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NOVAK, The John Cornelius Card System (1st ed. 1980)


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1980 First edition of THE JOHN CORNELIUS CARD SYSTEM   5 page manuscript with cover, corner stapled.

Written by John Novak, this manuscript was one of the first "modern" full deck card set-up systems.  If you were like me and never had the time or patience, (or brain-strength) to learn all the mnemonic associations to learn the Nikola Card System, you jumped for joy when Cornelius somehow boiled a full deck system down to a few simple rules.    If you can remember the handful of rules (based on card values and suits), and do some relatively simple calculations in your head, you can know the position of any card in the deck. 

The deck appears to be in no apparent order when spread faceup on the table, so you can show the deck pretty freely.   The routine that is described is simple but very effective -- imagine opening like this:

You put your deck on the table and have a spectator cut off about 1/4 of the cards, then hold the packet to her chest so no one can see the card she cut to.  Have another spectator cut off another packet, and hold that packet to his chest, concealing the face card.  And again, have another spectator do the same.    You ask them to each look at their face card -- the card the freely cut to -- and remember it.   Then ask them to shuffle their packets.   You take the shuffled packet from one spectator and fan it toward yourself, removing one card, and placing it facedown on the table.   Take the next shuffled packet from the next spectator -- again you remove a card and place it in front of the spectator facedown.  Finally, you take the final packet, remove a card for  that spectator.   The three spectators name their cards and they turn over the cards on the table.  They are all correct.

NOTE:  nobody names their card until all three cards are placed on the table. The cards are placed SEPARATELY, each in front of the corresponding spectator.  In other words, you are actually finding each spectator's card in the packet they shuffled.    No funny moves or switches.    BONUS: in the end the deck is completely shuffled in case anyone suspected a stack!

That is just one of the possible effects, once you have mastered the Cornelius Card System.   There have been many card systems since, but the Cornelius system remains one of the best.

CONDITION NOTES:  this is from new-old dealer inventory, so it is not previously owned -- very clean with no marks or torn pages, etc.  There is some price sticker residue/damage on the back cover.


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