The Magic of Paul Rosini
Descripción: The Magic of Paul Rosini...
Paul Rosini By John Braun
John Northern Hilliard said of him "....one of the natural magicians who play by ear, and he never makes a wrong move— a great showman."
Paul Rosini WAS a great showman. He had perfected his methods of presentation to a degree that seemed unbelievable. I say his methods of presentation, for though he was an unusually skillful sleight of hand artist, it was not sleight of hand artistry that he sold to audiences. He had mastered a greater art—that of blending dexterity and psychology with a priceless ingredient that was his by birthright—PERSONALITY—and the result was always entertainment—unalloyed, unadulterated entertainment.
I have seen him step into the spotlight in a noisy night club, the closing act of an excellent bill, his entire apparatus in a small velvet bag. From the moment he began his first trick, the egg bag, until he closed 35 minutes later, the audience gave him undivided attention and enjoyed assisting in the tricks. His act was filled with little laughs, surprises, changes of tempo, sly innuendos and tongue-in-cheek impudence. He himself was suave and polished, as immaculate as Adolph Menjou, and there was something of the continental about him, too, which he played up for effect. He liked people, so he performed FOR them, not AT them, and he always won them over.
Shy and unassuming off stage, onstage he was an actor gifted with a rare sense of the comic. The character he played was that of a delightful mountebank—at once disreputable and elegant, waggish yet serious. All his art was utilized in building into miracles the tricks he presented. And they were all old tricks. Nothing new or complicated, just the old tricks. The egg bag, the thumb tie, the card in cigarette, the stabbing trick, the cups and balls, the vanishing birdcage, the bill in lemon, Everywhere and Nowhere, various card locations—but he could hold a noisy night club audience in suspense while he paused, looked quizzically at the pack, and slowly turned over a card!
Paul talked but little of early life and family, but we have it on good authority that he was born in Trieste on September 29, 1902, (the family name was Vucci) and came to this country with his parents in 1912. Fate had marked him for magic even then. The family settled in Chicago, and one of the boy’s most thrilling discoveries there was the magic shop of A. Roterberg. By the time he was thirteen his heart was set on a career in magic, and he stuck at it until he attained his goal.
In January, 1919, Theo Bamberg (OKITO) taught him the cups and balls in New York City,
and recognized then the boy’s gift for magic. It was at Bamberg’s that Paul met Julius Zanzig, with whom he subsequently became associated. Later he worked as an assistant to Grover George, and also to Carl Rosini. At one time he teamed with Martin Sunshine in an act. He first attracted individual attention when he opened in Chicago’s famous College Inn (Hotel Sherman) in the 20’s. His actual rise to prominence in the entertainment world began in Philadelphia, where he frequented the magic shop of Mike Kanter. Kanter introduced him to Jack Lynch, a leading night club operator. This introduction resulted in a booking for Rosini in the club of the Adelphia Hotel. From there he went into the best night clubs and hotels throughout the country, playing many spots magicians had never played before. The famous Empire Room of the Palmer House, Chicago, once billed him as "The World’s Greatest Magician," and he carried the title with honors, for he set a record by playing there for 28 consecutive weeks! Chicago, scene of many of his triumphs, was the city in which he died on September, 19, 1948, in his 46th year.
Nothing ever went into his act that was not "right" from every angle. His sleights and secret moves were always executed at just the right moment; the little details that were meant to mislead the audience were chosen with care and subtly accentuated by word and gesture. Little mannerisms, a quizzical or reproachful look, or a pause, counted for much. Everything was planned and carefully spotted—including his recurring request for that "tiny lettle waltz, please," and that sly query, "Did you see me do something? I did something!" The tricks, always small tricks, were never complicated; as a trick unfolded, each step was clear and easy to follow, and the climax reached was always astounding. Whatever he did was always magic, beautiful to see!
Paul was a true artist, always seeking perfection. His stock of table magic was as artistically presented as his stage repertoire, and he loved the magic of cards. His magical idol was Max Malini, from whose presentation he adapted several effective touches.
"Every magician who has seen his act," wrote Robert Parrish in The Linking Ring, "has learned something about magical showmanship. Rosini’s act will not be duplicated, but its impact on the art of magic will continue to be felt, even where it may not be acknowledged."
THE LIFE SAVER TRICK
A favorite close-up trick of Rosini’s was given the following presentation. Rosini opened a fresh package of Life Savers and distributed them to the party around the table. Later a card was selected. He took a Life Saver and showed it freely. Then he inserted a swizzle stick through the hole in the piece of candy and spun the Life Saver on the stick, watching it
carefully as though for some sort of clue. For the climax, the name of the card was found to be printed on the surface of the candy.
Rosini carried a stack of five cards in his pocket. The initials of the cards were printed boldly on five Life Savers. It is easy to write with a pencil on the smooth side of a white, peppermint Life Saver. The Life Savers were arranged so that he could secure whichever one he needed in the right hand.
Before doing the trick, he brought out a fresh package of Life Savers, opened it, and shook the contents out onto the table, offering them to the people around the table. Then he went ahead with the magic. After the spectators had shuffled and cut the cards, he palmed the stack of five cards onto the deck. He dealt off only as many cards as there were people at the table. He asked one of the people to touch a card and look at it. He made a pretense of turning his head while this was done, but managed to glimpse which card was chosen. The moment he knew which card was to be used, he secured the appropriate Life Saver in his right fingers, gripping it with the third finger curled around the edge of the disk.
He gathered up the cards and laid them on top of the deck, keeping track of the chosen one. Then he shuffled the cards, reversing the selected card and leaving it in the middle of the deck.
He asked someone to give him a Life Saver and put it on the stick, which he held in his right hand. The stick had been laid down with one end protruding over the edge of the table, permitting the right hand to slip the palmed Life Saver onto the end of the stick in the act of picking up the stick. The unprepared Life Saver having been put on the stick, he gave the disk a spin with the left forefinger. Then he tipped the stick toward the left, grasped the end of the stick in the left hand, the left hand covering the unprepared Life Saver, and released the right hand, leaving the palmed Life Saver spinning on the stick. The shifting of the stick from hand to hand was very much in the manner of the classical switch of a ring on a wand.
As long as the prepared Life Saver was kept spinning, the penciled printing could not be seen. Rosini asked for the name of the card and at the same time raised the stick as though to let the Life Saver slide off into his mouth. The moment the card was named, Rosini stopped this action and, registering surprise, remarked, "I came near eating it!" He let the inscribed Life Saver slide off the stick into a spectator’s hand.
For a second surprise, he spread the deck face down on the table revealing the chosen card face up in the center of the deck.
WAS IT THERE?
Rosini considered this one of his best card tricks.
Effect: Five cards are laid face up on the table. A spectator is asked to name any card in this group. The cards are now picked up and placed face down on the left palm. The performer says, "Look!" and deals the cards face up on the table. Only four cards remain, and the missing card is the one the spectator indicated.
The cards are picked up and turned face down in the palm of the performer’s left hand. The top card of the packet is turned face up on top of the packet. This card is then transferred, still face up, to the bottom of the packet. The rest of the cards are shown in the same way, resulting in a face up packet of cards in the left hand. The packet is now turned face down and the spectator asked to name his chosen card. The cards are spread face down on the table and the selected card appears face up in the center of the four face down cards.
The same five cards are again laid face up on the table and the spectator allowed to indicate another card. The performer picks up the cards one at a time and places them in his left hand in a face up fan. The packet is turned face down, closed, and squared. The packet is then passed to the spectator to hold. The performer goes through the motions of taking a card from the packet and throwing it into the air.
Taking the packet from the spectator, the performer deals the cards face up on the table. Again there are only four cards and the chosen card is missing. The performer then produces this card from his pocket.
Method: The cards are picked up so that the chosen card is the third or middle card of the packet. The cards are turned face down and squared, then counted face up on the table in a natural, easy manner. When the performer comes to take the third card, he takes two cards as one. This is done by squeezing the bottom card with the left fingers, causing it to buckle. This allows the performer to grasp the third and fourth cards together by the index corners and turn them face up as one card upon the two tabled cards. The last card is taken from the left hand, given a snap, and placed on top of the face up packet.
The packet is placed face down in the palm of the left hand. The top card is turned face up on the packet. The performer goes through the motions of squaring the packet. Then he transfers the card, still face up, to the bottom of the packet. The second card is handled in
the same way, but after it is turned face up, the card beneath it is stolen along with it by a double lift and these two cards placed as one beneath the packet. The operation may be aided by slipping the left little finger under card number three as card number two is turned up. The remaining two cards are handled in exactly the same fashion, but without any sleight. The spectator gets the impression that he has been shown four cards singly. When he names his selected card, the performer turns the packet face down and spreads it on the table, showing this card face up in the center of the packet.
The cards are again turned face up and the spectator chooses one. While the spectator is making his choice, the performer allows his right hand to go to his lips, where he secures a generous bit of saliva on the tip of his middle finger. Rosini often used his cigar as an excuse for this move.
The selected card is again picked up third. The first card is picked from the table with the right first finger and thumb and laid face up on the palm of the left hand. The second card is handled in the same way. The selected card is then picked up using the middle finger. This finger is allowed to rest on the center of the selected card and then drawn slowly down across the lower half of the face of the card. This distributes enough saliva on the card to cause it to adhere to the back of the card which will be placed above it. The cards are placed in the left hand in a sort of fan, the selected card protruding over the card beneath it by about half its width. As the selected card is placed on the other two cards, the left hand is slowly turned over so that the cards are face down. This prevents the spectators from catching a glint of the saliva.
The last two cards are placed on the bottom of the fan in the same fashion as the first two.
Turning the cards in a face up fan, the performer asks, "Is your card still there?" At the same time, he allows his right hand to drop to his side, where he wipes the saliva off his finger tip.
