CTPAAN: Card To Pocket At Any Number


Don’t worry – this isn’t one of those Franken-tricks, where two simple tricks are combined into one messy monstrosity. Instead, it’s an idea for a hidden feature of David Williamson’s modern classic 51 Cards To Pocket that can be used by anyone who performs it.

The Inspiration

I’ve been thinking about how the reveal of the 51 cards is usually presented, i.e. bringing out one wrong card, then another, then small bunches, then the whole deck (except the selection).

The Idea

I realised that this pattern of bringing out cards could work perfectly to set up the deck for a trick to follow – one where you need to displace a few cards from top to bottom (or vice versa) to end up with a card at a particular position (e.g. to spell to it using their name).

The How

As you’re revealing cards during the final phase, remove single cards from either the top or the bottom of the deck in your pocket, to adjust your stack accordingly, then finish as usual by bringing out the remainder of the deck.

Now, you can cleanly square up the deck (or even have them do it), and without any funny moves, you’re ready to fairly spell to a card.

Also, the amusing surprise of the 51 cards travelling, combined with the seemingly chaotic way you remove them from the pocket, further puts people off the ordered-deck scent.

Other Possibilities

If you have a cardboard divider in your pocket, splitting the deck in half, then you can displace a greater number of cards without adding much delay.

Lastly, the deck you remove needn’t be the same one you vanished (a concept I first learnt from Simon Lovell’s The Packed Wallet). Switching a spectator-shuffled deck for one that’s stacked, roughed or gaffed opens up even more options.

As ever, if you give it a go, let me know how you get on.