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Tri t ch
by Ail'x ill1dcr M<lrsh
Triptych [pron. trip -tick]

[ from the Greek : tri- "three" + ptychē "fold" ]

Copyright © 2008
Alex McAleer / Alexander Marsh
All rights reserved.
No part of this publication, in part or in whole, may be reproduced, transmitted, or utilized, in any form or by any means
electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system
without permission by the author. Play fair.

Welcoming words from Alexander Marsh.

Read the mind of a participant using nothing more than a small stack of business cards and a pen. This ‘peek
routine’ allows you to inject a little humour and a chance actually read what someone has written rather than just
catch a fleeting glimpse.

Divine any four digit number in a direct manner. You will love the simplicity of this cheeky yet deceptive method.

Nine Bob Note

Divine the serial number on a spectator’s bank note. Also includes Which Hand? my ‘almost real’ modus operandi
for guessing which hand the participant is hiding an object in.

Outroduction & Thanks

Parting words from Alexander Marsh.

Recognition, praise and acknowledgments for those who have helped, knowingly or unknowingly, create the
routines you are about to read.

More methods for performing Which Hand? including contributions from Dale A. Hildebrandt and Sean Waters.

Also by the Author

Shameless self promotion by yours truly.

So, I’m on a train making my way from Cambridge to my home town of Ipswich. I have an over-sized and over-
priced coffee to my left and a smaller than I remember Mars Bar to my right; a hearty breakfast I’m sure you’d
agree. With precisely 84% battery power left on my laptop I should have enough time to write this brief

This is my first foray in to the world of electronic publishing and I hope you enjoy it.

They say (who ever they might be) that if you find just one effect that speaks to you, one that you actually perform
from any book, be it ‘e’ or otherwise, then it is time and money well spent. I hope this and indeed all of my
published work offer you more than that.

This particular e-book focuses on three mind reading effects for close-up and casual environments.

The three routines in question are:

Philtrum, a simple ‘peek routine’ that allows you to actually read, in a very fair and open manner, what someone
has secretly written on the back of one of your business cards. So rather than catching a fleeting glimpse of a
single word, this routine allows you enough time to read at least a sentence.

Tel. is a routine that allows you to divine any four digit number. The method is somewhat bold, maybe even cheeky
but it is by no means high risk. If you are a fan of methods that just make you smile, you will love this.

Nine Bob Note is a serial number divination routine built around my take on the classic Which Hand? effect. This
take on the ‘guess which hand hides the object’ premise is a ‘pure’ effect, i.e. does not make use any gimmicks. Of
course there is always a chance of failure when using ‘psychological’, or if you prefer, ‘real’ methods but within the
context and structure created by this routine, I don’t personally see this as an issue. Go on, be brave!

Each routine is written in the usual style, i.e. the effects description followed by its method with the possibility of a
little background about each effect. However, I have also added a Breakdown after each effect which I hope can
act as a kind of ‘quick reference’ for you when going back to each routine.

Also, I will save the Credits for each routine until the end of the manuscript plus you will also find an Appendix
featuring more methods for performing Which Hand?.

So without further ado, let’s see what Triptych has to offer you.

Alexander Marsh,
Somewhere in the Suffolk countryside,
December 2008

The performer reaches into his pocket and removes a small stack of business cards and pen.

He invites a spectator, let’s call her Daisy, to write a thought, any thought, be it a word, a name, or a memory, on
the back of a business card. The performer adds that when Daisy has finished writing, she is to replace the card on
top of the stack, which rests between them on the table top. The performer faces away throughout the writing
process and turns back to face Daisy when she has finished.

The performer moves the stack to one side as he asks Daisy to focus on her thought.

“If this is a word, just see it written down inside your mind. If it’s a name, think about the person whose name it is.
If this is a memory, try to cast your mind back and relive the memory now.”

There is a moments silence whilst the performer seems to study Daisy. His eyes seem to be looking not at Daisy
and yet not quite through her, somewhere in between, somewhere inside her mind.

Seemingly snapping out of it the performers says:

“Ok, let’s see if I can get a word into your head. Just for fun.”

The performer carefully deals the top card of the stack, Daisy’s card, onto the table, takes a blank card for himself
and places the rest away in his pocket.

The performer writes a word, unseen by Daisy, on this card and asks her:

“Daisy, honestly, do you have any idea yet, what short English word I have just written on this card? Honestly?”

Daisy of course replies “No” to which the performer reveals he has written the word “Know” on his card.

There is a polite laugh from Daisy and the gathered spectators as the performer smiles and places his card with
Daisy’s on the table top.

He immediately retrieves another card from this pocket and begins to write as he says,

“Ok, I’m going to write another word, another four letter word. This one rhymes with hit and you find it on the
bottom of bird cages… that’s right; GRIT!”

Again, a few more giggles as the performer places this card with the others on the table.

“Let’s do this for real now that you’re nice and relaxed. In your mind I need you to keep saying this word to
yourself… because this is a word isn’t it.”

Daisy agrees and begins to focus on the word. Letter by letter the performer extracts the word from her mind until
he finally has enough pieces of the puzzle to reveal the word she was merely thinking of.

So, you have probably recognized the classic ‘No/Know Gag’ used within this routine and some of you may be
familiar with the ‘Grit Gag’ too.

True, they may not be the most strikingly funny gags in the world but they do add a small element of humor and in
my opinion also show your audience that you don’t take yourself too seriously, which can only be a good thing.1

These gags, as simple as they are, are an integral part of the methodology. You see, it is as you are apparently
writing the word ‘Grit’ that you will be getting your peek.

So let’s take a step back for a moment and start from the beginning.

I will assume for this explanation that you are a) right handed, b) sat at a table with your participant opposite and,
c) performing whilst wearing a jacket with a breast pocket. Once you understand the method behind this effect,
which is not at all difficult to grasp, you can work out your own precise handling to your own performance

In you breast pocket have 20 or so of your business cards. In your right jacket pocket have a single business card
with the word ‘Grit’ pre-written on its blank side. You will also need a pen; this should be the same pen that you
wrote the word ‘Grit’ with.

During performance bring out the stack of business cards and your pen. Place the stack on the table between you
and Daisy and give her the pen. Ask Daisy to think of something; a word, a name, a drawing, or even a memory.
Give Daisy the top business card from the stack to write on and instruct her to place it back, writing side down, on
top of the stack when she has finished.

Turn away as she writes, covering your eyes with your left hand. Whilst turned away like this, reach in to your
jacket pocket with your right hand and get the ‘Grit Card’ into a palm.

When Daisy tells you she has finished writing and placed the card, the ‘Hot Card’, back on top of the stack, you are
safe to turn back and face her.

As soon as you turn back around, reach forward with your right hand, the hand that is palming the ‘Grit Card’, and
place your hand directly on top of the stack. Simultaneously ditch the ‘Grit Card’ on top as you move the entire
stack to one side. It should seem as if you merely wanted to move the cards out of the way as they are

The situation is now that you have a stack of your business cards on the table, the very top card of which has the
word ‘Grit’ written on it and the card below that, the ‘Hot Card’, has Daisy’s thoughts written upon it.

A little time misdirection occurs here as you have a few moments of silence between you and Daisy as you ask her
to focus briefly on her thought. Then, as if changing tack, you very openly deal the top card of the stack onto the
table top.

Daisy and any spectators believe this to be the ‘Hot Card’. You don’t, and in fact shouldn’t say something like “We’ll
just put your card here” whilst dealing off the top card. Daisy knows it is her card; she just put it there because you
specifically told her to. Just silently deal it off the top of the stack, leaving it on the table and off to one side.

Put the entire stack with the ‘Hot Card’ on top back in your breast pocket. Make sure that the ‘Hot Card’ is furthest
away from your body and with the writing side facing your body. This is so that when you remove it from your
pocket, the writing will be facing you.

As in my humble opinion, modern day audiences are tiered of the overly dramatic and solemn performances and personas of magicians and
mentalists, so showing a lighter side can be a very endearing thing.

As soon as you have put the stack back into your pocket, allow your thumb to pull out the bottom card of the stack.
This card will be blank and will be used to write the word ‘Know’ on.

So, as in the presentation, take this blank card, surreptitiously flashing its blank side and write the word ‘Know’ so
the participant can not see what you have written. Then all you need to do is ask;

“Honestly, do you have any idea yet, what short English word I have just written on this card? Honestly?”

To which the participant will be hard pressed not to reply with ‘No’. You then reveal what you have written and
during the brief titters and moans that follow, simply place this card with the other card (the real ‘Grit Card’) on the
table. I tend to slide this ‘Know Card’ under the ‘Grit Card’ so things will be in the right order at the end of the

As soon as you have done this, again reach back into your breast pocket and remove the ‘Hot Card’ so the writing
is facing you.

You will now proceed with the ‘Grit Gag’ as you are apparently writing the word ‘Grit’ on the face of the ‘Hot Card’.
You will in actual fact not write anything but just mime the action of writing, allowing you finger to make contact
with card and not the pens nib.

It is during the pretend writing that you will read what the participant has written.

Your actions are justified due to the situation; you are apparently writing a word so you have to be looking at the
card while you do this. You are also apparently writing a secret word, so keeping the face of the card out of sight
from Daisy and the spectators is justified, but best of all, it is justified silently.

