Magic Trick: From Pocket to Pocket

In this trick a number of cards which one of the audience has in his pocket are transferred invisibly to the pocket of a second person. As usually exhibited only the cards in one pocket are counted and the number to be transferred is restricted to three, four, or five. If the right number, say, four, is named, well and good, but should the selection fall on three or five the ruse is resorted to of taking one card visibly from one pocket and putting it in the other, under the pretext of "showing the others the way." As here described, these decided drawbacks are evaded.

Two of the audience are requested to assist the performer. One is placed at the left of the table, the other at the right. The performer stands between them, back of the table. A euchre pack, of thirty-two cards is counted and divided in two. When each part is counted each of the volunteer assistants takes a packet, places it in an envelope and puts it into the inside pocket of his coat. Then a number is selected by one of the assistants, and the trick proceeds as already described.

As far as the audience is aware only thirty-two cards are used, but in reality there are thirty-five. At the start the performer spreads out his pack fanwise, with the assertion that he has thirty-two cards. Before handing the pack to the gentleman on his left to be counted, the performer inserts the little finger of his left hand below the three top cards and palms them in his right hand. The better to conceal them he takes hold of one end of his wand, which is under his right arm, without removing it.

When the assistant has counted the pack aloud and announced that there are thirty-two cards, he is requested to square up the pack and, without counting, to divide it in two nearly equal packets.

The other assistant, the one on the right of the performer, is asked to select one packet and hand it to the first assistant to count. The other packet is laid in front of the performer.

The assistant is now asked to count slowly on the table the selected heap. While he is doing this, the performer spreads out the cards a little, so that when he drops the three palmed cards on them, it will not be noticeable.

When the count is finished and announced, as, for instance, fifteen, the performer pushes the cards that are scattered on the table toward the assistant, and in doing so drops the palmed cards on them. At the same time to attract the assistant's attention he remarks, "I should have preferred another number, but let it go as it is. Square up the cards, please."

These few words of misdirection naturally turn the assistant's eyes from the cards to the performer.

When the cards are squared up, the assistant is asked to place them in one of the previously examined envelopes and to put all into an inside pocket of the other assistant's coat.

Picking up the remaining packet, the performer says: "Fifteen of our thirty-two cards are in this gentleman's pocket. How many should be here? Seventeen? That is correct. But to make sure, let me count them." Slowly he counts them on the table, one on top of another, until he reaches the fifteenth card, which he lays a little to the right, so that it overlaps the other cards about half an inch, and on it the remaining two cards are placed.

With his left hand the performer picks up the seventeen cards, taking care to place his little finger under the fifteenth card. "Now let us see just how we stand. This gentleman"—turning to his right—"has fifteen cards in his pocket, which, with the seventeen we have here make thirty-two." The second pack he requests the assistant on his right to put into the second envelope and place them into the other assistant's pocket.

While turning to the assistant on his right the performer palms the three top cards in his right hand, using the spring palm after which he grasps his wand that is under his arm.

The trick is now almost done. Turning to his audience the performer says: "Of the thirty-two cards fifteen are in this gentleman's pocket, as you will please remember, and seventeen in the other gentleman's pocket. Bear in mind, too, that both packets have been carefully counted. Now I shall order any number of cards that you elect to pass invisibly from one pocket to another. That there may be no suspicion of collusion, let chance decide the number."

Putting his hand into his own pocket he brings out ten cards, numbered one to ten, in large figures. As he does this he leaves in the pocket the three cards that he holds palmed.

Holding the numbered cards with their faces towards the audience, he passes them from hand to hand, calling out the numbers. Then he gives them to the assistant on his left to be shuffled. When they are returned he again spreads them out, calling attention to the thorough manner in which they are mixed. While doing this he locates card numbered three and slips it to the top.

