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This is a nice, self-working card trick I first learned from reading John Scarne's 'Scarne on Card Tricks'.
Spread the deck to show it normal and ask a spectator to thoroughly shuffle it. After everyone is convinced the deck is completely random, take the deck back from the spectator. Tell the spectator that you are going to look through the deck and find your lucky card. Flip through, find one card, and lay it face down on the table. No one see's the value of the card except you...
Lay the deck on the table and ask the spectator to cut the deck into two fairly equal face down halves. Take what was the bottom half of the deck, turn it face up, and lay it in the palm of your hand. Now, take your lucky card and place it face down on top of the face up half. Ask the spectator to pick up the remaining half, flip it face up, and lay it on top of the cards in your palm.
Flip the packet face down. Remind the spectator that they shuffled the deck and that they cut the deck... and all you did was locate your lucky card. Lay the face down pack on the table and ribbon spread the deck to reveal one card face up - your previously chosen lucky card. Remove your lucky card, as well as the card both directly above it and below it.
Tell the spectator that in a perfect world, there is no need for tattletales. Unfortunately, we don't live in a perfect world. To prove your point, turn over the cards above and below your lucky card and one will match the value and the other the suit. If your lucky card, for example, was a six of hearts, one of the cards will be a six and the other a heart.
Works every time. How? When you look through the deck to find your lucky card, note the top and bottom card. Pick a 'lucky card' that will match up with these two cards. In the above example, you picked a Six of Hearts because one of the bottom or top cards was a Six and the other a Heart. Naturally, you'll have two choices of cards. In the above example, if the Six was a Club and the Heart a Ten of Hearts, you could have picked a Ten of Clubs as your lucky card and you would still be correct. Remember, when performing self-working card tricks, patter is everything.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|