Another element of misdirection here is that you are speaking to the participant (and by proxy the spectators) as
you are peeking. What you are saying to them all is something of a riddle so they must focus inwardly to try and
work out what the secret word you’re writing is; ‘It rhymes with hit and you find it on the bottom of bird cages…
surly he can’t be writing the word SHIT! Oh, it was GRIT… very clever!’

Now obviously you can’t reveal that you have written the word ‘Grit’ visually because you haven’t really written
anything. Instead you just need to say the gag verbally, which personally I think works better. There is no need to
prove what you have written; it’s just a silly gag.

So, the sequence flows something like this. You are (apparently) writing a word as you say;

“Ok, I’m going to write another word, another four letter word. This one rhymes with hit and you find it on the
bottom of bird cages…”

You stop writing, give the participant a brief look and start to place the card, without showing the face, on top of
the others as you reveal the punch line; “…that’s right; GRIT!”

There will be a release at this moment as the joke is registered which allows you to change tack and move onto a
more serious note of divining the participants thought in any manner you wish.

Notes & Closing Comments:
So there you have it, a somewhat bold and very simple peek. One thing I like about this is it allows you plenty of
time to actually read what the participant has written. You’re not catching a sly glimpse that will possibly be too
brief for you to register fully. You have the time it takes to supposedly write the word ‘Grit’ and deliver the gag to
get your peek.

If this kind of jovial presentation doesn’t suite your style, which is fair enough, then you do have other options
open to you.

For example, I have performed the ‘No/Know Gag’ but instead of the word ‘Grit’ I have written a force object and
then performed an equivoque sequence using borrowed objects.

Psychological forces could also replace the ‘Grit Gag’ or perhaps both an equivoque and a psychological force could
be used together. So instead of the ‘Know Gag’ you perform a psychological force and then go for a more sure fire
force to replace the ‘Grit Gag’.

In fact, replacing the ‘Grit Gag’ with a written prediction allows you even more time to peek as the pre-written
prediction could read something like; “Tonight I will influence you to be left with one object from three. That object
will be… a WATCH!” If you made it any longer you could have enough time to read a brief biography about
participant but it’s best to keep it punchy and entertaining.

In case you are wondering; A Philtrum, also known as the infranasal depression, is the vertical groove in your
upper lip located right under the nose. As the peek for this routine is done right under the nose of the participant, I
thought it was an apt title.

Philtrum Breakdown:
1. Preparation: In your jacket’s breast pocket have a small stack of your business cards. In your right jacket
pocket have your ‘Grit Card’ i.e. one of your business cards with the word ‘Grit’ written on its blank side.
And somewhere on your person, have the very same pen that you wrote the word ‘Grit’ with.

2. During performance, remove the stack of business cards and the pen. Give the participant the pen and the
top card from the stack to write their thoughts on. Request that they place the card back on top of the
stack, writing side down, when they have finished.

3. While they write, turn away from the participant and obtain your ‘Grit Card’ in a classic palm.

4. When the participant has finished writing and placed the ‘Hot Card’ back on top of the stack, turn back to
face them. Immediately reach for the stack (without explaining yourself) and move it to one side
simultaneously ditching the palmed ‘Grit Card’ on top of the stack.

5. Create a little time misdirection by engaging the participant and asking them to concentrate on their chosen
thought. Then very openly deal the top card of the stack, the ‘Grit Card’, onto the table (or somewhere
convenient) and then place the remainder of the stack back on to your breast pocket. Make sure the ‘Hot
Card’ is furthest away from your body, with the writing facing you.

6. Remove a blank card and write the word ‘Know’ and perform the classic gag, revealing what you have
written. Place this ‘Know Card’ with the other on the table.

7. Remove the ‘Hot Card’ (being careful not to flash the face) and mime writing the word ‘Grit’ as you perform
the gag. Whilst pretending to write, read the information the participant has written and, without showing
the face of the card(!), place it with the others.

8. Reveal the peeked information in any manner you see fit.

The performer removes a pen and half an index card, folded into quarters, from his pocket.

The performer gives both of these simple items to a spectator, whom we shall call Dave.

Dave is asked to write a four digit number, specifically the last four digits of a phone number he knows ‘off-by-
heart’. The performer looks away throughout this process and requests that Dave re-fold the card when he has
finished writing the number.

That done, the performer turns back to face Dave and takes both the pen and the folded card from him. Dave is
asked to keep repeating the number in his mind; he is to forget about whose phone number it is and to focus solely
on those four digits.

The performer gives Dave back the folded paper and requests that Dave hold it up to his forehead.

The performer then removes the other half of the index card from his pocket and uncaps his pen.

He asks Dave to focus on the first digit and after a few moments of silence he writes something on his piece of the
index card. The same procedure is followed with the second number, the third and finally the fourth, until the
performer has apparently received all four digits. The performer places his card onto the table and says:

“Now, I’m not one-hundred percent sure about the last digit… it’s either a 6 or a 9, I’m not sure but I have
committed now to what is on that piece of paper. Can I take a look?”

The performer takes Dave’s folded paper from him, opens it up and reads it silently to himself.

“Ah, it was a 9. 4 – 1 – 5 – 9 to be exact. Well, it’s not always easy to get this right one-hundred percent of the
time, but I did my best…4 – 1 – 5 – 9. Take a look at what I got.”

A spectator is invited to open the performer’s half of the index card and read what he has written, which needless
to say is the numbers 4 – 1 – 5 – 9, an exact match!

The performer shakes Dave’s hand and adds a somewhat chilling, final comment:

“Thanks Dave, you did that brilliantly. If only I got you to think of your PIN number!”

About Tel.:
This effect first appeared as a supplement to Elliot Bresler’s excellent e-book Switchcraft - The Billet Work of Elliot
J. Bresler.

The inspiration for this effect came from two places: firstly, the classic Your Number Ploy, but I wished to perform
the effect (or a similar effect) without it being a throwaway gag or ‘instant stooge’ effect; and secondly a brief but
amusing gag in an episode of British TV sitcom Spaced (staring and co-written by Simon Pegg before the brilliant
films, Hot Fuzz and Sean of the Dead). The ‘gag’ transpired thus:

Daisy: “How was your night-out last night?”

Tim: “Not bad. I met a lovely girl. She’s a psychic, she gave me her number.”

Tim hands Daisy a piece of paper. Daisy opens the paper and reads it.

Daisy: “This is our number!”

Tim: “Really!? Man, she’s good!”

It may not read brilliantly, but it tickled me at the time.

When I first started developing this effect, I intended to ask the participant to write his or her PIN Number
(although the ‘N’ in ‘PIN’ does stand for ‘Number’ so it really should just be ‘PIN’) but I soon realised that this was a
foolish and impractical idea as I certainly wouldn’t be happy writing down my own PIN and then handing it to a
stranger, let alone allow a mind reader to divine the information!

So, I replaced the PIN with the last four digits of a friend’s telephone number but decided to keep the notion, and
hopefully the gravitas, of using the participants PIN by adding the final line:

“If only I got you to think of your PIN number!”

As it stands, this is quite a direct and impressive piece of mind reading: the participant thinks of a four digit
number, writes it down and holds the paper against his or her forehead. Mr. Mind Reader then asks him or her to
think of each digit, one by one, and writes each digit as he ‘receives’ them. He is 100% accurate.

However, I feel adding the final, somewhat cheeky, line about their PIN adds a slightly dark undertone to the
effect. It acts as a kind of loaded pattern interrupt that will get them thinking about your mind reading abilities as
real and perhaps even a little scary, due to the potentially invasive nature of being able to pluck important numbers
from people’s heads. Hopefully this elevates the effect from being a puzzle to be solved or just a trivial piece of

The modus operandi for this effect is really quite simple.

Firstly, you will need to know a good billet switch. Unfortunately, I have nothing new to add to the fraternity
regarding billet switches, so I’m going to have to ask you to use your favourite method such as the classic
Annemann Billet Switch, the Al Mann Switch or even one of the brilliant variations from Switchcraft - The Billet
Work of Elliot J. Bresler.

The other piece of business you will need for this effect is a Twin-Tip Sharpie Marker. This is a sharpie pen with the
classic ‘fine point’ marker tip at one end and an ‘ultra-fine point’ at the other.

The ‘fine point’ end, as seen on the right in the image below, writes with a FAT line. This is just like the ones you
are probably familiar with as they are commonly used by magicians to sign playing cards.

The ‘ultra-fine point’, as seen on the left in the image below, writes with FINE line, not much thicker then the line
created when writing with Bic Biro Pen.

Please understand that you do not have to use a Twin-Tip Sharpie Marker. You can simply use two different pens;
one which writes with a FAT line and another which writes with a FINE line, e.g. an ordinary sharpie and a pen
with a smaller nib. However I would avoid using Biros or pencils due to the method which will be discussed in a
moment. Also, the pens will have to be the same colour; in fact I think black works best.

I personally prefer to use the Twin-Tip Sharpie Marker as it makes the handling for the effect much simpler, so for
ease of explanation I will assume you are also using a Twin Tip as well. They don’t cost much; you only have to

carry one pen instead of two and they can be found in most stationery shops so you won’t have to shop around too
much to find one.

