Magic Trick: The Vanishing Card

In this trick a double-faced card and some clever manipulations are used.

A card is prepared with a nine of spades on one side and a Queen of hearts on the other. If preferred any other two cards may be substituted for these. The manner of preparing such a card will be found explained later on.*

* See the "Sense of Touch,".

When beginning the trick the prepared card is next to the top card of the pack, the spot side down. The top card is the real nine of spades. The performer palms these two cards and gives the pack to be shuffled, replacing the palmed cards on getting it back. These he lays a little to the right, but draws back the top card, so that the prepared one will protrude a trifle beyond the right side of the pack. In this position the right hand, which covers the pack, seizes it by means of "the clip" and transfers it to the bottom of the pack. The prepared nine of spades is now at the bottom and the real nine at the top. The latter is now forced on one of the audience. As the prepared card might be exposed if the regular method of forcing were used, the performer resorts to the "second deal." Asking one of the audience to say which card he will take, counting from the top, he forces the nine of spades by the second deal. The performer shows the card, holding it, face up, between the first and second fingers of the right hand. At the same time he turns the pack, which is in his left hand, face up, taking care that the prepared card is not exposed. He now announces that he will place nine cards on top of the nine of spades, making ten altogether. Bringing his hands together, the performer makes "the bottom change," substituting the prepared card for the real nine of spades. At the same time his left hand goes up, so as to be in a position to count off the cards. This makes "the change" easy, and as the audience still see the nine of spades (the prepared one) after "the change," they will not suspect that anything is out of the way. Counting the prepared nine of spades as one, the performer, apparently, counts nine more, always with the faces up, on top of it. Apparently, we say, for after he has counted five or six cards he makes a "false count," so that he will have nine cards only, instead of ten, in his right hand. Laying the cards, faces down, on the table he announces that he has ten cards, one of which is the nine of spades. He takes it from the bottom and spreading out the other cards places it in the center, "the better to show it." While again closing up the cards, the fingers of the right hand which are just under it, turn it over deftly, bringing the side on which the Queen of hearts is, in sight, and closes up the packet.

He now announces that he will cause the nine of spades to leave the packet and go to the pack. He ruffles the cards, and then counting them deliberately on the table, faces up, it is found that there are only nine cards, the nine of spades being missing. He picks up the pack, on top of which is the real nine of spades, and again using the "second deal" brings it back to the number from the top, from which it was originally selected.

Index of Magic Tricks | Previous Trick: From Pocket to Pocket | Next Trick: The Cards in the Envelopes