Saturday, 18 December 2010
THERE IS AN fascinating story concerning this trick which should
be told, even when the one excuse for telling it, is to give a cause for producing
an explanation of the method which cannot be complete.
Dai Vernon has been performing a certain trick for many years.
It produces the type of impact which other magicians dream about
as a result of the result is so staggering. I had heard about it from many
sources and had been informed that Dai only performs it on those occasions
when he feels it is essential to provide one thing exceptional. When
it was agreed that this guide ought to be written I naturally assumed that
the trick in question could be featured. Nevertheless, when I instructed
that we should write down the reason, Dai was evasive. Pondering
that here perhaps was one secret he wished to maintain, I probed no additional
and had not destiny intervened, this chapter would never have been written.
It occurred this manner-
Dai and I have been engaged on the guide at my home when Al Koran
and Fred Lowe arrived. A card session started and someplace along
the line Fred and I took an interest spectators to a good natured battle
of wits. The standard of performance from each magicians began
as excellent and went up from there-then they openly decided to strive
tricks performed by strategies which had elements of likelihood-there
were successes and failures and the entire thing ended up in laughter
and leg-pulling. As our company had been about to go away, Dai decided to
present “just one extra”--he did-and produced a really wonderful impact
As we came back into the room after seeing our visitors depart, Dai
said, “That’s it”, and I knew I had witnessed the “miracle” trick. Perhaps
it will likely be more attention-grabbing if I try to recall our conversation.
L. “Dai it’s staggering, however I think I do know why you don’t want it
in the book. The strategy must go away too much to chance.”
D. “That’s the place you’re flawed Lewis-the tactic is ‘certain fire’.'*
L. “Then certainly Dai, the rationale should be that you simply wish to hold it
as an unique?”
D. “No, it’s not that. The reason being that I just couldn’t begin to
explain how I do it!”
L. “Look Dai, don’t child me; of course you know the way you do it,
and so there isn't any purpose why we should not embody it.”
D. “But Lewis it will simply be unimaginable to put it within the book.
I’ve all the time considered it as ‘The trick that cannot be defined’, as a result of
once I decide to perform it I by no means know what the impact goes to be!”
L. “Dai, I noticed the effect. You wrote a prediction on a cigarette
packet and positioned this on the table. Al Koran shuffled the pack (and
made a radical job of it!). You informed him to show excessive card-
which happened to be the Six of Hearts. You then told him to show
over the cigarette packet which had been out of your reach since you
wrote the prediction. Al himself learn out what you had written-’The
Six of Hearts’. It was a knockout.”
D. Properly Lewis, that’s what happened on that event but subsequent
time it might be different. I’ll admit that a prediction in a single kind or
other is made before the start, and that the card predicted is all the time
produced . . . . however look, I’ll run through it a number of times and also you’ll see
what I mean. It’s a case of being on your mettle from the start-the
more one knows about card magic the better the effect. Later I’ll get
you to do the efficiency and you will notice that there’s nothing actually
tough to do-it’s just quick considering to determine methods to obtain the
best impact in keeping with the circumstances.”
We spent many hours with the trick, Dai first showing me, then
making me do it time and again again. Every time, even I used to be able to
bring about some sort of impact, then Dai would take the same set of
circumstances and show me how he might flip it into a knockout.
This was an thrilling experience and I trust that the reader will
capture a few of the thrill from the following try at an explanation.
Let me emphasise from the start that there isn't a sleight of hand
involved; no “strikes”, no memorising, actually nothing troublesome at all.
The tactic (?) is actually positive-fire. Why then did I write within the first
paragraph that the reason needed to be incomplete?
The answer is that you, the performer, after learning a sure
sample of actions, are then by yourself because the whole thing
relies upon upon the circumstances which arise-you employ these circumstances
to get the effect.
First we will deal with the question of the prediction. In the
instance given, Dai wrote the title of a card on a cigarette packet and
positioned it on the table. He could have taken a card from one other pack
and placed it face down on the desk, or sent a prediction in a sealed
envelope, by publish, to be opened at the performance. The type of
prediction is up to the person, as there isn't any trickery involved-you
just write the identify of any card that comes to mind.
Subsequent we come to the pack of cards: odd and unprepared,
which is given to the victim to shuffle to his coronary heart’s content. Now we
begin working to a pattern and based on what happens, so we vary
Remember, we've got made a secret prediction; the cardboard is somewhere
in the shuffled pack. The problem is to make the sufferer choose
that card himself, in such a manner that he'll feel positive that his alternative was
totally free, then when he reads the prediction, we've got produced oui
effect. The strength of this effect will depend to a fantastic extent on how
nicely the cardboard is forced. Here we can make use of every scrap of data
of card magic. We additionally make the most of any luck that may
come our manner-but we don't rely upon chance.
The plot must be played as if we are fairly certain what our actions
are to be. Each action ought to be pretty sluggish and deliberate, as if to
emphasise its fairness. Actually this additionally gives time for us to weigh
up the circumstances. First we take back the shuffled pack and turn
it over slowly. Perhaps we've a miracle and the cardboard facing us is the
one predicted. If this is so we go away the pack face up, as if that is
exactly what was supposed, and play up the state of affairs by saying that the
sufferer could have shuffled any card to that position-then have him
read out the prediction.
Actually that's pure luck, however we have now used it to advantage.
So it’s not the card-well our turning action was slow and deliberate,
so we additionally secretly sight the underside card (of the face up pack) as
the pack is popping and proceed turning till the pack is face down
again. The entire action has appeared as if we had been displaying the
pack and ensuring that it's perfectly squared. Perhaps our luck is in
and the card we sighted (now on prime of the face down pack) is the card
we want. Place the pack on the desk, have the sufferer flip over the
prime card, then read the prediction etc.