Preparation for this effect is minimal: all you need is your Twin Tip about your person and at least two billets in
your right trouser pocket – assuming of course you are right handed… and have not, of course, forgotten to put on
your trousers.

As for the billets themselves, I prefer to use two halves of one index card i.e. a single index card cut exactly in half.
I then fold both halves in to quarters and put them in my pocket ready for performance.

I will now explain the basic, bare bones methodology behind this effect, after which I will explain a few nuances
that both hide and strengthen the working.

The Bare Bones:

Begin with your two, pre-folded billets in your right trouser pocket along with your Twin Tip Sharpie Marker at the

During performance you will give one of these billets to the participant, whom we christened Dave, to write his four
digit number on. Dave will write this number using the ultra-fine point end of the Sharpie; this is the end which
writes with a FINE line.

As he is writing you will look away and as you do so, casually reach into your pocket and palm the other billet. This
billet, your dummy, will of course need to be palmed in a manner suitable to whatever billet switch you will be
using. When Dave tells you he has finished writing, ask for your pen back and tell him to re-fold his billet.

Turn back to face Dave and explain that you would like him to:

“…keep repeating the number in your mind. Just forget about whose phone number it is, forget about the rest of
the number… just focus on these last four digits.”

During these words, take the billet from Dave and switch it for your dummy. Explain, as in the presentation, that
you need him to hold the billet up to his forehead and give him back the billet to do this.

It is during the motion of taking the billet from Dave and holding it up to my own head, as if clarifying what I want
him to do, that I switch the real billet for the dummy.

Now, with the dummy billet in Dave’s hand (and against his forehead), the real one is secretly palmed in your right

Reach back in to your pocket with the same hand that palms his billet and apparently take out a new piece of
folded card from your pocket - but of course in reality this is Dave’s previously palmed billet.

Tell Dave to focus on the first number as you are removing the cap from your pen. Specifically, removing the cap
from the fine point end of the pen; this is the end that writes with a FAT line.

Now open the billet you just removed from your pocket and trace over the first number using the FAT end of your
Twin Tip Sharpie. Repeat this with the other digits, asking Dave to focus on each number before you write over it.

That, as simple and as bold as it seems, is the core method for this effect. You will literally write over the numbers
Dave has written whilst apparently writing on a blank billet.

I said it would make you smile.

Now, because Dave has written with a FINE line and you are re-writing over the top of his numbers with a FAT
line, you will destroy any evidence of Dave’s original numbers.

I will admit that this is quite bold but there are a number of nuances and subtleties that are used during the routine
to both disguise the method and ‘visually distance’ Dave’s numbers from your own, despite the fact that they are
essentially the very same numbers written on the very same billet.

The first subtlety I would like to share with you is this: at the very beginning of the routine, when you reach into
your pocket and remove a billet for Dave to write on, don’t just take out one billet, take both out. More if you have

You don’t need to point out that there are two (or more) but let it be silently seen and understood that you have
more than one folded billet in your pocket. The reasoning behind this is to stop any potential alarm bells ringing
later when you go back into that same pocket and pull out what is apparently another, different billet to write on.

You may think of this as running when you’re not being chased, but I still feel it’s worth putting in this minor piece
of extra effort, and anything you can do to make an effect stronger, I feel, should be done.
So, you are now holding a couple of billets in your hand. Take one of them and open it up, placing the others away
in your pocket.

Remove your Twin Tip from your pocket and uncap the end that writes with a FINE line. It is quite a natural action
to uncap a pen for someone when handing it to them to write with, so there is no need to make a big deal out of

When you tell Dave to write his four digit number, open the billet that you will give to him and draw four dashes
just below the middle crease of the card. These dashes are there to indicate where Dave is to write each individual

This should force Dave to space out his numbers a little, making it easier for you to trace over them using your FAT
marker pen later.

Turn away as Dave writes, seemingly not wishing to catch a glimpse of what he is writing and casually put your
hand in your pocket and obtain the dummy billet in a finger palm. When Dave has finished writing ask him to re-
fold his billet and once this is done, turn back to face him, take the pen from him and recap it.

Now, you have a number of options as to how and when you switch Dave’s billet for the dummy, depending on the
switch you intend to use and how you are comfortable you are with it.

Almost as justification for taking the billet from Dave, I like to hold the now dummy billet up to my forehead as I
explain that I would like Dave to do the same. I then hand the now switched in dummy billet to him, retaining the

real billet in finger palm. As stated earlier, I then reach into my pocket and apparently remove a new, fresh billet to
write on but of course this is actually Dave’s original billet.

I will then uncap my Twin Tip from the end that writes with a FAT line, open up the billet and hold it flat against
my palm, ostensibly to steady it for writing but also to hide Dave’s original numbers as they may be seen through
the card by Dave.

Now we come to the act of tracing over the original numbers. In terms of presentation, I think the effect works
much better if you remain silent through out the apparent mind reading process, only speaking to ask Dave to
focus on “the next digit”, rather than calling out the numbers verbally as you apparently receive them.

Just tracing over each numbers with a fatter pen is not quite enough to hide the method, so there are a number of
other things I like to do. You will notice that some numbers, such as 1, 4, and 7, can be subtly changed to look
different, and by ‘different’ I mean ‘not like Dave’s handwriting’.

For example, a numeral ‘1’ can be written as a single vertical line ( | ) i.e. ‘sans-serif’
or with an added diagonal dash at the top with the possibility of a horizontal line at the
bottom. See the examples on the left for clarification.

So, if Dave has written his ‘1’ as a single vertical line then you trace over that line but
also add the diagonal dash and the horizontal at the base, making the number not
only appear different due to the change in thickness of the writing but also in the way
it is written.

The number ‘4’ can either be written so that the vertical line meets the horizontal line,
or it can be written in such away that the vertical line does not meet the horizontal.

Changing a ‘4’ in which the lines do not meet becomes easy and again makes it look
different form Dave’s original in a logical and subtle manner.

Another good example is a ‘7’. Some people write a 7 as a short horizontal line (–)
with a diagonal line ( / ) below it. This can be changed by adding another short
horizontal line half way down the diagonal line.

You may also find that numbers such as 2, 3 and 9 can be changed depending on how
Dave has written them. For example, you may be able to change a ‘2’ with a loop into
a ‘2’ without a loop, depending on how Dave has written the number and how ‘fat’
your pen writes.
A curved/rounded ‘3’ can often be changed into a ‘3’ with a straight upper, horizontal
line and a ‘9’ drawn as an upside-down ‘6’ can potentially be changed in to a ‘9’ with a
vertical, straight line. Again, this will depend upon how Dave has written the numbers.

You may also wish to ‘fail’ on one number, so a ‘2’ might become a ‘3’, a ‘1’ might
become a ‘4’, and a curved/rounded ‘3’ could become an ‘8’.

Essentially, anything you can add to the participant’s original numbers that is logical
and natural, such as the examples mentioned above, will help to disguise the original
numbers, and thus the method.

Another ‘visual distancing’ ploy I use is to draw a box around the numbers. After I have traced over the original
numbers, changing them in logical ways, I will trace over and ‘join-up’ the dashed lines below them. I can then use
this line as the base of the box, using it as a guide to draw the rest of the box around the numbers.

The image overleaf shows how different these ‘visual distancing’ ploys, as I like to call them, can make the
numbers look. It’s not a dramatic change but it is different enough and people won’t be able to compare the
original with your own!

The last nuance comes in the form of presentation.

Once I have done all of the above, i.e. traced over Dave’s numbers, changed them in any way I can and drawn a
box around them, I will say the following:

“I’m not sure about this last number… it’s either a 3 or a 2. I think, however, I’ll commit myself to this...”

Obviously replacing the ‘either or’ numbers with the last digit of Dave’s number and a similar number.

I then place ‘my’ billet number side down on the table or give it to a near by spectator, and take the billet Dave
holds, open it up and apparently read it.

This billet is of course blank but a nice subtlety here is to open the billet and then turn it 180 degrees, as if you
opened the billet and saw that the numbers were upside down.

“Ah! It’s a 3. In fact the numbers you were thinking of were 1 – 7 – 4 – 3. Not 1 – 7 – 4 – 2 but 1 – 7 – 4 – 3. Well
that’s good, because that’s exactly what I wrote…”

Repeating the numbers like this will make sure that everyone knows what the numbers are and has heard them a
couple of times as you can not display Dave’s original numbers for comparison due to the methods at play.

After delivering the penultimate line, I will pick up the unfolded billet from the table and display it to the group,
casually placing the blank billet away in my pocket and adding the final line as written in the effect’s description.

Tel. Breakdown:
1. Remove two or more pre-folded billets from your pocket and your Twin Tip Sharpie. Uncap the pen from
the end that writes with a FINE line. Take one billet, placing the rest away, unfold it and draw four dashes
to indicate where your participant is to write his or her four digits.

