Conjuring Credits

The Origins of Wonder

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Re-Deal Force

This force, used to cause two spectators to locate the four Aces, is explained in “The Mathemagician” by Bill Simon in Sleightly Sensational, 1954, p. 8. Two years later, Hen Fetsch published a simplified handling of this idea, Ace Discovery“, in Impromptu Card Routine, 1956, p. 1. Fetsch's procedure eliminated repositioning two Aces from the top to the center of the deck, and this handling has to this day remained the standard approach. Shortly after this, Al Leech applied the Re-Deal principle to forcing cards. The force cards start on top of the pack, a spectator deals any number of cards into a pile, then re-deals the pile into a number of piles equal to the number of force cards, which places them on the tops of the piles for one to be chosen. See Leech's “Spectator Does a Trick” in Cardmanship, 1959, p. 6.

The Re-Deal Force is an extension of an older idea in which the force cards are positioned on the bottom of the deck and a spectator deals the entire deck out into a number of piles equal to the number of force cards, then takes the top cards of the piles. Two examples of this single-deal force principle were given by Dr. Reed Rockwood in The Sphinx, Vol. 22 No. 8, Oct. 1923, p. 231, in an article titled “The Force.” See forces 23 and 24. These are primitive and cumbersome, but are related to the Re-Deal Force. (The Rockwood article and two forces were found by Max Maven.)

The re-deal idea has also been applied to repositioning cards. Hal Merton used the idea in a card at any number trick called “Hal Merton's Card Wonder” in Mahatma, Vol. 9 No. 2, Aug. 1905, p. 17. Merton starts with the selection on top of the deck. The spectator deals to the named number, failing to find the selection there. The dealt pile (now having been reversed due to the dealing procedure) is placed back on the deck for the feat to be tried again. The selection has been automatically positioned at the named number, so the second attempt is performed successfully. The same repositioning idea was later used in spelling effects.