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Deck of Cards. vwv

Textbook Of

Advanced Card Magic In Three Parts by R. P.

Prague. Publisher of the Royal and Imperial Court Printing Office of Gottlieb Haase’s Sons


Translator’s Note Among the things that a good translation can bring out of a text are the style and language of an author. In this case, the writer’s use of technical terms in card conjuring varies greatly, reflecting nineteenth-century usage as well as his personal word choices. For example, he uses at various times Paquet, Theile and Abtheilung for what we would call a “packet” in English. For the verbal part of the magician’s presentation, he often uses simply Gespräch (talk, speech, conversation), and only once or twice Suada, a more technical term for “patter” used at that time. I have tried to preserve the original word choices and style as much as possible to capture the flavor of the original, making use of brackets and footnotes where necessary for explanations. However, in the description of the pass and other sleights, for greater clarity and readability, the presentation has been adapted slightly to the modern usage among conjurers while preserving the author’s original technique exactly. My heartfelt thanks to Ronald Wohl and Richard Hatch for their technical help with the translation. Lori Pieper

This edition of 75 copies has been prepared for the special occassion of the 32nd Escorial.

© 2005 The Conjuring Arts Research Center 11 West 30th, 5th Floor New York, NY 10001 (212) 594 -1033

Foreword A deck of cards is a series of numbers and pictures, which are arranged in such a simple order that they have already had hurled at them a thousand times, just like the harmless numbers of the lottery, the words: “Ah, they are just silly cards!” And yet they deserve this accusation much less than do the dead numbers of the lottery. These fifty-two cards (I am speaking of a French deck), form a closed society, which like any other, has its own social order; there is only one thing this society can be accused of: that it follows the law of the jungle, that might makes right, where the weaker are always trumped by those of higher rank. But we can forgive this if we recall the period in which this society was formed. People have written about most of the societies that have existed up to now, so why not the relationships of the society of a deck of cards as well? In fact, shouldn’t it be illuminated in a more charming form than has been done up to now in many more or less dry pamphlets and books on games, that throw the already old cloak of magic and sorcery over something so simple, and contain card tricks with which you would find it difficult to entertain a refined gathering? “More than a hundred previously completely unknown entertaining card tricks,” is how the title announces the contents; when we read it, we find to our galling disappointment, that the old tune, already played a thousand times is struck up again, and scarcely forty pieces, and certainly none of them a piece of art. These books say: “perform the pass,” or “quickly bring the bottom card to the top”; but when it comes to describing how this can be cleverly executed, they are silent. In the following pages, I will demonstrate to the friendly reader who will make the effort to spend a few hours on them a series of card tricks, which, with a few exceptions, have never been performed anywhere, for they have been newly invented. Many of the effects have till now only been seen at public performances. To entertain a gathering with pieces of apparatus is certainly very charming, yet they entail significant expense, transporting them creates many inconveniences and then finally – how easily such a machine will fail to work and leave you stranded! You can get a deck of cards anywhere, and anyone who makes all the sleights established in my introduction his own cannot be embarrassed by anything, and will always perform with unselfconscious ease and elegance. A little patience, and a bit of manly perseverance, will easily lead, through all the difficulties – which at any rate only exist in appearance – to an enjoyable result. I have completely left out of my pages all the so-called “puzzle tricks” found in the other little works, and the little jests that even at a distance betray their origin. On the subject of sympathetic inks, which such books use to deceptively inflate the number of tricks as much as possible, the discussion here is limited to only to the most necessary things, so that my amiable reader who has made an  It would be interesting to know if this is the actual title or subtitle of a known publication from this period, which might shed some information on the identity of the author of this work. (R. Hatch).  This comment implies that the author has given public (as opposed merely to private) performances. (R. Hatch).  In Hofzinser’s published reviews of Bosco (1846 & 1848), Herrmann (1851) and Frikell (1856), he lauds each man’s possession of a wonderful “machine”—their gifted ten fingers. This echoes to a certain extent the sentiment expressed here. (R. Hatch).


effort to follow my instructions will make a very welcome appearance in the select company to which it will be my pleasure to introduce him, an appearance which will be watched with delight. That the reader bear in mind the great words: “Nothing is ever perfect!” is the one indulgence requested by The Author The beginning of January, 1853.







