WHAT THE AUDIENCE SEES: The magician fans out his card pack so that the audience can see that he or she has an ordinary deck of cards.
Then, in front of the audience, the magician shuffles the cards.
Then, the magician takes the card off the top, without looking at it, and holds it up for the audience to see. Let's just say that the audience sees a queen of hearts.
Again without looking at it, the magician carefully places the card back on the deck. He advises the audience, "Now, do not take your eyes off the deck." The magician asks each of some of the audience to tap the top of the deck with their right index finger three times.
Finally the magician, holding the pack in the right hand, slides the top card off the top of the deck slightly with the right thumb, so that it can be easily lifted-up, and asks a member of the audience to lift it up and show it to everyone.
It's a 2 of spades! The queen of hearts is gone!
OKAY, WHAT HAPPENED TO THE QUEEN OF HEARTS? THE TRICK: The trick was accomplished at the beginning of the procedure, after "the magician shuffles the cards," when "the magician takes the card off the top."
The magican has to very carefully and invisibly take TWO cards off the top, the first and second, held firmly and invisibly together at their edges, so that when the cards are held up for the audience to see, all the audience sees is the face of the SECOND card.
When they are placed back on top of the deck, what the audience saw is automatically in second position, right?