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Topic: Bannon's AK47 vs Carey's Think and Sync
Message: Posted by: ipe (Apr 6, 2020 05:20AM)
Hello everyone,

what do you think in general about Bannon's AK47 and Carey's Think and Sync (the Vault version)? Do you like them?

I'm particularly interested to know which version do you prefer and why and if you have some variations.

I personally prefer the Carey's version because:

1) The needed peek is more stealth. Sometimes it is almost like nothing is needed here.

2) I prefer to work with a complete deck. This is subtle, but someone can later say the performer could estimate the number of removed cards looking at the deck.

3) The end is more straightforward method-wise so easier for the performer.

4) I prefer (I think it is more justified) the spectator removes a random number of cards to generate a random card instead to create a value in mind and then, only for commitment, remove that number of cards from the deck.


But I like two subtleties from AK47:

1) The color management: first the card selection and then the statement.

2) The suit management: the physical aspect aspect is practically identical, but I think the sentence used here is great.


So, at the end I perform Carey's Think and Sync with the two aforesaid subtleties from Bannon's AK47. What about you?
Message: Posted by: ekgdoc (Apr 11, 2020 07:28AM)
These tricks are based on Think of One by Allan Zola Kronzek (Genii Aug 2012) which has a better presentation but is harder to do. In AK-47 (also T&S), the performer places a card on the table. Rather than showing it to be the thought-of card, he has the participant look through the deck to find it is not there. Kind of a jerk move (and boring) to make the spec look for a card the performer knows is not there. Oh, and this is the better of the two possible endings. I think AK-47 is half baked. Andy at the Jerx gives a major improvement. And I think there are other tweaks that can make it stronger. The differences between AK-47 and T&S are minor, and I am almost surprised Bannon felt his modifications warranted publication.

David M.
Message: Posted by: ipe (Apr 11, 2020 09:38AM)
Hi ekgdoc,
thank you for the precious information.

"The differences between AK-47 and T&S are minor, and I am almost surprised Bannon felt his modifications warranted publication."

I totally agree with you. I was surprised too especially because I think T&S is better overall than AK47.

I read the Jerx's article and I found it very good. I don't like the negative equivocate statement too for the same reasons. Before reading that article I was thinking to use a similar approach, the following one (please consider I present this as a mentalism demonstration):

1. When the spectator places the deck down I ask them to think a suit "like spades or any other suits". This increases the odds the spectator won't choose spades.
2. Then without touching the deck, I start immediately to read the spectator's mind. After some moments of meditation: "You are thinking a red card". It is more probable the spectator is not thinking to spades, so it is more probable he is thinking a red card. Moreover, I find laymen tend to favour red cards in general.
3. If I'm wrong, no problem, it is not easy to read minds: "Hmm, strange. It is not easy to read minds but maybe you were focusing on the entire card, but I need you isolate each aspect of the card in your mind. So, please now concentrate on the suit alone [...] and now on the value". After this I place a club card on the table.
4. If I'm right, that is perfect and I place a heart card on the table.

If someone prefers, I thought another strategy. Before revealing the colour, I place a hear card on the table. "Are you thinking a black card?":

- YES: "Great, like I thought. We are on the same wavelength. Just to be sure, though: now concentrate on the suit alone [...] and now on the value alone [...] Hmm, I was close with the value, but not perfect: off by 1." And then I change the tabled card with a club card.
- NO: "Phew, so we are indeed on the same wavelength because this card is a red one" and you don't change the table card.

What do you think?
Message: Posted by: Claudio (Apr 11, 2020 12:35PM)
I don’t have a copy of Genii Aug 2012, but I have AZ Kronzek’s book Artful Deceptions, published in 2017, where his effect “Think of One” is republished. It’s all subjective, of course, but I don’t believe Think of One to be more difficult than AK-47. Allan suggests the dealing at the outset, like in AK-47, as an alternative to the face-up overhand shuffle (FOS). But again, in a footnote that could be missing from the original Genii publication?

I like the idea of using a FOS. So, here’s a handling that I use: Remember the bottom card of the deck and go into a couple of FOS. You may now set-up the key card by using Bannon’s handling. The advantage is that you don’t have a take a peek at a crucial moment. Before reading Allan’s handling, I used to perform a riffle shuffle to peek at the top card, but I think a FOS is superior in this effect.

I don’t feel that the Jerx’s slight change is a major improvement. It suits him, and that’s fine. At the end, it’s all acting.

The principle of this type of effect is based on Bob Hummer’s The Mindreader’s Dream.
Message: Posted by: ipe (Apr 15, 2020 08:42AM)
Ciao Claudio, thank you for your post. Unfortunately I don't have "Think of One" and Bob Hummer’s "The Mindreader’s Dream", but thank you for the suggestions, maybe I will buy it in the future.