The packet is now turned over and squared. The spectator grasps one end of the packet and the performer the other. The performer takes the end at which the card has been moistened. In the course of the business about extracting the selected card and throwing it into thin air, he applies pressure to the packet to assure the adherence of the cards.
The cards are now dealt singly on the table in a careless manner. When he finishes dealing, the performer asks the name of the card. Then he says, "Oh, I have that card here in my pocket!" For this finish it is necessary to have duplicates of the five cards used distributed in different pockets. If the performer is not set to use this finish, he may simply throw the tabled cards back onto the deck and use any other means of reproducing the card, such as reversing it and bringing it to the center of the deck.
When he was prepared for the trick, Rosini used a solution of glycerin and rose water instead of saliva. He had a small sponge, moistened with the solution, attached near the bottom edge of his coat. He then had only to drop his arm and curl the second finger under the edge of the coat for a moment.
SOMEWHERE IN THE DECK
Rosini fooled many of the best card men with this trick. It is not difficult to do, but it must be practiced until one can perform the shuffles at a fairly rapid pace.
Effect: Any nine cards are selected by the spectator from the deck and laid face up on the table. He is asked to select mentally any one of the nine cards.
The cards are gathered up and placed on top of the deck, face down.
The performer says, "If I should remove the card you thought of from my pocket, would that be a good trick?" The spectator usually agrees that it would be.
The performer gives the cards an overhand shuffle, then says,
"Your card is somewhere in this deck. Before I perform this miracle, do you want to be sure it is there?" The cards are fanned before the spectator, and if he sees his card, he tells the performer. If he doesn’t see the card the first time, he is given another chance. If he doesn’t see it this time, the performer asks him to name his card. In any case, the card is immediately produced.
Method: Any nine cards are selected, but in order to make the action easy to follow, let us use KS - JH - 10S - 10D - 7S - 5H - 2H - 3S - 2C. Remember the sixth card— 5H, which will later act as a key.
The nine cards are placed on top of the deck. The deck is undercut about half way down, for an overhand shuffle. As you draw off the top card of the undercut portion, injog it about an inch (this will place an injogged card one card above the King of Spades). The balance of the cards can be distributed in any way. Now when you begin a second overhand shuffle, allow
your right thumb to come underneath the deck, locate the injogged card, and remove the cards below it. You now have in your right hand about half of the deck and on top of it is your nine card stack. You run off six cards from your stack, which automatically reverses their order (leaving the Five of Hearts on top of the deck). When you come to the seventh card (Two of Hearts), injog that card about an inch and run two more cards on top of it. Throw the balance of the cards in the right hand on top of these last two cards. Now undercut to the injogged card (Two of Hearts) and run three cards off (5H, 7S, and 10D). Throw the balance of the cards on top of the Ten of Diamonds.
The original nine cards are now divided into three sets of three cards each: on top of the deck, 10S - JH - KS; in the middle of the deck, 10D - 7S - 5H; and on the bottom of the deck, 2C - 3S - 2H.
At this point, ask the spectator if he would like to see if his card is still in the deck. Turn the cards face up so that the spectator can get a good view of the three bottom cards— 2H 3S - 2C. Run through the balance of the deck so quickly that he can’t get a flash of any of the other cards which he may have chosen. If he did not see his card, run through the deck a second time and allow him to see the three center cards— 10D - 7S - 5H. The Five of Hearts is your index to this group. If he still does not see his card, you know that it is one of the three top cards: 10S - JH - KS.
When you know which group contains the spectator’s card, note the names of these cards, cut (if necessary) to bring them to the top or bottom of the deck, and palm them off. Ask for the card to be named and reach into your pocket, bringing out the proper card and leaving the other two behind.
An alternate ending is to lay one of the three cards on the table and leave the other two on the top and bottom of the deck. If the tabled card is the one selected, turn it over. If not, push it into the deck and show the top card or the bottom card as the case may be. Or use a Mexican Turnover with one of these cards to show the tabled card correct.
HOLD MY WRIST (Described by Al Leech)
One of Rosini’s striking coin moves involved the complete disappearance of a half dollar while a spectator held the performer’s wrist. After showing both hands empty, Rosini apparently reproduced the coin from the spectator’s shoulder.
The coin was apparently placed in the left hand but actually finger palmed in the right. Any move which accomplishes this is satisfactory as long as it is a natural one for the performer. Rosini’s usual procedure was to drop the coin from hand to hand, the hands being held only a few inches apart, and finally retain the coin in the right hand while simulating the action of dropping it into the left. The left fingers immediately closed, the fist being held with finger tips uppermost.
Rosini immediately said, "Hold my wrist," and, in demonstration, gripped the wrist with the right hand, exactly as in the position for taking one’s pulse. The coin, lying on the fingers of the right hand against the back of the left wrist, was shot up the sleeve. A very easy and sure way of accomplishing the sleeving is to raise the left forearm upward at the moment of grasping the wrist, the coin being allowed to slide off the right fingers and drop straight down the sleeve along the back of the left wrist. All of this happens in an instant, and by the time the spectator can grasp the performer’s wrist, both of the magician’s hands are quite empty.
After showing that the coin had vanished from the closed fist, Rosini asked the spectator if he knew where the coin had gone, holding both hands so that they could clearly be seen empty. No matter what the spectator’s reply was, Rosini pointed to the man’s left shoulder and reached up with the right hand as though to remove something from the top of the shoulder (performer and magician directly facing each other).
At precisely the same moment that the right hand went to the spectator’s shoulder, the left hand was lowered just enough to allow the coin to drop from the sleeve into the fingers of the left hand, which cupped beneath the opening of the cuff. The more dramatic action of the right hand completely covered the simultaneous movement of the left.
Without hesitation, Rosini’s right hand came down from the spectator’s shoulder and his left hand came up to meet with the right. As the two hands came together, Rosini said, "Here it is," and showed the coin in the open palm of the left hand. The action simulated perfectly the depositing into the left hand of something just grasped in the right.
The close quarters at which the trick was performed not only made it very effective, but also made the feigning in the reproduction of the coin undetectable.
A CARD IN FLIGHT
Rosini considered this an excellent mystery to present before a large audience.
Effect: A spectator selects either one of two piles of ten cards and places his hand on it. From the other pile, he selects a card, looks at it, and returns it. This pile is immediately turned face up and counted. There are only nine cards in it, and the selected card is not among them. The spectator himself counts the cards under his hand. There are eleven cards. Apparently the selected card has flown over. For good measure, the performer causes the selected card to reverse itself in the packet.
Method: Count off or remove in a bunch from the top of the deck twenty-one cards, but represent them as twenty. A good way to do this is to slip the left little finger under the two top cards of the deck and take these two cards as one as the first card of your count. Lay the remainder of the deck aside. Take the cards you removed and count them into two piles apparently containing ten cards each. Actually one of them is provided with eleven cards through a false count. (An alternate procedure is to deal the twenty-one cards as twenty, then state that you will divide them into two equal piles. Count off ten cards and lay them on the table. Lay the other cards, presumably ten also, face down beside them).
Ask the spectator to choose either pile. If he chooses the pile containing eleven cards, ask him to place his hand on them. If he chooses the pile containing ten cards, tell him you will have him select a card from his chosen pile, but before doing so you would like him to place his hand on top of the other pile.
With his free hand the spectator chooses a card from the ten pile. Ask him to place the card back in the middle of the fanned pile. As he does so, slip your left little finger above the card that is on top of the selected card. Square the cards and cut them at the place you are holding with the tip of the little finger. This brings the selected card to the position of second from the top of the pile.
Turn the pile face up. Place it in the left hand. Take the face up cards one at a time with the right hand and count them face down onto the table. When you reach the eighth card, the left forefinger squeezes the bottom card a bit, causing it to buckle. This enables you to grasp the eighth and ninth cards as one, laying them face down on the cards on the table to the count of eight. Count the last card as nine, but instead of laying it down, snap it and ask the spectator if he has seen his card. Pick up the counted packet and place the ninth card on the bottom of it. The selected card is now on top of the packet.
Say, "Would it surprise you if I made your card pass right through your hand and into the packet your hand is on? Well, that is just what I intend to do." Palm off the top card in your right hand and hold the balance of the cards between the first two fingers, at one end of the
packet, and the thumb, on the other end. Ask the spectator to count his cards into your left hand, face downward. He counts eleven cards. Apparently the missing card has flown over.
The eleven cards now lie in your left hand. Pass the spectator the nine card packet to count himself. The position in which your right hand holds this packet makes it easy for you to place the cards in his hand while retaining the palmed card. While the spectator is counting this packet, allow your right hand to come in contact with the eleven card packet in your left hand and place the palmed card on the bottom of the packet. Cut the packet, leaving the selected card reversed in the center. Say, "Your card must have passed into the packet you had your hand on. What was your card?" Then spread your cards. Apparently you have caused this card to turn face up.
Naturally there is no cause to count the cards again. It appears as though one of the eleven cards has magically reversed itself.
THE CARD UNDER THE HAND
In this bit of business, a selected card is revealed by means of its sudden appearance at an unexpected moment. It is a valuable addition to the rather small list of quick and unusual card discoveries.
Rosini brought the selected card to the bottom of the deck. He said that he was going to cut to the selected card. While directing this remark to the spectator, he executed the Erdnase left hand bottom palm. He laid his left hand palm down upon the table, allowing the card to lie flat beneath it. The spectator was asked to place his hand directly on top of Rosini’s hand. This gave the effect of immobilizing the left hand of the performer "to prevent trickery." With his right hand, Rosini laid the deck face down upon the spectator’s engaged hand and cut off the top half of the deck, asking the spectator if the bottom card of this half was his. II wasn’t. He turned up the top card of the bottom half and asked if this was the card. Wrong again. Rosini asked the spectator to take the deck himself, requesting him to look through the cards and find his card. Rosini stepped back, taking his left hand off the table and leaving the card in full view.
