Show your audience a closed card case. Show that it has a hole through it from front to back.
Hand out a ribbon for examination and allow a spectator to thread it through the hole.
No illusion: The case and the deck are both strung on the ribbon, as the hole through the deck aligns with the hole through the case.
Remove the ribbon, open the case, and take out the deck in front of the spectators. Show that there’s nothing hidden in the case and give it out for examination, if you wish.
Show the deck on both sides. Aside from the hole through each card, it’s an ordinary deck.
A spectator freely chooses a card, let’s say the five of hearts.
The card, which can be signed, is lost in the deck, which is then cleanly replaced in its case.
Show everything from all sides. As the case is open, everyone can see the cards inside.
Now invite your spectator to thread the ribbon through the case with the cards inside.
Explain to your spectator that it is completely impossible to free any one card without damaging it or cutting the ribbon. This is so obvious, no one will contradict you.
With the case still open, and the spectator having a firm hold on the ends of the ribbon, the escape of any card would be totally impossible!
With your thumb and forefinger, you then gently pull out one card from the deck, then yank it free.
There you are with one card in hand – a lone, liberated card! You now show the card to your spectator – of course, it’s the five of hearts previously chosen!
How is this possible, since the hole through the five is still intact, with absolutely no damage?
The card seems to have passed through the ribbon by magic.
And yet, the ribbon still binds the rest of the cards in the deck! Remove the deck from the case and immediately pass it out for examination.
As your spectator can see, the ribbon still passes through all of the cards except for the one “escapee,” the five of hearts!