# Simon Aronson - Memorized Deck Magic

September 9, 2017 | Author: billy bong | Category: Poker, Playing Cards, Magic (Illusion), Ephemera, Gambling

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Simon Aronson - Memorized Deck Magic...

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Simon ARONSON on Memorized Deck Magic

Magician Makes Good (Michael Vincent and Simon Aronson) Effect: The performer offers to find four-of-a-kind, each in a magical way. To make things harder, the particular four-of-a-kind will be determined by a random cut of the cards. The deck is cut and the card cut to is turned over to reveal, say, a Nine. The performer then successfully produces two more Nines, but on his final attempt he fails, producing a Two instead.Undaunted, the performer instantly changes the first three Nines to Twos, thus successfully meeting the challenge of producing a four-of-a-kind. Working: This effect is made possible by the fortuitous positions of three of the Nines, each of which is immediately preceded by a Two, in the Aronson stack. This will become clear in the following description. To prepare, with your deck arranged in Aronson stack order, secretly crimp one corner of the 3C. You’re ready to begin. 1) False shuffle, as you explain the nature of the challenge to your audience. Optionally, you may want to cut the deck to centralize the crimp. Cut the deck at the crimp, sending the 3C to the face (see comment 1 for alternative procedures). Double turnover to reveal the 9H, and announce that this means you’re "going for Nines." Turn the double face down and deal the top card (really the 2S) face down off to the side of the table. 2) Give the deck one or more false cuts (a double undercut works fine) and explain that since you’re going for Nines, you’ll count to the value, Nine. Count off nine cards from the top, using the Basic procedure (left hand thumbs off the cards singly face down into the right hand, each going under the previous one so that stack order is maintained). At the conclusion of the count, drop the right hand’s nine cards in a pile on the table. Double turnover the "next" card, to reveal the 9D. Turn the double face down and deal the top card (really the 2C) face down off to the side of the table, partially overlapping the 2S. Drop the balance of the left-hand cards onto the tabled nine cards, and pick up the entire deck. 3) Say, "We don’t have to count to Nine. Instead, we could spell Nine." As you explain this, give the deck another casual false cut. Then spell N-I-N-E, again using the Basic procedure to take four cards into the right hand, and drop them in a pile on the table. Double turnover the "next" card, revealing the 9S. Turn the double face down and deal the top card (really the 2H) face down to the table, overlapping the other two Twos. Pick up the tabled pile (of four spelled cards) and replace them back on top of the lefthand cards. 4) Ask, "That’s three Nines so far, one more to go. Do you happen to remember which suit is left?" As you wait for a response, or supply it yourself, double undercut the top card of the deck (it will be the 9D) to the bottom; this action should conform to the false cuts you’ve done previously. Say, "We still need the Nine of Clubs. Let’s spell its full name." (Happily, at this point the entire deck is now in complete Aronson stack order, minus the three removed twos). Spell N-I-N-E-O-F-C-L-U-B-S using the Basic procedure to take eleven cards into the right hand, and drop them onto the table. Act triumphant, as you turn over the top card of the deck (just a single here, no further doubles are needed). It will not be the expected fourth Nine – instead, it will be the 2D. Look distraught, as you take the face up 2D into your right hand. 5) Suddenly remember the original challenge: it was to magically produce a four-of-akind. Use the 2D to flip the three overlapping cards (supposedly three Nines) face up all at once, revealing that they’ve now changed to Twos! You have successfully produced all four Twos.

