I am tormented by a recent card trick that has been shown to me...

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 favposi69 » 11/04/09 06:40 PM

Hi, I am new to all this and would love to learn more about card tricks.
Over the weekend I was shown a card trick but my neighbour who did it on me would not reveal how it was done. I have trawled the internet and cannot find it and I'm hoping someone on here can help. The trick is as follows and can be done with any number of card decks put together:
I was sat next to him whilst his family was in the other room. His wife shuffled the cards and then turned the top one over revealing a number card. Say it was number seven. She then proceeded to count the cards from the top of the pack from number seven up to the number 12, so there were six cards in the pack. My friend didn't know the number of cards in the pack. She then turned over another card, say the number was four. She then counted the cards up to the number twelve. This went on until she could not create a pile from the remaining cards to make up to the number twelve. So, for example, from one pack of cards, she had say, seven piles with four left over. All this time, my neighbour was in a separate room sat next to me. When she had finished she shouted to him for example seven piles and four left over. She then turned each pile over to reveal the first card of each pile and added them up. Without any other communication, my neighbour sat next to me correctly revealed the total of the first cards added together. This worked EVERY time and no matter how many times we tried to figure it out, we couldn't. He didn't need to use pen paper to calculate. Apparently, the number thirteen has something to do with it.
He could do the trick over the phone and still get it right.
Has anyone heard/seen this trick before? If so, how do you do it? I don't even know what the trick is called. Please help.
Thanks
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Postby Ian Kendall » 11/04/09 08:17 PM

It's safe to say you won't get an answer here - magic fora are not about giving information to anyone who turns up.

Instead of worrying about the effect, or trawling the net looking for a quick solution, try enjoying the trick for what it is (in this case) - an entertaining puzzle. Looking for answers purely to assuage curiosity does nothing for the entertainment, and is a tad disrespectful to your neighbour.

Take care, Ian
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Postby Mark.Lewis » 11/04/09 08:28 PM

They are a miserable bunch here and will not tell you. I would just to annoy them all but for one thing. I don't actually know. The description fooled me.

It does sound remarkably boring though on the face of it. I am fascinated by the fact that you were so impressed by it. Which goes to show that the opinion of a magician doesn't mean a thing. Spectators can go into raptures over a trick that magicians are not impressed by and the opposite happens as well. The magician can get tepid reaction from something he swore would have them rocking in the aisles.

Anyway, I don't think anyone is going to tell you the secret. Take a deep breath though. I expect lots of people are going to be rude to you. Ignore them. They are merely jealous that their own tricks are not so impressive as your mathematical monstrosity ----sorry-------I meant impressive piece of magic.
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Postby James Munton » 11/04/09 09:07 PM

That's the most awful card trick in the world. I wanted to stop reading, but I couldn't. I can understand why you are tormented by it. I don't think I can get it out of my head. Is this some kind of cruel Halloween thing? The only thing I can think of that is worse is [censored]' dice trick.
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Postby Mark.Lewis » 11/04/09 09:35 PM

Do be quiet Munton. You know perfectly well that my dice trick is not my dice trick anyway. It is the famous Dr Sacks dice trick and it is a classic routine which I have been doing for 45 years or so. It is in the same class as my choo choo train trick which you have also expressed disgraceful remarks about in the past.

It really is about time you learned a little tact and diplomacy and I will be delighted to teach you the rudiments of it.
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Postby Mark.Lewis » 11/04/09 11:14 PM

I have just tried this trick out with a pack of cards in my hand just to see what the effect actually was. It really is an excruciatingly boring trick and I have no idea how it could be presented in an entertaining manner. However as a sheer puzzle it is interesting and I must admit that I have never heard of it
before and I bet hardly anyone else here has either. And I bet they don't know how it is done anyway.
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 11/04/09 11:23 PM

favposi69 wrote:...
Over the weekend I was shown a card trick but my neighbour who did it on me would not reveal how it was done. I have trawled the internet and cannot find it and I'm hoping someone on here can help. ...


