Make your own free website on
Gardner, Martin: Martin Gardner's Table Magic
©1998 Martin Gardner, Published by Dover Publications, Inc.
ISBN 048640403X
Paper, perfect-bound, 133 pages
Martin Gardner's Table Magic
Image from Magicref

Comments: Includes selections from Match-ic (1946), 12 Tricks With a Borrowed Deck (1940), After the Dessert (1941), Cut the Cards (1942), and Over the Coffee Cups (1949), as well as a few new routines. Some of the original diagrams seems to be missing, though in most cases you can probably figure out what is being described.


vi Introduction: Martin Gardner, Henersonville, N.C. 1998

1 Part 1: Cards

1 Erdnase In-Jog Shuffle
2 Improved Topsy-Turvy Deck (principle by Sid Lorraine): Deck is mixed face up and face down in a "slop shuffle", yet corrects itself with the exception of up to three selections
7 Face To Face Fantasy (basic move by Tenkai): deck is cut in half and placed face to face, yet instantly rights itself with the exception of the selection
11 Double-Climax Speller: a spelling effect
13 Never-Miss Stop Effect: uses a setup
14 Big Casino Countdown: card is inserted into the deck reversed that helps magician find the selection
16 Six-of-Spades Countdown: as above, using seventeen rather than nine cards
18 Two Piles and Subtract: Variation of an effect by Paul Rossini. A selection is found from a pile chosen by a spectator
20 Eye-Pop Routine: two selections instantly reverse themselves in the center of the deck, then jump to the top!
21 Sympathetic Decks: card chosen from each of two decks turns out to be the same
24 Vanishing and Reappearing Card: selection vanishes and reappears
26 Improved Lie Speller: Lie detector & spelling plot
28 Do As I Do: a Do As I Do plot
30 A Close Fit (Bert Allerton): optical illusion!
31 The Unconfused Joker: Joker helps you find a selection
32 Double Vanish and Recovery (Ed Marlo): Two selections are rubbed together and vanish, and are discovered elsewhere
34 Naming the Cut Card: almost a gag
34 Use Your Head: selection ends up on your forehead
35 The Surprised Gambler: gambling demo with surprise finish
36 Paper-Clip Discovery (with Bob Hummer): the chosen cards become clipped together along with a note prediction
38 Vanish and Spell: selection vanishes and is then spelled to
39 Deck Through Handkerchief: first selection rises through the handkerchief, then the 2nd is supposed to, but the deck falls through instead, leaving the 2nd selection still in the handkerchief
42 Swizzle-Stick Cipher: uses a clear rod swizzle stick to decode your prediction
43 A New False Cut: as titled
44 A Miracle - Maybe (Joe Berg): a trick that could end up as a miracle if things work out right
46 A Face-to-Face Routine: another use for the Tenkai face-to-face move
46 Tack-It (Johnny Paul): card on the wall from the card case
48 Uniformed Services: find three souvenir decks for this one, one each card with a photo of a soldier, a sailor or battleship, and an aviator or military airplane
49 Curious Card Vanish: Card vanishes from under handkerchief and is found reversed in the deck
52 X-Ray Touch: by merely touching the tabled card, magician can determine its value
53 Rotating Knife: a knife & fork combo is spun to help find the selection

54 Part 2: Matches

54 Wooden Matches
54 Magnetized Matches: matches don't fall out of box until commanded
54 Escapo (Tom Seller): a single match escapes from the box
55 Striking En Passant: a juggling feat
55 Matchbox Monte: audience can't find the half filled matchbox
55 Match and Handkerchief: match is placed in handkerchief, broken, and restored
56 Another Method: to fool those who know the first method
56 Still Another Method: yet another
56 And Still Another: and another
56 Electric Match: one match jumps when touched by another
57 Invisible Hair: using an invisible hear, the burnt portion of a match flies off
57 Blowing Through the Sleeves: lit match is blown out
57 Vanishing Penny: a spinning penny on a plate vanishes when struck by a matchbox and appears under the plate
57 Fly-Apart Matches: two matches move away from your finger
57 Odd and Even: match piles should be even number, but are not
58 Tramps and Geese: old effect using matches instead of coins
58 Which Hand?: a sort of sponge ball move with matches
59 Penetrating Matches: linking/unlinking matches
60 Three Heaps: without looking, magician directs pile of matches to result in a chosen number
60 Three Match Heads: two in the hand, one in the pocket
61 Match That Lights Twice: as titled!
61 Musical Fork: fork used as a tuning fork
61 Acrobatic Box: matchbox moves strangely on the back of your hand
62 Matches Through Table: matches from box penetrate table top
62 Mysterious Mark: mark on back of hand joins mark on palm to form a cross
63 Contrary Matchbox (Tom Boyer): topsy turvy bottles with matchboxes
64 Shooting the Match (J.B. Ward): a match shooting stunt
64 Lighting a Match Twice: various methods

