21 card trick

Discuss your favorite close-up tricks and methods.

Postby walkinoats » 10/19/02 02:53 PM

We all know the famous "21" card trick that most laymen know. Are they any variations of the "21" trick in print that would fool laymen who know the original method ?

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Postby Sean Piper » 10/19/02 03:56 PM

There's one by Doug Conn aptly named 'The Impossible 21 Card Trick'. I believe this appears in his book 'Tricks of My Trade'.

Also, check out Chris Kenner's 'Must Be 21 to Enter' from 'Totally Out of Control'.
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Postby Simon Aronson » 10/19/02 04:10 PM

Try Marlo's "Streamlined 21 Card Trick" (The Cardician p. 134), or, in my opinion one of the best, Marlo's "Nouveau 21 Card Trick" in Marlo Without Tears, p, 146. The intro to that description (by Jon Racherbaumer) mentions others.

I sometimes do a tongue-in-cheek version, with a memorized deck: I have the deck cut, and then deal out the standard 3-overlapping-row layout BUT ALL FACE DOWN! I do this obliviously, as though I don't realize that I'm making a mistake. I ask the spectator to think of one (which gets a laugh, because none of the faces are visible). So, I ask him to point to any one that he'd like to think of. He does, as I turn around and ask him to just peek at the one he chose. He does and remembers it, leaving it in its position. (At this point I already know his exact card, because of the stack and some very simple counting/addition to where he pointed.)

I can now reveal it in any way I like. In keeping with the original premise, I then turn back to face him, gather up the rows, and then redeal them AGAIN FACE DOWN. I ask him which row his card is in, and of course he can't tell because no faces are showing. So I ask him to point to ANY row, and then ANY card in that row. He does, and I then privately lift up the corner of that card, so that only I can peek at its identity. I look at him and ask, "Oh, the Six of Clubs?" (miscalling it and actually naming the correct card). The spectator is stunned, that he apparently found his own card, face down. Meanwhile I gather the 21 cards up. (If you want to go into this version deeper, there are actually math calculations that will tell you where the real card is in this second deal, so you can really locate it, but it's not necessary).

At any rate, all of these versions do what I hope is your intention: they stop the spectator from wanting to show you any more of "his" great magic.
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Postby Denis Behr » 10/19/02 04:15 PM

Other routines are in:
Secret Draun from Underground ("Twenty-One Again")
Marlo Without Tears ("Nouveau 21-Card-Trick" (8 phases...), "The 27-Card Trick: Streamlined")
The Cardician ("Streamlined 21 Card Trick")
21st Century Card Magic ("The Twenty-One Card Trick")
Low Down Dirty Tricks ("How to Cheat at 21")

I guess there are still more in print...
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Postby Sean Piper » 10/19/02 05:52 PM


- Marlo's '21 Plus Subtelty' from Kabbala Vol.1

- Chuck Smith's 'Imaginary Card Trick' from his 'What If' lecture notes
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Postby Dave Shepherd » 10/19/02 05:58 PM

I appreciate knowing these references. I will get out "The Cardician" this evening and look at the Streamlined trick once again.

In the conjuring club I advise at my high school, kids have to show us a magic trick, "any trick," before any of us "initiates" will talk method with them.

The one trick that's forbidden is the 21 card trick.

I think I will try to baffle my young charges with a clever Marlo variation. Thanks.

Oh, and thanks, Simon, for a great application of a memorized deck. With your permission, I'll try that little touch as well.
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Postby Matthew Field » 10/19/02 06:35 PM

Originally posted by Sean Piper:
- Chuck Smith's 'Imaginary Card Trick' from his 'What If' lecture notes
Those notes are highly recommended by me.

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Postby Guest » 10/19/02 09:15 PM

I enjoy Steve Beam's "The Of-Age Card Trick," "Pile Driver," and "Turning 21" from Semi-Automatic Card Tricks, vol. 3.

My favorite is Pile Driver, chiefly due to my customized version of Beam's climatic punch line, "Randy's Trick Sucks."

--Randy Campbell

Postby Denis Behr » 10/20/02 01:51 AM

Originally posted by Matthew Field:
Originally posted by Sean Piper:
[b] - Chuck Smith's ... 'What If' lecture notes
Those notes are highly recommended by me.[/b]
Where can I find Mr. Smith's publications?
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Postby Guest » 10/20/02 11:07 AM

Can some one please tell me how how many cards are used for this trick...also, who fooled Houdini?


Postby Guest » 10/20/02 06:46 PM

Doug Conn's "Impossible 21 Card Trick" is superb and perfect for fooling magicians.

Postby Guest » 10/20/02 08:07 PM

Jon Racherbaumer did a cool version called "Postgraduate 21 Card Trick" (Marlo) at a PCAM a while back. It can be found in his lecture notes titled "Grifty Business".

Postby Guest » 10/21/02 06:50 AM

Jules Lenier has one of the best versions disguised as a psychic abilitiy test that is wonderful.
PSIncerely Yours,
Paul Alberstat

Postby Guest » 10/21/02 06:56 AM

Andrew Wimhurst has a good version on his video.

Postby Guest » 10/22/02 12:01 PM

Originally posted by Mike Gallo:
Can some one please tell me how how many cards are used for this trick...also, who fooled Houdini?

I'm still trying to find out who invented the Ghost Count! ;)


Postby Guest » 10/30/02 11:30 PM

The face-down 21 card trick is a killer (thank you, Simon Aronson & Martin Joyal). It's good for people who don't know the original, and killer for those who do. Fortunately, most fall into the latter group. For spectators who are familiar with it, I highlight the differences. (Spectator can shuffle, I tell the spectator which pile, rather than ask, etc.)

Postby Guest » 10/31/02 08:00 AM

Andrew Wimhurst's version (Cheating at 21) not only fools laymen, but it totally fools magicians as well. It is totally hands off and it is very powerful.

Postby Richard Kaufman » 10/31/02 08:48 AM

The best version I've ever seen is Steve Draun's in our book, Secrets Draun from Underground. What a killer! It's a multi-phase routine that devastates ANY audience.
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Postby Jon Racherbaumer » 10/31/02 10:02 AM

There were several versions published in Charles Hudson's "Card Corner" in the Linking Ring in the 70s. I also came up with a few Technicolor versions where the mentally selected card turns out to have a different colored back.

The version in my lecture notes (Grifty Business) is only one phase of Marlo's routine in MARLO WITHOUT TEARS.

There is also a simplex version in David Blaine's latest book (MYSTERIOUS STRANGER), now available in bookstores everywhere.

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