By the way, have you seen the Carey's "Think and Sync"? You just need to peek the last card and you don't so many different endings.

Regarding the Jerx's article, do you like the equivocal negative statement strategy? And what do you think about my proposals?
Message: Posted by: pnerd (Apr 15, 2020 09:02AM)
Her is the link to the Jerx article mentioned above: [url]https://thejerx.squarespace.com/blog/2016/8/21/tweak-47[/url]
Message: Posted by: Claudio (Apr 15, 2020 11:44AM)
Hi Ipe,

I don’t know the Carey’s handling as the demo is heavily edited and I don't have his download.

Your verbal “play” is fine, as long as you feel comfortable with it.

Here’s how I dress up the revelation phase with AK47. It suits me, as I don’t care much for the “commit” line and I don’t hesitate to stray away from the mental aspect. I also make the effect more about the spectator successfully projecting their thoughts than my "psychic" ability.

I say: “OK now, concentrate on your card and try to transmit it mentally to me… First its value (Ace, two…) and now its colour.

You table a card and say to the spec. OK, I’m pretty sure I received the colour correctly but I’m not sure about the value.

I "received" black, is that right?

A) They say you’re right.
You nod, “Yes, your thought was very crisp.” But you carry on with, “But I am unsure about the value, please concentrate a bit more. I see, it’s not a court card (or a number card, just name the opposite). Ah, I think I’ve received your thought correctly this time.”

B) They say you’re wrong
You said, “well I can’t be right every time” or "I'm a lousy psychic" etc, and wave you hand above the card and leave it at that.

You then ask the spectator to retrieve their card from the deck. Whether you hit their exact card or not will leave them with the extra question of the “colour change”. I have my own line to deal with both scenarios.

Maybe palming off the twin card, culled to the top during the “looking for the spectator’s card phase”, before giving the deck to the spec so that they retrieve their card is worth the effort as you always finish with a strong climax: card on table, or card in pocket. Lapping will work very well here, too.
Message: Posted by: ipe (Apr 15, 2020 04:48PM)
Thank you Claudio for the inputs.

I have another subtlety. Before starting the trick you can start saying there are a lot of curiosities about playing cards, "for example, do you know what are mate cards?". Then explanation of the concept. After that: "We talked about a playing card curiosity but now I would like to show you one". Then, I would perform Carey's "Think and Sync".

At the end, if needed, before the revelation, I can say something like: "Do you remember before I talked to you about mate cards? [...] Please show your card. Do you know what is the mate card of your card?".
Message: Posted by: ipe (Sep 7, 2020 11:49AM)
Here I talked why I preferred TAS over AK47, but it was before I was exposed to "Think of One" by Allan Kronzek: https://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=717415&forum=218&start=20 . After that I preferred TOO over TAS or AK47, explaining my reasons in that thread.

But why not have the strengths of TAS and the the strengths of TOO in the same effect?

- TAS has the more stealth peak (and sometimes the performer doesn't have to do anything).
- In TAS the performer works with a complete deck. No estimate explanation is possible for the spectators.
- I think it is more justified the spectator removing a random number of cards to generate a random card (like in TAS) rather than to create a value in mind and then, only for commitment, remove that number of cards from the deck.

But I don't like the fishing and the mate strategies from TAS. What I really love is the multiple-pack strategy from TOO (the divination phase), though. And I love the Paul Fox strategy too.

So here my hybrid proposal between TAS and TOO.

You start using the TAS approach till the spectator has created their card in their mind and the full deck is back on the table. After that you ask the spectator to cut the deck in two halves. Then you continues with TOO.

That's it.

Of course, if you want, you can try to limit the suit choice as explained before in one of my previous posts: ask the spectator to think a suit "like spades or any other suits". This increases the odds the spectator won't choose spades. And if it is more probable the spectator is not thinking to spades, so it is more probable they are thinking a red card. This information could be precious or not, it depends on the deck splitting.


What do you think?
Message: Posted by: ipe (Sep 22, 2020 03:48AM)
Any thoughts? :)
Message: Posted by: ekgdoc (Sep 22, 2020 05:57AM)
[quote]On Sep 22, 2020, ipe wrote:
Any thoughts? :) [/quote]

In theory, I like the TAS method for creating a card. But in practice, the AK-47 approach plays better (plays great, actually). It gets you where you need to be more quickly. I have performed it both ways and that has been my experience. But you might present things differently so this may not be the case for you. I suggest performing it both ways to see which one works best FOR YOU.

David M.
Message: Posted by: ipe (Sep 24, 2020 10:08AM)
Hi David.