Did you at least offer to buy his ebook?
Mundus vult decipi
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Postby Furneaux » 11/05/09 12:47 AM

I can see you're a polite fellow. I'll tell you the secret to
the card trick you described....

The Secret: a short length of string with some gum stuck on the end.


(this is the secret to most card tricks)
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Postby James Munton » 11/05/09 01:45 AM

Mark.Lewis wrote: It is in the same class as my choo choo train trick


Yes, the class you refer to is the one reserved for retarded children. Just the mention of your horrific choo choo trick is enough to give me a severe panic attack.
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Postby the Larry » 11/05/09 05:37 AM

favposi69, your description is not entirely clear.

1) What happened if a court card was turned over?
2) The card that was turned over was the first card in the new pile? If so, then these cards are the cards added up at the end?
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Postby the Larry » 11/05/09 05:54 AM

favposi69, despite the somewhat meaningless responses you have received up to this point let me reveal the math behind this trick. Even though I am not a friend of revealing methods, this is more a math lesson than anything else. As most have commented, it is not really a trick to entertain but rather a puzzle to boggle the mind.

First the intuition part. Imagine if the first cards turned over are all high cards, 10s, 9s, 8s. Then you will end up with many piles as well as a high final count adding up the first cards. So there is a proportional linkage between number of piles and sum.

Figuring out the math isn't that hard if you know the primary operations of add, subtract and multiply. The formula to use is:

number-of-piles * 13 + rest-cards - 52

That is assuming you start with a deck of 52 cards. You could start with any number of cards but then you have to change the 52 in the formula to match the number of cards. To answer my earlier question, it does not matter what number court cards get as long as you are consistent in all your proceedings with that number. You could even change the number 12 and count to a different number. Then the number 13 which is really 12+1 should be changed to that number plus one.
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Postby Mark.Lewis » 11/05/09 07:17 AM

The Larry's explanation is nearly as horrendously tedious as the original description. I wish now that I hadn't made my challenge that nobody here knows how it is done. I bet all sorts of magical theorists are now going to come out of the woodwork to prove me wrong.

I must say that I am highly irritated by Munton's derogatory remarks about my choo choo train trick. First it isn't really a trick and second it appeals to children so I would have thought that James would have been absolutely delighted about it being a trifle juvenile himself.

I shall therefore expose on a separate thread the workings of said miracle.Since it isn't a trick in the first place nobody can say I am exposing. I claim it to much more fascinating than the card trick just described.
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 11/05/09 11:57 AM

Mark, they missed the clues that you can give a magician piles by just adding a few cards or missing the count. Also the unfounded claim in the OP that the trick would work with larger banks. Unless you already know the math and the actual number of cards present etc...

Sadly, we do have folks like The Dolt in magic who completely miss such things - as well as the wondrous phenomenon where a procedure prevents cognitive function - a possible parallel to the visual phenomenon in the color changing card trick. Yes, in this case I used distraction to balance mention of a serious avenue of inquiry. Piles or piles of books to read and hard work designing experiments. Or... if shoe fits, leave it in, there's another when you're ready.

;) Balance is a /b/
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 11/05/09 12:05 PM

The trick where after a few cards the rest have a different colored back and the volunteer does not notice as they keep turning over cards looking for their card.
Mundus vult decipi
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Postby Philippe Billot » 11/05/09 05:51 PM

This "mathematical recreation" was described in french in 1612 with this formula :

a, b, c = the value of the three cards
n = number of cards
p = to go to the number
r = the rest of the cards

We have this equality :
(p - a) + (p - b) + (p - c) + 3 + r = n
So
a + b + c = r +(3p + 3) - n
and
For n = 52 et p = 15, we have a + b + c = r - 4
For n = 32 et p = 15, we have a + b + c = r + 16
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Postby Jerrine » 11/05/09 06:13 PM

I don't have time for the math due to my search for the right length of string (60.98765cm) and gum with just the right amount of tackiness. Juicy Fruit is close but needs more sugar.
Those that say it can't be done have a long lineage.
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 11/05/09 11:37 PM

Amazing how that book keeps on coming up as a source of interesting items. Thanks Philippe.
Mundus vult decipi
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