2. Turn away as the participant writes and get your dummy billet in finger palm ready for the switch.

3. Once the numbers have been written, ask for your pen back and recap it. Request that the participant’s
billet is refolded. Take the billet from the participant and switch it for your dummy under misdirection of
explaining that you wish the participant to hold the billet to his forehead (or whatever you deem

4. Give the participant the dummy to hold to his head and reach in to your pocket and appear to remove a
new billet. Actually remove the original billet, open it and uncap your pen from the end that writes with a
FAT line.

5. Trace over the original numbers changing them in subtle ways as discussed and draw a box around them
using the dashes as a guide for the base of the box. Place this billet number side down or give it to a

6. Take the dummy billet from the participant supposedly to check your accuracy and miscall the numbers.
Place the dummy in your pocket and reveal the numbers that you apparently received.

Nine Bob Note
The performer – handsome, debonair and with something of the night about him – asks the gathered spectators if
any of them have a £10 or £20 note on them.

A couple of people oblige but only after being told that no harm will come to their hard earned cash.

From those obliging spectators one is selected and now becomes the participant. He is asked his name, it is Josh.

Josh is asked to fold his note in half, then in half again and once again, making a folded note roughly a 1 inch by 1
inch in size.

The performer explains that he will try an experiment in thought reading using Josh’s note but before that he must
try a little test, a game of sorts to help him tune in to Josh’s way of thinking.

The performer briefly takes Josh’s note explaining that they will play the game of Which Hand? – You know the
one, where you have to guess which hand is hiding the money.

The game starts with Josh ‘having a go’ but then turns to the performer to ‘guess’ three or four times in a row
which hand Josh is hiding his money.

At the climax of the game, the performer says he is confident enough now to try the experiment.

He asks Josh to unfold his note and look at the unique serial number on printed on it.

Piece by piece the performer reveals the number… what a clever boy.

About Nine Bob Note:
This is a routine that I have been reluctant to publish. It was originally meant to be part of my first book, Hybrid
Mentalism but I pulled it at the last minute.

My reasons were not due to an overly personal fondness to the routine, although I really do think of it as one of my
babies, but because of how it might be received by the fraternity. You see, the ‘guess which hand hides the
money,’ or as I prefer to call it Which Hand? element of the routine is ‘pure.’

By ‘pure’ I simply mean that you are not wearing a special ring, there’s nothing up your sleeve, there are no
batteries that might die, you don’t have to put a small thing inside any kind of orifice, in short, it is gimmick free.

The method is an amalgamation of various ‘tells,’ ruses and ploys which I will tell you now are not 100%
acculturate, 100% of the time.

If the occasional failure or miss is the kind of thing that bothers you, then perhaps this routine may not be for you.
However, I encourage you to read on as with this routine the potential for failure is not as much of an issue as you
may first think.

I will explain how and why I don’t see ‘guessing wrong’ as much of an issue later but for now just understand that
the main thrust of the routine is the serial number divination, which is the reliable, works 100% of the time, kicker
ending you have to fall back on.

The Which Hand? element of the routine is described, or if you prefer labelled, as a “game” and a “test” to help you
“tune in” to the participants way of thinking. So I encourage you to be brave and to try this routine sometime. It
has a semi-impromptu element to it that makes it perfect for casual settings.

The explanation for this routine will be split up into two parts.

Firstly, I will deal with the serial number divination and discuss its method.

Secondly, I will describe Which Hand? - my structure and routine for guessing which hand secretly hides an object,
the object in this case being a bank note.

Method - The Serial Number Divination:

Preparation –
If you haven’t already guessed, you will secretly switch the participant’s original note for your own, so in your
wallet (or purse if you are of the female genre) you will need to have a £10 note and a £20 note both of which
contain serial numbers that you have memorised.2

It shouldn’t be too difficult to memorise the serial numbers, no different from remembering a telephone number,
and beside which it’s a good way to practice your mnemonics but there is no shame in using a crib. Just find a
place to hide it that’s easily accessible but hidden from your spectators.3

These notes do not have to be pre-folded as they will be prepared during performance. So with your memorised
notes in your wallet, you are ready to perform.

During Performance –
Begin by asking the group;

“Has anyone got any money with them? Like a ten or a twenty pound note?”

The reason for having two different denominations is to create the illusion of freedom and ‘just in case’. You don’t
want the situation of having to insist that it be a £10 note, for example, because that’s the only note you have pre-
memorized in your wallet.

As I ask the group if anyone has any money on them, I bring out my own wallet with my memorised notes inside.
This acts as a kind of visual suggestion of encouragement for people to bring out their own hard-earned cash.

From here I kind of play it by ear. If only one person brings out a note, I will notice what it is (either a £10 or a
£20), remove the corresponding note from my wallet and work with them, but if a few people bring out different
notes, I’ll mentally pick one of them, take out the same note as them and ask everybody with their own note to
follow along with subsequent instructions.

I will assume for this explanation that only one person, named Josh as in the effects description, has brought out a
note and that it is a £10 note. Now, I want Josh to fold his note so the serial number is on the inside and so that it
resembles my own memorized note.

“Now, hold your ten or twenty, whatever it is, so the Queen’s head is facing you.

Now fold it from left to right, like this, as if you’re closing a book.

Then fold the top down. So it’s folded in to quarters like this.

And add another fold, so it’s nice and small. You’ll find out why soon enough.”

Matching my actions to my words, I demonstrate with my own note how want Josh to fold his note.

Of course substituting ‘£’ with your own currency. In the U.S.A. $1 bills will be just fine for this effect.

A few times when I have intended to perform a serial number divination in a casual setting, I’ve hidden the crib ‘in plain sight’ on the back of
my hand by making it look like a telephone number. For example, let’s imagine the numbers are JH21 872306. I convert the letters into a name,
the first two digits become the last two digits of the area code and the last six digits are the rest of the phone number, i.e. John Hall, 07721

I then apparently put my folded note back in my wallet but in reality I retain it in finger palm, putting the empty
wallet back in my pocket.4

We are now ready to perform the ridiculously simple switch.

The Switch –
I will assume you are finger palming your memorized note in your right hand.

“Josh, I’m going to try a little experiment in thought reading with you and your money, but first I need to try a little
test with you, just to help me tune in to your way of thinking. OK?

It’s actually more of a guessing game than a test. A game of Which Hand?”

Calling the game/test Which Hand? is purposefully ambiguous as it doesn’t really help the participant know what
you’re talking about. So you are ‘forced’ to clarify what you mean.

Reach forward with your left hand (your right is still finger palming your memorized note) and take the participants
note at your fingertips as you say;

“Do you know the game? You know, when you put your hands behind your back, put the money in one hand and
then the other person has to guess which one it’s in.”

During this brief clarification, match your actions to your words by taking Josh’s note behind your back and
apparently putting it in one of your supposedly empty hands but in reality, keep it in your left hand and bring out
both your hands, making fists, hiding their respective notes.

So the situation is that both of your hands hide one note; in the left is Josh’s note, and in the right is your
memorized note.

Explain that it will be your job to guess or deduce which hand is hiding the note and flippantly offer for Josh to
have a go first.

If he chooses your right hand - the one with your memorized note - open that hand up, congratulate him and pass
him the note telling him to take it behind his back and hide it secretly in one hand, just like you did. Retain Josh’s
original note in finger palm.

However, if he chooses your left hand – the hand which contains Josh’s note – say something along the lines of:

“Nope, it was that one. Not as easy as you might think. But it’s your first time.”

Opening up your right hand and passing him your note, retaining his in finger palm in the left hand.

The switch is as easy as that – You take his note behind your back along with your other hand which hides your
memorized note. Bring them both out a moment later in closed fists. No matter which hand Josh chooses, give him
your memorized note, retaining his in finger palm. It should take all of about five seconds and it is justified by the
context of explaining the game so it will be easily forgotten by Josh and the spectators.

Ditching Josh’s note is also fairly simple as I tend to look away as Josh is hiding the note behind his back. To do
this I turn slightly to my left which allows me to ditch the note from my left hand into my left pocket.

This ‘move’ can be made stupidly easy by using a loading (and stealing) wallet such as an SUC, SAW or Outlaw Wallet.

Of course if you wanted to, you could just ditch Josh’s note in your back pocket when you take it behind your back.
However this may add an unwanted pause or suspicious dipping of your hand which may be noticed and cause a
few alarm bells to ring.

For a very open and fair feel to the switch, you can take Josh’s note from him and perform a billet switch. So, using
something like the Baker Switch, it would seem you take the note from him with one hand, place it in the other
hand and make a fist around it. After which you can give him back what he believes is his note.

Depending on the switch it will seem as if it never left his sight.

Now all that remains for you to do is guess which hand Josh is hiding the note in a few times, which acts nicely as
time misdirection, then you are free to reveal the serial number in a dramatic and mystifying manner.

Which leads us nicely onto…

Method - Which Hand?:
So let’s get it out the way now, this routine relies heavily on suggestion, psychology and an ability to observe ‘tells’.
It is not 100% sure–fire but I don’t really see this effect in terms of reliable or unreliable. Instead it was my goal to
make it a workable and entertaining routine, so with that in mind, let me put a few things in perspective for you.

The routine will be broken up into three ‘rounds’, each focusing on a particular method or methods. There are also
more un-gimmicked methods discussed in Appendix at the end of this book.

