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Issue No. 1

John Scarne

Power Play

This is a version of a classic match-

ing effect with cards. The trick is
something of a curiosity in that the
magician doesn't know how the
trick is done until the spectator tells
him how it's done.Two royal flushes
are removed from the deck. The
magician arranges one poker hand
in a certain order. The spectator ar-
ranges the other in a random order.
As the cards in the two hands are
turned up, it is seen that they match
card for card all the way through.

Tricks of this kind are usually pat-

terned after Hen Fetch's "Symbo-
logic," and almost always make use
of an extra card and the one-ahead
(or one-behind) principle. The fol-

lowing trick does not use extra cards

or the one-ahead principle.

Here, the only cards in play are the

two poker hands. There are no extra
cards, no one-ahead, and no gim-

micks or preparation. All cards are

in view at all times.
Use any deck. Explain to the specta-
tor that you want to use two royal
flushes of the same color. Ask him to
name either red or black. Say he
chooses black. Remove the royal flush
in spades. Don't concern yourself
with the order of the cards in the roy-
al flush. Just remove the five cards as
you get to them and drop them into a
face-down heap on the table.
Then remove the other same-color
royal flush, in this example clubs.
Drop them into a face-up heap on the
table but here you must remember
the order of the cards. Just remember
the values as you drop them to the
table. Say the order is A J-10-Q K
from back to face. Turn this heap
Remark that good poker players de-
velop the skill of anticipating how the
other fellow is going to act. As you
say this, pick up the royal flush in
spades and arrange these cards in
identically the same order as the club
group, in this case A J-10-Q K from
top to bottom. Square the spade
flush, turn it face-down and drop it
on the table in front of you.
As yet you don't know how the trick
is going to proceed, but the spectator is a-
bout to inform you of the procedure. Pick
up the club flush. Hold it from above with
the left hand in Biddle grip. Explain that you
are going to deal his cards into a row on the
table in a sequence that he dictates.
Ask him if he wants the top or bottom card.
If he says top, deal the top card to the table,
face-up, at your far left. For his second
choice, ask him if he wants the top or bot-
tom card. Say he wants the bottom card.
Openly remove this card and place it face-up
on the table to the right of the first card.
Proceed in like manner with each of the re-
maining three cards. Say the spectator picks
top-bottom-top. Simply remember the se-
quence that the spectator chose for the five
cards, in this case top-bottom-top-bottom-
top. Of course the last is always `top
since it
is a single card.
There are now five club cards in a face-up
row on the table.
Pick up the spade flush. Hold it in left hand
dealing grip. Deal these cards from left to
right under the spectator
s cards, but in do-
ing so, follow the instruction the spectator
ust gave you. In this case, deal a top, then a
bottom, then a top, then a bottom, and then
the last card. Of course, from the audience
view, you are merely dealing the five cards in
order from the top of the packet. Deal your
cards from left to right directly under the
s cards.
There are now two rows of cards on the
table, a row of face-up clubs and a row of
face-down spades.
Point to the leftmost face-up card. It is an
ace. Turn up the leftmost card in the mag-
ician's row. It is a matching ace. Repeat this
procedure from left to right, showing a per-
fect match on every card.
s bottom deal for a small packet is de-
scribed in Swindle Sheet #8 (1991). An ultra-
simple bottom deal for a small packet was in-
vented by Neal Elias and will be described in
the next issue of Discoverie.
(This strange little stunt has seen print in a
non-magic book, but is not well-known
among magicians. It is ideal for those occa-
sions when the goal is to put someone in a
temporary trance state for the performance
of an offbeat magical effect.
While in the
trance state, the person
s arms are shorter! )
Tell a person to stand in front of a wall and
stretch out both arms until the fingertips
touch the wall. Say you will now
shorten his
arms. Ask him to put his arms behind his
back for about a minute, then reach out to
touch the wall again. His fingertips are now a
few inches away from the wall. I think it
s a
matter of suggestion. At
the start he stretches
his arms hard. The second time he doesn
stretch so hard. Anyway, it
s a strange effect.
Karl Fulves
This is a Follow The Leader effect which is
easy to perform. The only move is a virtually
