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After performing a few miracles with a blue-backed deck of cards, the Cardguy decides he will demonstrate his awesome power of mind-control. Taking out a single blue-backed card, he places it on the table and puts the blue-backed deck in its case. He then pulls a red-backed deck of cards from his pocket and places the single blue-backed card on top of the red-backed deck and then cuts and ruffle shuffles the deck thoroughly. Flipping through the faces of the cards, the Cardguy asks the spectator to think of any card she sees and then he ribbon spreads the deck face-up on the table. What card are you thinking of? asks the Cardguy and when the spectator answers, the thought of card is slid out of the spread and turned over to reveal its the blue-backed card!
Making the Gaff
This effect requires a totally gaffed deck but its one piece of killer mentalism. It also has a built in way to ring in and out the gaff.
The gaffed deck consists of 26 short red-backed cards alternating with 26 normal blue-backed cards that comprise a Svengali Deck, but with the backs rather than the faces.
To make the deck, take out a shiny brand new deck of red-backed playing cards and remove the Jokers and advertising cards. Shuffle the deck well and deal out 26 random cards. These will be your short cards. Cut the cards and round the corners in the traditional fashion and then take out a shiny new blue-backed deck and remove the duplicates of the gaffed red-backed cards, the Jokers and advertising cards. Combine whats left with the short red-backed cards and you should have a complete deck of 52 cardsbut 26 of them will be short red-backed cards and 26 will be regular blue-backed cards. Alternate the red and blue backs, ending with a blue-backed card on top of the deck and then put the deck in a red-backed card case.
The only secret preparation for the effect is to remove the blue-backed card from the top of the gaffed deck and leave it at home, out of the waybut remember the identity of this card!! Your gaffed deck should not appear as a red-backed deck in a red-backed case. The only sleights used are those that are normally involved in using a Svengali Deck: The Dribble, The Riffle Shuffle and the ability to riffle the deck so the spectator can mentally select a card.
The Move Sequence (Sans Patter)
1) Perform a few tricks with a normal blue-backed deck of cards. (This is important!!)
2) Make a prediction by spreading the blue-backed cards towards you and picking out the duplicate of the blue-backed card you removed from your gaff earlier. (I told you to remember the card!!) Place the prediction card on the table without letting anyone see it and then case the blue-backed deck.
3) Remove the gaffed deck and dribble it into your left hand. Only red-backed cards should show. Talk while you do this; dont do it more than once or twice and dont say anything like: I have here an ordinary deck of red-backed playing cards which is not prepared in any way
4) Place the blue-backed card on top of the gaffed deck and cut in into the deck. If you lift up from the back of the deck with your right thumb, you will not cut a blue-backed card to the top. This is important, of course, because if you cut to a blue-backed card the audience will either think that youre cutting the deck at the same exact place and that you are not to be trusted or they will correctly conclude that you have more than one blue-backed card in the deck. Cut the deck a few times in this manner.
5) Riffle shuffle the deck a few times by the ends in the traditional Svengali Deck fashion.
6) Explain to the spectator that she can pick any card she sees as you flip through the deck. Emphasize that she must select a card that she actually sees, because you want her to have a clear picture of the card in her mind. Clamp the lower end of the deck between your left thumb and your left middle and index finger, riffle through the cards from the face-card on up to the top card of the deck. This will only let the spectator see the faces of the blue-backed cards.
7) Ribbon spread the gaffed deck face-up (a very wide spread will eliminate any hint of that rough/smooth stuff) on the table and ask the spectator what card she is thinking of and when she names the card, slide it out of the spread and turn it face-down to reveal that it has a blue back.
Ditching the Gaff
After youve had your moment of glory, replace the card the spectator named and as youre picking up the spread, cut the deck so the card you originally removed from the blue-backed deck is on top. Place the deck in the red-backed card case and then as you start to put them away, suddenly realize that the blue-backed card is still on top of the deck and then remove it and place it in the blue-backed deck without letting the audience see the face. This should appear as if you forgot to remove the prediction card and went back, removed it and replaced it in the blue-backed deck. It should not appear as anything importanttreat it like an afterthought!
A Few Tips
1) When you first start working with this gaffed deck some blue-backed cards will show. After a suitable breaking-in period, you should have no such problems.
2) Please note that the sleights used in this routine are not usually recognized by lay people who are in the know about the Svengali Deck. Most lay people who are familiar with the Svengali Deck do not know that you can riffle shuffle it, use the dribble or use any selection procedure besides having a spectator stick his finger in the deck.
****Permission to manufacture these decks for personal use, but not for commercial sale is granted by Steven Youell.****
Entire contents copyrighted (1994) by Steven Youell