Magic Trick: A Feat of Divination

A pack of cards that has been shuffled by the performer is handed to one of the audience with the request that he cut it several times. He is then asked to divide the pack into a number of piles or heaps, to place them near one another on the table and cover them with a borrowed handkerchief. The heaps are laid face up. During these preparations the performer stands with his back to the table. When everything is in readiness he turns and asks some one to touch one heap. Picking up this heap, still covered by the handkerchief, the performer holds it against his forehead, and immediately proceeds not only to call out the names of the cards in the heap, but also the order in which they follow. The heap, as yet uncovered, is handed to one of the audience, who examines the cards and verifies what the performer has told.

The prearranged pack is again brought into use. The performer gives the cards a false shuffle and then allows them to be cut, as often as desired, as that does not disarrange their order. After the heaps have been covered and one heap is selected, the performer picks this up with the handkerchief around it, and drawing the latter tightly over the top card is able to see the card through the meshes of the linen. He then proceeds to call off the cards in the order of the formula. A quick glance at the heap next to the one selected tells him the bottom card of those he is reading.

It may heighten the effect of the trick if, before calling out the names of the cards, the performer pretends to weigh the cards in the handkerchief and tell how many are in the heap. Of course, that is a simple matter with this pack.

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