automatic double lift early on. Thereafter the
routine is self-working. A novel angle in this
approach is that reds and blacks are in ran-
dom order at the start, but when they follow
the leader cards, they do so in numerical or-
der. This does not necessarily add to the
magical content, but the strict numerical or-
der lends an air of inevitability to the effect
seen by the audience.
With the faces of the cards toward you, re-
move any red ace thru five in mixed suits.
Arrange them in the order 2-A-3-5-4 from
the top down. Place this packet face-down
on the table.
Arrange five blacks in the same 2-A-3-5-4 or-
Turn the black packet face-down and place it
in left hand dealing grip.
Drop the red packet on top of the black pac-
ket but establish a left fourth finger break
under the red packet.
You will now do a variation of a Horowitz
display to show each of the five red cards.
The right hand moves to a position over the
packet in the left hand. The right hand takes
the top card by the ends. turns palm-up to
show the face (deuce), and turns palm-down
again. The right hand moves to a position
over the left-hand packet again. The right
thumb picks up the next card and adds it un-
der the deuce. There are two cards in the
right hand at this point. Turn the right hand
palm-up to show the ace. Then turn the
right hand palm-down again.
The right hand picks up the 3-spot and dis-
plays it. Then the right hand turns palm-
The handling changes at this point. The
right hand picks up both cards above the
break, turns palm-up to show the face of the
4-spot, and turns palm-down again.
The right hand returns to the left-hand pack-
et, drops the four-spot on the packet and im-
mediately turns palm-up to show the five-
The right hand, now holding four cards,
turns palm-down and drops this packet on
the table in front of you.
Flip the left-hand packet face-up. Spread the
four face cards to the right to show five
blacks. Square this packet and drop it face-
down onto the tabled packet of reds. The or-
der of the cards from the to down is red 4 -
five blacks- four reds. From this point the
handling of the trick is automatic.
Deal the top five cards in a heap to the right.
Deal the remaining five cards in a heap to
the left.
Turn up the top card of each packet. Each
of these cards is a five-spot. Place them above
their respective heaps.
Pick up a four-card packet in each hand.
Openly exchange them. Slide out the bottom
card of each packet. Touch them to their re-
spective indicators and turn them face-up.
The card on the left is the red four. Place it
on the red five. The card on the right is the
black four. Place it on the black five.
Exchange the packets. Take the top card of
each. Touch these cards to their respective
indicators and turn them face-up. Place the
red three on the face-up reds, the black three
on the face-up blacks.
Exchange the packets. Take the top card of
each heap. Touch them to their respective
indicators. Shake your head. "These aren
ready to go yet." Place the left-hand card to
the left side, the right-hand card to the right
The face-down heaps have been reduced to a
single card in each. Openly exchange them.
Touch them to the indicator heap and turn
them face-up to reveal the twos.
Pick up the cards placed aside. Exchange
them. Touch them to the indicators and turn
them face-up to reveal the aces.
The starting point for the move described at
the beginning of this routine is the Horowitz
"Put Back Move" in The Pallbearers Review,
pg. 456. At the end of that write-up is a note
on an application to a Follow The Leader
routine, and "Following Orders" is the rou-
tine in question. My application is to a dis-
placement of a single card during a one-at-a-
ti me display, though it should be obvious
that the idea can be expanded into other ar-
Ed Marlo had a switchless switch that ac-
complished a swithout of cards. Ken Beale
had a one-at-a-time display that used a relat-
ed technique to conceal the fact that one
card in a group was double-faced, or that one
card in a group had a stranger back.
The deck is then spread face-down between
the hands. The spectator indicates two more
cards. These are outjogged. When turned
face-up, they may be a one and a nine. He
should be nonplused because he was indeed
born on the 19th of March.
You know the spectator was born on the
19th, so beforehand remove any ace and any
9, and place them on top of the deck. That is
the preparation.
To present the trick, spread the cards face-
up, keeping the top two cards concealed
from view. Ask him to indicate which month
he was born in. Remove a card whose value
corresponds to the month, i.e., any 3-spot if
he was born in the third month of the year.
Square the deck, turn it face-down and
