There was an interesting post on the Magic Cafe regarding methods for The Open Prediction. For those of you unfamiliar with this card problem, it was first proposed by magician Paul Curry. The basic idea is that the performer names (read: predicts) a card at the outset. The participant deals cards face up onto the table and at any point of their choosing sets one card face down. The rest of the cards are dealt to find that the originally named card has not yet appeared. Of course, it turns out to be the card that the spectator set aside earlier.

Stewart James later published a very strict set of conditions pertaining to this card problem. The full set of conditions as well as additional background information can be found here.

The matter at hand, however, involves a book called “The Open Prediction Project” (OPP) edited by Thomas Baxter and containing effects from dozens of contributors. As a fan of this card plot, what I particularly enjoy about the book is the variety of methods and presentational angles employed.

The discussion on the Magic Cafe was confined to impromptu, non-gaffed methods to achieve the Open Prediction effect. If I were to do this effect on camera, normally I would use whatever method was cleanest given the medium. However, if forced to confine myself to impromptu methods there are three that I routinely rely on.

My favorite method is an adapted handling of one of the effects from the OPP. The method can be found on page 161 of the eBook. I do not know if the page layout is the same in the hard copy book as I do not own it.

When handed a deck of cards and asked to perform something, this is one of a very small group of effects that is likely to be offered. Normally, I write the prediction on a piece of paper instead of using cards from another deck. It’s effective either way. Also, my typical scripting for this effect was ruined by my slightly-less-than-sober state. Regardless, hope you enjoy it.

This is another impromptu handling of the Open Prediction. This was based on a couple of methods from the OPP. Later, I discovered that this is the EXACT method described in Ibidem #3, method 34. Won’t generally fool magicians but it really does work in the real world outside the confines of video. Hate the way the video turned out but it generally shows the effect. Again, 100% impromptu. All you need is a deck of cards and pen and paper (once again I used an odd-backed playing card as a prediction but I typically write it down).