Subtle Scam


Subtle Scam is the following routine:

The performer announces that he wants to perform two classic effects with a deck of playing card: ACAAN and Think of card.

In order to do this, he asks the first spectator to name any card and any number and another one to shuffle a borrowed deck of card. When the second spectator finishes to shuffle the deck, the performer instructs the spectator to see through the deck and to think of one of them.

Now the performer asks the first spectator to take the deck and to count as many cards as his named number. At named number will be the named card.

After the ACAAN part the magician takes the deck and spread it on the table. He asks the second spectator to see the location of her card until he turns his face away. Then in a classic manner the performer divines correctly the card thought of.

This method works without any stooges or pre-show and with any deck.

Bonus effect


This is just a simple hands-off Open Prediction effect.

The effect is this:

The performer asks the spectator to shuffe a borrowed deck of card and then he makes a prediction openly. Now, with a random process, a number is selected. The performer instructs the spectator to deal face-up the cards and to put the card at selected number face-down and to continue to deal all cards face-up.

The only card face-down will be the prediction.


A borrowed deck of cards is shuffled by the spectator. A card is freely selected (Free choice: AD) and lost in the middle of the deck using some cuts and also via a quick shuffle. At this point the magician asks the spectator to look through the deck and to select some cards (For example the spectator selects the 3S, 10C, 9S ). The magician asks the spectator to add the value of these 3 cards together: 3+10+9= 22 and this value will be the correct position of his card in the deck.


A borrowed deck of cards never touched by the magician is shuffled. The magician writes on a business card a prediction and then he places it on table in full sight.

Now the magician asks the spectator to name out loud any number between 1 and 52 and then he explains the spectator a method to select randomly a card looking through the deck.

When the spectator completes the task, the magician asks him to name out loud his card: 3 of Diamonds and to read the prediction: "I predict that the selected card will be the 3 of Diamonds and this card will be at named number by spectator as position in the deck"

The spectator count at named number and his card will be there.

This effect works impromptu and it is 100% hands off... It works always without pre-show or stooges or multiple outs.


This effect is similar at Subtle Scam, but in ACAAN part the spectator doesn't name anything.


Imagine you are able to perform a super clean double ACAAN like effect. You place the deck onto the table and then 2 cards and 2 numbers are named. Without you touch ever the deck, 2 matches will be found at named numbers.


This version is a very practical impromptu ACAAN. It is also super clean
and direct (You shuffle a deck of cards and hand it the spectator. Now, you ask the spectator to name card and number and to count face-up the cards and his card will be at named number ) . The spectator can change mind or to shuffle the deck until he deals the cards.


This version looks like a magic ritual. It is an easy and impromptu hands-off ACAAN.


With this routine I teach you how to build, step by step, a perfect ACAAN using the Subtle Scam idea.


This is revisited version of Subtle Scam.


Game Over variant 

Top Open Prediction and Tripe Open Prediction

This a way to perform the classic Open Prediction effect.

The Failed Routine

A routine goes wrong to recovery the failure you will
perform a perfect ACAAN

Dark edition


"Truly inspiring."
-- Ben Harris

"If you are a serious student of card magic and love to delve into the intricacies of one of card magic's greatest plots - the ACAAN - then Tommaso Guglielmi's SUBTLE SCAM was written JUST FOR YOU."

-- Vlad, Magic Cafe

"Not using your ACAAN effect anymore?" " Now you can 'scam' your spectators with "Subtle Scam!"

--SIXTEN, Magic Cafe

"Having been a keen follower of the ACAAN plot for a number of years, I was fortunate to befriend Tommy Gugliemi who shares the same passion and is almost obsessed by the plot, this is not necessarily a bad thing as he has shared some of the most ingenious handling's I have ever seen, many completely hands off and impromptu. One handling that stands head and shoulders above the rest is Subtle Scam, this is without a doubt from the mind of one who has sold his soul. I have performed this and its variants over the last year or so to various members of the public and to magician friends, all have been badly burned.....has Tommy found the holy grail that many have been chasing (?) I don't know, not even sure if it exists, but if it does this has to be a contender!"

--David Gemmell

Professional Magician / Author

"All of Tommy's thinking re: ACAAN and Open Prediction are worth studying, and Subtle Scam gives you a clean, practical method that is very direct. It'll be interesting to follow the continuing evolution of Tommy's card explorations".

-- T. Baxter

"I have watched this project grow over a period of time. Tommy's smart thinking caught my attention immediately, and this - the final product is one great collection of clever ideas and subtle approaches to the popular CAAN and ACAAN plot. Subtle Scam is essential reading for anyone remotely interested in this thought provoking card problem."

-- Peter Duffie

"A terrific PDF chock full of creative ideas for the ACAAN effect. I'm already working on my own version based on some of these concepts!"

-- Cameron Francis

"Tommy has some really great ways of approaching the Any Card At Any Number problem. His thinking is always very clever and original. If you are an ACAAN fan then you'll enjoy reading and performing his ideas."

-- Marc Paul


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