This is a post for people who have John Bannon's book Destination Zero or his new DVD/download Move Zero (Volume 2), it won't make sense if you don't. I, like everyone, think that Bannon is a brilliant thinker and creator of effects. There is an trick that can be found in that book and on that download called AK-47. This effect is in keeping with that brilliance he is known for. A spectator shuffles a deck of cards and then thinks of any card in the deck. With hardly any process you are able to show you know what card they were thinking of. It's great.
But... I never did it because it had one of my least favorite forms of equivoque in it.
"It's not a black card, is it?"
I've gone into the specifics of why I don't like this kind of equivoque here. But basically my rationale is that it sounds equivocal. It doesn't sound like a definitive statement. And that's exactly what you don't want at the moment you're making the claim to know something you couldn't know.
This sort of equivoque usually gets a laugh, because it sounds like a joke. It doesn't sound like someone who knows what they're claiming to know.
Anyway, I've worked that line out of the effect and now you can too. The statement I've substituted in is one that will be completely correct or be seen as a bit of a joke, but it will never be seen as you fishing for information.
Here's how it works. You're at the point where you've just put the card down in front of the spectator.
You say: "I think it's pretty obvious. You're thinking of a black card."
Path A: If they say, "yes," you've just nailed the color of a freely thought of card with no questions and you can complete the effect as in the original by determining their card without asking a single question. This replaces a potentially weak spot in the original where it might feel like you're guessing the color and then you have to go back to the deck and swap your prediction card.
Path B: If they say, "no," you say this, "Aww, jeeze. What a blunder. I should be embarrassed. " And you hang your head in a phony, overly dramatic/dejected way. "But I'm not," you say, and slowly lift your head. "Because I know something you don't know." Then you smile, lean in and say softly, "I'm not thinking of a black card either." With the tip of your finger you tap the back of the card on the table.
You see? Now you can complete the effect from there and it doesn't come off as a "miss." It comes off as a bit of showmanship to add drama to things. It couldn't possibly be a miss because you say this after you've already committed to the card on the table and that card never leaves their sight. So clearly you're just toying with them.
In fact, Path B is similar structurally to a lot of moments we intentionally include in our magic. We act like we're wrong when really our isolated prediction indicates we're right.
If you have no problem with the statement, "It wasn't a black card, was it?" If you think that comes off as a "hit," then you might not feel this is a significant change. But in my opinion, it's a big improvement and eliminates the weak part of an otherwise strong trick. This is an example of the 3rd Wave equivoque style (as delineated on this site and in the book) where it's based on seemingly definitive statements rather than unclear words or actions, and the two paths you follow are not complements to each other (so one path doesn't immediately suggest the other).