Twenty-five card tricks some of which use the extremely versatile Gilbreath principle.
1st edition, 2000.
TWO'S COMPANY: You remove the four Kings from the deck, then have two spectators each select a card. Both selections are lost into the deck. You now offer the audience a choice of Kings, the red ones or the black ones. They might opt for the red Kings. You pick these up and turn them over whereupon the first spectator's selection appears reversed between them. You place this sandwich on the table then pick up the two black Kings, which you place face up on top of the deck and give the deck a single complete cut. The first selection now vanishes from between the red Kings, and both selections appear between the two black Kings in the middle of the deck.
DIPLOID: Two previously selected cards are revealed by two random locator cards. Wow!
COLD FUSION: You remove the two black Jacks and lay them aside, saying that you will use them in a scientific experiment. Two cards are now selected and each is signed by a spectator. Both cards are inserted face up into the deck. Now for the experiment. You pick up the two black Jacks and place them face to face. Both Jacks now fuse together. As proof, you give the fused card out for inspection. Now you spread the deck but only one of the signed cards is seen to be face up. This card is slid out and turned over revealing that it has fused to the back of the other signed card. This fused card is also given out for inspection.
AMALGA - MATE: You remove a card from the deck and place it unseen into your pocket as a prediction. Two cards are now freely selected. The value of the first card and the suit of the second card are combined to give a new random card. This might be the Nine of Hearts. You remove the prediction card from your pocket. It is the Nine of Hearts.
JAGGED EDGE: A signed selection is found in a rather bizarre manner, when half a locator card vanishes and appears stapled to its back!
THE 25% SOLUTION: This is another bizarre revelation of a chosen and signed card. This time, the corner of another selected card vanishes, only to appear stapled to the back of the signed selection!
PROCURING THE ACES: A spectator cuts the deck into four piles. He now hands you the top card from each pile in any order he wishes. You perform a simple elimination and place the remaining card face down on the table. You repeat this three more times, carrying out an identical series of actions every time. The resulting four cards are the four Aces.
METATHESIS: A spectator thinks of any card within a packet of all red cards, and a second spectator thinks of any card within a packet of all black cards. Both selections now transpose.
GALA SHOW: Two spectators succeed in blindly marrying the four Kings to their correct Queens. Bliss!
FORCED ENTRY: Here's a puzzling quickie using a deck set in a 13/14 Force stack, which is (discard two Kings).
IMOGENETIC: Alan Francis' "Genimo" in Abacus (Vol.4, No.7) started me on the following. Alan's article referred back to Stephen Tuckers' "Imogination" (Abacus, Vol.4, No.2), which in turn was inspired by George McBride's excellent "Imogen" (Abacus, Vol.3, No.11). Steve concluded his article by posing an interesting problem and this is my solution to it. The effect will become apparent as you read on.
SIMPLACES: A simple production of the four Aces, where the spectator seems to be in control.
SUCCUBI: You show a mixed deck of ESP cards and invite a spectator to reverse any one card. The card remains in its position. You now give the deck to the spectator and ask him to spell "OUT OF ORDER." He now gives the deck a few cuts, then deals the deck into five hands of five cards. Each hand contains mixed symbols except the one with his reversed card. That hand contains all five of the same symbol. It seems that his reversed card protected its hand, while the other four hands were thrown OUT OF ORDER!
CHAMBRE ARDENTE: Using a regular ESP deck, you take the audience on a trip through the occult. In the end, a spectator mysteriously finds all five of the one symbol.
ARADIA: You hand a spectator a deck of ESP cards from which he removes any card and places it unseen into his pocket. A second spectator removes five cards at random. He looks at one of the cards then thoroughly mixes the packet. You now take the packet, receive the spectator's thoughts and remove the symbol he is thinking of. Finally you place your hand flat on top of the deck and announce the symbol that is in the spectator's pocket. You are correct once again!
MEDVEGIA: A baffling matching of ESP cards which adequately demonstrates the power of money.
THE SUPERNAL DATEBOOK: This is a diary prediction with an unexpected and humorous twist at the end.
THE SECOND HAND GAMBLER: You explain that it is easy for a card cheat to deal himself a Royal Flush in Spades. To prove this, you shuffle the deck, the spectator cuts, then you deal two hands of cards. When you turn over your hand, it is a Royal Flush in Spades. You point out that to do such a thing in a game would be suicidal, therefore the cheat must be able to deal himself any hand at will. You now demonstrate by asking the spectator to name any one of the nine possible Poker hands, giving him a list in case his card playing knowledge is slight. He might settle for a Full House. Using only the ten cards just dealt, you mix the packet and deal two hands. You turn your hand over revealing a Full House!
BLAKJAK: A spectator shuffles a deck then cuts it into two halves. You take one and the spectator takes the other. You now exchange top cards, then bottom cards. When you both turn over your top cards, they are a King and an Ace - Blackjack! You both flip your cards face up revealing that the face cards are also a King and an Ace - Blackjack again!
BLADE RUNNER: A card is selected then lost in the deck. You take a pen-knife and thrust it into the outer end of the deck. When you pull the knife out again, a card is seen to be impaled on the blade. Alas, this is the wrong card! However, you ask the spectator to pull the card off the knife. When he does, he finds that it has changed into his card. Any deck can be used, and the effect performed at any time.
THE 5 POINT 5 TRICK: The classic gag "The 31/2 of Clubs" (why always Clubs?) always seems to go down well, despite the fact that the magical depth is shallow, because once the gag has registered it is not impossible for the method to be reconstructed by almost any lay person, as the properties of dice are well known today. OK, it 's only a gag, but we are also a magicians aren't we? Here is the version I constructed which is, I think, methodically sound, and the finish, though different, has the same punch as with the original. The force belongs to Bob Ostin.
DRAW POKER: This trick came about as a direct result of a conversation with Roy Walton, who had a card problem which he eventually (overnight actually) solved, and published in OPUS.
BRAINDEATH: For some strange reason the following variation of the 'Brainwave' Deck sometimes gets a slightly better reaction from a lay audience than the original presentation. In effect, someone names any card. You now remove a pack and spread to reveal a f ace up card amongst the face down. This is NOT the selection but it is purported to be a card that you inserted earlier to mark a predicted spot. The card that lies facing this marker is removed and turned over to reveal the freely named card. Finally the marker is turned over to reveal the name of the selection boldly written across it's back.
THE EQUALIZER: The following is more of brain teaser than a magical effect, and should be kept for the right occasion.
THE CON ARTIST: The following is a two stage effect utilising the Bottom Deal. It may appeal to some. The second stage was partly inspired by an idea shown to me by Neil Smith of Glasgow.
word count: 13860 which is equivalent to 55 standard pages of text