Clean Up: The effect is over, but it’s fairly easy to get back into Aronson order. First, replace the 2D (which you’re still holding) on top of the left-hand cards, pick up the tabled spelled cards, and drop them on top. With your left thumb casually push off the top few cards to the left, just enough so that you can obtain a break below the third card from the top, and square up. As you do this, pick up the 2H with your right hand and insert it into the deck from the rear, apparently sticking it into the center of the pack, but actually inserting it into the break. Pick up the 2C with your right hand as you obtain a break above the bottom card of the deck with your left hand (buckle, or pinky pull down); then similarly insert the 2C back into the deck, really inserting it in the break, above the bottom card. Finally insert the remaining 2S back into the deck, really inserting it immediately below the crimped 3C. You’re back in Aronson order. Comments: (1) In step 1, you can arrive at the first Nine (which supposedly determines which four of a kind you’re going for) in several different ways. Instead of cutting to it yourself, you could let the spectator apparently determine the card, by riffle forcing. Or, pre-set the deck by cutting the 3C to the face; then, put the deck on the table and use the Cross Cut force. (2) The spelling and counting productions in the text are virtually automatic, but if you’re willing to introduce some modest sleight of hand, there are many other visual ways of producing each of the (doubled) Nines; I’ll leave it up to you to apply your own favorite productions. Credit for noticing the happy pairings of the Nines and Twos belongs to my friend Michael Vincent, of London. Michael wrote me of this discovery while Try the Impossible was already at the printer; he had a quite different way of using these paired cards. I worked out the above productions and routine and showed it to Michael on a recent visit to London. He liked it a lot, and our joint work is a happy combination.

have two pairs. The card you deal will be the Ace of Hearts. That validates your "second" deal, since the Ace should be on top if you had dealt a second. (Or a bottom, for that matter.) All that remains is to reveal your royal flush in spades. I like to call the cards just before I turn them over. I say: "The 10S," and deal that card to my left. Then I say: "The AS," and deal it to my right. I then say: "The JS," and deal it down next to the ten. Next: "The QS" and it's dealt next to the Jack. This should leave an opening for just one card. You then name the KS, and place it down into the open spot. This finishes what I feel is one of the great card routines of all time. My little additions are certainly minor compared to Simon's original creation. But, give them a try anyway, I think you'll find them worth while. Comments: (1) If you do a second deal, you can easily incorporate it into this sequence. When you finish the stud deal, place the 7C between the 7H and the AH, and pick up the cards as described above. When you reach the 2nd hand of the Draw poker routine and discard the QC, you can legitimately turn over the AH on top of the deck. Leave it face up, and second deal the 7C from beneath it to complete the straight flush. (2) One of the strengths of the three-phase sequence is that a spectator gets to deal the cards for the middle phase. They will remember that you beat them even when they dealt the cards themselves. However, experience has taught me that you want to be very careful in choosing your helper, and in controlling the situation. You want a card player who has some experience dealing so that they don't drop the deck, and so that the deal doesn't take very long. But, you also want a friendly, cooperative spectator who is unlikely to suddenly cut or shuffle the cards on their own initiative. It's important that you stay in charge of the situation and that you get the deck back as quickly as possible after the deal is complete. I like to say: "Let's play a little one on one game" as I begin to hand them the cards. Before the cards are out of my hand, I say: "Deal one card right here," as I point to a spot on the table in front of myself. I then point to a spot in front of the spectator as I say: "And one here." Then I tell them to: "Keep going, until we each have five cards." Be sure to keep count yourself, and when they deal the tenth card to themselves, say: "Great," or "That's fine," as you reach for the deck. Don't tell them that they are going to deal two five-card poker hands before they start. An experienced card player may just automatically cut or shuffle the cards before they begin. It's still possible that the spectator will cut the deck right after they finish the ten-card deal. That's not a problem if you remember that the 6H has to be on top when you start the draw demonstration. Just look through the face up cards quickly, commenting that they are well mixed, but you'll shuffle them a bit more. Spot the 6H and cut it to the top, going right into a false shuffle and a false cut. I mention this possibility because it happened to me. I didn't remember where I had to start the draw routine, and I had to end the sequence without the "payoff" of the draw demonstration. (Isn't it convenient that the three cards, which have to be on top, to begin the three poker deals, are the 5H, 4H, and 6H?)

