Your Number Down
Here’s a cute “betcha” you can use when there’s a willing and ready spectator allowing you to kill time with a deck of cards at his expense. Follow along with cards in hand to get the idea.
The magician holds a packet of face down cards. Spectator is asked to name a number from one to ten, let’s assume it is number three. The magician deals cards face down in two stacks starting left, right, left, right, until all cards have been dealt. However, on the named number, in this case number three, that card is turned face up and dealt on it’s respective stack. The dealing continues until all cards are exhausted. The two stacks are assembled, left going on top of right, and the procedure is repeated. Again the card at number three is turned face up during the deal. This is repeated until all the cards have eventually been turned face up.
Here’s what has happened. The magician started having all cards face down; however, as the procedure progressed one card was turned face up during each deal, This card always fell face down at the named number. Even when there was only one remaining face down card it arrived at the named number three.
The entire procedure is repeated using a different named number, and again, the card at that number will always fall face down. A face up card will never fall at the named number. Don’t forget to always turn the face down card at the number face up.
It is repeated using still a different named number, and again the results are the same. This must be done until the spectator realizes the procedure. However, when he is invited to try at some point in the deal a face up card will appear at his named number. Hence, he loses. He can do this again and again using any number, yet at some point in the procedure he will lose as a face up card will fall at the named number.
Yet the magician again proves it can be done correctly every time.
Here’s the business. Start using twelve face down cards, though never mention how many you actually have. It will work every time. However, before the spectator tries you must glom off two cards. He will use ten cards and it won’t work. Don’t forget to always turn the card at the named number face up.
This nifty little stunt has been in my notebook since the middle 60’s. I don’t recall where it came from; however, it falls in my notebook during a period when Mel Brown and I were hobnobbing with Eddie Fields in the San Francisco Bay area. Hence, my guess it was given to me by one of those two friends.