Conjuring Credits

The Origins of Wonder

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Clocking the Deck

Clocking the deck is one of the oldest recorded card amusements. One of Leonardo da Vinci's contemporaries, Luca Pacioli, described the idea as Problem 21 in his Perugia manuscript (a.k.a. Vat. Lat. 3129), 1478.

It showed up in English in Thomas Johnson's Dainty Conceits, 1630, p. 10. Reinhard Müller found the system in German in Natürliches Zauberbuch, 1745, p. 230. In Friedrich Wilhelm Conradi's Der moderne Kartenkünstler, 1896, p. 100, “Der Gedächtniskünstler” (“The Memory Man”) there is the following effect: A spectator takes one card from the deck, shuffles the remaining cards and calls out the names of the cards, card by card. The performer names at once the missing card. Method: card counting with casting out tens. Conradi gives an improvement in his book Magisches Allerlei, 1903, p.102. He adds up the value and the suit at the same time, in two columns of numbers. Then Conradi expands the effect, letting a spectator call out any number and the performer names the card at that number.