Perverse Magic

All beginners in magic should address their questions here.
Gerald Deutsch
Posts: 419
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Glen Head New York

Re: Perverse Magic

Postby Gerald Deutsch » June 1st, 2018, 11:21 am

Penny To Dime Block


This has long been my favorite “magic kit trick” – the little red magnetic block and shell penny that holds a dime. The block touches the penny and when it comes away the dime appears in it’s place.

The presentation suggested below is Perverse Magic – you just got this block and look what it can do--- the 6th classification of Perverse Magic – see 12/1/05 above.

Just a few words of caution:

1 Don’t do this if you are a professional doing magic for money. It’s possible that someone in your audience will own one.

2 While in the 6th classification of Perverse Magic attributes are given to some object, it is important that the magician’s personality be dominant. That’s where presentation – acting – even in an impromptu situation is important.

If the magician just sits back passively and lets the object do the magic no one will care about the magician. That’s why when the magic takes place the magician has to act – shake his head in confusion – he doesn’t understand why this happens.

Effect And Presentation

I think this will explain how I think this should be presented as Perverse Magic:

1 In you left pocket is the red block and in your right hand is the shell penny with a dime inside held between the thumb and first and second fingers with the thumb on the penny.

2 As a spectator if he or she has any change. If not don’t do the effect. When they bring out a purse of a handful of change, reach into the change with your right hand and bring it out with the penny showing.

3 Ask the spectator to make a fist and put the coin(s) on the back of his or her hand.

4 Now bring out the red block and explain you just got it and it’s supposed to do something – “well – let me try – look – I just bring it over the penny—“

Do that – but don’t touch the coin with the block!

The spectator won’t feel a thing as the magnet lifts off the shell.

5 “Hey – look – it works! This is great!”

And you let them keep the dime!

(Well, it WAS their penny – or so they think.)

6 While they are looking at the dime you let the block rest on your fingers and push it forward with your thumb so it is held with the thumb on top and first and second fingertips below with the shell penny in finger palm.

Hand the block to a spectator as you shrug.

I would just like to note an incident that took place many years ago when I was in
San Francisco on business. My meeting was the following day and that evening I
wandered around The Warf and into a magic shop where a young lady behind the
counter was demonstrating this trick.

After the penny had been changed to the dime and the red block put down on the
counter for examination, I pretended to be very much amazed and I picked up the
dime to examine it, tossed it into my left hand (performing the Bobo Switch and
changing the dime to a quarter) and place the block on the coin (without showing
the coin).

I lifted the block and then showed the quarter. “Wow! – This is great!” I said as I
put both the quarter and the block on the table and shook my head – and left.

(I don’t know if the potential customer bought the trick and if he did, whether he
was upset that the instructions said nothing about changing the dime to a quarter
but it was great Perverse Magic!)

Gerald Deutsch
Posts: 419
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Glen Head New York

Re: Perverse Magic

Postby Gerald Deutsch » June 1st, 2018, 11:23 am

Twisting And Turning


Twisting The Aces was published by Dai Vernon in “More Inner Secrets of Card Magic” (page 5) and many magicians have had variations of that classic effect. The effect below incorporates some great variations shown to me by Bob Kohler who credits Jonathan Townsend for sharing it with him. The ending is Daryl’s Volte-Force from The New York Magic Symposium Collection 4. (Note that I posted a Perverse Magic version of that called “I’ll make the Aces Turn Face Up” on this thread on October 1, 2015. This routine is a bit more elaborate.)

This is presented as the sixth category of Perverse Magic – see this thread August 10, 2010 – The performer explains something that will happen but doesn’t understand why it happens.

Note: In this routine I’m using 6’s not aces. In this thread I’ve posted some effects where I try to cut aces and get four of another card instead – See May 1, 2004 and September 1, 2015. This effect, like the October 2015 posting, “I’ll Make The Aces Turn Face Up”, can follow those and use the cards produced there although in the October 2015 posting the ending is trying to make the Aces turn face up and instead the 5s turn face up while in this effect I just don’t understand why the 6s turn face up. Both are examples of Perverse Magic.


1 “I just read this trick and I really don’t understand it. Look, there are ways to turn over one of the 6s. Like this—“ The magician turns over the top card like a book showing the 6S – “or like this—“ the magician lifts the packet so the face is to the spectators and the face up 6S faces him and he takes that face up 6S off the packet and turns it face down, puts it back on top of the deck and lowers the packet.

“But if I ‘flex’ the packet – like this – the 6H turns face up.” The magician shakes his head, not understanding how that card did turn face up.

2 “Look at this. If I ‘flex’ the packet again, the 6H turns face down and the 6D turns face up. The 6D is turned face down

3 “And if I ‘flex’ the packet again – the 6C turns face up.

