Named card on table

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Postby Guest » 08/05/03 03:46 AM


I read that 2-3 magicians performed a routine type "Named card on table" during the FISM ( also MagoMigue, the winner).
Can anyone help me finding any reference or discuss any version for this trick that sounds very very interesting and that I don't know at all ( yes, I admit my deep ignorance!!)?
Thanks in advance


Postby Larry Horowitz » 08/05/03 01:27 PM


I think that asking for references so soon after the event is poor timing. At this time I think you really need to hit the library and play detective yourself for awhile
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Postby Bill Mullins » 08/05/03 04:23 PM

When I go to the library for research, the first thing I do is go to the card catalog (usually online, nowadays). Next I'd get help from the research librarian.

Since there is no such thing as a card catalog for the body of books that form the collected magic literature, or even for whatever part of that body that Fabio has, I don't think he was out of line for asking for help.

Notice he didn't ask for the method, he asked for help in researching the trick.
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Postby Guest » 08/06/03 01:51 AM

Originally posted by Fabio:
I read that 2-3 magicians performed a routine type "Named card on table" during the FISM
I haven't heard about this.

The effect sounds like the following: Spectator names any card, after which that card is found to be on the table.

Is that the effect? I've been performing that for some time now, and wasn't aware of any other versions.

Postby Guest » 08/06/03 02:42 AM

First of all I want to thank you all of you for these first replies.
What I am looking for is only a trace, a hint on this topic. I think that this type of effect was (is) performed by D, Brown ( Devil's Picturebook) and that there is something also in R. Osterlind production (Dynamic Mysteries?).
The goal of my question was only to deepen this interesting topic
Thanks again


Postby Guest » 08/06/03 06:52 AM

A good portion of the card material on Derren Brown's "Devils Picture Book" can be found in his book Pure Effect. Dynamic Myteries is sadely out of print but you may still be able to get from Richard's site

Postby Doug Dyment » 08/06/03 09:02 AM

Richard's Dynamic Mysteries is easily available ($25 postpaid) from his Website, Osterlind Mysteries .

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Postby Guest » 08/06/03 09:36 AM

"Crystal Thought" from Expert Card Technique is an extremely practical method that will fool... with proper management & hand choreography.

Postby Guest » 08/06/03 11:08 AM

It sounds like the card on table effect might be Derren Brown's Invisible Deal, which can be found on his video, Devil's Picturebook. This is an excellent effect and has probably resulted in some variations with different presentations. I initially hesitated in responding to this topic since I would actually prefer that few people know about this effect. It's just so good, I would prefer to keep it to myself. ;)

Postby Guest » 08/12/03 06:09 AM

Unfortunately, we are unable to obtain copies of Dynamic Mysteries for sale. Since much of that material was published in earlier lecture notes, I may republish some of it in the future along with new material.

As for "Miracle Thought Projection", let me give you a brief outline here. I use this after I have performed a few of my card effects using my Breakthrough Card System or Radar Deck. Offering to try to show the spectator how the mind works, I lay a red seven (perhaps the 7 of diamonds) on the table and explain,"In a moment I will ask you to try to name that card. For now, let's eliminate aces as they are so obvious and picture cards as they are so similiar that we might get them confused. So think, and just name whatever card comes into your mind and let's see how close you can get." You will be amazed at how often the person names the right card, but there are a lot of outs. If he misses by one value or if he gets the right card, but the wrong suit, you jump right on it and show how close he was. For instance, if he names the 6 of hearts you jump right in and say, "Great! You only missed the card by one and you had the right color!" Then you try again with the three of spades. next you might jump to a red five. The thing is, you have to learn to play this as you go. The card you put down should be about 3 away from the last card and the opposite color. But you also have to be aware of how the person responds and where he is going. You have to get a "feel" for how he thinks. But there are still more outs. Suppose on the first card he says,"Two of diamonds."? You have to jump right in and say, "Was that the first card you thought of?" When you turn over the seven there is still a possibility that he thought of that one first and changed his mind. When I do this I usually pick one person to work with, but announce to the other spectators that they can try, too. That gives you the opportunity to have someone else "hit" and then you start working with them. If you get someone good, you might be able to go 3 or 4 cards with them! Now, of course, this is mentalism and you are allowed to try such a test that may or may not work. This method works for me as I'm not appearing to do sleight of hand card tricks where everything always has to come out right. That is why I don't incorporate any card sleights in the methodology. It's just a mental game that you can cut off at any time and reverse the process so you can show how years of training yourself have paid off. Then you can have them place a card on the table and you name it! See? If it fails miserably you can make it appear as simply a buildup for how impossible it is to do, and then you do it. But, if it works, and if you try it you will see how much it does, then you can create an unbelievable miracle.

Hope this helps.


Postby Jeff Pierce Magic » 08/12/03 10:17 AM

There is a great version in Bill Goldman's Magic Bar and Grill #8. It is called "Souvenir" and can't be easier to perform.

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Postby C. Hampton » 08/13/03 03:54 AM


try looking up versions of OPEN PREDICTION, I think this is how the plot is knowed in card magic.

