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a mystery card game
The deck is shuffled and your friend cuts the deck into four piles that are rearranged into a 2x2 formation- sort of like a game board. The top card of the first pile is turned over to reveal a 5. You take the box- the “game piece” and move it clock-wise to the next piles until you land on the 5th pile. That top card is turned over and you move again. And again. Until there is only one pile left. They take a peek at the top card and bury it in the middle. To end the game, they are to spread the last pile to find that their card has disappeared, and they open the game piece- the card box- to find one card… their card. You never touch the cards nor the box after it’s been cut.
This is super easy. It’s essentially just a spectator-cuts-to-aces routine repackaged as a mystery card game. You’ll also need a mispipped gaff card.
To prep- let’s say your mispipped is 7H and 8H. One of the cards will be out of play and removed entirely. The other is left in for you to remove when you put it in the box to assemble the “game piece”. So in this example, we’ll remove the 7H completely and leave the 8H in play.
You’ll use the other three cards replacing the aces to force each move. An easy way to figure this out is to lay out the packets in a 2x2 grid, and count how you’d like it to all play out. Here’s an example. For simplicity, we’ll use smaller numbers.
The top right packet in this case is the mispipped card. Make sure in the set up the orientation is correct with the forcing corner nearest them.
Now that we’ve got our cards figured out, places them in the spots in the order you do your spec-cuts-to-aces routine.
You can first go through the cutting procedure and have the piles laid out in a row just so it’s easier to keep track of the order. Then place them into this grid after as you tell them how the rest is gonna go.
So, there you have the method. And the rest is pretty simple. Let’s walk through.
Take out the deck of cards, go through and remove the reveal card without them seeing its identity, and put it in the box. Give them to box and have them place it off to the side for now.
Next, give the cards a false shuffle and/or cut, and do the cutting part of the spec-cuts-to-aces routine. After they cut, place the packets in the 2x2 grid formation, and explain how the game is gonna go. (You can just have them cut into the grid- just remember to call out which one is the first packet.)
Have them retrive the box, flip over the first card from pile #1, and place the box on top. Using it as the game piece, they move it clockwise accordingly. The card on top of the pile they land on is turned over, and the repeat moving the box. Then again, and again.
When the box lands on the last pile, don’t have them turn that over. Instead, they will lift up one corner (the pip matching the card in the box), peek at the card and remember it, then take that card and bury it in the middle of that packet. When you’re prepping, make sure the orientation of the gaffed card is set so they’ll be peeking at the correct corner when time comes.
They can now finish the game by turning over that packet horizontally (not vertically), ribbon spread, and they will find their card has vanished. Again, remember that the force pip needs to be nearest them for this to work.
Finally, they can open the card box, which you’ve not touched since the start, and find their card inside.
Some additional thoughts.
In the example, I used lower number cards for clarity. Higher number cards will be more fun as it’s more difficult to see where the box will land on. Also in the example, it conveniently lands on each pile once before getting to the last pile. You can make it so it lands on the first pile again, and they flip over the second card under the already turned over card. Usually, in many spec-cuts-to-aces routines, they cut off the top packet- which means you can maintain a small stack on top. So you’ll just force two cards in this case. Play around with how you’d like the moving sequence to go down.
Now, this doesn’t have to be just with one person. You can do this with four people. So there’s a lot more interactions. And instead of using a grid, each person just keeps their packet, and they pass around the box. When it lands on the last person, they will already have the packet in their hands. So, just have them peek the corner of their top card, bury it in the middle, and the rest is the same.
Instead of a traditional spec-cuts-to-aces routine, if you do this with four people, you can also use the beginning part of R Paul Wilson’s Con Cam Conincidencia.
Oh one last thing- game piece has a couple options too. You can pass around just the card, without the box. Or you can leave behind the reveal card when you’re removing the cards at the beginning- and they think it’s just an empty box. And at the end, it becomes a card to box.