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Encyclopedia of Card Tricks
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Encyclopedia of Card Tricks

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by Jean Hugard

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In the first decades of the twentieth century magicians filled the magic journals with articles on card tricks, giving improvements on classic tricks and inventing new ones. If you could put together a collection of these magazines you would have almost a complete course on card tricks, by some of the world's greatest magicians. But where could you find these


In the first decades of the twentieth century magicians filled the magic journals with articles on card tricks, giving improvements on classic tricks and inventing new ones. If you could put together a collection of these magazines you would have almost a complete course on card tricks, by some of the world's greatest magicians. But where could you find these journals now that they are probably collector's items? And even if you could find them, how much would such a collection cost? Not very much. Because all the best of these tricks are available in this one monumental book, containing nearly every practical card trick produced, invented, and improved by magicians over a span of forty years and more.
A truly staggering collection, this book explains how to perform over 600 professional card tricks: impromptu card tricks, spelling tricks, "you do as I do" tricks, diachylon (a paste for gluing cards together) tricks, calculation tricks; tricks using key cards, slick cards, double-backed cards, reversed cards, short cards; tricks based on a one-way pack, prearranged pack, Svengali pack, Mene-Tekel pack, stripper pack; special packs; miscellaneous tricks including Everywhere and Nowhere, The Case of the Four Kings, Card in the Orange, The Buddha Whispers, and Inseparable Aces; and a final chapter on tricks using the famous Nikola Card System. In addition, a chapter on technique explains the most important sleights ― the overhand shuffle, riffle shuffle, false cut, palm, simple pass, double lift, glide, and force.
Based on a volume compiled by Dr. Wilhelm Von Deusen and Glenn G. Gravatt, this collection was thoroughly revised by Jean Hugard and completely rewritten. It is easily the finest single compendium of classic card tricks, and the clear style makes the instructions easy to follow. An indispensable book for the professional or amateur magician, it is a magnificent source for anyone who wants just the right tricks to mystify his friends or delight his children.

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Dover Publications
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Dover Magic Books
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Encyclopedia of Card Tricks

By JEAN HUGARD, Nelson Hahne

Dover Publications, Inc.

Copyright © 1974 Dover Publications, Inc.
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-486-15652-1




Al Baker

This effective trick can be done with any pack of cards. Begin by having the deck shuffled by a spectator. In taking it back sight the bottom card, make an overhand shuffle, bringing it to the top and note also the bottom card at the end of the shuffle. Go to a lady and say you will make a prediction foretelling exactly what she is about to do. Write on a slip of paper, "The gentleman will get the ................ of ................" filling in with the name of the top card of the deck. Fold the slip and put it on the table under a glass or some other object. Hand the pack to the lady and ask her to think of a number, then when your back is turned, to deal that number of cards face down on the table, turn the top card of those dealt, note what it is, replace the packet on the pack and make one complete cut burying the chosen card in the middle. Turn away while the lady does this.

When she is ready, turn again and take the pack. Go to a gentleman and under pretence of fixing on a suitable card to impress on his mind, run over the faces of the cards, find the former bottom card and cut at that point. Note the card thus brought to the top. On a second slip write, "The lady will get the ................ of ................" fill in the name of this top card. Fold the slip and put it with the first. Ask the lady to whisper the number she chose to the gentleman. Hand the pack to him and tell him to deal the cards face down and note the card at that number. This done, reassemble the pack and shuffle it as you build up the effect by recapitulating what has been done. Hand out the slips in the reverse order to that in which you wrote them. Have the two cards named, then have the slips opened and read, proving that you predicted the choice of those very cards.


This is a good example of how the presentation can be made to transform a simple trick into a striking effect. The trick is that in which a card is sent to any number chosen by the spectator, the first time the cards are counted a wrong card appears but on a second count the right one turns up. The method is simplicity itself. The card is on the top so that the first count brings it to the number required so when the packet is replaced on the pack and again counted it is found at the correct number. In the older method the cards were replaced on the pretext of a miscount, a very weak procedure.

