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Wild Card

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Wild Card is a packet trick card routine. Eight cards of the same value are placed on the table, some face up and some face down. The magician then introduces the "wild card", which is different than the other eight. As the magician flips each card with the wild card, they change to the same value as the wild card.


The Wild Card concept began with Hofzinser's Everywhere and Nowhere ca.1857 in which he transforms a row of cards into duplicates of the chosen card using double-ended and duplicate cards.

The next step took place when Brother John Hamman published Mystic Nine in The Card Magic of Bro. John Hamman S.M. (1958) written by Paul LePaul. It used ten ungaffed cards.

Peter Kane published a new version which uses double-faced cards as Watch The Ace in Hugard's Magic Monthly (April 1962).

Bill Simon read the Kane effect and showed it to Lou Tannen one day at Tannen's Magic Shop shortly after it appeared. Lou asked Frank Garcia to work out a handling of the effect so Tannen could place it on the market--and this is how "Wild Card" was born. The Garcia handling is very different from Peter Kane's. Had Lou Tannen put "Based on Peter Kane's 'Watch the Ace'" on the instruction sheet, Garcia would have received the credit he deserved for his superior variation. Instead, the Garcia marketed handling carried no credit and Garcia was accused of stealing Peter Kane's trick. In fact, Garcia used only Kane's idea of doing the routine with double-faced cards.

Variations and publications