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Out of My Mind (Out of This World with a Mem-Deck)

by Dennis Loomis

I've been on pins and needles, waiting for the release of Dean Dill and Michael Weber's new version of Out of This World. They call it New World, and it is a great new effect. Certainly one of the cleanest versions of this classic ever released. What I was worried about was that I heard a rumor that the Aronson Stack was involved. I was afraid that I had accidentally stumbled onto their method. It turns out that my thinking and theirs are completely different. So, my subject for this month will be "my" version of Paul Curry's masterpiece, Out of this World.

Out of This World is the effect where the spectator appears to successfully separate the red cards from the black cards in the deck without looking at the faces. You put a couple of indicator cards onto the table, one black and one red. They are separated by several inches, and the spectator holds the face down deck and deals cards onto one or the other of the indicators. At about half way through, two new indicators are placed down. The red one goes onto the pile where the black cards are, and the black one goes onto the pile where the red cards are. Then, the spectator continues through to the end. When he's finished, the cards are turned over to reveal that he has apparently placed every card correctly. It does require that the deck be set up.

The original is described in Paul Curry's Book: Magician's Magic, available from Loomis Magic.

Years after the Curry Version was published, U.F. Grant released his version which could be done with a shuffled deck. He called it "Nu-Way Out of this World." It was almost as clean, and most lay audiences would not see any difference. But, in his version the magician chose each card for the spectator. The magician looked at the faces of the cards as he did so. After about half the deck was used up, he could then hand the deck to the spectator who could simply use the cards in order, or randomly pull out cards.

While the Grant version is excellent, it is a trade off. You are not quite as clean, but you don't have to use the special Curry Set-up.

My version requires a set up, as well. But, it's a memorized deck. As my regular readers know, I use the Aronson stack, but you could do this with any memorized deck. The advantage is that while the deck is stacked, it can be fanned or ribbon spread face up and to the spectators it appears to be well mixed. Since I seldom go out of the house without a deck set in Aronson order, I'm ready to do this version at any time.

The magician does select the cards for the spectator to place, but he doesn't look at the cards as he does so. You're going to have to know the original trick so that you can do the "move" at the end, and you are also going to have to know the Nu-Way version. I find that most magicians are familiar with these. If not, you are well advised to learn them.

To do my version, the deck is shown to the audience, and is apparently well mixed. Do some false shuffles and cuts, ending by bringing the Nine of Diamonds back to the bottom. I have a scallop short cut in the Top card so that I can do this at any time. You can also just fan the deck face up, showing how thoroughly they are mixed, and you spot the Nine of Diamonds and cut it to the bottom.

A simpler way to begin is just to keep the deck in Aronson Stack original order.

The effect begins by placing two indicators cards on the table face up, a few inches apart. Thumb over to the 4th card, pull it out and turn it face up. (It will be the 2H.) We are going to take advantage of the fact that in the Aronson Stack, only 3 of the first 11 cards are red. We will be depleting red cards from the top 24 cards of the deck, and so we take our red indicator from there. This appears to be a random choice to the spectators, but since you now need a black card, you tip up the deck with the faces toward you. You thumb over the bottom card (9D) and remove the next card. (2C)

When you have explained the premise to your volunteer assistant, your ready to begin having them "read" the colors of the cards. You will apparently pull cards at random from the face down deck. In fact, you will pull only red cards right up to the 22th card. (AH)

To begin, thumb over the first three cards and the next card will be the 9S. You do not reveal that, but in your mind you say "Nine of Spades" and push it over, the you say "Ace of Spades" as you push over the next card. You know these because the deck is memorized. As you start to push over the next card you say "Three of Hearts," and since it's red, you outjog it. You now ask the spectator whether he things that card is red or black. If he says "Red" you place it face down onto the face up 2H. If he says black, it goes onto the 2C. You will repeat this process, building up two piles of face down cards on top of the face up deuces until you reach the 3D. I'll give you a couple more examples. As soon as you've placed the 3H on the pile based on the spectators "guess," you thumb over the next card in your hand. Internally you say "6C." As you push the next card you say "8D" and since it's red, you outjog it and let the spectator guess the color. You place it onto the appropriate pile. You then thumb over the AC and 10S, saying their names to yourself, and outjog the next card which you know to be the 5H. The spectator designates the color and you put it onto the proper pile. You continue in this fashion until you place the 22nd card onto a pile. It's the AH.

As you go along, you may find that you lose your place. Or you're just not sure where you left off. There is an old "touch" with Out of This World, which not only plays well, but also will allow you to get a check of where you are. Since all of the cards you are pulling out are red, when the spectator calls one as "black" you can say: "No, I'm afraid you got that one wrong." And then you turn it face up. If you are proceeding properly, it will be red. If you have gotten confused about where you are in the stack, it could be black. But either way, you see the card. Then you know exactly where you are.

When you have placed the AH, the situation will be that you have two piles with a face up deuce on the bottom, and typically 4 or 5 cards on top of each one. At this point you will place the two new indicator cards. One is a face up black card on top of the pile which has the red deuce on the bottom. The other is a face up red card on top of the pile, which has the black deuce on the bottom. The next two cards, in the spreading process, are the 8S and the 3D, so you can just turn them up and use them.

