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Brainwave Deck

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The Brainwave Deck is a Mechanical Deck created by Dai Vernon similar to the Invisible Deck but with an extra kicker. The deck is spread face-down and the named card is the only one that's face-up. As a second climax to the trick, this card is turned face-down and shown that its back color is different from that of the rest of the deck, thus proving that that the magician really did know what the spectator would say in advance and didn't just secretly turn the card over.

See also: Eight Card Brainwave.

History and Prior Art

Earlier decks that may have provided the foundation for this deck were Edward Bagshawe's Reverso Deck (1921) and his Optica Deck. Max Holden brought the Reverso Deck to the United States with some improvements and marketed it as Sympathetic Reversed Cards.

Judson Brown published A Super-Reverse Problem in the March, 1929 issue of Sphinx.

Dai Vernon published Brain Wave Deck in The Jinx No. 49, Oct. 1938, page 341 and later marketed in November 1938 using the rough and smooth principle. Dai Vernon gives Paul Fox credit for the red/blue idea in 1932.

Previously, Dai Vernon created a forcing deck in the mid-1930s and was dubbed the "Brainwave Deck" by Francis Carlyle, but later retitled the "Atomic Deck" by Faucett Ross in 1953.


  • Flash Cards by Ralph W. Hull (?).
  • * "The Cerebral Undulation With A Bent-Over Mexican From the Mysteries of Mister E" by Carl Langdon in Genii 1958 November (Brainwave effect where the odd-backed card is produced, then a card is named.)
  • Fred Lowe's "Super Brainwave Deck" (1969)
  • One Card Brainwave
  • Walter B. Gibson's Alternative Brain Wave (using Svengali principle rather then rough and smooth.
  • Oddity Deck by Ed Marlo
  • J. B. Bobo's Make Believe Deck and Mini Brainwave using miniature cards.
  • Potassy-Wave Deck by Paul Potassy

Effects using the deck

  • Twinkey by T. A. Waters