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glowball
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LarFin Three Eights can encode the entire deck.

Note the eights will be straight up and down every time, there will be no unusual spacing between them, there will be no vertical difference between them, there is no crimping or unusual marks on them, all information is conveyed simply by looking at the order and faces of these normal eights.

Prior to the trick the magician has secretly removed the eight of diamonds and put it in his pocket and it will not be used. The spectators should NOT know about this. Since the eights will never be the target card this technique can encode all the other cards in the deck.

Performance:
magician spreads the deck face up on the table and pulls the 3 eights out saying "these are my detectives". The magician says to his audience "in a minute I will have someone push these detectives into this clear holder and then take it to my assistant who will be standing in the corner, we can pretend that this clear holder is the police car".

Next the magician says "my trained assistant is the chief of police will now go stand in the corner back is toward us".

The magician points to a spectator and says "pull out any card from the deck to be our criminal and show it to us but do not let my assistant see it and I will not say anything nor make any noise that my assistant can hear".

The magician has a small clear plastic display stand on the table that will hold three normal size playing cards (one hollowette for each card). This holder is not gaffed in any way.

The magician places the three eights halfway in to their hollowettes so the spectator can do the final push (the faces of each card can be seen by all, except the magician's assistant of course).

The magician whispers (so his assistant cannot hear) to the spectator "push the cards all the way down to ensure they will not fall out and that there is no secret signal". Note that the magician can convey these actions via hand gestures and not say anything.

The spectator takes the little clear stand that has the hollowettes with the 3 eights to the magician's assistant and then the magician's assistant looks at the 3 eights and then reveals the name of the criminal (the name of the target card)!

How its done:
Note that
the eight of spades is the lowest value eight.
the eight of hearts is the middle value eight.
the eight of clubs is the highest value eight.

Before putting the eights into the holder the magician is holding them in a little fan facing himself and arranges them into a low, medium, high sequence that will convey a value of 1 through 6.

If the target is an ace or 7 then LMH ie 8S 8H 8C
If target is a two or nine then LHM ie 8S 8C 8H
If target is a three or 10 then MLH ie 8H 8S 8C
If target is a four or jack then MHL ie 8H 8C 8S
If target is a five or queen then HLM ie 8C 8S 8H
If the target is a six or king then HML ie 8C 8H 8S

You might have noticed the apparent discrepancy of jumping from the seven to the nine but this is on purpose because the sevens are encoded as though they are an eight and your assistant knows this (the higher numbers all have the constant of 7 added to them and you will see how to do this below).

After the magician has properly ordered the 3 eights in the little fan in his hand he turns his attention to the very first eight and makes its middle row pips have normal orientation if the target is ace through six but makes the pips upside down if the target is seven through king.

Now how to encode the suit:
to do this we will use the orientation of the middle row pips on the middle eight and on the last eight.

normal, normal equals spades
normal, upside down equals hearts
upside down, normal equals clubs
upside down, upside down equals diamonds

How the assistant decodes:
the assistant looks at the three eights LMH pattern to determine the 1-6 value.
next the assistant looks at the very first eight and if the middle row pips are upside down then the assistant adds 7 to the 1-6 value.

If the value is 8 the target is a 7
If the value is 9 the target is a 9
If the value is 10 the target is a 10
If the value is 11 the target is a jack
If the value is 12 the target is a queen
If the value is 13 the target is a king

If the final value is 1-6 then that number is the value of the card ie
1 = ace
2 = two
3 = three
etc.

Then the assistant looks at the orientation of the middle row pips on the last 2 eights to determine the suit (see three paragraphs above).

The clear holder plays a very important part in all of this because:
it allows the use of all 3 eights' middle row pips.
for example If the packet of cards was simply handed to this assistant the orientation of those pips would be in doubt and because of this issue in my post about Four Sevens (another post that led me to this solution) I sacrificed one of the eights to be the standard and to compare the other two eights so it would not make any difference whether the spectator twisted the packet because the comparison was not an absolute pips up or pips down the comparison was were the pips on the eight of clubs different orientation from the pips on the eight of spades. I also had an option to use the pips on the eight of hearts versus the eight of spades. Each use of those pips doubles the number of target cards that can be encoded therefore my starting point using just three signal cards I have just six possible targets but by using the pips on one of the eights I double that to be 12 possible target cards and then using the pips on a second eight I double that total getting 24 possible target cards but that's all I could encode if I used the relative orientation of the pips versus the last eight. By use of the little clear holder I do not need to sacrifice one of the eights to be the standard to compare against. The clear holder allows me to use the absolute orientation of all three eights thus I do not have to stop at 24 possible targets I can use the last eight and double again and get 48 possible targets!

