Magic Trick: The Choice of a Card

The performer gives a euchre pack of 32 cards to some one to shuffle, with the request that afterward it be placed on the table, faces down, in four heaps of eight cards each. One of these heaps is then selected by the audience for the trick. Picking up that heap the performer divides it in two. Taking a part in each hand he requests the person who is assisting him to think of a card that is in either of the packets. When the selected packet is pointed out to him the performer places the other four cards on top of it, and then one of the three packets that lie on the table on top of the eight cards in his left hand and the other two at the bottom. This he does quickly so that the audience may be in doubt whether the heaps went on top or on the bottom. If the performer is expert at making the "pass" it will be better for him to place all three heaps on top, and afterward pass two to the bottom. The performer himself now places the pack on the table in four heaps of eight cards each, by first making four heaps of two cards taken from the top of the pack. Then he places one card from the top on each heap and repeats this. After this each heap will consist of four cards. Of the remaining sixteen cards he puts four on each heap, "to shorten matters," he says. Picking up one heap he fans out the cards and asks the person who thought of a card whether his card is there. If it is not he lays the packet on the table and shows another until he has the packet that contains the sought-for card. Then the fan is closed and the packet is laid on the table. The performer now picks up the packets, apparently, at random, but really is careful to get the packet that contains the card on top. At this point the "pass" may be used with advantage. The selected card is now the fifth from the top. A false shuffle may be introduced here, taking care not to disturb the five top cards. The performer ruffles the cards, and lays out in a row three cards taken from different parts of the pack, taking care that one is the fifth card from the top, and this he places between the other two. The gentleman who assists in the trick is now asked to touch one card. The chances are in favor of his touching the middle card, especially if the performer carelessly points to it. Should one of the other cards be touched, however, the performer coolly picks it up and remarks, "Now, two remain. Which do you select?" No matter which is touched, the performer leaves the thought-of card on the table. "What was the card you thought of?" he asks, and when the answer is given, he continues: "Turn up that card, please. That is your card, is it not? Thank you, you did that trick as well as I could do it."