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Matching the Cards

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Matching the Cards first appeared in Dai Vernon's Inner Secrets of Card Magic (1959). Effect: Three cards are cut to by the magician but do not match a prediction card. The three cards are then changed to match the prediction.

Vernon probably read the plot in Hatton and Plate's book Magicians' Tricks, How They Are Done (1910) under the title "Correcting a Mistake". In "Correcting a Mistake", a selected card is placed face down on the table without its face being shown. Then a second spectator is asked to select three cards at random. It appears that the three cards are of the same spot value. The first card is then turned up and it proves to be of an entirely different value. The magician then proceeds to correct his mistake by transforming the three cards into three cards of the same spot value as the first selected card.

Visibly, Vernon played quite a bit with the plot as it is reported by Max Holden in his column in the Sphinx (January and July 1926.)

The version published in Inner Secrets of Card Magic differs from Hatton and Plate's plot by the fact that the focus is put more on the performer who tries to cut to three similar cards matching the first selected card.