spread the cards between the hands. Have
him indicate two cards. Outjog them for
about a third of their length. Square the deck
side for side and place it in left hand dealing
Now then. Start to remove one of the out-
jogged cards by bringing the right hand ar-
ound to the front of the deck. The back of
the hand is toward the audience and acts as a
screen. The left forefinger pushes the lower
of the two outjogged cards flush with the
deck. At the same time, the right thumb
pulls the top card of the deck straight for-
ward, off the deck, and turns this card face-
up. Drop it to the table.
Only one outjogged card shows, reinforcing
the idea that the first outjogged card was
honestly taken. Repeat the above action to
si mulate the take of the other outjogged
card. Arrange them in proper order and ask
the spectator if this perchance corresponds to
his date of birth.
DB credits the basic idea to Victor Comello.
The above write-up is from notes of 1979.
Darren Bradley
Quick Predict
Somewhere along the way Mr. Bradley must
have won a Nerves of Steel contest because it
takes a certain deep courage to get away with
something like this. You must know the
spectator's date of birth before you start.
Without revealing this knowledge, ask for
the month he was born. He says March.
March is the third month, so a three spot is
removed from the deck and placed face-up
on the table.
Cold Cash
For this little known bet a spectator is
asked to close his eyes and hold his
hands palm up. A coin is balanced on
his right forefinger and another on his
left. He is asked to guess which coin is
heavier. After he makes his guess, he
opens his eyes and discovers that al-
though one coin appears to be decided-
ly heavier, the coins are in fact identi-
cal in weight.
Beforehand, put a quarter on an ice
cube so as to make the coin cold. Have
the spectator close his eyes and extend
his hands. Balance this coin on the
spectator's forefinger, and another
quarter on his other forefinger.
The cold coin appears to be much
-5 -
WaltRolbne &Howazd Wiast
Han Pink Cheat
According to Bobo
s Coin Magic, the Han
Ping Chien move was introduced to the ma-
gic fraternity in 1914 (though it is said that
the move dates back to an earlier era.) The
following trick is a nearly self-working ver-
Needed are two paper cups, six coins and a
ring. It adds to the atmosphere if coins and
ring are exotic in appearance, though neither
coins nor ring are gimmicked.
One of the paper cups is gimmicked. The
bottom has been removed. Nest this cup into
the other cup. Drop the coins inside and
drop the ring on top of all.
Remark that you found a strange ring in an
antique shop. Pour coins and ring onto the
table. Lift out the inner (bottomless) cup and
hold it in the left hand. The left little finger
is curled under the cup. Put the other cup on
the table.
Drop three coins into the ungaffed cup.
Drop the other three coins into the bottom-
less cup. Drop the ring on top of all. The
coins and ring stay put because the little fin-
ger acts as a stop.
"The coins follow the ring." Grasp the un-
gaffed cup with the right hand.
The left hand lifts its cup, Figure 1. The left
hand then dumps its coins onto the table at
the exact, spot occupied by the right-hand
cup. Just as the coins and ring leave the left-
hand cup, the right hand lifts its cup out of
the way, Figure 2.
Place the left hand cup on the table. Drop
the three visible coins back into the left hand
cup. Drop the ring into the right-hand cup.
Pick up the right-hand cup with the right
hand. You are now at the position of Fig. 3.
The right fingers squeeze the cup. This will
keep the three coins in place inside the cup.
Pretend to dump the coins and ring onto the
table at the exact spot occupied by the left-
hand cup. As this is done, the left hand lifts
its cup out of the way, Figure 4.
Place the right-hand cup on the table. Gath-
er the three coins and drop them into the
Slip the ring onto the right forefinger. "The
coins follow the ring. Watch." Wave the fin-
ger over the left-hand cup. Then drop the
ring into the right-hand cup.
Pause for dramatic effect. Then crumple the
left-hand cup. At the same time dump all six
coins and the ring out of the right-hand cup.
This is a gag that can be used to open a close-up performance with a group of
laymen. Needed is a blank card about the size of a business card. If none is
available, one can use a piece of paper. The card is placed before a lady who is
seated at the table. The writing on the top of the card says, "Please turn me
over." She does. The writing on the other side says, "Thank you." It's just silly
enough to guarantee a laugh.
. Karl Fulves
(When The Book of Numbers was in prepara-
tion, several of the tricks were demonstrated
