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I've been collecting and researching Audley Walsh effects when I came upon "The Card Phenomenon" in Jinx no. 22 p.130.

It is a "spell to card" effect and at first reading I thought "How can this work?" Well it appears that *as written* there are possible fail modes. I read it again carefully and then did a few self test dry runs and was able to get a failure. The failure occurs in the instruction: "He is then to shuffle this second pile, note the bottom or face card and place the packet back on top of deck." It is the shuffling that can place a "wrong" card on the face of the deck depending on how many cards were dealt in each packet. There are only 18 cards in the top stack (per the the original write up) so if the spec deals 10 or more in each packet the effect can fail.

My top three solutions are:
(1) instruct the spec to deal off up to 12 cards as Walsh states (and maybe say deal from 5 up to 12 cards.) But don't have him shuffle the second packet. This guarantees the spec will see a card with the correct property. However, omitting the shuffle weakens the effect a bit, even though we can still say the card seen is random and based upon his unforced choice of number to deal.
(2) put 6 indifferent cards on top of the deck, and instruct spec to deal from 6 to 10 cards into a packet -- spectators choice. And then deal the second packet with same number of cards. Then have him shuffle the second packet as in Walsh's original.
(3) put 4 more duplicates of the cards with the right property in the top stack along with the 4 indifferent cards. This makes the top stack 22 cards deep, so a deal of 5 through 11 cards in the packet will work.

Of course there are possible tweaks to these too.

Any thoughts? Am I correct there is an error (failure mode) in the original effect.
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