A card having been freely chosen, noted, replaced and brought to the top, execute several shuffles keeping it there. Addressing the spectator you say, "Have you a magic breath? Well I will show you how to find out. If you have you can send your card to whatever position you please merely by breathing gently on the cards. Will you choose a number? Nine? Then just blow on the pack and think intently of that number as you blow." Spectator blows, turn your head away with a slight grimace. "Your breath does not seem to be very magical, but I may be mistaken. Will you take the pack and count down to your number?"

He does this and turns a wrong card. Take the pack, put the packet counted on top and execute a false shuffle; take the card he turned up and push it in somewhere amongst the top eight cards. "I knew you would fail," you say, "instead of thinking while blowing, you blew while thinking, not the same thing at all. Let me show you a real magic breath. See, just a gentle zephyr, but it has sent your card to the number required. What was it you chose? Nine?" Deal 8 cards, have the spectator name his card and turn the ninth.

The testing of the spectator's breath can be done delicately or broadly according to the type of audience.



EFFECT:—Four cards are placed in a row, faces up. While performer's back is turned a card is turned end for end. He finds the one that has been reversed.

METHOD:—This is a development of the very old trick which was done by using cards the white margins of which were a little wider on one side than the other. In this method pick out of a pack of Bicycle cards the K. Q. and J. of S. Note the small white spades used in the body of the design. The J. has 5 small spades pointing up or down according to the way the card is turned. The Q. has 7 pointing to left or right and in the center of the K. design the large jewel is shaded at one end only.

Lay these cards in a row face up noting the way the designs point and invite a spectator to place any other Court card down with them. Turn your back while the spectator turns one card end for end. If he turns one of the S. you recognize it by the changed position of the design, but if these are unchanged then you know that the fourth card must have been turned.



Using any deck, the Joker is first placed face up and a spectator is asked to shuffle the cards, then take out any face down card and without looking at it put it in his inside coat pocket with its back outwards. This done he passes the pack to a second person who does the same thing. The process is repeated with a third and fourth person. Thus four cards have been selected at random and even the spectators who have them in their pockets do not know what cards they are. You take the pack, remove the Joker and touching it to each person's pocket you call the names of the cards correctly.

To do this take the face down pack, spread it to find the face up Joker, cut to bring it to the top. Make a double lift taking the next face down card with the Joker and holding the two as one. Keep the Joker with its face squarely to the front and as you go to the first spectator sight the index of the card behind the Joker. Touch the Joker to his pocket and slowly tell the value of the card just sighted, then to get the suit insert the Joker in his pocket, drop the card from behind it and pick up in its place the card that was in the pocket. Take care to get it squarely behind before removing the Joker. Now name the suit. Spectator takes the card from his pocket and shows it. You sight the index of the new card behind the Joker and repeat the process. Always name either the suit or the color before inserting the Joker in the pocket.

NO. 2. In this method the rather awkward business of changing the cards in the pocket is avoided. After taking the pack to remove the Joker, run over the cards till you reach it, then reverse it and apparently take it out and put it face down on the table, really draw out the card next to it which may be any card at all. Cut the pack to bring the Joker to the top and keep the pack in your left hand. Pick up the card from the table sighting it. Insert it in the first person's pocket, calling its name and leave it there, bringing out the card originally placed in the pocket. Proceed in exactly the same way with all the others. Finally as the cards are being verified you have ample opportunity to put the last card left in your hand on the bottom of the pack and take off the Joker which you throw face up on the table.

NO. 3. This is an adaptation of "The Whispering Queen" (p. 24).