for Harvey Rosenthal. He remarked that the
move associated with "A Theory of Space"
and related material was similar to something
Tom Ellis had worked out. Since the Ellis
move wasn't yet in print, I delayed publica-
tion of this trick. The Ellis move was de-
scribed in "Super Rise
in The Pallbearers Re-
view, pg. 721.)
"The theory of space says that two objects
can't occupy the same space at the same
ti me. If you have had the experience of hav-
ing your mother-in-law move in with you,
I' m sure you will agree that there are excep-
tions to the theory. This is another excep-
You then do the trick where your prediction
card, placed at a precise location in the deck,
turns out to be a card later chosen by the
spectator at that same location.
Use any deck. Take a card from the deck,but
don't show its face. "This is a prediction of
sorts. I'm going to reverse it and place it at a
precise location in the deck." Place the deck
and the prediction card below the level of the
With the cards out of the view of the audi-
ence, turn the prediction card face-up and
insert it just above the bottom card of the
As you square it into the deck, obtain a break
above this card. Thus, you are holding a left
little finger break above the bottom two
cards as the deck is brought into view.
The left thumb riffles to the midpoint of the
deck. Lift this packet off with the right hand
and place it on the table.
Ask for a number from 1 to 10. Say that 5 is
named. Grip the cards from above with the
right hand. The right thumb takes over the
break. The left thumb pulls 4 cards off into
the left palm. The 5th card is flipped face-up
and outjogged, Figure. 1. The right hand
moves to a position over the chosen card.
The right middle finger pushes the chosen
card out a bit more, Fig. 2A. At the same
ti me, release the two cards below the break.
The left hand turns palm-down, a kind of
wrist-turn action below the right-hand pack-
et. The left first finger pulls the chosen card
flush with the packet, Figure 2B. The sup-
posed chosen card is then thumbed off onto
the table, Figure 2C.
This next adds to the deception. Turn bath
hands palm-up as you say, "You chose the
number five and the two of hearts." Turn the
right hand palm-down and drop its packet
face-down onto the left-hand packet.
There is a packet of cards sitting on the table
that you placed there at the beginning of the
trick. Drop this packet onto the supposed
chosen card.
"I too chose a number. My number also hap-
pened to be five." Turn the packet in hand
face-up. Count four cards to the table. The
5th card is seen to be face-down.
"And I too picked a card. I chose my card
before you chose yours, but it turns out that
I too chose the two of hearts." Turn the
face-down card over to reveal the 2H.
Of course the audience suspects there is
another 2H at the bottom of the half-deck
on the table. If they don't grab those cards,
the clean-up will nullify suspicion. Drop
the face-up packet in hand onto the face-
up cards on the table. Then pick up the
other half deck, turn it face-up and drop it
on top of all.
A transposition can be achieved with no
change in handling. Pick a prominent card
like the ace of spades. Show it and remark
that you will place it in a precise location
in the deck.Lower the deck below the level
of the tabletop. Insert the AS face-up above
the bottom card. Bring the deck into view.
Go thru the handling of "A Theory of
Space" just as written. The transposition is
Torn Sellers
TheFinder Pencil
( One of the challenging problems in magic is
to cause mysterious movement of an inani-
mate object. Tom Sellers invented a method
that is impromptu, uses borrowed objects,
and gets the job done in a most convincing
This is designed to pick out a certain card, or
a number, from a row placed on the table.
This pencil makes the discovery in a mysteri-
ous manner.
Required: A pencil and a ring, the ring being
about one inch in diameter.
Method: Lay out the cards in a row on the
table. Now slip the pencil through the ring
in such a manner that the pencil is supported
near one end by leverage. Hold the ring by
the first finger and thumb as shown in the
You can now make the pencil point to a
forced card, or any card named. If you raise
the thumb slightly the pencil will sway to the
right; if you raise the forefinger slightly, the
pencil will swing to the left. With practice
you will be able to make the pencil move to
any point desired with accuracy that seems
uncanny. The slightest movement of the fin-
ger and thumb causes the pencil to sway
backwards and forwards.
(Joseph Schmidt adds that the trick works
perfectly with a round pencil and a wedding
band. The direction of movement can be
changed by gently blowing on the pencil.
