Magic Trick: To Discover a Card Drawn from the Pack

Method 1. A card is drawn, and when it has been replaced in the pack, the one who drew it is asked to square up the cards. When the card is put back the performer watches to see in what part of the pack it goes. He puts the pack behind his back. He knows about where the card is, that is, whether it is near the top, the bottom, or the middle of the pack. Let us suppose it is near the top, and the performer thinks there are nine or ten cards above it. (Let us say, just here, that an expert handler of cards can tell almost the exact number, at a glance.) Holding the pack behind his back he takes three cards from the top, and showing them asks if the drawn card is among them. Of course it is not. He throws the three cards on the table, and then with three more cards taken from the top he goes through the same procedure. To take three more cards from the top would be extremely hazardous, as the selected card might be among them and there would be no way to know it. Instead of pursuing the same course he takes one card only from the top and two from the bottom. Should the selected card be one of these three, he knows at once that it is the card he took from the top. Should the selected card be placed near the bottom the same procedure is followed, but instead of showing cards taken from the top of the pack, he begins to show from the bottom. If the selected card has been placed in the middle of the pack, the performer brings a number of cards from top to bottom so that the selected card will be nearer the top, and proceeds as at first.

There is another way of doing this trick. Some one is asked to draw seven or eight cards and to think of one. These cards are replaced on top of the pack, which is then shuffled without disturbing the drawn cards. Then the pack is placed behind the performer's back, and he takes four cards from the bottom and one from the top and throws them on the table faces upward. He asks if the card that was thought of is among them. If it proves to be, he knows it must be the one he took from the top of the pack. Should the selected card not be among them, he repeats the proceeding just described until he reaches the card thought of.

Method 2. The cards are shuffled and one is drawn. Taking the pack in his left hand the performer holds it at the bottom in an upright position between the thumb and first finger. The thumb is stretched across the back of the pack and the first finger across the front. The cards face toward the audience. With the second finger of the right hand the performer opens the pack about the middle, by drawing the upper part toward himself, as shown in the illustration, Fig. 48. This gives him an opportunity to see the bottom card of the upper part. The drawn card is placed in the opening thus formed. Then the cards are cut or shuffled, and it is simple enough to locate the card as it will be below the card that was at the bottom of the upper part. The cutting or shuffling of the pack will seldom, if ever, separate the two cards.

Fig. 48

Method 3. A card is selected from a previously shuffled pack. The pack is in the left hand and about half of it is lifted off with the right hand, which holds the pack between the thumb and second finger. The selected card is laid on top of the lower packet and the upper packet is placed above it with a little sliding motion toward the body. At the same time the thumb of the right hand slides the top card of the lower packet, which is the selected card, a little out toward the wrist, where the performer may easily turn it upward with the thumb and catching a glimpse of the index, learn what the card is.

Method 4. When the card has been drawn, the pack is bent almost end to end, as in Fig. 49. When the card is replaced and the pack is shuffled, all the cards will be curved slightly except one which is, of course, the one that was drawn. Sometimes the pack is curved lengthwise, as in Fig. 50. In that case when the selected card is replaced and the cards are shuffled they may be sprung from hand to hand without disturbing the bridge and the selected card may be found in a moment.

Fig. 49

Fig. 50

Method 5. If done with care it is almost impossible to detect this trick. A faint line is drawn with ink or a pencil across the edges of the pack at B, as shown in the illustration, Fig. 51. To exhibit the trick the pack is first thoroughly shuffled, and then one of the audience is asked to draw a card. While he is looking at it, the performer turns the pack, so that the line which was near the bottom of the pack is now near the top. When the drawn card is replaced, the performer need only look for the little mark that is on the edge to know the card. Shuffling the pack does not interfere with the accomplishment of the trick, provided of course, that the position of the cards are not changed. More than one card may be drawn when necessary. Of course, the mere telling of what card has been drawn does not amount to much as a trick, unless in combination with something else.