You are totally right. In theory, I like the "mate strategy" of TAS and AK-47. But in practice, when tried with a spectator, I realize the "mate out" is not so strong.

Thank you for post.
Message: Posted by: SamChak (Nov 19, 2020 04:06AM)
[quote]On Apr 6, 2020, ipe wrote:
what do you think in general about Bannon's AK47 and Carey's Think and Sync (the Vault version)? Do you like them? [/quote]

Hi ipe,

I have neither Carey's [b]Think And Sync[/b] (TAS) nor Kronzek's [b]Think Of One[/b] (TOO), but consider getting Kronzek's book "[b]Artful Deceptions[/b]".

Bannon's [b]AK47[/b] is a relatively fast-paced mentalism effect, which can bewilder most spectators, but probably not intelligent laymen.

I think all three [b]AK47[/b], [b]TAS[/b], [b]TOO[/b] provide a good baseline for numerous subsequent innovative variants.

For example, at 1:22 Bannon takes out a prediction card from the deck, but then at 1:39 he thinks he can get a little closer and openly swaps with another prediction card. However, in the hands of a mentalist who is good at card sleights, as he goes through the deck to take out a prediction card, he can secretly setup a second prediction card either to the top or the bottom of the deck, depending on the situation.

If it is a stand-up performance, the mentalist can execute the convincing [b]Top Change[/b]. Interested performers are referred to Magic Christian (2017) [url=https://www.conjuringarchive.com/list/book/1446][b]The Top Change: Monarch of Card Sleights[/b][/url] for a more detailed treatment of the sleight. If it is a seated performance, the mentalist can apply [b]Mucking Techniques[/b] to switch the tabled prediction card for a second prediction card.

[youtube]185LO6-Oq-Y[/youtube]
Message: Posted by: ipe (Nov 24, 2020 02:51AM)
Hi Sam,
of course you are right you can use a switch instead of the "psychological move" at 1:39. But I really love to use subtleties instead of sleights when possible. It is more fun for me and I like to be as hands-off as possible.

In this instance I think that psychological move is very deceptive. What I found not so deceptive (changing my original idea after some tests on the field) is the last one, let's call it the mate strategy.
Message: Posted by: SamChak (Nov 25, 2020 07:31AM)
Hi ipe,

To comply with Bannon's "[b]Move Zero[/b]" policy, as the mentalist runs through the deck to take out a prediction card, by the principle of [b]multiple outs[/b], he can secretly "move" the [i]1st prediction card[/i] and align with the [i]2nd prediction card[/i] during the spread. Then, he takes out both prediction cards as one. When the deck is given to the spectator to find their thought of card, during this misdirection, the mentalist can ditch one of the prediction cards, either through pocketing (standing) or lapping (seating).

By this approach, the mentalist does not need to openly switch the [i]1st prediction card[/i] to a "much closer" [i]2nd prediction card[/i].
Message: Posted by: ipe (Nov 26, 2020 05:13AM)
Hi Sam,
this is a good idea. It is easy to do and it is still hands-off from the spectator's point of view. The only disadvantage with this version is you need to ask the identity of the card before the spectator tries to find their card in the deck. But I think this is a very minor point.
Message: Posted by: kollo (Nov 30, 2020 01:13PM)
Hi ipe,

you took the time to answer helpfully my questions in the TOO thread, so I want to comment your thread.
After a lot of working on TAS, AK47, TOO I ended up confidently in a "tri-brid" way between AK47, TOO and my own adjustments.
Ended up in
- Borrowed shuffled deck
- stealth peek
- stealth positioning
- full deck
- freely thought of card with a second layer build in
- tiny false cut
- TOO divination
- 95% chance that the cosen card is on the table (physical revelation does hit harder!)
- no boring mate bs

It kills. Even my wife, very critical, analytical and intelligent in terms of card magic, had No clue. Not a bit. You have to know her to know what that means.

So, like you did ipe, I suggest to everyone to buy all three routines, look at them as "working templates", finding out what is important to YOU, working hard and time consuming on "improving". Then you will perform ... magic.
Message: Posted by: EndersGame (May 9, 2021 07:30PM)
It's worth mentioning that there are multiple versions of John Carey's "Think and Sync", and they aren't all the same. The Vault video download isn't the only place where you'll find this particular routine. It first appeared as "Think N Sync" in Carey's lecture notes "Streamlined" (2014), and has been published in two of his books:
- "Think and Sync" in [i]Crafted With Carey[/i] (2015 Feb)
- "Think and Synch Reloaded..." in [i]Minimalistica[/i] p.139 (2015 Nov)
The original version is in the first book mentioned, while the second book teaches an updated version of the effect.

