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Seeing is Believing

This is a slick trick for the close-up card magician. “Seeing is Believing” uses a variety of sleights which need to be learned first before the trick can be mastered.

This feat depends on the intriguing principle of the introduction of a strange card into a borrowed deck. You have a card, say it is the Jack of Spades, from one of your own packs, face outwards, in your left trouser pocket.

Borrow a deck and, under pretense of removing the Joker, or counting the cards to see if the deck is complete, sight the Jack of Spades, slip the left little finger tip below it and, in turning the pack face down, hold the break. Overhand shuffle to the break and throw the balance on top. This is the nearest way to get a required card to the top.

Offer the deck to a spectator to shuffle, palming the top card, the Jack of Spades, by the One Hand Palm.

After a thorough shuffle let him place the pack on your left hand and make a free cut. Add the palmed card in taking up the remaining cards, put the cut below these, have the top card taken off and put in an envelope without being looked at. This method of forcing the Jack of Spades will be found quite convincing.

While the spectator is sealing and initialling the envelope, quietly palm your strange Jack of Spades in your left hand from trouser pocket and place the pack face up on it.

Throw a handkerchief over the cards and invite a spectator to cut the pack thru the cover at any point he pleases. Turn the packet thus left on your left hand, bringing the Jack of Spades uppermost.

Tell him to peek under the handkerchief and note the card at which he has cut, to take a good look at it and be sure to make no mistake. Let him drop the handkerchief, take the cut in your right hand and, still holding the packets separate under the cover, go to a second spectator and ask him to peek at the card in the same way.

Do the same with a third person. Then again turn the lower packet and drop the cut on top. Turn the pack on its side and push up the left corner of the Jack of Spades. Grip this through the handkerchief and carry it away underneath in removing the handkerchief, which you crumple up and put in your pocket. You thus get rid of the strange card in a way that cannot possibly arouse any suspicion. Hand the deck to the spectator who holds the envelope.

Patter about cases of mistaken identity, how witnesses have been known to swear to having seen someone at a certain time, only to be proved mistaken, and so on, Ask the three spectators to name the card they have seen.

They all name the Jack of Spades. Have the fourth spectator search the pack. There is no Jack of Spades in it. The others all assert positively that that is the card they all saw. Finally as proof positive that they have been mistaken, the envelope is opened and the Jack of Spades revealed.

As an impromptu feat, artfully led up to by turning the conversation to the subject of faulty observation and mistaken identity, this trick will be found wonderfully effective.

Blifaloo’s notes: This is a classic trick from one of Magic’s great cardicians. It was, however, was written in the 1930’s — so take the premise and use patter that matches your own style.

From Card Manipulations by Jean Hugard (1934)