Thursday, January 15, 2009


This is an odd trick. You are at the pool table and decide to show a card trick. A pack of cards is spread over the table and one is chosen. It is replaced and the deck stood on a small block of wood, held there by a bulldog clip. The deck is then placed at one end of the table and you stand at the other, pool cue in hand. You aim the cue at one of the balls on the table then, POW! The ball shoots across the baize, strikes the deck and a card jumps right out. And yes, it is the selected card.

I saw this trick on an old piece of archive film when searching for footage of magic acts for a TV series. At that time I had no idea who the performer was but I’ve since discovered he was a trickshot billiards player by the name of Newman Mond. He wrote a booklet on trickshots entitled Tricks on the Billiard Table. You can see archive of this particular trick at the British Pathe website. Just search for Newman Mond. It’s a great trick and one that shouldn’t be forgotten.

The method is merely my supposition of what happened. Newman Mond had a gimmicked pair of cards in the deck with a piece of elastic stretched between them. This is an old gimmick used to work the rising card effect. David Devant described it in one of his books for the public and also an article in The Strand magazine in 1901.

When the selected card is replaced in the deck it goes into the gimmick and forces the elastic down around it. Usually you have to apply pressure to keep the card there but in this case the bulldog clip does the trick. It is of the large type, big enough to grip the narrow end of the deck in its jaws. And it is fixed to the top of a block of wood so that it will stand upright, jaws skyward and with the deck sitting in them. The handles of the jaws project at the front and rear of the wooden block.

When the cue ball is hit, it strikes the handle of the bulldog clip with enough force to momentarily open it. This releases pressure on the deck and the elastic causes the selected card to fly out. That’s pretty much it but it will take some experimenting to make up a gimmick that works well. If the bulldog clip is too strong, the jaws won’t open.

One of the things that struck me about the footage was the way Newman Mond casually spread the deck over the table so that a card could be selected. It seemed so open and without the usual telltale finesse of the magician. Of course, as television magicians know, an edit before the vital shot always helps.

If you are looking for a more subtle way of making the card rise from the deck, and one that will work with this routine, try my Angel Card Rise Plus.