It has also been taught in several videos, including:
- "Sync" in Sublime Self Working Card Tricks (Big Blind Media)
- "Further Thoughts" in a free video (Alakazam.com.uk)
- "Think and Sync" in John Carey Collection 2 (Vanishing Inc Magic)
- "Think n Synch Revisited" in his 2015 video Classic Carey (RSVP Magic)
- "Think and Sync" in The Vault & At The Table Lecture (Feb 2018)

These different versions don't all use the same handling. Beside minor differences, it seems to me that there are two main versions (corresponding to what's in his books):
a) The original uses Jokers, more sleights, and includes a shuffle by spectator
b) The revised version uses a key card, no jokers, less sleights, but also no shuffle by spectator

IMHO the version taught in The Vault download is the smoothest version of the trick (although it doesn't have the strong part about spectator immediately putting the packet in the deck and shuffling it).
Message: Posted by: JonHackl (May 10, 2021 09:03PM)
[quote]On Sep 8, 2020, ipe wrote:

Of course, if you want, you can try to limit the suit choice as explained before in one of my previous posts: ask the spectator to think a suit "like spades or any other suits". This increases the odds the spectator won't choose spades. And if it is more probable the spectator is not thinking to spades, so it is more probable they are thinking a red card. This information could be precious or not, it depends on the deck splitting.[/quote]

I had an idea for this. Have them find a "random" card in the TAS method, and then ask them to change its suit in their mind. Instead of trying to eliminate Spades, you're definitely eliminating the known suit of the force card. You still get the same potential benefit, depending on the split of the deck during the TOO-inspired reveal.

You could couch this in a presentation like this. Start the trick by noting that some events in the universe seem pre-determined, some seem freely chosen, and others seem completely random. We're going to try to create an event that's partly random and partly chosen. Let's do the random part first (the TAS selection). Now for the freely chosen part: in your mind, change the suit of that card to any different suit. So now we have a card with a random value and a freely chosen suit. Etc.
Message: Posted by: ipe (May 11, 2021 04:20AM)
[quote]On May 10, 2021, JonHackl wrote:
[quote]On Sep 8, 2020, ipe wrote:

Of course, if you want, you can try to limit the suit choice as explained before in one of my previous posts: ask the spectator to think a suit "like spades or any other suits". This increases the odds the spectator won't choose spades. And if it is more probable the spectator is not thinking to spades, so it is more probable they are thinking a red card. This information could be precious or not, it depends on the deck splitting.[/quote]

I had an idea for this. Have them find a "random" card in the TAS method, and then ask them to change its suit in their mind. Instead of trying to eliminate Spades, you're definitely eliminating the known suit of the force card. You still get the same potential benefit, depending on the split of the deck during the TOO-inspired reveal.

You could couch this in a presentation like this. Start the trick by noting that some events in the universe seem pre-determined, some seem freely chosen, and others seem completely random. We're going to try to create an event that's partly random and partly chosen. Let's do the random part first (the TAS selection). Now for the freely chosen part: in your mind, change the suit of that card to any different suit. So now we have a card with a random value and a freely chosen suit. Etc. [/quote]
Hi Jon, can you elaborate your idea a little more? Since in TAS the spectator doesn't choose a random card, instead they choose a random value, I don't understand your suggestion. Thank you.
Message: Posted by: JonHackl (May 11, 2021 04:44AM)
As I said, we will make a moment with the spectator that is partly random and partly freely chosen. The value they choose is random (as far as they know!). The suit they choose is freely chosen (well, out three possibilities). Depending on the final outcome, you might circle back and ask if anything was free or random after all.
Message: Posted by: JonHackl (May 11, 2021 04:51AM)
I hope we're not talking past each other due to different versions of TAS. I actually have the Further Thoughts version in mind. In that one, they pick a card that seems random to them, but they only use its value. They choose the suit freely. So my idea was to limit the suit choice like you did, but to do that by asking them to change the suit of the "random" card after they see it. Hence, the final card they think of is partly random (value) and partly freely chosen (suit).
Message: Posted by: ipe (May 11, 2021 05:05AM)
[quote]On May 11, 2021, JonHackl wrote:
I hope we're not talking past each other due to different versions of TAS. I actually have the Further Thoughts version in mind. In that one, they pick a card that seems random to them, but they only use its value. They choose the suit freely. So my idea was to limit the suit choice like you did, but to do that by asking them to change the suit of the "random" card after they see it. Hence, the final card they think of is partly random (value) and partly freely chosen (suit). [/quote]
Yes, we are talking about two different version of TAS. As EndersGame explained few posts ago, "there are two main versions [...]: a) The original uses Jokers, more sleights, and includes a shuffle by spectator; b) The revised version uses a key card, no jokers, less sleights, but also no shuffle by spectator".