I worked out the variation described in the text, which has a couple of benefits: the 23/29 card split is a bit more even, and it’s easier for the spectators to instantly recognize that the red cards are all Hearts, instead of having to think about their individual numerical values. It’s also a nice subtlety to mention the Black cards in prediction 2 instead of the red cards, because this focuses attention away from the Red cards until you get to the supposedly final prediction 3. I discussed a number of specific methods for performing "Shuffle-bored" as a prediction in my original manuscript (1982), but the dramatic and entertaining idea of revealing several successive predictions on a folded piece of paper is the creation of Ali Bongo. Ali’s presentation has quite deservedly caught on, and has been used (and even lectured on) by certain professionals – often justifying their exposing my "Shuffle-bored" procedures and secret on the pretext that "their" multiple prediction ending is what makes it so commercial – with no credit to Ali Bongo. I thought Ali deserved to get the credit for this presentation, so I expressly mentioned him in Try the Impossible (interview, p. 278). (2) Retained Groupings. Surprisingly, after performing "Shuffle-bored" the deck is NOT fully randomized. Indeed, it’s in a "divided deck" condition that could be used for some very strong locations. If you visualize the Aronson stack cyclically (i.e., stack number 1 follows 52), you’ll see that the two separated halves at the end of "Shufflebored" in fact comprise two groups, easily distinguished by stack numbers: one half contains stack numbers 37 through 8 inclusive, and the other includes stack numbers 9 through 36 (with the sole exception of stack number 52, which is the only card in the "wrong" half. That’s the 9D that you slip cut). As long as you remember this 9D exception, you can use this secret division to advantage. (See, for example, my essays "General Observations on the Memorized Deck" and "Memorized Math," my discussion in the "Shuffle-bored" on memorized deck and selection applications, and my multiple selection "High Class Location"). (3) Eliminating the Slip Cut. I developed an alternative way of making the transition from Aronson stack into "Shuffle-bored" that completely eliminates the slip cut. Indeed, this method produces a multitude of possible sets of predictions. The price you pay is a slightly more convoluted prediction. Just cut the Aronson stack so that the 10C is at the face. That’s it. Now, believe it or not, you can divide the deck anywhere above the KD (which is now located 31st from the top of the deck) and you will be able to use the upper portion for the multiple predictions in "Shuffle-bored." Let me give you an example. Let’s suppose you divide the deck below the AS. Since the AS is (now, after cutting the 10C to the face) the 23rd card from the top, obviously the predictions will take this into account. Here is the set of predictions, for this particular cut: 1. There are 23 cards Face Up. 2. 15 of the Face Up cards are Black. 3. All of the face-up Red cards are Spot cards... [or, alternatively, None of the face-up Red cards are Picture cards...] 4. ... except for the Jack of Diamonds. The neat thing is that there exists a comparable prediction for the top portion of cards no matter where you divide the pack (as long as it’s above the KD). That’s because, with the 10C cut to the face, there’s only one red picture card among the top 30 cards, the JD, and since it’s the very top card, it will always be included in the top portion. The fact that the pack can be cut anywhere (above the 31st card) presents an intriguing possibility – you could theoretically allow one of the spectators to "divide the deck in half." Once she does, if you glimpse the bottom card of the packet she cuts off (or the

top card of the remaining half) you’ll know just where she cut, and can calculate the correct prediction accordingly. (I consider this flexibility somewhat theoretical because, frankly, if you’re doing the folded paper prediction, you’d undoubtedly want to have the prediction prepared beforehand).

through half the deck, haven’t found any Aces yet, and have placed this half aside; in fact, the 7H is now secretly face up, on the bottom of the tabled pile. (This method of reversing the 7 is, I believe, Vernon’s, and was originally described in my "Meditation on the Christ Aces," Sessions (1982), p. 113). 3) Continue spreading through the rest of the face up deck, where you’ll of course find the Aces. Upjog each one as you come to them, and then strip them out and toss them face up in a row on the table. Turn the balance of the deck face-down and drop it onto the tabled pile, thus assembling the deck. 4) Arrange the Aces from left to right in S-C-H-D order, and you’re set to perform "Active Aces." (The 3H and the 8D are now at positions 5 and 7 from the top respectively, exactly where they’ll be needed for the 11-count total). I won’t repeat the description of "Active Aces" because it’s exactly the same as in the text. Comments: (1) At the end of the routine, you’ll find that the deck is divided in two approximate "halves," one consisting of stack numbers 1-25 (which will be all together, but out of order) and the other consisting of stack numbers 26-52, all in order. You could thus follow with any "divided deck" location, or with any memorized deck routine that uses only a half deck stack. (2) It would, of course, be ideal if you could start an Ace assembly or similar routine from Aronson stack order and at the end the deck would still be in full stack order. I’ve worked on this problem off and on, but since the Ace effect ought to be a strong one in its own right, thus far I’ve found the trade-off of maintaining complete stack order too high a price. (Consider this a challenge, if you want).

