Anyone know the name of this card trick?

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Joe Mckay
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Anyone know the name of this card trick?

Postby Joe Mckay » July 20th, 2021, 4:54 pm

This is a card trick that the Masked Magician messed up live on TV.

It is some kind of beginner's card trick.

I am just curious to learn more about who the trick belongs to? This is for something I am working on - it is not just a dumb curiosity of mine.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3v0wgEZoW2c

It feels like a Stewart James trick. But he published so many self-working 4 ace effects - I always get them mixed up.

This is pretty much the second or third trick most people learn when they first become interested in card tricks.

Since it is a beginner card trick - it is taught online in a lot of places. Here is a description of the method:

Spectator Cuts the Aces

The Effect: A spectator cut a deck into 4 piles. Then takes 3 cards from the top of one pile and puts them on the bottom. Then deals one card onto the top of the other piles. Then does the same thing again with the rest of the piles. Then the spectator flips over the top card on each pile to reveal 4 Aces.

Preparation: put all four aces on the top of the deck.

The Secret: Have a spectator cut the deck about half way to make 2 packets. Never loose track of the packet that has 4 aces on top. Have them choose one of the packets and cut about half of that on to the table. Make sure they always put it in a place so the packet with 4 aces is always on one of the ends. have them cut the last packet about half way. Now you should have 4 packets with one of them having 4 aces on top and on one of the ends.

Now have them pick up the packet on the opposite end of the one with aces on top and tell them to take 3 cards off the top and put them on the bottom. Then tell them to deal one card onto the top of each packet them put the packet back. do the exact same thing with all of the other packets.

After they have done this explain that the probability of the top cards on each packet being aces is almost impossible. Have the spectator flip over the first card. It should be and ace. keep talking about the probability of all of them being aces before you flip over each card. Have them flip over all the cards to reaveal that the top cards are all aces.

Does anyone know if this is credited to anyone?

Curtis Kam
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Re: Anyone know the name of this card trick?

Postby Curtis Kam » July 20th, 2021, 5:41 pm

Most common reference for this is Poker Player’s Picnic in Royal Road to Card Magic. For a deeper scoop, you might try Jon Racherbaumer’s recent exploration.

https://www.lybrary.com/picnic-pocus-p-924586.html


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Justin Fraser
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Re: Anyone know the name of this card trick?

Postby Justin Fraser » July 20th, 2021, 5:45 pm

Steve Belchou.
It card be found in Royal Road to Card Magic (uncredited) as Poker Player’s Picnic.

Joe Mckay
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Re: Anyone know the name of this card trick?

Postby Joe Mckay » July 20th, 2021, 6:06 pm

Right - I thought I knew the name. I just couldn't remember.

It is a weird trick. I can never tell if it is good or terrible.

Thanks!

Jack Shalom
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Re: Anyone know the name of this card trick?

Postby Jack Shalom » July 20th, 2021, 6:16 pm

Mark Lewis likes it a lot. I think it can be very effective. There's all sorts of sleights which can be added to it, but really for a casual lay audience of friends, it's a crowd pleaser as it is.

Brad Henderson
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Re: Anyone know the name of this card trick?

Postby Brad Henderson » July 20th, 2021, 7:14 pm

Originally appeared in The Dragon. Belchou’s Aces.

Philippe Billot
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Re: Anyone know the name of this card trick?

Postby Philippe Billot » July 21st, 2021, 2:06 am

The Dragon, Vol. 8, no. 6, June 1939, page 7, A Four Ace Set Up by Steve Belchou

See: https://geniimagazine.com/wiki/index.ph ... ve_Belchou

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Re: Anyone know the name of this card trick?

Postby Philippe Billot » July 21st, 2021, 2:39 am


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Grippo's Wish
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Re: Anyone know the name of this card trick?

Postby Grippo's Wish » July 21st, 2021, 6:03 am

Tom Dobrowolski has an updated handling for it.

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Re: Anyone know the name of this card trick?

Postby Philippe Billot » July 21st, 2021, 8:16 am

In which book or DVD, please ?

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Re: Anyone know the name of this card trick?

Postby Brad Henderson » July 21st, 2021, 11:24 am

I have extensive work on it originally published in theory into Practice and an updated write up will appear in my forthcoming book.

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Re: Anyone know the name of this card trick?

Postby Leo Garet » July 21st, 2021, 12:08 pm

Nothing new here for the students in our midst, but for better or worse, here it is.

In “Card College,” volume [5] on page 1400, Roberto Giobbi scribbles some bibliographical notes on the matter of “Poker Player’s Picnic”. Correctly* he identifies the original as being that of Steve Belchou, published in “Dragon” Magazine, volume [8], issue [6] in June 1939.