So you are talking about TAS-A. I'm talking about TAS-B from The Vault, here an edited performance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MgSPL5zDv3Y

As you can see, in TAS-B spectator takes a random number of card from the deck and this number determines the value of the card.

I don't know TAS-A, but you can modify a little you scrip in this way: "in your mind, change the colour of that card and choose a suit of that colour". In this way, you eliminate two suits, not only one.
Message: Posted by: JonHackl (May 11, 2021 05:17AM)
I can't help but wonder if there might be three versions. Further Thoughts doesn't use any jokers, but it does allow spectator shuffling, so it doesn't really fit the A or B description.

EDIT: But yes! Asking them to pick a suit that changes the colour of the card should probably work well. I'll test it out when I have a chance. That would simplify the TOO revelation process.
Message: Posted by: ipe (May 11, 2021 05:48AM)
[quote]On May 11, 2021, JonHackl wrote:
I can't help but wonder if there might be three versions. Further Thoughts doesn't use any jokers, but it does allow spectator shuffling, so it doesn't really fit the A or B description.[/quote]
OK, it is free so I have just downloaded "Further Thoughts" to check it out. I don't like it at all. :)
I think the force used is very weak. It is way way better (more deceptive and justified, shorter and less confusing) to use the Cross Cut Force instead, for example.

[quote]On May 11, 2021, JonHackl wrote:
EDIT: But yes! Asking them to pick a suit that changes the colour of the card should probably work well. I'll test it out when I have a chance. That would simplify the TOO revelation process. [/quote]
I think it is perceived as fair from the spectator and it simplifies our work. ;)
Message: Posted by: JonHackl (May 11, 2021 09:46AM)
[quote]On May 11, 2021, ipe wrote:
I think the force used is very weak.[/quote]

Yes, you're probably right. I have a couple new ideas, but I need to think them through and tinker with them a bit.
Message: Posted by: ipe (May 11, 2021 10:58AM)
[quote]On May 11, 2021, JonHackl wrote:
[quote]On May 11, 2021, ipe wrote:
I think the force used is very weak.[/quote]

Yes, you're probably right. I have a couple new ideas, but I need to think them through and tinker with them a bit. [/quote]
If you would like, please keep us informed about your reflections. ;)
Message: Posted by: JonHackl (May 11, 2021 11:37AM)
It might be tough to describe them w/o going to the Banquet. I think I can manage describing one of them safely, which is an alternative force. It's a force I've seen a few times, but can only remember one reference, which is Bannon's Mark of the Fabulous in Dear Mr. Fantasy. He attributes the idea to Fred Lowe, but doesn't give a reference. I think it might be Question in Sharpe's Expert Card Mysteries, but I don't own that book yet so I can't check.

The idea is that the spectator cuts a random number of cards from the deck, in this case let's say anywhere from a few cards up to a quarter or so of the deck, and hides that packet. I would then deal off a number of cards from the deck into a packet (the exact number depending on my preparation). The spectator could then flip cards over from both his packet and mine simultaneously until reaching the last card in his. The next card in my packet would be a "random" card.

It's this card which the spectator would use to keep its value and mentally change its suit. So, again, it's a partly random, partly free card selection. Then I could go into the TOO reveal. This force is mostly in the spectator's hands, but is less transparent than the Further Thoughts force (or cross-cut, or Balducci, or similar). It's not, however, so direct as some alternatives, which may be a weakness.

The second idea is a way of using the TOO/AK-47 key card for a spectator's completely free selection of a card, but possibly disguising it better. I don't think I can explain it here safely. I'm going to think it through some more, and then post it "downstairs." I'll let you know, because I'll want feedback!
Message: Posted by: ipe (May 14, 2021 08:19AM)
[quote]On May 11, 2021, JonHackl wrote:
It might be tough to describe them w/o going to the Banquet. I think I can manage describing one of them safely, which is an alternative force. It's a force I've seen a few times, but can only remember one reference, which is Bannon's Mark of the Fabulous in Dear Mr. Fantasy. He attributes the idea to Fred Lowe, but doesn't give a reference. I think it might be Question in Sharpe's Expert Card Mysteries, but I don't own that book yet so I can't check.

The idea is that the spectator cuts a random number of cards from the deck, in this case let's say anywhere from a few cards up to a quarter or so of the deck, and hides that packet. I would then deal off a number of cards from the deck into a packet (the exact number depending on my preparation). The spectator could then flip cards over from both his packet and mine simultaneously until reaching the last card in his. The next card in my packet would be a "random" card.

