Curious of a "perfect" presentation of biddle trick?

Nov 13, 2019
127
141
Currently, the biddle trick is porabably my go-to card trick out of any situation - and the one I have worked on the patter most for.
I present it as me trying to read their poker face, then depending on the audience I mostly like pretending to mess up the trick to ask them to find the card in the packet of five, as it gets brillaint reactions as they aren't sure what to do once its not there.

Either way even though I have put alot of thought into it, I still struggle to get an adequate reason to lose a card in the deck - then find it instantly when I am not presenting it as a trick of slieght of hand.

Normally, I gloss over it and the spectators really do not care about the patter or why I just "lost" their card but they managed to get it first try. Moreover, I hand half the deck to the other spectator before I even know that their card is in that pile and yet again they don't really notice. But I was still thinking that the biddle trick is quite popular, and wondered what other magicains use as their patter.

(I also realise there is not a perfect presentation but I always struggle with titles 🤷‍♂️)
 
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Jun 23, 2021
9
4
I don't think there are any problems with your presentation. I love the "magician in trouble" plot because it shows that we can be vulnerable.

I would present it this way:
The magician tries to guess the chosen card out of the five but fails. He then asks the spectator to show him which was their card. But when they are handed the cards, they wouldn't find it. The magician is shocked that this has happened, and tells that this always happens. He always tends to lose things such as keys, phones, etc. Then the magician starts searching his pockets but finds nothing. Suddenly an idea comes to him, maybe it's back in the deck. The card is found.

I just thought of this presentation. What are your thoughts on this?
 
Jan 2, 2016
1,039
861
21
California
I have two presentations I alternate between. They're essentially identical except the endings. I'm not sure who made the "Two truths and a lie" presentation but I got the idea from a friend. I'm pretty sure I came up with the rest on my own but I seriously doubt that they're completely original.

It generally goes like this:
- I have them shuffle the deck, peek the bottom card, and overhand shuffle it to the top. Then I do a cross cut force. Lets say for this, I forced the Ace of Spades.

- I ask them if they've ever played the game "two truths and a lie" and they usually say yes. I say that we're going to do something similar with the cards where they're going to take the card that they cut to and remember it but don't let me see. I explain that this will be their "truth" card.

- Here, I pick up the top half of cards and gesture to the "card they cut to" which is the force card while also looking away. It's not perfect but for me, this was the best way to start the trick as it justifies why I'm holding half the deck and lets me peek their selection all in one.

- Then I tell them to remove 4 or 5 "lie" cards from their half of the deck and that it doesn't matter what they are. Then I say to mix them all together.

- I take the packet of 5-6 cards and note where the selection is. If it's too close to the bottom or top, I'll mix the packet a bit to get it to one of the middle spots to make the steal easier.

- I then say because this is a game about lies and the truth, I want them to lie to me. I say something like "For each card in the packet, I'm going to ask 'Is this your card?'. I want you to say 'no' every time, even if you see your card. My job is to try to tell when you're lying".

I go through, having them say "no" to each card while stealing their card and doing the last part of the biddle trick, leaving me with a packet of cards that doesn't include their card.

- Here I'll ask "was your card really one of these 5/6 cards or did you put it back in the deck?" while false counting the cards to make it look like their selection is still present.

- They always say "no it was in there" and I say "well then you're a great liar because I genuinely had no idea what your card was. Can you hold these?" as I have them pinch the packet of cards.


Here's where it diverges and I'll go into one of these two presentations depending on what I feel like doing.

Presentation 1:

- "Well, since I couldn't find your card, I'll have to do what magicians do and cheat by just taking out your card invisibly and looking at it"

- Here I mime taking a card out of the packet and pretend to look at it.

- "See now I know your card was the Ace of Spades"

- They usually react to this, as it seems like the end of the trick. I wait for them to settle a bit and then go "Wait! Wait! If I'm holding your invisible Ace of Spades here, then it shouldn't be in that packet right?"