Suddenly, upon failing to find the card in the deck, the spectator saw his card lying face up on the table.
The effectiveness of the trick lies in the fact that the card is revealed at a moment when the
spectator is unprepared for anything to happen.
YOU PUT IT IN
Nearly every magician who does close-up magic occasionally uses the old trick of dropping a pack of cards on the table, causing the selected card to flip face up on top of the deck. It is a card discovery which always amuses, even though a great many people know the secret— i. e., pushing the top card slightly to the side so that air pressure catches the protruding card and turns it over.
Rosini used a ruse which persuaded people that the card had leaped from the center of the deck. He had a card selected and took it back face down in the right hand. "If I pushed this card back into the deck," he said, feigning to do so, "you would think I might know where it was." Under cover of this movement and the remark, he top changed the card. Then at once he handed the (changed) card to the spectator, saying, "So push it in yourself."
This nervy method of getting a selected card on top of the deck before its apparent return to the pack can be applied to various other card tricks.
CHANGE IN HAND
Devices such as allowing a spectator to hold a card which has already been changed, under the assumption that he will not turn it over and reveal the trick, are regarded by some magicians as overly daring. A certain amount of audacity contributed to the effectiveness of Rosini’s work, but it was backed by very sound reasoning. In the ruse in which the selected card is top changed and this card handed to the spectator for insertion in the deck, it is highly unlikely that a spectator would turn the card over since he is supposed to be concealing its identity from the performer.
Again, Rosini reasoned that if a card was shown not to be a selected card and if this card was then handed to a spectator simply as an instrument for another operation, there would be no inclination on the spectator’s part to look again at the card. He used this principle to produce a very striking effect.
Rosini brought a peeked-at card to the top of the deck. He did a double lift and showed that the top card was apparently not the chosen card. He turned the card ( s) face down, then took off the actual top card face down and handed it to the spectator, saying, "You find the card. Push this card into the deck where you think it might be."
The psychological success of the ruse depended in part upon creating a short stall prior to handing the card to the spectator. This was done by holding the deck face down in the left hand and riffling the edge of the deck with the left thumb and saying, "Stop me at any place. Use this card as a book mark to mark the place. Whatever place you mark, that is where you card will be." The use of the face down card as a "book mark" was demonstrated several times. The casual reference to the card and the time lapse served to reduce the spectator’s interest in the card itself.
Wherever the card was inserted, Rosini cut the pack and showed the face card at the cut. It was wrong. He showed the card beneath the spectator’s insertion. Also wrong. He asked what the card was. With the help of a tiny waltz the magic took place, and the spectator found himself to be holding the very card he had named.
This is almost the perfect example of an elementary trick transformed into a masterful effect.
THE FAIR COUNT
This is an effect which Rosini demonstrated to Joe Berg, the well-known Chicago magic dealer. It is another case in which Rosini utilized the mechanical necessities of his trick to build up the effect.
After a card has been selected and returned to the deck, the performer asks for a number. He counts down from the top of the deck and pushes forward the card at the requested number. At this moment, he appears to detect some skepticism about the fairness of the count. He squares the cards carefully and counts down again very deliberately. The selected card is not only there—it is face up!
The trick is begun with one card secretly reversed on the bottom of the deck. The selected card is brought to the bottom of the deck, then one more card is brought reversed to the bottom. This places the selected card second from the bottom, sandwiched between two reversed cards. It is up to the individual performer to work out his personal way of bringing about this arrangement.
Now a number is asked for. The performer counts down to this number, pushing the cards from the left hand into the right without changing the order of the cards. In the course of the count, two cards are false counted. In other words, the performer counts down two less than he appears to. For the purposes of this trick, no harm is done if the spectator is left dubious about the fairness of the count.
The performer pushes forward the last card of the count and says, ‘This is your card." Under cover of this action and the more or less fanned position of the counted cards held in the right hand, the left hand reverses the remainder of the deck. The fact that this action occurs at the moment when the trick appears to be completed provides the psychological misdirection for the move.
Squaring the cards together with what is presumably the selected card protruding, the performer looks questioningly at the spectator and adds, "Wait, maybe you don’t think I counted fairly. What was your card? I’ll count down again, very slowly, and not only find your card, but make it turn face up!"
The performer counts the cards off onto the table and, sure enough, the selected card shows up reversed at the selected number. There is good reason for counting carefully at this point, as the bottom half of the deck is now face up.
As the selected card is dealt off, the left hand drops to the side. The left fingers turn over the reversed card which served to mask the other face up cards, using the trouser leg to assist the action. When the cards are brought up for the reassembly of the deck, they are all facing the same way.
TWO DECKS—RED AND BLUE
Because of its beauty and simplicity, Rosini regarded this as one of the best of all two-deck effects.
Effect: A red-backed deck and a blue-backed deck are brought out. Taking the red deck from its case, the performer allows a free selection of a card by an assisting spectator. A second spectator selects a card from the blue deck. The performer then removes a small group of cards from the red deck and places the first spectator’s red-backed card among them. He
cuts the packet several times, then places it in the spectator’s breast pocket. He buries the other spectator’s blue-backed card among a group of cards from the blue deck and deposits them in this spectator’s breast pocket. After doing this, he says, "So that I shall be able to remember what color your cards are, I shall allow you to hold one of the cards with both hands before you, in plain sight—so I can’t get mixed up." He has each spectator hold one of his cards in front of him in this fashion.
Speaking to each of the spectators in turn, he says, "If I were to remove the card you selected from your pocket and send it over there to our friend’s pocket, would that be a good trick? It would? I’ll do a better one. What I propose to do is to transpose all of the cards in your pocket, except the card you selected. And (speaking to the other spectator) I shall take all of the cards out of your pocket and place them in my friend’s pocket here— except your selected card."
A number of fanciful passes are now indulged in to apparently effect the transposition of the two packets of cards. The packets are then removed from the spectators’ pockets. The man holding the red card before him is found to have a packet consisting entirely of blue-backed cards, except for one red card—his selected card. The man holding the blue card similarly has a packet of red cards with just one blue card among them—the one he selected.
Method: The method is based upon a trick, which has several times appeared in print, in which a single card is apparently passed over from each of two packets. Rosini altered the handling to get an opposite effect—and incidentally, by so doing, removed the one bad move in the previous trick.
About twelve cards are stolen from the blue deck and placed on the bottom of the red deck. A similar number of red cards are placed on the bottom of the blue deck. The decks are then replaced in their proper cases.
The performer begins by taking out the red deck and having a card selected. When the cards are spread for the selection, the small group of blue cards is kept squared at the bottom of the deck so that the backs do not show. The same procedure is followed in having a card selected from the blue deck.
The performer now takes the red deck and says, "I am going to take a few cards from this deck." He fans the cards with their faces toward the spectators and removes the bottom stack of blue cards, plus the first red-backed card from the face of the deck. The balance of the cards are put back in their case. The performer is now holding a packet of twelve blue cards with one red card on top. He turns to the assistant who has selected a red card and places that card in the center of the packet. Then he turns the packet face up and gives it
several cuts, simply drawing groups of cards out of the middle of the packet and throwing them on the face of the packet. The red card at the top of the packet remains in place. The cards are then placed in the assistant’s breast pocket. As an afterthought, the performer remarks that he had better have a sign post before each packet to prevent getting mixed up in the colors. With that he reaches in the assistant’s pocket and removes the top card—the red one. He asks the assistant to hold it in front of him, with one hand at each end of the card. An alternate procedure is to place the card under the spectator’s coat lapel or on the edge of his collar.
The same actions are repeated with the blue deck, the group of twelve red cards and one blue card being removed from the face of this deck and the spectator’s blue card being inserted among them. The identical action is taken in having him hold a marker card before him, and the trick is now ready to be terminated as described.
When working for private, informal parties, Rosini sometimes performed a card trick which appeared absolutely impossible. He asked someone to take the cards and go into an adjoining room. When the spectator was out of sight, he instructed him to cut the cards, look at the face card of the cut, riffle the two halves together, shuffle the cards any additional number of times, and bring them back. Rosini looked through the deck and laid one card face down on the table. He asked what card was looked at. When turned up, the card on the table proved to be this card.
Nearly every magician is familiar with the method, but few have had the courage to employ it in such a dramatic way. Once again, however, daring is of little avail unless one discovers the little angles which help to insure success.
To begin with, a belly crimp is put in the deck, the two bent halves of the deck meeting like closed parentheses: ~. The face card of the upper half is noted. Now, if the deck is casually cut by placing the thumb and fingers at the long edges of the cards to make the cut, one will normally cut at this noted card.
It is, therefore, important to begin by placing the deck in the spectator’s hand in the proper way. Lay it face down in his left hand, the long edges parallel with the fingers. Have him close the tips of his fingers over the end of the deck. The position is much as though the spectator were about to palm the whole deck. It precludes likelihood of a cut from the short edges of
Tell the spectator to do nothing until you instruct him, and send him from the room.
Say, "Do what I tell you to do. Give the cards one cut. Look at the card you have cut and remember it. Shuffle the two halves of the deck together. Now shuffle and cut the cards some more. Come in and bring the deck to me."
Go through the cards and lay on the table the card which the spectator should have cut to. Ask the name of the card. If the spectator has cut correctly, the effect is miraculous. If not, you now know the name of the card and can finish the trick with a Mexican Turnover or any other out which you may prefer.
