Dai Vernon - Ultimate Secrets of Card Magic
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ULTIMATE SECRETS OF CARD MAGIC LEWIS GANSON PHOTOGRAPHS by STEVE YOUNG and LEWIS GANSON LINE DRAWINGS by DENNIS PATTEN
L & L Publishing thanks Excalibur Promotions Limited of Supreme House Bideford Devon EX 39 3YA England for granting permission for the material in this book to be reproduced. The exclusive distribution rights for this title in the United Kingdom and Europe have been granted to Excalibur Promotions Limited, Supreme House, Bideford, North Devon, EX 39 3YA, England. © Copyright L & L Publishing 1995. All rights reserved. Note: The copyright of the material in this book reverts to Excalibur Promotions Limited 30.5.2014.
CHAPTER 1. STARTING RIGHT
SECTION ONE - CARD EFFECTS CHAPTER 2. CHAPTER 3. CHAPTER 4. CHAPTERS. CHAPTER 6. CHAPTER 7. CHAPTER 8. CHAPTER 9. CHAPTER 10. CHAPTER 11. CHAPTER 12. CHAPTER 13. CHAPTER 14. CHAPTER 15. CHAPTER 16. CHAPTER 17.
MATCHED SPELLOUT THE PERFECT CIRCLE OF CARDS "SECRETS" "DO AS I DO" BLACK AND RED PUZZLE MENTAL SPELL TEN GIVES THREE THE MAGIC OF LARRY JENNINGS
13 17 21 23 27 31 35
LARREVERSE GAMBLER'S TRIUMPH THE CHANGING OF THE GUARD MONARCHS1 QUARTETTE LES CARTES DIACONIS RUNNING THE SCALE PURE MATHEMATICS SLOW MOTION CARD VANISH
47 53 59 65 69 73 75 77
SECTION TWO- CARD SLEIGHTS AND MOVES CHAPTER 18. VERNON ON THE PASS Standard Pass The Black Pass Location Pass Sprong'sPass Fan Pass Transformation ..
84 86 87 88 ... 89
CHAPTER 19. VERNON ON TABLE PASSES First Method Second Method Mexican Joe's Table Pass Charlie Miller's Table Pass
91 92 93 94
CHAPTER 20. AFTER PEEKING Pressure Fan Spread Location Shuffle to Top Double Peek Control Three Break Control Multiple Peek Control Transferring the Break Spectator Finds His Own Card Adaption of Greek Break
96 97 98 99 100 101 101 102 103
CHAPTER 21. ONE HANDED SHUFFLES Benzon's Shuffle Vernon's Shuffle..
CHAPTER 22. CARD PLACEMENT Vernon's Placement John McCormick's Penetration
CHAPTER 23. HANDLING A SHORT CARD The Short Card Locating a Short Card The Corner Short Vernon's Method of Handling
Ill Ill 112 112
CHAPTER 24. MAGIC CASTLE MOVES All Around Square Up Jennings' Top Palm Key Card Placement Small Packet Glide Rooklyn Top Palm
115 117 118 119 120
CHAPTER 25. MORE USEFUL SLEIGHTS & MOVES Single Shuffle Control Spreading Six Cards as Five Key Card Location Cold Deck Cut
123 123 124 125
CHAPTER 26. TWO SLEIGHTS BY DR. ELLIOTT Bottom Deal Favourite Break Control
SECTION THREE- FRIENDS OF DAI VERNON CHAPTER 27. MAGIC FROM BRITAIN Slippery Aces Double Prediction Face Your Brothers Last Word Four Aces The Innocent Cheat Thought of Card Across Fellow Travellers
Jack Avis Alex Elmsley Alex Elmsley Francis Haxton Fred Lowe Peter Warlock Roy Walton
135 139 141 143 146 149 153
Ross Bertram Ross Bertram
Fred Kaps Rink Eddie Taytelbaum Eddie Taytelbaum
161 165 167 171
Dai Vernon Vernon-Ross-Lambert .. Hubert Lambert
173 176 176
CHAPTER 28. MAGIC FROM CANADA Pivot Change Bottom Steal & Recovery
CHAPTER 29. MAGIC FROM HOLLAND The Three Jokers Ups and Downs Find the Ace Infallible Force
CHAPTER 30. MAGIC FROM IRELAND Yemen's Variant Emerald Isle Aces Swivelleroo ...
CHAPTER 31. MAGIC FROM U. S. A. Card Transposition "You Get It" One Pack "Do As I Do" Sleight of Mind
Francis Carlyle Gerald Kosky Jay Ose Bill Simon
179 181 182 184
FOREWORD When it was decided that Dai Vernon's "Inner Secrets of Card Magic" should be published in four parts, we had no doubt that one volume would follow another at regular intervals. This happened with the first three volumes and the fourth one was being written as planned. When the major portion had been prepared in script, it was sent to be typed. At this point fate stepped in; water used to put out a serious fire above the Unique Magic Studio reduced months of work to a handful of pulp. Although we still had all the original notes the prospect of starting again from the beginning was something we found ourselves evading. A two year period of ill health, during which we found it almost impossible to write, was an additional interruption. However, all this is now in the past and the book is completed. Although there have been set-backs it seems that everything has happened for the best, because the interval between the publication of "Further Inner Secrets of Card Magic" and the present volume has coincided with Dai Vernon's appointment at The Magic Castle in Hollywood. Perhaps this has proved to be one of the most important periods of his magical career, as the conditions prevailing at this centre of magic are ideally suited to Dai Vernon's temperament. Here he is able to indulge his passion for the creation of magical effects, and impart knowledge to a younger generation of magicians who frequent the Castle. Not only have we benefited by having the new Dai Vernon items for this book, but his example and teaching has inspired other magicians to experiment for themselves, and many of their creations are also included. Many magicians have contributed to make this book possible and all will be credited, but at this point we must mention two in particular who have done so much work with Dai Vernon in providing material - Larry Jennings and Bruce Cervon. Of them Dai Vernon writes, "In my entire magical experience I have never met two young chaps so clever with cards. For the comparatively brief time they have been engaged with the art it is really amazing how knowledgeable and capable they have become." These two magicians sent us tape recordings with very detailed descriptions of their effects, from which we were able to write the text. Steve Young, who in addition to his magical abilities is a first class photographer, provided seventy of the photographs; the majority of the others being those we took of Dai Vernon when he was in this country. We are also indebted to Dennis Patten for the excellent line drawings. The driving force behind the project has been our good friend Faucett Ross, for it is he who has spurred us on in numerous letters. Not only has he
encouraged us but has provided much necessary information and persuaded his many friends to come to our aid. Everything we have asked for, and more, has been arranged by Faucett Having almost completed the book we still had not decided upon a title, so we asked many of our friends for suggestions, and compiled a list. By a process of elimination we were left with two, either of which would have been appropriate - "Innermost Secrets of Card Magic" from Fred Lowe, and "Ultimate Secrets of Card Magic" from Conrad Bush. As "Ultimate" seemed to convey that this was the final volume of this four-part work we decided in its favour. At Hubert Lambert's suggestion we have included a "Friends of Dai Vernon" section in the book. Dai has so many friends in all parts of the world that it would be obviously impossible to include contributions from them all in one volume. Accordingly our selection has had to be very limited. Our aim has been to include first class effects which in one way or another have some association with Dai Vernon, but we are conscious that so many more, with equally suitable qualifications, have had to be omitted. Although Dai Vernon's work has been known by several magicians in this country for many years, it was not until Harry Stanley arranged tours for him here that the full impact of his genius was felt by the British magical fraternity. By bringing Dai Vernon to us and sponsoring the publication of his works, Harry Stanley has enabled magicians on this side of the Atlantic to benefit to an extent which is unprecedented. When Dai Vernon was in Holland he spent many hours with J. van Rinkhuyzen (Rink) who in addition to his own contribution, has been kind enough to arrange items from Fred Kaps and Eddie Taytelbaum. Hubert Lambert, in addition to supplying three Dai Vernon effects, sent us a copy of the Verner Coat of Arms and the historical background. Faucett Ross arranged for most of the material from the American magicians, Francis Carlyle, Gerald Kosky, Jay Ose and Bill Simon. From the British Isles material has been received from Jack Avis, Alex Elmsley, Francis Haxton, Fred Lowe, Roy Walton and Peter Warlock. Ross Bertram of Canada, not only provided two of his excellent items but also sent photographs to make our task easier.
There have been many clever magicians in the past who have devoted a considerable portion of their life span to originating and developing magical effects, in order to get to the top of their profession by original and masterly performance. Many have kept their secrets to themselves and their efforts have been made for their own benefit (and this is understood), yet the fact remains that in many instances the results of a life's work has died with them. Present and future generations of magicians are indeed fortunate that there is such a person as Dai Vernon - a magical genius who has become a legend in his own lifetime. He must surely be responsible for the creation of more top-quality magic than any other magician of this or any other generation. Not only has he devised so many new effects, but has so improved and simplified the handling of known sleights and moves, that trickery disappears and magic takes place under the guise of naturalness. All this could have been used solely for personal gain, but Dai Vernon has been willing to share his knowledge, not with all and sundry, but with fellow magicians who have proved themselves dedicated to the art of magic. All who meet Dai Vernon come under the spell of his personality friendleness, warmth, gentleness and sincerity, which sets one at ease. From here on one naturally refers to him as "The Professor" - a title not gained by examination, but freely bestowed by his friends and associates in affection, respect and appreciation. This is Dai Vernon's book - all of us who have been associated with its production feel honoured to have taken part. LEWIS GANSON
CHAPTER ONE STARTING RIGHT As would be expected of any work which bears Dai Vernon's name, the card magic this book contains is top quality, but the efforts of all who have co-operated to produce it would be wasted if it stayed within these pages. For this reason we are devoting this chapter to suggestions for helping the reader to turn the printed word into practical magic. Magicians are the first to admit that so much of the wealth of good magic in books is not appreciated until, perhaps, just one person makes an effort to master a certain effect and shows it to others - then the clamour begins. "Wonderful! - where can I get it?" is the question asked, and all the time the chances are that the questioner possesses the very book from which it came. When the description of an effect is set down in print it is almost impossible to find words and phrases which will immediately convey a really clear picture to the reader. No matter how careful one is the fact that a visual thing has been converted into a mass of words, gives an erroneous impression when first seen. Even a simple operation which is completed in a few seconds often takes several paragraphs to describe and when the print is looked at as a whole, the mind imagines complications. It is only when the description is carefully studied that the fog begins to clear and the simplicity is appreciated. We know the difficulty many people experience in learning magic from books, and have tried to make the task as easy as possible by describing everything that it is necessary to know. Obviously, we have assumed that the reader knows how to handle a pack and is conversant with the elementary shuffles, cuts, etc., but apart from this we have gone into necessary detail. There can be nothing more aggravating than being told to use "your favorite method" when you are unacquainted with even one, or being referred to another book which you do not possess. These practices are permissible and desirable in works catering solely for experts, and we certainly do not condemn them when used in this way, but in a book which we hope will be available to all magicians, we feel more is required. Our aim has been to get as near as possible to personal instruction and for this reason have used photographs and line drawings as visual aids. However, to ensure that the text is complete and correct we gave the manuscript to Fred Lowe and purposely omitted the photographs. His task was to perform every effect from the description alone. This resulted in several alterations
being made to make the meaning more easily understood. The purpose in recording the above is to assure the reader that everything that is needed to be known is in the text, and every effort has been made to present it in the clearest possible manner. Starting with this knowledge one can proceed with complete confidence. An important incentive for learning is knowing that the result of one's efforts are going to be worthwhile. On this point we can state with conviction that all the material between the covers of this book is top class card magic - all is practical, entertaining and audience tested. Every item is either Dai Vernon's own, or has his approval - this is your guarantee that the time spent in becoming proficient, and performing the effects, will be more than amply rewarded. When one knows that the material is that which is being performed by the world's most competent magicians, a natural reaction is to wonder if its performance is within the bounds of one's own capabilities. It would not be fair, or in the readers best interests, to minimize the effort required, but we have no hesitation in stating that providing one is prepared to practise, everything can be performed by anyone of normal intelligence and ability. Some sleights and routines are easier to perform than others, but with few exceptions, there is nothing which can be classed as really difficult. Even with the few that are difficult it is simply a question of degree of practice - if one is prepared to expend effort, then the result will certainly be success - make no mistake about that. The only reason why one normal person can do something and another cannot, is because of the degree of effort put into it - in other words, practice is the real secret and again we can help here by differentiating between productive and non-productive practice. Often a lesson has more impact if one is told what not to do, particularly if the results of wrongful procedure can be seen or illustrated. For this reason let us take an example of what sometimes happens when a person decides to learn and practise a magical effect, then the temptations, distractions and difficulties can be guarded against. Imagine a new book has just been purchased, and is found to include an effect that just must be performed - but first it must be learnt and practised. When the time comes the appropriate page is turned to and reading commences - say it is a card trick, then obviously a pack of cards is needed and this is where the trouble starts! A drawer is opened to get the cards and right on top is a length of rope, which reminds us of that trick George showed
down at the club the other evening - he said he got it from "Greater Magic." The bookcase is opened and "Greater Magic" removed. As the pages are turned to find the necessary instructions, the eye catches sight of the illustration of that Billiard Ball move we have been meaning to try out for some time. Back in the drawer three balls are located, but the shell is missing and although a search is made it does not seem to be there - but there are those two coloured silks which are just right for that trick we saw on Television the other evening. Now thinking of Television - it's about time for that programme we must see need we continue? Exaggerated? a little perhaps, but one can spend a whole evening without accomplishing anything worthwhile. Magic is fascinating and often enthusiasm becomes an enemy when it is allowed to take control. The answer is self discipline, and the removal of temptations and distractions which cause time wasting. If possible go into a room in which you will be entirely alone, take with you just the articles needed; say the instructions and a pack of cards, sit at a table with no other objects on it. Make up your mind that one (and only one) trick is going to be understood and practised, and discipline yourself to concentrate. Many professional magicians adopt this procedure, as they realise that it is essential to devote one's whole attention if the best results are to be obtained. Dr. Elliott used to book two rooms at hotels when he was on tour; one room was devoted entirely to practising his magic and a stipulation was that in the room there would be a table and chair, but as little other furniture as possible. In this way he could leave all the possessions he needed for everyday life in one room, and retire to the other room where there would be no distractions. Another rule he made for himself was that each trick he worked would be practised standing at the table as well as sitting down. In "The Dai Vernon Book of Magic" we quoted Dai Vernon's own words on the subject of practise: "Why does practise frighten so many people? Practise can and should be thoroughly enjoyable because it brings the pleasure and satisfaction of achievement. Achievement is a universally gratifying thing and by practising, one ends up with something of value to one's self and others. If skill and cleverness could be acquired for the asking, there would be little to profit anyone. Will my readers conduct an experiment? Sometime when alone, start trying to improve some move or sleight that has already been learnt. Experiment with it, strive to incorporate your own ideas - keep trying - it is surprising how the time will fly by, but when headway has been made a most satisfactory feeling of delight will be experienced. Even a mi-
nor achievement is most gratifying and as the result has been brought about by practise, it makes practise enjoyable. If people cannot derive pleasure and satisfaction from practise and are not prepared to expend the time and thought and energy required because they find it irksome, then magic is not for them - they should turn to a different hobby." When practising routines, do not try to progress too fast, take one stage at a time and understand it thoroughly before proceeding. Have the cards in your hands and go through the moves as described. Trying to cover a great deal of ground too quickly causes the brain to become confused and will retard progress. When a description is first read there appears to be a mass of complicated instructions to follow, and a lengthy sequence of moves to commit to memory. By understanding each part of a routine, the overall plan becomes clear and the pieces of jigsaw fall into place. The order and purpose of the moves becomes easier to remember because one move follows another in a logical sequence. Study the photographs and text together, as in certain instances the hands have had to be moved into slightly incorrect positions for the camera to capture the detail that has to be shown. Actual trial with the cards will put this right. . The sort of pack to select is one with white borders running around the edge of the back design, cards with the design running right to the edges are not the most suitable for this type of magic. When two or more cards have to be lifted or moved as one the white borders help to mask any slight irregularity if they are not in perfect alignment. The stock upon which the cards are printed should be pliable but springy, so that they will resume their original shape after being curved during manipulation. Good quality cards run singly, easily, and smoothly when spread between the hands. Some of the cheaper brands are thick and bunch together when spread or fanned, and difficulty will be experienced in lifting a single card cleanly. Do not handicap yourself with poor cards; pay the extra for quality and do not attempt to economise by keeping the cards too long. After being used for some time even the best cards lose the qualities we have stipulated. At the start make certain that you get all the help possible from the cards themselves. When the necessary ability has been acquired and confidence gained in handling, you will be able to manage with cards that are not ideal
in all respects, for by then the disadvantages which might be found with some borrowed packs can be overcome. Do not practise for long periods without taking a break, the hands soon become cramped when performing movements to which they are not accustomed. Some hands perspire freely and a rest can cure this and prevent the cards becoming soiled. It is a good rule to always practise with full size cards, then one is never at a disadvantage if such a pack is offered when borrowing is desirable or necessary. Changing from full size to Bridge size cards presents no problems, in fact it makes things easier, but if one is only used to the smaller cards then difficulties can be experienced if only a full sized pack is available. Dai Vernon and the other magicians whose routines are in this book, have devoted a considerable amount of time, thought and experimentation before achieving the final results. With this in mind one can be sure that there are very good reasons why each and every move is made. Therefore it is wise to try out the routines as written. However, it is well to remember that it is the entertainment that can be given that matters, the sleights are necessary incidentals. If difficulty is experienced with any sleight, or you have a favourite which brings about the desired result, then there is nothing against altering things around to suit yourself. There is no doubt that eventually you will feel the need to put something of your own into everything you do - this is to be encouraged, as in addition to the satisfaction obtained from originality, something which is styled in one's own way will look more natural. Again we will quote Dai Vernon's own words: "Be natural - what I mean by this is 'be yourself - watch a good performer and note that he is perfectly at ease because he is doing the things that are natural to him; he's not trying to be Cardini, Slydini or any other of the 'greats'; he may have learnt much from watching and reading about other performers, but he has adapted the tricks so that they fit him like a glove; he is master of the tricks which have been tailored to suit him - he does not try to make himself fit tricks that have been evolved by someone else. Every action he makes is a natural action, natural to him; if he picks up an object which he is going to vanish, then he does not pick it up in a way that only takes into account the position he needs to hold it to perform a sleight; he has altered the sleight so that when
he picks up the object in a way which is natural to him, it is already in position to be vanished. "A lot of people might find difficulty in understanding exactly what I mean by being natural. It's very important that movements made when a secret sleight is made are natural movements, but being natural also means being yourself. If you work in a conversational style, you work as you feel; you do not try to ape somebody else, unless you are playing a part. This naturalness must not only be used in a narrow sense, but in a general sense, it must be used in everything....not only in sleights but in everything you do." As we wrote in the beginning, this chapter has been included to help the reader to derive the maximum pleasure and benefit from the magic contained in the book. Experienced card enthusiasts already have the knowledge, so for them the chapter could have been omitted. Perhaps the greatest lesson to be learnt is to enjoy learning. When pleasure and satisfaction is felt the first time one achieves something worthwhile through practise, then the first battle has been won. From then on practise will be as pleasureable as every other aspect of magic, and it is practise which will get the tricks out of this book and into your performances.
SECTION ONE CARD EFFECTS
CHAPTER TWO MATCHED SPELLOUT Roger Klause, a very proficient card man, has been performing this Dai Vernon spelling effect for some time. In a letter to Faucett Ross he wrote, "I consider it to be one of the most commercial Vernon items I have ever encountered/' Additionally he disclosed the ending which he uses and which he considers provides a stronger climax, so we will describe this later. Effect:
A card is freely selected, noted by the spectator, then returned to the pack which is shuffled. The performer offers to find the selected card but apparently has some difficulty. However, he says that he will spell it out and proceeds to do so from the top of the pack. For example, say the selected card is the Ace of Hearts, he spells T - H - E, taking a card for each letter to form a face-down packet of three cards on the table. Next he spells the value (A - C - E) into another packet. The third packet is O - F, and the final packet H - E - A - R - T - S. Starting with the first packet dealt all are turned face up - each has a card of the same value (in our example an Ace) on the bottom, the last packet turned revealing the previously selected Ace of Hearts. Performance:
The selection of the card is quite free, but when it is returned to the pack it is brought to the bottom during the shuffle. The performer now states that he will produce the card, and begins to fan the cards with their backs towards the spectators! that is, he is looking at the faces and takes care that the face card (the one selected) is not flashed. He remembers the selected card. Now let us see how the set-up is made so that the spelling will give the desired result. In our example we have assumed that the Ace of Hearts was selected, and is now on the face of the pack. Take the cards in hand and have the Ace of Hearts on the face - it could be any card as the selection is free, but by having an example and actually going over the moves while reading these instructions, everything will be clear. As you begin to fan the cards from the left hand into the right, take the bottom card (Ace of Hearts - remember it) and one extra card behind it into 13
the right hand. Now push cards singly from the left hand onto the face of the selected card until a second Ace appears on the face of left hand packet. If you look at Photograph 1 it will be seen that at the right bottom corner, the index of the Ace of Hearts can be seen with another card behind it - cards are being pushed off with the left thumb onto the selected card until the second Ace (Spades) appears. Split the cards at the second Ace and put the packet in the right hand onto the face of the left hand packet, but hold a break between them and leave the cards spread. To stall a little, say that you are having trouble in finding the selected card. Now begin to fan again from the break, pushing over enough cards to spell the value of the selected card (A - C - E) - these cards go onto the back of the right hand packet - Photograph 2. Now thumb cards over from the left hand packet onto the face of the right hand packet until the third matching card (Ace) appears on the face of the left hand packet. Place the right hand packet on the face of the left hand packet, holding a break between them (leaving the cards spread) as you make another remark (you are still having difficulty!) to stall a little. Fan again from the break, pushing the matching card, plus two extra cards, onto the back of those originally above the break. Now push cards from the left hand packet onto the face of the right hand packet, until the last matching card (Ace) appears on the face of the left hand packet. Get a break under it with the left little finger, then place all the cards from the right hand on top of it. Cut the pack at the pack and complete the cut. The set-up is now on top of the pack. As you will appreciate the above is a "cull," and is very fine when done correctly. In our example the selected card was THE ACE OF HEARTS and the set-up will be from the top down AXX, AXX, AX, A. How this works will be apparent as we proceed. The above reads complicated, but when the reason for the moves is understood it will be quite clear. A trial with the pack in your own hands will
prove that it is simple to remember and easy to do. It can be done quite quickly and the spectators will have no inkling that a set-up is being made. Proceed as follows: Remark that you, "don't seem to be able to find the selected card, so we'll try something else." Ask for the name of the card and when it is given, hold the pack face down in the left hand and spell from the top, taking a card for each letter and dealing them onto the table. First spell T - H - E, that is the top card goes down first, then the next two cards, the three cards being in a pile. Next (in our example) A - C - E in a second pile. The third pile is just two cards only, O - F and the last pile H - E - A - R - T S. Turn the packets over singly, starting with the first one dealt, and on the face of each is an Ace, the last packet showing the selected card. Roger Klause, who has been performing this with great success, finds that he gets more dramatic effect if he turns over the pile to reveal the selected card first. After a pause for it to register, he says, "I knew it couldn't have been any of the others because they're here!" and quickly turns over the other three piles to show they all match. Sometimes Dai Vernon takes things a stage further. During the cull he makes an adjustment, so that when the four piles are dealt out, the first three turned up show matching cards, but he apparently misses on the fourth pile as an indifferent card turns up. However, he puts things right by using the value of the last card to locate the selected card. Dai sometimes uses the above variation when he knows someone present has seen the first version. The effect is now that much stronger because they think he has missed! Note:
During the many times we went over the culling moves, on the odd occasion we encountered two matching cards falling together at the face of the left hand packet. This was simple to overcome as it means that the second matching card is pulled over onto the face of the right packet and retained there momentarily, while the required number of cards are positioned behind the first matching card, then the second one is pulled back onto the face of the left hand packet with the left thumb.
CHAPTER THREE THE PERFECT CIRCLE OF CARDS
In his search for unusual effects, on one occasion Dai Vernon asked Nate Leipzig if he could recall having seen anything with cards which had never been done before. Leipzig said that he had seen a magician in South Africa make a perfect circle with a pack of cards, but it had been done quickly and he had no chance of seeing the method used. As it had impressed Leipzig Dai knew that the effect was more than just completing the circle by carrying the cards round as an extension of a thumb fan, so he set about devising a method which would look quite different from anything that had been seen previously. After much thought and experimentation he produced the effect described below. He makes the circle very quickly, with the pack and hands under the table, then brings it out for display. A feature of the circle is that the hand holding it can be turned back up, the effect then being similar to the "Magnetic Cards", because the cards cling to the hand. Plenty of practice is needed to perform this effect, but the time spent in mastering it will be well worth while. The aim should be to make a circle quickly, but it must be pointed out that the handling is not one of those beautifully smooth sequence of moves. However, when completed everyone likes it, and if the circle is made out of sight, then the handling is not seen. A pack which fans well is the type to use, and certainly while practicing the cards should be treated with fanning powder, which is a considerable help when adjusting the cards. The Joker should be removed and placed where it can be picked up eas-
ily. Proceed as follows: Photograph 1: Hold the pack from above and face up in the right hand, the thumb at the inner end and the fingers at the outer end. With the left hand held palm upwards, place the pack across the left forefinger with the side of the pack well into the fork of the left thumb. Now make a pressure fan in a clockwise direction around the second finger, which is curled inwards to allow this to be done. The fan should be made as wide as possible. 17
The photograph (performer's view) shows how far the fan should be taken round. Notice how it is held in position at this stage by the left thumb. This position should be arrived at as quickly as possible. Photograph 2: Steady the fan with the right hand as the left thumb is moved to the back of the cards. Now work the cards around with the right fingers and thumb. Notice how the cards on the right begin to lock under the cards on the left. This adjustment of the cards as the fan is taken round is not a very smooth series of actions, although with practice it can be done quite quickly. However, any lack of neat handling is fully compensated for as on
completion of the circle the spectator's appreciation is considerable. Photograph 3: The adjustment of the cards continues from both sides of the fan until the gap is closed and the cards well interlocked. Pressure of the thumb and fingers behind the circle hold the cards in position, and the hand can be turned over completely without the cards falling. Photograph 4: For display purposes, the Joker can be picked up and placed in the centre of the circle to cover the protruding second finger. This is op-
tional as the reader may prefer to have the finger showing; it is certainly a peculiar sight and rather humorous. As a matter of interest the photographs were taken by Steve Young, of Bruce Cervon making the circle under the direction of Dai Vernon. The cards used were "Steamboats", over forty years old.
CHAPTER FOUR "SECRETS" This excellent effect has been so called because Dai Vernon included the original version in a book of the same name, published for general circulation in 1923. It was not until ten years later that he had published his first work for the magical fraternity - the now famous "Ten Super Card Problems." Bruce Cervon tells us that he has watched Dai perform the effect for laymen on several occasions at the Magic Castle in Hollywood, and although it is a simple item it never fails to register extremely well. It became the favourite effect of Alfred Benzon, the man who had his hands insured for 250,000 dollars. The effect is that a card is selected in the fairest possible manner, and noted then returned to the pack, which the spectator himself then holds. He is now asked to think of a number. The performer reads his mind and proves this by telling the spectator to look at the top card of the pack, which is found to have the same number of spots as the number thought of. According to the number of spots, so the spectator counts down to that number and finds his own card. Requirements: A very simple set-up is necessary in that a Seven spot is placed on top of the pack, a Six spot second from top, and Eight spot on the bottom and a Nine second from bottom. This is quickly done as suits do not matter and it is simply a matter of positioning only four cards. Performance: Fan the cards and get a break under the seventh card, the excuse for fanning being that you say, "I could ask you to select a card like this, but let's try a fairer method/' Square the cards, retaining the break with the left little finger and riffle the front of the pack. Tell the spectator to insert his finger into the pack as you riffle and remove any card. After the card has been noted, cut the pack at the break, have the card replaced and drop the cut off portion on top. This brings the selected card to the eighth position from the top. 21
Hand the pack to the spectator and ask him to think of a number between 5 and 10. Tell him that although the choice of numbers is small, he must decide on a number carefully and remember all the time that he himself is holding the pack. Your next actions are controlled by the number he states when you ask him to tell you his thoughts - Proceed as follows: A. If he says "Seven" (which is the choice of the majority of people), reach over to the pack he holds, remove the top card and show it to be a Seven. Retain the Seven and tell him to count down to the seventh card - which proves to be the one selected. B. If the number is "Eight" tell the spectator to look at the bottom card of the pack, then count down from the top of the pack according to the number of spots on the bottom card. C. Should he say "Nine", take the pack from him, glide the bottom card and remove the one second from bottom, showing it to be a Nine. Place it on top of the pack, hand the pack back to the spectator and let him count down to the ninth card from the top. Dai Vernon also has a method of not actually taking the pack from the spectator. He reaches under the pack as it is being held, buckles the bottom card with his forefinger so that his second finger hits the second card from the bottom, which he removes. •• D. When "Six" is named, take the pack and double lift the two top cards as one, showing the Six spot. Now bury both cards as one in the centre of the pack and hand it back to the spectator to count down to the sixth card - the one selected. Although the method is simple, the effect is very strong, because you show proof that you actually read their thoughts to know the number they would name. By showing a card with the same number of spots on as their own number, then having the selected card at the same number from the top, seems nothing short of a miracle. These points must be sold, and the fact that the spectator himself holds the pack so that you have no control over it, should be emphasized. Few card tricks can have such a strong impact as this one - the method is so simple that all your efforts can be concentrated on presentation. Sell it for all you are worth! 22
CHAPTER FIVE "DO AS I DO"
This "Do as I Do" effect of Dai Vernon's, although somewhat similar to usual routines of that name/ has a much stronger climax. Certainly a little more preparation is necessary with this method, in that one of the packs is set-up, but in addition to the better ending, it will defeat the knowing ones. For those who want a really stunning card effect, this one will be difficult to beat. Effect: The performer has one pack and a spectator another. Both shuffle and cut their packs which are then exchanged. The performer removes one card from his pack and places it in his pocket. Now the spectator cuts his pack at any point he wishes, completes the cut and looks at the bottom card. According to the number of spots on that card, so the spectator counts that number of cards from the top of the pack, and places the card arrived at on the table. Without hesitation the performer removes the card placed in his pocket previously - they are the same. Requirements: Two packs are needed, say one with red backs and the other with blue backs. One pack (say blue) is set-up in the order King to Ace, King to Ace and so on from the top down, but with the suits mixed; that is each King to Ace set-up is of mixed suits, so that a casual glance through the pack will not reveal a set-up because different suits are together in each run. Photograph 1 shows the pack spread out after a cut. See how unprepared it looks, even though it runs in numerical order.