Matching the Cards (created by Norman Beck, written by Simon) This routine is an interesting counterpoint to "Magician Makes Good," and proves there’s more than one way to look at things, even within the constraints of the Aronson stack. Effect: A card is selected and placed aside face down, unseen. The performer offers to try to cut to the mates of that unknown card. The deck is cut and the card cut to is turned over to reveal, say, a Ten. The performer then successfully cuts to two more Tens. This means the unknown card should be the fourth Ten, but when it is turned over it turns out to be a Jack. After a moment's consternation, the magician gets an idea. He makes a magical gesture over the three Tens, and they are turned over and shown to have changed to the remaining three Jacks. Working: This effect is made possible by the fortuitous positions of three Tens and three Jacks at stack numbers 32 to 37 in the Aronson stack. In creating the stack I [Simon] originally arranged these cards together to facilitate performing the Ten Card Poker Deal (see A

Stack to Remember), but Norman has made an ingenious use of their proximate positions to create this entirely different effect. Let’s assume, as is usually the case for those who regularly work with the Aronson stack, that the bottom card (the 9D) is a tactile key (either a short card, or crimped, or whatever). To prepare, with your deck arranged in Aronson stack order, cut the 10D to the top. Then, secretly transpose (exchange) the order of the top two cards (so the top card is the JC). This is the work of an instant, and can be done while idly toying with the deck. You’re ready to begin. 1) False shuffle, and then obtain a break below the 9D. Force the JS (immediately below the break) by your favorite method, and place it aside on the table, unseen. 2) Give the deck one or more false cuts (a double undercut works fine). Double turnover the card you’ve apparently cut to, revealing the 10D. Turn the double face down and deal the top card (really the JC) face down to the table. 3) Double Undercut the top card to the bottom. Double turnover to reveal the 10C. Turn the double face down and deal the top card (really the JH) face down to the table, with the other supposed Ten. 4) Again, Double Undercut the top card to the bottom. This time triple turnover to reveal the 10H. Turn the triple face down and deal the top card (really the JD) face down to the table, with the other two supposed Tens. 5) Explain that this means the unknown card that was initially selected must, of course, be the remaining Ten. Turn it over, but act distraught when it is seen to be not a Ten, but the JS. Make a magical gesture over the three supposedly Tens, and then turn them face up, revealing that they’ve now changed to Jacks! Clean Up to Restore Stack Order: The effect is over, but it’s fairly easy to get back into Aronson order. Cut the 10C back from the bottom to the top. With your right hand casually pick up the JH, JC and JD, in that order from the face. Your left hand, holding the rest of the deck, secretly obtains a left pinky break beneath the top card, the 10C. The right hand flips its three cards face down onto the top of the deck, and immediately does a small packet Slip Cut of the cards above the break. That is, the left thumb peels off just the top card, the JD, as the right hand moves to the right with its three card packet, and then immediately drops those three cards back on top. The net effect is simply to place the JD back into stack position beneath the 10C. All that remains is to cut the 9D back to the bottom, and replace the JS back on top. If your 9D is a tactile key, you can do this without looking at the faces. You’re back in Aronson order. Background: The foregoing plot follows the classic Vernon "Matching the Cards" routine, which the Professor used in his Magic Castle close-up act (Dai Vernon’s Inner Secrets of Card Magic, p. 22; see also Vernon’s Tribute to Nate Leipzig, p. 167). Originally Norman had a somewhat more convoluted way of beginning the effect, and it was Jamy Ian Swiss who suggested the pre-set exchange of the 10D and the JC, which greatly simplifies the procedure. The clean-up that restores stack order is the same as used in my "Jack Coincidence" (Try the Impossible, p. 213).

