Night Cap

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Please enjoy one of my favorite effects below.

It is called…………………………..

Night Cap

You are walking a friend, love interest, client etc. back to their hotel room and you offer to perform one last miracle.

You pull out your deck of cards and offer the deck to them. You both turn your backs while a card is selected by this important person. You turn back around and then with a little bit of by play you reveal the card they are thinking of. Due to the conditions and the “hands off” nature of the selection this is a very strong revelation. But it gets better…..

“Would you be even more amazed if the card you are thinking of just vanished from the deck and appeared in my wallet?” (Of course they would).

When the wallet is opened there is no card. Acting a little disappointed you announce “hmm I guess it will show up eventually, have a great night.”

You will get a phone call late that night or early in the morning letting you know how freaked out they are because the card was found in a sealed envelope in their locked hotel room!


Being a professional magician I am on the road a lot. I often find myself performing for people at resorts and hotels. So this is how it all came about.

Basically I find out what room they are in and load the card under their door when they are still at the event. If I can’t actually do it I will bribe a hotel worker to do it.


I have performed this impromptu! : )

This best situation is the card is already loaded by a third party and you perform the effect just outside the elevator as you wish them a good night. But if you can’t… is a gorilla style method that I have used and it kills.

Have a duplicate card that matches the top card of the deck in your pocket.

Hand them the deck and state that you should both turn around so there is no way you could possibly see what card they pick. (This is a perfect time to throw in a good false shuffle before handing them the deck.)

While your back is turned you simply walk them through the process of the Balducci Cut Deeper Force. But you have also positioned yourself in front of their hotel room door so while you are giving the directions you slide the duplicate card under their door while their back is turned!

Sneaky huh?

Now you will reveal the card they are thinking of. With a little showmanship this part can be VERY STRONG. Think about it. They have no idea how you could know the card. The cards were shuffled, they cut the deck twice to find a random card, you didn’t even TOUCH the cards, AND you had your back turned the entire time!

Don’t just tell them the card. Let them have it a piece at a time….the color, then suit, then the value…as if you are really reading their mind.

To vanish the card you can perform a Rub a Dub vanish from Expert card Technique, any color change, eat it, burn it etc. My favorite way is just subtlety.

The Attitude Vanish

I tell them that at my command their thought of card will vanish from the deck and appear in my wallet. I snap my fingers and then quickly run through the deck and casually show them their card has vanished. Since their card was on top I just perform a double lift turning the double face up hiding their selection. Grip the double in the right hand and then flip the rest of the deck face up with your left hand. Now spread through the deck keeping the selection hidden. This is so easy. It just takes a little acting and a lot of chutzpah.

Now go through the motions to reveal the card in your wallet but it isn’t there. Act as though you are not sure where it is but it will “show up somewhere”, bid them goodnight and leave.

That’s pretty much it! Almost self working and they will talk about it for years.

The Ed Balducci Cut Deeper Force

The force card is on top of the face down deck. Ask them to cut off a small portion of the cards and place them back onto the deck face up. Now ask them to cut deeper into the deck to another random spot and turn that entire portion over and back onto the remainder of the pack. Now ask them to spread through the cards coming to the first face down card they see. This will be their selection and your force card.


You could also use a torn corner if you wish but it isn’t really necessary. Obviously it is better if you are not around when they find the card so try and sneak off to the elevator or the stairs as fast as you can after the effect is over.

Paul Gertner was a big inspiration for this effect. Check out his salt shaker effect from his book Steel and Silver. Also special thanks to Michael Weber for inspiring me to think more about hotel magic.