The methods used for telling which hand hides the note are fairly reliable and by no means ‘pipe dreams’. We will
use a mixture of genuine suggestion, psychological gambits and natural physiological responses. I believe it is the
way I have brought these methods together, structured them and present them that makes this effect workable.

Also, using this routine in full, i.e. Nine Bob Note, we label the Which Hand? element as a game and a test to
apparently help you, the performer, tune in to the participant’s way of thinking.

We will also take steps to remove the idea of seeing it as a battle of wits between you and the participant in the
scripting. So, when performing this routine keep these things in mind; it doesn’t matter if you miss, this is just a
test that will help you with the real bulk of the experiment, that being the serial number divination.

The serial number element is the sure-fire ending acting as your safety net for you to fall back on.

So, let’s start at the beginning…

The Ideal Participant –

The ideal participant for this effect is Josh.

Josh has shown a keen interest in taking part. He responds well to ‘suggestibility tests’ and ideomotor effects, such
as using a pendulum.

In short, Josh is the kind of person you would want to use for a suggestion or hypnosis routine, or for a
demonstration of muscle reading.

Introduction –
As mentioned previously, the way in which you introduce the effect to Josh is important.

As I have already mentioned, we want to label it as a game, a test, an experiment and add that it doesn’t matter if
you guess wrongly; it all helps you understand the participant’s psychology before you move on to the real effect.

“Josh, I’m going to try a little experiment in thought reading with you but first I need to try a little test, just to help
me tune in to your way of thinking. OK?

It’s actually more of a guessing game than a test. A game of Which Hand?”

It at this pint that you will perform the switch as described earlier.

As you (apparently) give Josh his note back, add that;

“We’ll use it as a kind of warm-up game, so it doesn’t mater if it goes wrong. It’s just so I can get in to your head a
little easier.”

Notice the use of ‘We’ – “We’ll use it as a kind of warm-up game…” – this is something you are doing together, not
against each other.

Also note the blatant suggestion: “…it doesn’t mater if it goes wrong.”

Why doesn’t it matter?... because you said so! You are the expert and you should know!

So if something does go wrong, what do you do? Well I simply smile, say “Interesting” and move on. After all, it
doesn’t matter. Also notice the word ‘it’ – it distances you and the participant from the game itself; it’s not ‘if I go
wrong’ or ‘if you go wrong’ but ‘if it goes wrong’. This is another rapport building element to the introduction.

A slightly more direct manner to coheirs Josh into playing by the rules is to say something along the lines of:

“Josh, with this test I’m looking to see how well you can concentrate on a single thought. It’s not a battle of wills or
anything like that, so if we both concentrate this will work perfectly. However if one of us messes the other around
or losses concentration we’ll both end up looking stupid. OK?”

It may read mildly-threatening but said with a smile, you tell Josh that he is not to ‘muck you about’ and that if he
does he will be the one to look stupid, and not you. Ideally you don’t want Josh to be the kind of person who will
‘muck you about’ in the first place.

So with the games introductions out of the way, invite Josh to take both his hands behind his back and hide the
note in one of his fists, but it’s not quite as simple as that.

It is at this early stage that we will use one of the methods behind this routine…

Psychological Forcing & Statistics –

The statistical side of this routine is that most people will tend to follow a certain pattern of which hand they place
the object in.

The pattern is: Left, left, right. That’s their left and their right.

Of course this exact pattern isn’t always the case and it isn’t always the case that the first two rounds are the
same, but it happens often enough to be a noticeable pattern. We will use this statistical likelihood throughout the
routine by psychologically forcing the participant into this predictable behaviour.

So, as you ask Josh to take the note behind his back and hide it in one of his hands; use your body language to
suggest that he place it in his left hand.

Do this by standing opposite Josh whilst briefly holding both your closed fists out in front of you, as if mimicking
what he will be doing in a moment. Then as you ask him to hide the note in one of his hands, make a slight
shaking gesture with your right hand. This will be the mirror side to Josh, so his left, but if you were standing next
to Josh you would make the gesture with your left hand, that being the same side as Josh. See Chapter 14, ‘Subtle
Hands’ in Banachek’s Psychological Subtleties for more information on this kind of forcing.

Josh won’t always follow your ‘psychological direction’ but it stacks the odds in your favour. I will refer to the
suggestions used to ‘force’ this pattern throughout the following explanations.

Being Nosey –
Before we get into the routine proper, I want to discuss the classic ‘Nose Point’ tell. This is, as I’m sure you are well
aware, the common method suggested for guessing which hand hides the object.

I try to observe and be on the look out for this ‘tell’ at the beginning of every round. I find it helps to imagine a
vertical line running down the participant from the top of their head, right down to their toes, directly in the centre
of their face and body. If the nose moves into one side, if there are any movements or ‘tells’ on one side when
compared to the other, it is probably the side with the money.

This is not the only method at play, but some people’s noses will automatically drift over to the side that hides the
money. So be on the look out for this, through out the performance.

The first round however is fairly reliable and can give you a chance to observe if and by how much their nose
points in the correct direction.

Round 1 – The Pulse Tell
So, Josh has just brought out his closed fists in front of him. Reach forward and hold Josh’s wrists in such a manner
that you can feel the pulse in each.5

“Look at me. Now, you know which hand has the money in but just forget about that for a moment, think about
something else. Really! Think of a vegetable or something, and focus on that… on that vegetable.”

Essentially what you are doing here is taking their mind away from the money, which hand it is in and focusing
their thoughts on something else. The reason for this is to allow you to get a ‘base reading’ of sorts and get used to
the Josh’s pulse at normal rhythm. You don’t need to count the beats per minute or anything like that, just become
aware of what each pulse is doing, they may differ slightly, and once you have done so, say:

“Ok, NOW! Think of the hand with the money in. Really focus on it.”

You should feel the pulse in one hand change slightly; it will be the hand with the money in. The pulse will normally
slow down, skip a beat and then speed up. That’s not always the case but there should be noticeable change in one

Tell Josh which hand you think it is and unless you couldn’t find his pulse properly or he thought of the wrong
hand, you will be correct.

Why a vegetable!?

Well as some of you may have guessed, this is the classic psychological force of a carrot and can potentially be
replaced with any psychological force. It is used within this routine as an almost throw-away line, unless it hits of

So, after revealing which hand they have hidden the money in, simply ask in a somewhat off-hand manner;

“Did you think of a vegetable?”

If not then simply move on to the next round, but if they confirm that they did think of a vegetable, which is very
likely due to the wording, add;

“It wasn’t a carrot was it?”

This should be said not as if asking a question or making a definitive statement but somewhere in between.

If they reply positively then simply tell them that you ‘thought so’ but if the tell you they did not think of a carrot,
you could either enquire if it was a cabbage (the second most common choice) or brush it off by asking what it was
and adding that you ‘had to ask other wise it would have bothered you’.

Use your fingers to take the pulse and not your thumbs as your thumbs have a pulse of their own. So you will need to hold his wrists from
above, thumbs on top, finger underneath.

Notes on Round 1:
Now, what follows may not suite you but I have occasionally explained the method behind this first round to the
participant and the gathered spectators.

I will ask the participant if they know how I knew which hand had the money in, and then explain it was their pulse
that gave it away.

More correctly, I explain that it was their psychology affecting their physiology – their mind affecting their body –
that told me which hand hid the coin. I use this as a way to explain that their thoughts are communicated through
their body, in this case it was their pulse, and that this is how I appear to read minds, by reading the physiological
tells caused by psychological stimulus.

Of course this is true to some extent, certainly with this routine, but you and I know it is not true when it comes to
something like the serial number revelation at the end.

Far from being exposure, I see this as increasing the interest and fascination with my mind reading skills. It will
also make the serial number part of the routine that much stronger because it will seem I have finely honed these
skills at reading physiological tells to such a level, that I can extract numbers from people’s heads just by looking at

After explaining that I felt the pulse change in the correct hand, I will let them know that I won’t use that method
again and will attempt to do it slightly more ‘intuitively’; this however, is a lie.

Round 2 – The Give It Away Tell
This round uses a small collection of methods but a more suggestion based round but before that, we again need
to use the statistical pattern to our advantage. So, just before Josh is about to take the money behind his back for
the second time, say:

“Excellent, same again, arms behind your back, put the money in one.”

The wording, “same again” and an appropriate gesture to the same hand they put the money in during the first
round, will psychological direct Josh to put the it in the same hand again and there for, encourage him to follow the
pattern discussed earlier.

So, for the second time Josh brings forth his clenched fists, one of which hides the money. The odds are relatively
high that it will be in the same hand as round one, and again you can watch for the direction of his nose and any
other indicators, whilst imagining the vertical line drawn down his body and face.

It is now that I like to use one of my favorite lines in the whole routine;

“Try not to give it away and look at the hand with the money in.”

This suggestive sentence works in a similar way to the classic ‘don’t think of a pink elephant’ or like when you say,
‘don’t look down.’ You see, in order not to think of something, or not do something, your brain has to do it first in
order to know what not to do (!?). The word try suggests that Josh will fail in his attempt to not look at the hand
with the money in, making a brief glance all the more likely. It can also often causes his nose to drift in the correct

As soon as you have delivered this line, move Josh’s hands slightly.

