Stolen Cards by Lennart Green

(c. 2002) (Submit Review) (Submit Update)

Effect: This is one of Lennart Green’s favorite effects. You show the audience a special deck of cards. Every card has a different back. You tell the spectators that each card was stolen from a different poker game, a souvenir of a winning night.

You take two of the cards and place them face-down on the table. The spectator chooses two more cards. The first surprise is that the two chosen cards match your predictions. The second surprise is that not only do the faces match, so do the backs. The third surprise is a real kicker. Every other card in the deck is identical except for the two cards chosen by the spectator. The Stolen Cards comes with a special deck and is completely self-working.


Here’s a brief rundown of the effect of “Stolen Cards.” The magician shows a deck that consists of 52 different back designs. He explains that he has stolen these cards out of decks that were used in poker games that he has participated in. There are two face-up cards in the deck (for example the Jack of Hearts and the Jack of Diamonds). The magician slowly deals the cards into a pile. A spectator says stop, and one of the face-up cards is placed onto the top of the dealt cards. The remainder of the deck is dropped on top. This procedure is repeated for the other face-up card. The deck is spread and the magician removes the cards that are adjacent to the face-up cards. An amazing coincidence is now revealed. The facedown cards that were adjacent to the face-up cards have the same back design, but are of different colors. The face-up cards are turned facedown and it is seen that their backs match the cards they were next to. All the cards are turned face-up, and it is seen that the faces match as well (two Jacks of Hearts, two Jacks of Diamonds). Finally, the deck is spread face-up, revealing the fact that it is made up entirely of Tens of Clubs.

If the effect sounds familiar, it should. In 1993 Scotty York and Bill Wells published “Scotty York’s Quintuplicate Coincidence: A Handling and Presentation of David Van Vranken’s Version of ‘Gemini Twins.‘” This was an 18-page manuscript that included a deck made up of cards from various casinos. “The Gemini Twins” was published in More Self-Working Card Tricks by Karl Fulves. Both York and Fulves are mentioned in the credits of “Stolen Cards,” but Van Vranken is not mentioned, which is unfortunate, because it was Van Vranken who added the rainbow deck, the matching of both the fronts and the backs of the cards, and the kicker where the entire deck is composed of cards of the opposite color to the matching cards. In other words, “Stolen Cards” is Van Vranken’s effect. Lennart’s patter (which bears a resemblance to an unpublished routine of Jon Armstrong) is different from the patter that accompanied “Quintuplicate Coincidence,” but other than that the routines are identical.

I have been using this trick in the Houdini Lounge and it plays very well with both laymen and magicians. I did, however, change a few things. The deck provided includes a lot of “kiddy” cards (Scooby Doo, Peanuts, etc.). While cards with this back design can be a stimulus for patter possibilities, I wanted the deck to reflect a more adult approach. So, I spent a couple of hours walking Fremont Street and the Strip and I picked up souvenir decks of cards from the various casinos. I used these cards to replace the ones I didn’t care for. If you want to do this (but you don’t live in Las Vegas), give a call to the Gambler’s General Store (702-382-9903). They carry used decks from most of the Vegas casinos.

The other thing I changed was to place one of the force cards second from the top (rather than on the top). Just before I begin to deal the cards I give the deck a slip cut. I think that leaving the force card on top gives it too much exposure and increases the likelihood that a spectator will remember that it was originally on top. (If you don’t own “Stolen Cards” the preceding suggestion will make no sense whatsoever.)

I like “Stolen Cards.” I liked it when Scotty York sold it. It’s easy, practical, and is a fooler. You should be aware that the deck that is provided cannot be used as a Rainbow Deck for other effects. Some of the cards have been used in casino play, and their corners have been shortened. Also, with the exception of the force cards, the deck is made up of all one value. (This is very different from, for example, the Rainbow Deck that Randy Wakeman sells, which is a normal deck with 52 different backs.) It is possible to come up with other routines to use with the “Stolen Cards” deck, but it is important that you understand how it differs from a standard Rainbow Deck.

If you tried to assemble a deck to perform the Van Vranken effect it would cost you a lot of money. For this reason “Stolen Cards” is a good value, even though I think it steps on the toes of a previously marketed trick.

(Michael Close – Magic Magazine, August 2002)
Text Source: michaelclose.com – click for details

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Includes: DVD (or similar) Instructions.

Approx. Price: $60.00 (2020) ***

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