HER CARD, HIS NUMBER
by Mike Rogers (Inspirational credit to Paul Alberstat)
The effect where any thought of card appears at any named number in the deck has tweaked the interest of card men for several years. The Subway Dealers and the Memorized Deck freaks have had a heyday, as the effect raises its head frequently where card men gather. It has been accomplished by complex finger busting sleights, set decks, subtleties, stooges, and varied combinations of all. The most basic method is probably the use of a set memorized deck combined with the force of one card from another deck. The memorized deck is cased and out of play. A shuffled deck is spread face up on the table. A spectator is asked to name a number, let’s say it’s Twenty-three. Moreover, let’s say the Seven of Clubs occupies position Twenty-three in his set deck. Hence, he looks for the Seven of Clubs in the tabled cards and secretly maneuvers it to a forcible position as the deck is gathered from the table. The Seven of Clubs is then forced on a spectator. The set deck is then removed from its case and Twenty-three cards are counted to the table, the 23rd card is shown to be the Seven of Clubs.
As described that’s an extremely good effect. My friend Carson Hibbard performed it on the Klause/O’Brien Bull Session Show at DMS three years ago. Not a small feat considering Carson was a teenager attending his first convention and making his first appearance of any type on a convention program. Just working with a memorized deck would scare many away.
More recently Paul Alberstat, writing on Gemini, applied a direct approach to the effect using an eight card setup, a Koran style block forcing deck, and a subtlety to accomplish the ANY THOUGHT OF CARD AT ANY NUMBER. Paul’s method is to appear in one of Ted Lesley’s coming publications.
What I’m about to describe borrows heavily from Paul Alberstat. A faced deck is covertly flipped over to arrive at the needed preset card, a subtlety often used in pseudo gambling demonstrations. All sleight of hand is replaced with that subtlety. Paul uses a block forcing deck and a normal deck, while I’m offering the use of two normal decks and two simple setups. Thankfully, for some, no memory work is required. Here’s what the spectators think they see. First spectator mentally selects a card in his mind as the deck is fanned faces towards him. Second spectator names a number. A cased deck is brought into view and removed from its case. The performer counts to the named number and the mentally selected card appears at that number.
Sound nice? It is. However, not all is copasetic. Neither spectator has a free choice of card or number, but there is enough freedom to eliminate anything suspicious. To avoid confusion in this description let’s use a red backed deck and a blue backed deck. There is a small setup in each.
From the blue deck remove ten cards, Ace through Ten, of mixed suites. It matters little what the suites are as long as they are mixed. Additionally mix the ten cards so there is no order. These ten cards are placed on top of the blue deck. This is the deck you will use for the mental selection.
Now, from the red deck remove the SAME ten cards. Again the suites are mixed, but they MUST be the same as the other ten cards. In other words, if you used the Five of Hearts from the blue deck you MUST use the Five of Hearts from the red deck, and so on. Now set these ten cards Ace to Ten order, the Ace being the top card, the Ten being the bottom card of the face down packet. Add any “x” card to the bottom of the packet making an eleven card packet running Ace, Two, Three,…………..Ten, followed by an indifferent “x” card.
Place this eleven card packet FACE UP below the remainder of the red deck. That’s it. Case the faced deck and get ready to blow ’em away.
Introduce the blue deck, do all the false shuffling, cutting, etc., that you feel necessary. Don’t lose your ten card forcing block which is/was on top. Ask a spectator to “memorize” any card as they are spread before his eyes. Fan the cards forcing him to memorize one card from the ten card block just as if using a Koran Deck. It’s quite easy as you have ten cards from which to work. The fact that the block contains the values Ace-Ten will go unnoticed, especially since they are of different suites and not in numerical order. Close the deck giving it a quick shuffle destroying all evidence of any setup.
Introduce the red deck from its case. Ask first spectator to name his card, and second spectator to name any number, “…… let’s say between 20 and 40.” (This restriction to name a number between 20 and 40 shouldn’t cause problems as the spectator has no idea what’s about to be done.)
Let’s assume the named number is Twenty-three, and the mentally selected card is the Seven of Clubs. Simply subtract 7 from 23 leaving a value of 16. Here’s what you do, then I’ll recap and tell you how to do it. You count sixteen cards face down on the table, flip the deck over and continue the count until you reach Twenty-three. The Seven of Clubs will be the 23rd card.
It’s the deck flipping action that must go unnoticed. Paul Alberstat and I both use a subtlety, much the same, but still quite different. When the 16th card has been dealt pause in the count, and using your right hand PUSH THE DEALT CARDS FORWARD ON THE TABLE, saying “Watch the cards.” At the same time the left hand drops to the side and flips the deck over using the thumb. Without delay, continue the count until reaching 23.
The key is this. Always subtract the value of the card from the named number. If the value is Nine of Diamonds, and the number is Thirty-five, you subtract 9 from 35 with the answer being 26. The deck is flipped at twenty-six and the count continued until reaching Thirty-five.
Finally, the need for the “x” card in the ten card stack is simply to hide the face up condition of the talon should the Ten be the selected card.
Just for the sake of completeness, flipping a faced deck has been used for cheating at black-jack. In gambling jargon it is known as the “Flop.” Personally I question whether it would fly with serious gamblers, but that’s a topic for another time.