Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Science versus Miracles: Demonstrating Psychic Powers with Playing Cards – Part III

B Premanand

The psychic claims to have powers to hypnotize every one. He calls six persons from the audience. On the left side he asks five people to stand facing the audience and on the right side the sixth person.

He hypnotizes the five volunteers and shows a pack of cards and asks each one to remember one of the cards.  He does so to all the five volunteers. Then he requests the volunteers, one by one, to tell the audience as to what card they have remembered. After they announce different cards which they have selected and remembered, he requests the sixth person to look at the pack of cards and tell them what the cards he is seeing are. He tells them what the cards he is seeing are. He tells the audience that all the cards are the same. The five volunteers are shocked and when they are shown the cards they find them all of one denomination.

Experiment: 110

Effect: Hypnotizing the whole audience with a pack of cards.

Method: When you release the cards up, one by one with your fingers holding tightly the bottom of the cards, different cards are seen. When you release them down, you see the same cards.

Experiment: 111

Effect: Psycho-kinetic power proved with a pack of cards.

The psychic claims to have PK. He shows a pack of cards with different cards.  He shows a particular card to the audience and places it on the pack face down. With the pack face down, he releases the cards one by one and requests the volunteer to order “STOP” when he wants. The psychic stops and takes out the top dealt card and tells that the particular card has moved there by PK. Thereafter, whenever the volunteer asked the psychic to stop, the top card is the same. No matter how many times he tries, it does not change. With his PK powers, the card comes to the top of the pack, where he is ordered to stop every time.

Props: Svengali Card Pack.

Method: Show the cards are different by dealing out the cards one by one face up. Then hold the pack face down keeping a specific card at the top of the pack face down and slowly release out, one by one, the cards from the bottom. But take out the card at the top when the volunteer asks you to stop and name the card. Do it as many times as he wants and the top card of the pack is always the same.

What is a Svengali Deck of Cards?

The Svengali Deck is a specially constructed deck of cards that can be used by magicians to perform various card tricks. The deck and the tricks performed with it are self-working and require almost no skill. Burling Hull claimed to have invented the deck in 1909.

Diagram showing operation of Svengali deck
The deck alternates between normal cards and shortened cards, with the shortened cards all of the same number and suit. When the deck is riffled front to back, only the normal cards are visible; when it is riffled back to front, only the shortened cards are visible.

The deck can be dribbled or riffled to create the illusion that the deck is completely ordinary. It can even be shuffled. One basic trick involves a spectator choosing a card from the deck and returning it; the card can then appear practically anywhere in the deck, making tricks like the Ambitious card incredibly simple. The final and most stunning trick is when all the cards are suddenly presented as being all the same as the initially chosen card.

While the Svengali Deck allows for the easy performance of seemingly complex tricks, the conjurer cannot allow an audience member to examine the deck. The use of a Svengali Deck can also be detected by its characteristic faster riffle and sound. Finally, because the deck is widely sold in joke and novelty shops, many laypeople are familiar with it.

(Courtesy: Wikipedia. Accessed on 06 April 2013)


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