65 Paper Matches
65 Light From the Wrong End: lighting a match from the bottom end
66 Smoke from Nowhere: smoke from your nose
66 Folder and String: ring & string trick using a matchbook instead of the ring
66 Reappearing Matches: matches are torn from the book and then reappear
66 Divination: magician divines the name on a matchbook
67 Parlor Mind Reading: magician can determine which matchbook had a match removed
67 One to Ten: a number is called, a match is lit, and the number called appears on the match
67 Removable Heads: features the slide move
68 Match-Head Amputation: torn and restored match head
68 Doc Zola's Magnet Routine: a cleverly gimmicked matchbook
70 Match Penetration 1: at the fingertips
71 Match Penetration 2: another version
71 Floating Match: lit match apparently floats behind folded hands
72 Folder Mathematics: a mathematical trick
73 Color Changing Heads: impromptu

74 Science, Jokes, Catches
74 Iron Match: lit cigarette hits with a clang
74 Lighted Match From Box
74 Smash It: spectator can't smash the match box
74 Match Munition: flying lit match
75 No Light: spectator doesn't get a light
75 Humming Match: makes a sound
75 Strength Tester: can't break a match
75 Walking Match: bent match walks on a knife
75 Vanishing Matches: you take out a match for yourself, showing the pack full, then hand to your friend and the matches are gone!
76 Pop-Up: match box opens with match popped up
76 Match-Head Submarines: Cartesian divers
76 Prolonged Kiss: a cute match burning
76 Light for Two: one match becomes two
76 Roly-Poly Box: matchbook does a somersault
77 Trick Cigar: flaring cigar
77 Rising Matchbox: matchbox on back of hand rises a bit
77 Automatic Light: match lights as spectator grabs it
77 Oversize: paper match to wooden match
77 Striking Safety Matches Without the Box: how to do it
78 Cover Change: color change for a matchbook
78 Chin Penetration: match penetrates into the mouth
78 Rocket Matches: make them fly!
79 Match-Folder Wager: bet spectator can't light all 20 matches with one strike each
79 The Nazi Cross: a joke
79 Mike and Ike: another Cartesian diver
80 The Three Bears: a joke
80 Grasshopper Matches: make them hop!
81 Blowing Out the Match: four ways
82 Match, Nickel, and Glass: a puzzle
82 Glass and Check: another puzzle
83 Happy Birthday: practical joke
83 Have a Light: a clever way to present a light
83 Kiddie Kar: another practical joke
84 Cross of Pepper: draw a cross in pepper

84 Puzzles
84 Perfect Square
85 Star
85 What Happens
86 Drop It
86 Crosses
86 Match, Tumblers, and Salt Shaker
87 Linked Hands
87 Puzzle Lift
88 Puzzle Split
88 Three-Match Puzzle
88 Easy When You Know It

89 Three New Puzzles
89 Reverse the Fish
89 Remove the Olive
89 Don't Disturb the Giraffe

91 Part 3: Coins and Bills

91 Vanishing Coin: at a table
92 The Curious Fold: bill turns upside down when folded
92 Sixteen-Coin Puzzle: a challenge
93 Two Stunts with a Dime: two betcha's
93 Spinning the Half-Dollar: without touching it
93 Sucker Bet: a practical joke
94 Penny Puzzle: how many letters?
94 Try This on Your Ham Sandwich: a coin vanishes and appears in your ham sandwich
95 Coin Through the Plate: a coin is wrapped in paper and set on a plate; the paper is set fire, and the coin penetrates the plate into the glass below
95 Testing a Half Dollar (Matt Schulien, Dorny): a comedy bit
96 Berland's Vanishing Bill (Sam Berland): two bills are folded and then unfolded, wherein one of the bills vanishes!
97 Mushroom, Key, and States: a clever bill fold, though not likely workable with all the new dollars
97 Valuable Paper Wad: folding a five-dollar bill so it looks blank
98 Indestructible Bill: bill is truly set alight without harm
98 Paper to Bill (Milbourne Christopher): a paper ball changes into a bill
99 Vanishing Creamer: a bill is wrapped around a small creamer, tapped with a pencil, and the creamer vanishes
99 Striking a Match on a Bill: a stunt
99 Lincoln on Top: a no-lose proposition with a fiver
100 Linked Paper Clips: paper clips link when a folded bill is opened
100 Put George to Sleep: an optical illusion with a folded one dollar bill
100 Balanced Half-Dollar: how to balance a coin on the folded edge of a bill
101 Support a Glass: a third glass can be supported by a bill placed across two other glasses
101 How Many Eyes?: a gag
101 Psychic Moter: a folded dollar is balanced on a paperclip and seems to rotate on its own
102 Change to a Five: a gag
102 Blow it Over: challenge the spectator to blow a folded bill over, then show how it's done