- They say "No" and I gesture for them to look through. They see it's not there and usually react again.

- Then I say "And if I take it and flick it face up into the deck, where would it be?" as I mime flicking the card into the deck and gesturing for them to spread the cards.

Presentation 2:
- I ask "What was your card?" and they say "The Ace of Spades".

- I laugh and go "No seriously what was it" and they reiterate that it was the Ace.

- I say "But that's impossible there was no Ace in that packet" and I gesture for them to look through.

- Once they see it's not there I say "Actually, I know for a fact that you couldn't have looked at the Ace because I turned it face up in the middle of the deck before we even started the trick" and gesture for them to spread through.


I can't say which I prefer as I like them both for different reasons.

I like that the first one has the two climaxes and surprise factor. It's presented from the beginning as a standard divination trick (I'll guess what your card is) that's based on a bit of fake psychology. You sort of follow through on this by magically cheating, which seems to hit especially hard if they genuinely believe that you couldn't tell when they were lying. Then you have the final climax of the card disappearing from the packet in their hands and appearing face up in the deck. Sometimes I even have someone else holding the deck which seems to hit even harder.

However, the second one is a little more of a mindf*** because you're presenting it as if they never actually saw the card that they selected and you can prove it since it's not present in the packet they're holding and it's face up in the deck.

They're both fun to play with though. I do the first more often but every once in awhile I like to do the second one.
 
Jul 26, 2016
565
782
I start by telling of an "old magicians legend." According to the legend, if someone makes a wish and 3 magical things happen within a few minutes of making the wish, it is a sign that eventually, the wish will come true. After their card has been stolen from the packet of 5 cards, I hand them the packet face down with instructions to place their other hand over it, close their eyes, and make a wish. Then, I ask them to think of and concentrate on their card. Pretending to read their mind, I tell them the name of their card. They are surprised, and I point out that one magical thing has happened -- two more and it will be a sign that someday their wish will come true. I ask them to open their hands and look at the cards they are holding. Lo and behold, they see that their card has vanished. Wow, a second magical occurrence, a great sign! I point out that magic has now happened twice, and then, spreading the deck to reveal their card face up in the spread, I say, "But the third time is a charm."
 
Aug 5, 2017
288
280
WA state USA
I start by telling of an "old magicians legend." According to the legend, if someone makes a wish and 3 magical things happen within a few minutes of making the wish, it is a sign that eventually, the wish will come true. After their card has been stolen from the packet of 5 cards, I hand them the packet face down with instructions to place their other hand over it, close their eyes, and make a wish. Then, I ask them to think of and concentrate on their card. Pretending to read their mind, I tell them the name of their card. They are surprised, and I point out that one magical thing has happened -- two more and it will be a sign that someday their wish will come true. I ask them to open their hands and look at the cards they are holding. Lo and behold, they see that their card has vanished. Wow, a second magical occurrence, a great sign! I point out that magic has now happened twice, and then, spreading the deck to reveal their card face up in the spread, I say, "But the third time is a charm."
That sounds great! I really enjoy how you emphasize the 3 magical moments within the trick. Also I really like how the participant gives the trick some importance or investment.…Let the participant do some of that heavy lifting🤣 Shigeo Takagi has a take on Marlos “Devilish Miracle” he calls “Devilishly Direct” thats similar in punctuation and I’ve always enjoyed how it felt.

As for the OP and their question…
My patter for this one is magician in trouble and in this trick the script isn’t very developed. I think I rely too heavily on this plot but it often leads to the participant helping me fix it. With Devilishly Direct it uses 2 selected cards, in my patter I could only find one card and need their help to find the other persons still lost card. The found card disappears to go looking for the other card! (Ive asked some people to switch spots here…kinda makes the end reveal funny) the first found card is now revealed to be reversed in the deck…but no second selection to be seen? The second selection is then found reversed in the packet where the first card was originally found! I talk about looking for each other in a supermarket and walking right by and missing each other.
 
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