4 “You push the face up 6C into the packet. Good. Now if I ‘flex’ the packet – the cards are all face down.

5 “And if I turn one card face up and then ‘flex’ – they all turn face up. If I turn one face down and ‘flex’ they all turn face down.”

6 The magician picks up the rest of the deck and hands it to a spectator and tells her to lift up about half. She does. “And this is the weirdest. I really don’t understand.” The magician puts the packet of the 6s on top of the lower portion and has the spectator drop the top half on the lower half and the 6s. He then tells the spectator to ‘flex’ the deck and spread the cards and there, in the center, all the 6s are face up. And the deck was held by the spectator all the while!

The magician shakes his head and shrugs. “Can you understand that? I can’t.”


The numbers below correspond with the numbers above:

1 I don’t think it’s necessary to use Aces – as is usually done. Any 4 of a kind can be used. See this thread above May 1, 2004 and September 1, 2015.

The 2 red cards are over the two black cards to start (face down).

A triple lift is done to show a black card. This can be done easily by buckling the bottom card with the left index finger. The packet is lifted and the top card is removed and put back face down (of course the spectators can’t see the other two face up cards).

When I say “flex” the cards what I do is hold the packet with two hands, the thumbs on the back (packet face down) and the fingers below and then “press” with my fingers and then release. The four cards will bend down and straighten up – a magical gesture – well - I think more magical than “twisting” the packet.

An Elmsley Count shows one red card face up.

2 Another Elmsley Count shows the first red card now face down and the other red card face up. This second red card is left face up on top of the packet after the count and the last card is put on the bottom.

At this point the order of the cards is

Red face up
Black face down
Red face up
Black face down

The top three are turned over as one by again buckling the bottom card.

3 You “flex” the cards and then do a regular count and show the other black card face up and leave it protruding in the front. It will be second from the bottom.

4 You let the spectator push in the black card and then you do an Elmsley to show all four face down. Keep a break under the top two cards.

5 Turn over the top 2 as one showing a red card, “flex” the packet, do an Elmsley and show all face up, again keeping break under the last 2 face up.

Turn over the top 2 as one showing a back, “flex” the packet, do an Elmsley and show all face down.

The packet now has the bottom card face up and this is “corrected” by buckling the bottom card and then holding the right edge between the left first finger on the bottom and second finger on top and then straightening the fingers and the packet is spread.

6 The deck is picked up and held face up in the left hand and a break taken over the bottom card. The packet of four cards is placed MOMENTARILY face down on the face up deck and quickly comes away with the bottom card.

The deck is given to the spectator.

The packet you are holding , the four cards you were working with face down and on the bottom the face up card taken from the bottom of the deck are held in dealing position in the left hand.

You turn your left hand palm down and point to the deck telling the spectator to cut the deck. You action has turned the packet over.

When he cuts the deck you put the packet consisting of one face down card on top and the 4 cards you were working with face up below - where he cut. The spectator is told to drop the top half on top and “flex” the deck and spread and the 4 cards are seen face up in the center.

Good Perverse magic!

One more point. I’ve said many times on this thread that I strongly believe magic is to entertain and I’ve seen so many magicians that perform just don’t know when to stop. That’s true mostly with magicians that don’t do magic as professionals. I’ve pointed out that on many occasions – even in business situations I may do magic and in most cases I do JUST ONE EFFECT.

Here, I’m suggesting a routine of what looks like one effect though it is really two, that is (i) Twisting the cards to have them turn face up and to end (ii) Volte – Force and in many cases that’s all that should be done.

But, of course, you must judge for yourself but always leave them wanting more.

Gerald Deutsch
Posts: 419
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Glen Head New York

Re: Perverse Magic

Postby Gerald Deutsch » June 1st, 2018, 5:38 pm

Perverse Coin Change


I was at a busy medical office in the waiting room when a nurse came over to me and said she heard I did magic.

I knew I should do “something” and so I did this Perverse Magic effect which – as is the case with Perverse Magic allows you to do just one effect.

The nurse laughed and I really didn’t have to do any more.


1 “I hear you do magic,” said the nurse to the magician patient. The magician wanted to “do something” but not do an entire act.

“Well, I do have a trick where I can change a dime into a quarter. Hmm. I don’t have a dime. Maybe you do?”

2 The nurse smiled and said she would get one.

3 When the nurse came back with a dime, the magician placed it into the woman’s hand and snapped his fingers and told the woman to open her hand and there – there was no quarter – and there was no dime – there was a penny!

4 “Oh darn – something went wrong. I don’t understand,” says the magician as he reaches into his pocket, removes a handful of change and finds a dime and gives it to the laughing woman.


The numbers below follow the numbers under Effect.