103 Part 4: Common Objects

103 Sugar Cubes
103 Cube Levitation: one cube sticks to another
104 Steady Hands: stunt to lift some cubes with them falling
104 Five Cube Pickup: another stunt
104 Mysterious Initials (Dorny): some variations on the old initial transfer from sugar cube to spectator's hand
105 Sugar Penetration (Larry Arcuri): cube penetrates out of the wrapper and through the hand into the coffee
106 Hand to Hand: sugar cubes across
106 Cubes, Papers, and Coin: another stunt/challenge

107 Silverware
107 Bending the Spoon: a gag with cheap silverware
107 Swallowing the Knife (originally from Sach's Sleight of Hand): knife is apparently swallowed without harm
108 Table Knife Through Body (Laurie Ireland): knife wrapped in handkerchief is stabbed through the spectator
109 Breaking the Spoon: after a bending illusion, the spoon is "snapped" and vanishes
110 Balancing Knife and Spoon: a stunt
110 Catching the Salt (Walter Price): a trick with the paddle move
111 Cross of Knives: interesting challenge
111 Diver in the Spoon (Abril Lamarque, Bert Easely): an optical illusion and a jumping spoon
112 The Musical Knife: old stunt
113 Spoon to Knife: a spoon is rolled into a napkin, and when unrolled, it has turned into a knife!

113 Glasses
113 I.Q. Test: how to remove inverted glass of water from table?
114 Brim to Brim: two puzzles
114 Problem of the Six Glasses: another puzzle
115 The Pyramid: table juggling
115 Penny Game: a game for smokers with a clever finish

116 Napkins and Handkerchiefs
116 Phantom Napkin: objects placed in the well of a napkin fall through, yet when pulled slowly out, it is seen the well is in the middle of the napkin, with no hole!
117 Saucy Old Woman: a puppet
118 Stretching the Napkin: to almost twice its length
118 Lemon Bug: a twisted napkin rolls across the table in a strange way
119 Character Reading from the Teeth: a gag
119 Improvised Brassiere: a napkin fold
120 Handkerchief Escape: penetrates spectator's finger
121 The Invisible Hair: the end of a handkerchief seems to move as controlled by an invisible hair
121 Ring Vanish: from under a handkerchief
122 Vanishing Salt Shaker: on table under handkerchief
123 Pull Apart Napkins: penetrate each other

123 Miscellaneous
123 Crazy Crackers (Val Evans, Lloyd Jones): a line drawn on a cracker seems to change directions in impossible ways
125 Schoke's Wise Cracker (Chick Schoke): a gag betcha
125 Thumb-Tip Quickie (Stanley Collins): an old illusion "enhanced" with a thumb tip
125 The Sailor and the Doughnut: a joke
126 Up the Scale: a comedy bit with a straw whistle
126 Financial Spectacles: another comedy bit
126 Mental Prediction: some predictions based on a bit of chance
127 More Prediction: variation on Grey Elephant in Denmark
127 The Fifty Sponge Balls (Matt Schulien): sponge ball climax
128 Swizzle Stick Stunts: with reverse print
128 Kunckle Popping: a gross stunt
129 Traveling Fountain Pen: pen travels from your pocket to the spectator's
129 Vanishing Coffee Steam: confederate
129 Stirring-Stick Movies: make a mini movie
130 Catching the Check: a betcha
131 Tapping Table Objects: a self working mathematical mental routine
131 Between the Teeth: a gag
132 Flapping Paper: use for the flapping bird paper fold from Houdini's Paper Magic (available on-line)
133 Penetrating Rubber Band (Ken Kuroki): rubber band appears on finger even though held by spectator