By letting the spectator do the final push of the three eights to fully seat them in the holder this negates the thought that how far into the holder might be a signal.

How to turn a card upside down without the audience knowing that's what you did: magician holds a fan of 3 eights facing himself in his left hand and with his right hand pulls out say the eight of clubs with his thumb at the top face and his index finger at the top back and holds the face of that eight above the top of the target card saying something like "he's taking a picture of the criminal, spy in the sky". Then with with his right hand still holding the eight of clubs he raises his hand vertically so his palm is facing the audience and the card is facing the audience. Next the magician twists his right wrist 180 degrees and is now holding the 8 of clubs at the bottom facing himself (right thumb at the bottom face and the right index finger on the bottom back). Use the right middle finger to push up the bottom left of the card a little bit to straighten it. The card has now been rotated 180 degrees so now just put it back in the fan where it was.

Some may think I am running when I'm not being chased so let me clarify. I foresee using this whole routine not for an average audience and not as a demonstration of some kind of ESP rather I foresee my audience being mathematic classes or computer classes or Gathering for Gardner, or chess clubs, or science clubs, or magic clubs and presenting this as a mental challenge and more like a puzzle which is exactly what Fitch Cheney mostly did when presenting his five card trick.

One bad thing is this technique cannot be used by a computer, or cell phone, or TI 85 calculator because none of these devices can see the orientation of the pips therefore this technique can only be done with a human assistant but the encoding and decoding is quite simple compared to other techniques that I have seen. Well, maybe a cell phone camera sophisticated program could decipher the orientation of the pips but that would be quite a programming challenge!

Instead of 3 eights as the detectives this could be done using three aces or three threes or three fives or three sixes or three sevens or three nines but I believe the eights are the best because the magician can more easily see the middle row. Well, the middle row can be easily seen on the sixes but I really don't want to call this the 666 trick, I'll stick with the "Three Eights" trick.

But really don't you guys think this is cool that viewing just three normal cards and no other extraneous signals can encode the entire deck!
glowball
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I'm going to make a couple minor changes to the use of the orientation of the middle row pips:

1. Instead of "normal" and "upside down" I'm going to use the easier concept of "pointing up" and "pointing down" (it's much more visual for the magician and his assistant to deal with).

2. the heart pips can be confusing because "normal" for them point down in the opposite direction therefore my assistant and I are going to change this and treat the point of the heart pip the same way as we treat the point (the direction) of the spade pip. This new way of thinking about the heart pip is much more visual ie the magician and his assistant do not have to go through the mental gyrations of "which way is normal" and then apply the scheme, we simply look at the point of the pip and ask ourselves "is it pointing up or not".

3. with this easier way of thinking about the direction of the middle row pips we have simplified our rules to now be:
If the first eight is pointing up this means the target is 7 through King (add 7 to the 1-6 value).

4. we now look at the direction of the pips on the last two eights to be binary bits ie "pointing up" is "1" whereas "pointing down" is "0".
therefore since we use the visual SHCD the binary:
"01" = spades
"02" = hearts
"03" = clubs
"00" = diamonds
this is much easier for us to remember.

The bottom line is that whatever scheme you and your assistant are comfortable with and is reliable should be what you use. We find the above way of thinking about the middle row pips is much easier.
glowball
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Instead of a clear holder I thought about using a bulldog clip to hold the three eights but this is really a bad bad idea for my type of audience because they can think "oh he can just position the clip in several places along the top and several places along the bottom and several places along the sides and send all kinds of signals".
Whether it's true or not doesn't matter because if they think that's how it's done (and it could be done that way) then it relegates the effect to a cheap non-mathematical solution in the audience mind.
glowball
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I can't spell. The term is spelled "houlette" not "hollowette".
glowball
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Currently I'm just using the bottom fourth of a cheap clear plastic water bottle that I cut and trimmed smooth the top edges so no perceived secret signals from there. So after I properly arrange and orient the three eights I place them into this makeshift holder. This accomplishes a couple of things:
1. when the spectator takes the cards to the magician's assistant the spectator will not inadvertently change or reorient the three eights.
2. The magician's assistant can easily remove the three eights and re-spread them to view and decipher.