Turning to the assistant on the left he says: "I will begin at the top, and taking off these cards one at a time lay them face down on the table. When you call out Stop, I will take the card that happens to be the top one." The performer begins to deal the cards, but by means of the second deal he keeps number three always on top. When the command to stop is heard the performer hands the packet to the assistant and asks him to take the top card. "Let all see what it is. Number three! Then that number of cards I will pass from the envelope in your pocket to the envelope in this gentleman's pocket."

Touching the gentleman's pocket with the tip of his wand he commands a card to "Go!" This he repeats twice.

Turning to the assistant on his left, the performer says: "You selected number three. You had seventeen in your pocket, but as three have gone you now have only fourteen. While you, sir, "turning to the other assistant, "if you will count your cards, will find that you have eighteen instead of fifteen."

The cards are counted by the two assistants, the performer not laying a finger on them, and found to be exactly as was foretold.

While this form of the trick calls for some skill on the part of the performer it also calls forth much applause.

A Second Method.—In this form of the trick three mentally selected cards are passed from one packet to another.

The performer asks some one of the audience to assist him. This assistant he places at the right of the table, and hands him a pack of cards, with the request that he shuffle it.

When the cards are thoroughly mixed the pack is divided in two. Each packet is counted and the assistant is asked to put one into his pocket.

Picking up the other heap and taking five cards from it, the performer asks one of the audience to think of one card as he calls out the names of the five. Then taking five more he repeats this procedure with another of the audience and again with a third person by calling out the rest of the cards, so that the same card may not be thought of by more than one person. Finally, the entire packet is handed to the person who thought of the first card, and at the same time the performer commands the three cards that are thought of to leave the packet and join the cards which the assistant has in his pocket.

The man in the audience who holds the second packet of cards is requested to count it, and on complying he reports that there are three less than when first counted. The assistant at the table is asked to count his cards, and doing so finds three more than when he put them in his pocket.

To prove that the thought-of cards have really left the second packet, the persons who selected them are unable to find them in the packet.

When the assistant at the table examines his packet, the missing cards are found in it.

For this trick a pack is used that has been trimmed to taper, so that all the cards are narrower at one end than at the other. The pack is known to conjurers as a biseauté pack, a word which the French dictionary tells us means beveled. Such a pack may be bought from any dealer in conjuring goods.

A euchre pack is best for this trick. The cards are arranged in a certain order known to the performer, as, for example, the following:

King of SpadesKing of Clubs
Ten of HeartsTen of Diamonds
Eight of ClubsEight of Spades
Nine of DiamondsNine of Hearts
Jack of SpadesJack of Clubs
Ace of HeartsAce of Diamonds
Seven of ClubsSeven of Spades
Queen of DiamondsQueen of Hearts
King of DiamondsKing of Hearts
Ten of SpadesTen of Clubs
Eight of HeartsEight of Diamonds
Nine of ClubsNine of Spades
Jack of DiamondsJack of Hearts
Ace of SpadesAce of Clubs
Seven of HeartsSeven of Diamonds
Queen of ClubsQueen of Spades

To prepare for the trick the pack is divided in two equal packets; one containing the cards in Table A, the other, those in Table B. The packets are placed together with the narrow ends of the cards in opposite directions. No matter how often the pack is shuffled the two packets may be separated by holding the pack in the middle between the hands, the thumbs on one side and the fingers on the other, and drawing the cards apart.

When the assistant has shuffled the pack the performer divides it, as explained, and adds secretly to the packet which the assistant chooses and counts three cards which he holds palmed in his right hand, in the manner described in the first method of doing the trick. These cards must be entirely different from those in either packet, say, two "fives," of different suits, and one "six." In this way there is no danger that any duplicates may be found later.

The cards that are called out by the performer for the three people to select from are not those he has in his hands but are the names of some that are in the assistant's pocket.

While going toward the person who thought of the first card, in order to hand him the second packet, the performer quietly palms three cards, which he gets rid of as soon as may be, by dropping them in his pocket or disposing of them in any way that suits his convenience.

The trick then proceeds as already described.

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