If neither the highest nor bottom playing cards are what we need, then we
hold the pack on our upturned palm and ask the victim to cut the pack
and complete the cut. This provides us two extra chances, as after we
turn the pack over as soon as extra we see the new card which comes face up
and sight the new bottom card.
That’s four chances, every of which might produce a close to miracle-
It’s stunning how typically this can happen. However, we're not dependent
on likelihood, and if luck will not be with us our actions up to now appear to
have little importance, as we've got merely displayed the pack, had it
reduce and displayed it again.
Next we unfold the pack face up throughout the desk and are meticulous
in arranging the cards within the spread in order that they're evenly spaced, with
the index of every card showing. That is a part of the deliberate actions;
all of it appears so truthful, however it additionally gives us time to notice the place of the
card we predicted. It may be close to one end of the spread so we can
silently count the variety of playing cards it is from the nearest end. We can
additionally word the top and backside cards. Maybe the nearest end card is,
say, a six spot and the expected card is sixth from that card; maybe the
complete number of spots on the playing cards at both end add up to the position
of the anticipated card, or by subtracting the number of spots on the
playing cards we will arrive on the number we want. These are possibilities
which we can flip to our advantage, as once they happen, we know we.
can eventually attain a passable conclusion by having the victim
depend from either the top or backside of the pack as the case may be, and
arrive at the predicted card.
When one among these situations happen, don’t clutch at it right away, as
it's attainable that a fair stronger effect will be produced. Ask the
spectator to carry his hand over the spread playing cards, and along with his forefinger
pointing downwards, transfer his hand backwards and forwards alongside
the row, stopping wherever he wishes. He may level to the predicted
card-there’s another near miracle. The reader could know the
technique for influencing the victim to cease at a sure card-use it by
all means;-however forgive me for not going into particulars as complete books
must be written on the topic to clarify fully all the possibilities
which can come up (the reason why Dai Vernon calls this “The
trick that can not be defined” will now be obvious).
Nonetheless, if the sufferer misses, divide the spread on the level
indicated by his finger. Perhaps he has pointed to a 3 spot and the
predicted card is three playing cards away; perhaps the spots on the cards at
each side of the divided unfold, when added or subtracted, give the
place of the card within the spread. We now have various combinations
of numbers which will be be made up by including or subtracting the two
finish cards or two parted cards, etc.
There is a sturdy possibility that the cardboard can be spelled out from
both finish of the spread, and this opportunity is doubled when the spectator
touches a card in the spread, for then it is logical to spell from both aspect
of the parted spread. It is perhaps doable to spell the sufferer’s title
and arrive on the card.
Clearly the 2 halves of the spread could be squared into two
packets and either one put on high of the other to give other alternate options
for spelling or counting with the pack both face up or face down.
We could go into the query of double lifts, and different trickeries
identified to magicians-there’s plenty of ways of arriving on the playing cards; in
reality when performing one normally sees two or three methods for getting
there quickly-the problem is to pick essentially the most effective.
Dai Vernon can always arrive on the card by spelling, if he needs,
and demonstrated this at least a dozen times. To prove the understanding
of his methods and to illustrate the countless prospects, he repeatedly
nominated which sort of location he would use to reach at the card.
By taking a pack, considering of any card, then going through the
actions explained, the reader will see the conditions which arise. With
apply, solutions are quickly discovered and all that continues to be is to supply
the strongest effect possible. Points to remember are that, in performance,
the victim does not know the name of the anticipated card. He
shuffles a pack of playing cards (which can be his own, after all), then palms
it to the performer. Evidently the shuffling has induced a card to
come to a sure place in the pack as, after all, there isn't any earlier
data of just how the card shall be determined. It will likely be assumed
that the performer’s actions are in line with a set plan-that he meant
to do precisely what he is seen to do on any one occasion. When the cardboard
is selected the victim is certain he precipitated it to be selected. The climax
comes when he reads the prediction which was written earlier than the trick
Notes. Since this chapter was written Dai has referred to the trick
many occasions in correspondence. The following extracts are of explicit
1. “At times I’ve had great results by doubling the probabilities
with the prediction. I merely write, *A red deuce’ or ‘A black Jack’
2. “It is most important that the trick isn't repeated except
dealt with very shrewdly. For instance you possibly can say, ‘Some people do
not like counting tricks- I’ll repeat it in a extra entertaining and convincing
3. “The extra data, expertise and background the performer
possesses the easier the trick becomes.”
4. “Assume we've got come to the purpose the place the playing cards have
been unfold, face up, across the table. If they touch a card close to the
face, when the cardboard that was predicted is close to the opposite finish of the
unfold-I have them remove the card touched and place it close to the
opposite finish, but insert it face down, then proceed thus.
For example, suppose they contact a five spot and the cardboard written
down happens to be six away from it after it has been re-inserted. I
don't reveal it at once by counting. I have them collect up the cards,
hold the pack face down and deal off the playing cards, one by one, until they
have the reversed 5 staring them within the face. Then I inform them to
take away 5 from those on the desk and place apart the card (face
down) left on high of the heap-then learn the prediction etc.”
5. “I endeavour to ‘dimension up’ the person helping and write the
title of the card he might point out within the spread. For instance, very
shrewd card gamers who attempt to outwit a card employee, practically always
point out a small card; very often a deuce, six or eight. Straightforward
going people take conspicuous playing cards; Aces, Queens, Jacks, etc.
Clearly I do not depend on my judgment for the success of the trick, however
by introducing this facet an extra probability is provided for bringing about
a very sturdy effect.”