It was written and described by Oscar Weigle, and according to Mister Giobbi it had no title. However, in the previous (May) a routine called “The Million To One Trick” was credited to Steve Belchan. This featured four selected cards, rather than aces. This error was corrected in the October issue later that year complete with an apology for getting Belchou’s name wrong.

Fair and proper than Steve Belchou gets his due, but notwithstanding, methinks it’s always going to be “Poker Player’s Picnic”.

[*Correctly as in “so far…..”

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Re: Anyone know the name of this card trick?

Postby Philippe Billot » July 22nd, 2021, 1:43 pm

Grippo's Wish wrote:Tom Dobrowolski has an updated handling for it.


I find it!

See Tom and His Merry Men (Lecture Notes 2014) or Picnic Pokus by Racherbaumer (2021)
)

Tarotist
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Re: Anyone know the name of this card trick?

Postby Tarotist » January 27th, 2022, 8:22 pm

Jack Shalom wrote:Mark Lewis likes it a lot. I think it can be very effective. There's all sorts of sleights which can be added to it, but really for a casual lay audience of friends, it's a crowd pleaser as it is.


I would like it a lot better if Joe McKay hadn't blasted the secret all over the internet. Luckily I suspect nobody reads the Genii Forum anyway. However, I am most displeased over the matter. The very first thing a magician learns is never to tell how a trick is done. I am now regretting selling young McKay a svengali deck when he was a child starting him off on magic.

Oddly enough I have just been watching so called "magicians" on video performing this trick. They seem to be well known magicians too. All I will say is that I once showed this trick to Prince Phillip spouse of Her Majesty the Queen. I was expecting a knighthood over the matter but I didn't get one. However, after watching some of the videos of various well known worthies I can only say that it they had shown the trick to royalty like I did not only would they not have been knighted they would have ended up in the Tower of London facing execution. And quite right too.

All I see is alleged "improvements" consisting of convoluted long winded confusion so that by the time the end of trick happens the audience have either forgotten what the trick was all about in the first place or more likely have fallen asleep. I think it was Al Baker who once said, "Many a good trick has been killed by improvement". The videos I have been watching have been absolute proof of it. In fact with reference to the video Joe posted I would rather watch the Masked Magician do the trick wrong that the people I have been watching do the trick right.

I will not name which videos I am referring to since I have always been renowned for my tact and diplomacy.

Dave Le Fevre
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Re: Anyone know the name of this card trick?

Postby Dave Le Fevre » January 28th, 2022, 3:52 am

Tarotist wrote:I would like it a lot better if ... hadn't blasted the secret all over the internet
I can empathise.

Last year there was a thread about what effect would you perform if you were handed a deck of cards and asked to do a trick. There were quite a few replies, including one from me.

Someone replied saying that they didn't know that effect that I'd mentioned, and could I describe it.

Before I could respond, someone else posted a brief description of the effect (good) and the method (not so good). I've no idea why the method was exposed. No other effect in that thread had its method exposed there.

And of course, just as in this thread, when one reads the method of an effect before seeing it performed, the effect seems obvious and so one assumes that it isn't a good effect.

We don't need to keep secrets from each other here. But in general, it might be better to describe an effect and then wait a while before describing the method.

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chetday
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Re: Anyone know the name of this card trick?

Postby chetday » January 29th, 2022, 3:37 pm

I've gotten better mileage and spectator reactions out of Poker Player's Picnic than just about any other card trick I've learned in the last sixty or so years of my pasteboard obsession.

I like to present the trick with discovery of the four queens when a woman handles the deck. If a couple of people are watching, I'll palm the four queens while "checking to remove any jokers" and then have one of those watching shuffle and cut the deck. The four queens go back on top when I push the shuffled deck toward the woman. Then it's a simple matter of suggesting the simple distribution steps and acting suitably stunned and appreciative when asking the woman "How on earth did you do that?" (Yes, due to my appreciation for the late Gerald Deutsch's "perverse magic," I'm more and more apt these days to let the magic happen in the hands of those watching.)

By the way, I also appreciate Mark Lewis's annotations on this trick (and many other tricks) in his excellent edition of the Royal Road to Card Magic.

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Re: Anyone know the name of this card trick?

Postby Q. Kumber » January 29th, 2022, 4:59 pm

Joe Riding had a version he would do for a group of lads who might be looking for a date. The first three turn up a Queen but when the fourth guy turns over his top card, it's an indifferent one. The tagline is that he's the sneaky one keeping her hidden - and you get him to turn his packet face up and there's the Queen on the bottom.