Using any pack that has a Joker, have it shuffled by a spectator. Take it and in removing the Joker sight and memorize the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th cards from the bottom. Invite a spectator to cut about the middle, put the packets on the table and place his hands on top of them. Tell him to lift one hand. If he lifts the hand from the original bottom half of the deck you say, "You want to use this packet? Very well." Hand it to him and put the other aside. But if he raises the other hand simply remove that packet and let him retain the one under his hand. Give any plausible reason that occurs to you and have him count the cards face down. Whatever the number may be you say, "That's fine. I think we'll succeed. Tell him to take off the top card and put it in the middle, do the same with the bottom card, and put the next card in his pocket without looking at it. The next two cards are put in the pockets of two other persons, also without being looked at. Now since these three cards are the ones you memorized you have no difficulty in naming them, pretending, of course, to get the information from the Joker which you insert in the pockets and study carefully each time.

NO. 4. In this method four cards are freely selected and placed in spectator's pocket without being looked at as in the first method, but in putting the pack aside you must note the bottom card and really take the Joker only in your hand. Suppose the bottom card is the 7S. Advance to the first person, touch the Joker to the outside of his pocket and slowly name the color and value of the bottom card of the deck, in this case the 7S. To get the shape of the pips you say direct contact must be made. Insert the Joker, drop it and seize the card already in the pocket. Now name the suit S., and bring out the card holding it face down. Tell the spectator to leave his card as it is till you come back to him. As you go to the second person tilt the card in your hand a little and sight the outer index. Go through exactly the same process, naming the card in your hand and exchanging it for the one in the pocket. Same with the third and fourth spectators. You will have to remember these cards and their order.

Finally put the supposed Joker, really the card from the fourth person's pocket, face down on the table and have the first person take out his card without looking at it and put it face down on the supposed Joker. Drop the rest of the pack on top. Lift the pack with your left hand by the sides as you say "Yours was the only card I am doubtful about." Bend your head down pretending to listen, then say "Yes I was right it is the 7. S." With the tip of the left 3rd finger draw back the bottom card and with the right hand pull out the next, the Joker, throwing it face up on the table, and next the 7. S. Pick up the Joker and with it touch the spectators' pockets, again name the three cards. They are taken out and verified.



Allow a spectator to shuffle the cards (any deck). Take them back and under pretence of removing the Joker, memorize the 3 cards below the top card. Riffle shuffle, retaining the four top cards in the same position. Put the pack on the table and ask the spectator to cut it into two packets. Say that you will "take" one packet and invite him to touch one. If he touches the original lower portion of the pack, take it and put it aside: if he touches the original top portion tell him to take it. In any case that is the packet he must get.

Instruct him to take the top card of this packet and push it into the middle, the same with the bottom card, then to take the top card and put it face down on the table and hand the second and third cards to two other spectators. Now proceed to reveal the cards by mind reading, pulse reading or any other way that pleases your fancy.


In this trick a special move is necessary that is not at all difficult. It is to apparently show the faces of all the cards but to keep one hidden. You have the card on the top, turn pack face outwards and run the cards off one by one from the left hand into the right. When you are about two-thirds through separate the hands for a moment and spread the cards remaining in the left hand to show the indices at the same time pushing the lowest card, the top card of the deck and the one to be concealed, a little forward behind the others. Bring the hands together and as you take off the face card of the left hand packet pull off the top card behind those in the right hand with the right fingers. Then show all the rest of the cards.

You have a deck shuffled by a spectator and in taking it back sight the bottom card, then overhand shuffle it to the the top. Suppose it is the 10 spades. Cut, bringing it to the middle, keeping the tip of the little finger on the 10S. On a slip of paper write 10 S. and put it face down on the table without showing what you have written. Ask a spectator to point to a card and contrive to have the 10S. in position as he points. Take the card out and put it face down on the table. Ask him to call the name of any card. Suppose he names the 2D. Hand him a slip of paper and have him write that and put the slip on the table. As he does so find the 2D. and slip it to the top. Run over the faces of the cards and show the card is not in the pack. Go to a second person and force the 2D just as you forced the 10S. He names we will say, the AH. Put the 2D down and as he writes AH on a third slip find that card, slip it to the top and show it is not in the pack, using the move explained. Finally force the AH. on a third person and place it on the table opposite your first slip, calling it the 10S. Have the pack examined, the three cards named are not in it. Gather up the three cards, mixing them, then match them with the three slips.



