Card Tricks: Circus Trick & Second Deal in Con Games

Explore Eddie Fields' 1940s Chicago card tricks, including the Circus Card Trick, and learn the secrets behind his con game techniques.
Card Tricks

Card tricks have long been a popular form of entertainment, often used to amaze and delight audiences. However, they have also been employed as a means to con people out of their money. In this article, we will explore a clever card trick and how it can be used to hustle unsuspecting victims.

The trick, known as The Circus Card Trick, was famously performed by Eddie Fields and his partner in Chicago during the 1940s. Eddie would enter a bar and establish himself as a loud and friendly character, engaging fellow drinkers with simple card tricks and encouraging some friendly gambling. His partner would then arrive and secretly signal Eddie when the time was right to pull off the hustle.

The trick involves two black aces. Eddie would have his secret partner choose a card, and by the end of the trick, his partner would have lost a significant amount of money. The partner would then accuse Eddie of cheating, and several others would join in the call to kick him out. To appease the crowd, Eddie would offer to teach them how the trick works.

Setting up the trick

Eddie would hand the deck of cards to an onlooker and ask them to take out the two black aces. He would then cut the deck, show one black ace, and place it on top of the lower half. Next, he would show the second black ace and place it onto the first ace. The top half of the deck would be replaced, and Eddie would give the deck a single cut, explaining that no matter how many times the deck is cut, the two black aces will always be together.

The deck would then be handed to someone else to give a couple of cuts. Eddie would begin dealing cards face-up until the first black ace appeared, confidently stating that the next card would be the other black ace. However, no one would take his bet, so he would reveal the second black ace in his hand.

The hustle

At this point, Eddie’s partner would take control, asking Eddie to demonstrate the trick one more time, pretending to be confused about how it works. Eddie would repeat the same actions, placing the first ace onto the face-down half and showing the second ace to the crowd. As Eddie was seemingly distracted, his partner would reach over, cut a small packet from the upper pile, and place it onto the ace pile, burying the first black ace.

Unaware of his partner’s actions, Eddie would place the second ace face-down onto the first, and the top half of the deck would be placed onto the lower half, seemingly losing the aces in the middle. The crowd would believe that Eddie was about to be taken for a ride.

Eddie would have the deck cut several times and begin dealing cards face-up until the first ace appeared. He would then hold out the next card, repeating his claim that no matter how many cuts are made, the next card must be the other ace. His partner would then ask, “How much will YOU bet?” This was the moment they had both been working towards.

Sealing the deal

Eddie would pull a wad of cash from his sock and ask if his partner could match the bet. Unable to do so, his partner would back down. At this point, several people in the crowd would offer to match Eddie’s bet, certain they would win since they saw the partner place several cards between the black aces.

The secret to the trick lies in a simple card sleight called “The Glide” or a technique called the “second deal.” These methods allow the hustler to bring both aces back together, right under the noses of the unsuspecting crowd.

Once the hustler deals the second ace, the other black ace is already waiting on top. To the crowd, it seems impossible for the aces to still be together. All the hustler needs to do is follow Eddie’s lead, play the crowd, and wait for someone to cover their bet, which they inevitably do every time.

In conclusion, card tricks can be an entertaining way to amaze others, but they can also be used to hustle people out of their money. This simple card trick involving two black aces can be easily executed with some practice and used to make a quick profit. Just remember to play your audience well and use your skills to work the crowd.