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Screwed Deck

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Screwed Deck is a trick published by Paul Harris in which the magician two halves of a deck are "screwed" together like a pool cue.
The trick was originally developed by Ron Bauer[1], as part of a cable television project he was hired to produce for Harris. The Screwed Deck was debuted at The Magic Castle in 1982, during a preview of the show for several people in the industry.[2] In the middle of the show, Harris had a short card act. Trying to figure out a theatrical payoff for a card act, Bauer came up with the idea of unscrewing the deck, like a pool player, when the act was finished. Then he worked out a way so Harris could start by bringing the two separate halves of the deck out of a case, screwing them together, and then do the act. When he was finished, he would unscrew the halves and put them back in their case.
Marketed version

Leo Behnke, whom Bauer had brought on as Line Producer, devised the manufacturing technique,[3] and described how to make the prop in the first publication of the trick, in Harris' A Close-Up Kinda Guy (1983).

A similar idea by Harris was Unhinged published in Close-up Seductions (1984) in which the screw was replaced by a hinge on the card case allowing you to "fold" the deck in two. It was self-contained and got rid of the need for a deck switch.

In the early 1990s, another marketed version of 'Screwed Deck' came out using the principles of Unhinged but added a kicker in that the deck came out of the deck in a weird state (half up and half down). It starts out with the deck in two halves and are then screwed together. The deck does not screw all the way in (one half is face up and the other is face down). The deck of cards are slid out of the case and with one more twist and the deck becomes normal. The second mechanical version was fined-tuned by Palmer Tilden.[4]

Next, the "Improvised Screwed Deck" was published in the January 1993 issue of Magic Magazine where the deck could be improvised quickly (without the case). A deck is twisted so that one end is face up with the other face down and then restored. Sort of a full deck Card Warp. A revised version of this "Improvised Screwed Deck" was published in Art of Astonishment Vol 3 page 66 (1996).

Paul's latest version called "Truly Screwed" was released on DVD #7 in the True Astonishment series.


  2. Genii, Vol. 46 No. 7, July 1982, p. 448
  3. The Art of Astonishment, Vol. 3, Paul Harris, 1996, p. 103.
  4. The Art of Astonishment, Vol. 3, Paul Harris, 1996, p. 103.
Paul Harris Navigation
Books Magic of Paul Harris (1976) Paul Harris Reveals Some of His Most Intimate Secrets (1976) Supermagic (1977) Las Vegas Close Up (1978) Close-Up Entertainer (1979) Close Up Fantasies Book I (1980) Close Up Fantasies Book II (1980) Close Up Fantasies Finale (1981) Close-Up Kinda Guy (1983) Brainstorm in the Bahamas (1983) Close-Up Seductions (1984) Secrets of the Astonishing Executive (1991) Art of Astonishment (1996)
Manuscripts Super Swindle (1976) Cardboard Connection (1977) Return of the Bizarre Shrink (1977) Inner Circle (1980) P.H. Breakthrough (1981) Immaculate Connection (1983)
Lecture Notes and Products Vanishing Deck (1973) Inside/Close up (1976) Signed Card in Match Box (1976) Twilight (1979) Hard Boiled Quarter (1980) Solid Deception (1980) Screwed Deck (1991) Portable Smoke (c.1992) Night Shades (c.1993) Cardian Angels (1995) Naked Angels on Bikes (2000) Reality Twister (2000) Lip Smacker (2000) Twilight Angels (2000) Deep Astonishment (2004) One and Only (2005) Deep Astonishment II (2006)
Misc Paul Harris in Print | Effects not in AoA