False Freedom Card Trickby John Kurlak
The spectator is asked to shuffle the deck and then cut it. The magician then shows the spectator the card that he cut to and requests that he memorize it. The spectator is then invited to insert his card anywhere into the deck and then to shuffle the cards once. When he is done shuffling, the magician takes the deck, and spreading through the cards, says, "Do you agree that your card could potentially be anywhere in this deck?" When the spectator agrees, the magician invites him to cut off about half of the cards. "So then you agree that your card may or may not be among the packet of cards that you cut off?" The spectator agrees again, and the magician says, "So if I were to tell you that your card was among the cards that you cut off, you would be really really impressed if I was correct, right? I suppose not. Well how about this: let's count how many cards you cut off, and then based on that, I'll see what I can do." The magician then deals each card from the spectator's packet as the spectator counts the cards aloud. Maybe the spectator counts to thirty-six. "Thirty-six!" the magician exclaims. "Suppose your card is one of these thirty-six. That might not be impressive, but would you be impressed if I knew the exact number at which your card lies?" the magician asks. "Would you be impressed if it was exactly where I telepathically influenced you to put it?" The spectator admits that he would be impressed. The magician then gives the spectator the packet of cards and says, "Deal one card at a time face down onto the table, naming a letter out loud for each card that you put on the table. For example, F-I-V-E-O-F-H-E-A-R-T-S." After the spectator spells out his card, the magician says, "You cut and shuffled the deck multiple times throughout the trick. You admitted that your card could potentially be anywhere in the deck. But what you did not account for was that I was telepathically manipulating you. Would you please turn over last card that you dealt onto the table?" The spectator turns the card over and finds that it is his card!
- Start by allowing the spectator to shuffle the deck. If the spectator does not perform a riffle shuffle, take the deck and give it to another spectator to shuffle. For this trick, you need a spectator who can and will riffle shuffle the deck when asked to shuffle the cards.
- When you have found your spectator, ask him to cut the deck and complete the cut.
- "You could have cut to any card in the deck, is that correct?" you ask. As you ask the question, secretly catch a pinky break below the top two cards.
- When the spectator agrees, lift up both cards as one between your first two fingers and thumb. Your thumb should be on top of the two cards and your first two fingers should be on the bottom. You should lift the cards by the middle of the long edge of the deck. As you lift, show the face of the double to the spectators so that you never see the "selected" card.
- Ask the spectator to memorize the card that he cut to.
- Next, place both cards as one on top of the deck face down.
- Push off just the top card of the deck face down into your open hand, and invite the spectator to insert his card anywhere into the deck face down. You can motion what he is supposed to do before handing him his "card" (his card is actually on top of the deck, but he does not know that).
- After he has placed his card into the deck, say, "Do you believe that you had the free choice to put your card anywhere in the deck?" "Good," you say after he responds affirmatively.
- Now, hand the deck to the spectator and say, "Just to be sure that neither you nor I know exactly where your card is, can you give the deck a quick shuffle?"
- As the spectator shuffles, keep track of where the original top packet is (the packet with his card on top).
- If after riffling the cards together, the spectator has left his card at the top of the shuffle, you don't have to do anything. However, if after riffling the cards together, the spectator has not left his card at the top of the shuffle, stop him before he pushes the weaved packets together. Take the weaved cards, and spread them in your hand (maintaining the weave). Explain to the spectator that his card could potentially be anywhere. As you say this, casually grab the spectator's card and a few of the cards behind it in your non-deck hand and pull them away from the shuffle to your open hand (the motion should look like you simply moved some cards from your deck hand to your free hand). Now bring both hands together again loosely, placing the spectator's card and the cards below it on top of the weaved cards. Now grab more of the cards from both the top and bottom halves of the shuffle and move them into your free hand. Now place them back on top and grab even more. The whole motion should look like you're simply counting through groups of cards to show them more clearly. This move allows you to get the spectator's card on top of the deck. After showing the cards in the shuffle, complete the shuffle by squaring the deck.
- Smile at the spectator and say, "Well, you certainly shuffled these cards! If this trick works, it will be real magic!"
- Next, invite the spectator to cut off about half of the cards onto your open hand (which you extend for him).
- After the spectator performs the cut, discard the remainder of the deck, and ask him, "So then you agree that your card may or may not be among these cards that you just cut off?"
- After the spectator agrees, say, "So if I were to tell you that your card was among the cards that you cut off, you would be really really impressed if I was correct, right? Probably not... Well how about this: let's count how many cards you cut off, and then based on that, I'll see what I can do." As you are talking to the spectator, secretly get a pinky break below the top card and peek at it. This card is the spectator's card, so memorize it.
- Next, hold the packet of cards from above with your four finger along the top short edge of the packet and your thumb along the bottom short edge of the packet (similar to a Biddle grip).
- Tell the spectator to count how many cards there are out loud as you deal them into your hand.
- While the spectator counts the cards, secretly spell out the spectator's card in your head. For example, if the spectator chose the Two of Spades, mentally count T-W-O-O-F-S-P-A-D-E-S as you deal each card.
- After you have spelled out the spectator's card, secretly curl the pinky of your deck hand so that you maintain a pinky break between the current pile of cards in your hand and all future cards that you deal into your hand.
- Continue dealing through the cards as if nothing happened until you have dealt all of the cards into your hand. Maybe the spectator counted thirty-six cards.
- "Thirty-six!" (or however many cards were counted) you announce. Now say, "Suppose your card is one of these thirty-six. That might not be impressive, but would you be impressed if I knew the exact number at which your card lies?"
- Then ask, "Would you be impressed if your card was exactly where I telepathically influenced you to put it?"
- After the spectator admits that he would be impressed, tell him, "I want you to deal one card at a time face down onto the table, naming a letter out loud for each card that you put on the table."
- Show the spectator what you mean by spelling out a different card onto the table. When you deal enough cards onto the table during your example that you get to the pinky break you were holding, stop and say, "And so on..." If your example isn't long enough to get to the break, you can simply perform a pass at the break. Alternatively, if you don't want to do an example using actual cards, you can mimick the motion with your hands and then just do a pass when you need to.
- The card above which you held the break should now be on top of the packet, and the example cards you just spelled out should be on the table. Take the cards on the table and place them beneath the cards in your hand.
- Now hand the packet of cards to the spectator, and ask him what his card was. After he announced what his card is, tell him that he may begin. Watch as he counts cards onto the table aloud. Make sure that he includes the "of" in his spelling, etc.
- After the spectator deals the last card on the table, say, "You cut and shuffled the deck multiple times throughout the trick. You admitted that your card could potentially be anywhere in the deck. But what you did not account for was that I was telepathically manipulating you. Would you please turn over last card that you dealt onto the table?"
- The spectator turns over the last card that he dealt, and it is his card!