Hidden Gems: "Out on Location" by Roy Walton and Karl Fulves

An easy, self-working card trick that can be performed with a borrowed pack.

Welcome to Hidden Gems, a regular column that unearths forgotten tricks from old magic books, manuscripts and periodicals. Each month, I'll share a magic trick I've recently discovered or kept to myself for a while. This month's trick falls into the latter category. It is a favourite double prediction effect of mine. Note: From next month, these articles will only be available to subscribers of my Ruseletter.

"Out on Location" is an easy, self-working card trick by the legendary Scottish magician Roy Walton and prolific American author Karl Fulves. It can even be performed with a borrowed pack in bad condition.

Karl Fulves, author of My Best Self Working Card Tricks. Photo Credit: Genii Magazine.

I found the trick hidden in the pages of My Best Self-Working Card Tricks by Karl Fulves (pictured) and was instantly attracted to the clever mathematical method. I'd thoroughly recommend that you buy this book. It is inexpensive and contains many excellent self-working tricks with playing cards, paper and dice. Although the paperback edition is difficult to come by, the ebook is still widely available.

The original trick involves two predictions written on slips of paper: the location of a selected card from the top of the pack and the identity of a second selection. Although I've performed the original to great success, I wanted to develop a version that didn't use written predictions. This has allowed me to perform the effect more often, even when pen and paper are not readily available. Unfortunately, there is also a slight chance that the trick will not work, and your two participants will end up with the same card. My handling provides a way to avoid this issue if it happens.

By answering a simple question, you can learn my variation of the trick called "Double Impossible" (I've done this to stop the idly curious from learning the secret to this trick).

Answer the question 👈