Sec. I The Pass a) Pass with both hands b) Pass with one hand c) Pass with three fingers d) The Secret Turnover of the deck e) One-card Pass with Two Hand f) One-card Pass with One Hand Sec. 2 The Force Sec. 3 False Shuffles Shuffle a Shuffle b Shuffle c Shuffle d Sec. 4. The Set-up Deck Set-up a Set-up b Sec 5. On Prepared Decks and Cards Practical Advice.

8 8 9 10 10 10 11 11 12 13 13 14 14 14 15 17 18 19

Part I

1. The Telltale Cards 21 2. The Disappearing Face Cards 22 3. A Scene from Life 23 4. The Magic Hat 25 5. Continuation of the Preceding 26 6. The Letter 27 7. The Enchanted King of Clubs 29 8. The Scales 30 9. The Card that Transforms Itself 31 10. Sympathy of the Cards and Dice 31 11. Continuation of the Preceding 32 12. The Exchange of Suits 33 13. The Prophetic Billets 34 14. As You Command 35 15. The Enchanted Candle 35 Part 1: The Quick Arithmetic 35 Part 2: The Candle 35 16. The Cadmus Cards 37 17. The Best Sleight 38 18. The Double Exchange, or the Incomprehensible Mystery 39 19. The Baby Chick in the Egg 41 20 The Bonbons 42 21 The Non Plus Ultra 43


Part Two

1. The Friendship of the Cards 2. The Quick Obedience 3. The Magnetic Cards 4. The Quickly Found Cards 5. The Remaining Card 6. The Quick Transformation 7. The Fine Sense of Touch 8. The Stubborn Card 9. The Little Magic Thumb 10. The Granted Wish 11. The Lucky Throw 12. Card Mathematics 13. Correct Guess 14. Continuation of the Preceding 15. The Strange Subtraction 16. Effective Pressure 17. The Obedient Packets 18. Touché 19. With the Help of a Needle 20. Vice Versa 21. True Devotion 22. Echappé [French=escape] 23. The Card Factory 24. In Flight 25. Predestination

Part Three

1. The Transparent Cards 2. A Memory Trick 3. The Last Card 4. Which Card in Sequence? 5. The Pre-Determined Number 6. Quickly Found 7. In Rows 8. Something Similar 9. The Granted Requests 10. The Remaining Card 11. Under the Handkerchief 12. The Stubborn Card 13. The Little Magic Thumb 14. The Lucky Throw 15. Effective Pressure 16. With the Help of a Needle 17. In Flight 18. As You Command 19. The Best Sleight 20. Card Arithmetic 21. Putting Down Cards ––

46 46 47 48 48 49 50 51 51 52 52 53 54 54 55 56 56 57 57 58 58 59 59 60 60

62 62 63 63 64 64 64 65 66 66 67 67 67 67 67 67 67 68 68 68 68

22. The Nameless Card 23. The Janus Cards 24. The Use of a Deck Set up According to Section 4 for Several Simple Card Tricks 25.‑1. The Telltale Cards 26.‑2. The Right Cut 27.‑3. Guessing the Card Names 28.‑4. The Ever-Recurring Card 29. The Use of Prepared Decks 30.‑1. The Reliable Cards 31.‑2. Quick Granting of Requests 32.‑3. Guessing the Suit 32. Conical Deck 33.‑1. Some Instructions 34.‑2. Incomprehensible Speed 35. You Can’t Lose a Trick A Few Remarks on the Use of Sympathetic Inks


68 68 69 69 69 69 69 70 70 70 70 71 71 72 72 74

Introduction All the sleights, shuffles and set-ups here are dealt with in paragraphs, the sub-sections are designated with the letters a, b, c, etc., and finally, there follow a few words on prepared decks and cards, as well as several practical pieces of advice.

