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Bob G Special user 871 Posts 
This is the well known first trick in one of the Fulves selfworking books (with the blue cover, and it contains 88 tricks  can't remember the title). At the beginning you spread the deck faceup so as to pull two prediction cards based on two other cards in the deck. But what if latter two cards match? I guess you could close the spread, cut, and spread again, but that seems a bit unmotivated. Can anyone suggest a natural way to deal with this?
Thanks, Bob 

Sixten Inner circle Floral Park, NY, U.S.A. 4101 Posts 
Title: 'More SelfWorking Card Tricks'.
(I'm thinking about a solution) 

Wravyn Special user 991 Posts 
Since it is the beginning of the trick, your audience has no idea as to what your going to do. Do something different then come back to this trick.


Claudio Inner circle Europe 1374 Posts 
Simply use one of the two as a prediction, say the bottom one and then you can search for the second prediction one as usual. Makes sense? Of course, one must not spread the deck in front of the spectator during the withdrawal of the selections.


Bob G Special user 871 Posts 
Thanks, everybody.
Sixten  yes, that's the title! I'll look forward to any ideas you come up with. Claudio, I'm sure I can figure out your first sentence once I have a deck in hand. But I'm confused by your third sentence. I think that Fulves actually instructs the magician to spread through the deck openly, telling her audience that she's looking for prediction cards. But I know you well enough to be sure that you have a better alternative. Possibly a glimpse  something that I've always found confusing but will need to learn. Anyway, if you feel like taking the time to make suggestions I'll be happy to see them. Wrayvn  Ah, that's a good idea, one that I wouldn't have thought of because I know so few tricks. But I do know three tricks at this point, and two of the three require me to openly go through the deck to pick out certain cards. So your idea would work for me. Bob 

Mr. Woolery Inner circle Fairbanks, AK 1560 Posts 
If you spread the cards and see that the two f*rce cards are, say, the two red aces, that's an easy thing to deal with. Just remove the two black aces for your target cards. Don't call attention to color, only to values.
In a way, finding 4 of a kind might seem even more impossible than matching two. Not sure. But it could change up the feel of the trick. Patrick 

Bob G Special user 871 Posts 
Interesting! Thanks, Patrick. I haven't tried the effect  and I imagine the circumstance I described doesn't often come up  so I don't know how it would play. But it seems like a good solution.
One of the things I love about the Café is that I learn so much. So far people have offered me three or four solutions, all different from each other. All of them will help me improve my magic. If anyone chooses to suggest yet another, I won't object! Bob 

Claudio Inner circle Europe 1374 Posts 
Sorry Bob, my post was a bit confusing. When I said "don't spread the deck in front of the spectators", I meant don't show the faces towards the audience, i.e. spread the deck so that only you can see the faces. Is it not the way Fulves describes it? In any case I would not spread the deck face up to the audience as there is always a chance that they might notice the setup.
I don't have the Fulves writeup as I am away from my library but I perform this effect and I don't think I've modified it. So, say you have AC on top and AS on bottom. Put the the AS down as a prediction. Now there's a new bottom card, find its mate and table it. You are therefore in the exact required position. If this is still unclear, my apology, I'll have to go back and read the Fulves description once I'm back. 

Wravyn Special user 991 Posts 
Claudio, such a simple solution. One of those 'why didn't I think of that' moments for me.


Bob G Special user 871 Posts 
Thanks, Claudio, for the clarification and the more detailed description of your handling. I'm sue I'll understand it without trouble once I follow it with deck in hand. But I'll let you know if I have further questions. You continue to be so helpful to me!
Bob 

Bob G Special user 871 Posts 
When I said "clarification" I mean "keep the cards facing yourself"  that's exactly what Fulves describes.


Claudio Inner circle Europe 1374 Posts 
You're welcome, fellow cardists. And thank you for confirming the Fulves handling, Bob.


