

glowball Special user Nashville TN 563 Posts 
I have been fascinated with finding the easiest stack/method for a shill to calculate the position of a card named by a spectator (and still have a somewhat random looking displayable deck).
To date I have found the easiest displayable stacks for a shill to quickly learn in less than 1 minute are: Lazy Man (red suits only Hx4, Dx3+1) My Lazy series (red suits only, x41) Henry The 8th (court cards 11, 22, 33 CorD+3) Suitacaan (court cards 11, 22, 33 D+4, C+2) Suitacaan (Equivo Hearts court cards 11, 22, 33) But by far the easiest, quickest for a shill to learn "card to number" is for the magician to simply convey to the shill the number to say (after the spectator has named the card)! How to do this: the shill mentally subtracts 10 from the magician's suggested range! That is about as easy as it gets. This can be done with any stack that the magician is using. For example: after the spectator has named a card and let's say the magician knows that it is at position 17 then the magician says to his shill "Name any number between one and say 27". The shill mentally subtracts 10 from 27 and then verbally says to all "how about 17". I know that if the card is at a position greater than 42 then the magician will have to say a range that's greater than 52 but so what, remember at this point your audience does not know what you are going to use the number for (therefore only do this trick once). Example: card is at position 49. Magician says to his shill "name any number from one to 59". Shill says "okay, how about 49". It appears to the audience that the shill is just being lazy and throwing out a number similar to the magician's range. Also note that the trick is still amazing that any named card will show up at the number named. If you and your shill can reliably add and subtract then you could use another agreed upon factor of 8 instead of 10 so the number said by the shill is less of a connection to the audience. Using eight as the factor: The named card is at position 26. Magician says to his shill "name any number from one to 34". Shill mentally subtracts 8 then says "okay, how about 26". So if all I have with me is my Aronson deck and the spectator named the ten of clubs (which is at position 35) then I say to my shill "name any number from one to 43". Shill mentally subtracts eight and then says "okay, how about 35". You can use this technique with Tamariz's mnemonica or any stack. But actually I am coming to prefer my Suitacaan JS11 version best because I can always say to my shill "name any number from one to 52", but this instant shill method of subtracting 10 or subtracting 8 will do in a pinch If I only have my Aronson deck. 
glowball Special user Nashville TN 563 Posts 
If you and your shill want to be more sophisticated you could have an agreed method that the first time you do the trick you use the factor 5 then the second time you do the trick you use the factor 7 and the third time you do the trick you use the factor 11 (notice they are all three prime numbers).

