A Really Good Trick Everyone Overlooks

By Joshua Jay - Sunday, January 17, 2021

Here’s a trick that never really became a bestseller, or inspired much “chatter” among magicians: “Risky Bet” by Henry Evans. I can’t think of a more compelling card “quickie.” You offer a wager to find a spectator’s card, and in so doing you display a twenty-dollar bill and tuck it under your shoe.

You then have a card selected and fail to find it, but when the spectator looks down, a playing card is now under your shoe, where the bill once was. It’s instantaneous. The mechanics are probably exactly what you would expect--and the effect is easy to do. But I’m just so intrigued with the plot, since the magic appears to happen at an impossible distance from your hands, the cards, and anywhere within your reach. The whole thing feels organic, too, since it uses space so rarely used in a magic performance: the floor.

This is a site full of magic for sale, and this blog isn’t about trying to sell you on another effect. I’m just so impressed with the this trick conceptually, and it has me thinking about other ways to use our space when we perform.

Reader comments:


Monday, 18 January 2021 03:47 AM - Reply to this comment

I guess I don't see what's organic about putting a twenty-dollar bill under your shoe. Where, when, or why does that become a logical action? So when something "magical" occurs, on some level doesn't the audience think, "Well.. he put the bill under his shoe...". They may never know the how but they intuitively know the why. But, Josh, you may see an inner logic or a setup that makes it all make sense. Care to share?


Thursday, 21 January 2021 20:07 PM - Reply to this comment

Can you list the reference to this trick? Thanks!


Thursday, 21 January 2021 20:22 PM - Reply to this comment

I forgot about this effect, but in rethinking about it it occurred to me there's a great opportunity here for a final phase of a 3 card monte routine where you pull out the money, not wanting to clutter the table you put it under your shoe. The monte card cannot be found, the other 2 cards are shown to be X cards too, and the monte card is under your shoe.


Thursday, 21 January 2021 21:26 PM - Reply to this comment

I remember when I've seen Henry Evans performing this trick during a lecture tour in France. I was obsessed with this trick. I don't buy so many tricks during lecture. Everybody else in the room wanted to buy "3D Advertising", "Daredevil deck" and other classics from Henry. I had only one trick in mind : Risky Bet.
The only thing I would like to add here : the gimmick itself is not that great. The euro version at least is pretty fragile, you have to be careful with it. But the effect is so strong, it's worth it.


Thursday, 21 January 2021 23:13 PM - Reply to this comment

This is a good one. While working one day at the magic shop. Bob Sheets came in and did this for us all, it killed. I seen it for at the shop for a while and never checked it out till that day. Needless to say we sold out that day, everyone who watched it bought one.
As for organic? Why not? You take it out of your wallet and propose a bet. It doesn't have to be under your foot, but it works best that way. Now I going to dig it out and play with it.


Saturday, 23 January 2021 01:15 AM

Funny, my first time seeing it was with Sheets too, at a bar in Philly


Thursday, 04 February 2021 03:46 AM - Reply to this comment

When strolling, a table is often unavailable. An easy and logical (organic) solution is to keep the wager under the shoe. The obvious distance and dead give away of bending over (or the avoidance of bending over) make for less possibility of any hanky panky. The great Ken Brooke found this under the shoe approach convenient for card switch routines. Probably a good indicator for magic potential.

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