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permission from the author.
Copyright 2014
A spectator is able to sense the colors of the cards in a deck that they mix.


For those who are unaware, a deck of playing cards is sometimes referred to as the devils
picture-book or the devils bible. I named this The Devils Coloring Book because the effect is
that you or your spectators are able to sense the colors of cards with devil-like accuracy! Theres
also a surprise ending that will leave them with absolutely no logical explanation for how they
did what they did.

In the book, The Mental Mysteries of Hector Chadwick, a marvelous effect called Reds and
Blacks can be found. Like many menalists, this was my go-to, impromptu color sensing routine.
A spectator mixes the cards, deals them out, and the performer is able to sense the colors the
spectator holds under the table, along with more from the deck. Its exceedingly clever, but there
is a fair amount of quick memory work needed throughout; and after not performing it for a few
weeks, I found that I often needed to re-learn it. I created this effect as a way to do a color
sensing routine with no memorization, and give the spectator the ability to sense the cards,
which I feel is far more powerful.

I love giving the spectator the ability to do something that they cant do. I always felt
uncomfortable pretending to showcase abilities that I didnt actually have. But giving someone
the experience to do something that they dont think their capable of doing is very gratifying;
much more so than trying to convince someone that I can read their mind when I truly cant. And
even though the spectator cant actually sense colors now either, the fact that they believe they
did something so impossible is empowering. Ive been trying more and more to create mentalism
that fits this model. I hope you find it to your liking.

Presentation and Method:
Do you think you have good luck in card games?

The person will now tell you their personal belief in themselves; often negative.

If I was to hand you this deck of cards and tell you that you could guess the color of every

card in the deck, what would you say?

Logical people will rightfully be doubtful of their abilities. So after some more back and forth

conversation, you allow the spectator to shuffle the cards.

Perfect, and now Im going to have you mix the cards in a more unique and meticulous

way. You are going to freely deal two facedown piles. One pile I want you think yes on

every card you deal, and the other pile I want you to think no. You will do this one card

at a time, so that each and every card is exactly where you want it to be. Ill turn away as

you start dealing now...

You should get the spectator to take the above absolutely seriously before you begin. The more

serious they take the process, the more amazed they will be at the end; especially since in the

back of their head theyre still likely thinking, theres no friggin way that this will work.

When they finish dealing their piles, have them pick up the yes pile, the positive pile, and put

it into their pocket. They are then to hand you the no pile behind your back or under the table. I

will typically say something like, I think its fair to say that I cant have any idea what

colored cards are where, and that you certainly have no idea. But even though this is your

no pile, and theres nothing special about it, I want you to switch to thinking yes now,

only positive and happy thoughts. Quick, what do you think is the color of the top card?

They can now name any color and will find that they are correct. After maybe five or six cards,

you try to get a bit more specific, and can have them guess if they think its a higher or lower

card, or a heart or a diamond, etc. When you have maybe nine or ten cards left under the table,

you stop the spectator, and bring the remaining cards above to show that they are randomly

mixed. Let me ask you again now, do you think had I kept going, that you would have

been able to sense the rest of the colors?

Youll find that people will actually feel more positive about themselves and their abilities after

this procedure, or will typically laugh and not be so sure of things anymore. Thats when you

take it further.

Can you take out the yes pile from your pocket? Now look at the effect of positive


The cards are spread face-up on the table to reveal that the spectator somehow arranged their

yes pile, from left to right, all reds and then all blacks, perfectly separated.

This ending may seem oddly similar to Out of this World, and thats because it is. Everything

prior to the spectator guessing the colors aloud is the Out of this World principal. Im sure you

are all familiar with too many different variations of this effect, all in which the performer does

some secret maneuver under misdirection in order to switch the packets and make the colors

right themselves. With my version, youre doing something interesting with one of the packets,

and the other packet in their pocketthat youve never touchedis automatically ready for a

mini-out of this world!

Ill assume that not everyone is familiar with Paul Currys work, and may not know the

mechanics of the effect. Put simply, you already have the deck separated into reds and blacks,

twenty-six red cards on top of twenty-six black cards. If you take this deck and now deal it into

two fairly even piles, no matter the order you deal, going back and forth, you will always end

with both piles having a stack of black cards followed by a stack of reds cards.

In order to guess the colors, or have the spectator guess the colors, you just have to pull the

needed card off the top or the bottom of your pile. Both packets will be perfectly separated into

their respective halves, so if you need a red card, you simply take it off the bottom, or a black

card off the top. Of course, these colors can switch. To know the color, just look at what the

bottom color is on the deck that they are dealing. You do this after the shuffling procedure.

Again, I will assume that you arent familiar with the properties of shuffling a deck in Out of this

World order. The basic concept is that a person can overhand-jog shuffle a deck once or twice

without disturbing the color separation very much. This is because they are mostly shuffling a

bunch of reds into other reds and blacks into other blacks. This shuffle sequence isnt fool-proof

though. You will likely have to go through and do a quick preliminary color test, removing the

couple of colored cards that might be in the wrong spot, and having the spectator genuinely

guess. With these couple of cards moved, you can note the bottom color. Whatever the bottom

color is will be the top color after the dealing sequence. This is the only memorization that needs

to take place. You can now give them the deck and turn away as they deal, knowing what the

color order will be. Everything else is then performed as I described. If you saw red on the

bottom, then you know the top section of your packet will be red. So you have the spectator

name red or black, and if they name red, you take a card off the top and bring it up onto the table

for them to flip. If they say black, you grab the bottom card and bring it up. Two reds in a row

would mean two reds off the top, and I dont think I need to patronize you by going any further.