glowball Special user Nashville TN 563 Posts 
Maybe when asking the shill for any number the magician words it this way "name any number from one to 52 but make it a two digit number like 43".
This may seem more natural to your audience than just saying "name any number between one and 43". 
glowball Special user Nashville TN 563 Posts 
Well, what if the named card happens to be in position number one, then the magician cannot say "make it a two digit number like 9".
Hmmm, in that rare situation the magician just says "Name a single digit number from one to nine". The shill mentally subtracts eight from nine and then says "okay, how about one". 
glowball Special user Nashville TN 563 Posts 
There is a problem if the named card happened to be in a position above 44 (and the agreed upon factor is 8). Example the named card is in position 49 then the magician would have to say "name any number from one to 52 but make it a two digit number like 57".
This makes it sound even worse than the original wording, well, maybe not if it is said like this "name any two digit number like 57, oops there are not that many cards in a deck, make it a lower number, you get the idea". I think this would be plausible/acceptable in the audience minds. I would just be in the habit of saying "Name any two digit number like xx" and never mention 52 (unless the target card was at position 44) this makes it more plausible to do the "oops" statement when you have to say a number greater than 52. 
JanForster Inner circle Germany ... when not traveling... 4115 Posts 
In Simon's "The Aronson Approach" you find a very similar idea, but in my opinion even more clever although your confederate has to calculate a bit "more" (which seem to be a growing problem in these days ... ...): Simply mention a number which your confederate has to subtract from 53 in order to give the correct answer. The advantage is that there are no limitations... Example: You know the mentioned card is in position 18. You subtract mentally 18 from 53 (53  18 = 35  and remember 35). Ask him now to chose "any number from 1 to 52, like 35, or even bigger or smaller... up to you". Just adjust what you say, depending on the number you mention. Your confederate knows that he has to listen for a number that you will say after "from 1 to 52"... He will mentally subtract that number (here 35) from 53 and knows what to respond (here 18)... Jan
Jan Forster
www.janforster.de 
Claudio Inner circle Europe 1752 Posts 
Interesting, though I find Aronson’s solution hard on the assistant.
What about the performer “calling” the card position by simply reversing the two digits? So, for instance if the card is in position 34, the performer follows Aronson’s lead and says “Any number between 1 and 52, for example 43, your call.” The spec simply reverses the two digits and calls out 34. For reversed numbers greater than 52, the performer would say something like “Any number between 1 and 52. Not 71, like that young teenager told me the other day, but for example 35 etc…” The spec. would therefore say 17. It’ll work as well with single digits numbers: Just add a zero at the end of it. So 1 will be called as 10 for example. The only issue, I believe, would be numbers with the same digits such as 11, 22 etc. In that case the code would be for the performer to call the next number up with same digits. So 11 would be called out as 22, 22 as 33 etc. It would be easy to slightly tweak the code to remove the direct link between the digits (34 > 43), but if the performer were to call a couple of numbers instead (but only the 1st number called is relevant, I think it would be enough to hide the code). 
JanForster Inner circle Germany ... when not traveling... 4115 Posts 
Quote:
On May 25, 2022, Claudio wrote: ... ... depends on the assistant... if he is the average, yes ... as I stated ... nevertheless, Claudio, I think your approach is good... and you can tweak it also a bit... Jan
Jan Forster
www.janforster.de 
Claudio Inner circle Europe 1752 Posts 
Thanks Jan. Yes, if the assistant is not completely “math challenged”, the Aronson solution would work as it could be broken down in first subtracting from 50 and then adding 3, which is not above most people’s abilities under pressure. I’m sure that Aronson would have mentioned this, but I can’t access my library at the moment.
The solution I suggested could be tweaked this way: the performer first adds 1 to card position and then reverses the digits; symmetrically, the assistant reverses the digits and subtracts one. So, if the position is, say 31, performer mentions 23 (31+1=32 >23). This means that there’s no special cases anymore for same digit numbers (11, 22...), but one has to remember that singledigit numbers should be thought as 01, 02, 09 for the system to work; ex: 01> 1 + 1 = 02 > 20. The bonus is that the two numbers (the one mentioned by the performer and the one called out by the assistant) are quite different from each other, especially phonetically. There are of course many other ways to code the information, but this one requires little memory and mental math skills. 
JanForster Inner circle Germany ... when not traveling... 4115 Posts 
That works fine, Claudio! Still, I would prefer Simon's approach as you wouldn't mention any number which doesn't make really sense (to code e. g. 45, you would mention 64...). And if you do the calculation  as you pointed out  in two steps, first subtracting from 50, then adding 3, it is so simple that more or less every confederate should be able calculating the correct result.
BTW, funny enough, Simon doesn't suggest this possibility for easier calculation... probably he thought that it is easy enough or something we would do anyway knowing a bit of math (see "Any Card, Then Any Number", pages 93  100, in "The Aronson Approach"; Simon explores here aslo several variations using a stooge...). Jan
Jan Forster
www.janforster.de 
Claudio Inner circle Europe 1752 Posts 
Quote:
On May 26, 2022, JanForster wrote: Yes, I understand and it’s actually fixable, though I'd prefer to deliver a funny line about some outofrange number, but rather than suggesting a fix, I reckon this alternative method would also work well. For example, to code 37 the performer could say “Think of a number between 1 and 52 … 13 or 47 for example, or whatever number you like. Have you made up your mind?” With this method, you can code any number with little effort and constraint. You can also adapt it easily to your needs and make it more subtle yet. I’m not saying it’s better than Aronson’s, simply that it’s nice to have the choice of methods. 
JanForster Inner circle Germany ... when not traveling... 4115 Posts 
Yes, that's fine! Actually I like your idea mentioning two numbers a lot... that is very subtle  and really easy for the confederate! Jan
Jan Forster
www.janforster.de 
glowball Special user Nashville TN 563 Posts 
Thanks to all for the input, especially the phrase "but not a number such as xx because it is too high".
I also like some of the more sophisticated methods for a more highly trained shill. The whole purpose of this "instant shill" thread was/is to find the easiest/quickest way to teach a shill in under 1 minute. The phrase above really helps by the magician saying "but not a number such as xx because it is too high" in those situations where the syl suggestion is greater than 52. So thanks much, I definitely will use it in conjunction with the minus 8 method. The reason I will stick with the magician adding eight so all the shill has to do is subtract eight, is so that I can teach them this in less than a minute. My new patter (thanks to all). Magician mentally adds eight to the position giving xx and then says one of the following phrases to his shill: 1. If xx is 17 or lower the magician says "Please name a number from 1 to xx". 2. If xx is 18 to 52 the magician says "Please name a two digit number such as xx but not xx choose your own number". 3. If xx is above 52 the magician says "Please name a two digit number but not a number such as xx because it is too high". Of course the shill ignores the extra verbage and just mentally subtracts eight from the magician's xx number giving yy and then the shill verbally says "how about yy". The magician has to be on his toes as to which phrase to use (for the consumption of the audience, the shill could care less which phrase is used because all the shill has to do is subtract 8 regardless). PS: I did this version (shill subtracts eight) Thursday night at the Nashville Magic Club using Kevin King as my shill and fooled most everybody (afterwards I revealed the method). 
glowball Special user Nashville TN 563 Posts 

I know the first situation (where xx is 17 or lower) the patter sounds a little weird ie: "Name a number one through 14" but I'm willing to live with that possibility in order to keep the shill calculation very simple ie: minus 8. Also note that this will only happen if the position of the card is one through nine meaning the odds are 9/52 which is about .17 (about one out of six performances). Actually even less than that because if the position of the named card is the first or second position I will just do a miraculous appearance of that card on top of the deck. Therefore subtracting 2 from the 9 possibilities we have 7 possibilities (positions three through nine) that this will occur. Seven divided by 52 is about .13 IE one chance in 8 performances.  
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