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The hands and the two portions of the pack being thus disposed, you draw off the lower cards confined by the little finger and the other parts of the right hand, and place them with an imperceptibly quick motion on top of the pack. But before you attempt any of the tricks that depend upon "making the pass," you must have great practice, and be able to perform it so dexterously and expeditiously that the eye cannot detect the movement of the hand, or you may, instead of deceiving others, expose yourself.
Forcing A Card.
In card tricks it is frequently necessary to "force a card," by which you compel a person to take such a card as you think fit, while he imagines he is taking one at haphazard. The following is, perhaps, the best method of performing this trick:
Ascertain quietly, or whilst you are amusing yourself with the cards, what the card is which you arc to force; but either keep it in sight, or place the little finger of your left hand, in which you have the cards, upon it. Next, desire a person to select a card from the pack, for which purpose you must open them quickly from left to right, spreading the cards backwards and forwards so as to perplex him in making his choice, and when you see him about to take one, open the pack until you come to the one you intend him to take, and just at the moment his fingers are touching the pack let its corner project invitingly a little forward in front of the others. This will seem so fair that in nine cases out of ten he will take the one so offered, unless he is himself aware of the secret of forcing. Having by this method forced your card, you request him to examine it, and then give him the pack to shuffle, which he may do as often as he likes, for you are of course always aware what card he has taken. A perfect acquaintance with the art of forcing is indispensably necessary before you attempt any of the more difficult card tricks.
The "long Card."
Another stratagem connected with the performance of many of the following tricks is what is termed the "long card," that is, a card a trifle longer or wider than the rest of the pack, so as not to be perceptible to the eye of the spectator, but easily distinguished by the touch of the operator. Good operators sometimes have both cards in the pack. Any bookbinder will shave the edges of your pack so as to leave you a long and a wide card.
Having laid down what we may be allowed to term the " leading principles" which rule the art of card conjuring, we now propose to explain the various tricks which may be performed with a pack of ordinary playing cards. They depend to some extent for success on manual dexterity, a knowledge of the science of numbers, and some simple apparatus, easily procured or made by an ingenious youth. For instance, all the court cards may be made to come together by relying upon the doctrine of chances. Thus: take the pack, separate all the kings, queens, and knaves, and place them all together in any part of the pack you choose. There are five hundred chances to one that a stranger cannot in twelve cuts disturb the order in which they are placed. This trick is easy, and when successfully carried out is amusing. It may be made more so by placing one-half of the above number of cards at the bottom of the pack and the other half at the top. Of a very similar character is the famous trick of
Guessing A Card Thought Of.
To do this well you must attend to the following directions: Spread out the cards in your right hand in such a manner that, in showing them to the audi, ence, not a single card is wholly exposed to view, with the exception of the king of spades, the upper part of which should be clearly seen without any obstruction cither from the fingers or from the other cards. When you have thus spread them out, designedly in fact, but apparently at random, show them to one of the spectators, requesting him to think of a card, and at the same time take care to move the hand a little, so as to describe a segment of a circle, in order that the audience may catch sight of the king of spades without noticing that the other cards are all partially concealed. Then shuffle the cards, but in doing so you must not lose sight of the king of spades, which you will then lay on the table face downwards. You may then tell the person who has thought of a card that the one in his mind is on the table, and request him to name it. Should he name the king of spades, which he would be most likely to do, you will of course turn it up and show it to the company, who, if they are not acquainted with the trick, will be very much astonished. If, however, he should name some other card- -say the queen of clubs—you must tell him that his memory is defective, and that that card could not have been the card he at first thought of. Whilst telling him this, which you must do at as great length as you can in order to gain time, shuffle the cards rapidly and apparently without any particular purpose until your eye catches the card he has just named (the queen of clubs). Put it. on the top of the pack, and, still appearing to be engrossed with other thoughts, go through the first false shuffle to make believe that you have no particular card in view. When you liave done shuffling, take care to leave the queen of clubs on the top of the pack; then take the pack in your left hand and the king of spades in your right, and while dexterously exchanging the queen of clubs for the king of spades, say, "What must I do, gentlemen, that my trick should not be a failure? what card should I have in my right hand?" They will not fail to call out the queen of clubs, upon which you will turn it up, and they will see that you have been successful.
