51 for Two by David Gemmell
This is David Gemmell’s solution to the classic Paul Curry/Stewart James card problem “51 Faces North”.
History of the card problem:
- Paul Curry conceived the idea for this effect sometime in the 1940’s. At the time he had no workable method for achieving the effect.
- Stewart James and Howard Lyons corresponded on this subject in 1953.
- Stewart James contributed several methods to Ibidem in the early years of its run. This is where Stewart James first laid down the (almost) impossible conditions for the effect dubbing his idea as “51 Faces North”.
- Jon Racherbaumer launched the Hierophant magazine in 1969 with a treatise on the Open Prediction by Ed Marlo.
- Karl Fulves approached the “Open Prediction / 51 Faces North” problem in the late 1970’s.
- All in all there have been many, many version’s of this classic. Only a handful meet the exacting condition’s and restrictions that both Paul Curry and Stewart James placed upon the effect.
The basic effect
A prediction is made known to all (open) and a spectator deals through a deck of cards stud fashion. At some point in the deal, one card is dealt face down either to one side or in the pile. This is followed by the talon being stud dealt until the spectator has run out of cards. At this point the face down card is shown to match the Open Prediction made at the beginning of the effect.
Read David’s solution to this problem. You need two spectators and a deck of cards. You never touch the deck. All you do is instruct the spectators. It can’t get any easier.