From the second pack (red) remove the King of Hearts, King of Spades, and King of Clubs. Place these in your right jacket pocket, with the King of Clubs on its side as the inner card. The King of Hearts is directly at the back of it, also on its side. The third King (Spades) is upright at the back of the other two Kings. Eventually (but not at this stage) the King of Diamonds will be with the other Kings in the pocket and it will go upright behind the King of Spades, so that if one could see inside the pocket, the set up would appear as in Photograph 2. Performance: To start the effect you, the performer, have the set-up pack and the spectator has the one with the three Kings missing. Obviously a "magician's choice" can be given here, the essential factor being that you end up with the set-up pack. Tell the spectator to "do as you do" and shuffle his pack. You false shuffle yours to retain the order. Once more he follows you, both packs being cut and the cut completed. At this point you exchange packs with him. Without telling him to do likewise on this occasion, you look through the non set-up pack, remove the King of Diamonds and without showing its face, place it upright in the pocket behind the King of Spades. The four Kings are now in your pocket in the CHaSeD order, with the Clubs and Hearts on their sides. This is the position in Photograph 2. This arrangement of the four cards makes it extremely easy to remove the correct King later; quickly and without fumbling. When removing the card from the pack make it appear that you are concentrating hard on what you are doing. Tell the spectator to cut the pack he holds very carefully at any point he wishes, complete the cut, look at the bottom card and note the number of spots on it. Watch his actions, because it is just possible that he will cut a King to the bottom. If this happens do not call attention to it, just have him cut once more as if this was intended all the time. Now have the spectator count down from the top of the pack according to the number of spots on the card - if a Jack is the bottom card then he counts eleven; twelve if it is a Queen. The card which falls at that number is 24
put aside, face down. It will be one of the four Kings. Have the spectator turn over the card and immediately you see its face, reach quickly into your pocket and remove the matching King. Because of the arrangement of the four Kings in the pocket, the selection and removal can be made instantaneously. Show that the two cards match. Notes: An alternative is to have one pack set-up in the CHaSeD order as far as suits are concerned, but still in numerical order. In this way, when you see which card the spectator cuts to the bottom of his pack, you will be "tipped off" as to which King will be placed aside. Now you can remove the matching King from your pocket before the spectator turns his King face up! This certainly produces a stronger climax, as the effect is that you show the King previously placed in the pocket before the spectator reveals his card. However, both methods are good. In the first one the faces of the setup can be shown momentarily, as it is extremely unlikely that anyone will notice the numerical order because of the mixed suits, but this should not be allowed in the alternative version as the set-up could be noticed. Another alternative is to have four cards all the same, in place of the Kings in the set-up pack. In this method it is not necessary to have any cards in the pocket - all you do is to remove one single card (the matching one to the four in the set-up pack) from your pack, and without showing the face place it face down on the table. Now, when the spectator counts to his card, he must get one of the four "all the same" cards, which he is told not to look at but to place it face down alongside yours. The climax comes when you both turn over the cards together and they match. We feel that this last plan is not the one to subscribe to unless you use it as perhaps the only card trick in a programme of tricks with other objects, or as a repeat item for spectators who have seen the effect before, when one of the other methods was used.
CHAPTER SIX BLACK AND RED PUZZLE Although Dai Vernon developed this routine in 1939, time has not diminished its worth and it is just as suitable for present day performance as it was all those years ago. Actually it is similar to the "Oil and Water" effect and makes an interesting interlude in any card act. Effect: Eight cards are shown, four black and four red. These are arranged red, black, red, black and so on. By moving only one card, either the top card to the bottom or the bottom card to the top, the arrangement of the other cards is changed. Performance: Show four red and four black cards and alternate them so that they run from the top down, red, black, etc. This is done openly. Holding the packet face down deal the cards one at a time in an overlapping face-up row on the table, calling attention to the fact that the colours are alternated. Tell the spectators that by merely moving a card from the bottom to the top, the entire order of the cards is changed. Scoop up the cards, then holding the squared packet face down in the left hand, apparently remove the bottom card. Actually it is the card second from the bottom which is taken by slightly buckling the bottom card with the left second finger, then inserting the right second finger into the space made by the buckling and pulling out the card second from the bottom. Photograph 1 shows an exposed view of this action. As previously stated this card is placed on top of the packet. The cards are now dealt face up on the table as before but on the fourth card a 'Second' is dealt.
This puts the cards in the red, red, black, black order. The Second Deal described in "Further Inner Secrets" and called "The New Theory Second Deal", is ideal for this effect. Photograph 2 is a 'Stop Action' view from the performer's angle of the 'Second' being dealt. Now the spectators are told that it is possible to restore the original order of cards by exactly the same procedure as before. Scoop up the cards and holding the packet face down remove the card which is on the bottom and place it on top of the packet. Deal the cards once more into an overlapping face up row, dealing a 'Second' on the third and seventh cards, when the cards will be seen to be alternated. Dealing a 'Second' on the seventh card is extremely easy as there are only two cards in the hand - merely deal the bottom card instead of the top one. Say, "To place the cards in an entirely different arrangement, we just do the same thing again." Scoop up the cards and hold the packet face down. Seemingly move the bottom card to the top, but actually make the buckle and take the second card from the bottom to the top. Again deal the cards'face up, this time dealing a 'Second' on the third and sixth cards. As the cards are dealt say, "Three black and three red." After dealing the sixth card, remove the seventh card with the right hand and begin to turn it up but do not put it down. Turn it face down and place it under the card in the left hand. Leave these two cards in the left hand and pick up the three blacks and three reds from the table, placing them on top of the cards in the left hand. Remove the bottom card openly and place it on top. Now deal the cards slowly and deliberately face up on the table, showing four blacks and four reds. The deal is absolutely normal and quite astonishing. The interlude can be concluded at this point, or it can be taken a stage further by making the cards alternate again in the following manner. 2S
Place the cards together again in a face down packet in the left hand. Remove the two top cards as one by the double lift and place them second from bottom. This is done by using the same buckle move as employed earlier, the two cards as one being inserted into the space caused by buckling the bottom card. The cards are now shown alternated by dealing a 'Second1 on the second and fifth cards. Although this effect will appeal immediately to the performer who is proficient at dealing 'Seconds', others should not be deterred, because it is not essential for the Second Dealing technique to be perfect. The spectators are more concerned with the faces of the cards as they are put down, rather than what is happening in the left hand. This is an ideal interlude to preceed an "Oil and Water" effect, or it can be used as an explanation as to how that effect is brought about. Perhaps it is best used for the latter, then if one or more of your Second Deals are not all that they should be and are detected, the spectators will still be mystified and quite in the dark. They will accept a detected Second Deal as part of the supposed explanation!
CHAPTER SEVEN MENTAL SPELL In this effect the performer openly fans a group of ten cards before a spectator. One of these cards is mentally selected. The spectator is given the packet, which has been cut and mixed by the performer and is told to mentally spell the name of his card. This is done by removing from the top of the packet and placing on the bottom, one card for each letter in the name of the mentally selected card. At the conclusion of this mental spell, the performer reveals the spectator's card in a startling manner. Preparation: Remove the following ten cards and place them face up on the table, one on top of the other, in this order: - Six of Clubs, Ten of Hearts, Four of Spades, Ten of Diamonds, Four of Diamonds, Seven of Diamonds, Queen of Hearts, King of Diamonds, Queen of Diamonds and Ten of Clubs. This preparation is done beforehand. Place these ten cards on top of the pack and you are ready to perform. The top card of the pack will be the Six of Clubs and the tenth card from the top the Ten of Clubs. Method: Please run through the method several times so that you may grasp a complete understanding of the workings of this trick. There are many different combinations the indulgent performer may wish to work out, but for practical purposes the method given here is exceedingly simple and direct. To perform, remove the pack and if you wish, false cut it a few times. "Many times," you say, "a card is removed from a pack and replaced. The magician then attempts to find it. Now, if a card is merely mentally selected...not touched but merely thought of...then we have impossible condition/' Remove the top ten cards from the pack. Say to a spectator, "Sir, will you please mentally select any one of these cards. Just think of one and give me no indication as to which card you are thinking of." When the spectator has mentally selected a card, place the ten cards face down in your hands and give them a few false cuts as you continue to patter. "I am going to hand you this packet. I want you to think of your card and mentally spell it's name to yourself. Then I want you to remove a card from the top of the packet, place it on the bottom and continue to do this, removing one card for each letter in the name of your mentally chosen card. For example, let us 31
say your thought of card was the Two of Clubs. You then spell as follows T-W-O-O-F-C-L-U-B-S-." As you speak, you actually run through this demonstration. At the conclusion of your spelling the Two of Clubs the packet will again be in its original order! Say, "I want you to remove a card for each letter in the complete name of your card, but spell the card mentally." Hand the packet to the spectator and watch him spell the name of his card. He places one card from the top to the bottom for each letter. Count the number of cards he removes as he spells. It is through the total of the cards he removes that you have enough information to effectively conclude the effect. A. If the spectator moves ten cards as he mentally spells the name of his card, you know that his card is the Six of Clubs or the Ten of Clubs. Ask the spectator the name of his card. If he says it is the Six of Clubs, tell him to turn over the top card of the packet and this will be the Six. If he says it is the Ten of Clubs, tell him to look at the bottom card. Either of these denouements are effective. B. If the spectator moves eleven or twelve cards as he mentally spells, then do not ask him any questions. Simply tell him to think of his card, then have him turn over the top card of the packet. To his surprise, his mentally chosen card will be staring at him. C. If the spectator moves' thirteen, fourteen or fifteen cards as he mentally spells, you immediately say, "You were thinking of a picture card, weren't you?" If he says ''No/' then you say, "Well concentrate on your card and hold the packet tightly." Make a magical wave over the packet and have him turn over the top card of the packet. It will be the card he has mentally selected. Note that the above groups: A, B, C take care of seven cards. The remaining three cards will be handled in the following manner. Also note that the following only concerns the picture cards. D. If the spectator moves thirteen, fourteen, or fifteen cards as he mentally spells, and after you ask him: "You were thinking of a picture card, weren't you?" he says "Yes," then the following handling is applied to each case. 1. If thirteen (and a picture card). Say, "Look at the bottom card and remem-
ber the numerical value. Remove that number from the top of the pack and look at the card in that position/' They will note the bottom card and see that it is a Four spot. They will then remove four cards from the top of the pack. The fourth card will be the mentally selected card. 2. If fourteen (and a picture card). Say, "Look at the top card and replace it on the top. How many spots did it have?" Spectator will say: "Four." "Remove the fourth card from the top/' you say. It will be the mentally selected card. 3. If fifteen (and a picture). Say, "Look at the bottom card and remember its numerical value. Remove that many cards from the top." They will note that the bottom card is aFour spot. The mentally selected card will now be exactly fourth from the top. This is the same procedure as in 1. Although the description is lengthy, the trick is really quite simple to perform and easy to master. After rehearsing the effect just a few times, we are sure you will be able to perform it with confidence and conviction.
CHAPTER EIGHT TEN GIVES THREE Bruce Cervon devised this clever effect which he performs regularly at the Magic Castle. We have given it the above title because in the notes he sent us, he referred to it as "the ten card effect with three climaxes." Even though there are three climaxes the effect is in no way confusing, in fact it is very clear-cut and clean. The photographs (taken by Steve Young) are of Bruce's hands performing the moves. Effect: Showing ten cards, all Clubs, the performer openly arranges them in numerical order from Ace to Ten. While the performer turns his head, the spectator removes any card, notes it and returns it to the packet which has previously been cut. The spectator now takes the packet and moves as many cards from the top to the bottom as there were spots on his card. While this is done the performer turns his head so that he cannot know how many cards are moved. When the packet is turned face up and spread, it is found that the cards are again running from Ace to Ten, and the selected card is at the correct number, but is now face down. On turning the card face up, it is found to be the Joker and the spectator immediately removes the selected card from his pocket. Note: On first reading this may appear a complicated effect - actually it is very straightforward. Do the same as we did and try it out with the cards in hand and you will be convinced. It is a first class trick - otherwise it would not have the approval of Dai Vernon. Performance: Remove the Ace to Ten of Clubs from the pack, but along with them secretely take the Joker. Set-up the cards in the Ace to Ten order from the face, with the Joker in front of the Ace - be careful not to expose the Joker. Holding the eleven cards face down in the left hand do a bottom reverse, reversing the Joker.
All of the above is done in an off hand manner, no attention being directed to your actions until now. In fact, Bruce Cervon often sets up the cards before he starts, so saving time in his actual performance. Holding the packet face down in your left hand, tell the spectators that you have set up ten cards in the Ace to Ten order. With the right hand pick up the Ten of Clubs from the top and show its face. Now take off the Nine of Clubs onto the face of the Ten and show it - continue in this fashion, taking cards until the Two of Clubs is in the right hand, Photograph 1 shows how the cards are taken and shown. Look down at the back of the card in the left hand and say, "From Ace to Ten" and place all the cards from the right hand on top of those (remember, the Joker is face up under the Ace) in the left hand. >
Fan out the cards, being careful not to expose the face up Joker on the bottom, and ask a spectator to select any card. Turn your head away as this is done, saying that you do not want to know which card is selected. Split the fan at the point from which the card has been taken and put the upper fan under the lower one, but keeping the face up Joker on the bottom. This is done by buckling the Joker so that the right hand cards go between the left hand cards and the Joker. Photograph 2, which is an exposed view from the performer's angle, shows this action. Additionally, the lower packet is jogged back so that you can lift the upper packet easily. As you do the above tell the spectator to show his card to the others. Now lift up the upper packet and have the selected card returned at this point; square the packet. Hand the packet to the spectator, taking care not to flash the bottom card. Tell him to, "Move as many cards singly from the top to the bottom" as his card has spots. As he does this turn your head away, saying that you do not
wish to know how many spots there are on his card. After the spectator has completed this task, take back the packet and hold it face down in the left hand in readiness to cop the bottom card. This card (the selected one) is going to be taken secretly in the left hand, but we use the word 'cop' in preference to 'palm' because the card is not palmed, as a look at Photograph 3 will show. The holding position will be that the outer end is loosely held, the left outer corner near the base of the first finger and the right corner near the tip of the second finger.
The excuse for taking the packet into the left hand is for the right hand to move the rest of the pack, the card case, or any other object, out of the way. After this is done, take the packet from the left hand into the right, leaving the bottom card in the left hand as explained - Photograph 3. As the right hand moves to the centre of the table, turn the packet face up by releasing the grip with the thumb, and clipping the front edge of the packet between the first and second fingers. Photograph 3 shows the holding position on the packet of cards just prior to it being turned face up. As the packet is placed face up on the table, move the left hand back so that it is masked by the body, which leans forward. With the right forefinger spread the cards in a row to the right, where they will come out in numerical order, but the card at the spectator's number will be face down - Photograph 4. This is the first surprising climax and it seems to have been accomplished by some mathematical method. Tell the spectator to turn over the face down card and as he does so and his attention is on this action, reach into your pocket with the left hand and load the selected card. As the spectator sees that the face of the card is the Joker (second surprise) remove the selected card from the pocket as the spectator looks up at you. The "punch line" can be, "I guess the Joker's on me!" pointing to the Joker and tossing the selected card face up on the table for the final climax. 37
CHAPTER NINE THE MAGIC OF LARRY JENNINGS In one of the tape recordings Larry Jennings sent us he says, "The ideas behind top class magic, particularly card magic, are beautiful ideas. When you examine someone's tricks its like taking a walk around inside their mind to see how they overcome difficulties. Its like an insight into their personalities. That's why I like Dai Vernon's magic - it has a quality about it. One cannot put a finger on it - its simply that every trick that the Professor touches comes out of a better grade than other things one sees around. Most of the tricks I do are coloured by the Professor's work. This is natural because I like to consider myself a student of the Professor, and consequently it is very difficult to separate what is mine from what is his, as I use suggestions of his all the time/' For some time Larry Jennings has been closely associated with Dai Vernon, which has resulted in a very firm friendship. Both magicians perform regularly at Hollywood's Magic Castle and the several effects recorded on tape and described here are those which are being performed at this centre of magic. The first trick is based on an effect by Hof zinser but moves by Dai Vernon, Roy Walton and Larry Jennings himself have been employed to bring it about. TELL-TALE ACES. Effect: The four Aces are removed from the pack and placed in a face down packet on the table. A card is selected from the rest of the pack, noted by the spectator, returned to the pack, which is then shuffled. Taking the Joker from the pack, the performer hands the Joker to the spectator and tells him to wave it over the Aces as he thinks of the suit of the card he selected. When the Aces are shown one of the Aces has turned face down, and when turned face up is found to be the Ace of the same suit as the selected card. After the Ace packet is turned face down again, the Joker is placed face up in the pack and the latter is waved over the Aces - the Joker changes to the Ace which was shown to have reversed itself in the packet, whilst the reversed card in the packet is now found to be the selected card. The effect may read complicated in print, but visually it is straightfor-
ward and very strong. Dai Vernon has personally selected tricks from Larry Jennings' repertoire for inclusion in this book, and his choice has been influenced by the fact that he has been able to assess the reaction of the audiences at the Magic Castle. He considers the effects to be first class magical entertainment, and sufficiently different from the usual run of card tricks to be quite new to audiences. Method: 1. Have the spectator shuffle the pack, take it from him and turn it face up. Run through the cards with the faces towards yourself, and when the Joker is seen cut the pack to bring the Joker second from the face of the pack. Continue running through the cards and as each Ace is reached, up-jog it for about half its length out of the pack. When all four Aces have been upjogged, strip them from the pack and place them in a face-down packet on the table in the order Clubs, Diamonds, Spades, Hearts, from the face of the packet. This is the order Larry Jennings uses, but any remembered order will do and the reader may prefer the more familiar CHaSeD formula. 2. Turn the pack face down and have a card freely selected by spreading the cards between the hands in the usual way. Tell the spectator to remember his card, and place it back in the pack somewhere near the centre as you shuffle the cards. Begin shuffling the cards and when the spectator replaces his card, drop all the cards from the right hand on top of it so that the Joker is now two cards above the selected card. Again begin to shuffle, this time the old "Red and Black" overhand shuffle is employed. That is, small blocks of cards are pulled off as normal but when near the centre of the pack, single cards are run off in reverse order until it is certain that the Joker and the selected card have been passed, then blocks of cards are pulled off again to complete the shuffle. Turn the pack with the faces towards you and tell the spectator that for this effect you have to use the Joker. Without letting the spectator see the faces of the cards, run through them till you reach two cards past the Joker, in other words the Joker, an indifferent card and the selected card. Note the suit of the selected card and pick up a break under it with the left little finger. Square up the left hand packet with the Joker on the face and still hold a break under the three face cards of that packet. Show the Joker and push it up with the left thumb then place the cards from the right hand on the face of the left hand packet, leaving the Joker upjogged for about half its length. As the right hand cards are placed on the left hand packet, pick up the break with the right second or third finger, by inserting the finger into the break. 40
This makes it simple to cut at the break and place all the cards below the break on the face of the pack. This gives the impression that the Joker goes to the back (top) of the pack. Square up the pack, pushing the Joker down with the left forefinger then turn the pack face down. 3. Pick up a break (left little finger) under the top card of the pack. We know this card (say Ten of Spades) because we looked at it and remembered the suit. We now need to have the Ace of the same suit (Spades) in the third position from the face of the Ace packet (or second from the top). In our example the Ace of Spades is already in the correct position, due to the CDSH set up, but if the selected card was some other suit, we simply bring it to third position from the face as we pick up the Ace packet. For example if the selected card was a Diamond, we would use the top Ace of the packet to scoop up the other three cards, which would bring the Ace of Diamonds third from the face. If the card was a Heart then the top three Aces of the packet are picked up, and the other Ace scooped up with them. The object is to get the required Ace to the third position from the face of the packet.
The Ace packet is placed face up on the face down pack and squared. The right hand comes over the pack, the thumb at the rear, to pick up the break under the selected card and lifts the face up Aces with the face down selected card behind them (Photograph 1 shows an exposed view from underneath) then moves them up and to the right about an inch, across the top of the pack. As this is done, get a break under the top card of the pack with the tip of the left second finger - Photograph 2 shows an exposed view from underneath, and also shows the holding position of the packet on the pack. 4. Take off the face Ace (Clubs in this example) and place it under the Ace packet; it does not have to be perfectly squared. Remove the next Ace (Diamonds) and do likewise. Remove the next Ace (Spades) and place it 41
under, but into the break; that is the left inner corner goes under the top card of the pack. The method of placing this card is seen in the view from underneath in Photograph 3. (Actually the face of the Ten of Spades would not be seen as it would be covered by an Ace). Now take hold of the Aces with the right hand, between the thumb at the right outer corner and second finger underneath, and slide them to the left over the top of the pack, moving the Ace of Spades also under the top card, but holding the top card so that it does not move, until the position is reached as in Photograph 4. Note that the left forefinger is curled around the outer end of the Aces, with the thumb along the side. The right hand now comes over for the right
second finger to press down slightly on the outer end of the Aces. This lifts the inner end so that the right thumb can butt against it. The position is shown in Photograph 5, but the lifting has been exaggerated for clarity. With the right thumb and second finger move the top Aces forward, leaving the Ace of Spades underneath the top card of the pack. When the Ace packet has been moved forward sufficiently so that the left forefinger can reach the end of the Ace of Spades (Photograph 6 shows an exposed view, but no face card would be seen in the gap) forefinger pushes this Ace flush with the pack under cover of the other Aces. Simultaneously the right hand moves the Aces (three Aces and the selected card) to the position shown in Photograph 7. 5. Place the Ace packet face up on the table, and as this is done get a break under the top three cards of the pack. This is achieved by riffling cards singly with the left little finger.
The position from the top of the pack is: - a face-down indifferent card, face-up Ace of Spades, face-down Joker, then the break. The Vernon Push Off Lift is now executed as follows: Move the left second finger under the pack to the outer right side of the three cards, the break allowing the tip of the finger to contact the under edge of the third card down. With the left thumb on top of the top card, the three cards as one are pinched between the thumb and second finger. The second finger and thumb are now straightened, which pushes back three cards as one over the right side of the pack. Bring the right hand to the three cards and turn them over together, letting them fall square onto the top of the pack. As this happens pick up a break under the three cards with the left little finger. 6. Remove the Joker (which is face up) and hand it to the spectator, asking him to wave it over the Aces on the table and think of the suit of his selected card. When he has done this, pick up the Ace packet and place it again in position on the pack as shown in Photograph 7. Take hold of the Ace packet at the inner right end between the right thumb and second finger. Bring the Aces over square on the pack, for the left thumb to go on top of the Ace of Hearts to hold it, as the rest of the packet is moved to the right and out from underneath. In other words the left thumb drags off the Ace of Hearts as the rest of the packet is pulled out from underneath. Drag off the next card (face down card) in the same way, leaving it fanned a little, then the Ace of Clubs and finally the Ace of Diamonds. In this way you have thumbed the Aces onto the pack, leaving them fanned a little, reversed their order and have shown the spectator that one Ace has reversed itself in the packet of four
Aces (actually the reversed card is the selected card). Move the right hand to the pack prior to turning the fanned Ace packet face down, and insert the right second finger into the break which has still been retained under the six cards. Move the cards down about half an inch as you turn the block of six cards over, so that a break can be picked up under the block. Thumb over the top card, revealing the face up Ace of Spades, then push it over to reveal a face down card. You cannot go further or the face up selected card would be revealed, so you only thumb over the first two cards. This proves to the spectator that the face down card he saw in the face up Aces was the Ace of Spades, so ask, "Is it correct that you thought of a Spade?" and he will answer "Yes." With the two cards still fanned on top of the pack, tip over the whole block of six cards once more, the fan being maintained until they begin to fall, then they are let fall square onto the pack but again a break is held under the block as it is tipped over. Fan off the Aces; the Ace of Diamonds, the Ace of Clubs, the face down card and the Ace of Hearts and place them on the table. 7. Pick up the Joker and place it face up and square on top of the pack. Remember, a two card break was held, and this now becomes a three card break. Move the right hand over, thumb at inner end and second finger at outer end and pick up the break with the right thumb. Lift the whole pack with the right hand retaining the break, and place it on the table, but immediately lift off half the pack and place it in the left hand, picking up the break under the three cards with the left little finger. The other half is now taken from the table with the right hand and placed on top of the cards in the left hand - in other words the face up Joker has been buried in the centre of the pack. We now come to the Jennings Reversal and this is prepared for and executed as follows: Spread the cards between the hands until the face up Joker is reached and say, "Remember, the Joker is face up in the pack." As you begin to square up the pack again, the right hand brings the cards back over the left hand portion, but still in a fanned condition. The left little finger goes under the block of three cards and the left third finger goes above the block of cards. The right hand pushes the cards over in a loose packet on top of the 44
three cards, then changes its position. It grips the pack, all four fingers at the outer end and the thumb at the inner end, that is as if the Pass is to be made - and in some respects this is what is to be done. What actually happens is that a Pass type movement is started with the three cards trapped between the left little and third fingers. Only three cards rotate out of the pack and come down to form a V underneath the pack, partly reversing but are still clipped by the left little and third fingers. While this happens the top and bottom halves of the pack are still held by the right hand. Now the left second finger curls underneath the pack, forcing the three cards up against the face of the pack. The pack never changes position while this is happening. The reason for curling the left second finger under the pack is to bring the packet of three cards up against the bottom of the pack, instead of the pack dropping down. Finally the pack is squared by running the left hand back and forth along the side, the pack being held in the right hand with the left second finger still curled under the pack. The common fault in a half pass is that the pack jumps as the move is made. This has been eliminated in Larry Jennings' method, because the pack is held by the right hand into the crotch of the left thumb. When the cards have been pulled out of the pack and begin to rotate face downwards, the left second finger curls under the pack forcing the cards up against the bottom of the pack. This ensures that the pack does not drop or jump, a fault that shows that something is happening. 8. Place the pack on the table and ask the spectator to cut the pack and complete the cut. Pick up the pack and wave it over the face-up Aces on the table. Spread the pack and show the Ace of Spades face up in the middle, the effect being that the Joker has changed to the Ace of Spades. Turn over the four cards on the table and reveal the spectator's selected card - the Ten of Spades. Photograph 8 shows the completion. The patter is left to each individual as that which Larry Jennings employs would not be suitable for universal use. As stated at the start, Larry Jennings has employed some moves devised by other magicians. The method for stealing a card from a group of cards is Dai Vernon's, who has been using it for about forty years. It is one of the cleverest methods of all for stealing a card, as it looks so natural and works beautifully. 45
The method for showing that an Ace is in the packet when actually it is not there at all, is a lovely idea of Roy Walton's. Finally, the method for reversing cards (the Half Pass) is Larry Jennings' own. Dai Vernon set an exercise for Larry and suggested that he should find a way of reversing cards without any tell-tale movement of the pack. Dai Vernon's verdict is that it is a beautiful item of card magic.
CHAPTER TEN LARRE VERSE We have given this trick the above title because it uses an entirely new move devised by Larry Jennings, for reversing a card or cards. Actually the move itself has been dubbed LARREVERSE by others and is known by that name by the few magicians who have been shown the secret. This is the first time it has appeared in print and we predict that it is going to be applauded and treasured by all card enthusiasts. Here we are given a remarkable method for reversing a card, the only one we know whereby a card can be reversed directly under a spectator's nose without any fear of it being detected. Everyone who has been shown the reverse acclaims it as the best they have seen. In a tape recording sent to us, Dai Vernon says, "This reverse of Larry's is very beautiful. I hope you will say that I consider it to be one of the real gems that has come out in recent years. Larry does it flawlessly and in a perfectly natural manner and no one can ever suspect that any skullduggery is going on." The effect described is a standard one, but by using the new move it makes it a very strong item, and will even fool the people who know the usual methods for reversing a card. Actually the move has many, many uses. It is a very good utility move for reversing one card, or a block or group of cards. As the effect is stra'ight-forward and will be clear as we proceed, we propose to describe the method, inserting the description of the reverse in the correct place. Method: Larry Jennings has a card selected, noted and returned to the pack. He brings this card to the top of the pack by the Pass, but any preferred method can be used. The pack is riffle-shuffled on the table, retaining the top card in position, then given a false cut. Here again Larry Jennings uses a method of falsecutting of his own, a description of which is given here for the first time.