Other rules for success are: Don’t build the trick up before you do it. Don’t tell what you are going to have done. Don’t have a magician cut the cards. This trick is designed strictly for the amazement of laymen.
A similar miracle was performed by a more esoteric means. A spectator simply fanned a pack of cards before himself, removed any card, concentrated on it, and shuffled the card back into the deck. Rosini then found the card.
Many magicians thought this feat involved some unusual handling of a one-way deck. Actually, no preparation was necessary. The use of this particular routine depended entirely upon taking advantage of a favorable circumstance when it arose.
The circumstance was the presence of a spectator wearing glasses. The spectator had either to be seated where light fell over his shoulder or had to be maneuvered into such a position. Experiment will show that if such a person holds a card before his face to look at it, the card will be reflected clearly in the lenses of his spectacles.
Light must fall upon the card and not directly upon the glasses. The trick is not likely to work well with bifocals. Also, there is a possibility that the spectator will not hold the card high enough to produce a reflection. However, occasional failure means nothing in a feat of
apparently psychic character and can, in fact, build up the eventual success of the test.
POKER PREDICTION AND A PRINCIPLE (By Ed Mario)
Paul Rosini was one of those rare magicians in whose hands a deck of cards seemed naturally to belong. His card tricks appeared much more magical than those of other performers of equal or even greater manual skill.
Some card tricks look utterly impossible, if they are done well, whether the performer is a Rosini or not. I think I have such a trick here. It utilizes a principle which can be employed to create other "impossible" tricks.
Effect: A spectator shuffles the deck. While he is doing this, the performer writes a prediction. The spectator cuts the cards and, after the completion of the cut, counts off 25 cards. After the count has been verified, he deals five poker hands. The prediction is then read: "You will deal five poker hands and give yourself the four aces." The spectator turns over his own hand and finds this to be the case.
Method: At the beginning of the trick, the performer has the four aces in his pocket, along with a pencil. While the spectator is shuffling the deck, he takes out the pencil and writes the prediction. Then he returns the pencil to his pocket and palms the aces. He asks the spectator to cut the cards and reaches out and completes the cut, adding the aces to the top of the deck. He tells the spectator that he is going to have five poker hands dealt and asks him to deal off 25 cards, face down on the table, for this purpose.
When the cards have been dealt, the performer picks them up and counts them from the left hand into the right without reversing their order, counting aloud. In so doing, he sets the four aces in position for the subsequent deal. This is done by means of a sleight which might be called "The Bottom Deal Count." It is a combination of the Erdnase bottom deal and the standard false count.
In performance, the cards are held in the left hand in the usual "mechanic’s grip" and thumbed off to the right hand. The right hand moves over to the left each time to take a card and seizes it with the right second finger under the face of the card. As the right hand is withdrawn, the card is transferred to be gripped between the right forefinger and thumb. The
count is legitimate up to the count of ten. At ten, the left third finger presses downward on the bottom card of the left hand packet (an ace), causing it to buckle a little, then pushes the card off to the right, where it is seized by the right second finger—in other words, a bottom deal. However, the cards held in the right hand cover the movement of the left third finger (the weak point of the bottom deal as such) and the stealing of the card. At the same time, although no card is taken from the top of the left packet, the combination of sound and movement creates the illusion that one is taken—just as the regular false count does. As in all false counts, it is absolutely necessary to perfect the action to the point where there is no interruption in the regular rhythm of the count.
"The Bottom Deal Count" is executed at 10, 15, and 20 to set the aces. After the count, the spectator is handed back the cards and told to deal five poker hands, from left to right, the last hand to be his. This hand contains one odd card and the four aces.
Note by Rufus Steele: Magicians who cannot already do a bottom deal may find that an easier way to do the count is to hold the packet in the left hand with the lower right hand corner of the deck resting on the left little finger. The packet is supported on this finger, permitting the left first and second fingers to push the bottom cards over for the steals without any necessity of a buckling action. If the magician also palms out prior to the trick the 10, J, Q, K of spades, he can perform a repeat trick with the discarded half of the deck. Palm the stolen spades and add them to the top of the lower half of the deck when the spectator is turning over his hand of aces. Keep a break under the added cards. Ask for the ace of spades and say you will try something with the other half. Lay the ace on top of the packet and do a double cut, bringing the five spades to the bottom of the packet. Count the cards, stealing at 5, 10, 15, 20, and 25. Discard the cards left beyond 25 and hand the packet of 25 cards to the spectator to deal again. Say, "Turn over your hand and see if you got the ace of spades." He does, and finds a Royal Flush.
THE CARD THAT WENT TO PIECES (Bill Simon)
This effect, recently created by Bill Simon, has all the appearance of a miracle. It is the type of trick Paul Rosini would have liked.
A card is freely selected and shown. The performer states that he wishes the card marked for identification. "To really mark the card, will you please tear off a quarter of it—one of the quarters which has the value of the card imprinted upon it?" A spectator tears off an index corner as indicated by the performer. The card is laid face down on the table. The deck is
laid face up on top of it. The performer says that the card will jump through the deck. To make it even more remarkable, however, he will give someone else a piece of identification. He picks up the deck and carefully removes the chosen card and endeavors to tear off a corner diagonally opposite the tear already made. However, he tears a bit too deep and the card practically falls into three pieces. This spoils the trick, so the performer tears up what remains of the card. Then, pulling himself together, he decides to do a trick anyhow. He rolls the pieces into a little cylinder and wraps a rubber band around them. He places the banded pieces in the left hand. They vanish, leaving nothing behind in the hand except the rubber band. He spreads the deck, and there, reversed, is the selected card—completely restored except for the corner which the spectator tore off and retained.
A borrowed deck may be used. If so, it is advisable to tell the lender that sometimes you are a little hard on the cards. Prior to doing this trick, do one in which you place the cards behind your back, giving you an opportunity to tear off the top left hand quarter of the top card of the deck. Place the torn card face up on top of the deck and bring the deck out face up. Dispose of the torn quarter and conclude your previous trick.
Shuffle the deck face up without disturbing the reversed and torn bottom card. Spread the cards face up for a selection. Proceed to have the card selected marked as described. Note that while the selected card is now lacking an index corner, the tear in the card lying beneath the face up deck is from a blank corner.
Lay the selected card face down on the table and place the deck on top of it face up. Then decide to remove the card and take another tear out of it. Lift the deck up by its ends with the left hand and reach underneath the deck with your right fingers to the position where you know the quarter to be missing from the selected card. Draw out the card that your right fingers touch at this point, performing what might be termed an "automatic glide." The fact that the corner missing from the face down extra card is torn out at a different quarter is not apparent to the audience. The "automatic glide" can be performed very slowly and convincingly. Casually give the deck a cut and lay it aside, face up.
From here on, the tabled card is handled face down for obvious reasons. After the "mistaken" tear and the complete destruction of the card, the pieces are rolled together into a small tube. With the packet held at the extreme right finger tips, your left hand goes to your left pocket in search of a rubber band. There it palms two rubber bands which have previously been twisted together into a little ball and pocketed. Transfer the rolled card to your left finger tips and bring out two loose rubber bands from the right pocket with the right hand. Bind up the pieces of card with them, still secreting the small ball of rubber bands in your left hand. Show the bound pieces in the right hand. Pretend to place them in the left, but palm them in the right. Hold the left hand as though it contained the rolled card. Bring it over the deck, tap the back of the closed left hand with the right forefinger, then spring the left hand open, allowing the rubber band ball to bound out. Immediately fan out the face up
deck revealing the reversed card in the center. It turns out to be the selected card, restored except for the identifying corner, which is shown to fit it exactly.
Note by Rufus Steele: To assure similarity between the two torn corner cards used, ask the spectator to fold the card both ways before tearing out a quarter. The dummy card should have been similarly folded and opened out again.
COIN AND PENCIL (Described by Theo Bamberg)
Paul Rosini showed a coin and performed several moves with it. Finally he pretended to place it in the left hand, but retained it finger palmed in the right hand.
He said, "I have here in my pocket a pencil," and reached for it. The pencil was in the left shirt pocket or upper vest pocket. In the act of getting the pencil, the right hand quickly dropped the coin down the left sleeve at the shoulder opening. It was absolutely necessary to make the remark about the pencil before going to the pocket—otherwise the spectators’ suspicions would be aroused.
Bringing forth the pencil, he said, "By touching my fist with this pencil, the coin will disappear." The little stall at this point was also necessary to allay suspicion.
He touched the left hand with the pencil, opened the hand, and showed that the coin was gone. Both hands were shown empty, the coin of course remaining in the upper arm of the left sleeve.
"You don’t see the coin? Look—it is in the tip of this pencil." He raised his right hand, holding the pencil quite high, and making a slight turn to the left. At the moment when attention was focused on the tip of the upraised pencil, his left hand dropped enough to allow the coin to fall into the cupped fingers.
"It will appear again—by just tapping!" He tapped the closed left hand and opened the fingers to show the coin.
CARD THROUGH HANDKERCHIEF
In this quick and surprising effect, a deck containing a selected card is wrapped tightly in a handkerchief. The performer says, "Look, I shall knock your selected card right through the handkerchief." He hits the deck against his hand or against the table, then draws the selected card right out through the handkerchief, leaving the balance of the cards still within the handkerchief.
The selected card is palmed in the right hand and the deck placed face down in the left hand in position for the Charlier Pass or one-handed cut. A spectator is asked to spread the handkerchief over the deck, allowing the handkerchief to drape over all sides. When the deck is covered, the left hand begins the Charlier Pass. At the half-way point in the action of the pass, the right hand reaches over to take the covered deck and deposits the palmed card on the handkerchief over the top of the deck. With the right hand still in position, the left hand immediately completes the pass. This sandwiches the card in the middle of the deck within two folds of handkerchief which form a sort of open envelope. The right hand holds the deck through the handkerchief while the left hand twists the ends of the handkerchief to tighten things up a bit. Then the left hand takes it. After the deck has been struck, the performer says, "What was the name of your card?" As the name is being given, he pulls the card out sideways through the handkerchief.
