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The Absent Card

Trick Courtesy of: Joan Kirk

Original Author: Unknown

Effect: A card dissappears from the deck, only to reappear at the precise moment a spectator says to stop dealing.

1. Force a card on the spectator

2. Have the spectator return the card to the deck and shuffle the deck thoughrally

3. Once the deck has been shuffled, run through the cards so that only you see the faces.  As you run through, note the position of the spectators card, but do not comment on it or pull it out at this time. (As you run through the deck, look a little bit puzzled for effect.)

4. Say, "I cannot seem to find your card."  Now this part needs to be done smoothly.  For the ease of explination we will assume that the spectators card is roughly in the top third of the deck.  Cut off roughly a third of the deck  from the bottom, and hand it to the spectator saying, "Please look through these to see if your card is in there.  Don't say what it is if you see it, just indicate that it is there."

5. As the spectator looks through the first pack, cut off a second pack, just below the spectators card, and when the spectator is finished, hand this pack over for inspection while taking the spectator's pack and putting it on the bottom.

6.As the spectator examines the second pack of cards, cut off the final pack above the chosen card, and once more put the pack the spectator gives back to you on the bottom.

7. Once the spectator has examined all three packs of cards, ask, "Well did you see your card?" the answer of course will be no.  Take the final pack of cards back and once more put it on the bottom.  Now the chosen card is sitting on top of the deck. 

8. Look thoughtful for a moment while absentmindedly doing a riffle shuffle (keeping the top card the same) and tapping the deck on the table.  Then say, "I know what we need to do.  First I must shuffle the deck a bit."  Do an overhand shuffle, bringing the top card to the bottom.  It is very important that while you do this, you keep the faces towards you.  You don't want the spectator to see their card being shuffled to the bottom.  This isn't necessary but I like to add another riffle shuffle, this time keeping the bottom card the same, just to create the illusion of really mixing up the cards. 

9. Hold the deck face down in your left hand just as shown in the illustration 1 and tilt the deck forward a little .  Again, make sure you don't show the face of that bottom card

10.Tell your spectator, "I want you to concentrate on your card, and just tell me when to stop dealing."  As you say this, use your middle two fingers to slide the bottom card back about a centimeter as shown in illustration 2. Make sure you practice this movement thoughraly until you can do it smoothly and without detection.  Start dealing cards from the bottom of the deck (actually sliding them out from beneath that bottom card) and stop dealing when the spectator indicates. 

11.Look up at the spectator and say, "Is that enough?" If the spectator says yes than just slide the bottom card forward to its original position, or just use your other hand to straighten the pack of cards.  Then simply raise the deck up to reveal the spectators chosen card.

This trick takes a long time to explain but the working of it actually goes a lot faster.  This one requires a bit of practice but I am sure you will be pleased with the results 

One final note: When you are cutting off portions of the deck to hand to the spectator, make sure there are cards below the spectators card that the spectator has already looked through before handing the spectator the cards above their selected card.  This ensures you are not akwardly left with one card in your hand as the spectator gives you back the card he has been looking through.  If anyone asks why you don't show them the whole deck, just say, "To make things easier".  Although I have never had anyone call me on this, it is good to be prepared with an answer.

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