Mind Reading For Two
A Derren Brown Trick

Mind reading for Two has been performed by Derren Brown on many occasions. The basis is this.. You invite two volunteers to help you.

The first volunteer cuts a deck of cards and removes one card, keeping it secret. The second volunteer takes the next card and similarly keeps it secret.

They are both asked to remember their chosen card. The deck is reassembled and the two cards replaced in different locations and the whole deck is shuffled.

You then begin dealing the cards face down on the table, stopping at one card. That card is moved to one side and the rest of the deck discarded. You pick up a notepad and write something on it.

You ask the first volunteer to name their card and you flip over the notepad revealing that you have written the name of their card. The second volunteer is invited to name their card and turn over the card on the table. It is also the card they chose. 

Mind reading for Two is a complicated routine and will require plenty of practice to get right. But the results are well worth the effort required.

For this effect you will need a deck of cards with a one way back. This means that the design on the back of the cards looks different if the card is turned upside down. 

The most obvious type of one way deck is one where the cards have a photograph or picture on the back. If you invert the card, the photograph is upside down.

This, however, would be too obvious for our purposes. You can buy one way backed cards from magic dealers, or you could make a small dot in the top left hand corner of each card in a normal deck, making sure to conceal the dot in the design.

Whichever method you use, you need to be able to see the orientation of the card without too much effort.

Put all the cards the same way up in a Si Stebbins stack, face down on the table in front of you. Stand between your two spectators and invite one spectator to cut the deck and place the top half to one side.

Mind reading for two Cont...

Generally, once the spectator has cut the cards, the top stack will be put down in the same orientation as the bottom.  If this is not carried out, you will need to make a mental note of this so that when you reassemble the deck, all of the cards are the same orientation.

Ask the first spectator to take the top card from the bottom stack and the second spectator to take the second. Then reassemble the deck and fan them out face down.  Slide the chosen card back into the deck after the spectator has remembered it.  After this has been carried out, you should turn through 180 degrees to face the second spectator and ask for the same procedure to be carried out.

By turning to face this spectator, you are effectively turning the deck through 180 degrees, so the spectator’s card is ‘upside down’ in relation to the rest of the deck when it is slid back in.

When you reassemble the deck to shuffle it, you have ample opportunity to glimpse at the bottom card.

Once you know the bottom card, you know the first spectator's card thanks to the Si Stebbins stack (add 3 and move to the next suit in the sequence).

You also know the second spectator’s card by again working out the next card in the stack.

Deal the cards face down onto the table until you reach the one that is ‘upside down’ and deal it to one side face down.

Pick up your notepad and write the name of the first spectator’s card. It then only remains for you to ask the spectators to call out what cards they chose and for you to turn over your notepad and the card on the table.

This effect relies upon good spectator management to ensure the cards retain their correct orientation.

Without good management the trick will fail, so pay attention at all times to the orientation of the cards.  And that is the Mind Reading for Two trick.. Enjoy !!

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