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Unshuffled is a card plot in magic created by Michael S. Ewer and popularized by Paul Gertner where cards that are shuffled go back to new deck order while revealing a name on the side of the card.

Paul Gertner's Unshuffled

The cards are shuffled using the faro, butt shuffle, or weave in shuffle and it is NOT easy. It has to be executed perfectly and eight times in order that the pack be brought back to the original order

History of writing on the side of cards

  • In his article "Pre-arrangement and mnemonic use of a deck of cards" in the Winter 2005 issue of Gibecière, Vanni Bossi cites a 1563 manuscript by Giovan Battista della Porta entitled De Furtivis Literarum Notis that describes the use of a deck of card to encode secret information by writing on the sides of the deck in a known order, then shuffling the cards to destroy the order and render the message illegible to anyone not familiar with the stack

Magic effects that employed writing on the side of the deck include:

  • Annemann mentions the idea in The Jinx
  • Winston Freer applied it to his marketed "Half-Wit Deck" (1962)
  • Hen Fetsch had a related effect in The Linking Ring ("Mixed Magic" in the January 1948 Parade).

Another effect that employed the Faro Shuffles with writing on the deck was:

  • Earl Keyser's "Mirage Deck" (in Epilogue #16, dated November 1972)

Published versions