Chicago Opener, also known as Red Hot Mama, is a card routine in which the back of a freely selected card changes color (e.g. from blue to red) and is set aside. A second card is selected and the red-backed card is seen to have transformed into the second selection.
The first published version was the Hot Card Trick No. 1 by Al Leech, marketed in 1950 by The Ireland Magic Company, and then made popular by Frank Everhart as Chicago Opener when published by Frank Garcia in Million Dollar Card Secrets (1972).
Michael Ammar notes that this routine meets Dai Vernon's criterion for clarity of effect in the two simple transformations. Whit Haydn notes that the blending of two methods to achieve the same effect (in this case the transformation of a card) increases the mystery and impossibility.
- Hot Card Trick No. 1 by Al Leech. Trick marketed in 1950 by The Ireland Magic Company.
- Red and Blue Fantasy in What's New in Magic? by Walter Gibson (1956)
- Chicago Opener by Frank Everhart in Million Dollar Card Secrets by Frank Garcia (1972).
- Al Leech's Red Hot Mama by Jim Ryan in Jim Ryan Close-up: Entertaining Card Quickies written by Philip Willmarth (1980)
- Red Hot Mama by Michael Ammar in DVD Easy to Master Card Miracles, Vol. 1 (1994).
- The Chicago Surprise by Whit Haydn (2000).
- Reprint of the original by Al Leech in A Last Look at Leech (2004) compiled by Anthony Brahams.