Two Great Effects to Get You Started Performing With The Memorized Deck!

Number One: A ‘Golden Oldie’ Gets Revamped

 
Imagine this…
 
Your spectator freely cuts the deck anywhere and takes 5 cards from wherever he cut. You hand him your iPhone, open on the calculator app. 
 
He freely enters a number of calculations, choosing each number freely. When he’s finished, he is left with a string of numbers. 
 
You ask him to read out the numbers he calculated his way to. 
 
As he does, you turn over each of the cards he picked.
 
To his astonishment, the cards he freely cut to match EXACTLY the number he calculated. 
 
This routine is a ‘revamped’ version of an effect I used to love performing, but that had a major flaw. This adapted version is not only easier—
it’s even harder hitting and fooling. Perfect! 
 
Here’s how it works…
 
The trick is almost identical to one I used to perform all the time. 
 
One part of the trick is exactly the same—the number force using a calculator (I’ll explain how that works in a moment.)
 
However, when I used to perform this, I would do it by forcing 5 cards in a row, which always felt a little weird. It usually wasn’t too hard physically, but it did feel risky—doing any sneaky move 5 times in a row is usually not a great idea. 
 
Later, I figured I could simply force ONE thing—if I did the dribble force, I could just give them the 5 force cards in a row. 
 
However, it still didn’t feel as good as it could. 
 
Years later, I discovered the memorized deck. 
 
I realised… 
 
It could make this routine both easier AND more fooling. 
 
Let’s break this routine down step-by-step and it’ll soon become clear why…
 
  • Your spectator freely cuts the deck anywhere and takes 5 cards from wherever he cut. 
Since we’re using a memorized stack, your spectator really can cut anywhere. When they do, have them place the packet they cut off to the side, and take the top 5 cards of wherever they cut to.  If you need help learning stack here’s an easy place to start -Si Stebbins book for FREE:

 

https://www.deceptionary.com/ftp/SStebbins.pdf
 
Now we just need to glimpse the bottom card of the packet they cut, and we’ll know the exact 5 cards. 
 
If the bottom card of their packet is the KH, we know the top 5 cards of the remainder of the deck (and the same 5 cards they just picked up) are…
 
JC, 7S, 10H, AD, 4S.
 
Of course, we’re simply recounting the next 5 cards of the stack after the KH. 
 
Get them to lay out the cards from left to right. They don’t see the cards yet, but we know exactly what they are. 
 
Now that we do, we simply need to set up the number force. Here’s how to do that…
 
  1. You hand him your iPhone, open on the calculator app. He freely enters a number of calculations, choosing each number freely. When he’s finished, he is left with a string of numbers. 
Some of you may have a sneaking suspicion of what’s going on here. 
 
If you guessed the ‘TOXIC’ force, you’d be 100% on the money. 
 
The TOXIC force is a simple but very deceptive way to force any set of numbers using a calculator. 
 
Here’s a page that will explain exactly how to perform the force:
 
https://www.toxicplus.com/
 
The key phrase is this:
 
“By entering the number you wish to force, then typing “+” then “0” then “x” then “(” (bracket) you can have the spectator multiply some numbers and the result will always be the force number. Basically, this TOXIC formula is just adding zero to the force number.
 
i.e. Force number + (0 x (the numbers entered by spectator)) = Force number”
 
Now, I’ve always performed this using the iPhone’s built in calculator function. Just turn the screen horizontally to see the ( ) buttons. 
 
However, I believe it can be done with Android too. (here’s a link on that – https://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=650159)
 
(of course, you could also do this with a borrowed iPhone if you’re really low on options. Heck, that will probably make it even more powerful.)
 
To set this up, just key in numbers that equate to the cards they chose. 
 
In our case, we had the JC, 7S, 10H, AD, and 4S. I would convert that into ‘1171014’ or ‘11, 7, 10, 1, 4.’
 
Now, get them to enter a bunch of random calculations, without hitting ‘=.’ The minute we hit =, we’ll see the force numbers.
 