This is a brief piece of muscle reading. Essentially you will adjust the position of Josh’s hands by taking hold of his
fists, one with each hand, and separating them i.e. increase the distance between each hand. The hand which
delivers the most resistance is likely to be the hand that hides the money.

If you do this just as you finish the ‘try not to look’ line, the brief glance and resistance seem to become more
pronounced. I don’t know why but perhaps it’s because you’re telling him not to give it away by looking so his
thoughts are brought to the money and ‘protecting’ it, this will cause him to resist a little and his eyes to be drawn
to the moving hand.

This may read a little longwinded already but it takes nothing more than a few seconds during performance; you
simply tell him not to look at the hand with the money in, adjust his hands briefly (allowing you to note any
resistance in one hand or the other) and continue…

As stated before, this is a slightly more suggestion based round. The following words are used to force Josh to give
away which hand hides the money. The way in which he does this will vary, but keep in mind the classic nose point
tell and the idea I mentioned previously of imagining a vertical line drawn down the centre of Josh; any movement
or ‘tells’ on one side compared to the other are a strong indicator of which side has the money.

You attitude in this round should be that it is different to the previous round, and if you are used to portraying a
hypnotic persona, now’s a good time to let it come to fore.

“OK. This time, just relax, really relax now. You can close your eyes if you feel it helps, as I want you to really
focus and think about the feel of the money in your hand.

Focus on its shape and texture and how it feels against your skin. Try your best not give it away. So just
relax as you stand there now, with your arms out in front of you, feeling that money in your hand, as
you realize, you will do something to give it away.

You will, do something to give it away. It could be in the hand or in the face. A twitch… a shift, but as hard
as you try not to give it away now, you will do something to give it away.

You’ll do something to give it away.”

What we are trying to do here is encourage Josh to unconsciously give away which hand the money is in.

By getting him to focus on the feel of the money in his hand, it forces Josh to focus inwardly and render him
slightly suggestible. This itself can cause many people to do the ‘nose point tell’ I spoke of earlier.

The words, “try your best not give it away” again implies that he will fail in there attempt not to give away where
the money is hidden.

We also use a bit of ‘Pacing and Leading’ to lead Josh in to the desired response. It works by first ‘pacing’ his reality
and making three or so statements of fact, things you can observe to be true;

“… as you stand there now, with your arms out in front of you, feeling that money in your hand”

Then ‘leading’ him in to a desired response with the statement, “… as you realize, you will do something to give
it away.”

The words in bold should be said with slightly more emphasis, eye contact and perhaps an accompanying gesture
to cause these words to stand out more in Josh’s mind, this technique is often referred to as ‘Embedded
Commands’, as I’m sure you know.

Repeating the line, “…do something to give it away” uses the basic rule of suggestion, that being repetition.

So watch and be observant of any sifts in body posture, change in hand and shoulder height, the direction or tilt of
the head, which way their nose is pointing. Some sort of movement, or movements, on one side of their body and
face will indicate to you where the money is. This is where imaginary line I spoke of earlier, running vertically down
their face and body will help you distinguish one side from the other.

Notes on Round 2:
This may be the most ‘risky’ part of the entire routine but as with all suggestion based routines, if you have total
confidence in yourself and that Josh will indeed give it away, you will sometimes scare your self at how well this

Remember that you also have the statistical likely hood that the money is in the same hand as the previous round,
you ‘psychologically bully’ the participant into looking at the hand with the money in and you have a chance to
‘muscle read’ which hand holds the money briefly before you get in to the ‘give it away’ scripting.

Although I hate to labour the point, don’t worry about getting it wrong. As covered in the introduction, this is just a
test, a game, before you move on the real thing. In the ‘Notes on Round 1’ I mention to the participant that in
Round 2, I will attempt to guess ‘more intuitively’. This suggests that it will be a little harder for me and there for
not perfectly accurate.

Round 3 – The Heavy Hand Tell
The bases for this third and final round are again suggestion based and will be familiar to most of you.

We will use the classic Hypno-Stunt of causing a subjects hand to feel heavy and sink down.

“Now let’s try it a little differently. Take the money behind your back again and put it in one of your hands…”

Assuming that Josh has been lovely enough to follow the pattern of keeping it in the same hand twice in a row, the
above line will help him make the predictable decision to put it in the other hand. However, this round will be a
little different as we will cause his hand to visibly move towards the floor.

Once Josh has brought his hands out, ask him to extend them fully i.e. stretch them right out in front of him. This
will cause his arms to become tired sooner, facilitating the suggestions.

As ever, in the following script the words in bold need to be said with a slightly stronger emphasis.

“Ok, this time it’ going to be more of a test of your imagination.

So just close your eyes and keep thinking about the hand with the money in. I want you to imagine that that hand
is full of money; in fact it’s filled with gold bars. Heavy gold bars.

The rest of you can watch and see what happens.

Now Josh, I want you to pay attention to what your body is telling you because in a moment you will feel that
hand sink down, right down towards the floor.

It may feel drastically heavier or it just a subtle change, however you will feel it. Don’t try to fight it because
the more you try in vain to fight it the heavier those gold bars become and the more it will sink down, down to
the floor.

Some people take longer than others so don’t just lie to make me look good, just wait for it to start happening

After you have delivered the scripting, you just need to remain silent and wait for Josh’s hand to begin its decent.

Notes on Round 3:
The ‘gold bars’ replace the ‘heavy book’ that is often suggested by the hypnotist for this stunt as I feel it fits better
with the use of money in this routine.

“The rest of you can watch and see what happens.”

I feel is an impotent line as it will put Josh under a little pressure because it addresses the spectators and tells
them to expect to see something happen. You also labelled this round as a ‘test of his imagination’ so Josh will
want to succeed and not come across as having a poor imagination.

After a few moments silence, some people will need a little encouragement so continuing to ‘add more gold bars’
making it ‘heavier and heavier’ will get the hand moving. E.g. “With every breath you take, I will add another gold
bar, making that hand feel heavier and heavier.”

Notes on ‘Which Hand?’:
I encourage you to be brave and actually try out this routine. I promise this will be that last time I say this but…
within the context of the full routine, that being Nine Bob Note, the Which Hand? element is just a precursor to the
main event, the serial number divination, which is sure-fire.

Keep it brief, keep it fun, and keep it entertaining. You are showing the participant and the spectators something
fascinating and interesting. You are showing them your skills at work and will end with the impossible.

I have decided to keep the above write-up to just three rounds, as I think this is a reasonable amount for
apparently ‘tuning in’ to the participants thoughts or way of thinking. However, as mentioned earlier, there are
more methods discussed in the Appendix which you can play with and add to the presentation.

Notes & Closing Comments:
Within in the context of the full routine, Which Hand? is just a bit of time misdirection between the switch and the
reveal, so it is with that in mind that I share the following.

You don’t need to perform three or more rounds of guessing which hand hides the money, you only have to do it
once. This is exactly what I did, and often still do; it’s a perfect way to try out each individual method for telling
which hand hides the money without fear of failure.

For example, you can ask Josh to hide the money and then perform The Heavy Hand Tell apparently using it to
gage how imaginative he is. A better his imagination, the easier it is for you to read his mind for the serial number.

‘The Pulse Tell’ allows you to test Josh’s psycho-physiological responses, or so you say.

Or perhaps you were attempting to influence Josh to put the money in a certain hand, if he followed your
suggestions, perfect! If not, never mind it just means it wont be as easy for you to read his mind but you like a
challenge (!?) so will try anyway.

Finally I’d like to talk about somewhat obvious variation of this effect. Instead of using a bank note and divining a
serial number, one could use a billet and divine a name, a word, a drawing or even a memory.

I would recommend that you still perform the switch and switch in a dummy billet for Josh to hide. Then as Josh is
hiding the billet, turn your back on him, which allows you to open the palmed billet and read its contents. You can
then switch it back in after you have divined which hand hides the dummy. I will leave the exact handling to you.

Nine Bob Note Breakdown:
1. Preparation: In your wallet, have a £10 and a £20 note ready in waiting. You will need to have
memorised the serial numbers of both these notes, or have a crib near by.

2. In performance, bring out your wallet as you ask your gathered spectators if they have any money on
them, ‘like a ten or a twenty pound note?’

3. Choose a spectator to use for the effect and from your own wallet, take out the note that matches his,
either the ten or the twenty.

4. Using your note to demonstrate, ask your participant to fold his note in the same manner as yours i.e.
with the serial number on the inside. Do this by starting with the Queen’s head facing you, fold it in
half from left to right (like closing a book), fold it in half again but from the top down, finally fold it half
again from left to right.

Apparently place your now folded note back into your wallet, but in reality retain it in finger palm.

5. Explain to your participant that you will try an experiment in thought reading with him but before that
you need to perform a little test, a game of Which Hand?.

6. Perform The Switch, as if to demonstrate and clarify what you mean by Which Hand?

• Take the participant’s note from him, take it behind your back and apparently put it in one of your
supposedly empty hands.

• In reality keep his note in your left hand (with your note palmed in the right) and bring out both
your hands, making fists, hiding their respective notes.

• Ask your participant to guess which hand hides his note and no matter which is chosen, open the
hand that contains your note and give it ‘back’ to him, retaining his in finger palm.