Try it with other objects, i.e., three padlocks
and a skeleton key that opens only one lock,
or three pieces of paper and a pen that picks
out the dead-name paper. It takes a minute
to get the knack, but the spooky effect thus
created is well worth the effort. KF)
The Black Sox
Baseball's Black Sox achieved fame through
superior play, and notoriety through the rev-
elation that some games were fixed.
As you provide background on the scandal,
remove 12 reds and 11 blacks from the deck.
The balance of the deck is not used. Don't
call attention to the number of cards taken.
Ask a spectator to shuffle the packet.
Take back the packet. Deal 10 cards off the
top (again, without calling attention to the
exact number). Ask the spectator to sort reds
from blacks. Say there are 6 reds.
The new situation is shown in the second il-
lustration. Pick up heap #3 and count only
the number of red cards. Say this number is
three. "The Red Sox scored three runs.
up heap #4. Count the number of blacks.
"The Black Sox scored four runs, so they
won by one run."
Use a black marker to write on a piece of pa-
per that the Black Sox won the first game by
one run. Make the writing large and clear so
it is easily seen by the audience. This com-
pletes the first round of play between the two
The two heaps are shown in the first illustra-
tion. "The number of cards in each heap in-
dicate the number of hits each team got. In
this case the Red Sox got six hits. The more
hits a team gets, the more chances they have
to score runs."
Deal a heap below heap #1 that contains as
many cards as are in heap #1.In this case, the
new heap will contain six face-down cards.
Put the balance of the cards below heap #2.
The Second Round of Play
Have the 21 cards shuffled by the spectator.
Deal eleven cards to the table without calling
attention to the number of cards dealt.
Follow the format of the first round exactly
as written. All is the same except the out-
come: the second game will have been played
to a draw, both teams scoring the same num-
ber of runs.
The Third Round of Play
Have the 21 cards gathered and shuffled.
This time deal a heap of twelve cards. The
procedure is the same, but the outcome is
different. This time the Red Sox will have
won by one run.
Everything appears to be fair. Each team has
won a game, and one game was played to a
tie. This is about what one would expect in a
situation involving approximately the same
number of reds and blacks- a fifty-fifty split
in the outcome.
"But a piece of paper was found in the pos-
session of a bookie who bet heavily on the
series. That piece of paper is what brought
about the scandal because every game was
fixed." Remove a piece of paper from the
card case. The wording is shown below and
is always the same. (KF)
"Bet the Black Sox +0 win
the first gable. The second
galre is a tie. Red Sox win
9arie num6er three."
NuTriple Basic
(This clever trick appears in Mr. Adams' ex-
cellent series, Mindespa.)
Arrange a packet of mixed suits in the order
6-A-4-7-3-8-5-2. The ace will count as one
in the following trick.
The Lady cuts the packet, completes the cut,
picks packet up and holds it face down. She
turns the top two cards face up as a unit and
leaves them face up on top of the packet.
Since card values will be added, the Lady
programs the word ADD into the packet by
spelling A-D-D aloud, moving a card from
top to bottom of packet as each letter is recit-
ed. The Lady then does the Down Under
Deal to 2 cards which she retains sight un-
Man picks up the `Down
pile, holds it face
down, and does the Down Under Deal to 2
cards which he retains.
A Third Party picks up the `Down' pile,
holds it face down, and does the Down Un-
der Deal to 2 cards, which he retains.
You now pick up the `Down
pile (2 cards),
turn the pair face up and show that they total
9. Each pair of Lady
s, Man
s and Third Par-
s cards will also total to 9.
(In this trick, where the spectator "does the
Down Under Deal to 2 cards," what is
meant is that the spectator eliminates cards
via the down/under deal until just two cards
remain in the hand. KF)
In its ten-issue run, Discoverie will feature
cards, coins, mentalism and close-up magic.
On this go-round I had hoped to make use
of color and graphics in different ways, but
the balance sheet still dictates otherwise: For
a publication that does not take advertising,
the cost is prohibitive.
The larger magazines attract numerous read-
ers who are drawn to non-trick material like
convention coverage, advertisements and
trick reviews. Publications like Discoverie
stand or fail solely on the basis of the quality
of the tricks they are able to deliver. For this
reason, contributions from readers are wel-
come and necessary.

