Hey all, I've been into magic for a long time, and dabbled seriously off and on for years now. I've caught some spare time the last few months and have started to get back into it. I have an idea for a routine that I want to flesh out, but something just isn't feeling quite right, and I wanted to present what I have so far, for feedback. I really appreciate your time and thoughts! A quick note: I'm super rusty on everything, so I'm going with some easy effects so I can focus on the story and not worry about the mechanics as much. Bad Luck: a demonstration I step in front of the audience carrying three decks of cards and a die. The die and two decks are set on a table, one deck is set off to the side somewhere in plain view. Hello everyone! My name is Kenneth, and I am one of the most unlucky people I know. For example, last summer I spent $2000 rebuilding the engine in my car because of an oil leak. I took a road trip to Idaho and replaced the tires for $500 because they had worn out, and two days later my hybrid battery died about 40 min from anywhere--with two kids in the back seat! The battery is a $4000 replacement for a car that's worth $3000. At that point I just said, 'screw it,' and traded in for a nice new car--which got a flat tire in the first week. I would never wish my kind of bad luck on anyone, but it does have one silver lining: with it, I'm able to perform minor miracles! In order to show you what I mean, I'll need to borrow one of the luckiest people from the audience. To determine this, I want everyone to think of a number between one and six and then hold your fingers up for that number. I pick up the die, give it a shake, and role it. Two! Where are my two's at? What's your name ma'am? Aubrey? Will you please join me over here Aubrey? Everybody give her a hand! Now you see here we have two decks. The first thing we need to do is give each deck a shuffle. You shuffle yours, I'll shuffle mine. Now just to make sure there isn't any funny business, let's trade. Now listen carefully there are two things that have to happen in order for this to work. First, you need to do everything exactly as I do it, ok? Second, we needs to raise the stakes. I turn toward the audience. You see, bad luck never strikes when there's nothing at stake. You never lose your wallet when you have all the time in the world. And similarly, good luck always manifests in some unexpected benefit. So to really make this happen, something of mine needs to be on the line that Aubrey could unexpectedly benefit from. I reach into my wallet and pull out a dollar bill. Here it is--a dollar bill. It's a small stake, but I'm hoping between my bad luck and Aubrey's good luck, things will still shake out. The first thing we do, is you and I both cut our decks like this. Now look at the card that you cut to; show the audience but not me. Put that on top of the other pile and complete the cut. Perfect. Now let me take your deck, and you'll take mine, and we're actually going to look through the cards, find the card that each one of us just cut to, and pull it out. So here I have the card that I cut to. And there's yours--yeah just like that, hold it close to your chest so I don't see it yet. We both cut the cards completely at random. We've both got the cards we cut to right here against our chests. The odds of these two being the same card are literally 1 in 52, and yet... I turn my card to face the audience and motion for Aubrey to do the same. THEY MATCH! It worked! Even for a dollar, luck steps in. It's amazing. BUT. You might say to yourself, "This proves nothing! There's nothing here that a little sleight of hand can't do." To which I say, au contraire! We've barely scratched the surface of luck's vindictive capabilities. Let's raise the stakes. I have a fresh deck of cards here--it's been in plain sight this whole time; I haven't touched it. This morning, setting up for this unlucky eventuality, I made a prediction. I took one of the cards in this deck, turned it upside-down, and put it back in the deck. Aubrey, if you can successfully name the card that is upside-down in this deck, then you get the keys to my car. I place my car keys on the table. You have a 1 in 52 shot, so maybe take a second to think... Now if you please, state the card you thought of, for everyone to hear. The Eight of Hearts? I pull the cards from the box and begin to fan through them. I'll handle these gently and openly so you can see there is no sleight of hand involved, and here it is the only reversed card in the entire deck. Aubrey, would you please take that for me and show the audience? The Eight of Hearts! Bravo, well done Aubrey. I'll tell you what, I can only imagine what it's like living on the good side of the luck spectrum. For a guy like me, there's honestly only one thing to do: trick bad luck with some good old sleight of hand... Here are my car keys, as promised. Let me know how that hybrid battery repair goes! Thank you everyone!