• Ditch his note at an appropriate moment.

7. Perform Round 1, 2 & 3 of Which Hand? or use any of the suggested variations in the Appendix.

8. Reveal the apparently borrowed note’s serial number in dramatic fashion.

Outroduction &
Now, I know it’s something of a cliché, but I sincerely hope that these three brain children of mine have found a
place within your repertoire, or at least got you thinking about your own creations.

Also, I’d love to hear your comments, questions and experience with these routines so please do feel free to email
me: alex@psychomagic.co.uk

The end is nigh my friends but before that, I have a few people to thank for their contribution to this work.

First of all my thanks must go to you, the reader, for buying this publication.6

I also have short list of people to extend personal, oozing and sincere gratitude, appreciation and other synonyms
for thanks:

Sean 'The Word Smith' Monaghan – Thanks for all the correspondence and long may it continue. Your proof
reading and patients with my “quirks of spelling” are not only thorough but very much appreciated.

NB: Any typos and grammatical blunders are entirely Sean’s fault so do let me know if you find any and I’ll be sure
to give him a good flogging.

Elliot Bresler – Thanks for your interest in my work and your support.

Dale A. Hildebrandt – Thanks for your generous contribution to this work.

Sean Waters – Thanks for your contribution and support.

Pazzo Daisy – Colourful Elephant Juice.

Dad – Look Dad, I’ve written another one.

You did buy it, didn’t you!?

Philtrum –
The routine itself was initially inspired by a routine from The Mental Magick of Basil Horfitz IV entitled, Ultimate
Challenge Thought and Clairvoyance. Basil’s routine used a stack of envelopes and incorporated a reading in to the
presentation but I wished to have an alternative that didn’t use the envelopes so after experimenting with a few
ideas, I came up with Philtrum. I highly recommend you track down a copy, in fact the entire series, of “Mental
Magick” books, they are well worth the investment.

The first place I came across the ‘No/Know Gag’ was in Banachek’s. brilliant Psychological Subtleties but it is as old
as the hills, as they say. Also, as far as I know, it was John Riggs who first published the ‘Grit’ extension to the gag.

The idea of loading a dummy card (or in this case a ‘Grit Card’) on top of a stack is as far as I know my own. It’s an
idea I mentioned briefly in my book Hybrid Mentalism regarding the effect The Ambitious Peek. Speaking of which,
the method behind Rub-A-Dub DD from the same book would work well within this routine. The peek used in this
routine of course replacing the peek discussed in ‘Hybrid’.

Tel. –
You may recognise this as a variation of the classic Dead Name Duplication effect.

There are numerous of this plot, five of which (A through E) can be found in Mainly Mental by C. L. Boarde. Several
additional renditions are included in the excellent e-book Switchcraft - The Billet Work of Elliot J. Bresler.

If you don’t have “a favourite method” for switching yet, then I highly recommend you buy a copy of Elliot’s book.
It has more switches and supplements than you can shake a billet knife at and is available by taking your interweb
browsers here: http://ebswitch.googlepages.com/

Elliot was also kind enough to include this effect as a supplement to Switchcraft along with The Temple Switch,
which works wonderfully with this routine.

I first came across Dead Name Duplication when watching Jay Sankey’s Boris Pocus DVD. I liked the basic effect
but disliked the method for destroying the original writing (Version A in Boarde’s Mainly Mental), so I came up with
the alternative idea of tracing over the original writing with a fatter marker pen.

I also realised that, due to the widely varying and unique ways different people write letters, my idea would work
better with numbers.

Nine Bob Note –

The switch is, as far as I know, my own creation but it’s so obvious that someone must have thought of it before
me. If you are that person, or know who it is, please get in touch and I will amend future versions of this

The ‘Nose Knows’ is a classic method for this kind of effect. Karl Fulves is normally accredited with this method as it
appeared in his Self-Working Mental Magic.

I first came across the The Pulse Tell or Pulse Test in Banachek’s Psychological Subtleties but I’m certain it pre-
dates this and I have been informed it appears in John Fisher’s (hard to get hold of) book, Body Magic.

‘The Heavy Hand Tell’ is, as mentioned in the text, a classic ‘suggestibility test’ and can be found in most books on
Hypnosis such as Ormond McGill’s Encyclopaedia of Stage Hypnosis.

I have tried my best to give credit where it is due but if you have any comments or amendments then please don’t
hesitate to get in touch: alex@psychomagic.co.uk

More ‘Which Hand?’ Tells:
What follows on these last few pages is a selection of ‘tells’ and techniques to use during your performance of the
‘Which Hand?’ effect.

Featuring some of my own ploys plus contributions by Dale A. Hildebrandt and Sean Waters.

Some of the ‘tells’ can work as stand alone pieces and perhaps be used for every round you play, or combined with
each other and the methods already discussed.

However, I would say these methods work better when used within the context of a larger routine such as ‘Nine
Bob Note’ where the main thrust of the routine is not the game itself but what the game is leading up to.

The Muscle Reading Tell:
I mentioned in the text for ‘Round 2’ that you can perform a brief piece of muscle reading by adjusting the
participant’s hands. The hand with the most resistance will be the hand containing the object.

So, it stands to reason that you can use muscle reading as a method for this effect.

Take hold of the participant’s fists, one with each hand and begin to move them gently.

“Let me take control. Keep focusing on the object, think about where it is. Left or right”

Continue to move their fists and arms about gently in circles, up and down, out and in, feeling for resistance. It’s
hard to describe on paper but keep it relaxed, as if you’re trying to balance their arms.

You can even put your arms on their shoulders and push him gently back and forth, from side to side (as if you are
going to turn him around on the spot) feeling for the resistance.

Play this as if you are ‘sensing’ where the coin is, which is sort of what you really are doing.

Which Hand(ling):
The following method has been kindly contributed by Sean Waters, author of the wonderful e-books; Ponderings,
Ode to Ekman and Contemplations, the latter features this method in its bonus section.

Sean’s work can be found here: http://www.watersmindworks.com

I noticed that if I had people hide an item (coin, ball, or medallion) in one of their hands in a different way, there
was an intriguing result.

If people hold their hands with the clenched-fist but point their knuckles toward you in a vertical line, you will find
an interesting trend. Stated again, if you give a “thumbs-up” sign to someone, you’d be in the correct position.

Now I found that most often if people were asked to hide an object and then brings their hands forward (in the
manner I just described) something interesting happened. Typically, the hand the contained the item,
demonstrated a curious sign. On the guilty hand, you will often find the thumb comes over the top of the fist (over
the hole created by holding your fist that way). In other words, it covers the space, as a subconscious guilt factor.
Don’t discuss hands or the fact that they may give something away. Just do it and give it a try. See if you find the
same thing. Keep in mind, this is a slight difference, but it can be noticed. The non-guilty hand (which doesn’t
hold the item) will tend to have the thumb a little further down, lying across the fingers, instead of over the hole.

The X-Ray / Blood Tell:
I’m sure you must be familiar with the old ruse of turning your back on the participant and asking them to hold the
hand with the object in, up in the air for a few seconds and then bring it back down again. You turn to face the
participant and can tell which hand contains the object due to the fact that the hand with the object in will be paler
than the other. The reason for this being that it was held higher than the other, allowing some of the blood to drain
from it causing the skin to go slightly pale in comparison to the other.

This method is as old as the hills, if not older, but what follows is my own take and handling, which hides the
necessary hand raising with the notion of x-ray eyes!

The participant has just brought their hands out, both of which are making fists and one of which hides the money.

“Now, when I do this, some people, crazy people, think I have x-ray eyes. I’ve always thought it would be cool if I
did have x-ray eyes… so let’s try this.

I will turn my back, when I have done so, hold the hand with the money up to your face, a few inches away from
your nose. Make sure you don’t do it until I have completely turned away so I can’t catch a glimpse at which hand
you hold up. In fact I will cover my eyes, OK?.

Now, you are amongst friends so you know no one is going to signal me which hand you hold in font of your face.

Turn your back on the participant, cover your eyes and continue to address them.

“Now, hold the hand with the money in just in front of your face. Now look at that hand and imagine you can see
through it.

Imagine you can see through your skin, through the veins and tendons, through the bones and you can see the
money as clear as day. You can see the writing on the money, you can see the images, and you can see the
Queen’s face looking back at you.

Now, bring that hand back down with the other one. Have you done that, can I turn back around?”

As soon as they confirm that you can turn back to face them, ask them to look at their right hand, and then look at
their left hand, imagining which hand they can ‘see’ the money in. You will look at their hands with them, so will be
able to notice the subtle change in colour of their skin.

The ‘paleness’ in the hand doesn’t last long so you will need to rush the participant to let you know you can turn
back around.

When explaining that you want them to hold the hand with the money in, up in front of their face; demonstrate
exactly what you mean with your own hand by holding it directly in front of you, about 6 inches away from your

This procedure of course replaces the participant just holding the hand up for no good reason. Also, the rather
drawn out process of describing ‘seeing through the skin, veins, tendons, bones, etc.’ increases the amount of time
they keep their hand up, causing more blood to drain from that hand.