After theyve done four or five colors correctly in a row, reacting accordingly, I will then start to

take some chances. Once they say red and I bring it forward, I openly look at what the card is. I

then ask them to guess if they think it is a heart or a diamond, trying to voice force the correct

one by raising my tone slightly. I always name the force item first. You would be amazed by

how reliable these techniques are if youve never attempted to use them. You could also have

them guess if its high or low, trying again to guide them to it. If they get it wrong, they at least

get the color correct. You can then go through another slew of simply having them guess the

color, then again try to get them to guess something more specific. As they name them, I lay

them out in a straight line across the table.

When you have maybe eight to ten cards left in your hands, you are going to stop them. Under

the table, you will give the cards a quick and easy mix. Split the cards in half, fan them gently in

each hand, and push them together. Now you can bring the pack above the table and spread them

along the rest of the pile, showing a random pattern instead of separated colors. I do this

spreading of the negative pile so that when they spread the yes pile they can see a side-by-side,

making it that much more pronounced. I cant explain how powerful the Out of this World reveal

is after theyve just guessed more than half of your pile. I just love how fair everything is, and

love that the spectator gets all of the credit and attention that they deserve for partaking.

Additional Thoughts and Ideas:

-I didnt want to clutter the explanation with a bunch of different shuffles, but the spectator can

also do a riffle shuffle if you set up the cards right. A brand new deck will be setup with thirteen

black cards, then thirteen red cards, then thirteen more black and thirteen more red. By cutting

the deck perfectly in half, you will be riffle shuffling red cards into red cards and blacks into

blacks. You can then have them do the overhand shuffle after this. Look at the cards and remove

any that are out of place by having them guess, taking them through the unique mix after, as

they deal the cards exactly where they want.

-You could very easily switch roles and guess a bunch of colors in your own pile, following it by

having them guess some before revealing the pile in the pocket. But as Ive explained, I would

rather have the spectator get the praise. Its completely up to you as the performer. I just feel the

way it is setup and structured now creates a nice build for the ending reveal.

-You may choose to not let them get every color correct. You can say that perhaps their

confidence waivered on that card, or that it doesnt really matter and we arent perfect.

-If you dont want to memorize the bottom color, you can just have them deal the cards, and then

have them genuinely try and guess the first color. If they get it right, thats great. If they get it

wrong, just have them focus and really try to believe that they can do it. In either scenario, you

get to see what the top color is, and can easily deduce what the bottom color is.

-Going further with the bottom card, you could choose to memorize not just the color, but the

value and the suit. There is a fifty-fifty chance that the bottom card will end up on top of either

pile. So when you take the top card off of your pile under the table, if it isnt the bottom card you

memorized, then you can now cleanly reveal the top card in their pocket, and have them take it

out before the Out of this World ending.

-Although I prefer having my spectators merely think yes and no, you could also have them

say it aloud each time. You can then secretly count how many times they say yes, and can

reveal the number of cards they hold in their pocket. But its possible for the spectator to guess

several methods. They might even think you just counted the cards in your pile behind your back

and subtracted to get their pile. Better to just leave it as is, in my opinion.

-With no table present, you can have the person deal the cards into another persons outstretched


-If you are completely surrounded, and dont have a table to go under, you can still perform this

effect behind your back. The only modification will be that rather than holding the pack squared

together, you spread the cards out in a one-hand fan, resting them against the small of your back.

This way anyone behind you cant see the faces, but you still know the colors. You can then ask,

What is the next color? reach behind and grab a card at random, just taking it from the right

or left side depending on the color you need. So dont freak if youve got a crowd around you.

And you may choose to put their no pile into your pocket and remove the red or black one by

one. I just think that the spectator will assume that I am doing some sort of switching in my

pocket. You could always have someone check, if you and they are comfortable.

-My absolute favorite way to perform this, when someone is wearing a jacket, is doing it inside

their jacket pocket. You have them put the no pile in their outside pocket, and have them

sandwich the yes pile in their hands. Because their hands are full, this gives you justification to

go into their jacket pocket to remove the colors that they merely name. Having it in their pocket

before you turn back around makes it seem impossible to manipulate or know the cards. Be sure

to show your hand completely empty as you go into their pocket each time.

Unless they have a large coat pocket, you wont be able to mix the last ten or so cards together. I

would just take the pile out and ask if I mixed the cards, would they think they could still guess

the colors. Then just openly give them a quick mix, and after they answer, spread them along the

rest of the no cards. Tell them that youre positive they would have done great, having them

spread the yes cards that theyve had entirely in their possession.


Paul Currys Out of this World routine is the cornerstone of this piece. I have simply taken it

down a different route, one that I find to be amazingly powerful for how simple a change it is.

Luke Jermays Colorsense is a decent method to the color sensing plot, but is quite involved for

such a simple color guessing effect. Still, its a unique idea that you may find interesting.

As I mentioned in the introduction, Hector Chadwicks Reds and Blacks was my favorite

impromptu color sensing routine. If I hadnt had the eureka moment with my effect, I would

most likely still be performing his version. That eureka moment wouldnt have occurred had I

not been reading and thinking about Reds and Blacks while watching Derren Browns version of

Out of this World on his video, The Devils Picture-book. This was the main reason I chose The

Devils Coloring Book as the title of this piece. It was also in his routine that I learned the

overhand shuffle method, which he credits to Jerry Sadowitz in The Crimp. It works so well in

this routine, and I hope that you love employing it as much as I do.


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