Instantly Know A Selected Card

by Alex
(Kingston Upon Hull, England)

This is no ordinary card trick, this is the mother of all card tricks, and once learned you will be able to perform many different card tricks that defy all logic, because you will know the position of every card in the pack.!!! The cards must not be shuffled or disturbed in any way, but the performer can cut the cards and have several spectators do a straight cut. This will not disturb the order of the cards. This master system arrangement of the cards is far more impressive than just arranging them in numerical order in the suits i.e 2,3,4,5,6, e.t.c. as this sequence looks completely random to the spectator who will not suspect that the cards have been pre arranged.

The cards must be stacked as shown in the table below, by first placing the ace of clubs on to a table face up, then the four of hearts and so on until the whole pack is set in the master system order. This order is also known as the Si Stebbins order





Rule 1 Each card has a numerical value, Ace=1, jack=11, queen=12 and king=13.
Rule 2 Each card is THREE numbers apart, Ace, 4, 7, 10, etc.
Rule 3 Every thirteenth card is a card of the same value, but a different suit.

Master System trick 1: Fan out the cards, ask a spectator to pick a card, separate the pack at that point, placing the top half on to the bottom of the pack while secretly glancing at the bottom card, you will instantly know the spectator's card. Simply add 3 to the bottom card value and call the following suit. You now know the card value so you can improvise your own tricks from here.

Master System Trick 2: A spectator cuts the pack, you take them and secretly glance at the bottom card as you put them behind your back, ask the spectator to name a random card, you then pull it from the pack. Simply add three to the bottom card and increment the next suit, this is the value of the top card. Now just count through the cards until you come to their card, where you pull it out and show them.

Master System trick 3: Cut the pack a couple of times, then secretly glance at the bottom card as you pass the pack to a spectator, mentally add three to the bottom card and increment the next suit, this is the value of the top card. Ask them to cut the pack into four piles. Announce you are going to predict the top card off of each of the four packs. You already know the card on the first pack, so start from the opposite end and name card you already know, then when you pick up the card you will then be able to see its true value, then you name that card before you pick up the second card and continue to do this until you have named all four cards. Then simply show the cards you have just named to the spectator.

Master System trick 4 : Hold the pack of cards in your right hand and slowly let them drop into the palm of your left hand, asking your spectator to say "stop" where ever they want. Secretly look at the bottom card of the remaining pack in your right hand and ask the spectator to take the top card of the pack in your left hand and memorize it. Tell them they must concentrate on their card, you then name their card.

Master System trick 5: Tell the spectator that you can tell them how many cards down the pack their chosen card is and ask them to choose any card, number and suit. Then locate the card with the same suit as the one named by the spectator, which is nearest to the bottom. Subtract the number of the card chosen from the card of the same suit near est the bottom of the pack. Then multiply the answer by four and then subtract the number of cards that were below the bottom suit card, the result will be how many cards down from the pack you must count to reach the spectator's chosen card. If the chosen card is a higher value than the suit card on or nearest the bottom of the pack, just add 13 and proceed as above.
For example: if the spectator chooses the 9 of diamonds and the card with the same suit nearest the bottom is a 5 of diamonds, you will need to add 13 to the 5 of diamonds, making a total of 18. Now subtract their card, the 9 of diamonds from 18, this leaves the number 9, multiply 9 by 4, which equals 36, then subtract the number 2 (which is the number of cards below the bottom suit card). This totals 34, so the 9 of diamonds is 34 cards down from the top of the pack.

Thoroughly learn this Master System and practice it well, you will then be able to improvise and create your own tricks based on The Master System, this is one of those tricks that once you have mastered it, you will wonder how you managed without it.

Hint: To remember the order of the card suits, it is useful to think of the word CHASED i.e C H aSeD

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