It's this card which the spectator would use to keep its value and mentally change its suit. So, again, it's a partly random, partly free card selection. Then I could go into the TOO reveal. This force is mostly in the spectator's hands, but is less transparent than the Further Thoughts force (or cross-cut, or Balducci, or similar). It's not, however, so direct as some alternatives, which may be a weakness.[/quote]
Hi Jon, if I understood correctly, you are talking about a variant of the Clock Card Force (I don't know the precise name, if this exists). You can see it in Harris' OverKill here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MOTkimjyP8k
Message: Posted by: JonHackl (May 14, 2021 10:53AM)
Yes, that looks like the same idea.
Message: Posted by: Nikodemus (Aug 4, 2021 05:16PM)
Hi
I know AK47 from Destination Zero.
I bought the download of Think of One to satisfy my curiosity. On another thread someone said it was harder but better than AK47. It does not seem harder to me at all. Very simple handling, and straightforward "process". I also don't think it is necessarily "better" - just different.
I have NOT got Think & Sync - I have just watched the heavily edited promo video.

They all have strengths & weaknesses.

I would not use the initial peek as the basis for comparing them. In fact Bannon and Kronzek both cover the same options as alternatives.

I think ipe makes a great point that the missing cards in AK7 could be seen as revealing the value of the thought card. But the magician would not need to "estimate", as ipe said - he could in theory COUNT the remaining cards! Even though this is not the actual method, a spectator could guess it is - so it needs to be eliminated. (TOO does this automatically because the deck is cut into two halves, so the magician cannot count the total.)

I rather like the aspect of TOO where he guesses from 3 possible locations. AND the open spread of the cards. AND the way he openly asks if the card is there.
This kind of justifies the use of the box/pocket. But not the specific number of cards counted.

I really DON'T like the idea of generating a "random" number in T&S. But nor do I like the idea of taking cards to "commit". These both seem very artificial to me.

What I like most about AK47 is the fact that sometimes the thought of card turns out to be in the box. I think this can be a powerful kicker. And I think this is the BEST justification of using the box at all. And by implication it justifies removing some cards (and NOT returning them to the deck).

Another way to justify removing cards rather than "committing" (whatever that means) is to keep the spectator honest (which maybe is what is meant by committing?) Or to make sure they don't forget (which is much more polite!). These seem to be more plausible reasons than "commit" or "random card".
So my idea is that they (or a second spectator) should also remove 1-4 cards to represent the suit, and put them in a different place. This would be done by cutting the deck, so that the value & suit cards are removed from different halves. This has the additional benefit that the total removed no longer correlates directly to either the value or suit. I don't think it would be a good idea to even mention this, but it would mess with the head of anyone thinking along those lines.

So, at the moment, that is my preference - AK47 with an extra 1-4 cards removed to record the suit.
Message: Posted by: Nikodemus (Aug 4, 2021 05:26PM)
Here is another subtlety that would work with AK47 ( and T&S I think). But not with TOO -

Get a glimpse of the bottom card, as well as the standard k** card.
Have the spectator count cards off the top as usual. (in T&S they are returned to the middle I believe). In AK47 they go in the box.
Then have the spectator cut the deck. (In my version above, they would now remove an additional 1-4 cards).
The information you need will still be available but in a different location.
Message: Posted by: Nikodemus (Aug 4, 2021 05:43PM)
Yet another thought on AK47 -

JB's instructions include various "contingencies" for when certain combinations of cards turn out to be not in the deck (therefore in the box). But it's really easy to check which cards are in the deck, rather than just remove the first one you come to. This puts you in a better position to manage the contingencies creatively.
Message: Posted by: JonHackl (Aug 5, 2021 12:47AM)
[quote]On Aug 5, 2021, Nikodemus wrote:
So, at the moment, that is my preference - AK47 with an extra 1-4 cards removed to record the suit. [/quote]

I considered that, but it lead to another idea. It suits the presentational premise that I've built around mental type effects. "Mind reading" is a misnomer. It's more like tuning into a frequency than reading something off a page. There are things I can do to tune in more accurately, and things the other can do to "amplify the signal." These concepts justify all kinds of processes.

So here, stimulating your senses gets more of your brain active, which "amplifies" your thought of your card and makes it easier for me to tune in. First step, you think of a card. Second step, you cut the deck in half, one to the left and one to the right. Third step, I point to one half (we'll call it the first pile) and ask you to take a number of cards equal to the value of your thought-of card (I turn my back when you actually do it, of course). Now you play around with these in your hands, shifting them around, getting a feel for that number of objects. This engagement of your sense of touch will stimulate more of your brain and help me.

Now you put those cards down in the middle, starting a third pile. Next you take one card at a time from the second pile and look at the suits. If the suit doesn't match your thought-of card, just put it in the third pile in the middle. If it does, then I want you to hold that card for a bit and just look at the suit. Focus on the colour and the shape, blah blah blah. This engages your sense of sight along with your sense of touch, getting even more of your brain active so I can tune in to the card you're thinking of. Finally, put that card in the middle pile as well, and then take a random small number of cards from pile two and add those to pile three also.