The only thing to be aware of is that we want it to feel logical when we finally hit ‘=’ and see the force numbers. So if the only calculations they’ve made so far is ‘1 x 5’ and ‘5 x 10’, hold on until the number is bigger. Once we get into the big boy leagues of numbers, no one will be keeping up with the actual math, and so calculating something like ‘12243 x 21211’ and getting ‘1171014’ will seem pretty logical. 
 
  • You ask him to read out the numbers he calculated his way to. 
As he does, you turn over each of the cards he picked.
 
To his astonishment, the cards he freely cut to match EXACTLY the number he calculated. 
 
By this point, all the hard work is done. 
 
Just turn over the cards one by one, while holding the calculator result for him to see, and wait for the realization to dawn. 
 
People would always be jaw-dropped when I did this for them—it’s just such a crazy effect that they don’t even know where to start.   
 
Man, even writing about it here makes me want to jump up and go perform it for someone!
 
Alright. 
 
Have fun with this one. It’s a great effect. 

 

Number Two: The most powerful effect in magic?

 
The ‘Any Card at Any Number’ plot is one of the most powerful things you can do with a deck of cards. 
 
In this week’s Inner Circle content, I return to this iconic effect and share some new angles on it…
 
For the 1% of you who haven’t heard of this effect, here’s what it looks like:
 
The spectator chooses a number, and a card. They take the deck and deal the number they chose. The card they arrive at is, of course, their named card. 
 
You can’t get much more direct than that. 
 
I covered the basics of this effect in the Skyscraper Method, but one thing I didn’t talk about at the time was how we can perform this effect after letting the audience ‘mix’ the deck. 
 
(If you need help learning stack here’s an easy place to start -Si Stebbins book for FREE:

 

https://www.deceptionary.com/ftp/SStebbins.pdf)
 
I’m choosing my words pretty carefully here, as you might be able to tell. 
 
Because the truth is, the method I’m going to show you is dependent on using our trusty memorized deck—and so the audience really can’t shuffle. 
 
But they CAN ‘mix.’
 
Before I get too deep into this, let me catch you up with the basic method. 
 
Actually, here’s (some of) what I had to say about it in the Skyscraper Method:
 
There’s a lot going for this method. 
 
The number is freely chosen. The cards aren’t touched. The spectator can count. The card feels free. You don’t rely on luck. 
 
If you want a surefire way of doing it that is still VERY powerful, this is the way to go.  
 
Here’s the method:
 
  • You isolate the deck (in box, spectator’s hand, wherever)
  • They freely name any number between 1 and 52
  • In a second memorized deck, you force the card positioned at whichever number they name
  • They count down to that number in the isolated deck and find the card they chose
For example:
 
  • They name the number 27. 
  • In a second mem deck, you force the 2C (the 27th card.)
  • They then count 27 cards in the deck they’ve been holding, and find the 2C. 
It’s really that simple!
 
Of course, it’s a good idea to make sure you have a good forcing technique. If you have it mastered (to the extent that one can master such a move), the classic force is the option favored by many. 
 
But ever since I read these articles…
 
https://www.thejerx.com/blog/2017/10/8/the-force-awakens 
 
https://www.thejerx.com/blog/2017/10/8/the-force-unleashed  
 
…I’ve been open to other forcing methods, such as the simple cross-cut force. 
 
The cross-cut force simply involves letting the spectator cut the deck, placing the lower half on top of the upper half, letting sufficient time pass, and then lifting the cards and revealing the ‘card they cut to’ (which is actually the original top card.)
 
If that sounds confusing, feast yer eyes on this tutorial until you ‘get it’:
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ysInSl0-AYY
 
Of course, the only remaining question is how we get the 2C to the top of the deck, but after all the work we’ve done on estimation cuts—I think that answer speaks for itself. 
 
That’s all there is to Method 1. But don’t underestimate how powerful it is. I recall when someone first used this method on me (although I didn’t know it as such at the time) it fooled me so hard I couldn’t stop thinking about it. In my mind, there was no solution. 
 
