Magic Secrets Revealed

LANCE BURTON'S SECRETS OF MAGIC:
"YOU DO AS I DO"

This card matching effect is by far the best of all self-working card tricks. If you really want to fool a friend with a great card trick, this is the one that will do it. Even though it requires no skill and is relatively easy to do, it is very interesting to note that the impact of this effect is so great that quite a number of professional magicians, who are proficient sleight-of-hand experts, still feature it in their performance.

The magician offers an audience member his choice of two decks of cards. The audience member chooses one and the magician takes the other. Each shuffles their respective deck. The decks are exchanged and the magician and the audience member both select a card from their deck. The cards are returned to the decks and the decks are given several cuts. The magician and the audience member exchange decks once again and both remove their selections. When both cards are turned face-up, they are shown to be identical.

SECRET: The principle used to accomplish this effect is called the Key Card Principle. A key card is a card whose identity and position in the deck are known only to the magician. Although a key card can be located anywhere in the deck, for simplicity, most magicians prefer to use the top or bottom card of the deck as their key card. The idea behind the principle is to secretly position the key card, by means of a cut, directly alongside the selection, either above or below it, and thereby use it to correctly identify the chosen card. To accomplish this trick you will be using the bottom card of your deck as your key card.

Begin by having someone select one of the two decks. To avoid confusion, it is important that you use two decks that have contrasting back designs. Have the audience member shuffle his deck and you shuffle yours. Secretly sight and remember the bottom card of your deck as you exchange decks with him. This should be done in a casual way so as not to arouse suspicion. A quick glimpse is all that is necessary. As you exchange decks say, "You've shuffled the cards that I'm going to use and I've shuffled the deck that you're going to use. This way it's impossible for you to know the position of any card in my deck and I can not possibly know the position of anyone in yours."

Explain to the audience member that in order of this experiment to work, it is absolutely necessary that he do exactly everything as you do. Reach into the center of your deck and remove a card. Instruct him to do the same. Tell him to remember the name of his card. Although he remembers his card, it is important that you do not. Just pretend to. Return your card to the top of your deck and have him do the same. Cut off about half the cards and place them off to the right. Complete the cut by picking up the remainder of the deck and placing it onto the cut-off portion. Have the audience member do the same. When he cuts his deck he will unknowingly place you key card directly on top of his selection. Suggest that the cards be cut in the same manner a second time in order to further loose the selections and, when that's done, suggest that you both cut the cars one more time for good luck. These additional cuts are merely a ruse to convince the audience member that the cards are completely lost.

The decks are exchanged once again. He takes yours; you take his. Tell him to look through the cards to find his selection. As he does this, you look through your deck and locate your key card. When you find it, the card directly below it, to its immediate right, will be the audience member's selection. Remove this card, set your deck aside and place the card, face-down onto the table. Have him do the same. Turn to him and say, "Because we each did exactly the same thing, believe it or not, we each selected the very same card!" Have the cards turned face-up to show this to be true.

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