Robin Robertson

This was inspired by Peter Duffie's "The Lie Detective" (Effective Card Magic, p. 50.), which uses Larry Jennings' idea of having the cards reveal whether the spectator is lying or telling the truth on each question ("The Lie Detector", The Classic Magic of Larry Jennings, p. 115.). The final effect uses David Solomon's "Steinmeyer's Nine Card Problem with Seven Cards" (Solomon's Mind, p. 19), but with an impromptu stack to accomplish the Jennings' effect as well.

Have a card chosen and discover its name any way you like: you can force a card at random, or have one freely chosen and peek at it, replace it next to a key card, or control it to top or bottom. Now explain that you are going to use a small packet of cards as a lie detector, but first you'll have to program them.

Go through the deck and upjog the following cards in any order:

Chosen Card

For example, the QH

2 Cards of the same suit, opposite type (Spot vs. Court card)

For example: 4H, 10 H.

2 Cards of the same color, different suit, one a Spot one a Court card).

For example: 3D, KD.

2 Cards opposite in color but same in type (Spot vs. Court)

For example: JS, KC

Take them out and rearrange them from back to face as follows:

2 of the same suit as the chosen card

chosen card

same color, wrong type

wrong color

same color

wrong color

For example: 10H - 4H - QH - 3D - JS - KD - KC

Explain that this packet of cards is a Lie Detector and you will ask a series of questions. The spectator can tell the truth or lie on any question, but the Lie Detector will always know the answer.

First Question: Red or Black. Deal cards singly on the table to spell either Red or Black, then drop the remaining cards on top. The top card is turned over to show the true answer. Finally turn the top card back face-down before going on to the next question.

For example, the spectator names Red and deals R - E - D on the table, then drops the rest of the cards on top and turns over the 3D, which is Red. He told the truth.

Second Question: Suit. Clubs has to be spelled with the "S". There are only enough cards to spell Diamond without an "S".

For example, the spectator says Diamond. Deal D - I - A - M - O - N - D on the table, then turn over the 10H on top. The chosen card was a Heart, so he lied. Turn it back face-down.

Third Question: Spot card or Court Card.

For example, the spectator says Spot. Deal S - P - O - T, then turns over the KD. He lied again. Turn it face-down.

Final Question: Have your answers been True, False, or Both. If he answers False, you turn over the last card dealt, without replacing. This is the only difference in procedure. Before you turn over the last card, tell spectator "no more lies, what was your card." Then turn over to reveal chosen card.

For example, spectator says True. Deal T - R - U - E, drop the remaining cards on top. After he names the Queen of Hearts, turn it over for the finish.