Rosini had various methods of getting a bit of daub on a spectator’s thumb so that when the spectator selected a card his own thumb left a faint mark on the face of the card. Several of his devices are explained in Greater Magic.
His easiest method, however, was the following. He secured a little daub on his right fingers —usually from a small box concealed under the edge of his coat. He transferred the daub to the spectator’s thumb by the simple expedient of seizing his hand to bring him up before the audience. The man took a card, leaving daub on the face of it. After the card was returned to the deck, Rosini handed the deck to the spectator for shuffling. The discovery of the card under such circumstances seemed miraculous.
This baffling mental card feat, attributed to Dai Vernon, is a good example of the type of trick Rosini liked for intimate work. The effect seems completely impossible and the method is covered by the very procedures which build up the trick.
A borrowed, shuffled deck was placed face down in the performer’s left hand, the hand being held behind the back. Obviously the performer was unaware of the position of a single card and the cards were given a cut to keep the spectator in the dark, too. To make the conditions even more stringent, a handkerchief was placed over the deck and hand. The performer asked the spectator to name any number. As soon as the number was named, the performer brought forward the deck, entirely wrapped in the handkerchief, and handed it to the spectator. The man opened the handkerchief and counted down in the deck to his chosen number. The performer was able to name the card lying at that position.
Method: After the handkerchief is laid over the deck behind the magician’s back, covering the wrist and hand, the performer faces the audience. His left hand, still behind his back, turns the pack face up and thumb counts ten cards from the face of the deck. He asks for a number between 10 and 20, and thumb counts the additional cards to this number, holding a large break with the thumb. Then he brings the left hand forward and completes the wrapping of the handkerchief around the deck. In this action, he first pulls the handkerchief tight against the face of the deck so he can see the face of the bottom card through the fabric. Then he does a Charlier pass beneath the handkerchief, cutting the deck at the break, and hands the wrapped deck to the spectator. The glimpsed card is now at the selected number.
The handkerchief provides complete cover for all of the action of the trick. However, there is necessarily some stalling while the magician does the required thumb counting. This is where Rosini’s carefully planned presentation was so important. He thumb counted the cards in series of three and had an appropriate remark to make between each count. Thus, the moment he faced the audience, he might say, "I should like someone to give a number." (Count three). "Not too big a number." (Count three). "A number, say, between ten and twenty." (Count four). The spectator names a number. "Did I do anything to make you take that particular number?" (Count additional required cards beyond ten). Naturally the exact remarks depend upon the individual performer, but the important thing is that they must be planned in advance.
Although Rosini used a Charlier pass after glimpsing the face card through the handkerchief, some performers prefer to do a regular two-handed pass, which involves less movement of the cards. It is perfectly easy to do this through the handkerchief as the right hand aids in wrapping the cards up.
This fine mental card trick, attributed to S. Leo Horowitz, was described in The Jinx, No. 105, the Rosini, Jarrow, Horowitz, Vernon issue of Theo. Annemann’s publication. Rosini employed it with certain minor modifications which made it more practical and effective. It was a strong favorite with him.
Effect: The deck is shuffled and spread face down on the table. A spectator selects four cards from any part of the deck. These are placed face up on the table. The spectator is told to select mentally any one of the face up cards while the performer’s back is turned. The four face up cards are now turned face down and shuffled. The performer takes the four cards and places them face up on top of the pack. They are turned over altogether and inserted in four different parts of the deck. The four protruding cards are then pushed square with the pack. The performer says, "I will now place the deck behind my back and select a card." Let us say that the card he brings out is the three of spades. He says, "I shall use this card as my indicator." He spreads the deck on the table and shows all cards to be face down. Holding the three of spades face up in his right hand he says, "I am going to insert this three of spades somewhere in the deck, face up, and it should indicate the card you mentally selected." He picks up the deck with his left hand and places it behind his back for the insertion of the three of spades. Bringing the deck forward, he says, "Let’s see where I put the three of spades." Finding the reversed card in the center of the deck, he removes the cards above it and lays them aside. The spectator is now asked to name the mentally chosen card. When he does so, the "indicator card" locates the card chosen.
Method: Bring the three of spades to the bottom of the deck before starting the trick. While the spectator is mentally selecting one of four cards, say, "I will turn my back to show that I am not watching your eyes." While your back is turned, secretly reverse five cards on top of the deck and place the three of spades face down on top of the five reversed cards. Hold a break under the six cards with your left little finger. When you take the four cards back from the spectator, remember them in order. Suppose they are 2H, SD, 2C, and 8C. Just remember 2 - 5 - 2 - 8, noting that the second deuce is a club. Place them face up on top of the pack. Square the cards and turn over all ten cards above the little finger. Say, "I shall place your four cards in different parts of the deck." Do so without showing their faces. Allow them to protrude for a moment so the spectator can see that they are separated in the deck. Square the deck, place it behind your back, remove the top card and bury it somewhere in the deck. The three of spades is now face up on top of the deck. Bring it forward and say, "I shall use this card as an indicator." Proceed as described. Once the deck is behind your back again, place the three of spades face up on top of the deck and give the cards a square cut. Bring the deck forward and run through to the reversed three of spades.
Lay aside the cards above it. With the remainder of the deck before you with the three of. spades face up on top, ask the spectator to name his card. If he says, "Two of hearts," you say, "Look! I placed the indicator on top of it." Should he say, "Five of diamonds," say, "Look! How many spots are on this card?" He will say, "Three," and you count down three to his card, counting the three of spades as one. If he should say, "Two of clubs," just push the three of spades aside and count two cards off, without looking at them, and turn over his two of clubs. If he says, "Eight of clubs," push aside the indicator card, count off three cards, and turn the fourth card over.
A COMEDY CARD TRICK
A trick which produces spontaneous gales of laughter from an audience is worth many dollars to the magical showman. This was one of Rosini’s funniest routines. It has also been used to fine advantage by Tommy Martin.
A card was selected and the deck shuffled. Rosini said that the idea was for him to find the card and that he could do so in three guesses. The attempts, however, resulted in complete failure.
"We have to have that card," Rosini said. "You find it."
The spectator looked through the deck, but could not find the card. Rosini, standing at the man’s left, had palmed it off and in the business of handling the spectator had extended his right hand behind the man’s back and stuck the card in full view under the victim’s right coat collar just above the lapel. The amusement of spectators who caught sight of the card was interpreted by the assistant as being due to the failure of the trick.
The build-up now mounted hilariously. "Look," said Rosini, we're in the middle of a trick. We can’t stop now. We’ve got to find that card. You can’t find it? Let’s pray for it."
Performer and spectator then went through various gestures to entice forth the card— holding their hands clasped in supplication, placing their hands on their heads, etc.—the assistant duplicating the gestures of the performer. Rosini finally directed the man to extend both palms and strike them on his shoulders. The expression of the spectator upon sensing the presence of the card beneath his fingers provided the climax of the trick.
THE CARD THROUGH THE CASE
This quick and effective trick has previously been described incorrectly in print.
A card was selected by a peek and palmed by the side-steal. The deck was placed in the case and the flap of the case closed. Bicycle Cards and numerous other brands come in cases bearing the imprint of the back of the cards. When such a case was employed and the palmed card was added to the matching back of the case, both sides of the card case could be shown.
The spectator was asked to extend his forefinger and grip the end of the case with the thumb above the extended finger. Now, a tiny little waltz, and Rosini struck the case a sharp downward blow which knocked the encased cards from the spectator’s hand. The selected card remained, face up, between the assistant’s thumb and finger. The card had apparently been knocked out of the deck and through the case.
If the card is brought to the bottom of the deck after its selection, it is possible to perform the trick without sleight-of-hand. The thumb and fingers of the left hand, projecting from the sides of the case, can grip the bottom card as the right hand brings the face of the deck against the case prior to inserting the cards. This permits stealing the card without palming.
YOUR NUMBER—YOUR CARD
This effect was given to me by Paul Rosini after he had fooled a group of magicians with it up in my room.
Effect: The deck is given to a spectator to shuffle. Then the spectator is instructed to divide the deck into three approximately equal piles. He is now told to select any one of the piles, look through it, mentally select one card, and then shuffle the pile so that even he does not know the location of the card. The other two piles are shuffled together and again cut into equal halves so that the performer cannot know the location of any of the cards. The selected pile is counted so that the spectator can note the location of his card in it, then this pile is buried between the other piles and the cards given several square cuts. The performer takes the deck and produces the mentally selected card in any way he sees fit.
Method: After the chosen card has been shuffled in the selected heap, the performer asks the spectator if he knows how many cards he has in his heap. Since he does not know exactly, the performer asks him to count his cards face up one at a time slowly, while the performer’s back is turned, and note just how far down in the pile his card is. The performer waits until the first card is dealt before he turns his back. As soon as he glimpses it, he walks away, remembering this key card. When the performer runs through the deck, he cuts the key to a position sixth from the bottom of the deck. This places the sixth card of the original pile on the bottom of the deck and the seventh card of the pile on top of the deck. The performer asks the spectator at what number his card appeared when his pile was counted. If the number was between one and six, the performer knows its position from the bottom of the deck. If it was more than six, he knows its position from the top of the deck. He can easily shuffle to it and palm it off, or produce it in any other manner he wishes.
Whenever the selected card is the seventh card (top card of deck), a good way to reveal it is to say, "You didn’t reverse your card did you?" and drop the deck on the table, showing the selected card face up on top of the deck.