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Re: Anyone know the name of this card trick?

Postby Tarotist » January 29th, 2022, 9:00 pm

chetday wrote:By the way, I also appreciate Mark Lewis's annotations on this trick (and many other tricks) in his excellent edition of the Royal Road to Card Magic.


Ah yes! I forgot all about that! If I remember correctly you got the e-book. In fact many people seem to go for e-books and all the positive comments I have received have come from e-book purchasers. However, nobody seems to realise that I have the book in hardcover form. I see that it is selling in Walmart and I am not sure whether that is something to be proud of or something to be ashamed of.
Here we are:
https://www.walmart.com/ip/The-Annotate ... /809084607
Of course I much prefer it if you get it here since I make more money that way:
http://marklewisentertainment.com/html/magicians.html

Oddly enough it was this very forum where my book was first conceived. I am seriously thinking of bringing it out in paperback form for wider distribution. Harry Lorayne mentioned that he personally knew Hugard and Braue and felt they would be very pleased with my updated version.

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Q. Kumber
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Re: Anyone know the name of this card trick?

Postby Q. Kumber » January 30th, 2022, 11:25 am

On the subject of the Poker Player's Picnic, John Bannon had two versions using the principle in the September 2021 issue of Genii, both well worth checking out.

BarryAllen
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Re: Anyone know the name of this card trick?

Postby BarryAllen » March 12th, 2022, 7:33 pm

Q. Kumber wrote:Joe Riding had a version he would do for a group of lads who might be looking for a date. The first three turn up a Queen but when the fourth guy turns over his top card, it's an indifferent one. The tagline is that he's the sneaky one keeping her hidden - and you get him to turn his packet face up and there's the Queen on the bottom.

Joe did indeed have a version (he called it 'Under Wraps'); which instead of using numbers to displace the cards, he had each person call out a different girl's name. I don't think it was ever written up; but he included it on his tape - 'Just for Laughs'.

chetday wrote:I like to present the trick with discovery of the four queens when a woman handles the deck.

By the way, I also appreciate Mark Lewis's annotations on this trick (and many other tricks) in his excellent edition of the Royal Road to Card Magic.

Getting a woman to use Queens is an excellent piece of advice. In my experience too, there's a particular affinity; rather than using Aces.

To add to this - in England now, where cards are rarely played and people appear to have the memory span of a newt, rather than have a card freely selected by a woman, I'll often force the Queen of Hearts or Diamonds (or sometimes the 2 or 3 of Hearts or Diamonds). These tend to be more easily remembered.

I don't want to appear sexist BUT you just know by judging someone's character, their alcohol intake, etc. when you need to bring this into play - if only to help them not embarrass themselves at the conclusion.

As for the Annotated RRTCM by Mark Lewis. It truly is quite superb and worth every penny of investment. The guy is a genius: and quite why he decided to depart for the frozen wastelands of Canada is anyone's guess!

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Re: Anyone know the name of this card trick?

Postby Tarotist » March 13th, 2022, 6:44 pm

BarryAllen wrote:
chetday wrote:
By the way, I also appreciate Mark Lewis's annotations on this trick (and many other tricks) in his excellent edition of the Royal Road to Card Magic.[/quote

As for the Annotated RRTCM by Mark Lewis. It truly is quite superb and worth every penny of investment. The guy is a genius: and quite why he decided to depart for the frozen wastelands of Canada is anyone's guess!


I quite agree with the two notions voiced above. Mark Lewis is indeed a genius that I have admired my entire life and Canada is indeed a freezing wasteland (especially right now)

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Re: Anyone know the name of this card trick?

Postby Grippo's Wish » March 13th, 2022, 9:03 pm

Paul Gordon has an interesting version to produce... a royal flush!

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Re: Anyone know the name of this card trick?

Postby Grippo's Wish » March 13th, 2022, 9:04 pm

Also, in the 90's Tamariz published a more "logical" version in his course on magic

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Re: Anyone know the name of this card trick?

Postby Grippo's Wish » March 13th, 2022, 9:05 pm

A more "modern" version is to use the method to have 4 "random" cards come out... which match your prediction. You could even have a photograph for the prediction.

It's mentioned by Annemann in the Jinx

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Re: Anyone know the name of this card trick?

Postby Tarotist » March 13th, 2022, 9:49 pm

"Many a trick has been killed by improvement"---Al Baker

BarryAllen
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Re: Anyone know the name of this card trick?

Postby BarryAllen » March 14th, 2022, 9:18 am

Grippo's Wish wrote:A more "modern" version is to use the method to have 4 "random" cards come out... which match your prediction. You could even have a photograph for the prediction.

