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Out of This World

Winston ChurchillOut Of This World is a superb and well known card trick created by celebrated magician Paul Curry in 1942. It is frequently referred to as “the trick that fooled Winston Churchill.” (Photo left) Of all card tricks, Out Of This World is generally recognized as the finest self working card trick ever invented.

The method, although simple and more or less self-working, is confusing and quite misleading to the onlooker, and can be very much enhanced and built upon by the presentation of the magician/performer or the use of other magical sleights such as false shuffles. However these are not necessary in the presentation of this brilliant card trick.

The Card Trick That Fooled Sir Winston Churchill

The Effect
The magician takes a deck of cards, and places on the table two face-up “marker” cards, one black and the other red. The magician tells the spectator that he is going to be asked to deal cards face-down from the deck and the object of the exercise is for the spectator to use the power of their mind to identify whether each card in the deck is black or red. The magician takes one card at a time from the deck, face down, and asks the subject to attempt to decide whether it is black or red. The subject states their choice, and the performer then places the card in line with the appropriately coloured marker card, overlapping it at the bottom.

About halfway through the deck, the performer stops and announces that it is necessary to switch sides make the trick little more interesting. The magician then takes the deck and deals two new marker cards onto the existing lines. The spectator then continues as before, dealing cards face-down from the deck onto the subject’s choice of the black or red line of cards. When the deck has all been used up, the performer shows that every one of the spectator’s guesses was correct, and the black and red cards have been exactly sorted by colour.

How this card trick is done

The principle is quite simple: in preparation you need to stack or pre-arrange the deck as follows – from the top (face-down):
24 red cards
24 black cards
1 red card
2 black cards
1 red card

Method
Firstly, hold the deck face up in your left hand. The card facing you will be a red card and as per the above stack this will be followed by the two odd black cards, then another red card, then the rest of the pre-arranged deck. 

The Performance
Say to your volunteer or spectator: “What would you think if I asked you to deal the cards into two separate piles one containing all red cards and the other containing all black cards? You wouldn’t find it too difficult would you?” As you are saying this, you demonstrate by dealing the top red card onto the table to the left and the next two black cards to the right of it slightly overlapping each other, then the next red card to the left on top of the red card – slightly overlapping it.

Then you tell your spectator that this is what you want them to do but the difference will be that they are to do it without looking at the faces of the cards i.e. with the cards face down!

At this point you pick up one of the black cards on the right and in a relaxed manner place it back somewhere in the top half of the face up deck then you pick up one of the red cards on the left and casually slide it back into the deck somewhere in the bottom half and you turn the deck
face down. Unknown to the Spectator, the deck is now arranged with 25 red cards followed by 25 black cards.

Next you ask your spectator to begin dealing the cards onto either the face up red or face up black card – whatever they like but as they deal the cards, you secretly count them and stop them as they deal the 24th card. You take the deck from them at this point – (please note that at this point in the trick, the top card will be a red one followed by 25 black cards), and you give them a little shuffle.

Now, you look through the cards without letting anyone else see their faces and you locate and remove the single red card which you lay face up overlapping the last card in the right-hand black pile. You tell the spectator that you are simply changing the marker cards over just to make the
trick a little more interesting then you look through the cards again as if searching for a black card before removing one and placing it face up on top of the last card in the red pile.

Now of course you can let your spectator continue to distribute the cards between the two piles as they wish and this time you don’t need to count, however when they have dealt about 10 more cards and particularly when they deal one beneath their red marker card, tell them to stop and pick up the card they have just dealt turning it face up to show that it is a black card then transfer it placing it face down onto the other pile beneath the black marker explaining to the spectator that they made a mistake with that particular card but otherwise they are doing pretty well!

The arrangement of the cards at this point is that the left pile is in the correct order having all face-down red cards underneath the red marker and all face-down black cards underneath the black marker. The right-hand pile is wrong however as there are black cards currently beneath the red marker and red cards beneath the black marker.

Scoop up all the cards in the right-hand pile with the exception of the top black marker then square the cards up and hold them clearly visible in your left hand. As you remind the spectator how they have had an open choice in placing the cards in either pile, you perform the following
distracting move: thumb off the top face down cards into your right hand stopping at the face up red marker then turn the cards face up and spread them beneath the black marker which is still on the table and which you left there. Point out to the Spectator that all the cards are clearly
black. Next, take the red marker card which is now on top and place it face up on the table at the end of the right-hand black line of cards then turn the pile of red cards in your left hand face up and spread them out underneath the red marker card extending the line.

Finally, turn over the cards in the left-hand line and show the spectator the remarkable power of their mind! All the black cards underneath the black markers and all the red ones beneath the red markers! The Spectator has apparently separated the entire deck by colour without looking at the face of any of the cards!

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