We now have three piles, and only now do I turn back to the spectator. So I never got a chance to see the number of cards they took off from the first pile, and I have no way of knowing what card they took from the second that matched the suit. But the presentation justifies the process that achieves the method. Now I can spread the first pile on the table to figure out the value, and use the TOO method to get to the suit. I hope I've explained this adequately.
Message: Posted by: Nikodemus (Aug 5, 2021 04:19AM)
Hi "Jon"
I like this! I had a similar thought myself of asking spectator to remove a few random cards - specifically so it apparently becomes impossible for the performer to link the total number of missing/moved cards to the thought-of card.

My approach would be something like -
Only you know the card you are thinking of. This is essential. BUT unfortunately there have been times when people forget in all the excitement, which is embarrassing all round, and spoils the fun. So when my back is turned, please remove the number of cards corresponding to the value, and hide them in the card box.
Now cut the cards and remove 1-4 cards [explaining CHaSeD] to represent the suit, and put in your left pocket.
If you want, remove 2-3 extra cards as "camouflage" and put in another pocket.

My preference for the broad approach of AK47 is primarily based on the fact that I don't believe spectators are stupid. They are NOT going to actually believe any story about "focusing the energy" etc. They will play along for the sake of being polite, humouring you, and enjoying the fun. But they will know you must have an ulterior motive, even if they can't figure out the exact details. And they will be right! In order to allay their suspicions you need to give them a rationale that makes sense in the real world. Not just a fairy tale. A great example of this is the magician who turns his back so he "can't see" what the spectator does, but his real reason is so they can't see what he is doing. His action is justified in their eyes, so they don't give it any more thought. This is basically how all misdirection works. The problem with the 3 tricks we are discussing is this particular bit of procedure, and how to justify it. Keeping the spectator honest is the only justification (so far) that I personally think an intelligent spectator might actually believe. [Re T&S - The idea that a "randomly generated" card is harder to guess than a freely thought-of one is of course absolute poppycock and wouldn't fool anyone].

So that's why I think it's best to isolate the cards.
And remove 1-4 to represent the suit - this provides consistency.
And a few more because of IPE's point.

Having chosen the AK47 path, there are a couple of other benefits -
1. I like the fact that in AK47 (& T&S), the spectators action of trying to find their own card is the final piece of the jigsaw. Whereas in TOO you are obliged to fish in a more obvious way (unless you get lucky)
2. I like the fact that sometimes their card turns out to be in the cards they removed.

Obviously, everyone is entitled to their opinion. For me this discussion is very useful.
Message: Posted by: Nikodemus (Aug 5, 2021 04:25AM)
PS. I can see a risk in your approach to cutting the two piles. You are going to give them instructions, then turn your back. It is essential to the method which pile is which, but you cannot emphasise this. As far as the spectator is concerned it doesn't matter. So there is a risk they will take the cards from the wrong piles.

If you had two spectators, maybe one could choose the value and the other the suit. Then they would each have just one pile and one instruction. So no room for error.

OR, you can glimpse the bottom card, then make it more step-by-step as I have described above.

OR Maybe I am worrying unnecessarily - but these things bother me!!!
Message: Posted by: JonHackl (Aug 5, 2021 04:43AM)
Yes, great discussion. One hesitation about using the "insurance against forgetting the card" procedure is that every other trick I've done for the spectator(s), I'm not doing that! It's a bit convoluted for a security procedure, too, and could easily result in ineffective ambiguity (Wait, was it the 5 of Spades or the 6 of Clubs?).

I certainly don't expect anyone to believe that I'm really tuning into electrical signals in their synapses, and I don't expect them to think that I want them to believe that, either. In other words, I don't take this stuff too seriously and don't present it very seriously either. But I do think they will have very little reason, in the presentation I'm using, to think the process is anything more than part of what I'm make-believing.

Regarding the TOO fishing, you've always got the option of using the AK-47 ploy to reduce your number of questions, if necessary. In that case I certainly recommend Andy's improvement (not sure if we're allowed to link to that site these days). But I think the fact that you haven't tipped yet that you know the value makes the fishing not so bad. You can get the colour wrong, then get the suit wrong, which is only two misses, but then you suddenly nail the whole card, including the value (which theoretically should be the hardest part). Spectators always have trouble back-tracking multiple methods. If you were fishing, how come you didn't have to fish for even or odd, face or spot, high or low?