Note: If the deck is divided into four piles instead of three at the beginning of the trick the likelihood of the spectator thinking of a card at a position six or seven from the top of the pile is increased. Performed in this manner, the trick concludes more often than not with the thought of card at the top or bottom of the deck.
ROSINI’S FAVORITE TRICK
Among his intimate card tricks, Paul Rosini rated this as his favorite. He produced a remarkable effect with it.
A spectator shuffled the cards and laid them face down on the table. Assuming that the pack had red backs, Rosini said, "I have some extra cards here in my pocket. Notice that they all have blue backs. I shall remove one of these cards." He removed one card from among the blue cards and showed it. Perhaps it was the two of clubs. He placed the card in the center of the deck and spread the deck face up on the table, saying that he proposed to have the assistant touch any one of the face up cards and the card be touched would be the bluebacked card which he had just placed in the deck. "I know that you don’t believe this possible," he said, "but the proof of the pudding is in the eating. However, I could not do this trick with the two of clubs I just showed you, because my assistant is familiar with this card and would avoid touching it. Therefore I shall use another blue-backed card. I shall place this
card in the pack behind my back out of his sight." Rosini then did this. "Now I am sure that my friend here does not know the location of the blue-backed card."
Rosini brought the deck forward and spread the cards face up in his hands, asking the assisting spectator to touch any card. "That is your free choice?" he asked. "Would you like to change your mind?" He removed from the deck the card which the assistant touched and set the deck aside. "What color back did the card I put in the pack have? Blue. What color cards does the pack consist of? Red." With that he turned over the tabled card and showed it to be a blue-backed card.
Method: In his pocket Rosini carried several odd red- and blue-backed cards so that he was prepared to do the trick using a deck with any color of backs. Among the cards were two prepared eight-spots, one with a red back and one with a blue back. A little wax had been placed on the four outside pips and a little on one of the center pips of each of the two cards. When he was not prepared with a gimmick card, he employed any odd cards and used saliva. However, wax made for better handling.
After the demonstration with one of the odd cards, Rosini said he would have to use a different card and took a prepared eight-spot. He placed it face down on top of the deck without showing it. All the audience saw was a red pack with a blue card on top of it. He placed the pack behind him or under the table. While the deck was out of sight, he arranged the gimmick card in proper position in his right hand and covered it with the deck, which he brought forward face up.
The card was not palmed, but was laid diagonally across the right palm, face up. The card lay flat, with the left-hand index corner resting between joints of the first and second fingers. The right hand index corner rested at the lower base of the thumb. The card was thus gripped securely, but was not bent or actually concealed in the hand (the corners of the card without indexes projected beyond either side of the hand). The deck is then placed face up in the right hand in such a way as to cover the gimmick card.
The right hand now brings the cards forward and the assistant is asked to touch any card as the cards are spread before him. The left hand grasps the deck, the thumb being placed on the face of the deck and the fingers going beneath the deck, between the deck and the gimmick card. The hands separate a few inches, the left thumb pushing the cards into the right hand from the face of the deck. Thus as the cards are spread, the top face cards of the deck remain in position in the right hand covering the gimmick card. The left thumb continues to spread the cards. When the assistant touches a card, the middle finger of the left hand slides under the gimmick card and pulls it beneath the spread over to a position under the selected card. The selected card and the cards spread above it are lifted just a bit, and this momentary pulling apart of the deck makes it possible to slip the blue-backed card
underneath the selected card. All that remains is to square the deck, adding a little pressure to the pack to cause the gimmick card to stick to the back of the card selected.
When Rosini removed the selected card, he tossed it face up on the table so freely that no one would guess it to be a double card.
DO A TRICK
When he was asked to do a trick, Rosini frequently used this quick and startling effect.
Effect: You ask for a deck of cards and, when you receive it, look through the pack to see if all the cards are there. Then you spread the cards face down on the table and ask a spectator to remove any card, remember it, and place it on top of the deck and cut the deck.
Now you pick up the deck and say, "Let’s see what you’ve done: you spread the cards and then you removed a card and placed it on top of the deck. Then you gave the deck a cut like this." As you say this, you demonstrate with the actual actions. "By the way," you add, "What was the name of the your card?" Suppose the spectator says, "Queen of Clubs." You immediately spell the name of the chosen card with a card at a time from the top of the deck and with the last letter you deal face up the Queen of Clubs.
Secret: When the deck is passed to you and you ask if the cards are all there, you count twelve cards at the bottom of the deck and crimp these cards at the end toward you so they will belly just a bit. This can be done by simply squeezing them with the left fingers.
You spread the cards on the table, with the end of the deck at which the crimp shows facing you and not the spectators. A card is withdrawn from the spread and placed on top of the deck and the cards are given a square cut. This places your twelve crimped cards on top of the selected card. Now you repeat the same actions that were followed by the spectator, as though you were reviewing what had been done. When you come to cutting the deck, you cut it at the crimp, which places the twelve cards on top of the deck, with the chosen card just beneath them.
When the spectator names his card, you know just how many letters its name contains. You can make a quick count on your fingers if necessary. Some cards have eleven letters, some twelve, and some thirteen. Should there be thirteen letters, everything is perfect. Should it
spell with twelve, just spell the card and turn over the next card. Should it spell with eleven, just shuffle off two cards before you start counting. You can use the word "of" or you can leave it out to suit your spelling.
THE ONE-ARMED MAGICIAN (By Jack Chanin)
I knew Paul Rosini for many, many years and we were friends enough for me to dedicate my book on the Shell Game to him. I have known many of Paul’s tricks, for I used to help him practice. I have tied his thumbs for the thumb tie hundreds of times. I also had some of the buttons on my jacket ripped off by Paul’s practicing the "tearing the button off" trick.
The miracle I am describing here is one Paul showed me in 1931. He liked this trick because it gave him a chance to show how cleverly his hands were trained. The entire operation was done with one hand.
Effect: After having someone look at a card, Paul immediately placed the pack behind his back. There was absolutely no chance for him to see what the selected card was. Yet he would announce the name of the card by looking into the spectator’s eyes. To add to this miracle, he would cause the selected card to turn itself over in the pack.
Method: Paul used his favorite locater, the "peek." He held the pack in the left hand as shown in figure 1. He asked someone to peek at a card by opening up the pack at the side indicated by the arrow. He immediately dropped his left hand and put it behind his back. The second and third fingers of his left hand went inside the break held beneath the peeked-at card and pushed the selected card out as shown in figure 2. The card was pushed out until it stood alongside the edge of the pack as in figure 3. Fig. 1 Fig. 2 Fig. 3
The left thumb now pushed the top card over the selected card, as shown in figure 3. The fingers of the left hand helped to press the selected card onto the pack. The card held with the thumb now fell on the selected card. The entire operation took but a few seconds. The time would be taken up by Paul explaining to the spectator that it would be impossible to know what the card was with the deck behind his back. "If you concentrate on the card, I will look in your eyes and see an image of the card you selected. Yes, I get an image. The card is a ten of diamonds." As he said this, his left hand came out and pointed to the spectator’s
eyes. During this operation, the thumb pushed the top card towards the fingers, as shown in figure 4, providing a glimpse of the index of the selected card. Fig. 4
The pack was now cut. With the left hand, the cards were placed into the spectator’s left hand face up. Naming the card was Miracle No. 1. He would now announce that he would do something even better. "While the cards are in the spectator’s hand, I shall cause the selected card to turn itself over." And now, with a bit of his inimitable showmanship, he would ask the spectator to spread the cards from hand to hand and one card would be face down. That card was removed and it was the selected card. There was Miracle No. 2.
THE COIN STAR (Described by Al Leech)
In Paul Rosini’s hands, the coin star was one of the most beautiful sleight-of-hand effects conceivable.
He used the sleight for the simultaneous reproduction of five coins, which he previously had vanished one at a time. Rosini would place his hands together and in a single motion produce the five coins in a sparkling display at his fingertips.
Details of the sleight have seldom appeared in print, and most of the published descriptions involve the use of the finger palm, a method definitely inferior to that used by Rosini.
In his method, the coins were palmed in the hollow of the hand in a position known as the oblique palm. In this grip, the stack of coins is beveled and protrudes from the palm at an angle. There is a space between the palm and the innermost coin at the edge of the coin nearest the roots of the fingers. This palm is described and illustrated on pages 251 and 252 of Magic Without Apparatus by Camille Gaultier and on pages 8 and 9 of The Modern Magic Manual by Jean Hugard.
To execute the sleight, Rosini would stand with his left side toward the audience and place the fingertips of both hands together, almost as if in prayer, except that the fingers were spread more widely. The hands were held about waist high with the little fingers pointing toward the floor. The coins were concealed from the audience by the back of the left hand.
Keeping the fingertips together, Rosini then would revolve both hands so that the fingers pointed directly upward. Under cover of this movement the first finger and thumb of the right hand were withdrawn and seized the stack of coins (which was palmed in the left hand), the thumb on the outermost coin and the first finger on the coin nearest the palm.
The left thumb and first finger retained their spread position, and the withdrawal of the corresponding digits of the right hand went unnoticed.
With the left hand held stationary, the right hand was revolved downward to its original position, except that the fingers were held cupped together and not spread. The left fingers at the same time were drawn together to cover this motion.
At this point, the first joint of the left thumb rested lightly on the right thumb between its first and second joints. In this position, the thumbs and palms were crosswise, the right hand cupped palm upward beneath the left hand, which was cupped palm downward. Thus, the left little finger was brought into direct contact with the uppermost of the coins in the stack, which was held tightly in its still-beveled condition.
The left hand then was rotated downward while the right moved slightly upward again, or clockwise. Thus the coins were spread between the fingertips in a peeling-off motion.
