Conjuring Credits

The Origins of Wonder

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Cut-deeper Force

Karl Fulves, in Prolix, No. 4, Aug. 2008, p. 270, points out an early version of this popular force in Sam Mayer's “Another Do as I Do”, in the Sphinx, Vol. 45 No. 5, July 1946, p. 143. Mayer uses a sequence of four increasingly deep cut-and-turn-over actions to force the top card.

Not long after this, Fred Braue published “Little Card Rise” in his column in Hugard's Magic Monthly, Vol. 6 No. 8, Jan. 1949, p. 501. In this trick, Braue pared the cut-deeper force down to two cuts and turns, the performer making the first cut, and letting the spectator make the second. Thus it seems Mayer deserves credit for the cut-deeper force, with the two-cut handling following shortly after, its condenser as yet undetermined. Fulves supplies further history and variants in the Prolix article cited above.

Ken Krenzel believed the force was invented by Edmund Balducci. Krenzel and Balducci contributed a trick using it, “The All-fair Coincidence”, to Hugard's Magic Monthly, Vol. 14 No. 6, Nov. 1956, p. 502. Krenzel was unaware of the Mayer and Braue descriptions that preceded Balducci. This oversight has led to the force being frequently and persistently attributed to Ed Balducci, to the present time.


This force was likely inspired by Henry Christ's 203rd Force from Annemann's S-h-h-h-! It's a Secret, 1934, p. 41.

Lynn Searles's “So Simple” Force is another related force; see The Jinx Summer Extra, 1936, p. 135. A spectator cuts off half the deck, turns it over and drops it back onto the talon. The magician then secretly turns over the entire pack as he spreads the cards on the table. The first face-down card appears to be where the spectator cut, but it is the original top card of the deck.