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Now, one of the mentalism’s greatest “self-working” effects
has been simplified to the point where it really is
self-working ! One early reviewer referred to Mirabill as
“Miraskill minus the skill.”
“He told me to bring a deck of cards and we’d play a
friendly game. Never trust a man who calls a game friendly.”
I still can’t fathom how it happened. They were my cards. I
shuffled. I dealt. Yet somehow he still knew ahead of time
exactly how things would turn out.
If it had happened once I might have convinced myself he
just got lucky. But the second time destroyed any such
thoughts. How could he have known precisely how the cards
My every decision, the play of random cards, twists of fate
only Dame Fortune should have had a clue about; did he
foresee or control them?”
Stuart James Miraskill, first published in the September
1936 edition of The Jinx, has rightfully earned its place as
a classic effect of mentalism. It is one of the most famous
contributions to The Jinx and has certainly enjoyed its
share of attention and variations.
Though often hailed as “self-working” some sleight of hand
was required. Ingenious alternatives have been explored but
none quite like Mirabill.
The premise remains the same. The mentalist predicts how the
red and black cards will fall when dealt from a borrowed and
shuffled deck. And then, just to prove it wasn’t luck, does
it again with an entirely different and even more
There is no palming, no extra props, no sleights whatsoever
and Mirabill is totally impromptu and can be done with any
borrowed deck at any time. The entire effect takes place in
your guest’s hands and has been streamlined so it plays more
quickly and with even more punch than the original!
In addition The Twist is taught, pitting two guests against
one another in a unique way that drastically changes the
appearance of the game while maintaining all of the
advantages of Mirabill.
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“Bill has taken a modern classic and put some nice touches
into it. He’s made it into an ‘untouched’ routine… it all
happens in the spectator’s hands. It’s a kind of remote
viewing experiment with almost laboratory conditions. It’s
always the simple ideas like this one that become the true
— Greg Arce
“I’ve always avoided this effect because I felt that it was
too easy to explain and reason out. But in your
presentation, you have breathed new life into it and
rekindled my interest in it. This is a wonderful
modification, and is superbly written.”
— Tony Eye
The "Jheff's Judgment" column below is a brief summary of a longer, more detailed version. For the longer and more in-depth version, and to get news and information about other mentalism products, please visit the Marketplace of the Mind Forum or subscribe to the free newsletter.