The Jennings False Cut: Photograph 1. This shows the position of the hands. The pack is on the table as if ready for another riffle shuffle. The right thumb is on the inner right end, the first finger is curled on top, and the second and third fingers are on the outer end of the pack. On the left side the left thumb is on the inner end, the forefinger curled on top and the second finger only is on the outer end of the pack. The right second finger picks up a break (very slightly) on the top third of the pack, allowing the left second finger and thumb to pull out the centre of the pack. As soon as this occurs the right hand moves the top and bottom portions of the pack forward. The photograph shows the action about half completed. Notice that the upper and lower portions of the pack are being moved forward, while the centre section is being held back. In the photograph Larry Jennings has his third finger on the centre section but this does not matter. In any case the picking up of the top part of the pack can be dispensed with when one is familiar with the cut. From the position seen in the photograph the right hand moves forward leaving the bottom portion of the pack on the table, then continues forward and leaves the upper portion on the table. The position is now that there are three packets of cards in a row on the table, pointing away from you. The right hand moves back to the inner packet, picks it up and places it square on the centre packet. These two combined packets are placed on top of the third packet but jogged so that a break can be picked up again. The left hand goes to the left end of the packet, the left thumb picks up the break, the right hand undercuts the bottom portion of the pack and places it square on top. This completes the false cut. As far as the spectators are concerned the selected card is lost. The spectator is asked to give any number at all and it is stressed that there is no restriction on the number he may choose. Normally it will be a fairly small number but it really does not matter. Say the number given is "ten." We are now getting ready for the secret reverse, so study the text and photographs carefully with the cards in hand. Remember, the spectator's card is on top of the pack.
Larreverse: Holding the pack face down in the left hand, thumb off single cards with the left thumb into the right hand, reversing the order of the cards as they are counted. When nine cards have been counted, place them partially back on the cards in the left hand, spread the nine cards between the hands and say, "Here are nine cards../' and as you are holding the spread nine cards with the right hand, use them to tip over the next card, face up, onto the pack as you say, "...and here is the tenth card...it is not your card is it?" The answer will be "No." Say, "I wanted to show you this because many people think they are influenced when choosing a number and that I would know the number beforehand, but this is not the case."
When the tenth card has been turned up, get into the position shown in Photograph 2 - a rear view; that is the right forefinger butts the edge of the card just above the face up card and the right little finger also butts on the edge of the same card. As soon as this position is reached, the right second finger moves over and rests on the back of the face up card - this is seen happening in Photograph 3 (rear view). The right hand begins to turn the cards it holds face up by turning the right hand inwards towards the body. As this happens the right second finger pulls the face up card back until it butts against the first and little fingers. This is seen partially happening in Photograph 3 - the action is not quite complete but is nearer completion than in Photograph 2. Notice what is happening - the right second finger is pulling the card back so that it butts against the first and little fingers. When that happens the card will line up perfectly with the selected card above it. The hand continues on inwards (in other words you are turning the face up card face down) and it is rotated inward until the card is completely face down. The face down card (and the one aligned with it) is placed onto the packet in the left hand and the left thumb clips the outer left corner. This is shown in Photograph 4 - notice that the right hand cards are face up and the packet is just coming up from underneath the top face down card which is clipped by the left thumb against the pack. Move the right hand out so that the card is left face down to cover the now face up selected card, then turn
the right hand over again. Say, "I'll place those nine cards (actually eight) back on top of the tenth card - would you hold the pack for a second" and hand the pack to the spectator. Snap your fingers over the pack then have the spectator count down to the tenth card which he finds is his card, face up, in the tenth position.
That is the completion of the simple effect and mastery of it will demonstrate how the Larreverse is employed for the reversal of a single card. However, it can be used in many ways. If a face-up card is directly under a facedown selected card, you can pretend to notice that the card is face up unintentionally and say, "Oh! I beg your pardon" and turn the card face down, using the Larreverse and thereby reversing the spectator's card for later use. In Photograph 5 we see how the move can be used for reversing a block of cards. For this the technique is changed slightly. Let us assume we need to reverse four cards. Have a face up card in the pack, left over from the preceding effect. Spread down to the face up card and four cards above it, and mark off with the right first and little fingers as explained. Now when you reach the face up card show it and place the left fingertips on its back. Now the right hand slides the face down cards over the face up cards until the face up card butts against the right first and little finger. The packet is now turned over inwards and the whole group of cards is clipped with the left thumb. The right hand rotates its cards face down again and you have reversed the four cards. Obviously, this could have been three, four, five, six or as many cards as required. That is Larreverse. To illustrate the versatility of Larreverse we will now describe two more of Larry Jennings' effects in which he uses this clever stratagem. In each item selected cards reverse themselves in the pack, so we will confine our description to methods only.
Double Reverse: 1. Fan the pack face down between the hands and have a spectator point to any card. Flip this card face up on top of the left hand packet by bringing the left side of the spread cards in the right hand under the right side of the card and lifting upwards. Let us assume the face-up card is the Four of Spades. Now flip it face down again, but as the right hand spread packet comes over the left hand packet at the completion of the action of turning the Four of Spades face down, clip the bottom spread card of the right hand packet with the left thumb at the top left corner. Separate the hands again leaving the extra card above the Four of Spades. Immediately thumb off this indifferent card onto the table and have the spectator place his hand on it for safe keeping. 2. With the left thumb, push the two top cards of the left packet over a little to the right. The cards should be spread a little. This happens as the right hand packet is brought over the left packet - as if to re-assemble the pack. Actually the top (selected) card of the left packet is secretly transferred to the bottom of the right hand packet, and the packets are separated again. 3. Saying, "We'll use two cards...that one, the Four of Spades (indicating the card over which the spectator has his hand)...and this one...", flip over the top card of the left hand packet as before. Let us assume this new face up card is the Six of Hearts. Continue the patter, "....the Six of Hearts." 4. Now do the Larreverse with the Six of Hearts (which reverses the real Four of Spades), but do not re-assemble the pack. Place the right hand packet on the table and ask the spectator to lift his hand. Pick up the card he has been guarding (supposedly the Four of Spades) and place it, still face down on top of the left hand packet. The order of the cards in the left hand packet now is: - face-down indifferent card, face-down Six of Hearts, face-up Four of Spades and the rest of the cards face down. Pick up the cards from the table and place them on top of the left hand packet. 5. Make a "magical wave" over the pack, then spread the cards between the hands to show that the Four of Spades is now face up in the pack. 6. Do the Larreverse as the Four of Spades is turned face down. Make another "magical wave" over the pack, then spread the cards again to show
that the Six of Hearts is now face up. i Peeked Card Reverse: 1. Holding the pack in the left hand, have a spectator peek at a card. Hold a little finger break in the usual way, but squeeze the pack so that it seems that the edge of the pack is even all round. In other words you casually display the pack, without actually saying that "no break is held." 2. Remove the top card, turn it face up and insert it into the break from the rear end. As you do this say, "I want you to take a card and push it into the pack like this." 3. Spread down to the face up card to show it, then do the Larreverse as you turn it face down which, of course, brings the selected card face up underneath it. Instead of bringing the right hand packet on top of the left hand packet to assemble the pack, place it on the bottom, so that the face up selected card is second from the top of the pack. 4. Turn the left hand over, which brings the pack face up, and thumb off the under (top) card face up onto the table. The reversed selected card is concealed under the pack. 5. Take the face-up pack from the left hand into the right and spread the cards between the hands. Ask the spectator to pick up the card on the table and place it face down in the face up spread. As this is done pick up a break one card below the face down card. Square the pack, holding the break. 6. Now perform the Herrmann Pass. Readers will know that this pass is made in the action of turning the pack over, so that at the finish the top card is face down, the next card face up and the peeked at card is face up somewhere in the centre of the pack. 7. Being careful not to show the second card (face up) in the pack, spread the cards between the hands to show that the card peeked at is now face up in the centre of the pack.
CHAPTER ELEVEN GAMBLER'S TRIUMPH Dr. Daley once said that a good trick has to have a discrepancy, so Larry Jennings devised the following effect with this in mind. The second part is basically a face-up, face-down shuffle of which many have been described in books on card magic, indeed Dai Vernon's "Triumph" is in this category. Larry himself trunks of his effect as the "Discrepancy Trick" and asked us to put a title to it. As it has a gambling patter theme the best we can do is to call it "Gambler's Triumph" - but whatever the title, it is the effect that matters and there is no doubt that this is first class. Effect: By reading the following suggested patter the effect will be clear: - "When I was a young man I had a job in which I had to travel from one town to another. One day I met a gambler on a train and when I told him that I was interested in magic he showed me an exercise he used for cutting the pack to find the Aces. He proceeded to cut the pack into three packets, then turned over the top card of each to reveal three Aces. Being a young man and rather brash, I pointed out that there was still one Ace missing. He said, 'Well I always do that for guys like you', and turned over the centre packet to reveal the fourth Ace at the bottom." "He was kind enough to teach me how it was done, but there was one thing he didn't show me. He shuffled the packets together, face up and face down. After cutting the cards he spread the cards across the table to show that all the cards were now face down, except for four face-up cards - the four Aces!" The patter tells the story as the effects take place and is a true picture of what happens. Method: At the start the four Aces are on top of the pack, the Ace of Spades being the top card, then the Ace of Clubs and finally the two red Aces in any order. However, so that the photographs can be followed, we will assume that from the top of the pack down, the order is: - Ace of Spades, Ace of Clubs, Ace of Hearts and Ace of Diamonds.
1. Place the pack face down on the table with the long side towards you, as if you were going to begin a riffle shuffle. Undercut one card from the top of the pack to the bottom. This may be accomplished by any preferred method but Larry Jennings uses Dai Vernon's. Bringing both hands to the ends of the pack he picks up a break under the left inner corner of the top card with the tip of the left thumb, undercuts half the pack with the right hand and as this half goes on top, he picks up the card above the break and undercuts to the break to bring the card to the bottom. This brings the Ace of Spades to the bottom. 2. The next requirement is to perform a standard slip-cut. Refer to Photograph 1 - with the pack face down on the table, riffle the left inner corner with the left thumb, allowing about a third of the pack at the bottom to be riffled off. Pick up the break with the right thumb and start a slip cut, the right hand slipping out the bottom third of the pack, away from you to the front, and at the same time taking with it the top card of the pack by having the right forefinger on top as in the photograph. This packet remains on the table; the Ace of Clubs is on top and the Ace of Spades on the bottom. 3. Photographs 2 and 3: Take the left hand packet by the right end with the right thumb and second finger and place it on top of the tabled packet, but outjogging it as in Photograph 2, so that a break can be picked up between the packets by the left thumb as in Photograph 3. This is the Vernon Break Control. Photograph 4 shows how this break is now picked up by the right thumb.
Another slip-cut is about to be made. At this point a break is being held
between the upper two thirds of the pack and lower one third with the right thumb; the lower one third has as the top card the Ace of Clubs and on the bottom is the Ace of Spades. Photographs: With the left thumb pick up another break of about one half of the cards above the other break. Hold down the top card with the right forefinger as the upper half of the packet is held by the left hand. Move the right hand to the right, just sufficiently for the top card to clear the left second finger. Now move the right hand forward again (away from you). A break is still held by the right thumb as in Photograph 5. As the right hand moves forward about an inch, allow all the cards below the bottom break to remain on the table, then move the right hand forward again and leave the top packet (all the cards the right hand is holding) on the table. Leave all the left hand cards also on the table, but behind the other two packets (nearest to you). Photograph 6: The appearance has been that the right hand has cut the pack into three packets, which are now in a row (away from you) on the table. 4. Photograph 7: Turn over the top cards of each packet to reveal three Aces, replacing each Ace face up and making sure that they are square with their packets. Photograph 8: After the patter, "I pointed out that there was still one Ace missing. He said, 'Well I always do that for guys like you', move off the top Ace of the centre packet with the left hand and turn the centre packet over with the right hand, and as this is done fan it slightly; just enough to show that it is face up. All four Aces are now on display. 5. Pause for a moment then say, "He was kind enough to teach me how it was done but there was one thing he didn't show me..." As you are saying this, pick up the inner (Ace of Diamonds) packet, place it on the Ace of Spades packet, place the combined packets on the Ace of Hearts packet, then pick up the pack and place it on the Ace of Clubs. 55
The above is carried out while you are speaking and no attention is called to what is being done, the inference being that the trick is over. Here is the discrepancy in the trick, as in addition to the Aces being face up, one packet was also face up and the other two packets face down before the pack was reassembled. One would think that this would be obvious, but the fact is it is not remembered. 6. Turn the pack face down in the left hand, so that you are looking at the pack from the sides, as if you were going to begin a Faro shuffle in the hands. You will see a number of bridges in the side; one will be a third of the way down. This is where two packets meet back to back. Cut at this point, picking up the top card of the lower packet as well which will be an Ace; in our example the Ace of Hearts. Remove the upper third of the pack which now has the Ace of Hearts on the bottom and the Ace of Clubs at the top; all the other cards in this packet are face up, but the two Aces are face down. Place this packet on the table to your left. Turn the other packet so that you are looking at the end, as if you were going to look at the index corners from the rear. Riffle the inner end with the right thumb and let one face-down card fall onto the lower facedown third; in other words riffle all the face-up cards and let one face-down card drop, which will be the Ace of Spades. Take all the cards above the Ace of Spades, turn them face up, leave them on the table to the right of the other packet on the table, then place the remaining cards on the table to the right of all. This means that on the left there is a packet which is supposedly face down, in the centre a face-up packet and on the right a supposedly face-down packet. 7. Riffle-shuffle the end packets together, allowing the bottom card of the left 56
hand packet to fall first then the bottom card of the right hand packet. Continue a genuine riffle shuffle until the top cards of the two packets fall together on top. Make this a close shuffle, the hands masking the cards to prevent it being seen that what is supposed to be two face-down packets being shuffled together, are actually face up, except for the two bottom cards and the two top cards. The position after the packets are shuffled together and squared is that there are two face-down Aces on top and two face-down Aces on the bottom - the rest of the cards are face up. 8. Position the packet on the left and take the genuine face up packet on the right. Riffle-shuffle the two packets together, letting the two bottom cards of the left hand packet fall first. Continue a genuine riffle shuffle, but allow the two top cards of the left hand packet to fall last. Square the packets. The appearance has been that a face-up packet has been shuffled into a face-down packet. Actually all the cards are face up, except for the two facedown Aces on the top and the two face-down Aces on the bottom. 9. Say, "If I were to cut the pack I could get either a face-up card or a facedown card." As you say this the actions match the words. Undercut the pack with the right hand, but pick up a break under the top card at the left corner with the left thumb. Place the undercut half of the pack on top of the cards remaining on the table. This brings a face-up card to the top. Undercut all the cards below the break and place them all on top which brings a face-down card to the top. There are now three face-down Aces on the bottom and one face-down Ace on the top. All the other cards are face up. 10. Undercut the pack again, placing the bottom half to the top, which brings a face-up card to the top. The four Aces are now face down in the centre of the pack. Turn the pack face down and ribbon spread it across the table. All four Aces will now be seen, face up, in the centre of the face-down cards - Photograph 9. Note: We appreciate that the text appears to make this complicated. However, if the reader will take one stage at a time and understand it thoroughly before proceeding, then everything will be clear. It is a very fine trick and does not look complicated when performed.
CHAPTER TWELVE THE CHANGING OF THE GUARD Although this effect was originated by Larry Jennings he nearly omitted to include it in this book, because the moves themselves are standard ones. However, Dai Vernon insisted; Steve Young, who took the photographs, was most enthusiastic and we ourselves are delighted that Larry was persuaded. The improved handling that he has given to known moves would be sufficient to justify it being recorded, but the effect produced makes it really outstanding. It is different to the usual run of card tricks and never fails to get good reaction from ladies, who are not always keen on card magic. This is because it is rather a pretty trick, the plot is uncomplicated and the method employs graceful hand movements. It was devised as something different in Four Ace effects; this is how we have described it and how Larry Jennings performs it, but he suggests that four Jacks could be used instead of Aces, which would be more in keeping with the title. The effect is simple - the Ace of Spades is said to have a peculiar effect on the other cards in the pack, and to prove this three indifferent cards are changed into the other three Aces. What makes it so good is the clean way in which the changes take place, as a trial will prove. The photographs, taken by Steve Young of Larry Jennings performing the moves, make everything easy to understand. Method: A simple set-up is required, but as only three Aces have to be on top of the pack it can be done at any time. First have the Ace of Clubs between the two red Aces, place them on top, and all is set. For the purpose of description our set-up is Ace of Hearts, Ace of Clubs, Ace of Diamonds. 1. Tell the spectators that the Ace of Spades has a peculiar effect on the other cards in the pack, and to prove this you will conduct a demonstration. With the faces of the cards towards you, run through the cards, remember the bottom card of the pack (in our photographs the Ten of Spades), and note where its matching card (Ten of Clubs) is in the pack, upjog the Ace of Spades and get a break above the three Aces - Photograph 1. This may seem 59
rather a lot to do on one run-through but it is quite easy in practice. Square the pack but keep the break, pull out the Ace of Spades and place it on the face of the pack. Your excuse for running through the pack is to find the Ace of Spades and this is now seen on the face of the face-up pack, held in the left hand. The Ten of Spades (or whatever the bottom card might be) is hidden behind the Ace and a break is held above the other three Aces. 2. Tell the spectators that for the demonstration you need three cards any cards. Holding the cards in the same position as before run through them again, but this time turn the hands for the spectators to see the faces of the cards. Because you noted the approximate position of the matching card (Ten of Clubs) of the original bottom card (Ten of Spades) the Ten of Clubs is found quickly and upjogged. Two other cards further on are also upjogged. In Photograph 2 the Ten of Clubs, Four of Clubs and Three of Hearts have been upjogged. When the third card has been placed up, the block of cards behind it is brought back down square with the rest of the pack. Photograph 2 will make this clear. As the block is brought square with the rest of the pack, the left little finger pulls down the right side of the Ace packet so that the right fingers can go into the break to hold the block - Photograph 3 (exposed view).
As this happens the left little finger goes on the end of the Aces so that the left forefinger is at the outer end of the Aces and the left little finger at the inner end. This position is shown in Photograph 4 - as it all happens 60
behind the spread cards and the spectators are seeing the faces, everything is done under cover. Photograph 4 also shows that the three cards have been brought up and are being pulled with the Aces hidden behind them. This is a standard move, but the above method is a nice way of doing it. The fingers of the hand are out flat and it looks as if you have merely come up and pulled out three indifferent cards. Actually the Aces are behind them, because all six cards are clipped against the fingers of the left hand, and the hand is rotated with the thumb inwards to strip the cards out. They are immediately placed at the back (top) of the pack. From the front the action seen is that three indifferent cards have been upjogged for about half their length in the spread, stripped out and placed on top. 3. Immediately the cards have been placed on top of the pack, turn it face down and deal off the top three cards (Aces) from left to right in a row on the table - the spectators believe them to be indifferent cards. Photograph 5 shows this completed and also gives an exposed view of the left little finger pulling down the two bottom cards of the pack. For clarity the right hand has been moved, but in performance the right hand would be holding the pack from above, the thumb at the inner end/ second and third fingers at the outer end and the forefinger curled on top. The bottom two cards are pulled down with the left little-finger as stated, then pulled at an angle as in Photograph 5 - in other words, the two cards as one, are turned slightly askew on the face of the pack. Move the right fingers to the outer end of the pack, curl them around the end to hold the cards in position and turn the pack face up, placing it in the upturned left hand as in Photograph 6. Without a pause bring the right forefinger up against the right edge of the two jogged cards and lift them as in Photograph 7. This is a very clean and natural way of doing a double lift.
As the two cards are lifted as one from the face of the pack, tuck the left thumb under the left side of the pack, flip it face down, and immediately place it behind the card on the right of the row. Place the two cards as one, face up, in the palm of the left hand. Photograph 8 shows the position at this stage. With the right hand cut the pack into three approximately equal packets, placing a packet behind each Ace. 4. Take the Ace of Spades (double card) at the inner right corner, the right thumb on top and the right first and second fingers underneath, the two cards being held as one, face up, in the right hand. Using the cards as a scoop, slide them underneath the card on the left of the row, the cards being face to face when picked up and placed in the upturned palm of the left hand. Actually the right outer sides of the cards go into the creases at the first joints of the left fingers, the fingers being curled to grip the edges in the creases. Move the right hand away and turn the left hand (and cards) over. Place the left thumb on the end of the cards as in Photograph 9 and push, so that the cards go through the hand and come out angled as in Photograph 10. Refer back to Photograph 9 which shows the sides of the cards gripped in the creases of the curled fingers. It will be seen that the surface of the cards do not come into contact with the palm of the hand, thus no friction is caused which might make the cards separate.
When the cards have gone through the left hand, take them in the right hand, thumb above and fingers underneath, turn the left hand palm up and place the cards in the dealing position in the left hand. Press on the cards with the right forefinger and say, "This is what does the trick." Buckle the bottom card with the left forefinger. A good point here is to 62
pull back at an angle with the forefinger when buckling, instead of pulling to the left. If the finger pulls to the left the buckle shows from the front, but if the pull is back and diagonally towards the left inner corner, the buckle is way back under the cards. As the buckle is made the right hand takes the top two cards as one and the left hand moves the bottom face-up card from underneath. This card is the Ace of Hearts in our example and this is placed square on top of the other two cards, which are then taken into the left hand for the Ace of Hearts to be displayed. Move the right hand over the cards and pick off the Ace of Hearts, with the thumb at the inner end, second finger at outer end and forefinger curled on top. Place this card square, and face up, on the pile of cards (third of pack) on the left. Bring the right hand to the two cards held as one in the left hand, grasp them near the right inner corner, move them towards the tips of the left fingers and tip them face up in the left hand, holding them as in Photograph 8. In other words you take no chances on the two cards spreading. The face of the Ace of Spades is now showing. 5. Again bring the right hand to the right inner corner of the two cards, pick them up and slide them face up under the centre card of the row. Hold the left side of this centre card with the tips of the left fingers to steady the card as this is done. Pick up all three cards and place them in the upturned palm of the left hartd. Go through the same moves as before of turning the left hand over, pushing the cards through the hand with the left thumb, taking them with the right hand and placing them in the dealing position in the left hand. Press on the top of the cards with the right forefinger and say, "Remember, this is what does the trick." Buckle the bottom card, grasp the top two cards as one with the right hand as before, bring out the bottom card (Ace of Clubs) from underneath and place it face up on the other two cards, taking all three cards in the palm of the left hand for display. Pick off the Ace of Clubs with the right hand as before and place it face up on the centre packet of cards. Tip over the two cards as one in the left hand as explained previously, then retake the cards (Ace of Spades showing) with the right hand. 6. Scoop up the last card with the two cards held as one, in exactly the same manner as on the two previous occasions, but before the move through
the hand is made, there is a variation. When the three cards (as two) have been picked up by the right hand, their left side is placed near the top joint of the left fingers, so that when the left fingers close the three cards are turned over. Now when the left hand turns over as before and the cards are pushed through the hand with the left thumb, the cards will come out with the Ten of Spades on the bottom and not the Ace. Say, "Oh, I know what you're thinking - but not yet!" Buckle the bottom card and bring it out from underneath showing it to be the Ten of Spades as you say, "If you don't press, nothing happens." Place the Ten of Spades back in the same position (under the two cards held as one) and place all three cards in the upturned palm of the left hand. Turn the left hand over and push the cards through the hand with the left thumb as previously. Take the cards with the right hand and transfer them to the dealing position in the left hand. Press the cards with the right forefinger as you say, "This is what does the trick." Buckle the bottom card, bring it (Ace of Diamonds) from underneath and place it on top of the other cards, taking them into the dealing position in the left hand. This displays the Ace of Diamonds. Buckle the bottom card with the left forefinger as explained and this time place the right thumb at the inner end of the two top cards, the second finger at the outer end - the forefinger curled on top. Lift both cards as one and place them on the packet of cards on the right side of the table. In addition to putting the Ace of Diamonds in its correct place, it also disposes of the Ten of Spades and leaves everything clean. Finally flip over the card in the left hand, to bring the Ace of Spades face up. Drop it in front of the group on the table.
MONARCHS' QUARTETTE When the manuscript of this book was almost completed we received another tape recording from Larry Jennings. He gave details of an additional effect and left it to our discretion whether it should be included or not. We tried it out and had no hesitation in writing this chapter, because we are quite certain that it is something which is going to be performed and treasured by many card enthusiasts. Again the title was left to us and we could do no better than "Monarchs' Quartette" - as at the climax all four Kings are produced. Larry gives two versions; the first a surprisingly simple handling which will offer no difficulty to anyone who likes cards, whilst the second will take greater effort to master and will delight the connoisseur. For this reason we have added "Plus" to the title of the second version. MONARCHS' QUARTETTE. Effect:
A card is selected by a spectator and placed face down and unseen on the table. Three more cards are selected (unseen) and any one of the three is placed aside, whilst the other two are turned face up for them to be seen (indifferent cards), then turned face down again. The other card of the three is now shown (indifferent), turned face down again and the performer states that it should match the card selected in the beginning. Unfortunately it does not do so as the first card is found to be a King, but everything is put right because when the face-down card is again turned over it has changed to a King. The performer says that last time he did the trick he was asked what would have happened if one of the other two cards had been selected. His reply was that it would not have made any difference - and turns them over - two more Kings! Preparation: A simple set-up is required. Place the two black Kings face up on the table with an indifferent card face up on top of them. Place another indifferent card face down on them and finally the two red Kings face down on top 65
of all. Now place this packet on top of the pack and all is in readiness. Performance: Force the top card (a red King), using the Riffle Force or any other method you prefer. Without showing this card, place it face down on the table. Reassemble the pack so that the set-up is again on top. Tell the spectator that three other cards are needed and ask him how he wants them - all at once or one at a time. Holding the pack from above in the right hand, let cards dribble off the bottom and ask the spectator to say "Stop" whenever he feels inclined. Any three cards can be taken, but also give a choice of the card on top of those on the table or the one on the bottom of packet in the hand. Whatever the choice you will end with indifferent cards and these are placed face down in a row in front of you, without the faces being seen. Assemble the pack and hold it in the dealer's position in the left hand - the set-up is on top. Ask the spectator to use his intuition and select any one of the three cards in the row. No matter what card he chooses, pick up the other two, turn them face up and ask him if he would like to change his mind and select either of these. Whilst this is being done secure a break under the set-up. Whatever the outcome you have a face down card on the table (his final selection) and two face up cards - all three are indifferent cards. Place the two face up cards, slightly fanned, on top of the pack. Ask him again if he is sure he would not like to change his mind - when he has finally made up his mind, turn the two cards face down, turning the block also, obtaining a break under the set-up. Thumb off the top two cards and place them face down on the table in the position previously occupied by the other two cards. This looks as if the two indifferent cards have simply been turned face down on the pack and dealt off - actually they are now the two Black Kings. Pick up the card finally selected of the three and place it face up on the pack - it is an indifferent card. Turn it face down and in doing so turn the block as before. Thumb off the top card (now a red King) and hold it face down in the right hand. Say that this card and the one selected at the very beginning should match. Use the face down card in the right hand as a scoop to turn over the selected card and feign surprise when it is a King and so does not match. Rub the card on the table with the face down card in the hand then turn it over to show they now match - two red Kings. Say that the last time you did the trick you were asked what would have
happened if one of the other cards of the three had been chosen. Tell them your answer was, "It wouldn't have made any difference", and turn over the last two face down cards, revealing two black Kings! MONARCHS1 QUARTETTE - PLUS. The effect is almost the same as the previous trick, but there are some additional niceties which will appeal especially to the card expert. Set-Up: This is even simpler than before in that the four Kings are on top of the pack, in the order, red King, two black Kings, red King. Performance: Cut the pack and complete the cut, but hold a break between the halves. Riffle down to force the top red King and place it aside, face down, without showing the face. Reassemble the pack so that the set-up is again on top. Tell the spectator that three more cards are needed and have them selected by the same procedure as in the previous effect. Without showing their faces place them face down so that the layout on the table is: - the first card selected about a foot in front of you and in the centre of the table, then directly below it are the scattered cards which were "dribbled" from the bottom of the pack when the three cards were chosen, then just below them are the three selected cards. To the right is the remainder of the pack which you placed down. Leave the "dribbled" cards where they are for a moment. Remove the top card of the pack (a black King) and scoop up the pack with it. There is now a black King on the top and on the bottom of the remainder of the pack. Place this packet of cards in the left hand for the time being. Ask the spectator which one of the three cards he would like to use. Whichever he selects pick up the other two, turn them face up and say, "You could have had either one of these two cards; in fact you can change your mind and take one of them now if you like." If he does change his mind, turn the card he selects face down and put it onto the table and pick up the other card from the table and place it face up with the other one in the right hand. Usually he will not change his mind. In any case turn the two cards in the right hand face down and hold them between the right first and sec67
ond fingers. Place the packet from the left hand between the right first finger and thumb. As you do this say, "Then this is the card you really want" and reach with the left hand for the remaining card of the three. As you pick up the third card, toss the packet of cards onto the "dribbled" cards on the table, retaining the top and bottom cards with the thumb and forefinger. At the same time release the two cards between the first and second fingers. These cards are trapped between the falling packet and the scattered cards on the table and merge with them perfectly. The above is a combination of two old moves; one a gambler's switch for a single card and the other a move well known to magicians for producing two cards. This adaption of moves is original with Larry Jennings and is a very fine idea. The fact that the two cards are originally between the first and second finger, then between the thumb and first finger after the packet is tossed away, is never noticed. Place the card in the left hand face up between the two face down cards in the right hand, letting it protrude for about half of its length from the outer end - all this being completed by the time you say, "This is the card you really want." Hold the face down cards, one in each hand and display the face up selected card. Now move the two hands over the packet on top of the scattered cards and leave the face-up card on top of it by separating the hands, retaining a face down card in each hand. Place the two cards onto the table in the same position they supposedly occupied before. They are now, of course, the two black Kings. Gather the packet and the scattered cards together and place them in the left hand, squared up with the face-up card still on top. Remove the face-up card and hold it face down in the right hand saying, "When I am lucky, this card (snap it against the packet in the left hand, making the Hofzinser Top Change) and this card (point to the card selected in the very beginning) should match." Turn over the card on the table and feign surprise as it appears that you are mistaken. Rub the face down card in the right hand on the face of the King on the table; turn the card in the hand face up - a King! Say that the last time you did this trick someone asked what would have happened if one of the other cards had been selected. Say, "You see it really wouldn't have mattered." Turn up the other two cards, showing all four Kings!
