I think I’m an idiot…when he says four piles, does he mean four total or four with matches?
Four total. Each pile (with the leftovers that you continue to count) will have 11 cards in it (including the “cap” on the unmatched piles), ending with your special card.
I just got my Ellusionist Black Ghost cards in the mail and tried the trick with my kids. We decided we needed a story to accompany the action and they’re dictating as I type (editing on the fly). We came up with this slight variation that required adding the joker. Just make sure that the joker is the 45th card down. In brief: Gotham City went quiet when the joker and his 9 henchmen [show joker and count out the henchmen] went underground to plot their next big caper [place the 10 cards beneath the deck, joker on top]. Commissioner Gordon knew they were up to something and needed the help of his pal Albert Einstein. Einstein leads the police to 4 seedy bars, one at a time, and speaks in code to possible informants, asking them 10? 9? 8? … After the 4th bar, Einstein says, “I know how to find the Joker”. [Let’s say of the 4 piles, a 9 and 3 are showing]. “He will be arriving on the 9:03 from Stamford, the 9+3=12th passenger from the train…”, etc. The kids are annoyed that I’m not typing exactly as they dictated and every time they say “Batman” I type “Einstein”.
unless you “matched” during your countdown.
example: I am counting down and flipping cards “10, 9, 8, 7” and as I say seven, I draw a seven. At this point I have a complete pile with a seven on top. that is one pile, and I begin a new countdown, with a new pile.
I do this four times in total. Just now, I completed the trick and finished with two piles that matched with 7, one with an 8, and one with no match, so that pile received a cap. I now count down through the remaining deck 22 cards (7+7+8). My card is the 22nd.
Even if you “match,” you’re just finishing your 11 later. If you match on the 7, you’ve dealt 4 cards (10-9-8-7), plus the 7 that you’ll deal later (because you’re showing a 7 on this pile). Because you’re always doubling up the number you match on, that always sums to 11, just like the capped pile.
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