Bob G Special user 871 Posts 
You're welcome, Claudio.
To everybody: I got curious about how often it would happen that the top and bottom cards would be mates. I'm going to offer my calculation here; this may interest some people. Please let me know if I've made a mistake. Later in this post I'm going to describe an idea I have for presenting the trick. Here's the calculation. There are 26 pairs of mates. For each such pair, there are two possibilities, depending on which member of the pair is on top and which is on the bottom. So far we have 26 x 2 = 52 possibilities. So much for the bread; now for the filling: for each of the 52 possibilities just described, the fifty intervening cards can arrange themselves in 50 factorial ways. (That is, 1 x 2 x 3 x ... x 50.) So the total number of arrangements of the deck for which the top and bottom are mates is 52 x (50 factorial). Meanwhile, the total possible number of arrangements of the deck is 52 factorial. Thus the probability that the top and bottom would be mates is (52 x (50 factorial)) / (52 factorial) = (50 factorial) / (51 factorial) = 1 / 51; that is, about 1/50, which is two percent. Thus if you perform the trick frequently you'll find that the top and bottom are mates for about 2% of your performances.  not a lot, but enough, I'd say, to justify having a contingency plan! I'm surprised Fulves didn't address this. On the presentation: I'm not that comfortable with Fulves's patter. I've mentioned once or twice that I don't like anything reminiscent of mind control. I realize that in this case the suggestion of such control is pretty mild, more or less a joke. Still, the whole idea that the magician can somehow control which cards the spectator chooses (which is in fact what happens!) sets up a mild "magician vs. audience" scenario that I'd like to avoid: I prefer an atmosphere of "we're all in this together." For that reason, I'm toying with the idea of framing the trick as an experiment in fate and destiny (not a new idea to be sure), or perhaps predicting the future. I have a cute Alan Warner trick in which the magician appears to predict the arrangement of colored blocks that a spectator will choose. My idea is to introduce Warner's apparatus as an instrument that measures how predictable (as opposed to chaotic and turbulent) the future is at the moment, on the assumption that at certain times things are calm and predictable, while at others events are chaotic and inscrutable. Once the instrument has "proved" that we're in a predictable time, I then introduce the idea of predicting two cards that the spectator will choose. (The idea is that when things are calm we have a pretty good idea of what choices friends will make, whereas in more extreme situations it's harder to say. Something like that!) In addition to the abovedescribed intro., I'm thinking about a minor change to Fulves's patter. Once I've brought out the prediction cards I'll refer to their colors (not values) and simply say that I'm pretty sure I can predict that the spectator will deal the first card at (say) a red card. Later in the trick we'll find out that not only did I correctly predict the color of the card they stopped at, but also the value. Similarly for the second card. Not sure why that seems better than what Fulves does  just fits my style better, I guess. I don't like the line, "Wouldn't it be amazing if...," which Fulves and many others use  gives away what's going to happen before it happens, and presumes what will amaze the spectator . Anyway, those are my thoughts for what they're worth. Thanks for letting me do a bit of thinking out loud here. If anyone else uses other presentations of the trick I'd be interested in hearing your ideas. I should add that I love Fulves's straightforward, pleasant writing style, and that this is a great trick  a masterpiece of simplicity combined with mystification. 

Bob G Special user 871 Posts 
P. S. There's another thing I like about making the modest claim that I'll predict the color the spectator will stop at. It prepares the spectator for what's going to happen later, but in a very general way. In Fulves' presentation there's no foreshadowing; the line "wouldn't it be amazing if" occurs just before the first card stopped at is revealed. So making the modest claim early on prepares the spectator for what will happen later, but there'a an additional surprise in store.


Claudio Inner circle Europe 1374 Posts 
Bob,
Regarding the probability of having a pair on top and bottom, I’d go about it this way: There are 52 cards and 26 pairs. For any card on top, its mate may occupy anyone of 51 positions (2 to 52), therefore the odds that its mate is at the bottom (position 52) is 1/51. Your being a maths teacher, I would hope you’d grade my copy as valid. But this issue is really the least of your problems as it’s easily fixed. If you perform this effect long enough, you’ll find mainly two situations that you’ll have to solve: 1.The dealer gets passed the first selection on the second deal. 2.Some observant people will remark that the cards next to your predictions are not the ones they stopped out. If you search the Café, you'll find some interesting suggestions. Patter wise, you should definitely use a script you're comfortable with. 

Bob G Special user 871 Posts 
Clever solution, Claudio! Much more elegant than mine.
Hmmm... I have to think about your points 1 and 2, again with cards in hand. ... Okay, I just figured out #2. Wow, even these "selfworking" tricks aren't so easy! I'll look for the threads you mentioned. Thanks for the encouragement to vary the script. I actually really enjoy making up my own stories to go with tricks, and varying given patter. One of my (many) favorite parts of magic. Bob 

ringmaster Inner circle Memphis, Down in Dixie 1552 Posts 
Quote:
On Nov 22, 2018, Bob G wrote: 

Bob G Special user 871 Posts 
I had thought that this trick would be a nice, simple one to add to my repertoire. After thinking about what you said, Claudio, and looking at some of the threads about the trick, I've decided to wait on this one! It ain't so selfworking after all!
Marty Jacobs has a really nice solution to your second point, using a false count. But that's going to have to wait! Which is fine  there's lots of good tricks in the world, some simple, some hard. Thanks to everyone for their ideas  I'll return to them when I'm ready to think seriously about the trick. Bob 

magicfish Inner circle 5662 Posts 
This is self working. Nothing to think about. If the cards match, which is rare, either use the other two mates to end up with all four, or just use the mate of an adjacent card and get rid of the top card with a Slip Cut or a an Undercut. Piece o cake


Bob G Special user 871 Posts 
Thanks, magicfish. So do you feel that the difficulties that Claudio brought up needn't be worried about?:
"But this issue [the one I brought up about the top & bottom being mates  BG] is really the least of your problems as it’s easily fixed. If you perform this effect long enough, you’ll find mainly two situations that you’ll have to solve: 1.The dealer gets passed the first selection on the second deal. 2.Some observant people will remark that the cards next to your predictions are not the ones they stopped out. If you search the Café, you'll find some interesting suggestions." Bob 

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