What A Turn Up - The Missing Piece!

What A Turn Up - The Missing Piece!

When putting a magic trick together, I try to stick by either the rule of 1, or 3.  That is, a trick can either be a single phase 'BOOF!' of a thing, or it needs three phases, making a beginning, middle and end.

This isn't just on a whim, but tricks with 2 or 4+ phases just feel too 'short' or 'long' respectively.  I think generally, three works well because the first phase is a surprise, the second generates a pattern, and then a third can break the pattern in an unexpected (but hopefully still logical) way.

I got to thinking about this because of 'What A Turn Up', which is a super simple card prediction, and one that I've used for nearly TWENTY BLOODY YEARS!  (I am horrified to learn that I'm at an age where I can legitimately say such a thing...)

I've always kind of thought it fit the rule of three, as the spectator chooses a card, you choose a card, they match, and then the rest of the options are revealed (This will make more sense if you check out the video of the trick HERE!)

However, it doesn't really - it's more of a two phase thing.  The spectators card turning up is just an event... the effect comes when your card matches it.  So that's just one phase.  Then of course, the kicker is the second.

So, about a year back, I had an idea to add an extra phase, and whilst it is literally the TINIEST touch, it really does amply the reactions and take the trick to a whole new level.

Let's assume you have a set of What A Turn Up, which gives you and the spectator a Queen of Hearts, and the remainder turn out to be Ace of Spades.

Take a different Queen of Hearts from any unusual deck that you have lying around (or draw / write on a business card, banknote, etc) and put that right in the middle of your What A Turn Up packet.  (I look for a card that has a different design on the FACE as well as the back, just so the end picture of the trick is clearer... this way, it's super clear which two you and your spectator have chosen, which is the prediction, and so on!)  You are ready to go!

When you perform, you bring the cards out, spread them revealing the backs, and call attention to the odd one in the centre.  Separate the cards, tabling the odd card as a prediction, and then hand the right hand packet to the spectator.  No need to count the cards or anything - they can see there's only five, and splitting the spread at the odd backer has naturally left you with two sets!

Now proceed with the trick as explained.  The spectator picks the Queen of Hearts, and so do you... BAM!  Phase one.  Then call attention to the odd backed card (or banknote/prediction) and turn it over... BAM!  It matches again, phase two!  And then finally, break the pattern by turning everything over to show the Ace of Spades cards.

Leave everything for examination, and respond accordingly to the spectators that say 'that was so good, I want to touch you.'


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