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Bauer’s Delusion

Bauer’s Delusion
Copyright 1981 by Ron Bauer

My delusion is that somehow someone will believe there's something original in this version of Charlie Millers DUNBURY DELUSION. Oh, well... I suppose that everyone who does a lot of card tricks eventually comes up with a version of Charlie's evergreen effect. Me, too. I've always been able to rely on it to go over well. This is how I've presented it for well over fifteen years.

The effect, as you surely know, is...

Someone selects a card and puts it back. The Card Trick Perpetrator goes through the faces-down pack and flips over three cards, one at a time. Each of these cards, he claims, provides clues about the chosen card. He comments on the so-called relevance of the colors and values of each of the three cards, then discards them, failing to notice one is actually the chosen card. Now, for the grand finale, he uses the numerical value of the third card, and confidently deals down to what he expects to be the location of the spectator's selection. But, when the spectator names the card, it's not the one on the discard pile. It's the one counted to by that crafty conjuror.

Now, here are the details of this version...


Put a PENCIL-DOT on the upper left and lower right corners of the back of a THREE OF CLUBS. Put the THREE in the THIRD position from the bottom of the deck. Also, memorize the FOURTH card from the bottom. For example: SEVEN OF SPADES.


  1. Casually overhand shuffle, keeping the bottom four cards in place. "This is sort of a SMARTY card trick. It blatantly shows the ADVANTAGE a magician has because he knows that each card RELATES SOMEHOW to the others near it... no matter how the pack is mixed... This KNOWLEDGE is what makes us so GOOD at FINDING CARDS and BEING MODEST... What's he talking about you ask? PICK A CARD and I'II show you."
  2. Spread the cards for the selection. MAKE SURE EVERYONE SEES THE CARD.
  3. Square the pack, then undercut for the replacement. Openly drop the bottom half onto the selection card square. The chosen card is now THREE cards beneath the PENCIL-DOTTED THREE OF CLUBS.
  4. Do a quick and casual shuffle, but keep the chosen card group near the center as follows: Shuffle off a third into the left hand. Continue the shuffling action, but pull off the next third in a block by bringing your left thumb up and over the top long edge of the pack. Over-lap enough to pull down on that second third, and relax your right fingers slightly. Continuing the shuffling action, shuffle off the last third. Square.
  5. "Now, I'll show you how easy it is to INFALLIBLY find your card without finger-moves... just highly developed ARCANIC DEDUCTION!" Spread the pack laces-down between your hands.
  6. "...I DEDUCE, first of all, your card is in this area. Of course, the fact that I SHUFFLED helps me DEDUCE that..." By this time, you spot the PENCIL DOT. You're now going to split the spread beneath a SECRET TRIO of cards, the center one being the PENCIL-DOTTED THREE OF CLUBS. Look at FIGURE ONE. Note that the left thumb pushes the left card at the TRIO, and, beneath the spread, the right ring and middle lingers push against the right card. Hold the TRIO as one card against the bottom of the spread with your right middle finger.
  7. "I'll use THREE CARDS in this area to get the necessary clues... In fact, I'll find out all I need to know by what I see on the FACES and BACK of these cards... NO HINTS, NOW. I WANT TO PROVE I CAN DO THIS..." As you say this, square the cards in your left hand, and push the top one to the right with your left thumb. Look at FIGURE TWO. As the top card of this packet almost clears the right edge, flip it face-up onto the left packet with the spread cards in your right hand.
  8. "...This is the first card... I'll use the FACE of this one..." Thumb this card face-up onto the table.
  9. "...This is the second card. I'll use the BACK of this one..." Now we come to the sneaky stuff. This card is pushed off and flipped over just like the first one. However, when it lands face-up on the left hand packet, everyone sees that its the chosen card. KEEP GOING. Apparently you flip it face-down onto the left hand packet and thumb it onto the first card. Actually, you secretly drop the TRIO onto it as it's turned face-down. Look at FIGURES TWO, THREE, and FOUR. These represent the continuous action of the FLIP SWITCH MOVE. Note in FIGURE FOUR, the left thumb traps the TRIO at the upper left corner as the right hand releases it and moves out of the way. Now thumb the top card of the left packet face-down onto the face-up card on the table. At this point, the MEMORIZED CARD has replaced the CHOSEN CARD... and NOBODY KNOWS (I HOPE!).
  10. NOTE: This FLIP SWITCH is explained in detail – for switching a single card – in Kardyro's Kard Konjuring by Tony Kardyro.

  11. The top card of the left packet is now the PENCIL-DOTTED THREE OF CLUBS. "...and this is the THIRD CARD... I'll use the FACE of this one, too..." Flip the top card of the left hand packet face-up, using the right hand spread, as before. This time leave the card squared face-up on the packet. Put the cards in the right hand under this packet, and square the whole pack.
  12. "Okay. Now I'm ready. You see, the FIRST CARD is RED... which tells me you chose a RED CARD... or a BLACK ONE!... The SECOND CARD tells me your card had a BLUE BACK... How'm I doin so far? Never mind, NO HINTS!... This THIRD ONE is a THREE, so I know if I count THREE CARDS I'll find your..." Obviously, no moves are needed here, except an occasional DUCKING MOVEMENT if anything's thrown.
  13. "...so I count... ONE... TWO... THREE... THIS IS IT! NAME YOUR CARD!..." Count the cards FACE-UP onto the tabled cards as in FIGURE SIX. The THREE OF CLUBS is ONE. The next card is TWO. The THIRD CARD is THREE – BUT DON'T SHOW IT. Just slide it lo the right outer corner of the deck and hold it FACE-DOWN with your left thumb.
  14. When the spectator names the card – PAUSE. "What?" They will happily tell you again. "Well, that's a relief! I was afraid it was the SEVEN OF SPADES. Then it would have been THIS CARD..." Turn the batch of four cards on the table over by grabbing them with your right fingers underneath and thumb on top. All the cards will be faces-down except the SEVEN OF SPADES. See FIGURE SIX.
  15. "...instead of THIS ONE!" Grab the chosen card by its outer right corner. Turn it face-up and regrip it with the left thumb. If you want to be a real SMARTY, snap it with your right fingers.

Thank you, Charlie.

Copyright 1981 by Ron Bauer