This is a fine contained course in mental magic which not just describes a selection of effects, but the underlying principles as well as other aspects, such as 'The importance of showmanship'. You will learn to force cards, to use the key card principle, to mark and to prearrange, to understand the mirror principle, to work with codes and assistants, and a lot more.
Hugard is known for his excellent writing style, which is clear, accurate and engaging.
Many amateur magicians are today being bombarded with questions about the work of Joseph Dunninger, whose radio demonstrations of "mentalism" appear to have taken the country by storm. Perhaps the best answer, in the interests of avoiding explanations and yet saving face, is for the amateur to show the questioner that he, the amateur, can also read minds! Jean Hugard's Mental Magic with Cards (which, by the way, was "respectfully dedicated to Dunninger, the world's preeminent exponent of mental mysticism") provides information which should enable almost any student of magic to turn "mind-reader" at a moment's notice, for it shows how to present card tricks in the guise of mental tests.
We could not possibly describe these tests adequately in the space at our disposal; and it seems quite unnecessary to try, for the reason that the general effect of all mind-reading effects is the same - that is, the performer (or his assistant) manages to get possession of information by means other than the customary methods of communication, and hence is credited with being a mind-reader! That there are many ways to secure such information, without detection by the spectators, is made clear by a study of Mr. Hugard's booklet. He tells how it may be done by using many of the well-established principles of card conjuring: By forcing a spectator to think of a given card; by using a "key card"; by marking a card with a pin or finger-nail; by employing a prearranged pack, with either partial or complete "set-up"; by calling into one's service such devices as the "one-way deck," the "forcing deck," the "marked-back deck"; and by utilizing a bit of carbon paper, a small mirror, and other "fakes" with which most magicians are familiar. He also explains the use of "talking" and "silent" codes which enable the performer to transmit the names of cards to his "medium."
Not content merely to describe principles, the author explains a number of complete tricks. It is difficult to say just how many actual tests he presents, for several versions are given in some instances - but we may place the number conservatively at twenty-five to thirty. There is also a short discussion of the importance of showmanship; and complete patter accompanies one of the explanations, so that the reader has an excellent illustration of how presentation may be enhanced by the use of appropriate lines. It should be noted that some of the feats described here demand ability in sleight-of-hand (such as forcing, false shuffling, and palming), but this is the exception rather than the rule.
Mental Magic with Cards is exceedingly well printed on good paper and is bound in brilliantly decorated soft board covers. It has 24 pages of actual text, but the pages are so large that the book contains as much material as is found in the average 50-page volume.