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X Marks the Spot
by Al-Quadir Marsh

This is like the Invisible Deck but without the Rough/Smooth problems; you use a regular deck of cards from the Dollar Store, and the Spectator gets to handle it. Instead of just turning a freely chosen card over in the invisible deck, the spectator marks it with an invisible (but indelible) marking pen "X" on the back of his imagined chosen card. When the invisible deck is made visible, the spectator checks all the backs of the cards and the only one having a real indelible "X" mark on the back turns out to be the chosen card just as he imagined it.

Effect: The performer has a spectator imagine holding a large deck of playing cards. The spectator is to imagine he sorts through the cards looking for one special card… not the usual well-known card like the Ace of Spades, a Joker, or the Queen of Hearts, although they aren’t ruled out, but trying to select one of the other 50 cards the spectator believes no one would ever guess by chance. He names the card aloud. Encouraged by the performer, in his mind the spectator imagines removing that card from the deck, turning it over and marking a big letter “X” on the back, because “X Marks the Spot.” Then in his mind, he places the card back in the deck and mixes up the cards.

The performer removes a box of playing cards from his pocket. He has the spectator open the box and remove the cards. The spectator removes the top three cards and turns them face up, showing them to be the cards he was asked NOT to imagine – the Ace of Spades, the Joker, and the Queen of Hearts. The performer thanks him for NOT choosing the obvious cards.

Now the performer takes the cards and turns the deck face up, looking for the card named by the spectator as the one he marked with an “X” on the back. That card is handed to the spectator face up, while the backs of all the other cards in the deck are shown to be normal, unmarked backs. When the spectator finally turns his chosen card face down, it is seen to have a large black “X” marking on the back. “X Marks the Spot!”

A 2019 Addendum by Jim Gerrish has now been attached that allows for performing this with a Tarot deck and ending up with the Greek letter Pi on the back of the freely chosen Tarot Card.



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