|Cross Suits, A Simple and Quick Card Mystery
Requirements: One Deck of Cards
Effect: Two cards on top of the deck are cut to the middle where they mysteriously turn face
up. These same cards are turned face down and one at a time placed in different places in
the deck. A quick snap of your fingers and both cards return to the top of the deck!
Secret: It is with simple misdirection and a tiny bit of confusion that allows you to create this
magic. Done quickly and without hesitation you will appear to possess great skill with
Set Up: Remove these four cards from the deck: the eight and nine of hearts and the eight
and nine of diamonds. Secretly place the eight of hearts and the nine of diamonds face up on
the bottom of the deck. Place the eight of diamonds and the nine of hearts face down on the
top of the deck. Finally, place a king, queen, or jack (any suit) on the bottom of the deck to
hide the two face up eights. Doing so allows you to casually handle the deck without fear of
your audience discovering the secret preparations your have made. With these cards in the
above described positions you are ready to proceed.
Performance: Begin by holding the deck face down in your left hand. Casually remove the
two top cards and show them to your spectator by holding them between your thumb and
forefinger of your right hand. Display the fronts and the backs. Call attention to the “red
eight and the red nine.” Do not refer to them as the eight of diamonds and the nine of hearts.
Place the cards back on top of the deck. Cut the deck near the middle and complete the cut.
Spread through the cards revealing the “red eight and the red nine” are now face up in the
face down pack! This is miracle number one. Directly beneath these face up cards you will
find the face down court card (jack, king, or queen) that you placed on the bottom of the deck
and the “other red eight and red nine.” No one knows this but you so keep quiet about it!
You now have a little "clean up " to do before proceeding with the conclusion of the magic.
As you are spreading the cards from the left hand to the right hand you will reveal the face
up cards in the center of the deck (as described above). As you come to them push them
forward about half their length. Ask your spectator to remove the cards and place them face
down on their upturned palm. As this is being done you will need to slide over the court card
that lies above the other red eight and nine taking it under the cards in the right hand. This
will be seen as merely a continuation of the previous action of moving the cards from left to
right. This should be done casually and without any emphasis. What this does is allow you
to place the left hand packet on top of the right hand packet thereby secretly placing the
other red eight and nine on top of the deck. This sets up the finale.
Have the spectator hand you the cards they removed from the spread and place them face
down on top of the deck. One at a time, place them back into the deck. The first one going
into the bottom third of the deck and the second going into the center.
Snap your fingers, twist your wrist a little, say a magic word or two and then turn over the
top two cards revealing that the “red eight and the red nine” have returned to the top of the
deck! Miracle number two!
Notes: It should be clear that the secret lurks in the “confusion” the red eights and red nines
create in the mind of the spectator. While confusion does not create magic it can be exploited
to create the illusion of magic. A smooth presentation will gloss over the secret that lies right
beneath the noses of your audience.
This fine piece of sleight-free card magic is another example taken from Scarne on Card
Tricks. Scarne credits this trick to Martin Gardner.
|The Psychokinetic Straw
Requirements: A paper wrapped drinking straw and a salt shaker with a slightly domed,
Effect: Try this one the next time you are out to dinner with friends. The performer removes
the wrapper from a drinking straw and balances it on the top of a salt shaker. Placing his
hands on either side of the straw the performer moves his hands slowly around the straw.
As he exerts more and more psychic power the straw begins to move, slowly spinning
around and around. At the conclusion of the demonstration the straw is passed around the
table proving that it is completely ordinary and ungimmicked. Spooky!
