Thanks To George B. Anderson…

Here is an idea belonging to George B. Anderson. If you miss on Dai Vernon’s ‘Psychological Stop Force’, just keep dealing cards and secretly count how many cards you are off by. When the spectator eventually stops you at a card, you turn it face up. You say you will use this card to help find the spectator’s selection. Hold that card and your deck behind your back. Place the face-up card next to where the selection is. Cut the cards and bring the deck forward. Spread the cards on the table and show that the card next to the face-up card is the selection! A nice out for when you miss on the ‘miracle’ finish…

Another nice ‘out’ for this effect was mentioned in an earlier POST.

It’s Not Magic But…

I promised myself just one non-magic blog post whilst I filled in for BlendoMagic. And – here it is…

I would say I read two old magic books for every new one I read. And on top of that I read about three non-magic books for ever magic book I read. Don’t worry – I am not showing off. I just have no friends and no life…

Anyway – it is probably a good thing to encourage magicians to read more. And not just magic books. Non-magic books as well. Makes you more rounded apparently…

So in that spirit – I offer the following link. Of all the non-magic stuff out there on the internet – I think this is the most interesting. It is a fantastic blog by the world’s best documentary maker. Adam Curtis. For those who have seen his films – it helps to read the blog with his voice in mind… Here is the LINK.

And for those new to the ways of the Curtis – you can find his films on YouTube.

There! End of NON-MAGIC TRANSMISSION……………………………

PS On a slightly more relevent topic. Do you think there could be a trick in this? – BENFORD’S LAW

Smart People…

…Do Card Tricks!

This is my attempt to surprise Cardman who I know is a big fan of Carl Sagan (as any smart person should be). Well – it turns out Carl’s son grew up to be a card guy (as can be seen above). He is also the author of some very interesting books. I will recommend the following – Notes from the Holocene: A Brief History of the Future since Dorion uses card tricks (such as Vernon’s THE TRICK THAT CANNOT BE EXPLAINED) as metaphors to try and communicate his ideas. You can also find lots of interviews with him on YouTube if you want to hear more about his books…

The only other guy I have seen use card tricks in this way is Daniel Dennett (my favourite philosopher). He makes use of Ralph Hull’s legendary THE TUNED DECK in a discussion on The Free Will Problem. It turns out – according to Dennett – that the word ‘the’ is very sneaky in these cases. You can read more about it HERE.

Some links…

Okay – time for some housekeeping…

Here are some magic blogs that I really like.


– A long time friend of this blog. The blog covers quality card tricks, life and art in general… Also – for those who missed it – don’t forget to check out his MODUS ON WALTON which is from his old blog.


– This is a great new blog which is only a couple of weeks old. It covers card magic and the guy has already pointed out some great effects which are ‘buried in print’. I also love the Hitchock design which is used on the blog. It looks great – thanks to PasteboardPimps for the pointer.


– I really love Steve Bryant’s Little Egypt Magic site. It is witty and intelligent. And it has being online for the past 15 years. In ‘internet years’ that probably makes it about 50 years old. It is the first place I visit each month and I would strongly recommend it to you all.

Anyway – Here is a nice piece that was published back in 1997. It is an interview with Peter Duffie. Click HERE.

And here is a sneaky Ken Krenzel card control which was taught on the site as well. Click HERE.


– A lovely blog from a bookseller/magician called John Helvin. He is a smart guy and has an interesting take on things. I found the following two items from his blog particularly worthwhile. [He is spot on about Walt Lees. His work is excellent.]


– Written by an intelligent card guy whose books I have enjoyed in the past. Hopefully he will post up more of his ideas in the future.


– David Britland is a brilliant creator, historian and writer. But for now I will just point out some interesting stuff from his blog.

Before I do – I should add that the last link is a wonderful mentalism effect which I could see Derren Brown using on one of his TV shows. It is one of the strongest pieces of mentalism I have ever come across…

Anyway – I would love to hear about any other interesting magic blogs. So feel free to mention any in the COMMENTS box below.

Also – does anyone know how to access I used to enjoy that blog – but cannot access it anymore…

Inner Secrets Of Card Magic

This is from IBIDEM – Issue 20 – May, 1960 – Page 103

Lin Searles speaking about DAI VERNON’S INNER SECRETS OF CARD MAGIC by Lewis Ganson:

“I have volume one of Uncle Dai’s Just-So Stories, and what the hell do you say when some jackass louses up a legend? I don’t think it is Vernon’s fault, as I am sure he has the material, but I think he has made a big mistake in allowing Ganson to do the writing. Does Ganson think we are all so poorly informed or stupid—or is he simply naive? Or hasn’t he done his homework?”

“I still can’t believe that Vernon would have picked that particular material for a book.”

“The book will get rave reviews in all the mags because you don’t dare pan Vernon and because the book has pretty pictures and Ganson has somehow got the rep for good magical writing.”

PH Lyons: “The second Vernon card book is now out, and of course, it is as good as the first was disappointing. Let us hope the progression continues as indicated.”


By the way – IBIDEM is a really great magazine. I have read dozens of different magic magazines over the years and what makes IBIDEM different to me is that I am never finished with it. It is almost frustrating in a way – but I am continually discovering new things that I had previously overlooked. Part of that is due to how dense the magazines are. There are very few illustrations – and alot of the material is heavy. One of the reasons for that is due to the massive amount of material that Ed Marlo contributed to the magazine…

There are plenty of other contributors as well. It is a who’s who of 1950’s/1960’s card magic. It is often said that a book can give you a lifetime’s worth of pleasure. Well – that is certainly the case with IBIDEM.

Darwin Ortiz Essay

I have being asked to take down the Darwin Ortiz’s essay. I am happy to do so and apologise for not checking with him earlier…

Anyway – his essay called ‘NEXT BOOK SYNDROME’ is well worth checking out (as is his book – DESIGNING MIRACLES). I have seen the essay floating around the internet – but it can also be found in the MARCH 2006 issue of MAGIC magazine. Darwin mentioned it may be reproduced in a future book. I feel the essay deserves a permanent home – so I think that would be a great idea.

I congratulate Darwin on such an interesting essay. It sparked a discussion over at the GENII FORUM and I thought I would end this post by linking to it. The Ortiz discussion kicks off half-way through the thread. Here is the LINK.

Wanna' See A Trick?

This is a mystical trick that I learnt in Australia – the continent ‘down under’…

Go grab a deck of cards – it doesn’t need to be complete.

Shuffle the deck and freely divide it into 4 packets. So – just cut the deck into 4 piles.

Pick up any packet and shuffle it. Look at the top card and remember it.

Now spell “Australian Shuffle” – transferring one card from top to bottom for each letter. This helps lose the card in the packet.

Once you have done that. We will now use the mysterious ‘Australian Shuffle’ to find your card.

First – I should explain what an ‘Australian’ Shuffle is – it is a DOWN/UNDER deal. So place the top card down on the table, and the next card under the packet – and so on…

Do this until you have one card remaining in your hand.

It is your selected card!


This is based on a wonderful Alex Elmsley principle. This use of the principle is by Josh Jay and can be found on page 11 of the November 2006 issue of GENII magazine.