Section 1. The Pass

There are two ways to do the simple pass.

a) the pass with two hands b) the pass with one hand

However, insofar as the pass is called the “turn” or the “rotation,” the passes also include:

c) The pass with three fingers d) The secret turnover of the deck e) The one-card pass with two hands f) The one-card pass with one hand

The principal prerequisite for anything at all beyond the simplest card tricks is the pass.

a) The Pass with Two Hands

The deck is held face down in the left hand; the right hand cuts off a packet, and the left little finger is placed on the remaining packet, while the other left fingers are extended. Fig. I. Place the right hand packet on the left little finger; grasping the upper packet with the other three left fingers and left thumb on top, while the lower packet is grasped between the right middle and ring fingers at the outer end, and right thumb at the inner end, resulting in the position of the two hands in Fig. II.

From this position, the left index, middle and ring fingers pull the top packet just past the edge of the bottom packet and then under it without extending those fingers, and the deck is then held squared in the left hand; and with this, the pass is completed. This is the procedure for learning the pass, in which you must take special care that only the above-mentioned three fingers execute the movement; all the others however, remain at rest. If you perform the pass several times in succession for practice, you will need to bring the little finger between the two packets again only while you are pulling back the top packet, and you maintain the position of the hands sketched in Fig. II. With the pass, however, as with the rest of the sleights, the beginner should not be tempted to want to do it quickly right away; this way everything will be ruined – it is better to do it a few hundred times more, for it will yield a better result. When you use this sleight, a packet is cut with the middle and ring finger and thumb of the right hand, the card taken by the person in question is placed on top of the bottom packet, and now ––

the little finger is quickly put between this card and the upper packet which goes on top of it; now the pass is executed, after which the inserted card lies on top.

b) The Pass with One Hand.

The pass with one hand is somewhat more difficult and in and of itself is already a trick. Only a few people are familiar with this pass, and indeed, only with one kind, which I cite here as b. 1. I will, however, deal with a much easier method under b. 2. In b. 1., the deck is separated with the ring finger of the left hand, so that it is divided into two packets, with the ring finger lying between them. The remaining fingers of the left hand lie closed on the top packet, which we will designate as 1, so that the position of the fingers is that of Fig. III. Now the thumb is pointed up, and the index, middle and little fingers pull the top packet sharply back to the edge of the bottom packet, which is pushed somewhat upwards with the thumb over and on top of the upper packet, which is being pushed inwards from below. Figure IV. With this, the pass has been performed. During practical use, you have one packet of the deck in your right hand. You have the chosen card placed on the packet located in your left hand, close the deck and while you are closing it, put your ring finger between the two packets. Now, during a suitable speech, in which you especially make people aware that you are no longer touching the deck, you let your left hand drop to your side, and as you do so, find an opportunity to execute the pass. If you have to bring a card already located on top of the deck to the middle with one hand, you perform the pass according to the instructions give above and after the pass, put your ring finger between the two sections. I must confess that this pass is somewhat difficult and I say to the beginner in advance that he will let some of the cards fall to the ground a hundred times before it succeeds. But just have patience, and it will work in the end. If, however, this is not agreeable, I have here a easier method, for which, however, there is a condition. b. 2. The deck lies as usual in the left hand. Now the thumb of the same hand is stretched over and across the deck, and raises one packet onto the right edge high enough that the first joint of the middle and ring fingers has room to bend inward over the bottom packet, while the first joints of the ring and little fingers support this packet with their knuckles. Fig. V. Now these two knuckles press the bottom packet upwards until it can be pushed across and over the top packet. Fig. VI. At the moment depicted in this figure, the thumb lets the upper packet fall onto the hand, while the remaining four fingers push the bottom packet over and are closed on it. This method is quite imperceptible to the eye and also much easier to learn. The condition for it is having a wide card in the deck, and when I come to speak of this card, which belongs to the preparation, I will deal with the execution of this pass. ––

Preview of Ein Spiel karten  

This is the long anticipated English language translation of the very rare Ein Spiel karten. This is the first real book devoted to card mag...