Category: Ideas

How was your summer? I went to Space Camp.

Card is selected and controlled second from the top. Make some sort of magic gesture, dirty or otherwise. Triple turnover and claim that you’ve found their selection. When they say no, turn the triple over and thumb the top card to the table.

Pressing on, say you’ll do a fancy cut to find their card. Here I like to do a really bad, really labored Sybil-esque flourish cut of some kind. As long as it preserves the top stock. Double turnover, displaying the same card (let’s say the 10 of Spades) you just put down on the table. A bit puzzled, they’ll again say no. Turn it over and thumb it down onto the first tabled card.

Finally, say they’ll find their card. Using your preferred method, force the top card on them. I usually use the Blackstone force. Whatever.

So you’ve effectively shown them all the same card, none of which is theirs. Table the deck. Take this last 10 of Spades and use it to scoop up the other two cards on the table, bringing it to the bottom of the packet. Do a casual Flushtration Count (emphasis on casual), saying something like, “So none of these cards are yours…?”

After the Flushtration, the real selection is on the bottom of the face down packet. Under proper misdirection of your choosing, palm off the top two cards off the packet. Transfer the single card (assumed by the audience to be three cards) to your left hand, then bring your right hand to the tabled deck, unloading the two palmed cards as you spread the deck on the table and say something like, “So if your card isn’t here in the deck…” Then point to the card in your left hand, “…and it isn’t one of these…” You have a lot of flexibility here. Just as long as you get rid of those two cards in some fashion, you’re DTF. I’m actually more comfortable with a cop/palm from the bottom–I just wanted you guys to think I was cool.

End however you see fit, eventually disclosing that you only hold their single selection in your hand.

Culling Barrie’s Bluff

Anyone do Barrie Richardson’s bluff card to pocket? I like the general idea, but always felt the bluff was just a little too weak. Here’s a little fix to generate a bit more conviction. Knowledge of Barrie’s routine is a must, obviously. It’s in his book Act II, which is excellent.

The deck is faceup with a facedown card at the rear. Spread through and ask the spectator to touch a card. As you spread the deck, slip the facedown card underneath the spread. When they nominate a card, upjog the selection and point out the two cards on either side of it. Let’s say, the JH and the 2D. In the process of squaring up the spread you’re going to slip the facedown card in between the JH and the 2D. It doesn’t matter if it goes above or below the upjogged selection.

Square the selection into the deck, actually using the TPC actions to get the card sticking perpendicular out of the deck underneath the right hand. Do the magic, then spread through the deck, simultaneously culling the perpendicular selection under the spread and revealing the facedown card (ostensibly the selection). Point out the JH and the 2D on either side of it. Square up the deck, maneuvering the selection into classic palm in your left hand. Set the deck down on the table. From here, you’re able to go through the rest of Barrie’s procedure.

Obviously you can substitute the TPC for any other steal. I like it because you have to spread to reveal the facedown card anyway, so the cull/palm flows pretty well in this context. And it’s dead easy.

License to [Switch Places with a Signed Selection]

This idea is probably old news, but…

What if, instead of framing the Card to Wallet as a transportation, you could turn it into a transposition? Naturally anything in your wallet would work (credit card, baby picture, Magnum condom), but I feel like the selection transposing with your driver’s license is a neat-o image. I initially considered this idea in conjunction with Paul Harris’s “Guts” trick. The visual transformation of the selection into a driver’s license seems top dro fo sho. And the handling is balls easy.

I imagine this notion of a transportation-turned-transposition between two disparate objects could prove fertile creative ground. Card goes to pocket, a bunch of change falls from the deck. Card appears in a gumball machine, a gumball falls out of the deck. Card travels to gofer stomach, gofer entrails fall out of deck.

We’re on to something here.



I’ve recently become enchanted with the Fechter timing cut force. Like the more vanilla classic force, the Fechter force is one of those Just Fucking Do It Until You Know How to Do It sorta things. Fortunately, you have a kind-of safety net in that if you miss your force, you can turn the whole thing into a key card placement (Vernon? Marlo? One of those two). So this workaround is essentially unnecessary, and no doubt bronzing the lily. But who the fuck cares, this is card stuff.