Super Coin in Hand:
This is a slight variation on the theme as the participant will hide a copper coin in one hand and a silver coin in the
other. This method allows you to tell which hand hides which coin and is kindly contributed by Dale A. Hildebrandt.

This method is very different from what has come before. With enough practice and rehearsal, you will be able to
even fool other magicians and mentalists, who will be looking for the older methods.

This is an effect which allows you to know which coins are in which hands using a very interesting technique that
I’ve explored and that I kept very, very private until the publication of this piece in Binary Brainstorms e-book and
the periodical Oracle.

You hand a quarter and a penny to a volunteer. You then turn around. The volunteer is to put a coin in each hand,
while your back is turned. Once the coins are placed in the hands, you turn to face to the volunteer.

You ask the volunteer to visualize the coin in their right hand getting brighter and brighter and brighter. You then
ask the volunteer to visualize the coin in their left hand getting brighter and brighter and brighter.

You then announce which coin is in which hand. We’ll say that the quarter was in the right hand and the penny was
in the left hand.

This is all about subtle cues given off by the spectator.

The penny should be a very, very dull penny—not shiny at all. You want to get the most beat-up penny that you
can find, and make sure it is not bright, but rather dull. The quarter should be very bright and shiny. In fact, you
may want to get a quarter out of a proof set, because then it will have a fine mirror finish. Thus there is a LARGE
contrast in the brightness of the coins.

Many people will find it easier to visualize the penny getting brighter and brighter, and you will notice a change in
their eye movement and it will take just a tad longer for them to process the instructions to make the coin brighter.
The quarter is already shiny, so making it brighter and brighter is a more difficult task for most people. They will go
through the process of making the quarter brighter in a shorter time than it took for them to make the penny
brighter. You have to really pay attention here.

This is very close to being a form of non-contact mind reading, but what you are doing is reading cues given to you
by the actions that the audience member partakes in during the instructions.

Of course, you may run into someone who does just the opposite. You have two options: you can either fail once at
the effect, and start over, now knowing the proper cues OR you can do the following. (I want to mention that if you
fail once, you won’t fail the next few times, so it only becomes one miss and is soon overshadowed by the many
hits which you can get, now that you know their accessing cues.)

You can gauge what the response will be by using an older method that relies on mathematics and then going to
the more pure method used in “Super Coin In Hand”.

You want to use a nickel and a penny for this older method. You still want the penny to be very dull, and the nickel
to have a shiny, perhaps even mirrored surface. This older method can be found described in a few beginner
books, but it is rarely seen by laypeople and fools them quite easily.

Besides that, it allows you to gauge the appropriate response.

You ask them to multiply the coin in the right hand by seventeen. Then you have them do the same with the left
hand coin. Whichever takes longer will be the nickel, because it is more difficult math to do. But don’t just end

there. Before you reveal which coin is in which hand, you have them visualize a few things. First, have them
visualize the door to their house. Then have them visualize a few more things. Next, in this visualization exercise,
you have them imagine each coin in each hand getting brighter and brighter.

You already know which hand holds which coins, but now you have an even more useful piece of information. You
now know how long it takes them to visualize the nickel getting brighter versus how long it takes for them to make
the penny brighter in their minds, plus you can watch for other “tells” and signs while doing this that will aid you in
the more pure version described above! This mathematics part isn’t necessary, but it will give some confidence to
you while you learn how to read the more subtle cues that allow you to know which coin is in which hand.

The Eye Cue Tell:
You are probably familiar with a particular facet of NLP known as ‘Eye Cues.’

Briefly: This is a ‘pattern of behaviour’, or if you prefer ‘general likelihood of behaviour’, suggesting that when most

• Imagine seeing something inside their mind i.e. Visual– they look up and to the side (or stare straight

• Imagine hearing something inside their mind i.e. Auditory – they look to the side.

• Imagine feeling something i.e. Kinesthetic – they look down and to one side.

Armed with this knowledge, we have the makings for an interesting ‘tell’.

Tell the participant to vividly imagine that the object is changing colour, “form red to bright blue to florescent
green…”, but only if it is in their left hand, or to imagine it is getting hot, very hot, only if it is in their right. Tell
them to do this when you click your fingers.

Click your fingers and observe the reaction you get.

It is likely that if their eyes look up (but possibly stare forward) then they are imagining the object changing colour
and there for it is in their left hand.

If they look down and to the side, imagining the changing temperature of the object, then it is in their right.

Now, I know not everyone follows the pattern of ‘up and to the side’ for imagined visuals and ‘down and to the
side’ if they are imagining sensations but you can check what each individual’s eyes do when giving them your
instructions. So, for example, as you explain that you want them to imagine the object changing colour only if it is
in the left hand, notice what their eyes do. Then do the same as you explain what you want them to do if it’s in the
right hand.

You can use the information about what their eyes ‘do’ when thinking in pictures or in sensations to help you when
it comes to guessing which hand has the object.

A possible alternative eye cue is of course ‘Auditory’ (thinking in sounds / hearing something inside their mind) in
which case you might ask them to imagine the object yelling, “Help! Help! I’m in the left hand”.

The pattern would suggest that their eyes will move to one side but they may think of it as an ‘internal dialog’
which, like ‘feeling sensations’, is down and to one side. It is for this reason that I tend to stick with the opposite
ends of the spectrum and use visual and kinesthetic, which the majority of the time is either eyes up or eyes down.

It can really help if you reiterate with more detail the colours changing or the feeling of heat as they are doing the
imaginative work, this will tend to push them in to clearer and noticeable response if it isn’t apparent straight away.

The Smile Tell:
I will admit that this method is very experimental. Its fun to play around with, especially when performing this
routine with a ‘good hypnotic subject’

I call it ‘The Smile Tell’ and it uses ‘pacing and leading’ as its foundation.

We used a little pacing and leading earlier in ‘Round 2 – The Give It Away Tell’ but, for those that aren’t sure what
pacing and leading is, here is a brief description of how it works.

Pacing and leading works on the principle that the more true statements you make, the more likely it is that your
next statement will be accepted as truth. This next statement will be a suggestion.

This is often used in therapeutic and ‘conversational hypnosis’ to greatly increase the likelihood that the subject will
respond to and accept your suggestions.

You begin by making at least three pacing statements, three statements that you know and can observe to be true,
followed by a leading statement which will be the suggestion you want them to follow.

So after your participant has brought their hands out, one of which hides the object, ‘pace’ them and then ‘lead’
them in to a response that will tell you which hand hides the object.

The following assumes that the participant is standing and you are using money instead of any other object.

“Ok, look at me. Just relax, really relax now. Take a deep breath in…let it out. Good.

Now, in this moment, as you stand their now, looking at me, breathing in and out, with the money in
one of your hands, I don’t know if you put the money in your left hand…unless you feel like smiling now if
you did”

We pace their reality by making statements about the here and now; they are standing their, they are looking at
you, they are breathing in and out, they do have the money in one of their hands.

(It’s great if you can time your words so that as you say “breath in” the participant is inhaling and as you say “out”
they are exhaling)

We then begin to lead them with something they presume to be true; you don’t know if they put the money in their
left hand.

Finally we lead them with the command; “…feel like smiling now if you did”

It may sound silly but try it out a few times, you can always brush it off with a “You’re not going to fall for that one
are you!” and move on to another, more reliable method such as ‘The Pulse Tell’.

Some ‘helpers’ with this are; asking them to relax and take a deep breath at the start, maintaining eye contact,
saying the words in bold with slightly more emphasis, nodding your head as you say “feel” and smiling yourself as
you say “smiling now” so you are visually and physically leading them.

Also by the Author
Hybrid Mentalism
This is my first offering to the mentalism community.

With a foreword from Looch (author of Simple & Direct Mentalism), this slim, perfect-
bound, 105 page book contains twelve pieces of mentalism suitable for stage, close-up
and impromptu settings.

Available at: http://alexandermarsh.psychomagic.co.uk

“Alexander Marsh and 'Hybrid Mentalism'... what can I say? After Al told me he wanted to write a book I felt
compelled to encourage the young man and wished to see his ideas and dynamic approach to mentalism placed
into words, if nothing than for my own use and enjoyment!

For a number of months now I have used his routine 'The 37th Deception' and his brilliant, 'In Dramatic Fashion'
process and revelation in my professional work and performances. Within a book filled with very clever, useable
and strong routines, I have found this one piece and subtlety worth the price of the tome many times over, and
this, (without hype and at the risk of sounding totally cliché) is absolutely true.

Alex has a desperate and sincere passion for his art and performances which I find lacking in many of today's
students and performers of mentalism. The love is there and the material is here in his wonderful first offering,
'Hybrid Mentalism.' All this AND he's not even charging a thousand bucks for it!

I enjoyed the book, material and ideas set forth and trust you will too. Thank you Alex for a remarkable first effort
and offering. You made my day!”
- Jerome Finley

“When I first read his ideas I was delighted in the simplicity & strength of each effect. Not only that but I could
immediately see within his writings that he was a worker.

Alexander…has given you an insight into his diabolical mind. The routines and ideas in this book will far outweigh
the price you have paid for it.”
– Looch

“You would be very, very hard pressed to buy this book and not be able to take something of value from it.

Great contribution to the community Alex.”

– Paul Brook


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