1 I carry my loose change in my left trouser pocket and a penny in my right
trouser pocket. At this point a get the penny into my right hand Classic

2 Comment not needed

3 A “Bobo Switch” changing the dime to the penny and the penny placed in the woman’s hand which the magician closes

The dime is Classic Palmed in the right hand and snapping the fingers convinces the spectators that the hand is empty.

Both hands are put into the respective trouser pocket.

4 No comment necessary.

It’s entertaining and this one effect and be all that’s necessary.

(See above – December 1, 2008 – The Changing Penny.)

Gerald Deutsch
Posts: 419
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Glen Head New York

Re: Perverse Magic

Postby Gerald Deutsch » July 1st, 2018, 8:44 am

Frank Garcia’s Surprise Revelation


This appears in Frank Garcia’s Exclusive Card Miracles and the author hints of a partial Perverse Magic presentation when he tells the performer to “feign surprise” at one part of the effect.

I’ve gone further and am suggesting the conclusion also surprises the performer.

Also, rather than using a selected card (which always imposes a memory chore on the spectator) I am suggesting using one of the four aces from a prior effect.


1 Finishing a 4-ace effect with the aces on the table the magician says: “Let me
show you a trick with the Ace of Clubs.” as he puts the 4 aces on top of the deck
and shows them one at a time.

2 He momentarily puts the aces on the table, cuts the deck, and puts the top half of the deck on the table and again picks up the four aces.

3 Again he counts the 4 aces face down and says he will make the Ace of Clubs turn face up.

He spreads the 4 aces and – to his surprise there are only 3 cards and they are all face down.

He is confused and he turns them face up and again to his surprise there – the Ace of Clubs is not there.

4 “I hate when this happens,” says the magician as he picks up the deck and spreads the cards face down and there, in the center, is the face up Ace of Clubs.

The magician shakes his head, confused.


The numbers below correspond with the numbers under Effect.

1 The aces are put face up on top of the face down deck with the Ace of Clubs second from the top (it would be second from the bottom if the aces were face down).

The left thumb pulls the face up aces one at a time into the left hand, getting a break with the little finger between the first and second ace and as the third ace is pulled off, the second ace – the Ace of Clubs, is put back onto the bottom of the face down deck.

2 By cutting the deck the Ace of Clubs is face up in the middle of the deck.

3 The three aces are counted as four as follows:

The four cards are held in the left hand top card of the four is “pushed up” with the left thumb.

The right hand grabs the other two cards (they think three) at the right edge, thumb on top fingers below, as the right thumb pushes the top card to the left.

The two cards in the right hand go over the card in the left as the right hand grabs the card in the left hand leaving the top card of the two. There are now one card in the left hand 9they think two) and two in the right.

Those to in the right are counted into the left showing four (there are only three).

4 No comment needed.

Good Perverse Magic!

Gerald Deutsch
Posts: 419
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Glen Head New York

Re: Perverse Magic

Postby Gerald Deutsch » July 1st, 2018, 8:45 am

Perverse Magic With Silks Etc.

Silk magic is probably one of the first things beginners are taught when they take up magic.

I do remember so many years ago I purchased Abbott’s EZ Dyeing Silks from Ken Allen, the then manager of Abbott’s magic shop on 42nd street in Manhattan.

The effect was, as I recall, that the magician puts three white handkerchiefs in his pockets, shows a paper, rolls the paper into a tube and then pushes two of the handkerchiefs into the tube and ties the third handkerchief around the tube to keep it from unfolding. The tube is tapped and the first white handkerchief comes out red. The magician then blows thru the tube and the second comes out blue. The white handkerchief is removed and the tube is unfolded to show no trace of the white handkerchiefs.

Then there was the Mismade Flag.

Similar to the above, three silks a red, a white and a blue are used and are pushed into a tube but the performer “accidentally” drops the blue silk and when, instead of the handkerchiefs, the flag is produced from the tube the blue field of the flag is missing. The performer notes his error and puts the blue silk and the mismade flag back into the tube and a perfect flag is produced.

And then, of course, is just the production of silks from a box or something or from thin air.

Perverse Magic can be very entertaining (the purpose of magic is, of course, to entertain) in the above effects. For example:

1 With the EZ Dying Silks, instead of producing red and blue changed silks, the second silk can be a white silk but stained and dirty – much to the surprise of the magician.

2 With the Mismade Flag just stop when the Mismade flag comes out, look on the floor, see the blue handkerchief, pick it up, shake your head in disgust and put everything down and stop.

3 With the production of silks you can end with – something other than a silk. DEPENDING ON THE AUDIENCE it can be – and all to the surprise of the performer - a bra, a pair of (woman’s or a man’s) underpants or maybe a kazoo – which the performer looks at confused and then blows it and shakes his head.

Just some Perverse Magic thoughts.

Note: See Perverse Card Through Handkerchief above on this thread November 1,

Return to “General”