Triumph is a plot well known to magicians who perform effects with playing cards. In Triumph, the magician
tells the tale of a gambler
who was skeptical of the magician's abilities, and challenges him to show a trick that the gambler can't figure out. The magician then tells how he had the gambler choose a playing card
, the identity of which is unknown to him. As he tells this, he has a spectator
pick a card. As the card is returned to the deck, he then tells of how the gambler demanded to shuffle the cards
while the magician's back was turned. The magician states that while he was turned away, the gambler turned half the cards face up and shuffled them into the face-down cards, mixing the deck
entirely. The magician does this to show how the deck is entirely disarrayed. The magician then tells of how he "triumphed" over the gambler by magically straightening out all the cards and finding the gambler's card all at the same time. So saying, the magician snaps his fingers
, and when he spreads out the deck, all the cards are face down again except for one in the very center, the spectator's chosen card.
This effect was devised by Dai Vernon many years ago, and despite the literally thousands of variants produced by magicians since then, his method still stands as one of the best.