In as few words as possible: you employ the mechanics of that neglected chestnut, the hop. You may have seen the move butchered into oblivion by Lorayne in his Invisible Pass routine. As a form of eyebleach, go ask Lance Pierce or Jack Carpenter to show you their applications sometime. Now that’s some good shit.

So you’ve got a break above your card. Obviously the force is a situational thing, but it seems the most successful choreography is arriving at the break on the third cut. So if they stop you there, you’re good to go. But if they don’t stop you, you use the hop to incorporate an additional beat. Cut a packet to the table, stealing the top card of the packet (the force card) back to the cards in your hand. I’ve found a dropping action, a la Lorayne, works here. Now, that does not mean an ungodly throw like Lorayne. Rather, a casual drop or toss, followed by an unhurried retreat back to the left hand (Lorayne’s guilty quicksilver approach is to be avoided at all costs). If they stop you here, you’re golden. If they haven’t stopped you by now, cut another packet to the table. This is your last stop at Willoughby, so pray to Yog-Sothoth they stop you here.

That’s all. Go read some Poe, motherfuckers.

Inspired by, and with apologies to, Sadowitz

Announce your open prediction, which is secretly at the face of deck.

Commence typical OP dealing procedure, stud dealing into a neat faceup packet on the table. When they stop you, deal the next card facedown, but sidejogged to the right. Deal a few more cards faceup. Now turn the deck faceup, end for end. In the process, execute that old reverse, where the face card remains in the left hand, kinda sorta copped, and the deck is placed on top of it. The OP is now facedown at the bottom of the faceup deck.

Deal a few more cards from the face. Then spread the deck in the hands, ostensibly to expediently show the OP is nowhere to be found. As you square back up, prepare a block of about twelve cards at the bottom (rear) for a VT. (“VT” is secret code for Vernon Transfer. I’m abbreviating it so laymen don’t find this post and learn a secret by accident.) Under cover of spreading the tabled packet, VT the block onto the cards. Thanks to the Chucky Nyquist, the sidejogged card will vanish under the spread and the facedown OP will blink into view. It’s a fairly smooth switch. I think.

Food for thought.

Okay, it’s 5:30 in the morning and I’m trying to finish this essay and here’s something.

Card is selected and controlled, reversed, to the bottom. Do a Benzais spinout. With your right hand, pick up the card spun out. At the same time, your left hand turns palm down and picks up the deck, secretly turning the deck over as your hand turns palm up. Standard stuff. Selection’s now uppermost, facedown on a faceup deck.

Flick your right hand’s faceup card into the deck. You know Williamson’s Stabbed in the Back? Think an action like that. If done rapidly enough, the faceup cards in the deck won’t be seen. Make sure they get a clear image of what just happened–a faceup card was shot into the supposedly facedown deck. Square everything up.

Now do Walton’s Trigger. And that’s pretty much it. Spread the deck faceup and point out the one facedown card in the middle. Ask if  either of the cards next to the facedown card is the selection. After suitable byplay, turn the card faceup. Ta-dah!

No, it’s not good. But it’s something.

k bye

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How to Piss Off a Magician

Tell your fellow magician pal that you’ve got a new key card placement.

Have your stupid idiot victim pick a card. Proceed to go through a really fair replacement procedure. They’ll be watching like a hawk. The card genuinely appears to be lost.

“That’s it,” you say. Make a wide faceup ribbon spread on the table. “If we’re lucky, your card should now be beneath the ten of hearts.”

You look through the spread and point out the card beneath the ten of hearts. “There it is! Right there! The four of clubs! Thank you, thank you.”

The spectator will voice their dissent.

“That’s not your card?”


“What was it then?”

“The jack of spades.”

You sit in thought for a few breathless moments. Then your face lights up.

“Of course! The jack of spades. Yes. Sorry, this is a principle I still don’t totally grasp. Fortunately, I did actually manage to sneak your jack of spades under the ten of hearts…”

Point to your card box.

As we all know, the new Bicycle boxes have a ten of hearts on the front. You can probably see where this is going.

“Lift up the card box.”

Alternatively, “Open the card box.”

Laff in their faces. GTFO.