Before there were teaching videotapes in ma-

gic, there were teaching films. Commenting
on the subject in the April 1949 issue of The
Sphinx Wilfrid Jonson wrote, "Instructional
fil ms will, at least, be a boon to those unable
to read.
Watching youngsters seated at a
computer, their eyes fastened to the monitor
screen, one is inclined to ask if what they are
learning is mainly how to play solitaire. It is
the same with instructional videos; whatever
the merits of teaching tapes, they cannot
match the interaction one achieves with per-
sonal instruction.
The two agents on The X-Files charged with
investigating strange doings represent the
dual nature of the investigative process. He
favors supernatural causes, while she looks
for more rational explanations. In a review of
Anne Simon's book on the science behind
The X Files, Jerry Coyne wrote in the 10-10-
99 NY Times,
I worry that the show
s pref-
erence for the supernatural will feed the pub-
lic penchant for the occult at the expense of
science. Simon rejects this notion, claiming
that The X Files attracts students to science.
Well, maybe, but how many budding Uri
Gellers must we endure for each young
Pasteur?" Geller was interviewed on the 10-
19-99 tv show Entertainment Tonight. He
blames his loss of fame on his failure to bend
spoons on the Johnny Carson show 25 years
ago. A new sensation comes along every
twenty years or so. Who will be next?

As we enter the new millennium, it might

be appropriate to point out that some-
thing is happening to Magic, that it is
changing from within, in directions never
anticipated, toward ends as yet undefined.
Karl Fulves
Box 433
Two NJ
Don Nielen
Drop Ceiling
A card is chosen and returned to the deck.
The magician says that he
s been practicing
the famous trick where the deck is thrown
upward and the chosen card ends up on the
ceiling. He still has a way to go, but he will
give it a try. So saying, he performs the wa-
terfall shuffle, except that the palm-up hand
springs the deck upwards in a vertical shower
about a foot in the air. The cards flutter to
the floor without touching the ceiling.
"That's what I mean. I have a ways to go,
an-other few feet as a matter of fact." So say-
ing, he raises his hand and removes the cho-
sen card from the top of his head!
Method: Although a gag, the effect is puz-
zling. What it comes down to is a force of,
say, the ace of spades. There is a duplicate
ace of spades on top of the head from the
start. It is held in place with double-sided
tape or other stickum. The rest is build-up
and presentation.
A friend wanted to do this trick but was hes-
itant about the fact that one of the cards on
the floor was a duplicate of the card produc-
ed from the top of the head. I suggested that
he spring the deck, look ceilingward, shake
his head, then say, "I carry a back-up for sit-
uations like this.
A second deck is taken from the pocket (the
duplicate ace of spades from this deck is the
card on top of the magician's head). Spring
this deck into the air. Still no luck, but all is
not lost. Pluck the ace of spades from the top
of the head.
Examination of the cards scattered about the
floor reveal no clue as to method.
Mich e1 Esposito
You need two pocket dictionaries and two
shuffled decks of number cards. Ask Debbie
to pick three cards from one of the number
decks. Look over the cards, decide that two
of them are not likely choices, and discard
them by putting them into an envelope. Say
to Debbie, "I think your friend is going to
pick this card. Please remember the num-
ber." Say the number is 23. This card also
goes into the envelope.
Lisa looks at the top card of the other shuf-
fled deck and opens a dictionary to that
page. Debbie picks up the other dictionary
and opens it to the randomly chosen page, in
this case page 23.
Lisa reads aloud the first word on her chosen
page. Debbie reads aloud the first word on
hu chosen page. Both words are the same.
Method: Have both number decks shuffled
and placed on the table alongside one anoth-
er. Pick up deck #1 and ask Debbie to chose
three cards. Return the deck to the table.
Take the three cards, pretend to study them,
and put two of them into the envelope. The
third card might bear the number 23. Slide
this card face-down into the envelope. Un-
known to all but you is the fact that the en-
velope is a slit envelope. The chosen card
goes into the envelope and outside the slit,
where it is dropped onto deck #2.
Hand Debbie one of the dictionaries. Have
her open it to the page indicated by her
number card. Ask Lisa to look at the top card
of the second deck and open her dictionary
to that page. Each calls out the first word on
the page. They call out the same word.