The first coin detached from the stack was gripped between the tips of the little fingers, the second between the tips of the third fingers, and so on, to the thumbs.
Rosini executed all the necessary movements in a single, continuous flourish, and he had a way of tilting his hands backward to cover the spreading of the coins so that they appeared at the fingertips completely spread.
It will take many months for the neophyte to acquire the sleight, and even then it is doubtful that he will execute it with the consummate skill and present it with the dramatic flair that made it a jewel in the hands of Paul Rosini.
ACE DELUSION (By Paul LePaul)
This little trick can be used to advantage when a sucker gag is in order. The plot is a switch on the old trick of covering the center pip of the ace of hearts with two other cards in such a fashion as to make it look like the ace of diamonds. In this version, three aces are shown: a red ace and two black aces. The performer remarks that the red ace is the ace of diamonds. However, as he shows them to the spectator, the performer allows one of the black aces to slip a little, revealing that the red ace is really the ace of hearts. Apparently unaware that his trick has become transparent, he turns the cards face down and lays the red ace on the table. He shows the two black aces singly and places them in the deck, remarking that the ace of diamonds now lies on the table. The spectator, thinking that he has caught this simple old trick, calls the performer. The performer expresses surprise that anyone would accuse him of misrepresenting and turns over the card on the table. It actually is the ace of diamonds.
The method is very simple, the whole thing depending upon making the spectator think that he is seeing through the trick. The ace of hearts is held with the ace of diamonds squared behind it. The two black aces are fanned in front of the ace of hearts so that they form a V. The apex of the V blocks out the rounded portions of the heart pip, producing a good illusion of a diamond. The performer’s careful arrangement of the apparent three cards to produce this effect is all part of the build up to arouse the spectator’s suspicions.
The faces of the cards are now shown to the spectator and one of the covering cards moved a little to give him the come on. The cards are then squared up face down and the top card dealt off, the performer calling it the ace of diamonds, which is what It actually is. The performer then does a double lift and shows the next card as a black ace and then shows the remaining black ace. These aces are discarded and the performer is ready to be challenged and vindicated. He may then go into another trick, stating that he hopes that his spectators will have a little more confidence in his veracity.
This is a variation of a trick which Rosini used to do employing a duplicate card. In Rosini’s trick, the duplicate of a forced card appeared at a determined number, which happened to be 28.
Effect: A spectator is asked to cut the deck in half, then bring out a handful of change, choose any coin, and note its date. He is to add together the digits in the date and count down that number in one half of the deck, removing the card from that position and laying it
down without looking at it. The other half of the deck is spread face up. The performer asks what the number was. He takes the tabled card and, using it as a pointer, counts that number from the face of the spread. Then he turns the pointer card face up and counts as many more cards as there are pips on the pointer. The card so arrived at in the face up spread is pushed out. The spectator is asked to look at the back of the card. On its back are written the performer’s initials. No other card in the deck bears any initials or any written markings whatsoever.
Method: The deck is set up prior to the trick. The card with the initialed back is placed twenty-third from the face of the deck. On top of the deck are nine indifferent cards, followed by thirteen cards of any suits set in descending numerical sequence from king (18) to ace (1). The spectator is asked to cut the deck into two as nearly equal halves as possible. He is told to choose either half, and promised that whichever half is indicated, that half will be used. If he chooses the top half, the performer says, We shall count down in this half. Have you got some change in your pocket?" If he chooses the bottom half, the performer spreads this half face up on the table and says, "You will choose a card in this half. First, however, take some coins out of your pocket and select one of them. Look at its date. Add the digits in the date together and count down that number in this other (top) half of the deck. Remove the card at that number and lay it face down on the table. It is not the card you are going to select. It is just a pointer. Now tell me your number. I shall count to it in your chosen half. Now let’s see how many spots happen to be on this pointer card. I shall count that many more cards. Here is your card—please push it out of the spread. You know, strangely enough, a little earlier in the evening I had a premonition about that card and wrote my initials on the back of it in case anything like this should happen. Will you turn the card over and see if my initials are there? My premonition was right. You might turn the other cards over, too, to make sure that I had only one premonition."
As long as the spectator cuts the deck no farther down than the 28th card, the trick works automatically with any coin dated between 1900 and 1948, inclusive. To avoid a coin of more recent date, ask the spectator not to use a freshly minted coin as you can guess its date without much trouble.
A SURE THING
This is a good stunt to do when you are thirsty or want a free cigar.
You lay some cards in three face down rows: six cards in the top row, five in the second row, and four in the third row.
You now invite the spectator to a game of picking up the cards in which the person who picks up the last card loses the wager. Either of you may pick up as many or as few cards as you wish in each turn, but cards can be picked up from only one row in any given turn. Although the spectator is allowed the choice of starting the game or following the performer, the game always ends with one card left which the spectator must pick up. The sucker just can’t win.
Method: You keep track of the number of cards left in the rows after the spectator’s pick-ups and calculate your own pick-ups so that the spectator is left with two even numbered rows to take cards from.
THE BEST PREDICTION
Rosini rated this highest among the prediction card tricks in his repertoire.
Effect: A prediction of a card is written on a piece of paper. A spectator is asked to give a number between five and twenty-five. The performer counts down to this number, pulls forward the card at that location, and bends down the corner of the card. The spectator is allowed to change his mind about his number up to the point that the card is crimped. The cards are squared and the spectator is shown the crimped card in the deck. He is asked to repeat the number he selected. The performer counts down slowly to the number and lays the card with the crimped corner face down on the table. The prediction is read and the card is turned face up. Prediction and card correspond.
Method: With the deck of cards lying face down on the table, the performer begins by saying, "I need a pencil and a piece of paper." While waiting for these to be provided, he picks up the pack with the right hand and steals a glimpse of the bottom card. Now, with the left hand underneath the deck, the left little finger bends down the right hand lower corner of the bottom card.
After writing the prediction, the performer asks for a number between five and twenty-five. He picks up the pack and, holding it in the left hand, begins counting cards off the top of the deck by sliding them into the right hand without removing them or changing their positions in the deck. When he comes to the selected number, he pushes it forward over the top edge of the deck. As this is done, the fingers beneath the deck slide the bottom card over to a position below the counted cards, which are then laid back on the projecting card, adding the
stolen card above it. The performer says, "I will bend the corner of this card so you will not lose track of it." He crimps down the upper left hand corner of the projecting card and pushes the card back into the deck. Due to the addition of the stolen card above it, it is now located one card farther down in the deck than the selected number.
After the pack is squared, the edge of the deck is shown to the spectator so that he can see the bent corner of his card in the deck. The deck is then laid fiat in the left hand, the performer saying, "I don’t use the top card." The top card is turned face up, shown, and turned down again. "Nor do I use this bottom card." The deck is turned over end for end to show the bottom card. This brings the crimped end of the spectator’s card toward the performer and the crimped end of the stolen card toward the spectator. The performer turns the deck sidewise to show the crimp in this latter card, saying, "But we do use this card whose corner we bent down. By the way, what was the number you gave me?"
The performer counts off the cards from the top of the deck until he comes to the given number, looks at the spectator and says, "Remember, we marked this card at the location you gave me. Will you look at what I wrote on that piece of paper?"
The performer then hands the card to the spectator. While it is being looked at, the performer straightens out the crimp in the other card, which is now at the top of the deck, the crimp being at the right hand lower corner of the card.
PREDICTION VARIATION (By "Chic" Schoke)
I always liked Paul Rosini’s presentation of this prediction card trick, but there were several features of the method which did not appeal to me. I have therefore worked out my own handling of the trick. The effect is exactly as described in this book under the title, "The Best Prediction." However, the method permits freer handling of the cards, there is no steal from the bottom, and the ends of the deck are reversed in a different fashion.
Method: Glimpse the bottom card, bend down the corner of the card, cut the deck, and hand the cards out for shuffling. While the spectator is mixing the cards, write the name of the glimpsed card on a slip of paper.
Take back the deck in the left hand and cut the card above~ the bent corner to the top of
the deck. Ask for a number between five and twenty and make a double lift, taking the top two cards as one in the right as though to start counting. Count down to the number given, taking the cards one at a time in the right hand, thus reversing the order of the cards. Push forward the card counted to, bend down its corner, replace on top of it the cards held in the right hand, and square the deck. Lay the deck down in front of you with the long edge of the deck facing you. Hand someone the prediction. Pick up the deck so that the end of the deck at which the corner of the glimpsed card is bent now faces the audience. This glimpsed card now lies at the selected number. Count down to it slowly, lay it on the table, and have the prediction read before the card is turned over. Straighten out the other bent card while attention is centered on the prediction.
THE CIGARETTE TRICK
One of the features of Paul Rosini’s night club act was his presentation of the Card in the Cigarette. No written description can convey his clever showmanship or the little ways in which he pointed up everything that happened. But a description of his method will give some idea of the careful attention to detail which distinguished his work.
He prepared for the trick while dressing for the show by dampening a duplicate of the card which he was to force, placing the card within the folds of a dampened Turkish towel. When he was through dressing, the card was just properly damp. He could roll it over a lead pencil and form it into a small cylinder. He tore a corner from the card after it was damp, so that the finish on the corner would match the finish of the "restored" card.
After rolling the cigarette in his hand to loosen the tobacco, he pushed the rolled card into the cigarette, torn end first, and pushed the card in until the other end of the card was even with the end of the cigarette. He then clipped off the pushed-out tobacco at the top of the cigarette.
Rosini also had a prepared pad of paper. A duplicate, folded piece of paper was glued to the underside of the center of the first sheet in the manner of "Buddha Papers." The folded piece contained the loose tobacco removed from the cigarette. Sometimes the preparation was made on the second sheet. In this case, the first sheet of the pad was "accidentally" ripped a little in being torn off. This torn sheet was tossed aside and the prepared sheet torn off and used. The trick could also be done with a small piece of newspaper, similarly prepared.
