Charles Jordans Best Card Tricks

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  • 7/26/2019 Charles Jordans Best Card Tricks


    Karl f'ulves


    ;;;. I With 265 ntustrations ----.

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  • 7/26/2019 Charles Jordans Best Card Tricks


    Copyright 1992 by Karl Fulves.

    All rights reserved under Pan American and Imemauonal Copy-right Conventions.

    Published in Canada by General Publishing Company, Ltd., 30

    Lesmill Road, Don Mills, Toronto, Ontario.

    Published in the United Kingdom by Constable and Company,

    Ltd., 3 The Lanchesters, 162-164 Fulham Palace Road, London


    Charles Jordan's Best Card Tricks is a new work, first published by

    Dover Publications, Inc., in 1992.

    Manufactured in the United States of America

    Dover Publications. Inc., 31 East 2nd Street, Mineola. N.Y. 1150 I

    Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

    Fulves, Karl.

    Charles Jordan's best card tricks / by Karl Fulves ; with 265illustrations byJoseph K.Schmidt.

    p. em.ISBN0-486-26931-0

    1. Card tricks. I. Jordan, Charles T. (Charles Thorton),1888-1944. II. Title.

    GV1549.F8 1992795.4'38-dc20 91-46089


  • 7/26/2019 Charles Jordans Best Card Tricks



    orthe legendary figures in magic, Charles T. Jordan is perhaps uniquein that his reputation was established almost solely through a mail-or-

    der service he operated for a very few years. He didnot perform pub-licly, shunned the company of all but a few friends, and did little in thewayof advertising, yet he was to have a profound influence on later

    generations of magicians.

    Charles Thorton Jordan was born to Charles and Mary Jordan onOctober 1, 1888. At about the age of ten, after witnessing a Keller per-

    formance, he became interested in magic. He purchased tricks and

    gaveperformances in his Berkeley, California, home until about theageof20, when he made the acquaintance of Robert Madison. It wasMadisonwho invited him to join a small group that included ArthurBuckleyand Caner. It is probable that through the lively meetings of

    this small group his imagination was fired and he began to inventtricks.

    The family moved to Pengrove. Jordan began publishing tricks atthis time. His first pubished trick, "Satan's Touch," appeared in theApril 1915 issue of Thayer's Magical Bulletin. A year later his first ad-

    vertisement was published in the same magazine, and it contained a

    remarkable offer. To promote a trick called "Long Distance Mindread-ing,"Jordan sent, on request, a deck of cards. You would shuffle the

    deck, take a card and place it in one half of the deck. When you mailed

    himthe other half of the deck, he would name your card!During this same period Jordan turned to fiction writing. The earli-

    est example of his fiction I could find was a story called "The Legerde-maniacs" in the September 1916 issue of The Sphinx. Magical themesand methods were woven into the stories, but the style and quality of

    the work were not exceptional.In 1919 he released Thirty Card Mysteries, a book that has become a

    classicof card magic. The book contained a trick called "The PhantomAces,"which described a startling new approach to the principle of the

    false count. Overlooked for four decades, this move, now called theJordan Count, was to have tremendous impact on the field of card

    magic when it was later rediscovered .

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    vi Introduction

    Undoubtedly, Jordan wasat the height of his creative powers duringthis same period. ]n 1919 he instituted his "Special Service for Magi-cians"-something like a trick-of-the-month club. In 1920he releasedfivebooklets, a total of 50 tricks in less than a year. Tricks and manu-scriptscontinued to flow from his pen until 1923.

    Abruptly, he stopped producing new magic. He becameinterested inthe newfield of amateur radio, but was unable to make a successof it.By 1929he had written toT. Nelson Downs, "Am outofthe radio gameentirely now, and am turning back to the typewriter as a means of live-lihood.Itwill take a little time of course, to break in again, but I think 1can make the grade all right, and before long be getting a good incomeout of it, as the market has widened considerably and the rates have

    advanced since 1 made a foolof myself and deserted the writing gamefor radio, which has proven a devil of a fiasco."

    At this same time there wasa fad of circulation-building gimmicksamong newspapers, which wouldoffer cash prizes to those who could

    provide the first correct solution to puzzles. Jordan wasintroduced tothis field by Carl Fanton and apparently was successful at it.

    In 1935 Theo Annemann established contact with Jordan and ar-rangedto reprint all of the Jordan output in a series of pamphlets. Theseriesdid not catch on and wasdiscontin ued after sixinstallments.

