Half and Half
You have to be
quick at addition and subtraction and a good memorizer to pull
this off smoothly. First, let someone shuffle the deck to let
them know you haven't set it in any way. Ask someone how many
cards are in a deck without jokers. If they don't know that
it's 52, tell them so. After this, ask someone what half of
that is. If they don't know it's 26, this will stupefy them.
Tell them you will count down 26 cards, and do so, face up,
memorizing the fourth card. (This is important.)
Put the remaining cards aside and turn the face-up cards and
hold them face-down. Announce that you will lay three cards on
the table, and deal them face up from the top of the deck.
Explain that each of those three cards has to be made equal
to, or greater than, ten (Jack, Queen, King, and Ace are
greater than ten) and that you will put cards on them to make
them so. Nonchalantly put down the cards you're holding and
pick up the other 26-card pile. Deal face down onto each
face-up card the number of cards needed. (Say one of the cards
is the seven of clubs. You'd add three cards from the other
pile. If it's a ten, Jack, Queen, King, or Ace, you'd add
nothing to it.)
This is where the math comes in. Place the cards you're
holding on top of the other pile (from which you dealt the
three cards), and total up how many cards you placed on the
three face-up cards. Subtract that number from 26 and tell a
participant to count down the number you get. It doesn't
matter whether the cards are dealt face up or down. When the
person is done, flip over the top card of the counted down
pile if it isn't face up, then flip over the last card placed
on the three face up cards, if there were cards placed on
them. Pretend to be thinking for a second, then announce that
the next card the person turns over is whatever you memorized
as the fourth card when originally counting down.
If you're confident enough, you can let a participant count
down the 26 cards, or look away when counting.
You can simplify the math. Instead of totaling the number of
cards dealt and subtracting this sum from 26, total the values
of the three face-up cards [counting 10's, Jacks, etc., as 10]
and subtract 4 from this total.
to Intermediate Card Trick Index]