If you now square the deck, you will have 12 black cards on top. You now hand the deck to the spectator and instruct him to continue as before, just taking cards off the top, and placing them down on either pile without peeking. As he does this, you count the cards and stop him when he's done 12. This will be about the same number of cards as were used before the new indicator cards were placed. The cards on the table are now in the standard Out of This World layout and you finish by showing the "correct" stack, doing the switch move (many have been devised) and showing the other stack.

The spectator has divined all of the cards correctly.

Note that this version of the effect does not use the entire deck. So, it's a little less time consuming. But, if you prefer to do the original effect and have all 52 cards used, you simply continue the first part until you have placed the 6D onto a pile. You then square up the deck and turn it face up. The two cards on the face will be the 9D and the QC. You use these for the two new indicators. The remainder of the pack will be all black cards.
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--The Final Article--


Texas Hold'em with the Aronson Stack

By Sterling Dare (A.K.A. Lefty the Clown)
Written by Dennis Loomis

My friend Sterling Dare has worked through the Aronson stack to see what happens if you deal a hand of Texas Hold'em. This is so popular on TV today that it's of value to be able to do some routine if the question comes up. Sterling explored all 52 possibilities. I checked through his results and they are accurate. I agree with him that the best case seems to be when you start with the Three of Hearts on top. That's easy since you need only cut six cards from top to bottom and you're off and running. This can easily be done in the context of my handling of the Haymow shuffle. See Articles 5 and 6.

With Hold'em the results will not change as a result of betting and who folds and who stays in. There may be some patter advantages based on that.


Briefly, in Hold'em each player (4 in this case) gets 2 face down cards. A card is burned to the bottom and three cards are dealt face up. This is called the flop.

A card is burned and another card is dealt face up. I think this is called 4th street, but not sure. Finally, a card is burned and one more card (the river card) is turned face up. There will be 5 community cards that can be used by all the players still in the hand being played.

You use your two hole cards plus any combination of the 5 community cards to make the best 5 card hand of poker. You could use both hole cards and 3 community cards, 1 hole card and 4 community cards, or the 5 on the board and no hole cards.

Betting occurs after the players are dealt 2 cards. Then the Flop. More betting, then 4th card, more betting and then 5th card (River). Final bets and showdown. It doesn't matter for the Aronson demo, but there is an ante, a single blind raise by the person to the left of the dealer, and a double blind raise by the person second to the left of the dealer. In true Hold'em, it is sometimes worth staying in on a marginal hand if you have one of the blind raise hands.

With the 3 of hearts on top of the deck:
1st player gets: Two Pair- Aces & 3s
2nd player gets: Two Pair-Aces & 5s
3rd player gets: Two Pair-Aces & 8s
4th (dealer) gets: 3 Aces

With the 5 of hearts on top
1st player gets: Two Pair-8s & 5s
2nd player: Folds
3rd player gets: Pair of Aces
4th (Dealer): 3 Sevens

With the Ace of Hearts on top:
1st player gets: Two Pair 10s & 4s
2nd player: Two Pair 10s & 4s
3rd player gets: Two Pair 10s & 4s
4th (Dealer): Full House

With 7 of Hearts on top
1st player gets: Two Pair Js & 10s
2nd player: Two Pair Js & 10s
3rd player gets: Two Pair Js & 10s
4th (Dealer): Full House

With 7 Clubs on top:
1st player gets: 2 tens
2nd player: 2 fours
3rd player gets: 2 kings
4th (Dealer): Two Pair-Tens and 4s

The best demo hand for me is the one with the 3 of Hearts on top.

There are other combinations in which other players get straights, flushes and even 4 of a kind, but none for the dealer. Others have the dealer winning, but the players get zilch for hands.
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And, I wanted to get away from having to hand write 365 cards into a diary. For one thing, my handwriting is terrible. And so, I came up with the idea that there actually is a Lucky Playing Card for every day of the year. Why not? We each have our own Zodiac Sign, or Birthstone, even the appropriate flower... why not a lucky playing Card. And so, I printed out and bound a little fake booklet.

- That was a quote from Dennis Loomis in 2013, Article 6.

I was happy to see another magician recommend printing a card booklet instead of hand-writing it. I used to hand-write a whole calendar of cards, but now I use PreDate, it mixes printed card icons, and printed "hand-written" card names. Any card stack can be created for any year. see
PreDate: The NoMem Calendar Trick
Steven Conner
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Late to the party but a great read.
"The New York Papers," Mark Twain once said,"have long known that no large question is ever really settled until I have been consulted; it is the way they feel about it, and they show it by always sending to me when they get uneasy. "
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Thanks for flagging this thread - also late to the party
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Steven Conner - Thank you for bumping this back to the top of the forum.
Now it’s time to go back and read through all the articles.
Was this ever converted into a pdf file like the original poster said?
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Such great articles. Dennis was a treasure. He was an amazing guy
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