It's mentioned by Annemann in the Jinx

As mentioned, I can think of a number of downsides to this presentation - in the modern age.

Firstly, given the length of proceedings, I'm not convinced that the average audience helper would even remember their card, by the time that you got to the conclusion of this effect.

Secondly, the eyes of other spectators watching would be glazing over. There's no 'theatre' in producing 4 random cards that, even if the other audience had been shown, they are hardly likely to remember.

Signing the chosen cards may overcome this to some degree; but I never have cards signed. I believe signing cards just looks 'tacky' and to paraphrase what I once read (and fully agree with) - "it cheapens the prop".

Ending with a Royal Flush - well that's a different and more striking finale - but not in the UK. Most people haven't really got a clue what a Royal Flush is, simply because Poker still isn't an overly popular game played by people. Four of a kind meanwhile does have an element of raison d'être - even to non-card players - which is possibly most of the UK these days.

If you want to entertain as well as mystify, then choosing which particular effects to perform really is about reading, or knowing, your audience.

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Re: Anyone know the name of this card trick?

Postby BarryAllen » March 15th, 2022, 2:40 am

Just to add something to the above post (as I can no longer edit it) to support the logic of knowing your audience; and selecting what to present.

I learnt many years ago from Joe Riding, how to impress UK card players. No amount of Poker Hands will mean much to non-Poker players. Yes, a Royal Flush looks pretty - but despite it being the highest-ranked hand, it's importance is irrelevant. Non-Poker playing folk would probably think 4 Aces is better anyway. To this end, apart from Crib, Three Card Brag is the most popular game played in most UK Pubs/Working-Men's Clubs; and if a Pryle of Threes (3 x 3's of any suit) is produced, then that tops the lot.

Moreover, it's a darn sight easier culling just three cards.....but nevertheless, it delivers the most impact. As the saying goes - 'less is more'.

The other point I would make about ANY Gambling-style card routine is that they're generally somewhat pointless UNLESS you let someone shuffle the pack before you deal. Otherwise, the first assumption they'll make is simply "well he just had the cards arranged and dealt them to himself".

Just my opinion(s) folks - don't shoot me for it.

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Re: Anyone know the name of this card trick?

Postby Tarotist » March 15th, 2022, 9:20 pm

This is what I wrote about the trick in my Annotated Royal Road to Card Magic:

This has always been one of my favourite tricks. I think some magicians underestimate the effect it has on laymen. Why this is I cannot say for sure; I suspect it is because it is so easy to do! And of course it has been described many times in beginner’s books and is to my dismay often exposed by magicians to people that sometimes want to know how a trick is done. These performers should, in my view, know better! These exposer magicians justify their actions by saying that this trick is so simple that nothing much is given away. They are quite wrong because the effect is so strong! I have always said that it doesn’t matter if a trick requires a lot of sleight of hand or if it works itself providing the presentation is good and the effect is strong. There is an old saying in magic “It is the effect that counts” and I believe in this wholeheartedly.

This trick is so good in fact that I have performed it for royalty! When I was 16 years old I belonged to a youth club and one day, Prince Phillip the Duke of Edinburgh and husband of Her Majesty the Queen, came to visit. I was asked to show a trick to his Royal Highness and this is the one I chose! He seemed to appreciate it. The moral of the tale is that if this trick is good enough to be shown to royalty it should be good enough for you to add it to your repertoire and show it to your friends and family!

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Re: Anyone know the name of this card trick?

Postby Tarotist » March 15th, 2022, 9:23 pm

I also wrote this:

There are more complicated variations using sleight of hand and have the advantage that you don’t have to ask the spectator to go through the procedure of putting three cards on the bottom and dealing one card on to each pile. All the spectator has to do is cut the deck into four piles and the ace is revealed on top of each packet!

Now this may seem a much more direct procedure and of course it is. However, there are some flaws which should be taken into consideration. First of course, is that there is sleight of hand involved and that makes the trick harder to do! However, more importantly the main disadvantage is that in the method described above the cards are not handled by the magician and this is a very strong point indeed and in fact makes the trick seem impossible.

All the other variations do require the performer to touch the cards so despite the seeming directness you do lose the impact of the no-hands approach.

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Re: Anyone know the name of this card trick?

Postby Topovich » March 15th, 2022, 11:35 pm

Joe Mckay wrote:This is a card trick that the Masked Magician messed up live on TV.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3v0wgEZoW2c

What an epic fail. How did they even end up including this in the broadcast?

Would they normally edit this out in a show like this?


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