CHAPTER FOURTEEN LES CARTES DIACONIS In one of the tape recordings we received from Larry Jennings we switched on and heard Dai Vernon say, "It's now three o'clock in the morning and I am over at Larry's house. Of all people Persi Diaconis is with us. He flew in today to see some of the boys at the West Coast and is at present inspecting Larry's library I'm going to get Persi to release one of those fine tricks he does. Persi usually doesn't 'tip' but I've got some special powers of persuasion." We then heard Persi say, "You can say that again!" After much banter they got down to recording this fine trick, which is based upon "La Carte Generale" - from Sachs' "Sleight of Hand." Actually Persi has strengthened the original effect considerably and the method he uses is quite new. Effect:
Three spectators each peek at cards in different parts of the pack. The performer removes the top three cards from the pack and holding them in a fan, shows them to each spectator in turn. They all agree that their cards are not amongst the three. However, they are finally convinced that they are mistaken because on taking a second look, all three see their cards. In the original "La Carte Generale7', the same card is forced again and again, but in Persi Diaconis' trick three different cards are merely peeked at - and they can be any cards. Additionally, Persi has greatly improved the ending. Note: To make everything as clear as possible for the reader, we will assume that Dai Vernon's Three Break Control (see Chapter Twenty) is used to bring the three cards, peeked at by different spectators, to the top of the pack and we will describe the trick in this form. Should the reader prefer to have three different cards selected, replaced in the pack then brought to the top by some other method, then care must be taken that only the person who selects each card knows what it is. Actually Persi Diaconis uses Dai Vernon's Multiple Peek Control (see Chapter Twenty) which brings the three cards to the bottom and if the reader wishes to do this then the necessary, adjustments can easily be made once the method is understood.
This trick is ideally suited for performance before a group of people, then three spectators can be chosen who are sitting or standing a little distance from each other. The reason for this is that when three cards are shown in a fan to one spectator, it is essential that the other two do not see the faces of the cards. This will be clear as we proceed. The pack can be shuffled at the start, and it is explained to the audience that each of the three spectators is going to be asked to just peek at a card and remember it. So that there can be no chance of any two spectators peeking at the same card by mistake, the first spectator is to peek at a card somewhere in the front third of the pack, the second spectator somewhere in the centre, and the third one is to peek in the rear third of the pack. Hold the pack in the left hand in the position for a spectator to peek, go to someone on the left and ask him to peek at any card in the front third of the pack, impressing on him that the card seen must be remembered. Hold a break as the peek is taken. Now move to a spectator in the centre and have him peek at a card in the middle third of the pack - again hold a break. Finally go to a spectator on the right, have him peek at a card in the rear third of the pack - hold the third break. Bring the three cards to the top. The whole procedure is explained in Chapter Twenty. The reader will find this description easy to understand if we assume that the first spectator saw an Ace, the second one a Deuce, and the third a Three. In performance these could have been any three cards, as there is no force and no necessity for the performer to know the actual cards seen. In our example the order of the three cards from the top of the pack down, will be Three, Two, Ace. If required the pack can be given a false shuffle to leave the top three cards in position. Holding the pack face down in the left hand, say that you are going to use the top three cards, and thumb them off into the right hand with the left thumb - but actually take four cards. Again for clarity we will assume that the extra card is a Four spot, and this is now the bottom card of the right hand packet. Place the rest of the pack down, take the packet of four cards face down into the left hand and go to the first spectator. Spread the top two cards, and lift the hands to show the faces of the cards in a three card fan. The Ace will 70
be hidden behind the Four so that only the Four, Two and Three will show. Ask the spectator if he sees his card and his reply will be negative because the Ace is hidden. Square the cards. As you move to the second spectator buckle the bottom card and fan again. This time the Two will be hidden behind the Ace in the three card fan, with only the Four, Ace and Three showing. Ask the second spectator if he sees his card and, of course, the answer will be, "No." Square the cards. Go to the third spectator, turn the packet face-up in the left hand and show him three cards by thumbing over the two face cards. The Three is now hidden behind the Two, so naturally he will say that his card is not in the fan. The reason why spectators are chosen who are a little distance apart will now be understood. If two of the three spectators saw the fan at the same time one would see his card. Because only one is able to see, matters are so arranged that his card is hidden - he is aware of only three cards (actually there are four) and his card is not shown. You are now showing the third spectator the faces of three cards and a re-positioning is necessary to enable the trick to be completed. Take the card on the right (the Four) and place it square behind the packet. Step away, hold up the cards with their backs towards the spectators and as if counting the cards, take the Ace into the right hand, in a counting gesture, bring the hands together and push the Two onto the face of the Ace (that is reverse their order). You are now holding up a two card fan in the right hand and one card (two as one) in the left hand. Place the two cards held by the right hand at the back of the card(s) in the left hand and turn the squared packet face down in the left hand. The order from the top is Ace, Two, Four, Three. Now comes a really fine ending: Get a break under the two top cards as you move towards the first spectator. Lift the two top cards as one to show the Two and ask the spectator if it is his card. When he answers "No", move towards the second spectator and as the right hand passes over the left allow the bottom card (Two) to drop secretly on top of the cards in the left hand. Show the card (Ace) remaining in the right hand to the second and third spectators. Both will say it is not their card either. Holding it face down, move towards the first spectator again and ask for the name of his card. When he states the name, blow 71
on the back, then turn it over to show that it has indeed changed into the first card selected. Place it face up on the table. Make a double lift of the next two cards, and turn the Four face up on the face down Three. Show the Four to all three spectators who will all agree that it is not their card. Flip over the two cards as one, face down and thumb off the top face down card into the right hand. Ask the second spectator the name of his card and when it is stated, blow on the back of the card, turn it face up and show that the face has changed into the Two - the spectator's card. Go to the third spectator, ask for the name of his card and turn over the two cards as one in the left hand. The third card selected is revealed. By means of the Gambler's Bottom Palm, the Four can be carried away in the left hand as the Three is taken by the right hand and tossed face up on the table. Remember, we have used Ace, Two, Three and Four as an example only; visualize the effect when three freely peeked at cards are used, then the real strength of the effect will be appreciated.
RUNNING THE SCALE Dai Vernon says that Faucett Ross performs this trick better than anyone - including Dai himself! We had the pleasure of seeing Faucett perform it for several card enthusiasts in Harry Stanley's Magic Studio in London, and everyone present was very impressed.
The effect is that the performer quickly cuts off seven packets of cards from the pack. When each packet is counted it is found that one packet contains seven cards, one six, one five, one four and so on, the last being a single card. To perform, spread the cards between the hands saying, "Most people count cards by the simple method of pushing each one off singly." Injog the tenth card, then hold a break under the top six cards - square the pack. Say, "Here's how a magician counts cards." Bring the right hand over the pack, thumb at the rear, and pick off one card and place it face down on the table - to the left. By feeling with the thumb, push off two cards and place them squared, alongside the single card. Cut off all the cards above the break (actually three cards) and place the squared packet on the table. Cut at the injog (four cards) and place the squared packet on the table. Now cut off a few more than five cards and place them down, then cut off a few more than six cards and place them down. Finally cut off a few more than seven and place them down. So we now have seven packets in a row on the table; the first four on the left have the correct number of cards in each, but the last three have a few more cards than required. Starting with the packet on the right, false count as seven cards, using the Buckle Count. False count the next packet as six cards by the same method and the third packet as five cards. The four, three and two card packets are correct, so can be counted slowly and deliberately. To complete the effect, pick up the single card, snap it with the fingers as you say, " - and the difficult one!" To obtain the full effect, the cutting should be done quickly and surely and the false counting smoothly. When false counting and counting fairly, the handling must be identical, although the action should be slowed down 73
as the number of packets diminish. As each packet is counted, it should be placed on top of the pack. In this way there is no chance for anyone to check the actual number after a false count has been made.
CHAPTER SIXTEEN PURE MATHEMATICS As the title implies this effect appears to be brought about by some mathematical calculation, yet just how it is accomplished remains a mystery. Although here we have another revelation of a freely selected card/ the circumstances under which it is located are unusual. Preparation: A set-up of the top ten cards of the pack is required. Reading from the top down, we have 10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2, Ace - the suits do not matter; its just the sequence that is important. Performance: False shuffle or cut to retain the order of the ten cards on top of the pack. Now hold the pack face down in the left hand and bring the right hand over, placing the thumb at the inner end and bending up a packet of cards so that the inner end of the faces can be glimpsed. Allow the cards to run past the thumb and deliberately look for the Ace of the set-up sequence and hold a break under it. Riffle the front of the pack and allow an almost free selection of a card, only ensuring that incomes from the bottom three quarters of the pack. Riffle the cards to the break, cut off the packet above the break, have the selected card returned then replace the packet on top. Now ask one spectator to name any number from 1 to 5 inclusive and another spectator a number from 6 to 10 inclusive. The rule is to add the two numbers together in your head and proceed as follows: (a) If the total is more than 11, subtract 11 from it and move that number of cards from the bottom to the top, by shuffling or cutting. (b) If the total is less than 11, subtract it from 11 and move that number of cards from the top to the bottom. (c) If the total is 11, the pack is all set and the actual effect begins. 75
Repeat the smaller number given by the first spectator and count down that number of cards from the top of the pack onto the table. Turn over the last card of the count, and the number of spots on the face will be the same as the larger number given. Place all these cards back on top and count down to the larger number, when the spots on the card at that position will be the smaller number given. Now place all the cards on top and count down to the total of the numbers - the selected card is revealed! Note: By placing an indifferent card on top of the set-up at the start, the chances are greatly in favour of you not having to add to or remove any cards from the top of the pack. Take advantage of this whenever the total number is 11 or 12. However, if the number is 11, there is one minor change in procedure: In counting down to the smaller, larger and total numbers, always turn over the next card after the count. If the total number is neither 11 or 12, rules (a) or (b) must be observed, but now the key number is 12.
CHAPTER SEVENTEEN SLOW MOTION CARD VANISH When assembling the material for this book we received several letters from Faucett Ross containing practical suggestions. In one of the letters he wrote, "When the Professor was in England, I believe you recorded details of his Slow Motion Card Vanish. I feel this should be included as I can personally vouch for the effectiveness. It was the very first effect I saw Dai perform - at the Elk's Club in 1927!" We actually did take notes, and at the time Dai told us that Nate Leipzig's Slow Motion Coin Vanish had always intrigued him, so he had set about devising a method for producing a similar effect with a card. We expressed doubts about the possibility, because it seemed that the size of the card would create a problem of handling, in that it would be impossible to conceal the card from almost any angle. However, the Professor put us to shame by taking a card and performing the fine effect about to be described. In addition he expressed some words of wisdom which we will endeavour to set down as we go along. To understand the main principle it is necessary to practice holding a card with one edge under the thumb nail, the card protruding from the nail as in Figure 1. The nail may have to be worn a little longer than usual when you first start, as the card has to remain in position due to its weight creating leverage between the nail and the underside of the flesh at the top of the thumb. The card must be kept in a horizontal plane; a tilt out of plane will cause the card to fall. In Figure 1 the card is being held so that its length protrudes from the thumb nail - this is for practice only, so that one can understand the principle and gain confidence in handling the card in this position. In performance the width of the card will protrude, as it is held near the corner of one long side. By practicing handling the card the more difficult way first, it becomes so much easier when it is held in the other position. This may sound like the old story of hitting oneself on the head with a hammer because it is nice when you stop! Actually the theory is the same as practicing tricks with wide cards - if you learn to handle these cards, then your task is so much easier when you use bridge cards. Once the principle is understood, the reader can proceed to learn the moves. 77
In the illustrations we have concentrated on showing only the grips and hand positions. In performance the moves are made head high, that is, in front of the performer's face. For a reason that will be apparent later, the performer should be smoking a cigarette. 1. Hold a card upright in the left hand, thumb on the centre of the back of card and fingers extended across the face of the card. The face of the card should be protruding for about half its length above the side of the left forefinger - Figure 2.
2. Place the right hand at the top of the card, fingers in front of the top right hand corner - Figure 2. Slide the right thumb nail onto the corner of the card, then slide the thumb down the side of the card; simultaneously lever the card backwards until it is out of sight. By now the right thumb nail is about half an inch from the bottom right hand corner of the card; the card itself being in a horizontal position, the right hand having turned palm towards the audience with the fingers open and thumb at right angles to the palm. Only the top of the right thumb is behind the tip of the left fingers but, of course, the whole of the card extends behind the left fingers. 3. Move the right hand from side to side exposing all the palm and right to the tip of the thumb. Now move the right hand up a little so that the edge of the card is behind the horizontal left forefinger. Open the left fingers (Figure 3 - exposed view). 4. Close the left fingers, then move the right hand to the left so that the card is behind the left hand, now turn the left hand over so that the palm is
towards the audience with the fingers pointing upwards. Bring the card behind the left thumb and open all fingers (Figure 4 - rear view). The illustration shows how the outer left corner of the card can be rested on the flesh at the fork of the left thumb to steady the card, whilst the whole of both palms (with fingers wide open) are exposed to the audience. 5. Now blow a dense puff of smoke at the hands and move the hands apart for a brief moment, then bring them back to the position shown in Figure 4. This sounds a bold move, but as the card is edge on to the audience, and the vision is further obscured by the puff of smoke, the card is not seen. 6. Move the right hand to the left to bring the card behind the left hand, then turn the left hand to bring the back towards the audience, with fingers pointing to the right. Move the right hand a little to the right so that the outer corner of the card can be clipped between the sides of the left first and second fingers. Release the nail grip and move the right hand to the right, leaving the card in the left hand. The right hand moves to the right just sufficiently so that the palm and extended thumb are exposed. 7. Turn the right hand to bring the back towards the audience, with fingers pointing to the left. Bring the hands together and place both thumbs behind the card and lever it upright into view. In Dai Vernon's hands this little cameo of card magic is a thing of beauty. He performs it with graceful hand movements and at a slow, even tempo. Some years ago he included it in his night club act, and the American show paper, "Billboard", hailed it by reporting, "Here is something new in Magic." It is a fine example of how a little thing can create quite a stir when given importance by expert presentation. Dai Vernon has released the secret for the benefit of the magical fraternity, but he stresses that it needs a considerable amount of practice before a perfect illusion can be created. Give it the practice it deserves and you will have a real gem.
SECTION TWO CARD SLEIGHTS AND MOVES
CHAPTER EIGHTEEN VERNON ON THE PASS Perhaps more has been written on the standard Pass than any other sleight in card magic yet very few magicians can perform it without telegraphing that something is happening. Some performers seem oblivious that a telltale movement as the packets transpose will make it obvious that some form of trickery is being executed, whilst others avoid the Pass entirely and employ a substitute manoeuvre to bring about the desired result. Nevertheless the Pass can be one of the most useful of all methods of controlling a card or cards, and the following observations by Dai Vernon will help the reader to master the handling and avoid the pitfalls which deter so many. In correspondence and on tape recordings Dai Vernon has sent us detailed descriptions of his method of making the Pass; in addition Steve Young has taken three photographs to show the exact movements of the hands and cards. By following the text and studying the photographs the mechanics will be easily understood, but only practice will give that smoothness of execution and understanding of timing which will eliminate all cause for suspicion. To clarify the description we will assume that we are to bring a selected card to the top of the pack. The pack is held in the left hand for the right hand to cut off the top half of the pack, so that the selected card can be replaced on top of the left hand portion. The bare essentials are that the pack is then reassembled and the packets transposed, so that the bottom portion is brought to the top. It is the transposition of the two packets of cards which causes difficulty in eliminating visual movement. Dr. Daley used to say, "You have to pay a price for anything in magic and if you remove a slight defect it will crop up in some other way." How true this is will be proved when trying to improve the Pass, for when one fault is rectified another developes, yet by being aware of Dr. Daley's warning one knows the danger and can take precautions. Angles of vision are the main difficulties we encounter. Anyone can soon perform the Pass so that it cannot be detected from one angle only - e.g. from directly in front, or it can be helped by lifting the hands up or down according to the direction of view and elevation of the spectators. It can be done almost in slow motion without being seen, but to be really effective it must look well from the left, the right and in front. Usually, any person 83
observing the hands from the right will see the packet go down, and the only way this can be covered is by the actions pictured in the photographs and which we will describe later. First let us quote Dai Vernon's own words on the timing. He writes, "Of utmost importance in performing any 'steal', 'pass' or such move is how you 'go into it.' The pass should be executed the very instant the upper hand touches the pack. There should be absolutely no 'getting set/ The little finger must be in position between the packets and the pack in the exact position for instantaneous operation the second the hand grasps the pack. The identical basic principle applies equally for the 'side steal', 'top and bottom palm', 'changes' and so forth." Now let us study the handling from here on - from the point where the selected card has been returned to the top of the left hand portion. As the right hand, holding its packet from above, comes over the left hand packet, the left little finger is inserted between the packets. Photograph A. This shows the start of the transposition and from the photograph we can visualize why the pass is often detected. The right side of the upper pack is gripped between the left little finger below, and the third finger above. If the transposition is made in the usual way the little finger causes 'space' between the packets, and additionally the upper packet travels in quite a wide arc on its downward passage. Usually the packet goes out and right down before coming under the other packet, and this permits it to be seen by spectators on the right, as well as causing a jumping movement of the hands. Now let us study Dai Vernon's method. Photograph B. When the top packet is gripped by the left little and third fingers the lower packet is immediately shifted forward by pushing with the right thumbtip, until the little finger is at the inner end of the lower packet. This permits the face of the top packet to come flat against the top card of the lower packet, and so eliminates the telltale triangle where the little finger would usually be, in other words there is no wasted space.
Should the top packet be brought straight down, or in an arc, it will still be visible from the right, but Dai Vernon makes it hug the right side of the lower packet. Photograph C. With the packets 'kissing', he eliminates both a large arc and an excessive downward path by revolving the moving packet under the other, as if to bring the packets face to face. This can be seen in the photograph - if the packet was released at this point and the pack squared, one half would be face down and the other face up. However, as soon as the right side of the moving packet clears the right side of the now upper packet, the left fingers curl inwards and the packet revolves in the opposite direction, the side wiping across the face of upper packet, until it is sufficiently turned to be brought up against the underside of the other packet. A downward pressure with the right hand prevents a jumping movement as the packets transpose. The reader is urged to study the photographs carefully as Steve Young cleverly captured the important features whilst Dai Vernon's hands made the moves. The thought behind this method of making the pass is an excellent example of how Dai Vernon analyses each move to attain near perfection - this is the "Vernon Touch."
When Dai Vernon was in England we sat with him while he demonstrated several methods of making the Pass. After taking notes of littleknown versions we photographed his hands making the moves. THE BLACK PASS. This is so named by Dai Vernon because he based it on a method devised by Fred Black, a cattle rancher from Thedford, Nebraska. Incidentally, Fred Black was given world prominence by Ripley in his "Believe It or Not" newspaper feature as, "the only man who could take a shuffled pack of cards, deal out four Bridge hands, then gather the cards together, riffle shuffle, have the cards cut, shift the cut and deal out the identical hands to the same players in less than a minute!" Fred Black also supplied the Faro Tables to T. Nelson Downs which appeared in ''Expert Card Technique." We have seen that with the standard Pass there is usually a wide movement as the two halves of the pack are transposed, and have learnt how to eliminate this. When Dai Vernon learnt the Black Pass he found that Black had also fallen into a trap - that of positioning one half of the pack at an unnatural angle in the hand. Here is how Dai Vernon adapted the Black Pass for his own use: Hold the pack from underneath at the tips of the left fingers and thumb. Cut off the top half with the right hand to have a selected card replaced in the centre. In returning the top half it is stepped at about one inch to the right as in Figure 1.
Let both halves settle in the left hand, which has the palm flat, fingers extended and thumb wide as in Figure 2. Close the left thumb and fingers to square the pack, when a flesh break is automatically held at the base of the
left little finger. (Figure 3) By pulling with the left fingers, the top half is pulled to the right and tilts upward (Figure 4 - right hand removed for clarity) and can be taken to the bottom. Cover is given by the right hand which also masks the left thumb which slightly tilts up the bottom half. In addition, the right hand only allows the bottom half to tilt sufficiently for the halves to pass, then holds it motionless (that is the bottom half is not allowed to settle again) as the top half moves downwards. The right hand only covers the pack for a fraction of a second; just long enough to cover the movement of the top half which the left fingers draw to the right and downwards until the packets transpose.
LOCATION PASS. This pass will be found particularly useful when it is desired to bring a certain card to the top or bottom of the pack, even though its actual position in the pack is not known and has to be found. Hold the pack face down in the left hand with all four fingers curled well over the right side of the pack, which is perfectly squared. Squeeze with the left fingers to prevent the cards slipping out of alignment when the thumb is released. By bending the left thumb, the pad can be brought to the left side of the pack. When the thumb is moved forward with pressure the sides of the cards can be released in a riffling action. By glancing down, the performer can see as the cards pass and can locate any card by spotting the inner index. When the required card is seen, the riffling stops at that card. Dependant on the requirement for bringing the card to the top or bottom of the pack, the card is either retained in the seen position or allowed to escape from the pad
of the thumb. There will now be a V shaped opening in the side away from the fingers, the top packet; being heavily bent - Figure 5. By bringing the right hand over the V opening, the bottom half of the pack can be seized in the regular Pass position and hinged upward (Figure 6), as the left fingers pull the top packet down and under.
SPRONG'S PASS. Johnny C. Sprong, a well-known devotee to pure sleight of hand, originated this pass and called it a "Hinge Pass". He demonstrated it to Dai Vernon, then also sent him detailed written instructions. Expertly performed it is invisible. The pack is held as in the regular Pass - all four fingers curled at the right side - but the third finger is between the two packets. The whole pack is hinged face up (back of pack now facing the floor) to show the whole face of the bottom card. This is accomplished by turning the right hand (holding the pack) so that the back is to the floor. The left fingers are extended (third finger between the packets) so that the pack is now on the left fingers - see Figure 7. Simultaneously as the reverse movements are made to turn the pack face down, the left fingers are lowered (they hold the back packet). There is no tilting of either packet, the back packet sliding down the back of the other packet (Figure 8), then coming up on the face of the packet as the right hand continues an uninterrupted and natural turning down action - all the right hand does is to turn the packet face down. Sprong's favourite method of exhibiting this Pass was to have a card selected and returned, then inserted his left third finger one card above the selected card. He showed the bottom card by the pass move, made the pass
then immediately took off the top card and showed it. He buried both the top and bottom cards in the centre of the pack and was all set with the selected card on top of the pack. FAN PASS TRANSFORMATION. This pass is performed in rather an unusual position in that the pack is held at above knee height, with the performer bending forwards. It was devised by Walter Baker, one of the original founders of the Tarbell Course. Hold the pack face up in the dealing position in the left hand. Hold a break with the left little finger so that a small packet is held close to the left palm. Insert the right fingers into the break and fan the upper portion of the pack (not a wide fan). Notice in Figure 9 how the left thumb is along the left sides of the cards. As the right hand turns fan face down, make a quarter turn inwards with theieft hand until the thumb is directly facing the spectators. Retain the left hand position until the backs of the cards held in the right hand completely cover the packet in the left hand. As the movement is continued the under packet is lowered by the left fingers - Figure 10 (exposed view from lower right side). This brings the back of this packet upwards to conform with the fanned packet which is squared on top, the left thumb coming over on top to complete the squaring of the pack. The effect is that the cards are fanned face up in a short fan, turned over and squared. Walter Baker only used this as a transformation of the bottom card - he performed it extremely well.
CHAPTER NINETEEN VERNON ON TABLE PASSES In the last chapter we dealt with the Pass with the cards held in the hands. Now we will explain methods of making the Pass after the pack has been cut on the table, and in the action of completing the cut. First Method:
This method is good because it allows the cut to be shifted when the pack is actually on the table, and the general rules of making a cut are observed; that is, the cut-off portion of the pack should be placed towards the dealer, for there to be two portions of the pack on the table. To make the shift after the cut, pick up the packet furthest from you in the following manner: Place the right second, third and little fingers over the far side of the packet, with the thumb at the centre of the near-side to tilt up that side for the thumb to be slid underneath. Curl the forefinger inwards onto the back card. Lift the packet and bring it above the other packet. At this point, with the right thumb and first finger, carry the lifted packet to the table behind the inner side of the other packet. Holding the lifted packet with the thumb and first finger only, extend the second, third and little fingers to the outer side of the other packet, the second finger going near the left outer corner. With the forefinger,' push down on the top of the lifted packet, so that the outer side is firmly on the table behind the table packet, and begins to slide forward. The lifted packet will now be standing on its side on the table, the cards held by the thumb on the face card and the tip of the forefinger on the back card. With the second, third and little fingers, pull on the outer side of the table packet for it to be scooped up onto the lifted packet. The top card of the lifted packet acts as a guide for the table packet to be aligned as it is scooped up and pulled onto the lifted packet - Figure 1. Without any loss of time, the pack is placed into the left hand. Timing is a most important factor in the execution of this Table Pass. There are two separate actions and a series of actions, making three phases, each of which must take the same time - say, on a lazy silent count of ''One Two - Three" as follows: "One" - Cut the pack.
"Two" - Pick up furthest packet. "Three" - Make the shift and place the pack in the left hand. Second Method: Cut the pack into two packets on the table as in the previous method, but this time have the end of the pack facing you and cut to the left. With the right hand, pick up the right packet by the ends, the second, third and little fingers at the outer end, the thumb at the opposite end, and the forefinger curled on top. This would be the most natural method of picking up the packet by the ends for most people, and the essential thing is that it must look natural. So if the reader would pick up the packet by the ends in some other manner, then it should be adopted. Slap the lifted packet on top of the other packet at an angle, diagonally to the left as in Figure 2. Without removing the right hand, change the grip for the first finger to go right to the left corner of the upper packet, and curl the little and third fingers under the outer end of the lower packet. The second finger is relaxed. - Figure 3. Extend the first finger and thumb to the left, taking the top packet with them, the lower packet being held by the curled third and little fingers which hold it against the palm. As the right hand moves to the left, to place the pack in the left hand, curl the right third and little fingers a little more to make the sides of the packets clear each other, the original lower packet now being a little above the other packet - Figure 4. The side of the extended packet hits the left thumb as the hands come together and the right hand continues to travel for the packets to be squared on the left palm.
MEXICAN JOE'S TABLE PASS.
This Pass can be used for retaining a dozen or so cards on the bottom of the pack after the cut. Make the cut as in the previous method. Pick up the original lower portion with the right forefinger at the outer end, and the thumb at the centre of the opposite end. With the little finger reach forward to the centre right corner and swing a small block of cards from the bottom to the right; that is the block pivots on the right thumb. Place the visible portion of the packet (the bottom block is covered by the back of the right hand) flush onto the other packet on the table, and slide the whole pack back to the edge of the table, the second, third and little fingers extending in front of the pack and hiding the block. Figure 5 shows an exposed view of the holding position, the hand having been turned to show the packets and block of cards. Draw the whole pack over the edge of the table, until the first finger is clear of the table, but extend the other three fingers for their tips to rest on the edge of the table. The moment the pack dears the table, bring the left hand up from below to the underside of the pack, the left thumb crotch contacting the left side of the pack. Extend the left fingers and spread them apart under the pack. The protruding block of cards must now be clipped by the left forefinger at the outer end, and the left little finger at the inner end. With the tips of the right
second, third and little fingers still on the table edge, and the pack itself dipped below the edge, shift the protruding cards to the bottom by pulling down with the left first and little fingers, then lift the left hand with the whole pack squared on the palm. CHARLIE MILLER'S TABLE PASS, This pass restores the cards to their original position after the cut. Allow a spectator to cut the cards towards you as you are sitting at the table, with the left hand resting on the table top. Shift the left hand to bring the second finger about half-an-inch diagonally from the left inner corner of the cut-off top packet.
With the right hand, pick up the packet furthest away from you by the sides and near the right end, and slap it on top of the other packet, but projecting to the left for about half-an-inch - Figure 6. Slide the whole pack back rapidly until the projecting corner strikes the back of the nail of the left second finger - Figure 7. Continue the backward movement, raising the left forefinger to allow the pack to pass. The top packet of cards pivots around the left second finger, and as it is leaving the bottom packet, tilt it up with the left fingers so that the face of the bottom card is towards the audience. Under this cover, hinge up the other packet with the right fingers and take it to the back of the pivoted packet - Figure 8. Square up the whole pack as it is resting on its side, then hinge it down to the table.
