Help us get to over 4,000 biographies in 2018.

If you know of a past magician not listed in MagicPedia, start a New Biography for them or Email us your suggestion.


From Magicpedia, the free online encyclopedia for magicians by magicians.
(Redirected from Reverse Card Routine)
Jump to: navigation, search

Triumph has become the name for an effect wherein a deck of cards is mixed face-up and face-down, and are then magically righted, with the exception of a selected card. The name comes from Dai Vernon's "Triumph," published in Stars of Magic in 1946. Also see Triumph Shuffle.


The effect itself was not new in 1946 when Vernon published "Triumph," although his method for accomplishing it certainly was. The first trick where cards mixed face-up and face-down are magically righted was Theodore DeLand's marketed item called "Inverto" (August 1914). It involved the performer dealing the pack onto the table in a pile, flipping every other card face-up, before showing that the cards were all facing the same direction. It was accomplished with a mechanical deck, with every other card being double-backed. The trick was a favorite of Nate Leipzig, who called his version "Reverso." It was eventually published in Dai Vernon's Tribute to Nate Leipzig. And when Jacob Daley's Notebooks was finally published in 1971, entry 21, "Vernon's Magic Mix," described Vernon's own handling of the DeLand principle, probably dating from the thirties.

A few years after DeLand's "Inverto," in 1919, Charles T. Jordan marketed his version of the trick, "Ultimo," which used the same principle, but had an improved mechanical deck design. Around the same time, Jordan was also selling an instruction sheet for his "Reversed Cards," which was a method to accomplish the feat with a regular deck of cards. Jordan's "Reversed Cards" was reprinted in Encyclopedia of Card Tricks (1937, p. 355) and in Charles Jordan's Best Card Tricks, compiled by Karl Fulves (1992, p. 66).

The first published trick to incorporate a selected card to the face-up/face-down mix was "The S. L. Reversed Card," by Sid Lorraine. It appeared in 1937 in John Braun and Stewart Judah's Subtle Problems You Will Do. Lorraine used his Slop Shuffle to accomplish the effect. Interestingly, when The Lost Notebooks of John Northern Hilliard was published in 2001, it detailed a trick by Stewart Judah in which he had added a selected card to what was essentially DeLand's "Inverto." Although it wasn't published until the notebooks were discovered, the idea dates to the mid-thirties.

Another mechanical version, inspired by Vernon's "Triumph," was marketed by U.F. Grant in 1948 and called "Cheek to Cheek."


  • STUDEBAKER, Peter - I.R.D., a version of Triumph in which the deck is referred to as a computer and the rubber band removed from around it called an Information Retrieval Device. A card is chosen and returned to the pack, whereupon said pack is "randomized," first by overhand shuffling, then by riffle shuffling half the deck face up into the other, face-down half. The I.R.D. (rubber band) is wrapped around the pack, and after a few seconds, it pops off the deck holding only one card - the selection. Moreover, on its way through, it apparently righted the rest of the deck, as all the cards are now facing the same way. First introduced on the lecture VHS Classic Studebaker (2000) and DVD 2006.
  • SANKEY, Jay - Back in Time, first published in Sankey Unleashed (Racherbaumer, 2004). An in-the-hands version of Triumph that employs Sid Lorraine's Slop Shuffle. As a spectator draws one freely-chosen card from a deck that's spread between the magician's hands, the magician "freezes" him and tells him to "remember this image." The card is noted, then returned to the pack, whereupon the magician gives the deck what he calls an "upside-down-all-around poker shuffle," turning some cards face up and leaving some face down. He then removes one card from the pack and asks the spectator if it's the chosen card. It isn't, so the magician hands the card to the spectator and has him wave it over the pack like a wand, then declares, "We just traveled back in time." This claim is supported when he spreads through all the cards to show that they are now facing the same way. He also asks the spectator to turn over his card, showing it to be the selection.
  • ACER, David & SANDERS, Richard - Time Boards, published in Random Acts of Magic (Acer, 2004). The magician explains that he doesn't wear a watch because his deck tells time. He turns half the deck face up and shuffles it into the face-down half, cuts variously to show that the face-up cards are randomly mixed with the face-down cards, then "winds" the deck, somehow creating a sound like a watch-winder. He then spreads the pack on the table, showing that all the cards are now face down except for three face-up cards near the middle - e.g., a 5, a 2 and a 7. Any spectator is directed to look at his or her watch and state the time, which turns out to be 5:27.
  • PEARLMAN, Oz - Emerge Triumphant, published in Triumph DVD (2008). A triumph in which the spectator's card appears in a deck that is in numerical order and grouped by suit (e.g. the selected Ace of Spades is between the King of Hearts and the Two of Spades).
  • DUGGAL, Shiv - Reorient Express, a precursor to Paul Harris' "Unshuffling Rebecca" wherein the face-up half visibly rights itself as it's pushed through the face-down half. Created in 1978 but first published in Genii 2009 July.
  • WILSON, TYLER - B52 Shooter, published in Dominatricks (2006). Chosen card is lost in the deck, half the deck is shuffled face up into half the deck face down, then, while executing a one-handed shuffle over the table, all the face-up cards shoot out, ostensibly "except for one." Magician spreads face-down half remaining in his hand, showing one card face-up in the middle - the selection.
  • Michael Muldoon - Modern Triumph mechanical deck (2013)