Conjuring Credits

The Origins of Wonder

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Card-in-Row Counting Force

Using the roll of a die in tandem with an ambiguous starting point, it is possible to force one card out of many in a row. This was described by Anstro as “A Novel Finish to an Off-Hand Trick” in The Sphinx, Vol. 9 No. 3, May 1910, p. 63. Anstro used four cards, four possible counting procedures, and the method wouldn't work if the spectator rolled a four or a one.

Two simplified approaches to this idea were described in Magic, Vol. 13 No. 1, Oct. 1912, p. 4. Like Anstro's method, these used four cards and wouldn't work if the die landed on a four or one, but the procedures were greatly simplified by placing the force card in the second position of the row instead of the first.

The ploy of asking for a number between one and four to choose one of four packets or cards, then counting from either the left or right end to arrive at the desired packet, is described by Stanley Collins in his “Omega Ace Experiment” in Original Magical Creations, c. 1915, p. 28, and may be original with him.

Rupert H. Slater contributed “The Educated Die” to The Magician Monthly, Vol. 6 No. 2, Jan. 1920, p. 24. This consists of the force of a card from a row of six. Three of the cards are duplicates, which alternate with indifferent cards. A die is rolled and the number arrived at is used to count to a card in the row. The parity of the rolled number dictates from which direction the counting begins.