Magic Trick: Thought Anticipated

When properly presented by one who is an adept at palming, this trick is wonderfully effective.

Two euchre packs and two other cards that are not in a euchre pack, say a five and a six, are required for the trick. To make everything clear let us call the two packs A and B. The two odd cards are placed on pack B. The packs lie on the table: A to the left, B to the right.

Picking up pack A and going to one of the audience, the performer without giving the pack to him asks him to think of a card. When he has done so, the performer looks him in the eyes, and then spreading out the pack looks it over and finally selects a card, which he lays on the table, without showing what it is.

The same procedure is gone through with a second person, and a second card is laid on the table.

Laying the pack on a goblet and deliberately taking the two cards, still without showing them, the performer lays them on top of the pack.

Picking up pack B, he requests the first man to take from it the card he thought of, but before handing him the pack Mr. Conjurer palms the two odd cards that are on the top. When the card has been taken from the pack the man is told to keep it for the time being.

The same routine is followed with the second man.

The reader will now understand why two odd cards are placed on top of the pack, for if two cards belonging to the pack be palmed it is possible that one or even both might be the ones thought of and would be missed from the pack. The two odd cards are also necessary for the concluding effects.

The pack is now offered to a third person, with the request that he take a number of cards and count them secretly. Placing the rest of the pack on the palm of his left hand and at the same time having the two selected cards laid on top of it, the performer asks the man who is assisting to place the cards he counted on top of those. Taking the pack in his right hand the performer lays the two palmed cards on top. Addressing the third assistant he asks how many cards he placed on the two selected. Let us suppose the answer to be fourteen. Very deliberately sixteen top cards are counted on the table. To the audience it will appear as if the two selected cards are on top of the pile, and so they would be, had not the performer added the two odd cards. In reality the selected cards are on top of the others of the pack. While putting aside this packet the performer palms these two top cards and taking pack A off the goblet leaves them on top of it.

Addressing the two who selected the cards the performer remarks that it would be a simple matter to read their minds and that the two cards which at the start he placed on top of this pack must be the ones they thought of. That there may be no question of this they are asked to name their cards, first, and then turn up the two cards. To their surprise they will find them to be their cards.

Putting the two cards aside and picking up the sixteen cards, which he adds to the rest of pack B, the performer announces that he will command the chosen cards to leave pack B and pass to pack A. Both packs are now examined, when it will be found that the cards have passed from one pack to the other, as ordered.

In order to avoid the possibility of the two persons thinking of the same card, which would spoil the trick, it would be well to have them tell each other the names of their cards.