Any deck is shuffled by a spectator and returned to you. With the blunt end of a pencil push out a packet of cards from the middle. Invite a spectator to note the top card of the projecting portion by lifting a corner and noting the index. You note the index of the bottom card of the top packet as you turn the cards edgewise to push the projecting packet flush with the deck. By running through the pack and noting the card below this one you learn what card the spectator looked at. Reveal it in as striking a manner as you can. There is little danger of the two cards being separated if you allow the spectator to make a short overhand shuffle. This strengthens the effect greatly.



With any deck, after it has been well shuffled, secretly sight the two top cards. Riffle shuffle retaining these cards on the top. Put the pack down and have a spectator cut it at about the middle. Invite him to touch one packet. Whichever he touches interpret his choice so that he gets the one with the two cards you know on top. Tell him to do just as you do. Take the bottom card and put it in the center of your heap. He does the same. Put the top card in your right hand pocket. He does the same. Put the bottom card in the middle and the top card in your left hand pocket. He does the same. Lastly put the top and bottom cards in the middle. He follows suit.

"It is a most peculiar thing," you say, "but through some strange sympathy that exists amongst the cards, the one in my right hand pocket will indicate to me what the card in your right hand pocket is, and the one in my left pocket will tell me what the one in your left hand pocket happens to be."

Take out the card from your right pocket, show it and then deducing from it any plausible or fanciful reason, name the card in his right hand pocket. Do the same with the other cards. The putting of the cards from the bottom to the middle is merely to confuse and misdirect the spectator.


This method has several good points. The wallet is not prepared and the hand taking it from the pocket is empty.

Use a wallet that opens lengthwise and slip a heavy rubber band around one side. Open it so that the covers touch, back to back, and hang it over the edge of your inside coat pocket, the rubber band side in the pocket, the other side hanging out.

From any shuffled deck have a card freely selected, marked, returned, and bring it to the top. (Chapt. 19). Place both hands with the pack behind your back. Take the marked card in your left hand, reach up under your coat at the back and push the card under your right arm pit, retaining it with a slight pressure of the arm against the body. Bring the deck forward and throw out a card, any card, as you say, "Your card?" The answer will be "No."

Place the pack on the table, casually letting it be noted that your hands are empty. Take hold of the right edge of your coat with your right hand. With the left take the card from under your arm, slip it into the wallet, lift this from the pocket, flipping it over and closing it, and bring it out with the band side to the front. Put the right fingers under the band and pull it off as if it really encircled the wallet, open this and invite a spectator to take out the marked card.


You have any deck freely shuffled by a spectator. Take it back face up and mentally note the face card. Secretly reverse the lowest card, as the pack lies and remember it also. Put the pack on the table, reversed card face down, pack face up. Invite a spectator to cut about 2/3 of the cards and put them face down beside the remainder of the pack. As he is doing this you write a prediction, (the names of the two sighted cards), on a slip of paper and hand it to a second spectator.

Now have the spectator cut the second pile about the middle and put the cut face up alongside. You now have three piles in a row, the middle one face down, the two outside ones face up. Place the first pile (reversed card at bottom) on top of the middle pile and both of these on the third pile. Invite the spectator to remove the face down section from the middle, put it on the table and cut it into two parts. Have your prediction slip placed on the top portion and the lower packet placed crosswise on that. The slip is thus between the two cards whose names you wrote on it. This way of placing the cut confuses the spectator into thinking the slip is placed at the place at which he cut.


Excerpted from Encyclopedia of Card Tricks by JEAN HUGARD, Nelson Hahne. Copyright © 1974 Dover Publications, Inc.. Excerpted by permission of Dover Publications, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Encyclopedia of Card Tricks 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is worth it to just sit and read the book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I think its wonderful to see all these amazing card trick that i can learn
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The instructions are confusing and hard to follow. I wish i could have my ten dollars back.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Has anyone read this yet if so can u tell me if it is worth it or not?