“But I was holding the deck the entire time! You didn’t even come near it! Isadjhkasd snlaksnd…”
 
NOTE: Another nice subtlety for this method (and subsequent methods) is to ask for a number, then interrupt them as they answer, citing that we need to pick a card first. Then, once we force the card, we can ask for their number as if we forgot, and do our best to sell it as the first time we heard it. That’s a subtlety I first saw Dani DaOrtiz use, but I’m sure he would forgive me for saying I believe its origin to be in Juan Tamariz’ work.”
 
Ok.
 
Now that we’re all on the same page regarding the basic method, let me show you how to do the above even after the audience ‘mixes’ the deck. 
 
When I say ‘mix’, I’m really simply referring to ‘cuts.’
 
HOWEVER, this isn’t just semantics. 
 
There’s a reason I say ‘mix.’
 
When we do it right, we can make cutting the deck FEEL like ‘mixing’ the deck. 
 
In my way of thinking—the more we refer to it as such in OUR mind, the more natural it should feel to convince the audience of it when we do so. 
 
I use two main strategies for this:
 
  1. Give the audience the chance to cut the deck as many times as they like, and remind them each time that ‘every time you cut, you change the order of the cards. If you stop here, we’ll have a certain order. If you cut one more time, that order will be changed. Once this trick is over, I want you to remember that you COULD have made just one more cut if you wanted to.’
Doing this both emphasises the ‘control’ they have over the order of the cards, and makes for a fun moment where they can tell you’re trying to get in their head and don’t know what to do. 
 
Of course, needless for me to say, we don’t care either way—as long as they’re giving the deck single cuts, our memorized order is going to maintain itself.  
 
  1. Take the deck back, and then ask for a number between 1 and 20. Once they give you that number, ask them if they want you to move that many cards from top to bottom, or bottom to top. Whatever they say, do so, but make sure you count the cards without reversing their order. 
I first saw Dani DaOrtiz use this ploy in his ‘Or Not’ effect, and it’s pure genius. 
 
Really, all you’re doing is cutting the deck. It’s no different. 
 
But for some reason, asking them to name a number, and then choosing whether the cards come off the bottom or top, makes the whole thing FEEL more like ‘mixing’ than cutting. 
 
It also creates the illusion that the number of cards they choose, or where they choose to move them, is important (it isn’t, it’s just a cut either way.)
 
When the effect ends, they may well end up asking the wrong questions entirely (“what if I’d said to move 10 cards instead of 9?”), and of course, if they’re asking the wrong questions, they’re never going to find the right answers. 
 
Alright. 
 
Now that the cards have been ‘mixed’, here’s what we do…
 
  1. Glimpse the bottom card
This is the only information we need. Let’s say the bottom card is now the KH (card #35 in the Mnemonica stack.)
 
  1. Get them to choose a number
Once they’ve named a number, we simply add that number to the stack number of the card we previously glimpsed. That tells us the identity of the card at that position in the deck. 
 
If they named ‘12’, we’d add 12 to 35 to get 47. 
 
Card 47 is the 7C. 
 
If they named ‘20’, we’d add 20 to 35 to get 55. 
 
However, since the stack ends at 52, we start again at the start of the stack. Since 55-52 is 3, we’ll end up on the 3rd card.  
 
Card 3 is the 7D.
 
  1. Force that card in a second deck
In a second deck (also stacked), we estimation cut that card to the top and force it on the spectator using any method you like. 
 
  1. Get them to deal the number they called out in the ‘mixed’ stack
On dealing that number, they’ll arrive at the named card. 
 
Simple, right?
 
But don’t underestimate how incredibly powerful this is. 
 
Let me remind you what I said earlier about the effect this had on me:
 
“I recall when someone first used this method on me (although I didn’t know it as such at the time) it fooled me so hard I couldn’t stop thinking about it. In my mind, there was no solution. 
 
“But I was holding the deck the entire time! You didn’t even come near it! Isadjhkasd snlaksnd…” 
 
Go out and have some fun with this!