Trick of the month – April 2012

I was recently flicking through Dai Vernon’s “Further Lost Inner Secrets” and found something I overlooked first time round. In the book theres a trick called “Cut and Spell” which is described as –

A deck is thoroughly shuffled by anyone and then placed face-down before the performer. He gives the deck one simple cut, names a card and then proceeds to spell it, dealing one card dor each letter of the name. Without error, the card spelled appears at the end of the deal.

Now it’s not this trick which I liked but the note at the end (page 62) which mentions another way the Professor used to do the trick – after the shuffle the spectator cuts the pack into four piles – the performer picks up a pile, names a card and spells it – the last card of the deal is the card named. Great trick and a very clever method (which relies on a bit of thinking on the part of the performer) makes this, for me anyway, a winner.

Cold Deck Cut – Minor Variation

This is a great Vernon move and is good if you need to supposedly select a random card from the middle but in fact need to take the top card. It appears that you do a kind of fancy strip out cut and then cut the deck into three piles – the centre pile is actually the top half of the deck and so the top card can be produced.

This minor variation uses the same action but produces the bottom card instead.

Cards are in riffle shuffle position with a right thumb break below the bottom card. If you now carry out the actions of Vernon’s cold deck cut just prior to the three packet table cut you’ll find that the card below the break is automatically transferred to the centre pile. If you now make the three packet table cut the original bottom card is now on the top of the middle section. Undoubtedly thought of by many but I thought it was worth mentioning.

The Bent Corner Subtlety

The use of the bent corner in the 3 card Monte is genius on so many levels. It allows the spectator to defeat their own logic – they are utterly convinced that they know the identity of the bent card. The bend is sometimes put in openly and other times “by accident” but is removed and added to another card in seconds.

What I want to discuss here is the use of this subtlety outside of the 3 Card Monte trick. The only thing in my library I can find is Dai Vernon’s “The Bent Corner Prediction” from Inner Secrets of Card Magic. A brilliant card at any number trick using a switch of a bent card. Does anyone else know of any other tricks where this subtlety is used?

I’ve been experimenting and come up with a couple of nice uses for this subtlety which I’ll share with you soon.

Dai Vernon and Bruce Cervon at Auction


MagicWeek brings us the news that some of Dai Vernon and Bruce Cervon’s personal possessions and props are up for auction next year.

I don’t know about you, but I hate to think of this stuff ending up in the grubby hands of a private collector (which unfortunately will probably be the case).

These things belong in a museum somewhere, somewhere where anyone who’s interested in the history of magic can appreciate them.

The auction starts on 30/01/2010. ….if only I had the money…