Secret: Okay. This is more science than magic but a convincing presentation will baffle
your audience and they will completely forget what they learned in school about static
The success of this demonstration rests entirely upon how you remove the paper from the
straw. Tear off the end. And instead of blowing the paper off the straw like you did down at
the malt shoppe after a hard day in Miss Johnson's English class you pinch the wrapper just
below where you tore off the end and pull the straw through the wrapper, building up a
static charge. You must do this without drawing any attention to yourself. Usually this is
easy to do because the other members of your party are busy taking the paper off their own
straws. Then, hold the straw between the forefinger of your right hand and the forefinger
on your left hand and carefully balance the straw on the metal lid of the salt shaker. Do not
touch the straw with your entire hand as this will discharge the electricity and the whole
thing goes down the drain. By placing your hands near the ends of the straw and slowly
moving them around you can cause the straw to spin as it sits atop the salt shaker. Really
put some effort into it and make it appear as though it is a real struggle for you to move the
straw. Don't over do it or appear melodramatic...that will give it away as a hoax. After you
have caused the straw to spin once or twice pick up the straw and hand it out for
examination. This discharges the electricity and destroys the evidence! The least said the
better. I usually just start doing this at the dinner table without any build up or a "hey,
watch this." Just do it and enjoy the reaction.
|Most magic is devilishly simple. But the key to a good magic performance is
not the secret method or the fancy props. No. A good magic performance
depends on how the magician uses the method and the props. A great
magician can captivate an audience with nothing more than two rubber bands
and an amusing story. The performance pieces appearing below are
examples of simple magic requiring only thoughtful practice and presentation.
Give them a try! Create your own magic by injecting your personality into
these three simple tricks. I hesitate to use the word 'tricks' because they can
be transformed into real magic in the eyes of your audience.
|Simple Coin Vanish
Requirements: a pocket full of change, a good mix of pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters.
Effect: The magician reaches into his pocket with his left hand and brings forth a handful of
change. With his right hand he removes a single coin from the collection and replaces the
rest of the coins back in his pocket. He transfers the chosen coin from his right to his left
hand, closing his fist. He makes a magic gesture, opens his fist, and the coin has
disappeared into thin air!
Secret: This is so simple yet deceiving you will not believe it. This is really a fine example
of how magic takes place inside the imagination of your audience. It is easy to vanish a
coin...especially when you never actually have one in your hand! I stand to get in a lot of
trouble with my fellow magicians for tipping this method but in addition to teaching you how
to perform a startling and convincing vanish it teaches you a little about human nature and
how we as magicians rely upon a spectator's imagination to do the bulk of the heavy lifting
So, grab a handful of change and let's begin! When you bring out the change hold it in your
palm so the audience can see that you have lots of coins. Use the forefinger of your right
hand to poke around the money as if you are looking for a particular coin. Pick one up and
casually look at it as if inspecting it. Drop it back on the pile and poke around some more.
Don't make a big deal about this, just do it like you would if you were looking for correct
change when making a purchase. Now, with your right hand pretend to pick up a coin. Hold
your first and second fingers together with your thumb as if holding a coin and put the rest of
the coins back in your pocket. This movement should not be rushed but should appear as
one fluid movement. One hand removes a coin, the other puts the coins away. Simple as
that. Again without calling undue attention to your right hand, take the "coin" and place it in
your now empty left hand and close it into a fist. Show your right hand empty. This sends
the message "I put what was in my right hand into my left hand. Wave your right hand over
your left and say something magical. Slowly...SLOWLY...open your left fist to reveal the
coin has vanished. NOTE: you have never stated your intention to vanish a coin!
Don't...once you do this all eyes will be burning every move you make.
Don't think this will fool anyone? Think again, Houdini! When you bring out the coins, poke
around and remove one and then return it to the pile you are preconditioning the mind of
your spectator. The second time you do this, when pretending to take a coin, the spectator
has no reason to doubt your actions. He/she just saw you pick up a coin, why on earth
would anyone pick up something that was not there? Make sense?
Practice Tips: This is simple and easy to do. AFTER you have practiced it about thirty times
in a mirror. So don't run off immediately after reading this and expect to amaze your
friends. Won't happen and you will look foolish and goofy.
Practice by actually doing what you are pretending to do. When your fake action mimics the
real thing you are ready for a live audience.
Never tell anyone in advance what your are going to do! As far as they are concerned you
are just counting the change that is in your pocket. It is not until you hold up the "coin that
is not there" that you give anyone a hint as to your intentions. And it happens so fast your
audience will stand there, mouths open, wondering if they really saw what they think they