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.


6 Responses to Wanna' See A Trick?

  1. Paul Gordon says:

    What it is is The 16th Card Principle (Elmsley). And, as you might know, I’ve written two books about it. (With 24 famous cardmen contributors. Total, 100 tricks.) If you got them, see That’s Odd (and others) which are based on the concept. My ideas were/are to hide (as best as possible) the spelling etc. It’s a very good concept. The actual maths are complex, but the effect are/can be strong. Paul Gordon

    • Paul Gordon says:

      Btw: It has to be from 8 to 16 cards inclusive (for it to work). Note that “Australian Shuffle” spells with 17 letters so, in essence, the process negates the deal. Paul Gordon

  2. cardmagic10 says:

    Yeah – the two books you wrote definitely deserve a shout out. I really enjoyed them. Another favourite was your EXPLORATIONS book.

    I also remember a book of your’s called CARD CONJURING which had a clever Roy Walton DOWN/UNDER effect as well.

    I will add that in the second book you put out exploring this 16th card principle I really enjoyed the sneaky ace vanish you taught for the COLLINS’ ACES effect. Very clever…

    I think if I could have asked Alex Elmsley one question it would be how he discovered this principle. It is just so counter-intuitive.

    Mind – I did meet him when I was about 16 – but sadly I didn’t know enough about card magic back then to realise what a genius he was. Alas – these days I would put him down as the most creative inventor ever…

  3. Paul Gordon says:

    Thanks for the kind words about my work. Yes, Elmsley WAS the best…along with Roy Walton. I met Elmsley a few times and managed to fool him once. It was with my (easy) Head To Head Poker trick. Nice moment!

  4. cardmagic10 says:

    Thanks for the tip. I will check out that effect. If it is good enough to fool Elmsley then I suspect it might be good enough for me!

    I love Walton as well – indeed he is my all time favourite inventor. And – for what it is worth – I would class him as a genius as well.

    I just feel with Elmsley that he will go down in history as the all time greatest. So many of his effects rely on new principles that he discovered. As well as the mathematical principles there is the occasional prinicple which outlines a totally new way of thinking when it comes to inventing card effects. On top of that he had a knack for inventing brand new genres of effect as well.

    He is the one guy in magic that I am really glad we managed to ‘kidnap’. I am sure he could have wasted his life becoming a world famous mathematician or scientist. Luckily (for us) he stuck to cards instead…

  5. Paul Gordon says:

    Yes, in Britain we have/had the BEST: Walton, Elmsley, Sadowitz, Kane, Smith, Duffie, Bruce, E. G. Brown, Farelli, Haxton, Warlock, Robinson, Curzon, …and many others. Paul Gordon

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