Conjuring Credits

The Origins of Wonder

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Estimation Dealing Location

The idea here is estimating the cut while someone notes a card, then having him deal the deck into several piles and his identifying which pile contains his card. At this point you can narrow the selection to one of a few possibilities and use outs to locate the precise card. This trick was described by Hubert Elliott in The Magazine of Magic, Vol. 4 No. 4, Sep. 1916, p. 50.

Elliott's trick required the deck to be dealt into six piles, with two outs. Abbott's later marketed “The Last Word 'Certain' Card Trick”, 1934, which dealt the deck into four piles, with three outs. This trick was shortly thereafter included in Glenn Gravatt's Encyclopedia of Self Working Card Tricks, 1936, p. 16, as “The Card Miracle 'Certain.'” Gravatt mentions a forebear by Tommy Tucker, “The Card Miracle,” in Chas Eastman's Expert Manipulative Magic, 1933, p. 19, which uses a more traditional estimation principle, but not the dealing strategy. Tucker palmed off a six-card range and produced the selection from his pocket. The Tucker and Abbott versions are given in Jean Hugard's Encyclopedia of Card Tricks, 1936, p. 37. T. Nelson Downs's seminal work on estimation in The Art of Magic, 1909, p. 137 (p. 152 in 1921 edition), is also summarized in Hugard's aforementioned encyclopedia, ibid. p. 38. The Abbott's version is also included in Fred Braue and Jean Hugard's Expert Card Technique, 1940, p. 403. All this formed the basis for Harry Lorayne's “Stop!” in Close-up Card Magic, 1962, p. 64.