CHAPTER TWENTY AFTER PEEKING We have dealt in detail with the handling for allowing a spectator to peek at any card in the pack, in Dai Vernon's "Tribute to Nate Leipzig." What we are mainly concerned with here is the methods Dai Vernon employs for controlling the card after the peek has been taken. However, to be complete we will again give a description of the peeking procedure. Here is Dai Vernon's own handling. With the face of the pack towards a spectator, hold the pack, well forward in the left hand, the fingers curled round the face so that the little finger is in contact with the inner right corner of the pack, the left side of the pack well in the thumb crotch and the thumb across the back of the pack, gripping it firmly. The fingers themselves do not grip the pack but are relaxed. Extend the left hand towards the spectator, the face of the pack at his eye level, and ask him to lever back a section of the cards by placing his left thumb at the top outer corner and merely peeking at the index corner of the card where the pack breaks. As the peek is taken, a section of cards hinges back a little, allowing the tip of the left little finger to close in and hold a break (the gap being only about a tenth of an inch). The thumb grip is never relaxed, which except for beveling, keeps the cards in perfect alignment. Bring the right hand over the pack, gripping it by the ends, and not until the pack is gripped by the right hand is the pressure of the left thumb released. Now tilt up the pack, still retaining the break with the left little finger, till the ball of the left thumb rests on the left side of the pack. Shift the right hand and take the pack with the thumb at the inner side and the second and third fingers at the opposite side. Squeeze the pack to show that the outer edges of the cards are perfectly squared. Now allow the pack to settle on the left palm again (still hold the break), the left thumb along the side of the pack. A variation in handling for the Peek is for the performer to do the work himself. It is almost as effective if the spectator does not touch the cards, but is asked to call "Stop" at any time as the performer himself runs the cards by riffling the corner of the pack with his right forefinger. This makes the whole operation dead sure, because everything is under the performer's control. It also saves the spectator doing any work and prevents delay through mis95
understanding. Whichever type of Peek is used, from here on we can go into various handlings. It is not proposed to describe the Side Slip, Pass, and other well-known manoeuvres which can be used to control a card after a spectator has peeked at it, but rather to confine our studies to unpublished procedures. The following are some of Dai Vernon's variations: 1. PRESSURE FAN. Proceed as before to obtain the break, but continue folding the tips of the left second, third and little fingers in so that a step is formed in the pack at the break-Figure 1. Now immediately make a pressure fan. On inspection of the rear of the fan, a sharp corner will be seen projecting in the hub of the fan at the point where the break was dropped - Figure 2.
Close the fan by placing the side of the right little finger at the bottom of the last card of the fan and moving the right hand round. When the fan is closed the entire pack is taken by the right hand (second finger at the centre of the outer end and thumb at the centre of inner end). Shift the position of the left hand, the thumb going to the outer left corner and the second finger to the outer right corner. Squeeze the outer end of the pack to square it. The left little finger can now feel a step (Figure 3), which if pulled down will allow a break to be held and the pack squared. Now proceed as desired.
Seemingly, the purpose for making the fan is to show that the peeked at card is still somewhere in the pack. Any suspicion of control is dispelled after this manoeuvre. 2. SPREAD LOCATION.
A card is peeked at in the usual way and a break held by the left little finger. While the pack is covered by the right hand, the bottom section of the pack can be pulled down at the break and the tip of the left little finger brought into contact with the bottom card of the top section. This card is pulled down about a quarter of an inch. Now by pushing the card with the tip of the left little finger, it is made to protrude for about a sixteenth of an inch (less than the width of the margin) at the other side of the pack at the inner corner. Holding the cards from above with the right hand, turn the pack a little to the left and bring it to the left side of the table top. Move the right first finger just around the outer corner to the side of the pack as you spread the cards in an arc, from left to right, across the table. The card originally peeked at will be jogged in the spread.
The arrow in the photograph at Figure 4 shows the jogged card. The jog has been exaggerated for clarity, but in performance (after experience) it needs only the tiniest of jogs to be recognized. The only difficulty is in picking off a single card with the tip of the little finger. If the sides of the pack are squeezed downwards it will make it easy to accomplish. Dai Vernon also uses the following variation. Instead of jogging the card 97
out, he jogs the whole upper packet by pressing on it with the left little finger. The front end of the pack is squared with the right fingers, then the pack spread across the table as before. An example of the subtle use of this basic principle is to secretly bring the selected card to the top, then show that the bottom card is not the one peeked at. Bury the shown card in the middle of the pack then, by means of a double lift, show that the card is not on the top. After the two cards have been returned to their original position, take the real top card (the one peeked at) and also seemingly bury it in the centre of the pack. When it has been pushed in until it protrudes about a quarter of an inch, the right forefinger, which is doing the pushing at the outer end, causes the card to go in just off square. This happens because the pressure of the left thumb, holding the near outer corner, is increased to cause a pivoting action. The pack is spread across the table as before when the jogged card is apparent only to the experienced eye. It is remarkable what a fine jog will show in the spread once the performer has experience in detecting the slight slope. To the inexperienced, the spread will stand the closest scrutiny. 3. TO SHUFFLE THE CARD TO THE TOP WITH THE RIFFLE SHUFFLE. A spectator takes a peek at a card in the usual way, and a break is held secretly by the performer's left little finger. Bring the right hand over and seize the pack, the four fingers at the front end and the thumb at the rear. With the left fingers, buckle the bottom portion of the pack until the left fingertips can contact the peeked card above the break. Keeping the fingers in contact, release the buckling pressure and the card will jog out about a quarter of an inch to the right. Shift the right thumb to the left inner corner of the pack and curl the right first finger on top. Tilt the pack up until the tip of the left second finger rests on the centre of the bottom card. Riffle with the right thumb and a click will be heard and the pack will break at the jogged card. Keeping the left hand palm up, insert the left forefinger into the opening so that the pack can be broken into two packets, ready for a riffle shuffle. The photograph at Figure 5 shows the pack being
broken, and it will be noticed that the left thumb has moved to the back of the jogged card. This allows the jogged card to be brought forward and square with the bottom packet. Now the left thumb is positioned at the outer corner, so that both thumbs riffle their respective packets, shuffling the cards together for the selected card to be left on top at the completion of the shuffle. It will be appreciated that by jogging a card and riffling for the pack to break is, in effect, using an ordinary card as a "short" card. This principle is one which Dai Vernon has developed to great advantage. 4. DOUBLE PEEK CONTROL. Assume that it is required to have two cards peeked at, either by the same spectator or two different individuals. Hold the first break with the left little finger as usual, then allow the second peek to be taken, and as the spectator releases the gap, position the tip of the third finger to hold the second break. Drop the left hand to bring the back of the pack upwards and bring the right hand over from above to undercut the pack at the lower break and complete the cut, which brings one of the peeked at cards to the bottom. Take over the remaining break with the right thumb and retain it as the cards are turned to the overhand shuffling position. Pick up the lower packet at the break and shuffle right down to the last card, which is thrown on top. This leaves one selected card on top of the pack and the other on the bottom. Another handling which brings the two cards to the same position in but a single cut is as follows: Hold the two breaks as before then seize the pack at the sides with the right hand. Insert the right third finger into the upper break and reach down with the second finger to grip the packet below the lower break - Figure 6. Cut this packet to the top but in doing so, press upwards with the right third finger and draw out the card above the upper break, which joins (and comes above) the top card of the lower packet.
5. THREE BREAK CONTROL. Assume that it is required to have three cards peeked at in succession. Arrange so that the peeks are taken near the bottom, centre and top of the pack. The order in which the peeks are taken does not matter so long as there is the approximate spacing as shown in Figure 7. The left fingers go in to hold the breaks in the order of little, third and second - that is to say, if the first peek is taken at the centre, the little finger tip must go in to hold the break. The example in the photograph is that the first peek has been taken at the bottom so the little finger has gone in to hold the break; the second peek was in the centre which the third finger holds and the third peek at the top for the second finger to hold. Bring the right hand over the ends of the pack, the thumb at the inner end. Open the break held by the left second finger very slightly and by squeezing slightly with the left hand, the second finger enters the break. By releasing the squeezing pressure, the peeked at card will pivot to the right. The right thumb must relax slightly until its tip contacts the inner left corner of the card. In the same manner, the third finger enters its break and the second card is pivoted to the right. Next the little finger enters its break and the third card is pivoted.' Without changing the position of the hands, pivot the whole bottom packet of cards to line up with the three pivoted cards. In Figure 8, the right hand has been moved to show the position of the cards at this stage but actually it retains its position throughout. Tilt the right hand forward as the left forefinger is placed at the inner left corner and pivots out the top packet. Shift the right thumb slightly to the right to grasp the bottom section and the two projecting cards. With the left forefinger, pivot the unimportant top packet to the left to clear the cards held by the right hand which are then thrown on top.
This brings the three peeked at cards to the top of the pack. 6. MULTIPLE PEEK CONTROL.
This is the handling Dai Vernon uses to bring several peeked at cards, in order, to the bottom of the pack. The first card is peeked at in the usual way and a break is held, but not close to the inner corner as usual, but about an inch from it. Now hinge up the pack so that the side can be held by the left thumb tip. Bring the right second finger and thumb to the rear of the pack, cut out the lower packet at the break and slap it on top. Have a second card peeked at and carry out the same procedure as before, except that when the packet is slapped on top, it is done with a forward step of about an inch. Hinge the whole pack down to the palm, then cut the bottom jogged packet to the top, but by pressing the pack down on the left palm, the bottom card is retained on the palm for the top packet to fall on to it. Two peeked at cards are now together on the bottom of the pack. By repetition of this jogged cut and retaining the bottom card on the left palm, any number of peeked at cards can be brought to the bottom in the correct order. 7. TRANSFERRING THE BREAK.
Starting after the peek has been taken and a break held by the left little finger, bring the right hand over the pack and grasp it from above, the second and third fingers at the right outer corner and thumb at inner corner. Pick up the break with the right thumb, and lift the whole pack. Re-position the cards in the left fingers, so that the inner left corner of the entire pack fits into and between the bottom joints of the third and little fingers. The other fingers and thumb hold the pack, the top joint of the left forefinger on the near corner of the pack. With the right thumb, riffle the packet of cards above the break, which will release the grip on the inner left corner of the upper packet. The flesh at the fork of the little and third fingers will hold a break of about 101
an eighth of an inch. The pack can now be tipped up and the right edge shown (Figure 9). From this position one can revert to the original position or, because the pack is already in the overhand shuffling position, the bottom half can be picked up and shuffled on top, which will leave the selected card on the bottom. This method of holding a break with a pinch of flesh at the base of the fingers has become known as the "Greek Break/' Here is another use for this type of break: 8. A SPECTATOR FINDS HIS OWN CARD. The usual procedure is adopted, the spectator taking a peek then the performer holding a break with the left little finger. If the break is held close to a third of the way from the top of the pack, all well and good, but if it should be very close to the top or in the lower half, cut the pack to bring the break to about a third from the top. Hold the pack from above with the right second and third fingers at the outer end and the thumb at the inner end. Slide the pack across the left hand until the inner left corner fits into the crotch of the left third and little fingers. Riffle the upper third with the right thumb only, the left thumb pressing on the centre of the back of the pack. A break will now be held by the web of flesh between the left third and little fingers. Tap the side of the pack on the table, then slide out the face card with the right hand and using this card as a board, pat the end of the pack, squaring it perfectly - Figure 10. Still pinching the pack firmly between the left fingers and thumb, hand the right hand card, face up, to the spectator instructing him to insert the card, face up, somewhere near the centre of the pack. Twist the card to the position shown in Figure 11. This photograph is an exposed view and shows the break held by the web of flesh at the base of the third and little fingers.
Extend the first three fingers of the right hand under the inserted card and push their tips into the pack at the insertion point. The inserted card will now be slightly bent upwards. Move the left hand to the right, the thumb exerting pressure on the cards. It will be found that the packet above the break will slip about half an inch to the right. Grip this packet with the right little finger and thumb (Figure 12) and slide it and the inserted card clear of the pack. After its initial push, the left thumb is lifted and takes no further part in the above, but a pinch is maintained at the inner left corner of the pack by the third and little fingers. When the right hand is turned, exhibiting the face of the previously peeked at card to the spectator, it appears as if he inserted a card next to the peeked at card. 9. ADAPTION OF THE GREEK BREAK FOR CARD STABBING. This is Dai Vernon's own variation of this form of break. The break itself is obtained in the same way as described above, but when sliding the pack forward across the left palm, the corner fits into the crotch of the first and second fingers, the break being held by the web of flesh between those fingers. Figure 13 shows an exposed view of the break. Note that the pack is held at the corner by the second finger and thumb only. The other fingers are relaxed and held away from the pack. Tap the pack on the table as in Figure 14. In the photograph, the pack has been allowed to open to show the break, but in performance the pack is perfectly squared.
This hold is excellent for the well-known trick of wrapping paper or a bank note over the side of the pack and pushing the point of a pocket knife through the paper to locate the card. If the point of the knife is run across the paper over the upper edge of the pack (held at a slight slope) and the 103
pressure is released, the point will find the opening into which the thrust can be made. Alternatively, if a finger is run along the smooth paper and the break allowed to open, pressure of the finger will cause a dent in the paper to show where to make the thrust. Yet another use for this method of holding a break is in forcing a card. By referring to Figure 14 again, it will be seen that the hand position is natural, and you know exactly where the force card is as soon as the pack is fanned for a card to be selected. For the purpose of convenience in description, we have treated the various methods of control as if they automatically followed on from the spectator's peek. The reader will readily appreciate that most of them can be used equally well when a break has been obtained in other circumstances.
CHAPTER TWENTY ONE ONE HANDED SHUFFLES Most card enthusiasts enjoy mastering methods of handling cards which look unusual and neat. There is something particularly fascinating in performing some slick and difficult-looking manoeuvre, even though the performing time is short, and the same result could be accomplished with much less practice. Obviously, we do not recommend the use of several of such items in a performance of card magic, but one thrown in occasionally demonstrates that the performer is above average in handling cards. BENZON'S SHUFFLE. This shuffle was devised by Alfred Benzon as a neat and spectacular method of shuffling. An important factor in the execution of this shuffle is that the cards must be bent convexley along their length. After this is done the pack is held in the same position as if the Charlier Pass is to be made, and half of the pack dropped from the thumb as at the beginning of that Pass. To begin the shuffle the curled forefinger assists in lifting the bottom of the packet nearest the thumb up into the thumb crotch. Continue the Charlier moves but when the packets are in the inverted V position, they are held there momentarily. Now the thumb packet is moved up, but a few cards from the underside of the packet are left bent against the fingers-packet. As the outer side of the thumb packet reaches over the top edge of the upper side of the fingers packet, a few cards are caught from the fingers packet by the underside of the thumb packet, so that these cards are bent inwards. These movements are repeated continuously, bending the packets alternately until all the cards are interwoven. Photograph 1 shows the thumb packet leaving cards bent against the face of the fingers packet and Photograph 2 shows the action as the thumb packet is brought down by the pressure of the thumb, to bend down cards from the underside of the fingers packet. This is a difficult shuffle to describe and indeed it is not easy to perform, but if the photographs are studied the mechanics will soon be understood. We have found that at the start it feels that the hand is "full to overflowing", but after a while a knack is acquired. Two important factors are (a) that the 105
cards are bent along their length and (b) the bottom of the thumb packet is lifted up until it comes to the bottom of the thumb. After this, the knack comes with a "See-Saw" movement of the thumb and finger.
VERNON'S ONE-HANDED SHUFFLE.
Dai Vernon often shuffles the cards with one hand in the following manner. With the pack on the table, he cuts the cards into two equal packets, placing the cut-off packet alongside the other, the sides being together and in perfect alignment. Now he brings his right hand over the packets, the little and third fingers being at the outer side of the packet on the right and the thumb at between the centre and outer corner of the packet on the left. The second finger rests idly at the centre of the end of the right packet, and the first finger at the corner of the left packet (where the two corners of the packets touch), see Figure 3. He presses the packets together with the thumb and third finger, at the same time lifting the touching corners slightly with the first finger, which causes the packets to rise in the middle like a tent. Now, by an upward riffling motion with the tip of the first finger, the cards are coaxed to interweave (Figure 4). They are finally pushed together and squared with one hand only. 106
CHAPTER TWENTY TWO CARD PLACEMENT Since the publication of Frank Kelly's "Bottom Placement" in "The Tarbell Course in Magic" (Volume 3, page 184) it has been put to many good uses in card magic. The original of this manoeuvre is that the performer holds the pack back up in his left hand and riffles the cards with his left thumb, stopping wherever a spectator says the word. The upper half of the pack is then lifted to show what card was stopped at. Now the upper half is replaced and the pack squared, but the card just shown has been secretly brought to the bottom of the pack. The bare outline of the mechanics of this secret placement of the card on the bottom of the pack, is that the inner end of the card is released whilst it is on the bottom of the cut off packet. Thus a "V" shaped gap is formed between it and the rest of the packet. When the right hand packet is brought diagonally over the left hand packet in the action of squaring the pack, the left hand packet goes into the gap for the bottom card of the right hand packet to go the bottom of the left hand packet. Illustrations of this move will be found in Francis Haxton's "Last Word Four Aces." Dai Vernon has evolved several effects in which the principle can be utilized, and has also developed a completely different handling to the one used by the originator. To perform Dai Vernon's version, proceed as follows: 1. Hold the pack in the dealing position in the left hand, but well forward in the hand. 2. Bring the right hand over the pack for the purpose of cutting off a packet of cards, placing the right second finger-tip towards the right side of the outer end and the thumb at the inner end. Curl the right forefinger onto the back of the top card. The right third and little fingers are curled inwards, the side of the third finger resting against the side of the cut-off packet. 3. To release the inner end of the bottom card of the right hand packet, bring the tip of the right third finger under the card at the inner right corner (almost touching the thumb), then pull on the inner corner to make the card 107
move a little to the right. This corner can now be nipped against the third finger by the back of the nail on the little finger. 4. By moving the third and little fingers, bend the bottom card downwards, just sufficiently for the placement to be made. (See Figure 1). 5. This is done by holding the left hand packet still as the right hand packet is brought diagonally over the top of the left hand packet for the bottom card to be guided to the bottom of the pack, as the right hand cards are pushed flush on top. PENETRATION - JOHN McCORMICK. The following effect by John McCorrnick makes use of Dai Vernon's "Card Placement" in a novel manner. In addition to a pack of cards, you will also need two thin boards about seven inches long by five inches wide. Alternatively two sheets of cardboard, or even two slim books can be used. The effect will be apparent as we proceed. To perform, show both sides of the boards, then place them together and hold them at one end in the left hand, the fingers being extended well under the bottom board. Have the pack shuffled then placed on the top board at the end, close to the left thumb. Ask the spectator to cut the pack dt any point, and place the cut-off portion to the right, beside the rest of the pack. With the right hand, lift the cut-off packet and show the spectator the bottom card. In replacing the packet on the board, secretly perform the card placement already explained (Figure 2). Note how the left thumb holds the other packet to prevent the cards falling. As the bottom card slides under the bottom board, it is received and pulled in place by the tips of the left fingers.
Ask the spectator to complete the cut and when this has been done, tilt the left hand for the pack to slide off the boards to the right, where they are caught by the right hand. Hand the pack to the spectator to be shuffled. Take the top board in the right hand, separate the hands, then bring them together again, the right hand board now going below the other and trapping the card between them. Gesture with the boards, turning them over in the process, then ask the spectator to replace the pack on the centre. Place your right hand on top of the pack and press, then lift the pack to reveal that the previously chosen card is not on the bottom. Lift the top board, when the card will be found face up, having apparently penetrated the solid wood.
CHAPTER TWENTY THREE HANDLING A SHORT CARD Much has been written on the types and uses of short cards, and we do not propose to duplicate it here. However, there are several little known subtleties employed by Dai Vernon which should be recorded as the information will be interesting and valuable to magicians. The Short Card: Instead of making a cut completely across one end of a card to shorten it, an improvement is to make the cuts in the shape of a slight concave curve in both ends of the card. The amount of card cut off should be no thicker than a coarse thread, the corners of the card not being touched. The illustration (Figure 1) shows how the cuts should be made, but the amount cut off has been exaggerated for clarity. If it is normal procedure for the reader to cut a pack by the sides, then he will prefer to make the curves in the two sides instead of in the ends of the card. With normal handling a card shortened as described cannot be distinguished in appearance from a normal card, and when slightly bent cannot be detected under close scrutiny. This type of short card is ideal when it is required to lift off two cards as one from the top of the pack. With the short card on top of the pack, the right thumb goes to the centre of one end (or side) and the second finger to the opposite end (or side). The two cards are automatically picked off together in the normal action of taking one card only. Locating a Short Card: With either the usual short card or the one described, hold the pack in the left hand, the tips of the second, third and little fingers at one side and the thumb at the opposite side. Pull down with the tip of the forefinger at the centre of the outer end of the pack. The pack will cut at the short card, and when the cut is completed the short card will be on the bottom of the pack.
Figure 2 shows the holding position of the pack, for the tip of the left forefinger to pull down to locate the short card. The Corner Short: When a card has been made into a short card by taking off a little at two diagonally opposite corners, the short card will protrude slightly from the pack if the corner is tapped on the table. This is useful to know, as the location can be made without riffling. Dai Vernon's Methods of Handling: 1. To bring a selected card to any number from the top of the pack, have the short card on the bottom at the start. Have a card selected and as it is being noted, shuffle two cards less than the desired number from the top of the pack to below the short card. Have the selected card returned anytime during a Hindu Shuffle and immediately it is returned, drop the rest of the cards on top. Cut at the short card, and complete the cut, which brings the selected card to the desired number from the top. 2. With the short card on the bottom of the pack, have a spectator take a peek at any card (Spectator's Peek) and hold a break with the left little finger. Transfer the break to the right thumb and turn the pack on its side for an overhand shuffle. Remove all the cards below the break and shuffle off on top down to the last card, which brings the short card to the top. By cutting the pack, the selected card and the short card are brought together in the centre of the pack, where they can be located when required. 3. Have the short card on top of the pack at the start. When a spectator has selected a card and returned it to the pack, hold a break above it. Turn the cards to the overhand shuffle position, cut at the break, run the selected card on top of the short card and shuffle off. All is in readiness for the selected card to be located when required. 4. Start with the short card on the bottom of the pack. When a selected card has been returned to the pack, hold a break below it. Before turning the pack for an overhand shuffle, lift up at the break and turn the pack, drawing 112
off the top card as the shuffle starts. Continue shuffling the top packet on top of the bottom packet, finally throwing the last (selected) card on top. By cutting the pack, the selected card is brought immediately below the short card in the centre of the pack. If it is required to have the selected card above the short card, then "Milk" shuffle the cards before the cut. This type of shuffle brings the top and bottom cards together on the bottom of the pack; the cut takes them to the centre. 5. With the short card on top of the pack and a break held below the selected card, cut off about half of the packet of cards above the break and drop it on the table. Cut to the break and drop on top of the packet on the table. Cut the remaining portion once or twice, then drop it on top of the cards on the table. In this manner the selected card is brought immediately above the short card. 6. Have the short card on the bottom of the pack. After the selection and return of a card, hold a break above the selected card. Cut off about half the packet of cards above the break and drop on the table, then cut to the break and drop on top. Cut half the packet remaining and drop on top, and finally drop the remainder on top. This puts the selected card under the short card. After studying the foregoing methods to bring a selected card and the short card together, the reader will be able to vary the manner of cutting the packets, half packets etc., to give the same result. We have mentioned holding breaks, and these can refer to breaks held after a selected card is actually returned to the pack, or when the "Spectator's Peek" has been carried out.
CHAPTER TWENTY FOUR MAGIC CASTLE MOVES ALL AROUND SQUARE UP. Larry Jennings devised this stratagem for controlling a selected card when it is returned to the pack. The handling looks perfectly fair, yet a tiny jog is produced at the rear end of the pack, which can then be placed on the table and the jog cut at prior to a riffle shuffle. Should the pack be retained in the hand, the jog enables a break to be picked up. It is based on an idea of Ed Mario's. The photographs are almost self-explanatory, and with a pack of cards in hand the following method of handling will soon be understood. Photograph 1. A selected card is returned to the pack by being inserted into the front end. As it is pushed home it is angled, the bottom right corner of the card protrudes from the bottom of the right side of the pack. In this photograph the right hand has been lifted to show the angle of the card, but in performance the right hand would be holding the pack from above, thumb at the inner end, forefinger curled on top and the other three fingers at the outer end.
Photograph 2. The right hand now rotates the pack; in other words the hand turns palm up. The left hand is removed for this to happen then retakes the pack at the left end, the left thumb at the inner corner, the second finger at the outer corner and the forefinger curled on top. 115
Photographs 3 and 4. Holding the pack with the left hand, the right hand is moved palm down, comes over the pack and "milks" the card down. This is done by running the right thumb down the inner side of the pack and the right second finger along the outer side. This looks like a squaring action but due to the angle of the card it causes it to jog out at the right end as in Photograph 4. The jog has been exaggerated in the photograph for clarity - normally it is just a minute jog. The position of the hands in Photograph 3 (start) and Photograph 4 (finish) shows the direction and degree of movement of the right hand. Photograph 5. Beginning with the holding position shown in Photograph 4, the right hand begins to turn the pack over lengthways (face down), by pushing its end of the pack down as the left hand lifts its end up until the position shown in the photograph is reached. The right thumb then presses on the end of the pack which pushes the card through so that it now jogs out at the outer end. The turning continues until the pack is face down as in Photograph 6. Notice how the card is jogged for the break to be picked up when required.
JENNINGS' TOP PALM. This top palm can be made either with the pack resting on the table, or held in the hands. We will describe the handling for both. The technique is excellent, borne out by the fact that Dai Vernon now uses it in many of his tricks. On The Table: The pack is on the table as in Photograph I, the selected card, or card you want to control, on top of the pack. Both hands are brought to the pack, but in the photograph the left hand has been moved for clarity Notice how the right hand is on the right end of the pack, the whole length of the right thumb laying on the table at the inner side of the pack. The right hand moves towards the left until the corner of the top card is in the big crease of the thumb, where the thumb joins the hand. The true position of the left hand is seen in Photograph 2. Notice how the left forefinger is about to pivot the top card forward. In the photograph the right fingers have been lifted to show the action. The pivot point is at the right inner corner, where the corner of the card is in the crease of the thumb.
As soon as the position seen in Photograph 3 is reached, the right little finger pushes down on the left outer corner of the top card, which causes the card to tip up into the right palm. The right thumb and second finger close on the sides of the pack and undercut the bottom portion to the top, then hands out the pack to be cut. The whole action is done in a second, and the only awkward point in the handling is the fact that the hands are over the pack for a split second. However, because of the normal handling prior to the palming and handing it out to be cut after117
wards, it is most unlikely that anything suspicious will be noticed. Until one is experienced with this method of palming the undercutting can be omitted, as during the action there is some danger of flashing the palmed card. You can simply palm the card as described and push the pack over to be cut, then replace the palmed card on top after the cut is completed. In The Hands: For palming the top card when the pack is held, hold the pack from above with the left hand, the pack being face down, the thumb at the inner left corner, second finger at outer left corner and forefinger curled on top. Bring the right hand over the pack in the same action as in the table method. Pivot the top card as explained, for the inner right corner to go into the crease at the base of the right thumb. Press down with the right little finger on the outer left corner of the card which causes it to spring up into the right hand which takes the pack and hands it to the spectator. Actually you can take the pack from one person, palm the top card in a flash before handing the pack on to someone else. KEY CARD PLACEMENT.
Dai Vernon gives us this subtle method of placing a key card next to a selected card. Photograph 1 will make the description easy to understand, and when the method is understood it will be seen that even a person who knows about key cards will be completely deceived. Have the key card on the bottom of the pack and have a card selected. Cut the pack so that the key is about twelve cards from the bottom, and hold a break below the key with the left little finger. Cut small packets of cards from the top of the pack, dropping each packet on top of the others on the table. Tell the spectator to drop his card on the pile at any time he wishes as you drop the packets. When he does so, lift all the cards above the break and drop them on the selected card, which brings the key card and 118
the selected card together. Finally drop the last packet on top. You can now find the selected card anytime you wish. SMALL PACKET GLIDE.
Dai Vernon developed this glide for when a packet of cards, and not a complete pack, is in use. It will be found to be particularly useful for up to about a ten card packet, or on those occasions when a Stanley Collins type 'Four Ace' effect is being performed. It is possible to employ it with a complete pack, but it is not so convincing. Photograph 1. This is an exposed view of the left hand holding position - at the commencement of the move the hand would be turned back up so that the cards are face down as in Photograph 3. Notice in the first photograph how the left little finger holds a break above the bottom card - this is the only get ready The forefinger and thumb should be as close as possible to the upper corners, without permitting the hand position to look unnatural from the back.
To perform this glide, turn the hand palm up as in Photograph 1 and show the bottom card. Photograph 2. Now turn the hand back up, in other words reverse to the starting position, but as the turn is made apply pressure with the little finger on the corner of the card so that it is angled as in the photograph (exposed view). From above no movement is seen as the protruding corners are masked by the forefinger, little finger, and back of the hand. 119
Photograph 3. The right second finger is now brought to the right outer corner of the packet and removes the card which is second from bottom. The little finger evens the remaining packet by moving from the corner of the bottom card to the corners of the other cards. THE ROOKLYN TOP PALM, The clever Australian manipulator Maurice Rooklyn, toured the world with his act in which he featured Billiard Balls. For many years he played the best Theatres and Night Clubs, and deservably earned a reputation for being one of the finest acts in this field. It was inevitable that he should meet Dai Vernon, and at the Magic Castle in Hollywood they had many discussions. Although Maurice Rooklyn has specialised in ball manipulation he has a love of all types of magic and finds time to experiment with the pasteboards. Being primarily a stage performer any of his ideas are developed with stage or platform performance in view. Accordingly his Top Palm will be particularly useful for such tricks as ''Cards to Pocket"; "Three Cards Across" etc. The sleight itself is easy to do and the method of handling affords good cover for the palming action. Photograph 1 shows how the pack is gripped in the left hand, the hold being as if the standard Glide is to be made, except that the hand is held palm up with the back of the top card showing. Notice how the thumb and forefinger hold the pack squared for the gliding of the top card to be made with the third and little fingers. Photograph 2. The right hand comes over the pack as if to take it in that hand and as the top card is covered, the left third and little fingers not only glide the card a little, but also pull it over the right side of the pack. The left side of the card automatically tilts upwards towards the right hand where it is almost in the palm position but is not gripped as yet. For clarity in the photograph the card has not been covered with the right hand in order that the position of the card can be seen, but in performance the right hand would now be over the card. Photograph 3. The left thumb shifts slightly to the left outer corner of pack and presses down which causes the right side of the pack to tilt upwards to push the top card into the palm position. 120
Photograph 4. By swiveling the right hand, the pack is grasped around the right edge, the right thumb being on the face card and the fingers over the new top card. In this holding position the right thumb tilts up the pack and the hand carries it away the back of the hand and the top of the pack now being toward the spectator. Do not be afraid of bending the top card; the holding position requires this to be done and ensures that there is effective cover. A trial will show that it is possible to palm more than one card from the top of the pack in this fashion, by first holding a break under the number of cards to be palmed.
