This wonderful routine is the creation of Robert Houdin.
It first saw print in 1868 in his book The Secrets of Conjuring & Magic.
I first encountered this routine in Jean Hugard’s The Royal Road to Card Magic under the title Everybody’s Card.
This routine takes guts to perform, the impact on an audience is one of deep profound mystery.
The effect is the transformation of one card into four others and back again to its original state.
Robert Houdin said; “there is no greater effect than a playing card neatly changed”.
“One card changing four times and it comes nowhere near the deck”.
As far as the audience is concerned, the cards transforms one by one, in my handling and presentation, each transformation takes place in each spectators hand.
This is as close to real magic as one can get.
“It is a beautiful happening”.
Let’s take a look at the following video.
I apologies for the poor lighting. I hope it did not ruin your enjoyment of this effect.
I love the transformation of a playing card – my routine The Changeling is a one card version.
I have developed handlings for two, three and four cards. This is for times when I am working for a different number of people.
Why is this routine so strong?
In the original handling, Robert Houdin made use of a diabolical principle which allowed him to have three cards chosen, placed on the table and never touched again. A fourth card was introduced and then changed into the three cards on the table – one card transforming – away
from the deck.
This handling required nerves of steel and a controlled environment. Read Houdin’s book for more details, my cryptic preservation of secrets is important.
In the video, my handling allows me totally freedom and expression. The magic happens away from the deck in the spectators hands – it is beautiful.
There are no moves present, everything looks perfectly clean and gives a perfect illusion of impossibility.
There is not more I can say about this routine.
It is without question one of the greatest routines of all time.
It is in my all time top ten card classics.
Thanks for reading.