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Tossed Out Deck

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Tossed Out Deck is a mentalism effect in which a deck of cards, held together by a rubber band, is tossed out to the audience for them to peek at a random card. After three or more people have selected a card in this manner, the mentalist can name all the cards selected. It was known to be performed many times by Orson Welles.

The name comes for the effect published by David Hoy in The Bold and Subtle Miracles of Dr. Faust (1963). The deck that was needed for the effect came from the mind of Persi Diaconis, who worked it out for Hoy.

Hoy, however, in a letter to Pete Biro that was published in "The Reel Works" column for Genii 1979 May states "I used it in well over 100 shows before I ever met Persi Diaconis". He goes on to say he used a more "Bold & Subtle Approach" and went on to point out that he did not use (nor would he stoop to using) the kind of deck normally associated with this effect.

The psychological basis for this dates back to the General Card card plot.

One of the first "banded deck" peeking ideas can bee seen in the Sphinx, Vol. 7, December, 1908, page 136) ad for the "Peerless Monte Cristo Cards" by Henry Hardin (sold by DeLand). It states that you can, after showing all cards are different, allow you to put a rubber band around the deck, hand it to someone to pull it open at any place and "peep" at a card. The deck, however, could not be tossed or allowed to get that far away from you.

The real conceptual leap in Hoy's routine is the psychological ploy that creates conviction that multiple spectators are thinking of separate cards and that the performer correctly names each card.