And there's yet another way to smooth out the misses, which is something else I learned from Andy. Change the presentation. So if I miss colour and miss suit, then I can just come out and say that activating their vision and their touch wasn't enough. It's not working. Let's try something else... and then bang, that new thing works. Heck, since I now know the card exactly I can do anything. I can give up, and later in the evening pretend it suddenly came to me. Or I ask them to combine their senses by drawing the card while my back is turned. Or they could take it out of the deck themselves, while my back is turned and there's no way to see it, and they focus very hard on it, touching each of the pips and repeating its name silently in their head; what we tried earlier didn't work, but now I can pick up on what they're thinking and call it out.
Message: Posted by: JonHackl (Aug 5, 2021 04:44AM)
Ah, my thinking about making sure they take the correct pile is I would say something like, "Take that pile in your hand. Ok, so in a moment I'm going to turn my back so I can't see what you're doing. When my back is turned, I want you to take a number of cards off that pile in your hand..."
Message: Posted by: Nikodemus (Aug 5, 2021 06:06AM)
You make some great points!
Yes - if you want "proof" of what card they thought of, you could just have them write it down! Counting off cards is not the natural way to record that information.

I like your idea of keeping it playful, and ending up with a situation where there is no clear link from the "play" to the divination of the card. Specs may suspect that it had some relevance, but with your idea they will hit a brick wall. Allan K also makes the excellent point that you never choose the group which (in his version) would seem to give you the information you need.

I think counting cards to represent the suit is important for consistency. It provides a smoke screen of the real method.

I have read the Jerx article. I agree with his argument. The crucial point (which I don't think he emphasises enough) is that when you guess "wrong" and say you were just teasing them, you do NOT change your prediction card. Actions speak louder than words in this case. Of course you were teasing - because your prediction is subsequently shown to be correct.

Re introducing the AK47 ploy into TOO - I presume you mean asking them to find their card? I didn't consider this because there are multiple piles. And one of them is face up. I was assuming you meant they would look through a specific pile or piles. But you could gather them all up together, and go from there. So AK47 becomes an alternative Out for OOT?
Message: Posted by: JonHackl (Aug 5, 2021 08:33AM)
[quote]On Aug 5, 2021, Nikodemus wrote: The crucial point (which I don't think he emphasises enough) is that when you guess "wrong" and say you were just teasing them, you do NOT change your prediction card. Actions speak louder than words in this case. Of course you were teasing - because your prediction is subsequently shown to be correct.

Re introducing the AK47 ploy into TOO - I presume you mean asking them to find their card? I didn't consider this because there are multiple piles. And one of them is face up. I was assuming you meant they would look through a specific pile or piles. But you could gather them all up together, and go from there. So AK47 becomes an alternative Out for OOT? [/quote]

Re: Andy's tweak, I felt the same. He didn't emphasise enough that the colour you miscall should be opposite to the colour you put on the table as your guess. Then if your miscall is wrong, you don't have to do anything. But if it's right it looks like you get a hit on the colour, followed by a self-correction on value before you commit. So, no real miss.

Yes with using this as an out for TOO, it depends on circumstances. For example, if the packet you spread has their card and its soulmate, and they say they do see their card, it might be best to AK-47 out of this (pull the cards up and remove one, then ask them to remove theirs, and they can either find it or not). Or if none of the right value is in the spread, you might just reshuffle the whole deck and do AK-47 with Andy's tweak, but from the whole deck. Anyway, the ploy of committing to a card once you know the colour, and knowing you get the mate if not spot-on, is a an out you could apply in some cases to minimise fishing in TOO.
Message: Posted by: Nikodemus (Aug 5, 2021 08:44AM)
I've pondered a bit more.

I think Jon's "playful:" approach (including the suits) is the least suspicious, as you end up with a third pile that is a more random number.
From here you can proceed to select one pile, which is the TOO approach.
Or you could just gather the three piles together, and go into T&S.

I also re-watched the TOO video. Allan does not go through every scenario. He covers a few, then says you can figure the rest out for yourself. He does not cover what I consider to be the worst case scenario.
This is when you guess the pile wrong, and there are none of the relevant cards present. This means you have already failed once, and you have no information about the suit/colour. Yes you could use verbal fishing. But I think this would be a good situation to gather up the other two piles (maybe ask spec to shuffle them), look through and remove a prediction.
Then you can finish off by asking them to find their card.

There might be other scenarios where you would want to do similar.

So basically you can "jazz" your way through, with various gambits to draw on. The key point being there is no "rule" that forbids you picking up any of the cards, and proceeding as you please.
Message: Posted by: JonHackl (Aug 5, 2021 09:02AM)
I haven't actually seen the TOO video. I read it in Genii. I'll go back and see if he covers that worst case scenario there.

EDIT: He doesn't cover that scenario there either. Seems an odd omission. Oh well!