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Calling Cards
by Scott F. Guinn

#3 Balls, Eggs, Dice & Cups author

(1 review, 1 customer rating) ★★★★★

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Calling Cards by Scott F. Guinn

A feature show-stopping mentalism routine

NOTE: While the description below describes the effect using a seven-digit phone number, it can also be done with ten or more digits to cover area codes and country codes if required. Scott explains this in the ebook, as well some other options.

You remove a deck of cards from its case. To preclude the possibility of any sleight-of-hand, you put it in a clear glass tumbler, holding it up for all to see, the face of the pack toward the audience. You begin moving cards, one at a time, from the back of the deck to the face, and seven audience members take turns saying, "Stop" wherever they choose. As each person stops you, the next card is dealt face down on the table. Everyone agrees that this procedure has been totally fair.

The glass (with the deck still in it) is set aside. You pick up the packet of the seven stopped-at selections and begin to deal the cards one at a time on the table, switching the cards around as instructed by an eighth audience member. Everyone agrees that she had completely free choices and that you fairly followed her instructions exactly.

For the first time, the faces of these seven cards are revealed, in the order dictated. After getting everyone to agree again that both the cards themselves and the order in which they are displayed were freely and randomly arranged at the whims of the eight audience members, you claim that you not only knew in advance this would be the outcome, but you mentally controlled them to arrive at it!

The audience is understandably skeptical and demands that you provide proof of this outlandish assertion. You ask a ninth person to take out his mobile phone and dial the numbers represented by the seven cards, in order. As he dials, you say, "I hate to say I told you so, but . . ."

Your phone rings. You answer it, saying, "I TOLD YOU SO!" It is the ninth audience member on the line!

This is a stunning, show-stopping, feature mentalism routine that you can put into your act almost immediately!


  1. NO GIMMICKS. Only a regulation poker deck, an ordinary drinking glass, and your normal cell phone are used.
  2. NO FORCES on when the first seven spectators stop you or when the eighth spectator has you change the order of the cards as you deal.
  3. NO SWITCHES. You actually remove the rear card to the table each time the first seven spectators say stop, and you really follow the eighth spectator's instruction in the mixing.
  4. NO STOOGES. The participants can be absolute strangers, who exercise their free will in making their choices. You can even have the host choose them and decide who does what.
  5. NO TRICKY APPS OR ELECTRONICS. The phone call is genuine. The ninth spectator actually dials the number as the cards dictate, your phone really rings, and you really connect to his actual call.
  6. NO SLEIGHT-OF-HAND. This routine uses a couple of simple but ingenious swindles to accomplish the effect.
Calling Cards has less handling and set up than other marketed routines of this type, yet the effect is every bit as strong, and in some ways even stronger:
  1. The effect is more direct. The selection of the cards moves briskly, and the pile is dealt only once for the mixing (as there are only seven cards--or ten, if you need to use the area code - in the pile, that goes VERY quickly). Then the call is made.
  2. There is far greater audience involvement. Nine spectators assist, rather than just one or two, so you not only have more audience participation, but the possibility of stooges is completely eliminated.
  3. Because the deck is isolated in the glass, there is no suspicion of sleight-of-hand (and there really is no sleight-of hand).
  4. There is nothing in the process that a spectator can do to sabotage the outcome, such as intentionally removing or switching cards, or accidentally dropping them.

"I think you've put together a great presentation, and your idea is clean and uses normal items that anyone can get. Congratulations on a well-structured routine and one that can be used as a closer." - Greg Arce

"Your Calling Cards is very good. I read the effect and thought about how I would do it. I don't think I could have figured out a practical way of doing this. It's very clever. I think it would have fooled me. The use of the old swindle is perfect for this effect. I have used the swindle before and know that it is extremely deceptive. And your presentation is entertaining. I think you have a winner on your hands!" - John Luka

"I think your routine is far more direct than other routines of this type. It's exactly as it should be: they stop whenever they want to, it avoids the stooge explanation because of how many people you get involved; and the mixing procedure is plenty enough to convince them that the cards are in a random order. The success of the effect, in my mind, boils down to the spectators being convinced that you could not possibly know what cards are going to be selected, nor in what order. Your routine nails it on both counts. It's straightforward, easy to follow, and direct - what more could you possibly ask for?" - John Holt

"'Calling Cards' is a strong routine. It's modern, does not require any funny moves, packs small, and plays as big as you want to play it. Great Scott! You did it again!" - Floyd Collins

"I recently picked up your 'Calling Cards' from Lybrary, and I have to tell you that I *love* it! Great thinking, great method, and great presentation. I appreciate the thoughts you included at the end as to the 'why'; that's one of my favorite parts to read from any creator! Thanks for releasing this gem. For your sake I'm glad that it seems to be selling well, but selfishly, I wish that I was the only person who bought it! This is really good. Thanks again for releasing a commercial and delightful piece of magic to the community. I'm glad to see that you're back into the magic scene. You have my highest congratulations on your remarkable comeback into magic!" - Jeff Kowalk

1st edition 2016, 32 pages.
word count: 6937 which is equivalent to 27 standard pages of text

Reviewed by Michael Lyth (confirmed purchase)
★★★★★   Date Added: Wednesday 10 February, 2016

This work is quality produced clear photos straight to the point and love the personal side of the author who is very much in love with his faith, wife, and child. I only have his close up cups and balls until now maybe I should invest more and you too.

This product is listed under the following topics:

Magic & Conjuring / Cards

Magic & Conjuring / Mentalism & Spiritism