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12 Tricks with a Borrowed Deck
by Martin Gardner


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12 Tricks with a Borrowed Deck by Martin Gardner

Here are a dozen quality card magic effects that can be performed with an unprepared deck at a moment's notice. While not self-working, most of these miracles rely on just one or two sleights. Some require a setup. Crisp illustrations by Dr. Harlan Tarbell help make it easy to understand and master.

Here's what's included:

  • Improved Topsy-Turvy Deck - The deck is flipped half face-up and half face-down, then sloppily shuffled. The deck mysteriously rights itself, except for three selected cards, which are the only reversed cards in the pack. This will slay your audience.
  • Face to Face Fantasy - A cheek-to-cheek deck type effect, but uses a borrowed deck.
  • Double Climax Speller - Gardner reveals that he knows of no impromptu spelling trick that achieves such a spectacular effect at the expense of so little manipulation. We agree. You will use this.
  • Never-Miss Stop Effect - This trick was selected by Max Maven as one of the Ten Best Martin Gardner Effects of All Time. It's quite an entertaining effect, that's for sure!
  • Big Casino Countdown - The 10 of Diamonds ("Big Casino") is placed in the deck to help reveal the location of the spectator's card.
  • Six of Spades Countdown - The 6S is placed in the deck. Using the location of the 6S as a starting point, the name of the spectator's card is spelled, one card per letter turned, and there is the selected card.
  • Two Piles and Subtract - Similar to a Paul Rosini effect, with a different method. 20 cards are used, with a mentally selected card revealed in a surprising manner.
  • Do As I Do - An early Gardner effect from The Jinx, with a more startling climax than similar routines.
  • Eye-Pop Routine - A pair of selected cards reverse themselves in the deck. They are then put in the middle of the deck, then suddenly jump to the top of the pack.
  • Sympathetic Decks - A twin deck miracle of sympathetic minds. A beautiful effect that slays audiences.
  • Vanishing and Reappearing Card - A selected card vanishes from the deck then reappears in a remarkable manner.
  • Improved Lie Speller - An improved version of an earlier Gardner effect from Joe Berg's "Here's More Magic." Two cards are selected. The first is produced after asking just three questions. The second spectator gets three questions, too, but they can lie if they wish. Nevertheless, the card is discovered.
"...A book carefully describing twelve excellent tricks, which may be done extemporaneously. Tarbell's illustrations are, as usual, superb." - Sphinx Magazine review
1st edition 1940. 1st digital edition 2017, 56 pages.
word count: 14565 which is equivalent to 58 standard pages of text