49er Fools Gold

Effect: Spectator selects a card from among 49 lying on the table, and the magician is able to find it, and even bet some fools gold on it.

Card Trick:

No preparation necessary. From an ordinary deck of cards (without the jokers) have a spectator select any three cards. Throw these aside while explaining "Those three cards we aren't going to use." Then deal the remaining 49 cards face up in seven rows of seven cards. Overlap the cards in each column so that they're all visible and can be slid together without disarranging their order. Deal quickly so the audience knows you can't memorize them. Have the spectator mentally select one of the cards and show you the column it's in. Scoop up the column it up, taking care not to disturb the order of the cards. Then scoop up the other columns, keeping the mystery column in the middle of the group (column, column, column, mystery-card column, column, column, column). Again do this quickly so that there is no time for memorization. Deal the cards again in seven rows of seven cards and again ask which column the mystery card is in.

No matter which column is selected, you will know that the mystery card is the middle (4th) card in that column. You can glance at the middle card of the picked column as you scoop it up, again being careful not to disturb the order of the cards and picking up the mystery-card column so that it is the middle column.

Fools Gold ending: Start dealing the cards face up, scattering them on the table. The 25th card will be the mystery card, but continue past it for about four more cards. I make it look as though I've completely screwed up the trick. I then challenge the spectator : "I'll bet you 500 pounds of fools gold that the next card I turn over is the one you chose." Since the mystery card is already lying face up on the table, most people will jump at the bet and may even bet real money. Then reach into the mess on the table and turn the mystery card face down. A guaranteed jaw dropper.

Ending variations:

1. Just turn over 24 cards, then issue the fools gold challenge. The 25th card will be the mystery one.

2. After the second deal, the mystery column can be picked up first (mystery column, column, column, column, column, column, column), second or third. If the mystery column is first, count three cards off deck and the fourth card will be the mystery card. If it's second, show the 11th card; if it's third, show the 18th card.

3. After the second deal, pick up the mystery-card column first (so that it's is on top of the deck). Put the deck behind your back and take the first three cards off the top of the deck and place them on the bottom. Take the mystery card and flip it over, face up, and insert into middle of the deck. Then bring out the deck, place it on the table, and tap your finger on deck, saying, "Roll over, roll over, red-rover, roll over." Then pass the deck to the spectator and tell him (or her) that his card should be easy to find. The mystery-card has flipped over in the middle of the deck, to his astonishment.

4 Friendly Kings (Variation) A Card in Flight!

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