However there is a minor drawback: astute audience members may think that the way the cards are sitting in the holder maybe a signal which of course it is not but they may erroneously think that. So after I have placed the three eights in I tell the spectator to shake the holder a little bit.

Ultimately I want a clear flat (packs small, could even be in my shirt pocket) holder that is easy to put the three cards in and easy to take them out.
bubbles
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Quote:
On Dec 18, 2021, glowball wrote:
Instead of a clear holder I thought about using a bulldog clip to hold the three eights but this is really a bad bad idea for my type of audience because they can think "oh he can just position the clip in several places along the top and several places along the bottom and several places along the sides and send all kinds of signals".
Whether it's true or not doesn't matter because if they think that's how it's done (and it could be done that way) then it relegates the effect to a cheap non-mathematical solution in the audience mind.



What's your type of audience?
I think the bulldog clip is the better holder visually, and if your audience can figure out the trick (or think they can) from the clip then I think any holder will seem suspect to them. From an outside perspective, I think you might be overthinking it.

Cool routine though!
bubbles
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Quote:
On Dec 18, 2021, glowball wrote:
Ultimately I want a clear flat (packs small, could even be in my shirt pocket) holder that is easy to put the three cards in and easy to take them out.



Do they make these in playing card size? Or could you make your own, then they would be locked into place and position without anyone being able to mess with them once in the sleeve.
https://www.amazon.com/Protector-Sooez-B......&sr=8-24


Also, having re-read the original post, even with an audience of mathematicians or programmers, I don't think the holder is the issue. If that crowd wants to try and figure it out, I think any holder with 3 cards would get their wheels turning. You came up with a nice piece here, enjoy it and thanks for sharing.
glowball
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A way to use a bulldog clip without arousing suspicion would be (before the target card is chosen) to say to the audience "in a minute I'm going to use this holder to clip these three cards at the top and middle". And then do exactly that. This kinda lets them know the clip is not a signal.

I know I'm probably running without being chased but I'm trying to create as pure of a mathematical puzzle as I can.

My breakthrough signaling here, at least in my mind, is that I have combined the concept of the card ordering and the use of the one way pip feature on the faces that some of the cards have, in this case the eights. It wouldn't surprise me if someone else has done this combining, but I have not run across it ever being done, the amount of magic literature is huge. Does anyone out there know if this concept of "combining card order and one way card pips" has been written up in a book or posted on the Café before?
Thanks.
Larfin Glowball
glowball
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I think I will use a hard plastic clear baseball card holder (they come in a pack of 25 for $11 from Amazon, I think I have a couple in my attic if I can find them) but I will cut 1.5 inches off the top of one so the three card packet will protrude about an inch above the top of the holder. After the spectator selects the target card and after I have ordered and oriented the three eights I will put all three eights into this shortened card holder (I think three will fit). This will make it very easy for my assistant to remove the three eights and fan and view them.
Ultra Pro 3 x 4 Super Thick Baseball Card Toploaders, (Pack of 25) Amazon.com - Seller
Claudio
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I like the three eights algorithm you have come up with. Neat.

Here are a couple of suggestions:

I’ve seen a YouTube video in which you use a laptop to perform the Fitch Cheney trick. I believe you could achieve the same automated result with a cell phone using your method. There are apps that recognize playing cards from a picture in real time and some source code has been posted on GitHub for example. You’ll also find examples developed with the OpenCV library. The cards are recognized regardless of their orientation (up/down) so it might not be too difficult to flag which way they are when relevant. Simultaneous multiple cards detection is also possible. A mid-range cell phone will process the data easily.

If you do want to use an assistant, an easy way is to use a cell phone to take a picture of the 3 cards. The phone is then handed over to the assistant. It should not be difficult to agree on the cards orientation.

If you want to turn the orientation of an eight while you’re holding the packet face up in hands, simply use the mechanics of a Stud deal (to show the card face for example) and replace the Eight onto the packet, the orientation will have changed seamlessly.

