Poker Guide

I found a STACK of Bicycle League Back for sale, and they are wonderful cards – but when I opened them (I’m not sure how old they are as I bought them from another magician) there was a Brucie Bonus™ that reminded me of an old trick I used to do – a Poker Guide card!


Your spectator shuffles and cuts a deck of cards, and leaves it face down on the table, and you turn over the card case, revealing a ‘Poker Guide’ card tucked under the cellophane.

The box is handed to the spectator, together with a marker, and they are asked to draw an X somewhere in the middle of the box, whilst holding everything behind their back, to ensure maximum randomness.

They bring the box back out, and show the case – the X they have drawn marks one of the poker hands – say the ‘Straight’.

The spectator picks up the deck of cards, and deals two poker hands, one to you and one to themselves.

You lose with nothing, but the spectator wins with a Straight!

And not just any straight, but the EXACT set of cards from the Poker Guide!



The Poker Guide Card is tucked into the cellophane around the card box, and with a marker, you draw a shaky looking cross over one of the hands (the Straight, in our example).  The pen you used is discarded, and replaced with a dried-out marker that won’t write in the performance.

In the meantime, the cards used for the Straight are set up, either on the face of the deck, where you can use John Bannon’s ‘Hybrid Holdout’ – a cunning ploy where you start with the deck face up, cut off a small packet (at least five) and demonstrate that you want the spectator to shuffle them – you overhand shuffle, running at least five, reversing their order, and shuffling off.  Table the packet face up to the side, and direct the spectator to copy what you did, cutting a chunk of the main deck, shuffling and dropping on the discard pile.

This continues until the cards are all shuffled and in the discard pile, which is then turned face down, bringing the stack back to the top.  An Ose Cut can finish off the mixing procedure, which has artfully left the required cards on top.

Now you show the card case, being sure to cover the pre-existing mark with your fingers as you casually display the Poker Guide card.  Then hand it face down to the spectator, together with the non-working marker.

Behind their back they draw an X (I direct them to draw it ‘somewhere in the middle’) and then when they bring everything out, you are ready to go!


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