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Three Shades of Wonder
by Unnamed Magician

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Three Shades of Wonder by Unnamed Magician

Imagine an impossible location, an astounding coincidence, and an inexplicable prediction ... all jammed into one routine. Three effects in one, using two spectators. That's Three Shades of Wonder, and it's a true showstopper. Read on.


The magician introduces a deck of cards. He hands it over to the spectators so they can examine it and verify that all the cards are different. Then, the magician splits the deck into two halves, placing one half in front of each spectator.

The magician explains (as he gives a demonstration) that both spectators are to take their half underneath the table and select a card by simply giving their half as many complete cuts as they want. Once they're satisfied, they are to stop cutting and look at the top card of their half, which they are to then bury inside their half by sliding it in anywhere they want. The magician explains that this is to be done under the table to prevent any peeking.

Before the spectators do that, the magician hands over a folded prediction paper to the second spectator, which they are asked to place in their pocket.

At this point, both spectators take their halves under the table and do as instructed. Once done, they bring their halves back onto the table. The magician says, "Your selected cards are now lost somewhere inside your respective halves. But, to make this even more fair, I want both of you to shuffle your respective halves in order to truly lose your selections." So both spectators thoroughly shuffle their halves.

After the shuffling, the magician says, "Now let's see if a miracle occurred. You both will deal cards one by one from the top of your respective shuffled halves - except you [spectator one] will deal each card face up and you [spectator two] will deal each card face down. Also, I want each of you to deal in sync with one another."

So both spectators deal simultaneously, the first spectator dealing their cards face up and the second spectator dealing their cards face down. At some point during the deal the magician yells "Stop! I think that's your card, isn't it?" The first spectator, in shock, confirms that the last card they dealt face up is indeed their selection. An impossible location!

The magician continues, "Both of you shuffled your selected cards into your respective halves. Wouldn't it be crazy if, despite the shuffling, both your cards ended up at the exact same position in the two halves?" Right after saying this, the magician points to the second spectator who was dealing face down and invites them to turn over the last card they dealt (the one corresponding to the position of the first spectator's selection from the other half). Before they turn it over, they are asked to name their selection for the first time. Then, they turn over the card for an astounding coincidence!

Lastly, the magician points to the second spectator and says, "Remember I gave you a prediction at the beginning - a piece of paper. I gave it to you before you even selected a card. Reach into your pocket and have a look at it." They open it up and find the name of their selection written inside. An inexplicable prediction!

Some important conditions of note:

  • At the beginning of the effect, the spectators get to fully examine the deck.
  • After the two spectators take their halves underneath the table for the selection process, the magician never touches the cards throughout the rest of the routine. So both spectators themselves perform the deal at the end.
  • The two spectators can slide their selections anywhere into their respective halves, after which they can freely shuffle their halves as much as they want (before the deal).

Note: There is a bonus idea included as well (by David Britland), which turns this into a four-phase routine.

1st edition 2024, PDF 9 pages.
word count: 2959 which is equivalent to 11 standard pages of text