Instead of a bulldog clip you could use a paper clip. It seems more natural. However, using a prop to keep the 3 cards together looks weird though. There are ways to ensure that the orientation does not get lost without those.
glowball
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Oops, I should have said:
Scheme: we think of the direction of the pips on the last two eights to be binary bits ie "pointing up" is "1" whereas "pointing down" is "0".
therefore since we use the visual SHCD the binary:
"01" = 1 = spades
"10" = 2 = hearts
"11" = 3 = clubs
"00" = diamonds
glowball
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Claudio, again I like your suggestions especially the one I can implement immidiately which is:

"use a cell phone to take a picture of the 3 cards. The phone is then handed over to the assistant."

I would still need to butt the 3 cards side to side each time before the spectator uses their camera to snap the image to negate the idea of the spacing of the cards in the camera picture was conveying information but I can do that. There is still the issue that the audience may wrongly think that since the camera is an electronic device that there may be some little secret image being shown on it. That is the advantage of a clear plastic holder where the three cards fit perfectly.

I really wish I had the time obtain the GitHub software and to modify it so that I would not need a human assistant but I literally have about 30 projects on my to do list and just don't have the time. Maybe I could hire someone to do the programming? Am thinking about it.

Thanks again for your suggestions, they are much appreciated!
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Regarding the order of the 8’s suits, I suggest a slightly different card value approach more accessible for my brain.
First, I’m looking for the red card, the 8H, and second for the black 8s low/high order in SHOCKED.

If the value is A or 7: H-S-C
If the value is 2 or 9: H-C-S
If the value is 3 or 10: S-H-C
If the value is 4 or jack: C-H-S
If the value is 5 or queen: S-C-H
If the value is 6 or king: C-S-H

I left the 8D in the deck and coded it like the AD. AD and 8D are sound similar.
The spectator should take a photo with his phone because of orientation.
Claudio
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My pleasure, glowball.

I’m thinking of performing a trick with your method. In a nutshell, here’s how I see it, so far:

I take out 4 of a kind, the Eights (could be forced, not sure yet).
My assistant (who has a crib, just in case!) turns her back to the whole audience.
The deck is shuffled by a spectator.

1. They choose one card that I encode with the 4 Eights. The assistant reveals the selection. Obviously the 8D is a dummy card which is not used in the computations.
2. As a challenge, I offer to repeat with only 3 Eights (I pocket the 8D).
3. Finally, I suggest a last challenge where 2 Eights only, chosen by the helper, are used to reveal a third and last card. Forced card, of course.

There’s a nice progression. I’ll have to see whether it’s strong enough to sustain an audience attention. The (mild) challenge might be strong enough to keep the spectators interested.

PS: I won't be using any prop for the orientation as it's simple enough to keep the correct orientation when transferring the 3-card packet to the spec. and then to the assistant - without calling attention of course.
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To hsc:
I think your LMH suit values method should be called HuSCkeD? and thanks for your suggestion about how to eliminate the eight of diamonds, I will consider doing that!
The reason more and more magicians and tricks are switching to SHCD order (Spades Hearts Clubs Diamonds) is because it is so visual that you don't even have to do a mental conversion ie you can just look at the club pip and see the 3 lobes on it (therefore it has a value of 3), you can look at the diamond pip and see the 4 points on it, you can look at the heart pip and see the 2 lobes on it, you can look at the spade pip and see the 1 point on it. Once a magician trains his mind to see the pips this way the comparison is instant. The problem with trying to explain this concept is that in our printed documentation we have not had the ability to use the actual pip symbol instead we use letters such as S for spades, H for hearts and so on therefore we don't get the visual evaluation in our documentation but in real life using actual cards and being able to see the actual suit pips the evaluation is instant using the SHoCkeD method. For example I instantly see the three lobes on the club are more than the two lobes on the heart therefore the club is higher than the heart.
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Claudio, I really like your progression idea and initially involving all four eights (to get rid of the Eight of diamonds).