CHAPTER TWENTY FIVE
MORE USEFUL SLEIGHTS AND MOVES SINGLE SHUFFLE CONTROL. Dai Vernon credits Faucett Ross with this shuffle which is useful for retaining a selected card on top of the pack. Actually the handling is somewhat similar to the Jules Shuffle, which allows a whole packet of cards to be retained in order, but in Faucett Ross's version it is a single card which is controlled. Assuming that the selected card has been brought to the top of the pack, commence an overhand shuffle pulling off the top packet of cards into the left hand in the usual manner. Bring the cards in the right hand in front of the left hand packet to drag off another packet of cards from the top, but in lifting the right hand packet again, the bottom side of the back card is in contact with the selected card - a pressure to the right ensures that the selected card is drawn upwards - Photograph 1. As the selected card comes upwards behind the right hand packet, the right third finger and thumb grip it at the edges and carry it away. The card remains in position while the right hand packet is shuffled off and so becomes the last card to be thrown on top. SPREADING SIX CARDS AS FIVE.
We will describe this move as being used for spreading a packet of six cards into a fan (like a hand of cards) to show as five cards only, because this is a convenient example. Actually other numbers of cards can be spread to show one less - or even a small number less than the total. When it is necessary to show six cards as five, hold the squared packet in the left hand; the left hand being over the packet in the usual position for making the regular glide. As the left hand is turned to bring it to the natural position for spreading the cards, make the glide move with the left fingers so that the bottom card is pulled down. Immediately this is done spread the cards in the normal way between the left and right hands, when one card less than the total will show. 123
If more than one card is to be hidden, nip the inner corner of the cards to be hidden between the side of the little finger and tip of the third finger and pull the cards down. The rest of the action is as already described. KEY CARD LOCATION.
About 1930 Dai Vernon devised this ingenious method for using a key card. He showed it to the noted New York magician, Al Flosso, who uses it regularly to excellent effect. In instructions for performing card moves the reader is usually urged to strive for neat handling, but in this instance the more haphazard the actions the better the final result. Al Flosso seems not to worry how he picks up the cards and appears not to look at them. It is this casualness and apparent lack of care which ensures that the spectators get no inkling of the use of a key card. Procedure: After a card has been selected and noted by a spectator, the performer spreads the rest of the pack, face down, across the table, and has the selected card dropped on the spread somewhere near the centre. The bottom card of the pack is known to you (that is the card on the extreme left of the photograph). This can be done by shuffling the pack before having the card selected and noting the bottom card, or asking a spectator to shuffle and glimpsing the bottom card as the pack is returned to you. Study the photograph to make the next moves clear.
Without appearing to look at the cards, grab a few from the right of the spread, that is from the top of the pack. As you do this note the number of cards you take. This must be done in a careless manner as if the number does not matter. It is simple to grab a small packet of say, four cards in this way, being sure of the number without having to pause to visibly count. Any semblance of counting or observing how many you pick up is deadly. You must just reach over and pick them up, taking not more than six. When you have picked them up you know how many you have taken. Drop these cards on top of the selected card and as you do this grab some cards from the left of the spread (you know the bottom card of this packet) and drop them on the cards just dropped. You now know the number of cards between the selected card and the key card. Continue to grab small packets from the right and left alternately, dropping them on the centre until the selected card is well down in the pack. Square the pack, cut and complete the cut. It would seem that the selected card is hopelessly lost in the pack. To locate the card, all that is necessary is to spread the pack face up from left to right, note the key card and count the number of cards in the first packet dropped (four in our example) to the right, when the next card (fifth) will be the selected card. An alternative handling is to have the key card on top of the pack at the start and hand the pack to a spectator for shuffling, ask him to give it an overhand shuffle. He will probably bring the card to the bottom. If he does not, glimpse the bottom card as he handles the pack and let him spread the cards before making a selection by drawing out a card from the centre of the spread. Should you fail to get a glimpse in this way, then you take the pack (glimpse) and continue as described. COLD DECK CUT. This method of Dai Vernon's for cutting the pack looks scrupulously fair, but actually it is a false cut and preserves the original order of the cards. The pack is on the table, side-on to the performer who grips the ends, one in each hand. Note the holding position in Photograph 1, remembering that the camera was positioned opposite the performer's hands so that the performer's right hand is on your left, etc. Now let us master the mechanics.
Have both forefingers curled on the top card and feel with the right second and third fingers for the second finger to hold the upper section of the pack at the edge and the third finger the bottom section as in Photograph 1. The left thumb (at rear) and second finger (in front) hold the centre section of cards. Raising the pack slightly from the table, then keeping the left hand still, move the right hand diagonally outwards carrying the top and bottom sections forward as in Photograph 2. Place the centre section on the table. Move the right hand back over the cards on the table, take the top section from the right hand with the left hand as in Photograph 3, and move the right hand forward again to clear the rest of the cards so that the portion now in the left hand can be dropped on top of those on the table. Keeping hold of the right hand section, bring the cards over those on the table and place them on top, but stepped a little at the rear left corner, so that a break can be picked up later. We dealt with this matter at length in Chapter Seven of Dai Vernon's "More Inner Secrets of Card Magic", but to be complete in this present description, we will quote the relevant text, "....place the packet so that the inner side forms a step at the left inner corner. Immediately square the pack (apparently) by bringing both hands to the pack and seizing it at the ends. Actually, the left thumb tip goes over the step, and the pack is squared by pinching (in a "milking" action) the right inner corner with the right thumb and second finger. This causes the pack to ride up at the left inner corner, for the left thumb to hold an open break. To cut the upper packet at the break without hazard, contact the left thumb tip with the right thumb tip, when the cut can be made with certainty." 126
To bring the cards back to their original order, the cut is made with a seemingly careless action, packet above the break being cut off with the right hand and dropped on the table, then the right hand picks up the remaining cards and drops them on top of all. The handling of the whole operation should be carried out with an apparent "I don't care" attitude - as if the actual mechanics are of no importance.
CHAPTER TWENTY SIX TWO SLEIGHTS BY Dr. ELLIOTT Reading through a copy of "Mahatma" 1898, we came across an advertisement which Dai Vernon referred to on many occasions. It was the challenge which Dr. Elliott's Manager (Mr. J. A. Richardson) issued on behalf of "The Champion Card Manipulator of the World" as Elliott was billed. It reads: TO THE CARD MANIPULATORS OF THE WORLD
on behalf of ELLIOTT
The Champion Card Manipulator of the World, I hereby challenge any breathing card manipulator in the world to dispute his claim to the above title. ODDS TWO TO ONE AND FOR ANY AMOUNT OF STAKE WAGER NAMED. Will give or take (Four Hundred Dollars) for all traveling expenses. I have this day August 22nd (Monday) 1898 at 3 p.m. deposited ($250.00) in the hands of Mr. Frank. B. Summers as a guarantee of good faith to show that I mean business, which will give any of the very many Kings of Cards, Card Kings, Card Conjurors and Card Manipulators in all corners of the civilized world ample time in which to think and accept the above well intended challenge... I remain, respectfully yours, R, A. RICHARDSON. Sole Backer and Manager of Elliott Witnesses: C. W. Chase. W. E. LeRoy F. Zanzie. E. Wilson G. L. Stockton. During the many hundreds of hours we have sat with Dai Vernon recording his magic, the work of Dr. Elliott was often mentioned. Dai told us how Dr. Elliott would always book two rooms at any hotel at which he happened to be staying - one to live in and the other in which to practice his card 129
magic. This second room always had a bare table at which Elliott would sit for hours, but he confessed to Dai that he had learned by experience to practice his magic both sitting and standing, as after practising a trick sitting, he had found difficulty when compelled to perform standing - the method of handling and angles to be covered were often different. BOTTOM DEAL. A sleight which defied detection in Dr. Elliott's hands was his Bottom Deal. Although he contributed many articles to magical magazines, he always retained the secret of this deal. At one of the many sessions the young Dai Vernon had with Elliott, the Bottom Deal was carefully explained. Over the years Dai has used the deal and it is revealed here for the first time. Much has been written on Bottom Deals but Dai Vernon considers that Dr. Elliott's version is the best. The pack is held in what seems to be the normal dealing position, but a close study of Figure 1 will show the important differences. Note how the little finger is at the inner end and that there is a space between the second and third fingers. According to Dr. Elliott this spacing of the second and third fingers is the most difficult part to remember. The top card is pushed over to the right with the left thumb and taken near the outer corner, between the first finger and thumb of the right hand (Figure 2), but always the right second finger goes under the pack and onto the face of the bottom card - between the left second and third fingers.
For fair dealing the top card is dealt onto the table, the right second finger just sliding away from the bottom card, but for dealing the bottom card 130
the procedure is as under: The top card is still pushed over and actually gripped by the right thumb and first finger as before, but when the right second finger goes under the pack it pulls out the bottom card with an inward twist, tilting the outer edge up to come against the right first finger (Figure 3). The right first and second fingers then deal the bottom card downwards onto the table. Simultaneously the left thumb pulls back the top card onto the pack where it is "boxed" as in a second deal. The right hand movement is a twisting action from the wrist, with a snap of the first finger off the card under the thumb. The front end of the pack slopes just slightly downward to the table to mask the under-pack activity. In all types of Bottom Dealing, where the bottom card is pulled from the pack, the pulling motion is not a straight one, but is done with a twisting motion from the wrist. The pack should be gripped lightly in the left hand - almost floating in the hand. The deal can be made with the pack square or bevelled as in Figure 1. A bevelled pack is often used by gamblers who have the edges of the cards marked. By bevelling they can see the marks and know when to deal fair or from the bottom. Dr. ELLIOTT'S FAVOURITE BREAK CONTROL. Dr. Elliott fooled laymen and magicians alike with this manouvre, which he used to delay the Pass. After a card had been selected and noted he had it returned to the pack and held a break above it with the tip of his left little finger. He immediately transferred the break to his right thumb and slid the pack across his left hand until the side of his left little finger was opposite the break. Now he twisted the pack until the outer left corner came to the base of his left forefinger, then riffled the front end with his right fingers and the rear upper portion (above the break only) with his right thumb. He then held up the pack in his left hand only, when it could be seen from all sides. He pattered for a while before reversing the moves to get into position for making the Pass.
Figure 1 shows an exposed view of the left hand holding position. Notice that the side of the left little finger holds the break at the opposite inner corner to which a break is normally held.
FRIENDS OF DAI VERNON
CHAPTER TWENTY SEVEN MAGIC FROM BRITAIN On the occasions that Dai Vernon has visited Britain, we have been fortunate in that Harry Stanley has arranged lecture tours for him. In this way many hundreds of magicians have been able to see his performances, learn from his teachings, and meet him personally. We are delighted to include a selection of effects from just a few of his friends over here. SLIPPERY ACES - JACK AVIS.
Jack Avis is one of Britain's top card men and descriptions of many of his original effects have appeared in magazines and books. Several years ago an effect of his called "Spin Cut Aces" appeared in "Pentagram", and over the years he has made several improvements and embodied additional features, including a completely new ending. So now we have what is virtually a new routine which we have titled "Slippery Aces". The effect is that the four Aces are located in a named order and in a spectacular manner, then are relost in the pack. This is followed by a snap location of the four Kings. Finally the Aces are found again, each in a different way. Set-Up: At the start the four Aces are on top of the pack in the order Clubs, Hearts, Spades and Diamonds. Below them are the four Kings in any order. Routine: Phase 1: False shuffle and cut without disturbing the top stack. Double undercut to bring the top Ace (Clubs) to the bottom, then say you will try and cut to the Ace of Clubs. This is where the Spin Cut is performed in the following manner: Hold the face down pack from above in the right hand, the pad of the thumb at the inner end and the tip of the third finger at right outer corner; the little finger is just around the corner. Figure 1 shows a worm's eye view of the hold. Place the tip of the left forefinger at the left inner corner of the pack in 135
contact with a small packet of cards in the centre of the pack. With the left forefinger swing the small packet of centre cards to the left. The upper end of this small packet pivots round the right third finger - Figure 2. Continue to swing the packet round until it has turned end for end, then allow it to drop into the left palm. When performed smoothly this looks quite spectacular, and it seems as if it is the bottom portion of the pack which is swung away from the top portion; so in other words it appears that the pack has been cut in a novel way. To produce the first Ace let the left thumb rest across the back of the cards of the left hand packet, so that the bottom card of the right hand packet (Ace of Clubs) is in contact with the back of the left thumb. By moving the right hand packet to the right the bottom card is slid out to the left (Figure 3) and tipped up and slid over the side of the right packet, the left thumb pushing it so that it comes face up and square on top of the packet. The appearance is that the card has come from the point where the pack was cut.
To reassemble the pack place the inner left corner of the right hand packet against the extended left first and second fingers. The right thumb is now able to lift about half this packet and so form a large break. Slide the packet of cards backwards with the right fingers for the left hand to guide its packet into the break. Square up the pack and retain it in the left hand. Flip the face up Ace, face down and during the square up pick up a break under the two top cards which you then double undercut to the bottom. 136
Say that you will now attempt to cut to the Ace of Hearts. Repeat the Spin Cut as before and flip over the bottom card of the right hand packet then, reassemble the pack as before. As the now face up Ace of Hearts is flipped face down, pick up a break under the two top cards again and double undercut to the bottom. Repeat these moves to locate the Ace of Spades and Ace of Diamonds. When the Ace of Diamonds is flipped face down get a break under the top three cards and double undercut them to the bottom. Tell the spectators that a quicker way to produce four good cards is like this - at this point snap the pack from the right hand to the left hand, the right thumb holding the pack from above and the forefinger underneath. This leaves the top and bottom cards (two Kings) face down in the right hand. Now throw or snap the pack from the left hand onto the table, holding back the top and bottom cards as before. After a slight pause, turn over the four cards and reveal the four Kings. Place these on the table, pick up the pack and secretly reverse the four Aces on the bottom, cut to the centre then ribbon spread the pack on the table to reveal the four face up Aces in the centre. Phase 2: Remove the four Aces and place them face up on the table in the order Clubs, Hearts, Spades and Diamonds, reading from left to right. Hold the pack face down in the left hand. As the right hand picks up the Ace of Clubs, riffle off nine cards with the left thumb, then insert the Ace face down into the break made by the thumb - leave about half an inch of the card projecting from the front of the pack. Pick up the Ace of Hearts, run off seven or eight cards with the left thumb and insert the second Ace. Repeat the same action with the Ace of Spades and Ace of Diamonds. We now employ Ed Mario's "Simple Shift" and "Placement Cut" as follows: Move the left forefinger into contact with the protruding Aces and push them square with the front end of the pack; at the same time bear down firmly on the back of the pack with the left thumb. This action will cause a small block of cards to project from the back of the pack. Grasp this block with the right thumb and second finger and turn the right hand about half an inch to the right. This will open up a break along the left side of the pack. Move the left thumb onto this break and grip the section above the break. Strip out the projecting packet with the right hand. The remaining cards 137
(nine cards plus the four Aces) held by the left thumb, are allowed to drop onto lower packet. Place the right hand packet on top of the pack but pick up a break with the tip of the left little finger. Square up then cut all the cards above the break to the bottom of the pack (a single or double undercut may be used). The Aces are now in positions ten, eleven, twelve and thirteen from the top of the pack and in Clubs, Hearts, Spades and Diamonds order. The Aces are now located as follows: Ask for one of the Aces to be named. If the Clubs, Hearts or Diamonds is named spell out one card at a time and place the card forward and face down on the table which falls on the letter S. If Spades should be called for, spell out, but deal forward the card after the S. Ask the spectator to turn over the card - it will be the Ace asked for. While this is being done assemble the pack so that the other three Aces are brought to the top. This reassembly will vary according to which Ace has been spelt out: If Clubs - put the pack on top of the dealt cards. If Hearts - slip two cards from the top of the pack to the top of the dealt cards. Replace dealt cards on top of the pack. If Spades - slip one card from the top of the pack to the top of the dealt packet which is then replaced on top of the pack. If Diamonds - simply replace the dealt packet on top of the pack. It is easy to keep track of the Aces and assemble to bring them to the top of the pack. Square up the pack, ask the spectator to take the located Ace and hold it face up, then tell him that as you riffle the side of the pack, he is to thrust the face up Ace into the pack at any point he chooses. As you complete pushing the Ace square into the pack, pick up a break below it. Cut off a small packet of cards above the break and drop it on the table; cut to the break and drop this packet on top of the first packet cut off. Drop the remainder of the pack on top of all. Pick up the pack and square up. Ribbon spread the pack across the table to reveal the face up Ace. 138
Push all of the cards to the right of the face up Ace to one side. Take the Ace, plus the card below it, and place them forward on the table. Drop the lower section of the pack on top of the section pushed to one side. Have the spectator turn up the face down card below the face up Ace. It is another Ace. Pick up the assembled pack and have the spectator place one of the Aces face up on top of the pack. Double cut the top two cards to the bottom. Have the spectator place the other Ace face up on the top of the pack. Give the pack one straight cut and ribbon spread it. One face down card is seen between the two face up Aces. Again split the pack, remove the face up Aces with the face down card between them, and place them forward. Assemble the pack by placing the left heap on top of the packet to the right. Have the spectator turn up the face down card between the face up Aces. It is another Ace. Hold the pack in the left hand, pick up the three face up Aces and insert them, face up, into separate parts of the pack. As you do this ask the spectator to choose one of the Aces you are placing into the pack. Whichever Ace he names, get a break below it as you square up. Make the "Placement Cut" as used to locate the second Ace, square up the pack and ribbon spread it across the table. Remove the three face up Aces, plus the face down card below each Ace. Reveal that the card below the chosen Ace is the last Ace. DOUBLE PREDICTION - ALEX ELMSLEY.
In this clever routine Alex Elmsley gives us a fine example of the methods he uses to create the excellent effects, which have made his name one of the best known in card circles. As the title implies, the performer successfully predicts the names of two cards which the spectators will select. Set-Up: This is quickly done as only six cards have to be arranged on top of the pack. From the top downwards - Queen of Diamonds, Four of Diamonds, Eight of Spades, King of Hearts, Two of Spades, and Six of Clubs. When the names of these cards are spelt out it will be seen that the Queen of Diamonds has fifteen letters, the next fourteen and so on down to the Six of Clubs with ten 139
letters. In other words, if you know the number of letters, then you know the name of the card. Remember the name of the sixteenth card from the top of the pack. Let us suppose it is the Queen of Hearts. Performance: False shuffle the pack and ask two spectators to assist you. Gaze intently at one spectator, then write a prediction on a piece of paper. Actually the card you predict is the card remembered at the sixteenth position, so in our example you write, "The second card chosen will be the Queen of Hearts". Place the prediction face downwards in full view. Lift off the top six cards of the pack and ask your first spectator to think of one of them. Replace the cards on top of the pack. Next explain that you want the first spectator to choose a card for the second spectator as follows: You deal cards from the top of the pack face downwards onto a table and he is mentally to spell out the name of his thought-of card, and to stop your deal when you have dealt as many cards as there are letters in the name of his thought-of card. As you deal you count to yourself how many cards you have dealt. When the spectator stops the deal you know the name of the thought-of card. For instance, if you deal out twelve cards, the card amongst the first six which spells with the twelve letters is the King of Hearts. Now write a second prediction: "The card thought of will be the King of Hearts", or whatever it happens to be, and place this prediction with the first one. To the second spectator, deal out the same number of cards as you have already dealt, emphasising that you could have had no foreknowledge of what the number would be, as it was decided entirely by the first spectator. Let each spectator pick up his pile of cards. Tell them to put the top card of their pile to the bottom, discard the next card, put the next card to the bottom, discard the next, and so to continue until each is left with one card only. While they are thus occupied, pick up the two predictions, and place the appropriate one in front of each spectator. When each is left with one card, ask the second spectator to read out his prediction, then to turn over his card - they are the same - the Queen of Hearts. Ask the first spectator to name the card of which he thought, to read out his prediction, and to turn over his card - again, they are the same.
FACE YOUR BROTHERS - ALEX ELMSLEY
In this effect three spectators push face-up cards into a face-down pack. Each reversed card is found to have been placed next to the card of its own value and colour. For example, a Four of Diamonds next to the Four of Hearts. The Sleight: This is a development of an old card location. Its purpose is to place the three top cards, one next to each of three cards which are reversed in the pack; these three reversed cards are distributed fairly evenly through the pack. To help you with this sleight, we suggest that you first set the cards up in the following manner. Take three cards from the pack, say the Queen of Hearts, the Four of Clubs and the Ten of Clubs, and place them back in the pack face up. They should be spaced evenly through the pack. Now take three brother cards, the Ten of Spades, the Four of Spades and the Queen of Diamonds, and lay them face down on top of the pack in that order. The Ten of Spades is the top card. The complete set-up should now be as follows: With the cards face down in the hand, the top card is the Ten of Spades, the second the Four of Spades, the third the Queen of Diamonds. Now follow indifferent cards, then the face-up Queen of Hearts, more indifferent cards, then the face-up Four of Clubs, more indifferent cards, then the face-up Ten of Clubs, followed by more indifferent cards. With the pack face down in the left hand, push the top three cards, one at a time (thus reversing their order) into the right hand. The Queen of Diamonds is now top card of the three. From the fourth card onwards, the cards are run onto the three cards already in the right hand; but, this time do not alter their order. When the first reversed card (Queen of Hearts) is reached, the right thumb pushes the top card of the three (Queen of Diamonds) slightly to the left of the cards below it. The hands separate slightly to allow the Queen of Hearts to be shown. When the hands come together again, the face-up Queen is placed directly under the pushed out Queen of Diamonds. The position now is that the reversed card has immediately above it, the brother card. The rest of the cards are run on, and the sleight repeated at the 141
remaining reversed cards until the entire pack has been run from hand to hand. This may read a little complicated, but try it once or twice and you will find that it is quite easy to do. Practice this until you are familiar with the moves then you are ready to go into the full routine. Preparation: Take three pairs of cards, each pair consisting of two cards of the same value and suit. For instance, the Queen of Hearts and Diamonds, the Four of Clubs and Spades, the Ten of Clubs and Spades. Then arrange these cards on top of your pack as follows: One card of first pair, one card of second pair, both cards of third pair, one card of second pair, one card of first pair. Here, the order would be Queen of Hearts, Four of Clubs, Ten of Spades, Ten of Clubs, Four of Spades and Queen of Diamonds. Routine: False shuffle the pack and place it on the table. Invite a spectator forward to cut the pack into two halves. Pick up the bottom half and place it across the top half (crossing the cut). Now invite two more spectators to come forward, one on each side of the first spectator. Pick up the half of the pack that is lying across the top stack and ask the spectator on your right to take, "The first card that was cut to." The spectator in front of you takes the next card, the spectator on your left the next. With the set-up given above, the spectator on your right has the Queen of Hearts, the spectator in front of you has the Four of Clubs, the last spectator the Ten of Spades. Pick up the cards remaining on the table and place them on top of those in your hand. Place the whole pack down on the table. Invite the spectator on your right to cut off about one-third of the pack; the spectator in front of you to cut off the next third; and the last spectator to take what is left of the pack. Now, each spectator has one card and a packet of cards. Tell them that you will turn your back and while your back is turned each is to reverse his card and push it face up into his face-down packet, square up the packet and put it on the table. When this has been done with your back turned, pick up the packet of the spectator on your right, drop it onto the packet of the spectator in front of you, pick up both, drop on top of the third spectator's packet then pick up the whole pack. 142
Now on top of the pack you have the Ten of Clubs, Four of Spades, and Queen of Diamonds. Reversed in the pack are the Queen of Hearts, Four of Clubs and Ten of Spades in that order. Now you perform the sleight described above to bring each card of the top stack next to the corresponding reversed card. Explain that the first time you ever performed this effect, one spectator forgot to reverse his card before pushing it into his packet and that you are just running through the pack to see that your instructions have been carried out correctly. As you come to each reversed card, call out its name and check with the appropriate spectator that that was the card reversed. When this has been completed, it only remains for you to hand the pack to each spectator in return, ask him to remove his card together with the card face down above it, and show that in each case, the cards are paired in value and colour. Suggested Presentation: Explain the theory of "Subconcious Clairvoyance". Each spectator in his subconcious mind knows the name and position of every card in the packet, which he cut himself. Subconciously, when he pushes his card reversed into his packet, he tries to push it next to the card it most resembles. Sometimes you may let one spectator fail (say) the Four of Spades is next to the Four of Clubs, but he pushes it next to the Four of Diamonds instead. Then explain that very likely the Four of Clubs was not in that spectator's packet, but his subconcious mind made him find the card next most like his reversed card. Always you must try to give the impression that throughout the routine you have not touched the cards, except to indicate to the spectators what they are to do. LAST WORD FOUR ACES - FRANCIS HAXTON. Francis Haxton is one of Britain's best performers with a pack of cards. To all magicians who attend our conventions, Francis is known for his fine work, and friendly disposition. With the majority of Four Ace effects of this type, it is necessary for one of the cards, or packets, to be forced, and so my reason for producing yet another Four Ace effect is that in this version the choice of the packet in 143
which the four Aces are to assemble is an absolutely free one. Moreover, the effect is very direct, and in the working there is an apparent absence of "moves". Effect: The performer removes the four Aces from any pack and deals them face down in a row on the table. He then asks a spectator to choose and point to any Ace on the table. On this Ace the performer deals three cards. Similarly three cards are now dealt onto each of the other three packets. However, on turning the packets over and running the cards through, it is seen that the Aces have left three of the packets and are now together with the chosen Ace! Method: Taking any pack of cards, the performer leafs them through, faces towards him, for the purpose of finding the four Aces. When he sees the first Ace, he cuts the pack four cards above it, thus bringing the Ace fifth from the face of the pack. Now he continues to run through the rest of the cards to find the other three Aces and brings them to the face of the pack, which is still towards him. Now before the cards are squared up, he secures a break under the Ace furthest away from the face and lifts off the packet of eight cards with the fingers and thumb of the right hand, at the top and bottom of the packet. At the same time, the talon is placed face down on the table. The cards in the right hand are then transferred to the left hand, still face up. The Aces are now shown to the audience by pushing off the first Ace with the left thumb into the right hand, followed by the second Ace underneath the first. The left thumb pushes off the rest of the cards, as one, underneath the others, with the exception of the last card, which is an Ace. The performer is aided in this by his left first finger which, as the cards are pushed off, draws back the lower Ace into the left hand. This move many will recognise as the Eric C. Lewis false count. The last Ace in the left hand is now flicked and added to the Aces on the face of the cards, which are then dropped face down on the balance of the pack on the table. The performer explains that he wishes to deal the Aces in a row, but to confuse the order of the Aces so that the spectator will not be influenced to 144
select any particular Ace, he deals the four cards, which are really indifferent cards, in a row, but not in regular order, so that nobody will be able to follow the order of the "Aces" (?). Taking the balance of the pack in the left hand, thumb count and push off the first two Aces as one, taking them between the thumb and first finger of your right hand. Now deal off and take the next card, also an Ace, on top of the first one (?), and similarly another card. You have apparently counted off three cards which your audience will think are indifferent cards. Hold these cards between the fingers of the right hand at the outer end and the thumb at the inner end. Have spectator indicate any Ace (?) on the table. When he has done this, say you will add the three cards to this Ace and pick up the chosen card with the left hand and place the cards in the right hand on top of the chosen card, but in doing so you perform the "Frank Kelly Bottom Placement" (Tarbell Course Volume 3, page 184), which brings the bottom Ace to the bottom of the packet, and the indifferent card second from the bottom. This move is shown in Figures 1,2 and 3. As you place this packet on the supposed Ace and perform this move, in one continuous move, turn the packet face up to disclose the Ace and in doing so, slightly spread the Ace to show the indifferent card underneath. This apparently innocent revealment will convince the spectator that they selected that particular Ace and that the indifferent card glimpsed was one of the indifferent cards dealt on the Ace. Now turn the packet face down and
state that you will cut the Ace to the centre of the packet; cut two cards from the top to the bottom, and drop the packet face down on the table. Three cards are then counted off and dealt onto the other three Aces (?). It is important that you should count the cards off in a similar manner to the way you counted off the first three cards, which in fact were the Aces. Now also follow the pattern of cutting the Aces (?) to the middle of their packets! The performer states that he will cause the three Aces to join the chosen Ace. Picking up the first indifferent packet, he turns it face up in his left hand and pushes off the first card into his right hand. The second card is pushed off in a similar manner, and under the first card. The third card is dealt off likewise and the fourth card flicked and added to the top of the packet which is then dropped on the table, showing the first Ace to have gone. This procedure is followed with the other two packets, dropping each on top of the other face up cards on the table. Finally pick up the Ace packet, turn it face up in your left hand and push off the first card, which will be an Ace, into your right hand, followed by the second Ace underneath the first. Now the next two cards are an Ace and an indifferent card and they are pushed off as one, and the last card which is an Ace, is pulled back as described at the beginning of this effect, flicked and dropped onto the face of the other Aces which are then dropped onto the other cards face up on the table. This concludes the effect. Notes: The reader will notice that it is not necessary to count the indifferent cards as I have described, but this is advisable to keep the method of counting in keeping with the counting of the Ace packet. I have explained the method in some detail, but I thought this necessary to cover all the points in its performance. The moves are not difficult to a card handler, but smoothness and continuity of action is necessary for the effectiveness of this routine. THE INNOCENT CHEAT - FRED LOWE. Long a devotee of Dai Vernon, Fred Lowe has combined in this excellent gambling-type routine the strong factors of audience involvement, and a 146
