Conjuring Credits

The Origins of Wonder

User Tools

Site Tools

Re-Deal Force

This force, used to cause two spectators to locate the four Aces, is explained in “The Mathemagician” by Bill Simon in Sleightly Sensational, 1954, p. 8. Two years later, Hen Fetsch published a simplified handling of this idea, Ace Discovery“, in Impromptu Card Routine, 1956, p. 1. Fetsch's procedure eliminated repositioning two Aces from the top to the center of the deck, and this handling has to this day remained the standard approach. Shortly after this, Al Leech applied the Re-Deal principle to forcing cards. The force cards start on top of the pack, a spectator deals any number of cards into a pile, then re-deals the pile into a number of piles equal to the number of force cards, which places them on the tops of the piles for one to be chosen. See Leech's “Spectator Does a Trick” in Cardmanship, 1959, p. 6.

The Re-Deal Force is an extension of an older idea in which the force cards are positioned on the bottom of the deck and a spectator deals the entire deck out into a number of piles equal to the number of force cards, then takes the top cards of the piles. Two examples of this single-deal force principle were given by Dr. Reed Rockwood in The Sphinx, Vol. 22 No. 8, Oct. 1923, p. 231, in an article titled “The Force.” See forces 23 and 24. These are primitive and cumbersome, but are related to the Re-Deal Force. (The Rockwood article and two forces were found by Max Maven.)

An earlier, single-pile version of the idea was included as part of “Armspach's Card from Pocket” by O.W. Armspach in The Sphinx, Vol. 13 No. 1, Mar. 1914, p. 9. In this version, several force cards are placed at the bottom of the deck. Rather than dealing into multiple piles as in the above versions, only one pile is formed here. After the dealing, the magician instructs the spectator to take however many cards from the top of the deck that he had prearranged on the bottom. Armspach specifically denies credit for this forcing procedure, writing, “This principle of forcing one or more cards is not my original trick, but as far as I know the use to which it is put is original.”

The re-deal idea has also been applied to repositioning cards. Hal Merton used the idea in a card at any number trick called “Hal Merton's Card Wonder” in Mahatma, Vol. 9 No. 2, Aug. 1905, p. 17. Merton starts with the selection on top of the deck. The spectator deals to the named number, failing to find the selection there. The dealt pile (now having been reversed due to the dealing procedure) is placed back on the deck for the feat to be tried again. The selection has been automatically positioned at the named number, so the second attempt is performed successfully. The same repositioning idea was later used in spelling effects.