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Hofzucci

By Gavin Ross

I have known Gavin for many years. His skill and creativity is commendable, as is his raucous sense of humour. Gavin has several booklets published, as well as individual tricks. His chapter in the Five Times Five is worth checking out. His close-up trick "Picture This" has been a best-seller for Davenports, who continue to re-order frequently! The following trick from Gavin requires careful handling, but the effort is well worth it.

1. The magician removes a Joker from a borrowed deck and places it off to one side and hands the deck out for shuffling. He then takes it back and explains that he will demonstrate what he wants the spectator to do for the selection of a card. The magician then cuts off about half the deck and flips the cut off portion face up onto the lower half and then cuts off about 2/3rd's of the deck and flips this over onto the remainder. He then spreads off all the face up cards and points out that the first face down card is a random card and that this will be the spectators selection when they do the above actions. This is essentially the Balducci cut deeper force but as yet you have not noted a card to force.

2. You now turn all the face up cards face down on top again but as you do this, spread them slightly so you can note the lowermost face up card. This card will be the new top card of the deck when the cards are all face down and will be your force card. [E.g.: For our purpose we will assume the top card is the Seven of Diamonds]. Now hand the deck face down to the spectator and have them perform the cut deeper principle as explained and take the first face down card. This will be the Seven of Diamonds but the spectator will think it is a random card. You have them place this card to one side and remove the three other cards in the deck that match the value of their selection and then hand you the deck.

3. Take the deck and flip it face up and insert the joker face down into the face up deck. Spread the face up deck to show the reversed card in the centre and square up, taking a little finger break below the reversed card and perform a cover pass at the break. This places the reversed card nearest the palm as the deck is lowered into dealing position. Have the spectator mix the four cards they are holding and hand them to you face down. Immediately flip them face up, the deck still held in face up dealing position and comment on the values of the cards and how that only one of them is the spectators selection. As you say this, move the four cards around so as the selection, the card you glimpsed earlier, is on the face of the packet of four cards. Square them up and turn them face down and place them below the deck which is in dealing position. Immediately flip the deck face up which will reveal the four face up cards on top of the now face down deck.

4. Gain a break below the card fifth from the top and thumb over the top three cards in a spread keeping the fourth card and the card above the break [face up Joker] as one. Square this packet up but injog the face card of the packet slightly and flip all the cards above the break face down onto the deck so as the injogged card falls flush with the top of the deck and the rest of the cards are outjogged slightly. Immediately take these outjogged cards and spread them face down and drop them on the table. NOTE: - [This move is similar to a double lift move Gordon Bruce invented and uses]. As far as the spectators are concerned, you have simply turned four cards face down and dropped them on the table. The actual position is that the face card of the four is a Joker and the selection is now face down on top of the deck.

5. Turn the deck face up and gain a break above the lowermost card. Comment that there is a Joker reversed in the centre of the deck and that its power is going to help you ascertain which of the four cards on the table is the selected card. As you say this, slowly spread over about ten cards and then square up executing a spread half pass, or any half pass, of the lowermost card of the deck. Casually cut the deck as you place it face up on the table or execute a turnover pass and place the deck face down on the table. I usually opt for the cut and although it is illogical it sails past without notice.

6. Now pick up the four face down cards on the table and mix them up between your hands, ensuring that the original top card, the Joker, ends up second from the top of the packet. Take a break below the second card from the top of the packet. You are now going to ask the spectator for a number 1, 2, 3 or 4 and that you will place that card in front of them. You further state that this card will be their selection and that the power of the Joker has helped you find their selection. Now ask them for any number either 1, 2, 3 or 4. Depending on what number they give you do one of the following.

7. If they say the number 1 you drop the break and transfer one card from top to face and place the next card face down in front of them. If they say the number 2 then push off the cards above the break as one and transfer them to the face of the packet and then block push off the top three cards as one and transfer these to the face. Finally, place the new top card face down in front of the spectators. If they say 3 then drop the break and legitimately transfer the top card to the face then block push off all the cards above the face card as one and transfer these to the face and then legitimately transfer the top card to the face and then place the new top card face down in front of the spectators. If they say 4 then transfer the cards above the break as one to the face and then legitimately transfer the next three cards to the face individually. Finally place the new top card in front of the spectators. In all of the above scenarios the spectator always ends up with the face down Joker.

8. Now ask the spectator to name the card they selected and turn over the remaining three cards in your hands to reveal that you have the cards which do not match the selected card. The spectator then turns over their face down card to reveal it has changed into the Joker. Finally have them spread the deck on the table and remove the reversed card to show it has changed places with the Joker and is now the selection.

Gavin Ross, May 2002

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