SUE? NOT ME!
By Bob Farmer November 14, 2003
Please send comments, criticism, corrections and other stuff to:
Bob Farmer, Box 1262, Brockville, Ontario, Canada K6V 5W2
(613) 342-5782 Fax (613) 342-2655 Trickmail@aol.com
EFFECT: Spectator shuffles his own deck of cards. You have your back turned (in fact, you can do this over the phone).
You tell him this is a game of mental poker and he will be using a mental hole card.
Spectator removes any five random cards and thinks of the highest card he sees. He then shuffles all of the cards together.
You ask him to concentrate on his card. Clues emerge and you name the card, both value and suit.
BACKGROUND: I have to thank Kenton Knepper and John Mahood for a bit of reverse inspiration. In the fall of 2003, these benighted peasants marketed K.E.N.T., touted by Kenton as, One of two tools I rely upon for close-up work of any kind (the other tool isnt identified, but intuition tells me its a large bag he puts over his head).
For $15 you get to wade through 25 pages to find out how to identify the value not the suit, just the value of a thought card. You arent always right, so Kenton suggests you buy another one of his tricks, Kolossal Killer (all of Kentons tricks have a big K somewhere), to fix that problem.
The core method used in K.E.N.T. is one I invented and explained in Tsunami (1987). If five cards are selected at random, the highest card in the group will have a 92.25% of being either an Ace, King, Queen, Jack or Ten.
So, if you tell a spectator to think of a mental hole card and to make it the highest card (aces high) he sees in his five-card packet, you know it is almost certain he will be thinking of an Ace, King, Queen, Jack or Ten.
In K.E.N.T., the perpetrators use a progressive anagram (a principle invented by Stanley Collins in 1922, and used by me for the astrological effect, Whats My Sign?) to determine which value is being thought of. Of course, they cant name the suit.
When I heard about this, I was upset that someone would use one of my good ideas to create a bad trick and then ask $15 for it. If they had created a good trick and sold it for a reasonable price, I wouldnt have been concerned. Since 92.25% of the method is mine, good grace and etiquette would have compelled honourable men to get in touch with me and ask my opinion and perhaps my permission but that didnt happen.
And the price really rankled my consumer sense: $15! Hell, for $10, you can buy Tsumani, my original manuscript, and get a whole pile of tricks, including much better ones than K.E.N.T.
So, I decided the best thing to do would be to invent a trick that actually meets the description in the ad for K.E.N.T. The ad says you name the spectators card but, in fact, all you do is tell him its value, you cant tell him its suit. My method follows. If you like it, dont forget its free. If you want more, send $10 U.S. (check or money order) to Bob Farmer, Box 1262, Brockville, Ontario, Canada K6V 5W2 and Ill send you Tsunami (Jeff Busby said about it, .. will fool the bejesus out of anyone Busby has said other things, but this was his last intelligent comment).
(Incidentally, the guys who invented K.E.N.T. stopped too soon if all you can do is name the value, why not just figure out a progressive anagram for 13 values and have the spectator think of any card.)
METHOD: Have the spectator shuffle his own deck, select 5 random cards and think of the highest card in his hand.
As mentioned above, there is a 92.25% chance hell be thinking of an Ace, King, Queen, Jack or Ten. If you want to make it 100%, cut any Ace, King, Queen, Jack or Ten to the top of the deck. Table the deck. Have the spectator cut the deck into five packets and take the top card of each packet. This guarantees at least one of the target values.
Tell the spectator to think of his card as a phrase. For example, if its the Jack of Diamonds, he is to see the words Jack of Diamonds in his mind. Since this is one of the cards he could be thinking of, if youve hit it here, hell tell you and you can stop immediately. However, thats unlikely, so you will now use the following question (experts can shade these more subtly):
Is there an e?
Depending on how that question is answered, you will ask either:
At that point you can name the card, value and suit.
Here is how it works
The first question is about the letter, e. You say you see an e. There are only four possibilities:
1. There is no e in either the value or the suit (No, No).
2. There is no e in the value, but there is an e in the suit (No, Yes).
3. There is an e in the value, but no e in the suit (Yes, No).
4. There is an e in both the value and the suit (Yes, Yes).
Here is a summary of the card groups based on this question (review these groups after you understand how all the questions work)
Group A E? Value No, Suit No
Group B E? Value No, Suit Yes
Group C E? Value Yes, Suit No
Group D E? Value Yes, Suit Yes
Once you know which group (A, B, C or D) the card is in, you now narrow it down to a sub-group of that group.
Since the first question was about the letter, e, you segue by saying that the middle letter of the colour Red, is an e.
Whatever response you get on Red, eliminates half the cards in your target group (all of the groups are half red and half black) and tells you the suit since each group is made up of only two suits.
Groups A and B have four cards each, while Groups C and D have 6. After Red, these groups become two cards in A and B and three cards in C and D.
If you are in Group A or B, the card is either a Jack or King, so your next question is about a large K?
This works well because if you say large K a person thinking of a King will respond but if they are thinking of a jack, theyll be hesitant at which point you add that the k is at the end of the word.
You can now name their card.
If you are in Groups C or D, you know the suit, but there are three possible card values, Ace, Ten Queen.
Here your next question is about a spot on the card.
Two of the cards, the Ace and the Ten are spot cards. If you get a positive response, you know its NOT the Queen. If you get a negative response, its the queen and you name the card.
If you are down to an ace and a ten, the next question is about Spots you see a whole lot of spots. A negative tells you its the ace, a positive the ten and you can name the card.
Note: 7.75% of the time the spectator will not think of an ace, ten, jack queen or king. If that happens youll be wrong on the value, but you will be right on the suit.
Copyright 2003 Every Trick In The Book Inc. All rights reserved. This explanation may be distributed for free but cannot be sold or otherwise commercially exploited without written consent.