presentation theme which is interesting to almost all types of audience. Effect: The performer says that he will show how card cheats work. He openly places the four Aces on top of the pack, executes a running shuffle, audibly counting the cards in little batches as he does so, and says that this has set the four Aces into the positions he wants. Five hands of Poker are then dealt and the performer's hand is shown to contain the four Aces. The performer then says that cheats always work in pairs, and he would like a spectator to pretend to be a card sharp. The hands are still on the table and the spectator is asked to choose his own position in the game by indicating any of the hands. He selects one of the cards of that hand and, without looking at the card, he slips it up his sleeve. The performer says that his confederate would be able to do that secretly. The hands are collected from the table, the pack shuffled and cut, then five hands are again dealt. The spectator takes the hand in the position he chose, then exchanges one of the cards for the card up his sleeve, all this without noting the cards which are changed. When spread the hand is seen to be a Royal Flush. Performance: The pack could be borrowed if desired. Crimp the rear left corner of the bottom card. A very good method for this was given by Fred Lowe in his series called "Polished Gems", published in "The Gen" during 1966. For the sake of completeness, a description is given at the end of this routine. Turn the pack face up and run through the cards, removing the four Aces openly whilst culling the King, Queen, Jack and Ten of any suit to the bottom onto the crimped card. These can be in any order, thus the cull is simple. The Aces are laid faces up on the table. We will assume that the culled cards are Hearts. The four Aces are openly placed on top of the pack. The top card of the pack must be the Ace of the culled suit, in our example - Hearts. The performer then says that the card sharper shuffles the cards in a particular way and that he will do this slowly so that the audience will see how it is done. In fact, the performer executes the following shuffle as fast as he can with accuracy. Using an overhand shuffle, run the cards as follows: one
card from top to bottom; eleven cards singly and replace on top; four cards singly and place on bottom; five cards singly and place on bottom; one card from top to bottom; five cards singly and place on bottom. Now cut at the crimped card. Deal five poker hands, then turn the dealer's cards faces up, showing that the hand contains the four Aces. Leave this hand faces up. Ask a spectator to act the part of a card cheat by being your confederate. He can choose his own position at the table and he is asked to indicate this by pointing to any of the face down hands. The bottom card of each of these hands is one of the master Heart cards, King, Queen, Jack or Ten. When the spectator indicates the hand of his choice, move that hand towards him, and as you do so push the bottom card in front of the others saying, "Will you slip one of these cards up your sleeve without looking at it". Done casually and the hand having been freely chosen, a force will not be suspected. The performer's fingers remain on the other four cards and pulls them back as the spectator's fingers reach the table. The remaining four cards of that hand are placed on top of the pack, then the other hands in turn, finishing with the dealer's hand containing the four Aces. The pack is now automatically set-up for another deal of five hands which, if dealt without alternation, would give the dealer four cards of the Royal Flush and one odd card. The card to complete the Royal Flush is in the spectator's sleeve. However, we do not want the dealer to get the Royal Flush; this must be our temporary confederate. To achieve this simply depends upon shifting either one, two, three or four cards from top to bottom. Visualising the hands on the table, number them mentally as follows: the hand immediately on the right of the dealer's hand is number one, then moving anti-clockwise we have number two, three and four. Dealer's hand is ignored. If the spectator chose, for instance, hand number four, (immediately on the left of the dealer's hand) then four cards must be shifted from top to bottom before dealing. One could simply cut the necessary cards to the bottom, or use a doublecut to conceal this better. Fred uses a shuffle which leaves the top half of the pack undisturbed, then double-undercuts the necessary cards. After the necessary number of cards have been shifted, re-deal another five hands of Poker. The spectator is now asked to take the hand of cards in the position he chose earlier. Without looking at the cards, he slips the card down from his sleeve and adds it to the bottom of the packet, then takes the top card from the packet and pushes it up his sleeve. 148
Performer turns over the cards on the table, if there are any good hands all the better. Spectator shows his hand, which is the Royal Flush - of Hearts in our example. Whenever possible Fred Lowe uses a miniature blank pistol with the following tag line, "Of course, if you did as badly as that you wouldn't live long!" Palm Crimp: An extremely good method for crimping the rear left corner of the bottom card of the pack. Fred Lowe has been using this for many years, but recently discovered that Pat Page has also been using the same method for a long time. Although it does not appear to have been published earlier, it is more than likely that other card men have stumbled across this easy and natural way to crimp a card. The pack is held by the right hand, faces down, thumb at rear edge, fingers on front edge. The pack is beveled forwards by pushing with the thumb and curling the second and third fingers over and under the front edge of the pack. As the pack is placed in the left hand, the rear left corner of the bottom card catches on the palm, near the centre. The right hand presses the pack down and backwards a little as the left fingers grip the pack. The bottom card will thus be crimped. Make sure there is a good bevel on the pack, particularly the bottom few cards. THOUGHT OF CARD ACROSS - PETER WARLOCK. One of the loveliest gems of magic that the late Edward Brown evolved was his version of a thought of card passing from one packet of cards to another. The effect to be described, apart from two variations, accords in principle with the means employed by Edward Brown, but the switch which I first used back in 1950, and also a slight difference in handling, makes lesser demands upon the performer. Effect: Twelve cards are dealt from a pack onto the magician's palm, the remaining cards being placed aside. Of these twelve, six are shown to a spectator who is requested to think of one, this packet being dropped into a glass which is held by the spectator. The remaining six cards are re-counted and dropped into another glass that stands on the magician's table. 149
To the spectator, the magician says, "You, have a card in your mind and that card is among others in the glass held by you. Now, sir, believe it or not, if you think hard enough, that card you are thinking of will jump from the glass you are holding and join those other six in the glass on my table". "The great thing is that you must really believe this and therefore when I snap my fingers I want to try and make this a reality". The magician snaps his fingers, and then "Let's see whether we have been successful". At the fingertips the cards held by the spectator are removed from his glass and counted; there are however, still six cards! "Never mind sir, we'll try again and this time perhaps we'll be successful!" Again the magician snaps his fingers and this time, after the cards in the spectator's glass are counted, there are only five cards and further the spectator confirms that the card he had thought of is not among the five. The cards in the performer's glass are taken, counted, and found to be seven, the additional card being that thought of by the spectator. Requirements: A pack of cards. Two stemmed glasses, capable of holding playing cards. Preparation: None. Presentation: Taking the pack, the spectator is requested to shuffle it, then carefully and slowly count off twelve cards, face downwards onto the outstretched left hand palm. The magician's right hand then takes the balance of the pack and either drops it into his right hand pocket or places it on the table top. "Please do not think I doubt your counting abilities sir, but I would like the audience to see that only twelve cards and twelve cards only are used". This said the magician takes the cards from the left hand with his right hand and slowly counts them onto the left. As card number ten is placed down, the little finger turns in and makes a break between the tenth and eleventh card, the twelfth card is placed on top to complete the count. The cards are then squared up with the break held, the packet being held so that it lies 150
lengthwise across the palm, thumb at the left side and the first, second and third fingers slightly curled around the right side. The fourth finger still holds the break (See Figure 1.) Approaching a spectator, the magician remarks, "Sir, I shall count six, just six of these cards from my left hand to my right. As I do so, I want you to think, merely think of one, repeat, just one. As I show them, I'll also count aloud". The left hand is now raised so that the face of the card nearest to the palm can be seen. The right hand now comes in and removes the two cards above the break as one, at the same time the magician saying "One". The cards are taken by the thumb at the lower end and the second finger at the top (Figure 2). The right hand moves away slightly with the cards and then returns to take the second card which is pushed off with the left thumb. This card goes in front of the first card (?), the right moving slightly to the right again and then coming back to take the third in a similar manner. This procedure is repeated until the performer reaches and takes the fifth card, when he says to the spectator, "Have you made your choice?" This is very important for the choice must be amongst the cards shown. I do not remember at this stage any spectator saying "No" and have felt that if they have not made up their minds at this stage, the question makes them seize on the fifth card. With an affirmative answer, the performer's hand comes back to take the sixth card, but actually what happens at this stage, is that the left hand thumb pushes off in a block, all but the face card i. e. five cards held in that hand and as the right hand appears to take this seemingly single card, the packet of cards held by the right hand is pushed under the left thumb, the third and fourth fingers gripping the pushed off packet at the top edge and the thumb easing its grip on previously held cards in the right hand and gripping the 151
lower edge of the pushed off packet. The right hand moves away again. (See Figure 3). In Figure 3 the right hand is shown a little lower than in actual performance, to show the position and movement of the cards. Packet "A" is pushed under the left thumb and packet "B" is taken away by the right thumb and third and fourth fingertips. The move though difficult to describe in words, is easy to accomplish, and the important thing is that it must be smooth and accord with the previous taking of cards from one hand to the other. The position is now that in the right hand there are five cards and not six and seven including all those shown to the spectator in the left hand. The five cards in the right hand are now dropped into a glass which is handed to the spectator who thought of the card. The cards in the left hand are dropped into the other glass on the table. Go back to the patter used at this point and the snapping of the fingers. At the fingertips the cards in the spectator's glass are removed and with their back to the audience, false count as six. The false count I use which is old but very effective, is as follows: The cards are held in the right hand in a natural dealing position, the back of the hand facing the audience so that the cards can be clearly seen during the counting. The left hand comes in and the first card is pushed off and taken between the thumb and first finger of the left hand, this hand moving away as the performer says "One". It comes back counting "Two" taking the second card underneath the first. Again a move away and then with "Three", the left hand comes in, takes the third card underneath but pushes off the original first card onto the cards held in the right hand, the right hand sliding it back and leaving ready for taking as the fourth card. The count is then continued and then with apparently six cards held, they are dropped back into the spectator's glass. Another attempt to make the card pass is followed by the magician removing the spectator's cards once more and again with their backs to the audience, counting them in a proper manner showing that there are five, one having vanished. The name of card is requested from the spectator and supposing that it is the Nine of Diamonds, the magician fans the cards in his hand and turning to another spectator and showing the faces of the cards, 152
says, "Is the Nine of Diamonds among these five cards?7' The spectator's answer is "No". The reason for showing the faces to another spectator is that if the first spectator is familiar with cards and used to remembering them, he may well say, "No" adding, "Nor for that matter are any of the others!" The five cards are dropped onto the table and with the fingertips, the cards removed from the other glass. With backs towards the audience these are carefully counted showing seven. "And your card sir, you said was the Nine of Diamonds". The cards are fanned and one card removed which is the spectator's Nine of Diamonds! The switch described is completely angle free and because of the deliberate manner in which it is accomplished, is very deceptive. Our very good friend Francis Haxton put it to very good use in conjunction with another subtlety in a prize-winning "Linking Ring" effect entitled "Birds of a Feather, Platform Version" and those who have seen him present this effect know how cleancut the effect appears. Although in this effect only one card passes, quite obviously leaving out the matter of a thought of card, after counting say four cards off, as the performer goes to take the fifth he can leave behind four so that the right hand holds seven as the fifth card is taken, and thus using twelve cards, two cards pass from one heap to the other. FELLOW TRAVELLERS - ROY WALTON.
Roy Walton is known to card specialists the world over for his exceptionally clever ideas. Without doubt his card magic ranks with the best there is. Effect: Two cards are selected from a red backed pack, one by the performer and one by a spectator, each card being initialed. The pack has been split into two halves for the selections and the initialed cards are returned, one to each half of the pack. One half of the pack is left on the table and the other one placed below the table for a moment. When the halves of the pack are examined, the half that was left above the table now contains both initialed cards. This is only the minor climax however, because when the back of the pack is shown the
cards are seen to be blue, the two selected ones being the only cards with red backs. Preparation: 1. In your right hand trouser pocket you have 26 blue backed cards with the Four of Hearts at the face. The cards used to make up the remainder of this packet are unimportant but it should not contain the King of Spades. 2. In a red back card case you have a pack of cards arranged as follows, reading from the face of the pack: the remaining 26 blue backed cards, the red backed King of Spades, the red backed Four of Hearts, a further 24 red backed cards. The values of these 24 red backed cards should match any 24 of the blue backed half that is in your trouser pocket. Write your initials on the face of the red backed King of Spades. Note: Half pack from right hand trouser pocket should be secretly placed on lap under guise of removing handkerchief before commencing effect. To Perform: 1. Remove the cards from their case and perform a simple overhand shuffle which does not disturb the lower 28 cards of the face down pack. The shuffle used should be one that makes the most of the fact that there is 24 red backed cards to play with, so that the back colour of the pack is sold (but not oversold) to the audience. A suggested shuffle would be a simple run type, with the bulk of the pack thrown behind the ones that have been shuffled off into the left hand, when you are nearing the estimated centre of the pack. 2. Hold the pack face down in the left hand and reach over with the right hand to cut off about half. Try to estimate where the contrasting backs meet around the centre and break slightly at this point with the right thumb. By dropping a card or two off the thumb or picking them up from the lower half, adjust things so that one red backed card remains on top of the blue backed lower half of the pack. Spread each half face up on the table, taking care that in spreading the original lower half of the pack, you do not expose the pre-signed King of 154
Spades which is at the top. 3. Ask the spectator to push any card out from the half which is really all red backed cards. You select a card from the other half, but really push out the blue backed King of Spades. Each of you now initial the faces of the selected cards and when putting your initials on the face of the King of Spades, endeavour to match these up with the ones you placed on the red backed King of Spades before the effect commenced. 4. You now push your King of Spades (still face up) into the centre of the spectator's half, then take the spectator's card and push it face up into the centre of your half. Do not push the cards completely into the spread, but leave them protruding for about half their length. Close up the spread which contains the card selected by the spectator and leave the card still outjogged. Turn this half face down in the left hand which will reveal only red backs. Push the jogged card square, but as it goes in pick up a little finger break above it by any of the known methods (or unknown if you have a secret method of your own) and cut the half pack once at this point, completing the cut. Place this half pack face down on the table and ask the spectator to watch it closely. 5. Now close up the other spread still face up, and push the King of Spades square before you turn the packet face down. Casually exhibit this half in the right hand which has taken it from the left, and state that you are going to make the selected card in this half vanish and reappear with the other selected card which is in the heap laying face down on the table. Say you will make the card travel right up through the table surface, and as you say this place the right hand with its cards below the table and quickly change them for the other half that is on your lap. The face card of the two halves is identical (the Four of Hearts) so no difference will be noticed here. Take care however that when you remove the switched packet from below the table it is face up and occupies exactly the same position in the right hand as the other packet did before the switch. Place this half face up on the table. 6. Pick up the red backed face down heap and turn it face up to see if the selected card has arrived in this half. Start to spread them until you come to the first initialed card and break the pack at this point so that the initialed card is at the bottom of the section being held face up in the right hand. Place this card face up on the table and replace the other face up cards below those remaining in the left hand. Now spread again until you come to the other selected card and place this face up on top of the first one so that both initialed cards lie together in a slight fan on the table. Place the half pack remaining in the hands face up on top of the other half pack which was 155
placed on the table previously. 7. State that the initials on the faces of the selected cards rather spoil them for other tricks although the backs have not been marked. As you say this, turn the two cards face down to show the red backs. Now say, "Perhaps the best thing to do to avoid confusion would be to change the colour of the backs of the remainder of the pack so that the initialed cards will stand out". Turn the pack face down and spread to reveal that they now have blue backs. You are left with a half pack on your lap which can be again returned to the trouser pocket using the handkerchief or some similar misdirection. Note: If you do not like this idea of the rather bold presentation of the switch using the patter theme of making the card pass up through the table, you may prefer to use the Malini knee switch technique under the pretense of adjusting your chair.
CHAPTER TWENTY EIGHT MAGIC FROM CANADA Canada's Ross Bertram has long been a friend and admirer of Dai Vernon and they have exchanged ideas over the years. Ross sent us detailed notes of two excellent items and also produced the photographs, so we feel sure readers will have no difficulty in understanding the handling. PIVOT CHANGE - ROSS BERTRAM.
The effect of this Pivot Change is that the performer holds a card by two diagonal corners between the tips of his forefingers as in Photograph 1. The card is pivoted over so that the back comes towards the spectators, then pivoted again to show the face, which is now seen to have changed. Everything is done at the fingertips, which makes the change particularly effective. Method: Two cards are used, which we will assume are the Ace of Spades and Jack of Clubs. At the start of the action, hold the two cards as one, at the "on-index corners, between the tips of the forefingers. The position is seen in Photograph 1 - notice how the hands are held at about chest height, with the palms towards the spectators. Photograph 2 shows the performer's view. Start to twist your right palm inward, then press the tip of the right second finger against the lower index corner of the card(s), beginning a pivoting movement Photograph 3. When the card(s) are horizontal, the left thumb presses up against them at the left index fingertip, causing the revolving motion to continue. During the pivoting action of the cards, the hands move in a clockwise direction (as if you were winding thread on a spool) and at the same time move alternately to the right and the left. This is a more difficult action to describe than to do. The result is that the card(s) during their revolution, move about a rolling axis. When they are horizontal, they are lengthwise to the audience, Make one complete revolution of the card(s) using the thumbs and index fingers as required. 157
During the next revolution, as the card(s) are horizontal and backs uppermost, using the right second finger draw the Ace of Spades into the Tenkai palm (Photograph 4). The Jack of Clubs continues to revolve (Photograph 5) until it faces the audience and the change is seen to have taken place.
Bring the Jack of Clubs down toward the right palm underneath the Ace of Spades and into alignment with it. Now revolve the cards as one, as before but in the opposite direction, that is, turn them counter-clockwise. Make one full revolution, finishing with the cards and hands at rest in the original starting position. Note: Photograph 1 is as seen by the audience. All other Photographs are of the performer's view. BOTTOM STEAL AND RECOVERY - ROSS BERTRAM. This is a fine method for stealing a desired number of cards from the bottom of the pack, so that the pack can be cut by a spectator, then the cards secretly replaced. In studying the method of handling we will assume that the desired cards 158
are three in number, and all on the bottom of the pack. 1. Cut the pack in half, in preparation for a riffle shuffle, the upper portion being to the right. Holding the two packets in the riffle-shuffle position, release the three bottom cards from the left hand packet with the left thumb. Now release cards from the right packet and continue to release cards alternately from each packet as in a regular riffle shuffle on the table. 2. In squaring up the pack, it will be noted that the three bottom cards are separated a little from the riffle shuffled pack, enabling the right thumb to hold a break at the inner side of the pack - Photograph 1. 3. The left hand straddles the pack and holds it with the thumb at the inner side, close to right thumb-break, and the fingers at the outer side of the pack. The left fingers and thumb grip the three bottom cards and move slightly to the left. The left little finger bends inward toward the palm, pivoting the three cards as shown in Photograph 2 (mirror shot). The outer corners of the three cards are shielded between the tips of the second and third fingers.
4. The right hand carries the pack to the right, as you would in offering the pack to be cut. The left hand closes up, causing the three cards to slide along the palm at the base of the left little finger to be held there in the gambler's palm by pressure of the left thumb. Study the mirror shot in Photograph 3 which shows the cards positioned, after which the hand can be opened without exposing or releasing the cards. Hold the hands close to the table-top during the entire procedure. An alternative method which is very disarming is as follows; 159
As in Photograph 2 when the bottom cards are pivoted into the left hand, the entire pack is held by the left hand as the right hand is removed. The palm of the right hand is tapped against the right end of the pack as if squaring it up. The right hand then takes the pack as in Photograph 3 and offers it out to be cut. The left hand closes, carrying the three cards as previously mentioned.
5. To replace the held-out cards, the left hand rests on the table. Bend the fingers in toward the palm, the tip of the forefinger above the three cards and second finger below - Photograph 4. 6. The right hand draws the pack toward the left hand which extends the fingers. The pack is lifted at the inner side as the three cards are slid under the pack (Photograph 5). This replacement of the cards is invisible when the proper timing is applied. The right hand grasps the entire pack and the left hand releases the three cards, then grasps the pack at the left end. The fingers and thumbs of both hands square up the pack as it comes to rest on the table.
CHAPTER TWENTY NINE MAGIC FROM HOLLAND We are grateful to J. van Rinkhuyzen (Rink) for collecting card magic from some of Dai Vernon's many friends in Holland. THE THREE JOKERS - FRED KAFS.
Some years ago, in one of his letters, Faucett Ross wrote, "....Dai has a really fabulous thing - Joker Monte1. I'm positive he has never disclosed the method to a living soul. Everything clean, no moves, no old stuff, no flaps, mirror glasses etc. It is an entirely new and revolutionary principle. Three glasses, two spot cards and one Joker - a card goes into each glass. From here on you can do anything - the Joker can be shown in any of the three glasses at any time". When Dai was in England we questioned him about this and received just a smile and a knowing wink! However, on one of the several occasions when we had all night sessions recording his effects he said - "I'll now show you three things which must not be published until I say the word". We were then treated to a rope cutting routine, a centre deal and "Joker Monte". He told us the reason why publication was not desirable at the present time, but we are sure that one day these fine routines will be released. We were most intrigued when we received "The Three Jokers " from Fred Kaps, as our first reaction was that here was "Joker Monte", but on reading the notes we found we were mistaken because Fred Kaps has evolved something quite different. He has based his routine on Hofzinser's "Everywhere and Nowhere", but brought it right up to date. It is a very fine effect and a great favourite with this fine performer who is justly recognised as one of the world's leading magicians. Effect:
A spectator removes a card from a pack, looks at it himself but does not let the performer see which card has been selected, Actually, the chosen card proves to be the Joker which is then replaced in the pack. After the pack has been shuffled, the performer turns over the top card and declares it to be the one chosen. As it is an indifferent card, the spectator is quick to inform him that he has made a mistake.
This top card is placed back-outwards in one of three glasses on the performer's table, and another indifferent card is shown by the performer in the hope that it is the selected card. On being informed that he is wrong again, the card is placed in the second glass. In all, three indifferent cards are shown and placed back-outwards, one in each glass. Now the performer asks the spectator to point to any one of the three glasses. The card in the chosen glass is turned and found to be the Joker. This card is replaced, back-outwards, in the glass and the spectator is given a further choice of one of the two remaining glasses. When the card is turned, it also is seen to be the Joker which is then replaced back-outwards in the glass. Finally the third card is turned to bring its face towards the spectators another Joker. The climax is complete when all three glasses are turned to show that they contain indifferent cards - The Joker is in the performer's pocket. Requirements and Preparation: You will need: (a) Three wine glasses, each of which will hold a playing card. The stem variety of wine glasses make ideal display containers for the cards. At the commencement of the trick, the glasses should be in a line on your table. (b) A pack of cards and three Jokers. The top cards of the pack are set up so that one Joker is on top, the second Joker is the fourth card from the top, and the third Joker sixth from top. Performance: 1. False shuffle the pack leaving the top stack undisturbed. If the cards are held face-on to the audience, a convincing shuffle can be made, as twothirds of the pack can be genuinely shuffled and the top stack thrown back on top. Although attention is not drawn to the fact, the spectators see that all the cards are different. 2. Force the top card on a spectator - the Slip Cut Force is convincing, easy to accomplish, and certain in operation. 3. After the spectator has looked at his card, the next step is to have it 162
returned apparently to the centre of the pack, but actually have it placed second from top. To do this/ hold the pack in the left hand and riffle the edge of the pack with the left thumb as if preparing to cut the pack at the centre (Figure 1). If the pack is held slightly edge-on to the spectator as the thumb makes the riffle, he sees the preparation for a deep cut into the pack. Now turn the left hand so that the back of the top card is square on to the spectator's line of vision, release the thumb-break and simultaneously lift the top card only with the right hand - as in Figure 2. Have the selected card replaced on top of the second card, then replace the top card. It's a question of bluffing so do not make a show of the operation; perform it casually and confidently then the illusion of cutting the pack is excellent. The set up from the top of the pack is now: - indifferent card, Joker, indifferent card, Joker, indifferent card, Joker, rest of pack. 4. False shuffle the pack leaving the top stack undisturbed, then hold the pack back-upwards in the left hand and tell the spectator that by tapping the back of the pack, you will cause the chosen card to rise to the top. Tap the top card then take it into the right hand and show its face. As the card is not the one chosen, the spectator will inform you of this fact, but ample misdirection has been afforded for the left thumb to push the Joker to the right for the left little finger to secure a break underneath (Figure 3). 5. Place the card from the right hand onto the top of the pack, then reach towards the table with the right hand and pull one of the glasses forward. Immediately take the top TWO cards from the pack and holding them squared as ONE card, place them back-outwards into the glass.
By pulling the glass forward, an excuse is provided to place the card on top of the pack momentarily, then because a break has been held under the second card, both cards can be picked up cleanly and held squared as one card. 6. Announce that mistakes can be made by anyone, but that you propose to try again to find the selected card. False shuffle the pack, leaving the top stack undisturbed, then tap the top card as before and take it into the right hand. When its face is shown, it is another indifferent card - secure a break with the left little finger under the second card as before. Place the card on top of the pack momentarily whilst you pull the second glass forward, then lift two cards as one again and place them back-outwards into the second glass. 7. Repeat the whole procedure once again so that the position is that you have two cards in each glass (the audience believes you have only one card in each glass), the backs of the cards are towards the audience and all three face-cards are Jokers. 8. With the pack still in your left hand, ask the spectator to point to any one of the glasses, then ask him to name his card. Take the two cards (as one) in the right hand from the glass indicated and turn them to show the Joker. Apparently the trick is over, so there is ample misdirection for the following action to be performed secretly. Hold the two cards by the short edges, the right thumb at one edge and the fingers at the other. By bending the cards slightly, they can be parted a little at the thumb end. Bring the right hand over to the pack (Figure 4) and allow the bottom card (Joker) to fall onto the top of the pack. Immediately reach forward with the right hand and place the card it holds back-outwards into the glass. As you reach forward say, "Now point to either of the two remaining glasses". 9. When the second glass is indicated, remove the two cards (as one), then show the Joker and make the same move as before, secretly dropping the Joker on top of the pack and placing the card held back-outwards into the glass. 10. Say, "Of course, you might have chosen this glass", pointing to the 164
last glass. Take out the two cards as one and show the Joker, then make the dropping move and place the single indifferent card back-outwards into the glass. As you have shown the three Jokers, the spectators will believe that you used three Jokers (and they were right!), so you say, "Some people believe that there is a Joker in each glass". As you say this, palm off the three Jokers from the top of the pack, then place your hand in your trousers pocket leave two behind and take out one only, but keep the back of the card towards the spectators for a moment. Turn the three glasses and show the indifferent cards then turn the Joker and show its face as you conclude with, "Actually, the Joker was in my pocket". UPS AND DOWNS - RINK.
There are several tricks based on the principle of shuffling a face-down packet of cards into a face-up packet, then at the finish showing all cards facing one way. The variation described below is derived from the wellknown "Four Packet Shuffle", which as far as I know, was originated by Bill Simon, and described in his book "Sleightly Sensational". The following version is ideal when performing at the bridge table, at the conclusion of a card game. A set-up is not needed and all the tricky moves happen under perfect cover. 1. One of the players is asked to shuffle the pack, then another to deal four hands, each containing thirteen cards, as in a bridge deal. 2. The three other players are asked to shuffle their packets of cards, then to choose one of the cards and to remember it. They put their chosen card face-down in front of their face-down packet on the table. 3. While the three players are so engaged the performer takes his own hand, face-down, in his hands and turns twelve cards face-up onto the bottom card, which remains face-down at the bottom. This should look as if the whole packet was turned face-up. 4. The performer now fans his cards and in closing the fan, turns the top card face down on the packet. This must be made to look as if the packet is turned face down again. Actually the performer's packet is now face up 165
except for the top and bottom cards. The packet is now casually turned over and back again, showing a face at the bottom and a back at the top, just as it should be. 5. The performer's cards are reverse fanned slightly, the bottom card protruding rightward more than the others. Take care that the pips of the eleven face-up cards do not show. 6. In the meantime, the three players will have finished their work, and the performer takes the three selected cards and inserts them in different parts of his (performer's) packet. The packet is closed and squared at the sides after the three cards have been pushed in. Performer's packet is placed (still apparently face-down) before him on the table. 7. Two of the other players are asked to turn their packet face-up, so that it looks as if there are two face-up and two face-down packets on the table. 8. Performer's packet is taken in the left hand and one of the face-up packets in the right hand. Both packets are riffled into each other, but care is taken that the top and bottom cards of the left hand packet stay in position. As soon as the cards are halfway interwoven they are turned over showing the underside and are then pushed right in. The double packet is held faceup (apparently). 9. The right hand takes the face down packet from the table and riffles these cards into the double packet, between the top and bottom cards. As soon as they are halfway in, the packet is turned over and the bottom shown. The cards are now pushed right in and the triple packet now held apparently face down. 10. The last face-up packet from the table is riffled in exactly the same way as before. At the conclusion the whole pack is turned over again and held apparently face down. 11. The situation is now as follows: The other players think that all the cards are mixed face up and face down, but actually all the cards are face up except the top and bottom cards and the three chosen cards, the latter being in different parts of the pack. 12. All that remains to be done is for the top and bottom cards to be righted which is achieved as follows: The pack is held apparently face down in the right hand with the tips of the fingers at one end and the thumb at the 166
other end. The left hand approaches with the fingers under and the thumb above the cards. 13. The left thumb now presses on the top card and the left fingers on the bottom card of the pack, while the right hand moves up and to the right. The top and bottom cards stay in the left hand. As soon as the fifty cards in the right hand are free from the two cards in the left, the rest of the pack in the right hand is turned over onto the cards in the left (as if closing a book). All the cards are now face down except the three previously selected. 14. Without stopping, the right hand cuts the pack by placing the top half on the table, then placing the bottom part on top. 15. The manipulations described in paragraphs 13 and 14 must be one combined smooth movement, one blending with the other, so that the spectators believe that the pack is merely cut. In fact, the face up card is not even seen, as the back of the right hand gives excellent cover. 16. The pack is now spread face down on the table and only the three selected cards appear face up in different parts of the spread. 17. There are only two critical phases in the trick. The first is the preparing of the performer's packet as described in phases 3 and 4, but the three players are busily engaged at that moment, and the other spectators will be watching them. The second is at the finish, but smooth handling of phases 13 and 14 takes care of that, as a trial will prove. FIND THE ACE - EDDIE TAYTELBAUM.