Since you are Italian there is a big chance that you either speak spanish or at least understand it. I invite you to visit the FORO at where in the section of card magic there is an interesting discution about this topic.

Good luck,

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Postby Guest » 08/14/03 11:18 AM

Leave it to Richard Osterlind to simply give away a true gem, the real deal, something worth as much as a years subscription to Genii if it is used.

In any event, Richard, you negelected to point out that a huge factor in this effect working is that the participants truly do beleive that you can read minds so that they are in a cooperative mindset. It fails miserably if someone thinks t's a trick or a game of wits between them and the performer. If they beleive that you really can read minds and that they really might be able to receive the thoughts of the performer, then it works much better.

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Postby Steve Bryant » 08/14/03 08:37 PM

For those familiar with Bill Goldman's "Souvenir," mentioned above, it looks even more cool if the card you place on the table is a double backer.
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Postby Jeff Haas » 08/15/03 01:04 AM

I have a copy of Dynamic Mysteries that I'm willing to part with.

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Postby Guest » 08/15/03 05:55 AM


Considering that I can't even buy copies of my own book, I don't mind giving away the basic secret that is mine. The effect, however, is in it's infancy. Ted Lesley has done some amazing work with the principle and I continue to evolve different thoughts to use with it and other mentalism applications.

Your point about believing in your abilities as a mentalist is very well taken. It is, of course, essential in quite a bit of mentalism. When I write, I always try to leave enough room for each individual to apply his own personality and working style. My own is a bit different, perhaps, and some things can work for me that might not for others. The converse is also certainly true. I have seen other guys do stuff that I could never pull off. I wrote an essay awhile back that deals with this subject. Let me post it here.

Making Magic Your Own
Richard Osterlind

There is a big secret in the successful performance of magic. You have to make the magic you do - your own. The successful magician makes every move, gesture and mannerism so natural that his act shines. The speech or (perish the word) patter of his performance must reflect the way he really talks and expresses himself. The magic has to look like he created it. The problem is that most magicians get their effects from books and (in todays modern world) videos. In the former, the reader would have to imagine how the effect should look and work it up for himself. In the latter, even that aspect of self-input is missing. Is it any wonder then that we see so many magicians who act, speak and perform exactly like the originator of the effect? And yet, they never shine like he does. To be fair, it is difficult to divorce oneself from the original performance of a trick, especially if it was impressive. Perhaps it is the fear that something may be changed that is vital to the working and will lower its impact or entertainment value. That is a real concern. So then, how do we take these two diametrically opposed ideas and blend them together?

For years I have been expounding the greatness of the Tarbell Course in Magic and why its study is so important to the developing magician. The topic of this essay is how to make your performance of magic not only personal, but very special as well. Once again I have to fall back on some of the principles laid out by Tarbell to make my argument.

Although magic has come very far since Harlan Tarbell took pen in hand, I still see many magicians falling into the same traps that he expounded upon. The main purpose of his course was to make magicians real magicians not just someone doing tricks. As Tarbell himself put it, A magician is not a magician because he knows tricks, but because he knows magic the principles, the fundamentals. He taught the science of magic. Again quoting Tarbell, Another reason I give you the science of magic is that I want you to be able to do other tricks besides the ones I give you. I want you to be able to originate new methods and even new tricks. You can do this easily if you really know the science of magic. As you read through the course you constantly find absolute gems of advice that are ageless. I discover new bits of guidance and logic whenever I pick up one of the worn out volumes. I have based my fundamentals on what I have learned there.

The first fundamental sounds almost too foolish to mention and yet is a primary pitfall in magic. You must know the effect you are trying to create! There is a subcategory to that rule. Is the effect worthwhile enough to bother with? If your audience cannot clearly understand the effect or what you are accomplishing, then it contains a major flaw. If the effect achieved does not impress the audience or appear impossible, it is also useless. Remember that magic is a performance art! Both of these problems might be solved with better routining, but sometimes an effect is just not worth pursuing. A practical example of this is the hours spent by some card workers to master every sleight they encounter without regard for its practical use. I am not suggesting that every individual doesnt have the right to do what he wants, but to foster some of the card tricks I have seen on unsuspecting lay people does border on criminal behavior. If the unfortunate victim does agree to watch a pasteboard miracle, he or she expects to see just that, not finger gymnastics followed by an ending that begs the question, So just what did he do? I am not picking on card workers here (I love a good card trick), but they do seem to be the ones most guilty of this primary mistake. So to begin with, try to see the effect from the lay persons line of sight and determine whether the trick is worth doing in the first place. Does it create a miracle or did you just dazzle the onlookers with speed and dexterity until they were too tired to follow where the card, coin, ball or whatever went? That is juggling, not magic.

