Here is a 21st Century version of John Scarne's Think-A-Card, published by U.F. Grant back in 1938. Whereas Scarne's version relied on the convenience of writing predictions on cigarette papers, Baxter completely dispenses with this quaint idea with a new, slick presentation.
Daley was really fired up about this highly effective mental test from the ingenious Scarne: "You are about to become the possessor of a rare and beautiful gem in mental magic" he enthused. "Simple in its modus operandi and yet so tremendously effective...an almost perfect demonstration of mind reading."
Scarne, a universally recognized gambling authority and highly skilled sleight of hand artist, had crafted a gem indeed, with two spectators and the performer involved in a successful forecasting of three cards chosen from a shuffled pack. It was a judicious use of the one-ahead principle, coupled with simple props and an understated, deliberate presentation.
Eighty years down the track and the trick has lost none of its impact.
However, times change and the props involved, other than the deck of cards, just might benefit from an update. The idea of writing predictions on cigarette papers would be questioned in 2018 because in those pre-war days, roll your own cigarettes were far more popular than they are today, A packet of these papers was accepted as standard, carried in the pocket of nearly every smoker. Think-A-Card relied on the switching of rolled-up cigarette paper pellets, three times in fact, during the course of the routine. Pulling a packet of such papers out of your pocket today and proceeding with the trick, would appear somewhat quaint.
On offer here, some revisions which I believe are more appropriate for today's audiences. Requisites are simple: one deck of cards, one business card, one pen or pencil.
Whereas Scarne's original version depended on a pellet switch that he taught, no such move is required for the handling that follows. Scarne Thinks Again is virtually sleight free, allowing for the optional use of just one sleight, if the performer is comfortable with it.
1st edition 2018, 3 pages.
word count: 1250 which is equivalent to 5 standard pages of text