Eddie Taytelbaum is one of Holland's top magicians and is kept very busy with professional engagements. He excels at close-up magic and the apparatus, which he makes himself, is a fine example of excellent craftsmanship. Many of Eddie's originalities have appeared in books and magazines, but the routine he gives here is in print for the first time. He reserves the right to market this trick, but obviously readers are permitted to use this very fine effect. As this is a version of the "Three Card Trick" which has been performed by tricksters for many, many years, the principle used will be known to many magicians, but Eddie Taytelbaum has evolved an exceptionally clever routine with the cards. The cards used are the Ace, Two and Three of Clubs; the Two being an ordinary card but the Ace and Three are faked in that the A on 167
one of the index corners of the Ace is changed to a 3, and the 3 on one index corner of the Three is changed to an A. The printer's ink on some cards can be removed with an ink eraser, and the A and 3 inserted with Indian Ink. Figure 1 shows the three cards when the faking has been carried out.
* A *
^P * *
1. Take the three cards face up in the left hand as in Figure 2, the Three at the bottom, then the Ace with the Two on top. The cards are as widely spaced as possible, only the fake corners being covered. Tell the spectators that the idea is to find the Ace. 2. Square the cards and take them into the right hand, holding them face up from above as in Figure 3. Bring the left hand palm up under the packet and slide out the bottom card (Three), the left little finger curling onto the face of the card at the right inner corner to hide the fake index - Figure 3. Turn this card face down in the direction of the arrow in the illustration, then drop it onto the table. The fake index is now at the left inner corner. 3. Repeat this move with the second _ card (Ace) as in Figure 4 and drop it face ' down on the card on the table.
4. Take the Two into the left hand in exactly the same manner as the other cards (Figure 5) and drop it face down on the cards on the table - Figure 6. The three cards have now been shown in the fairest manner possible. 5. Pick up the cards square them and shuffle one for one, so that the order is reversed.
6. Turn the packet over end for end, and spread the cards as in Figure 7. Because the cards have been turned over the fake corners will be showing, so take care not to spread the cards too far. Point to the Ace index and say, "Don't forget - this is the Ace - watch!" 7. Turn the cards over end for end, which brings the fake corners towards you again, then place out the cards in a row as in Figure 8, the top card on the left and the bottom on the right - the real Ace is now in the middle. 8. Ask, "Where is the Ace?". The spectators will think it is the card on the left, so pick it up as in Figure 9, the right thumb going underneath the left inner corner to cover the fake index. Turn the card over as in Figure 10, and say, "No, I'm afraid you are wrong". 9. Turn the Three face down again and replace it in its original position. It might be that the card on the right of the row is chosen (if spectator is not watching carefully). In this case turn up the Two and show it. 10. Turn over the centre card in the same manner as the Three (covering the fake corner as in Figures 9 and 10) showing the Ace. Say, "You see, the Ace is in the centre". Turn the Ace face down again, the position now being as in Figure 8. 11. Push the cards together keeping the sequence with the Two on top. Pick them up and shuffle the Two to the bottom. 12. Turn the packet face up with the fake corners towards the spectators, and spread the cards as in Figure 7. Say, "Watch carefully, because it is the Ace you have to find". 169
13. Take the Ace by the fake corner and turn it face down on the table (watch the angle so that the three spots do not show). Hold the two remaining cards spread in the right hand as in Figure 11. Say, "These two cards are just here to confuse you". 14. Turn both cards over end for end to bring them face down (the Ace with the fake index is on top) then place one on each side of the card on the table - Figure 12. 15. Ask, "Where is the Ace?". The guess this time will be the centre card. Say, "Wrong again!" then turn up the centre card to show this to be the Three, but this time the fake index is covered by different handling. With the right fingers, pick up the card at the centre of the outer end, but as the card begins to turn end for end, move the left finger in front of the lower left corner. Show the face then return the card to the table by reversing the moves. 16. Pick up the cards again and hold them spread in the right hand as in Figure 13. Notice that they are in a different order this time (comparison with Figure 7 shows this). The Ace with the fake Three index showing is on the left, the Three with the fake Ace index is in the middle, and the Two on the right. 17. Take the card on the left in the left hand and turn it face down on the table (do not flash the face). 18. Show the remaining two cards as in Figure 14 and call attention to the position of the Ace. Say, "This time we will use two cards only - the Ace and the Two". 19. Without flashing the face of the fake Ace, place it down to the left of the card on the table, and the Two to the right - Figure 15. 20. Say, "Now there is no doubt where the Ace is....that's right on the left", but do not show the face. 21. Openly change the places of the two outside cards and say, "Of course it's still easy for you to know where the Ace is....Where?....Yes, that's correct....on the right" but still do not show the card. 22. Say, "Yes, you have been watching very closely and now know the position of the Ace. Now I will do something difficult - watch!" Pick up each of the outer cards, one in each hand, and keeping them face down, rub 170
one over the other. Give the impression that you are doing something suspicious. Placing the two cards down again and ask, "Now where is the Ace?" Should the Three be chosen pick it up as in Figures 9 and 10, show it, then pick up the Two and show it. Place the Two on top of the Three. Now pick up the Ace again as in Figures 9 and 10 and show it. Place it under the other two cards and put them all out of harms way. A trial will convince you that this is a very fine routine and that the way in which the cards are handled looks perfectly fair at all times. The form of presentation we favour is to offer it as a demonstration of how the racecourse tricksters work the ''Three Card Trick". Now there is no need to have a spectator actually choose a card. Your patter can be "....of course, because you have been watching so closely, you know that this is the Ace, but if you have placed a bet upon it then the operator would show you that you are wrong..." In this way no one is offended or embarrassed by being asked to make a decision which is proved to be incorrect, and the demonstration can be made interesting and instructive. INFALLIBLE FORCE - EDDIE TAYTELBAUM.
1. The force card is at the top of the face-down pack. The Joker is taken out of the pack and put aside, face up. 2. A face down fan is made from left to right and one of the spectators is asked to put the Joker anywhere, face-up, in the spread. The Joker is pushed in, till about one inch still sticks out (Figure 1). 3. The fan is closed in the direction of the arrow (Figure 1). When the fan is closed, the pack is held in the left hand with the Joker still partly sticking out at the inner end, i.e. the end point towards performer (Figure 2). 4. The right hand fingers grasp the pack in front and the thumb at the back of the pack and the thumb pushes the Joker in as in Figure 3. 5. While the Joker is pushed in, the right thumb manages to keep a break beneath the Joker (see Figure 3, in which the face up Joker is the bottom card of the top part A). 6. The right hand takes the pack from the left hand and holds it about two inches above the other hand. The bottom half of the bottom part B is dropped in the left hand, while the performer says, gesturing to the cards in
the left hand: "You could have put the Joker here". Directly after this the top half of part B is also dropped on the left hand, "or here".
7. At this moment the situation is as follows: The bottom part B is in the left hand and the top part A which has the Joker face-up at the bottom and the force card on top, is in the right hand. 8. The first fingertip of the right hand (a in Figure 4) now moves the top half of A to the left, turning this packet with tip of the thumb as a pivot (c in Figure 4), while the bottom half of A is held between the tips of the middle finger and thumb (b and c). 9. A 1 (Figure 4) is now put on the cards in the left hand, while the right hand moves to the right with A 2 and while performer says; "or maybe here". Almost at once A 2 is put on the cards in the left hand and performer says: "in fact, almost anywhere". 10. The Joker is now on top of the force card, and all that remains to do, is to spread the pack on the table, to locate the Joker, and to pull out the card under it; the card which had to be forced.
CHAPTER THIRTY MAGIC FROM IRELAND When Dai Vernon visits Ireland he is hosted by Hubert Lambert of Dublin, who consequently has been able to have first hand exchanges of ideas with the Professor. In the "Linking Ring" Hubert Lambert wrote, "David Frederick Wingfield Vernon is a scion of the Verners of Churchill, County Armagh, Ireland, whose family motto is 'Pro Christo et Patria1. During his first visit to Ireland, Dai made pilgrimage to the family seat, where by arrangement, he met Mr. P. J. Patterson Curator of Armagh Museum, and friend of the present Baronet, who resides in England. Later, at a reception in Dublin, this writer was privileged, on behalf of the Magicians of Ireland, to present to Dai Vernon a replica of the Verner Coat of Arms. This was created by Mr. Gibson Price, having been verified by the Genealogical Office in Dublin Castle. "While in Ireland, Dai Vernon visited Powerscourt Demesne, the seat of Viscount Powerscourt, whose family name is Wingfield, the Verners and Wingfields being inter-related." From the illustration supplied by Hubert Lambert we were able to have Dennis Patten re-produce the Verner Coat of Arms for inclusion in the front of this book. It was Hubert Lambert who suggested a "Friends of Dai Vernon" section for this book and offered three Vernon inspired items for inclusion. We are also grateful to Wm. Larsen of "Genii" for permission to re-publish "Vernon's Variant" and "Emerald Isle Aces", which originally appeared in that excellent magazine. We let Hubert describe the effects in his own words. VERNON'S VARIANT - DAI VERNON. You will see the magic name, Vernon, in the title, so you will know that it is true when you are told that in this you shall have a real gem of card magic for 'twas given to me by Dai himself. The gift was made several years ago, when 'The Card Expert", which is the legend on his visiting card, spent a week with me in Ireland. At the time 173
I was not sworn to secrecy. It was just one of the many "exclusives" I learned, and he did not put any great value on it. Inasmuch as from two to thirteen persons may take active part in the intriguing proceedings (using one pack of cards), this is an ideal party piece. Four cards are given to "everybody", while you retain four for yourself. You go through a few simple moves with your four cards, reversing some face-up, etc., and each spectator is invited to follow, with his cards, what you do with yours. They all follow exactly, yet when the cards are shown, yours are all face down while each of them has one card face-up! They are always wrong. This is repeated time and again, yet they always are wrong and have one card face-up, they begin getting more befuddled each time. Get out four cards while you try the sequence of "moves". 1. Hold the cards face-down. 2. Take off top card, turn it face-up, and place it on the bottom. 3. Take off new top card and place it, still face-down on bottom. 4. Turn entire packet over. 5. Turn top card face-down and replace on top. 6. Slide out bottom card, turn it face-down, and replace it on bottom. If you do this the card second from bottom will be face-up. In performance, everybody does this, and each, including yourself, will have one card face up. Now you show your four cards to be all face-down, by counting them one at a time, using the Four-as-Four-move. This move is an ingenious adaption by Alex Elmsley of a move first given to us by Edward 'Victor in his "E-Y-E" effect. The Four-as-Four move was described in Dai's "More Inner Secrets of Card Magic", but to be complete I will give it again. I'll not go into great detail here, so briefly: First hold the four cards evened up in the dealing position in the left hand. Slide the top card off to the right less than a quarter of an inch. Take packet as is into the right hand for a 174
moment, holding the thumb at inner side, fingers at front side, not disturbing top card. Transfer cards back to left hand, holding the packet with the thumb at the middle of the left long side, second finger directly under the thumb. Figure 1. Half of thumb-ball is in contact with the second finger under the cards. (Important that bit!) For the count, right hand, assuming a similar position, slides out the top card with the thumb. Keeping this card in the same plane as the rest (Figure 2) the right hand comes back to apparently take the second card. As soon as the card in the right hand goes under the packet and contacts the left fingertips, they take purchase ready to steal the card back. The left thumb pushes the top two cards, as one, to the right hand as the left steals the bottom card back. Third and fourth cards are counted with exactly, the same movements, without of course, any secret transfer. This leaves you in position that you have shown the four cards as being all face-down, yet there is now a face-up card on the bottom. The spectators check and find each has a face-up card, so you suggest that they right this card, and you will repeat the business, but "Do watch more closely!" Second time all repeat exactly the first set of moves. They all watch you like hawks, yet now, without a single sleight, your cards will all actually be face-down, while the spectators are still "wrong". The temptation here would be to fan your cards to show all face-down. But it is better to show them as before, but without any secret manoeuvre. As you will see, the whole sequence may be repeated as often as the occasion calls for, each time more and more spectators going up the wall! Tell you what...over the years I've had great enjoyment with this item, and most from the reaction of magicians. Do, please, master the one move before essaying this conceit, and don't botch up such a beautiful piece of deception by badly executed technique. If I thought you'd do the latter, I would not write this for you. 175
EMERALD ISLE ACES - DAI VERNON, FAUCETT ROSS and HUBERT LAMBERT. In the foregoing, we make claim to Faucett and Dai being Irish, and therefore justly to be bracketed with us in "Emerald Aces". Heaven forbid that the "Aces" of the title are the mere mortals mentioned above. No, they are the Aces from a pack of playing cards. It comes to you by way of being created by the Professor, transmitted briefly by letter of Faucett Ross to Hubert Lambert, and now, several years later, the last named typing it fully and clearly for publication. Here it is: Openly remove the four Aces from a pack, and announce that you are going to distribute them in various places in the pack, but their exact location will be dictated by the mental impulse of a nearby spectator. Look said spectator steadily in the eyes, place pack behind back and arrange cards as follows: Two Aces face-up on top; any two indifferent cards face-to-face atop these; second pair of Aces face down atop all. Bring out pack, give it a false shuffle if you like and, commencing about centre, slowly riffle, asking spectator to stop you any time. When he calls "Stop", lift off all the cards above the ensuing break, turn them face-up and drop them squarely on top of remainder of the pack. Now fan through pack till you come to end of face-up section and place all these cards (still face-up) on table. Then deal the next (face-down) card atop the tabled packet. Repeat this operation three times more as above, so that you will have four packets of face-up cards with one face-down card on top of each. When the face down cards are turned over, each is an Ace. This is a fine preface to a more elaborate Four Aces routine. Just the thing to exhibite at your next magic meeting. SWIVELLEROO - HUBERT LAMBERT. When Dai Vernon came to Europe in 1956, he visited Ireland, the land of his forebears. At one of the sessions we had, we talked of the "swivel cut" and Leipzig's dainty handling of this flourish was duplicated. 176
Whilst toying with it, we got an idea and finished up with the oddest looking triple cut ever. When done casually, it's an eye popper. If the reader will take a pack of cards and study the illustrations and instructions he will have little difficulty in following the moves. The pack is held in the right hand from above, the pad of the right thumb at the right inner corner and the pad of the second finger at the right outer corner. The first finger is curled, out of the way above the pack. To aid the next movement the pack can be slightly bevelled to the left. Bring the left hand (palm upwards) under the pack and to the left, the first finger curled up so that the nail is visible. This finger contacts the pack at the left inner corner (Figure 1) and swivels the top third of the pack to the left (Figure 2) then completes the full half circle forward (Figure 3). The packet swivelled out will be found to pivot round the right second finger and can be allowed to settle into the palm of the left hand (Figure 3). The cards in the right hand are brought a little nearer to the body, and the left outer corner of the packet brought into contact with the base of the left thumb, where it joins the wrist. (Figure 4) The bottom half of this packet is held momentarily between the left thumbbase and the right thumb pad. At once the right hand moves in an arc to the 177
right and forward (Figure 5). This will cause the packet of cards secured between the thumbs to swivel a full half circle to the right and come to rest on top of the cards in the left hand (Figure 6). The packet remaining in the right hand is now in front of the other cards, the right thumb separating the packets at their short edges (Figure 6). This front packet is now moved backwards (Figure 7) and finally comes to rest on top of the left hand cards to complete the pack.
CHAPTER THIRTY ONE MAGIC FROM U. S. A. Obviously, several books could be filled with effects from Dai Vernon's friends in America, but we have had to keep this chapter about the same size as the others. Accordingly, our good friend Faucett Ross has collected a few choice items for inclusion. CARD TRANSPOSITION - FRANCIS CARLYLE.
Competent critics have adjudged Francis Carlyle to be among the top six American intimate performers. The following description of his Card Transposition is in Mr. Carlyle's own words. I offer this card trick as a mark of esteem and affection I hold for my old friend, Dai Vernon. I have performed the effect thousands of times during the past twenty years. The trick is strictly commercial, direct, simple and performed with a minimum of sleights. Frankly, I would not trade it for a hundred of the usual present day card miracles. Forgive the foregoing ballyhoo and let us get down to cases. The inevitable card is selected, noted and returned to the pack and brought to the top by your favourite procedure. I use the familiar Hindu shuffle. Then about half the pack is undercut and slapped unevenly on top which permits me to get a break while squaring. Selected card is now near centre, a break being held above it with little finger. This is elementary technique. I now remark, "I'll try to find your card by intuition". Let us assume that selected pasteboard is the Ace of Spades. I am holding the pack in left hand and my right thumb openly riffles the inner end. I riffle to the break, sight and remember selected card - important. Pack is cut at this point bringing selected card to top. At the same time I remark, "I will cut your card to the top of pack and when I show it simply tell me whether I am right or wrong". I next do a double lift and display, let us say, the King of Hearts. Spectator immediately says that I am wrong. So I turn the double card face down again, remove the top card (actually the Ace of Spades) with the remark, "Sorry, I missed but will you place the King of Hearts in your pocket?" I hand him card and he secretes it in pocket. If done convincingly he will never bother to glance at its face. 179
I next say, "I will try once more and this time I will not miss". Again I cut pack, hold break above the King of Hearts and openly riffle to break as before. My right forefinger is inserted into break and King of Hearts pulled out toward me so that it projects about half its length. I keep pack face down so King of Hearts cannot be seen.
I now bend up the projecting King (Figure 1) glance at its face, smile triumphantly and say, "I have it now - it is the Ace of Spades. Right?" I thus simply miscall the card but in a natural and convincing manner. Upon chooser agreeing, I immediately turn the pack end for end so that the projecting card now faces the spectator but is still held face down. My right hand quickly removes a match from my pocket, lights it and slowly and dramatically moves it back and forth above the projecting card several times. Do not prolong this. (See Figure 2). I then remove the projecting card, snap it with the fingers and turn it face up, exclaiming, "Look, I now hold the King of Hearts! Kindly remove the card from your pocket and see what you have". He does so and, of course, reveals the Ace of Spades. Climax, In my estimation the strong points of the presentation are the freedom with which the spectator is allowed to pocket the card; the impressive business with the lighted match and, lastly, the miscalling of the card. When Dai Vernon first saw me perform the trick at the Stork Club nearly twenty years ago, he remarked, "I never realised until now how strong and convincing the miscalling of a card can be made".
If you lack the confidence to permit the spectator pocketing the card you can place it on the table and ask him to hold his hand firmly over it. This does not materially weaken the effect. "YOU GET IT" - GERALD KOSKY
Gerald Kosky's standing in magic is reflected by the respect shown to him by his election to such offices as President of the Pacific Coast Association (1948-49), National Vice-President of the Society of American Magicians (1937) and from time to time either President or Secretary of the various Los Angeles and Hollywood Magicians' Clubs. This is a card trick with which I have had much success, and I have no hesitation in stating that it is very well received by audiences. In addition to having a startling climax, it has the virtue of seeming to be carried out almost entirely by a spectator, the performer merely directing operations. Effect: A spectator is asked to shuffle a pack of cards, think of a number, then look at and remember the card at that number counting from the top of the pack. After the pack is shuffled again and a check made to see that the card is not now in its original position, the spectator is instructed to place the pack in his pocket, then remove any one card. The card he removes proves to be the one he looked at. Method: The performer hands a pack of cards to a spectator with the request that he shuffles the cards, then thinks of any number between five and fifteen. He is instructed to look at and remember the card at this number from the top of the pack. In other words, if the spectator thinks of the number nine then he must remember the ninth card from the top of the pack. As this is happening the performer has his back turned, or looks away, so that he cannot know the number of the card. At this point the performer takes the pack and shuffles it, but although everything looks fair, it is the method of shuffling which allows the trick to be brought to a successful conclusion. The shuffle is simple, the performer merely undercutting about half of the pack and shuffling three cards, one at a time, onto the top card; in-jogging the next card then shuffling the remainder of the pack on top of the in-jogged card. By undercutting at the injogged 181
card and throwing the bottom half of the pack on top, the position is that the card that the spectator looked at is now three deeper in the pack. If the number nine had been chosen then the card will now be the twelfth card from the top. When this has been done, the performer hands the pack to the spectator saying, "I haven't the faintest idea what number you thought of, and by shuffling the cards after you looked at the card, your card is in all probability no longer at the number you thought of. However, to be on the safe side; will you kindly deal off the top of the pack, one card at a time, up to and including the card at the number you thought of. Kindly deal each card so that it is face-up and stop dealing at the number you thought of." When the spectator has done this, there will be a pile of cards face up on the table but his card will not be amongst them, but you ask, "Does the card you looked at happen to be the card you've stopped dealing at?" On a negative reply ask, "Is it amongst the cards you have just dealt?". Again there will be a negative reply, so say, "Kindly deal off two more cards and see if one of them might be your card". Neither of these cards will be the one looked at but unbeknown to the spectator, it is now the top card of the pack. You now say to the spectator: "Kindly remove everything that you have in the inner breast pocket of your coat and when you have done so, place the pack of cards in that pocket". See that the pack is placed in the pocket so that the backs of the cards are against the back of the pocket. Now continue your presentation by saying: "Now Sir; somewhere in the pack is the card you looked at; where it is at the present time you and I do not know. I'm of the opinion however, that your card can be found by sound vibration and sensitive fingertips. What I want you to do is to call out, so that we all may hear three times the name of the card you looked at, and when I say to you 'You get it', reach into your pocket fast and grab one card quickly. Do you get the idea? Fine." When the spectator calls out the name of his card three times you yell excitedly "You get it!" The spectator, because of the hurried action, cannot help but grab from his pocket the top rear card of the pack, which will be his card. "DO AS I DO" WITH ONE PACK - JAY OSE. Dai Vernon has pronounced Jay Ose of Los Angeles, to be one of the finest entertainers with a pack of cards that he has ever met. 182
The experienced performer will always be ready to take advantage of any circumstances which he can turn to his advantage, and this is the trick I perform when the opportunity presents itself for me to know the top or bottom card of a spectator's pack. For our example let us assume that without the spectator being aware of the fact, he has permitted me to catch a glimpse of the bottom card - let us say that it is the Ace of Spades. I say to him, "Place your pack face down on the table and square the cards". When this is done I continue with, "Now will you cut off half the pack and hand it to me". I now tell the spectator to pick up the remaining half and fan them with the faces towards himself; to push up one card from the fan and form a mental picture of that card. My next instructions are that he should remove the card, place it on top of the pack, then cut the pack, complete the cut and square the cards. To demonstrate what I want done, I do the same actions with the half of the pack that was handed to me then ask, "You don't know what card I looked at.,..do you?" The spectator agrees, so I say, "Then in all fairness, I shouldn't know what card you looked at....should I?" Again he agrees and I continue with, "I'm going to give you my half in exchange for yours". We now exchange packets of cards and I remark, "You could look all day in the cards you are now holding and not be able to find your card because it isn't there....is it?" He must agree. "Then, of course, it would be quite impossible for me to find my card in the pack I'm holding...isn't that right? However, I am going to find a similar card and I want you to do the same. For instance, if you looked at the Ace of Spades, take out a different Ace of a different suit. In other words take out a card of the same denomination but a different suit". As I explain this I take out the card to the right of the Ace of Spades, which will be the card the spectator looked at (let us say it is the Jack of Hearts), and place it face down on the table. At the same time, I look and see if there are any more Jacks. If I find the Jack of Clubs and the Jack of Diamonds then I know the card the spectator places down is the Jack of Spades. I then say, "It could be possible that by accident you have taken the card I looked at and put it face down on the table....couldn't it?" By this time the spectator has a puzzled look, but I keep right on talking, and say, "My card was the Jack of Spades. You didn't put that card face down just now....did you?" With a still more puzzled look the spectator admits that he did. "Turn it up and let me see", I say, and when he does so, I ask, "What card did you look at". He names the Jack of Hearts and I turn over his card saying, "You see, you found my card and I found yours!". 183
If the top card is the key card (the card I glimpsed) I take the bottom half of the pack for myself and tell the spectator that I am going to turn my back, and while my back is turned he is to remove a whole bunch of cards from the centre of the remaining half....then look at the card that faces him and place the whole lot on top of his packet. When I tell him to do this I actually demonstrate what he is to do, but I tell him to do this after I have turned my back. Later on I elaborate on this feature when I review what has happened. It can happen that the performer finds he has the other three Jacks so in this case tell the spectator to take out one card higher which will be a Queen and then by the process of elimination you can't fail. In a case of this kind, let us say that his card was the Jack of Hearts and you have all the Jacks and unbeknown to you he puts down the Queen of Spades. You know it is a Queen but have to find the suit, so you say, "I hope you didn't put down a red card....did you?" If he says "No", then you continue with, "Was it a Club?". Again he may say "No", so you say, "I have a reason for asking this, you see it is possible that you could have put down the card I looked at...my card was the Queen of Spades...you didn't put that card down did you?" He will admit that he did and you continue as before. If the top card is used as the key, the first card to the left of the key card will be the one selected. I have given extreme cases so that you will be able to cope with any eventuality. I hope you have some fun with this trick. SLEIGHT OF MIND - BILL SIMON. Bill Simon is one of America's top-flight card men and successful author of "Effective Card Magic" and "Sleightly Sensational". The effect a magician secures, be it with cards, illusions or whatever, is almost always dependent upon the strength of his presentation. In this card trick, the effect can be greatly enhanced by emphasized presentation. Effect: The magician removes four like cards, for example, the four Aces, from an ordinary pack, and cuts the remainder of the pack into two packets. The two Black Aces are placed face-up in packet "A"; the two Red Aces are placed face-down in packet "B". "Sleight of hand is one thing", the performer says, 184
"but sleight of mind is an entirely new approach. You have been watching me very closely and you saw, with certainty, that I placed the two Black Aces face-up in this packet (magician indicates packet "A"). But actually I have used sleight of mind on you because the Black Aces are no longer in this packet A where I originally put them, but they have jumped over to packet B. (Packet B is spread out and the Black Aces are seen to be face-up therein). The Red Aces, not to be out done, have transferred themselves to packet A." The magician taps packet A and the two Red Aces literally jump out of the packet. Method: Remove the four Aces from a pack (white borders are necessary) and place the two Black Aces to the left and the two Red Aces to the right of your table. The remainder of the pack is cut into two fairly equal packets. The packet placed to the left will be called A, and the other packet will be called B. Hand the two Black Aces to a spectator and, picking up packet A, have him insert them into the centre of packet A as you spread this packet between your hands. A is face-down, while the Black Aces are face-up. As the Black Aces are inserted in A, secure a break with your left little finger over the first face-down card on top of the Black Aces. Square A, retaining the break, and casually cut A at the break, completing the cut. This will bring a face-down indifferent card on top of A with the two face-up Black Aces second and third from the top of A. Square A and hold it securely in your left hand. As you patter, secure a break under the three top cards of A with your left little finger. The two Red Aces should be face-up on the table, packet B in front of them. Packet B should be face-down. Pick up the two Red Aces with your right hand and place them, face-up on top of A. Square them up and then apparently turn them face-down on top of A. Actually, when you square up the Red Aces and turn them face-down you turn over all the cards above the break held by your left little finger (5 cards). In the act of turning the Red Aces face-down on top of A you have done two important things: (a) switched the Black Aces, and (b) turned the Black Aces face-down. As soon as you have turned the Red Aces face-down you must apparently deal them off A into your right hand. To do this, thumb the top card of A into your right hand, then bring your right hand (and the card it holds) back to the packet to remove the next card (apparently the second Red Ace), 185
but you perform a double-lift and remove two cards as one from the top of A. You now apparently hold the two Red Aces face-down in your right fingers; actually you hold the two Black Aces with a third indifferent faceup card under the lowermost Ace. Place packet A on the table and with the aid of your left hand square up the cards held in your right hand, taking these cards in your left hand in dealing position. Your patter, at this point, should be something like this: "The two Black Aces are face-up here (pointing to packet A) and I will now place the Red Aces in packet B." You are holding cards (three) in your left hand. Lean forward, dropping your left hand to your side, and with your right hand lift off about half of packet B. As you lift off half of B with your right hand, you will have ample misdirection to turn over the cards held in your left hand. Once these cards have been revolved, place them onto the half of B which is on the table, and then replace the half of B which has been held in your right hand so that apparently the two Red Aces have been cut into the centre of packet B facedown. Actually, you will be placing three cards into the centre of B, the top one will be an indifferent card and the two beneath it will be the Black Aces face-up! Have one of your spectators place his hand on packet B so that you can't manipulate the packet without his knowledge. Pick up packet A and reiterate what has been done. Riffle the ends of packet A and say that "....they have jumped over to packet B". Spread packet B, or have your spectator do this, and it will be surprising to discover the two Black Aces face-up in packet B. This will give you an opportunity to place in four fingers of your left hand under the top two cards, the Red Aces, of the packet being held in your left hand. With your right fingers, snap the packet held in your left hand and immediately extend your left fingers. The Red Aces will apparently leap out of the packet!