Conjuring Credits

The Origins of Wonder

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Card at Any Number

The earliest form of the effect seems to come from an unpublished 17th century manuscript known as Sloane 424, c. 1600s, p. 156 of the Pieper translation. This anonymous manuscript was translated in Gibecière, Vol. 5 No. 2, Summer 2010, p. 141-172.

The faced-deck method appeared in Henri Decremps's Le Testament de Jérôme Sharp, 1785, p. 161 of the Hugard translation. The selection is controlled third from the top and a proto-half pass made. Three cards fewer than the called for number are dealt, the deck secretly reversed and the count completed, ending on the selection. The method or misdirection for the deck reversal is not given by Decremps. Another method appears in R.P.'s Ein Spiel Karten, 1853, p. 35 of the Pieper translation, titled “The Quick Arithmetic.” The selection is secretly controlled to the top and the deck placed in the performer's or a spectator's pocket. A number is freely chosen and the performer removes that many cards, producing the selection as the last card of the count. All the cards are taken from the bottom of the deck, except for the last one. This can also be done with several selections, producing each at a different selected number.

See also: Any Card at Any Number.