happen to be there by chance, and this apparent impromptu randomness – the impression that they might just as likely have been different values – is enhanced if you act as if you’re really just learning those numbers yourself, for the first time, as they’re dealt face up. Point to the three dealt cards and recite, "Three, plus Six equals Nine, plus Eight, that’s a total of Seventeen. Let’s see how talented these Aces really are." Deal cards off the deck face up one at a time rapidly, to form a face up pile on the table, as you count aloud from 1 to 17. Pause before the final card on "17" and then dramatically turn over the 17th card to reveal the AS. Toss it face up next to the AC, to triumphantly end the routine. Clean Up to Restore Stack Order: Without the Aces: At this point, if you drop the sixteen face-up counted cards onto the three face-up "total" cards (the 3H, 6C and 8D), you can then flip these combined cards face down and replace them back on top of (or under) the rest of the remaining face down cards still in your left hand. The entire deck will be back in Aronson (cyclic) order, minus the Aces which are still out on the table. This allows you to use the Aces for some other packet effect (Twisting the Aces, Daley’s Aces) and then replace them back into proper stack position at a convenient later time. Including the Aces: I actually go one step further, because I wanted a way to restore the deck to full Aronson order, including the Aces, at the end of the "Christ-Aronson Aces." It takes just a tiny bit more procedure, at the very end of the routine, to accomplish this. Here’s what I do. At step 11, as you count and deal off the cards into a face-up pile, deal the first seven cards into a somewhat squared pile, but for count #8 deal that card (the 7S) sidejogged to the left for about half its width (so the 3S still remains visible, for about half its width). Continue the dealing/counting with the same rhythm for counts #9 and #10, dealing those two cards directly onto and square with the 7S. Count #10 will be the QD. On count #11 deal that card (the 8S) onto the QD, but again sidejogged to the left for about half its width (so the QD remains visible). Then complete the dealing/counting from count #12 up to #16, dealing those cards directly onto and square with the 8S. Per step 11, reveal the next card (the 17th) as the final AS. The foregoing two "sidejogs" are quite easy, and should be done without breaking rhythm as you deal and count. It appears as if you’ve simply dealt 16 cards face up in a somewhat messy pile; in fact, the resulting pile on the table contains two "steps," immediately above the 3S and the QD. These two visible steps will allow you to easily and nonchalantly insert the Aces exactly where you need them when you gather up the cards. All you need to remember is to step the pile on counts #8 and #11; all other cards are dealt/counted directly onto and covering the preceding card. And it doesn’t matter if the rest of the dealt cards land a bit askew; that adds to the messy, casual look. Once you’ve produced the final AS, you’ll clean up as the spectators are marveling at your feat. Pick up the AH and casually insert it among the dealt cards, actually using the visible step so that it gets inserted immediately above the QD. Take the AD and stick it back among the dealt cards, this time above the 3S step. Next take the AC and use it as a scoop to pick up this entire pile of dealt cards, turn them all face down and drop them onto the balance of the face-down left hand cards. Finally pick up the AS and "notice" the three "total" cards off at the right side of the table, still in an overlapping face-up row. Use the AS to scoop them up, turn them face down and replace them on (or under)

the balance of the deck. The stack is back in complete (cyclical) Aronson order. If you use a tactile key for the 9D, you can easily cut the deck back to original stack order. Let me emphasize that this final step, of inserting the Aces back into their proper places in the stack, takes only a moment, and is done in a very nonchalant and apparently inattentive manner. It’s almost as though you’re "tossing" or stabbing the Aces back among the dealt cards, and it’s natural that they would land or get stuck into the places where the pile was most open or askew (i.e., the steps). Background: (1) Background and Credits. I learned "Henry Christ’s Fabulous Ace Routine" as a teenager when it appeared in Cliff Green’s Professional Card Magic (1961), p. 48. Later I worked out my alternative layout procedure that eliminates any need for undercuts, and published that method, along with other ideas, in my essay "Meditations on the Christ Aces," Sessions (1982), p. 112. An integral part of my layout procedure is a new way of dealing with the final Ace, by secretly controlling the number of cards that comprise the third packet. This is discussed extensively in my Comments in Sessions, pp. 117 - 119 with many variant endings; in variation (v) I described the idea (used above at step 11) of using the apparently random "total" cards to locate the final Ace. Dai Vernon’s description of Christ’s classic effect did much to popularize this great routine (The Vernon Chronicles – Volume 2 (1988), p. 242). (2) Alternate Endings. Step 11 is my preferred way of discovering and producing the fourth Ace – but it is certainly not the only way. As mentioned above, the variations I introduced in Sessions could all be applied to the Aronson stack version described here. Indeed, the use of the stack makes this concept even more efficient, because the necessary "counting" of cards for the third packet can be planned beforehand, and the use of a known key in the face up spread as the dividing point for the final packet obviates the need for any actual counting during the presentation. Those who have Sessions will understand the flexibility of this procedure, but since that book isn’t in everybody’s library, let me offer a brief explanation and an illustrative example. When we initially laid out the four packets, the reason for my choosing to divide the third and fourth packets between the 7C and 4H at step 5 was to control exactly 19 cards into packet #3 (the three "total" cards at the top, plus sixteen more cards which will ultimately go on top of the final Ace, thus controlling it to the 17th position). By varying the number of cards that comprise packet #3, we can control the final Ace to any specific position we want, for either a count, or a spell, or an estimation, or a lie detector, or whatever revelation you elect. (John Bannon uses my placement procedure in connection with a reverse faro elimination, in his "Beyond Fabulous"). For example, here’s a simple, quite different ending that illustrates this flexibility. Suppose you know beforehand the name of one of your spectators, say, Ginny Aronson. Her name spells with 12 letters, so if pile #3 contains a total of 11 cards (which will wind up on top of the final Ace), then you could spell your spectator’s name to discover the AS. So, how can you control pile #3 to contain exactly 11 cards? The stack allows you to plan this outcome beforehand. The stack runs consecutively from the top down starting with the 3H (because during the initial layout we cut five cards to the face), minus the Aces. Either a physical count or a mental calculation (before you begin the trick) informs you that the 11th card from the top is the 7S. So, at step 5, just divide the last two packets between the 7S and the 5S (instead of between the 7C and 4H), and this will automatically put 11 cards into pile #3. You would then present the entire routine, exactly as written, but dispense with the three "total" cards at step 11. Instead, after