    In the early 19405 Jordan washit by illness, then by a heart attack andfurther illness. He died in April 1944.




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    Introduction vi i

    In confronting the Jordan legacy, one is immediately struck by the

    astonishing range of his inventive ability, by the subtlety of his think-ing and by the fact that so many of his creations have become magicclassics.Other magicians have published more, but few could match his

    string of successes. Embodied in the Jordan writings are many of thefundamental principles used in card magic today. Careful study ofthese tricks is a short course in some of the best current thinking in the

    field.The easiest way to demonstrate the power of Jordan's methods isto put together a program of tricks from the pages of this book. You

    willfind that you fool magicians as easily as you baffle laymen.For this book, each of the original tricks has been completely rewrit-

    ten. jordan's compressed style has been expanded to

    include detailsthat might be unfamiliar to the nontechnical reader. Where Jordan de-scribescomplex or advanced methods, simpler alternatives have been

    suggested. I use a number of Jordan's tricks and have devised han-dlingsthat suit my own manner of working. About [our dozen of these

    are appended as "Notes" at the end of the appropriate tricks.It should be noted that, although the directions given here seem to

    imply that the magician is a man (the traditional manner for givingdirections in magic), they are, of course, also intended tobe used by

    women.For their generous assistance in the compilation ofthis book I would

    liketo thank Sam Schwartz.joseph Schmidt and William Miesel.


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  • 7/26/2019 Charles Jordans Best Card Tricks



    Impromptu Card Tricks 1

    I. The Hourglass Card Trick

    2. ANew Card Discovery 2

    3. The Infallible Detection 2

    4. "Infallible Detection"Notes 3

    5. Forty-Nine 46. "Forty-Nine" Notes 5

    7. The KeystoneCard Trick 5

    8. Double Prediction 6

    9. Mephisto's Prediction 7

    10. The Sequel 9

    II. Master Stop Trick 9

    12. The Spirit Mathematician II

    13. The Five Guesses 13

    14. "Five Guesses" Notes 14

    15. The IncomprehensibleDestroyed Card 15

    16. "Incomprehensible Destroyed Card" Notes 17

    17. Card Tearing 18

    TheBanded Deck 21

    18. The StraitjacketReversed Card 21

    19. Elasticity 22

    20. The Escape 24

    21. "Escape" Notes 27

    22. The Triple Escape 28

    23. The ImpossibleJourney 3024. Transposition Extraordinary 31

    25.. The Downs HingeShift 33

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    x Contents

    26. The Downs Slip Cut 34

    27. "Downs Slip Cut" Notes 34

    Stacked-Deck Tricks 36

    28. Psycholia 36

    29. Divino 37

    30. "Divino" Notes 3831. Psychic Prediction 3932. Mephistopheles' Touch 4033. The Dream 4134. C. T.]. Detection 4235. Ex-Cello Card Discovery 4336. Strange Coincidence 4437. The Wizard's Will 4438. "Wizard's Wil l" Notes 4539. Discard Trick 4640. The Missing Pair 4641.

    "Missing Pair" Notes 47

    Gambling Secrets 49

    42. Quadruple Concentration 49

    43. The Magi's Detection 50

    44. "Magi's Detection" Notes 52

    45. The Impenetrable Stop Trick 52

    46. It's Up to You 5447. Punched Card Notes 54

    48. The SagaciousJoker 56

    49. "Sagacious Joker" Notes 57

    50. Impromptu Card Reader 58

    51. Henry Gavin's False Cut 60

    Sleight-of-Hand Tricks 61

    52. Bewildero 61

    53. Bewildero II 62

    54. The Barefaced Detection 63

    55. Color Divination 64

    56. "Color Divination" Notes 65

    57. Reversed Cards 66

    58. Improved Pocket to Pocket 67

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    Contents xi

    59. The Single-Card Reverse 68

    60. The Half-Pack Reverse 71

    61. "Half-Pack Reverse"Notes 7262. The Alternate Reverse 72

    More Impromptu Card Tricks 75

    63. The Unknown Leaper 75

    ,64. "Unknown Leaper" Notes 76

    65. With the Mind'sEye 77

    66. The Twentieth-Century Puzzle 7967. Weirdo 80

    68. The Fade-Out Vanish 82

    69. An Impromptu Detection 82

    70. "Impromptu Detection" Notes 83

    71. Satan's Prophecy 84

    72. Satan's Prophecy Improved 86

    73. The Simplicity Speller 87

    74. "Simplicity Speller"Notes