Yesterday I came up with a somewhat similar way of getting rid of the Eight of diamonds via my Jewel Thief patter (jewel thieves steal diamonds):

magician spreads borrowed deck face up on the table and removes the 4 eights and sets aside the eight a diamonds saying "these are the diamonds that the jewel thief is going to steal" then the magician picks up the other eights saying "these three are detectives". The magician says to his audience "in a minute I will get a volunteer to freely pick out a playing card to be our jewel thief and then put the thief along with his stolen diamonds into one of my (or another spectator's) four pant pockets and then that volunteer will push these detectives into this clear holder and then take it holding it in this manner to my assistant who will be standing in the corner, we can pretend that this clear holder is the police car that it is transporting the 3 detectives". The little clear holder has 1/16 inch extra width that can be utilized the signal the left versus right and the top edge has 1/16 inch that can be utilized to signal front vs back pocket.

But I like your progression idea so much that I may abandon my above jewel thief way of eliminating the Eight of Diamonds.
Thanks!
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To glowball:
"I think your LMH suit values method should be called HuSCkeD?" - No, better lazy method. BTW I'm a supporter of SHoCKeD.
Looking first for the red card's position and then distinguishing between black low S and high C is easier for me than between different three-card L-M-H combinations.
Claudio
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Using mnemonics would be useful to remember the meaning of the 3-suit sequences.

For those interested, I’ve started the ball rolling with some examples below. I have no doubt one can improve on them as I am not a native English speaker and they are only submitted here as proof of concept. Ultimately the ones that you’ll use are the ones that'll resonate best with you. But if you don’t mind sharing...

I coded only 2 cards as the 3rd Eight will be the remaining one. Vowels are ignored.

If the target is an ace or 7 then LMH ie 8S 8H 8C -> SH -> SHoelACE
If target is a two or nine then LHM ie 8S 8C 8H -> SC -> SCrew
If target is a three or 10 then MLH ie 8H 8S 8C -> HS -> (Tree) HouSe
If target is a four or jack then MHL ie 8H 8C 8S -> HC -> HoCkey
If target is a five or queen then HLM ie 8C 8S 8H -> CS -> CaSh
If the target is a six or king then HML ie 8C 8H 8S -> CH -> CHeese

The participant sees the two first Eights are S&H, SHoelACE comes to her mind and therefore knows the encoded value is ace or seven.

I have not yet been able to find suitable homophonic relationships between the words and the card values for 4, 5 and 6, but all is not lost as all you have to do is remember the order Hockey, Cash & Cheese.

For example, when the recipient gets 3 Eights and the two first ones read SH, they should trigger the key word shoelace and ace or 7 should come to mind.
Claudio
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An interesting side-effect of the 3-8 method is that it actually codes two cards at once. In one orientation it codes one card and in the other its “complement” so to speak. For example, SvHvCv* will encode AD and in the other direction S^H^C^ will encode 7C. Another example: the complement of 5H is QS and vice versa.

When dealing with one card, it’s an annoyance (if not a weakness of the method), but when dealing with a complement pair it’s very advantageous. The challenge is of course finding good ways of exploiting this artefact in non-contrived ways where two people would each hold a card complement of one another's and the assistant would decode both.

I do have some simple and practical ideas about exploiting this, but I wanted to mention a much more elaborate one where the pairs are formed a la Svengali: i.e. each pair is made up of a long and short cards. Reasonable shuffling will not break up the pairs. Furthermore, this gaffed deck could be used for very direct mentalist effects.

Just some food for thought.

* ^ means up and v down
glowball
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Last night I met with a few local magicians and taught one to be my assistant and we tried this technique.
One thing became clear about the Three Eights method: our mental gyrations on the pips of the last two eights to convert to binary then to convert the binary to the suit was not easy under fire.

Therefore I am going to try a slightly different and easier way to interpret the last two eights' pips:

Since we are using SHoCkeD we think as follows:
the first of the last two eights (the middle eight of the three) its middle row pips will point down to indicate the target is one of the lowest two suits ie: spades and hearts otherwise if the middle row pips will point up this will indicate the target is one of the highest two suits ie: clubs and diamonds.

At this point we know that the target card is one of two suits. Now the final eight middle row pips If pointing down indicate the lower suit of those two suits (and of course if pointing up indicates the higher suit of those two suits).

This new method of determining the suit using the pips is consistent with the way of determining the 1 through 6 value using high medium low of course with the pips we're just indicating high or low.
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