This trick, when well executed, always has a good effect, whether the spectator thinks of the card you intended him to think of, or, from a desire to complicate matters, of some other. It requires considerable presence of mind, however, and the power of concealing from your audience what your real object is.
Another method of making the spectator think of any particular card is the following: Pass several cards under the eye of the person selected, turning them over so rapidly that he sees the colours confusedly, without being able to distinguish their number or value. For this purpose take the pack in your left hand, and pass the upper part into your right, displaying the front of the cards to the audience, and consequently seeing only the backs yourself. Pass one over the other so rapidly that he will not be able to distinguish any one of them, until you come to the card which you desire to force—presuming, of course, that you have made yourself acquainted with its position. The card you select ought to be a bright-looking and easily distinguishable one, such as the king of hearts or the queen of clubs. Contrive to have this card a little longer before your audience than the rest, but avoid all appearance of effort, and let everything be done naturally. During the interval watch the countenance of the spectator, in order that you may be sure he notices the card you display before him. Having thus assured yourself that he has fixed upon the card you selected, and that he is not acquainted with the trick, you then proceed as before. Should you come to the conclusion that he has fixed upon some other card, you will then have recourse to the "exchanged card" trick, as explained in the previous trick.
To Tell A Card By Smelling It.
A very clever trick, and one which never fails to excite astonishment at an evening party, is to select all the court cards when blindfolded; but befoie commencing it, you must take one of the party into your confidence, and get him to assist you. When all is arranged, you may talk of the strong sense of smell and touch which blind people are said to possess, and state that you could, when blindfolded, distinguish the court cards from the rest, and profess your willingness to attempt it. The process is this: After you have satisfied the company that your eyes arc tightly bound, take the pack in your hands, and holding up one of the cards in view of the whole company, feel the face of it with your fingers. If it is a court card, your confederate, who should be seated near to you, must tread on your toe. You then proclaim that it is a court card, and proceed to the next. Should you then turn up a common card your confederate takes no notice of it, and you inform the company accordingly; and so on until you have convinced the company that you really possess the extraordinary power to which you laid claim.
To Tell All The Cards Without Seeing Them.
Another good parlour trick is to tell the names of all the cards when their backs are turned- towards you. Perhaps this is one of the best illusions that can be performed with cards, as it not only brings the whole pack into use, but can never fail in the hands of an ordinarily intelligent operator. This trick, which is founded on the science of numbers, enables you to tell every card after they have been cut as often as your audience please, although you only see the backs of them. It is thus performed: A pack of cards are distributed face uppermost on a table, and you pick them up in the following order—6, 4, 1, 7, 5, king, 8, 10, 3, knave, 9, 2, queen. Go through this series until you have picked up the whole of the pack. It is not necessary that you should take up the whole of one suit before commencing another. In order that the above order may not be forgotten, the following words should be committed to memory:
641 75 kinS
The sixty-fourth regiment beats the seventy-fifth; up starts the king, with 8 10 3 knave 9 2 queen
eight thousand and three men and ninety-two women.
The cards being thus arranged, the cards must be handed to the company to cut. They may cut the cards as often as they like, but it must be understood that they do it whist fashion, that is, taking off a portion of the cards, and placing the lower division on what was formerly the upper one. You then take the pack in your hands, and, without letting your audience perceive, cast a glance at the bottom card. Having done this—which you may do without any apparent effort—you have the key of the whole trick. You then deal out the cards, in the ordinary way, in thirteen different sets, putting four cards to each set; in other words, you deal out the first cards singly and separately, and then place the fourteenth card above the first set, the next upon the second set, and so on throughout, until you have exhausted the whole pack. You may be certain now that each one of these thirteen sets will contain four cards of the same denomination—thus, the four eights will be together, and so with the four queens, and every other denomination. The thirteenth, or last set, will be of the same denomination as the card at the bottom which you contrived to see, and as they will be placed exactly in the reverse order of that in which you first of all picked them up, you may without difficulty calculate of what denomination each of the sets consists. For example, suppose an 8 was the bottom card, you would find, after a little calculation, that after being dealt out in the manner above described, they would be placed in the following order: king, 5, 7, 1, 4, 6, queen, 2, 9, knave, 3, 10, 8; and repeating in your own mind the words which you have committed to memory, and reckoning the cards backwards, you would say—
8 10 3 knave 9 2 queen 6 4
"Eight thousand and three men, and ninety-two women; sixty-fourth 1 7 5 king
regiment beats the seventy-fifth; up starts the king with," &c, &c
You observe the same rule whatever the bottom card may be.
