Identification of Self-working Card Trick

A place where beginners can participate, ask questions, and post their views. However, beginners typically ask a lot of questions about sources, tricks, books, and so on. In fact, all magicians are interested (or should be) in the provenance of tricks, ideas, and related matters. This department will service these needs.

Postby Guest » 03/16/05 09:26 AM

Im trying to identify the original source of a self-working card trick my wife remembers doing herself as a child in the late fifties or early sixties. As far as she can remember, the trick involves 16 cards: Aces, Kings, Queens, and Jacks. The effect was the cards are dealt, one each into four mixed piles, but ultimately end up grouped together by rank.

The patter was along the lines of The four queens were visited by their four lovers, the four Jacks, but the four kings discovered them together and created such a ruckus that the police (four aces) were called to settle the disturbance.

At this point my wife does not remember the exact wrap-up or even the actual effect for certain. Is there anyone out there familiar with this trick? Can anyone point me to the original source for it? I have a modest library of magic books, mostly the standards, if it might be found in one of them.

Thanks!

P.S. I originally posted this in the Beginner's section, but then thought this might be the appropriate forum for identifying the trick. I'm a newbie, so I hope I've done right. :confused:
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Postby Guest » 03/16/05 09:56 AM

I think the effect is that the cards are put into four piles,each in A-K-Q-J order. The four piles are then stacked one on top of each other, the pile is cut and the cut completed, and four hands are dealt out.

And, fairly obviously to anybody who is a conjuror and/or is of a logical mind, one hand consists of all the Aces, one hand consists of all the Kings, etc.

As an effect, it makes me yawn, but I've seen laymen perform it for other laymen and get a reasonable reaction from it.

My apologies for not answering your question. But you did mention that you weren't sure what the effect was, so I posted in order to clarify that. At least, I hope that I've clarified it.

Dave
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Postby Ryan Matney » 03/16/05 03:25 PM

Dave,

That's the effect I thought of when I read the initial post. I too have seen laymen perform this to pretty good effect. Just goes to show you that laymen really believe cutting mixes the cards.

No idea who the originator is.
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Postby Edwin Corrie » 03/16/05 03:36 PM

It sounds like Vernon's Card Puzzle from his Twenty Dollar Manuscript. There are lots of versions of this in various books, including Jon Racherbaumer's "The Card Puzzle and Other Diversions", which gives quite a detailed history of the effect. Some of the sources cited are:

Encyclopedia of Card Tricks (Hugard)
Collected Tricks of Charles Jordan (Fulves)
Further Inner Secrets of Card Magic (Vernon)
Fine Art of Magic (Kaplan)
Another Session with Peter Kane
A Further Session with Peter Kane

I first came across the effect in Nick Trost's "Cardman's Packet", and it's reprinted with variations in "The Card Magic of Nick Trost". There he refers to a presentation going back to W.H. Cremer Jr.'s "The Secret Out" from 1859.
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Postby Ryan Matney » 03/16/05 03:59 PM

The patter described sounds more like Marlo's 'Hotel mystery.' Which, I think, was Marlo's presentation of a Christ trick.
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Postby Guest » 03/16/05 04:28 PM

Originally posted by Dave Le Fevre:
I think the effect is that the cards are put into four piles,each in A-K-Q-J order. The four piles are then stacked one on top of each other, the pile is cut and the cut completed, and four hands are dealt out.
Thanks, Dave, that IS the effect, just confirmed that with my wife. Thanks for clarifying.
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Postby Guest » 03/17/05 03:16 AM

Originally posted by Ryan Matney:
Just goes to show you that laymen really believe cutting mixes the cards.
I think the thing that surprises me even more is that they don't realise that cards which are quite openly stacked A-B-C-D-A-B-C-D etc will, when dealt into four hands, produce all the As, all the Bs, etc.

I don't intend to sound contentious. Nor even scathing. Just surprised.

Dave
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Postby Bob Coyne » 03/17/05 10:13 AM

I think the thing that surprises me even more is that they don't realise that cards which are quite openly stacked A-B-C-D-A-B-C-D etc will, when dealt into four hands, produce all the As, all the Bs, etc.
I don't doubt that it might fool some people, but there's little chance that anyone with an analytic mind (layman or not) would be fooled by it at all. It would only take them a moment of thought before it became obvious. Ditto for the idea that cutting mixes the cards. I've seen smart laymen spectators figure out much more subtle puzzle tricks than that.

For that kind of spectator it's necessary to obscure the state of affairs so that they think the cards were mixed (either by false shuffling or time misdirection or whatever). At that point the final cut just becomes the icing on the cake in their mind, not the action which mixes the cards.
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