The second fundamental is almost as crucial. Recognize there are many methods to accomplish the same thing. Learn all the methods. Again, this may seem like common sense, but not to many magicians. I have seen some performers use the most excruciatingly difficult maneuvering to do something that could be done in a much more natural, open and simple manner. I will not name names, but I can remember one book I read years ago using a mathematical principle to create many card tricks. The problem was that almost every trick in the book could be duplicated and improved using nothing but a key card! Sure, the principle was clever and unexplored, but if you cant do miracles with it, why waste your time? Regardless of how clever anything is in magic, if it isnt practical, it wont cut the mustard in front of a real audience.

Combine these two fundamentals and you come up with a clear concept. Strive to create the strongest magic you can and get to it using the simplest means possible.

Now let me reveal my secret for not only personalizing magic created by others, but also how to create you own magic. Here is the crux of this article.

When I see a new trick in a book or video, or if I buy a piece of equipment I first determine the first fundamental. What am I supposed to be accomplishing and is it worth it? If I believe it is so or can be so, I study it carefully. I learn it EXACTLY the way the originator explains it. If it is a video trick, I try my best to duplicate it exactly as performed. Even if right in the beginning something strikes me as being unnecessary or bad magic, I will still learn it that way. When I feel as though I have mastered it, I put it away! I do my best not to think about it for a few days or even a week - or a month. I try to get it completely out of my head. Then, I practice a mind trick I have using for years. I pretend that I invented the trick! Thats right, I trick myself into believing it was my creation. Even if my best friend in magic gave me the trick, I take him out of it. It is mine. Then I start to scrutinize it and criticize it. Because I am my own worse critic, its not hard. I look for all the weak points and flaws and try to improve them. Using the principles I mentioned before, I try to get the most effect using the simplest method possible. Then I imagine myself performing this trick before the most important audience of my career with the President and the Prime Minister of England in attendance! I imagine how they would react to my trick and analyze whether it would be good enough to do in that situation? Very rarely does it come up to par. Then the juices start kicking in and the real work begins. Sometimes I will dwell on a trick for months and wake up suddenly with a new slant. Sometimes I will see another trick that throws some light on the one I am working on. And sometimes I will get inspiration from a completely unexpected source. It might be a movie or a book with a theme that somehow lends itself to the trick. As these thoughts start to come, it is easier to move away from the original trick as I have put some time and distance between it and myself. If the changes are minor, but significant, so be it. If, however, the entire trick needs to be re-worked so that it doesnt even resemble the original, so much the better! When it finally seems usable, I introduce it into a show. If it plays well, I leave it in and let it develop further. If it doesnt go over, out it comes until more work can be done on it. Sometimes it will go back in and sometimes not. This is why I dont often change my show, but when I do, it is usually because of something worthwhile.

I hope you can see from the above that it is next to impossible not to make your magic your own if you follow my lead. After devoting weeks, months or even years working on an effect, it cannot help but to be your own. You will have instilled into it part of your very soul. It will be you and when you do it you will not be copying anyone. People will want to see you for YOU and not what you do. The tricks will simply be an extension of who you are. Then you will be really magic.


Postby Bill Wheeler » 08/15/03 12:18 PM

Thank you for the fine essay Richard! No simplistic generalizations or purely academic exercises. Perhaps most importantly it applies to all art, not just magic. As far as I'm concerned your essay is required reading by all.

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Postby Guest » 08/17/03 12:47 PM

I performed Richard's trick on my Friday-night restaurant crowd, and killed with it! First you perform a mentalism trick, then you launch into it.

Strange thing: The first two tables I was at, both patrons named twos of different suits. So I said that even though they weren't in tune with me, they were in tune with each other!

I started playing with twos, on the logic that youngest children might choose a two because they're little and might identify with low numbers.

Man, when I got it right (that is, they got it right), the excitement at the table was BIG! Even when the volunteer missed it by suit (diamond instead of heart), the effect was stunning on the audience.

On the repeat, changing the color and changing the number by three produced a hit, as well.

I then followed that effect with a Spectator Cuts to Their Card (using a crimp) and my own estimation effect. Great combination.

Postby Guest » 08/18/03 03:17 AM

Thanks Bill, for your comments.


Postby Guest » 05/28/07 06:29 AM

I came across this thread this weekend and can't believe such a routine was just given out for freeon this forum! And I, an Osterholic of the first order, had my suspicions of whether this would work. Especially without years of experience or a previously established strong reputation.

Let's just say that I now know it works, exactly as written, and I'm still not certain all the reasons why. But some very close friends (our former bishop & his family) wanted to make sure I wasn't abusing my priesthood or something.

--Granpa Chet

Postby Philippe Billot » 05/28/07 08:08 AM

For those who can read french, I inform that Daniel Rhod (from France) does the trick with TWO cards.

You can find the explanation in ARCANE magazine N 84, october 1996, page 32, entitled Induction.
In his book Magie Virtuelle (Virtual Magic)- 1998, page 191, same title.
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Postby NCMarsh » 05/28/07 11:09 AM

I very much like the Osterlind approach outlined above.

There is also an excellent version of Derren Brown's on his "Devil's Picture Book" DVD...

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Postby Guest » 07/18/07 10:46 AM

Please refer to one of a mentalists a mentalist's best friends Mr. Si Stebbins who can solve your problem immediately.

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