result of 792, and is then told to add these three figures together, and announces a total of 18. You hand the pack to him and instruct him to deal off eighteen cards and turn up the next card. He does so and shows the queen of hearts. You turn your prediction cards, a queen and a heart. Any three figures treated in the same way as above will add to eighteen.
CHAPTER XIII: The Telepathic Bridge Game This presentation makes one of the very best of all so-called mind reading feats. Four bridge players merely think of a card in their hands and you divine the cards infallibly. Any pack may be used and it may be shuffled to any extent before the trick is begun. Take the shuffled pack and tell the audience how dangerous it would be to play bridge with a mind reader. Hand to spectator A, four cards from the top of the deck, requesting him to imagine that nine tricks have been played in a bridge game and that, having four cards left in his hand, he is to fix in his mind which one of those four cards he will play. As soon as he has decided on a card, take the four cards from him and put them on the bottom of the deck. Do this casually as you go to a second person, B, and as if they were simply pushed into the middle of the pack.
Hand four cards from the top to B, with the same request; he is merely to think of a card to play. Take back his packet and put it on the bottom so that his four cards will lie under the first hand of four. Follow exactly the same procedure with two other spectators, C and D. Thus you will have the sixteen cards, four sets of four, from each of which a card has been mentally selected, in order on the bottom of the pack. You can now shuffle the upper half of the pack as freely as you like but you must not disturb the sixteen cards at the bottom, they must always be thrown back on the bottom as the concluding move in your overhand shuffle. Proceed next to deal out four hands of thirteen cards as in playing bridge, face down. It will be obvious that A's card must be the fourth card of whatever hand it is now part, since the four cards from which he made a mental choice have been distributed one card to each of the hands now dealt. B's card must be the third card in one or other of the hands, C's the second and D's the first card in their respective hands. Spread the first hand with the faces of the cards outwards to the spectators A, B, C and D, asking them, in turn, whether they see their cards. Whenever you get an affirmative response, turn up the lower left corner of the person's card and make a mental note of it. Follow the same procedure with the other hands. It is possible a hand may have none of the selected cards, while another may have two or more. The principle remains the same. Having thus subtly obtained the names of all four of the mentally selected cards, announce them as dramatically as you can. If you are a bridge player, pretend to follow the player's supposed reasoning in choosing his card. The trick is often done with five sets of five cards, but the bridge playing presentation is by far the most plausible and effective.