To Tell A Card Thought Of.
By a certain pre-arranged combination of cards, the conjuror is enabled— apparently to guess, but really to calculate—not only the card that is thought of by any member of the company, but to tell its position in the pack. You take the pack and present it to one of those present, desiring him to shuffle the cards well, and after he is done, if he chooses, to hand them over to some one else to shuffle them a second time. You then cause the pack to be cut by several persons, after which you select one out of the company whom you request to take the pack, think of a card, and fix in his memory not only the card he has thought of, but also its position in the pack, by counting 1, 2, 3, 4, and so on from the bottom of the pack, as far as, and including, the card thought of. You may offer to go into another room while this is being done, or remain with your eyes bandaged, assuring the company that, if they desire it, you will announce beforehand the number at which the card thought of will be found. Now, supposing the person selecting the card stops at No. 13 from the bottom, and that this thirteenth card is the queen of hearts, and supposing also that the number you have put down beforehand is 24, you will return to the room or remove your handkerchief, as the case may be, and without putting any question to the person who has thought of a card, you ask for the pack, and rest your nose upon it, as if you would find out the secret by smelling. Then, putting your hands behind your back or under the table, so that they cannot be seen, you take away from the bottom of the pack twentythree cards—that is, one fewer than the number you marked down beforehand —and place them on the top, taking great care not to put one more or less, as inaccuracy in this respect would certainly cause the trick to fail. You then return the pack to the person who thought of the card, requesting him to count the cards from the top, beginning from the number of the card he thought of. For example, having selected the thirteenth card, he will commence counting 14, 15, 16, and so on. When he has called 23, stop him, telling him that the number you marked down was 24, and that the twenty-fourth card which he is about to take up is the queen of hearts, which he will find to be correct. In performing this trick it is necessary to observe that the number you name must be greater than the number which your opponent gives you, describing its position in the pack.
To Change A Card By Word Of Command.
It at first sight seems singular that any one should be able even to appear to change a card by word of command; yet it can easily be done, and under different titles, and with slight variations, the trick is constantly performed in public To do it, you must have two cards alike in the pack; say, for example, a duplicate of the king of spades. Place one next to the bottom card, which we will suppose to be the seven of hearts, and the other at the top; shuffle the cards without displacing these three, and then show one of the company that the bottom card is the seven of hearts. This card you dexterously slip aside with your finger, so that it may not be perceived, and taking the king of spades from the bottom, which the person supposes to be the seven of hearts, lay it on the table, telling him to cover it with his hand. Shuffle the cards again without displacing the first and last cards, and shifting the other king of spades from the top to the bottom, show it to another person. You then contrive to remove the king of spades in the same manner as before, and taking the bottom card, which will then be the seven of hearts, but which the company will still suppose to be the king of spades, you lay that also on the table, and tell the second person to cover it with his hand. You then command the cards to change places, and when the two parties take off their hands, they will see to their great astonishment that your commands are obeyed.
Another trick performed by means of "twin," or duplicate, cards, as in the previous case, is to show the same card apparently on the top and at the bottom of the pack. One of these duplicate cards may be easily obtained; in fact, the pattern card which accompanies every pack may be made available for that purpose. Let us suppose, then, for a moment that you have a duplicate of the queen of clubs. You place both of them at the bottom of the pack, and make believe to shuffle them, taking care, however, that these two keep their places. Then lay the pack upon the table, draw out the bottom card, show it, and place it on the top.
You then command the top card to pass to the bottom, and on the pack being turned up, the company will see with surprise that the card which they had just seen placed upon the top is now at the bottom.
This, like some of the tricks we have previously explained, requires suitable apparatus for its successful performance. Two cards, drawn by different persons, are put into separate tea-caddies and locked up, and the object of the operator is to appear to change the cards without touching them. This may be done without the aid of a confederate. The caddies arc made with a copper flap, which has a hinge at the bottom, and opens against the front, where it catches under the bolt of the lock, so that when the lid is shut and locked, the flap will fall down upon the bottom. The operator places the two cards he intends to be chosen between the flap and the front, which may be