spelling the AC at step 10, say, "Just as the Ace of Clubs knows how to spell its name, we can spell any name. For example, what’s your name?" On getting a response, spell G-I-N-N-Y-A-R-O-N-S-O-N dealing the cards into a face-up pile, and the AS will appear on the final letter. Here’s one more alternative ending, where you apparently find the last Ace at whatever number is named by a spectator. At step 5 just divide the third and fourth packets between the 8S and the 3D; this will place 14 cards into pile #3, thus controlling the AS to position 15 at the climax. Early in the routine ask a spectator to name a number, "somewhere between 10 and 20." At the end of step 10, by simply undercutting a few cards from top to bottom, or vice versa, you can secretly adjust the final AS from its position at 15 to whatever number the spectator has mentioned. Once this casual cut and placement has been done, turn to the spectator and ask, apparently because you’ve forgotten, "What number were you thinking of?" When she replies, count down to the spectator’s number, to reveal the final AS. (The simple adjustment undercut maintains the cyclical nature of the stack). Experimentation will show you the flexibility of this procedure. Personally, I like the Sesame Street patter and the use of the three "total" cards, just as written.

Castillon Challenge Aces (written by Gene Castillon) [Note from Simon: Gene sent me the following Ace routine. It's a production of the four Aces, followed by a three phase Ace assembly. It starts and ends with the deck in Aronson stack order. Gene modestly named it the "Aronson Challenge Aces" (because he was responding to a challenge I had set) but I've renamed it to more appropriately credit its creator. Except for some minor organizational editing, and the inevitable typos, I've left it in Gene's own words.] Simon Aronson has revolutionized and popularized memorized deck magic with the publication of the Aronson Stack (A Stack to Remember) and his innovative approach in Try the Impossible to design effects which maintain Aronson stack order. On his website (www.simonaronson.com), Simon states, "It would, of course, be ideal if you could start an Ace assembly or similar routine from Aronson stack order and at the end the deck would still be in full stack order. I’ve worked on this problem off and on, but since the Ace effect ought to be a strong one in its own right, thus far I’ve found the trade-off of maintaining complete stack order too high a price. (Consider this a challenge, if you want)." What follows is my attempt to answer Simon Aronson’s challenge. It borrows heavily on Mr. Aronson’s groundbreaking techniques and procedures in maintaining stack order and features the magic appearance of the four Aces prior to the assembly phases. Set-up: Start with the deck in Aronson stack order and cut the KC to the face. Production of the Aces: 1. Explain that gamblers have always wanted the ability to cut to the Aces in a deck of cards. You have decided to take a different approach. You have spent six months educating and training you pet deck. The cards will do the work for you.