Mathematical Principle?

Discuss your favorite close-up tricks and methods.

Postby Sam Kesler » 01/08/05 10:00 AM

Any Way You Count'em

Shuffle the cards. Turn over the top card and deal face up on the table. Deal face up on top of it as many cards as needed to reach 10. Face cards count as 10. Continue making separate stacks equalling 10 until deck is exhausted. If there are not enough cards to complete final stack keep incomplete stack in your hand. Choose 3 stacks that contain at least 4 cards and turn face down. Gather all the remaining cards in any order and add to the cards in your hand (if any). Pick any 2 stacks and turn over the top card face up. Add their values and discard that many cards from your hand. Discard an additional 19 cards. Count the remaining cards in your hand. Turn over the top card of the third pile. Its value will match the number of cards in your hand. What principle(s) are at work here?
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Postby cataquet » 01/08/05 12:51 PM

Boredom? :D
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Postby Sam Kesler » 01/08/05 01:08 PM

With over 150 magic books I seldom get bored. Frustrated maybe. It's like comfort food. I get distracted with self-working tricks when I beat myself up too much after doing a lousy Elmsley count. Forget faros and diagonal palm shifts! :(
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Postby Guest » 01/08/05 02:00 PM

The trick is a variant of Affinities on pp. 131-133 in Volume II of The Vernon Chronicles, about which Minch wrote "The mathematical principle underlying this effect is an aged one."

The procedures used in Affinities appear a little more clear-cut, and of course have a Vernon touch or two. It was mentioned that the trick becomes more perplexing upon being repeated several times. (But you'd better "pick your audience" for this wisely!)

Affinities goes to a count of 13, not 10, and uses 10 as the number you add to the values of the two upturned cards. If you try the experiment of starting the count of each packet with an ace (as I did years ago when trying to understand why it worked), I believe you'll quickly see why it works as it does. Just realize what the difference will be when one of the upturned packets has a two instead of an ace, then a three, etc...

I hope this is of help.
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Postby Bill Mullins » 01/08/05 11:35 PM

Originally posted by Sam Kesler:
Deal face up on top of it as many cards as needed to reach 10.
You lose me here. Deal until you get to a card whose value is ten (either a ten-spot or face card)?
Deal until the running total of the values in the pile is ten (or greater)? Deal until you have ten cards in the pile??
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Postby Guest » 01/09/05 12:10 AM

:confused:
I'm lost, gave up after getting 30 some piles.
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Postby Sam Kesler » 01/09/05 10:52 AM

Sorry for the confusion.

Deal face up on top of the first face up card dealt as many more cards as needed to reach <the pip value> of 10.

For instance if it's a 3, deal seven cards on top of it;if it's a 5, deal five cards. Face cards count as 10 so no more cards are needed.

Hope this helps clarify.
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Postby cataquet » 01/09/05 05:33 PM

Sam, now that I understand all that's involved, it's just a parity principle. The counting process basically marks a specific card and forces you to keep a matching number in your hand. Getting rid of the other cards is automatic.
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Postby Jim Snapp » 01/14/05 09:55 AM

Hi;
There is a great version in Apocalypse (Don't have access to my file right now) where the cards are delt onto the table, the count to 10 is the same, the delt cards are replaced underneath the packet as the total of the original cards is counted. You end up with a seven, deal out 7 face-up cards and they form the telephone number of the spectator doing the dealing.
Jim
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Postby Guest » 01/14/05 05:44 PM

Originally posted by Sam Kesler:
Any Way You Count'em

Shuffle the cards. Turn over the top card and deal face up on the table. Deal face up on top of it as many cards as needed to reach 10. Face cards count as 10. Continue making separate stacks equalling 10 until deck is exhausted. If there are not enough cards to complete final stack keep incomplete stack in your hand. Choose 3 stacks that contain at least 4 cards and turn face down. Gather all the remaining cards in any order and add to the cards in your hand (if any). Pick any 2 stacks and turn over the top card face up. Add their values and discard that many cards from your hand. Discard an additional 19 cards. Count the remaining cards in your hand. Turn over the top card of the third pile. Its value will match the number of cards in your hand. What principle(s) are at work here?
I'd like to know where this trick (exactly as written) first appeared in print. My grandfather taught it to me 30 years ago and I believe he had been doing it for quite some time...

Neil
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