I’ve been performing this card trick as a professional magician for more than 20 years and it never disappoints. It was in my nightly routine as a table-hopping magician performing primarily in restaurants. This is a wonderful trick to have in your arsenal only if you’ve put in the time to make the shuffles believable. Much like the floating table and other popular routines, it takes a certain amount finesse to make it a reputation maker.
Similar to Sam the Bell Hop
In no way do I take credit for inventing this trick as it’s original to professional magician, Bill Malone. However, if you’re looking to tell a different story with just as much influence as the original, let me share my similar version of Bill’s trick.
Seattle Magician, Nate Jester’s Performance:
Bill Malone’s Performance of Sam The Bell Hop
Clearly, this routine takes a lot of practice. The impact you’ll have when performing depends entirely on two things.
Making the card shuffling believable.
Telling the story in a fun and engaging way.
Work on your shuffles. I almost always perform this when using a table, as it’s easier to manage the cards when you throw them down. It also helps with your table shuffles when using a mat. On rare occasions I’ll perform this standing with some in-the-hands Truffle Shuffles. Sometimes I’ll dispense the cards right in the spectator’s hands by having them form a flat surface using both of their hands.
Shuffles that aren’t believable will almost always get a sympathetic reaction similar to “that was a fun story”, or, “how did you memorize that?” You want them to believe that this is either a magical feat or you have some amazingly technical ability to locate the cards with a flick of the finger.
It’s also important to bring the spectator in and let them cut the cards using a key card. Find the one that suits your style and you’ll find that this is a must have. Someone once told me that magic described in “one quick sentence” is the best kind. This is an opportunity for that!
Good luck and let me know if you have any questions!