In performance, Rosini approached a spectator and said,
"Would you take a card?" He forced the card. "Show it to your friends." He then had the spectator tear the card by folding it in the center and tearing along the fold. When the spectator had torn the card in two, Rosini said, "Two bits. Let’s have some loose change. Make it four bits."
Rosini then extended the sheet of paper in his left hand and asked the spectator to put the pieces in a pile on the center of the paper, keeping the pieces face down so Rosini would not know what the card was. He had obtained the torn corner (matching the loaded card) in his right fingers, and when the pieces were laid face down on the paper, he brought his right hand over and pretended to push one of the pieces forward on the paper. Actually, it was the palmed corner which was pushed forward, with the remark, "I’m generous—keep a bit for your trouble."
Rosini then folded over the edges of the paper to form a square package exactly matching the duplicate package glued beneath. He turned the package over, bringing the tobacco side up, and threw it on the floor. Then he walked away from it, saying, "Would someone let me have a cigarette?"
Rosini had noted the brands of cigarettes being smoked where he was working and tried to arrange to borrow a cigarette that matched his loaded cigarette, which he now obtained in his left fingers. However, if a different brand was pressed upon him, he took it anyway. He started to turn away, then said, "You don’t mind if I light it, do you?" At this moment, he pretended to pass the cigarette into the left hand and switched the cigarettes, retaining the borrowed one concealed in his right fingers. His right hand went to his pocket for a match or lighter and left the borrowed cigarette in the pocket.
If the spectator gave him the correct kind, Rosini called attention to the name of the cigarette brand. He lit the cigarette.
"Do you like this brand of cigarette? I don’t like them. A little cigarette music, please. That’s enough." He tore the cigarette down the side and extracted the card. He threw the cigarette paper on the floor, being careful to wad it up if the brand was wrong.
The spectator named his card. Rosini unrolled the card found in the cigarette, and it was the same card, with a corner missing which the spectator’s retained piece exactly fitted. Almost as an afterthought, Rosini picked up the paper package from the floor and let the displaced cigarette tobacco pour out in a stream. His handling of the package had been so casual that
this extra climax came as a stunning surprise.
Among the more fanciful devices employed by Rosini was a method for producing the initials of a selected card upon a blank piece of paper.
A piece of paper was shown blank on both sides and perhaps initialed. A card was selected. Then the initials of the card were found to be inscribed on the paper.
The trick depended upon special preparation of one of the performer’s shoes. The surface of the rubber heel of the shoe was shaved smooth. Then the initials of the card which would be forced were incised in reverse into the heel. The cuts were made at an angle, so that they really produced little flaps. Prior to performance, colored chalk was worked into these slits in the rubber.
After the paper had been shown and initialed, it was dropped onto the floor. In the course of the card selection and business, Rosini simply stepped on the paper and pressed his heel down. This produced a clear impression on the paper, the chalk dust literally being squeezed out.
Rosini sometimes used this in connection with his "Card in the Cigarette." He tore a sheet off a tablet for the return of the pieces of card, but through apparent accident made a tear in the middle of the sheet. He dropped it on the floor, where it remained until he got around to this trick at a later point in the program.
The performer who attempts this feat and discovers that he leaves chalk impressions around on the floor should be told that Rosini characteristically walked on the balls of his feet.
THE PEEK TRICK
Rosini’s favorite method of having a card chosen was from a "tiny little peek." Of the various
printed explanations of the use of the peek, followed by a side-steal, that given in The Card Magic of LePaul is probably the most complete.
One of Rosini’s finest audience effects was built entirely around the peek. He got a lady to assist him and asked her to peek at one of the cards. When she did so, he said, "Did you see one? That was a stingy peek. You’re sure you saw a card?" This conversation gave him ample opportunity to bring the card to the top of the deck. It also forced the assistant to fix the name of the card in her memory.
Still expressing disbelief that the lady had really seen a card (and, of course, giving the audience the idea that the magician had failed with the first selection), Rosini said, "Take another peek. You’re sure you see this one? Remember it." While talking, he got the second selection to the top. The trick, he said, would be to cause the card just peeked at to come to the top of the deck. He made it seem as though this were really a great trick. With attention now centered on the deck, he pretended to cause the miracle to take place. "Did you see me do something?—I did something! What was your card?" He showed the top card, and it was the card named.
At the moment when the trick seemed concluded, Rosini top changed the card which he had just produced and threw the (changed) card face down on the table. Then, as though pleased with his success and willing to undertake something more difficult, he said, "Do you remember that first card you peeked at? What was, it?" Suppose the lady said, "The jack of spades." Rosini said, "Will you say, ‘Jack of spades, come to me!"’ She did. "You say that so cute, say it again." She repeated the request. Then Rosini pointed to the card lying face down on the table and said, "Show it to the people." It was the jack of spades.
Effect: The four aces are shown and placed on top of the deck. The two red aces are dealt face down to the right and the two black aces are dealt face down to the left. The magic words, "Aceo-Changeo," are now said, and the cards are shown to have changed places— the red cards now being on the left and the black cards on the right. The trick is done without sleight-of-hand and may be repeated.
Method: The trick depends upon a double-backed card which is placed second from the top of the deck. The four aces are removed and placed face up on the table. The deck is held face down in the left. A red ace is picked up and placed face up on top of the deck. Then a
black ace is placed on top of the red ace. The second red ace is placed on top of the black ace and the last black ace is placed on top of these. The performer calls attention to the picture of four face up aces, alternating red, black, red, black. He fans the four aces so the spectator can review the situation, then closes the fan and turns the aces over together on top of the deck.
The performer deals the first card to the right, saying, "Red ace." He deals the next card about twelve inches to the left, saying, "Black ace." The third ace, a red ace, is dealt alongside the first red ace. The last ace is dealt alongside the other black ace. The performer’s statements as he has dealt the cards are true. He now asks, "Which are the red aces?" The spectator naturally points to the two cards on the performer’s right. Using the top card of the deck as a pointer, the performer flips the two aces over one at a time, showing the spectator that his guess was correct. He turns over the black aces in the same way.
The performer says that he will repeat the procedure. At the same time, he places the indifferent card which he holds in his hand on the bottom of the deck. This leaves the double-backed card on top of the deck. The aces are again placed back on top of the deck one at a time—"Red, black, red, black"—face up as before. However, as the fan is closed, the left little finger holds a break under the double-backed card. All five cards are now turned over together. When four cards are dealt face down on the table exactly as before, the two cards on the left are now red aces and the two on the right are a black ace and the doublebacked card.
When the spectator makes his guess as to the position of the red aces, the performer says, "Aceo-Changeo." Taking the top card (an ace) off the deck, he turns up the two cards on the left, showing them to be the red ones this time. The cards are turned over as before by inserting the card held in the right underneath them and flipping them over. The first black ace, on the right, is also turned up in this fashion. But when the performer slips his pointer card under the last card (double-backed), he turns over both cards together. During the general surprise, the double-backed card is replaced on top of the deck.
A CARD TURNS OVER
Two pencil dots are made on the face of the ace of clubs prior to the trick. The dots are placed one at each blank corner of the card (not the index corners). This card is then reversed at the bottom of the deck. Any card is selected from the pack. While the card is being looked at, the pack is cut and a reverse fan is made for the return of the card.
Because the fan is made backwards, there is no danger of showing part of an index of the reversed card in the face down fan. However, the pencil dot will distinguish the presence of this card among the white margins of the other cards.
The selected card is replaced above the dotted card and the fan is closed. The cards are laid on the table and the hands shown empty—apparently there is no control. The deck is picked up, face down, and the end riffled upwards until the face up card appears to the performer’s view. Two more cards are released on top of the face up card and the deck given a square cut at this point. The top card is now turned over with the question, "Is this your card?" The card is turned down, but actually a triple turnover is performed, the three top cards being turned over as one. The deck is given a cut and the name of the selected card requested. The deck is spread and this card is seen to be face up.
FOLLOW YOUR CARD
This quick and beautiful trick requires only neatness of handling.
Secretly reverse the second card from the top of the deck. Fan the deck for the selection of a card, being careful not to expose the reversed card. While the selected card is being looked at, get the tip of your left little finger under the two top cards. Take the spectator’s card and say, "I want you to see if you can follow your card. I will do this very slowly." Place it deliberately on top of the deck, face down. Then push it back toward you an inch and point to the card below it, saying, "I shall use this second card." Push this card forward so it is protruding an inch. Push the spectator’s card even with the deck. Take your card, which is protruding from the pack, and turn it face up on top of the pack. Now turn over as one all three cards that are above the little finger. Apparently you have just turned your card back face down on top of the spectator’s card. Take the top two cards as one by a double lift and push this double card into the middle of the deck. Ask the spectator where his card is now. He will say, "On top." You correct him, saying, "No, my card is on top. And your card is in the center of the deck. Not only that, but also it is reversed." Show the top card to be yours and spread the deck revealing the spectator’s card reversed.
OKITO CARD CONTROL (and a Trick) (By Theo Bamberg)
One of my moves which Paul Rosini admired was a method of controlling a card. I devised this simplified pass many years ago, but it has never been described fully in print.
A selected card is returned to the center of the deck. The deck is held face down in the left hand. The performer pushes the card in himself. In doing so, his right forefinger pushes the outer left corner of the card to the left. This forces the diagonally opposite corner of the card to project from the inner right edge of the deck. The left little finger is slipped into the deck above this corner and the cards are squared.
The left hand is now opened flat, with fingers extended (except for the little finger, which retains the break). The right hand remains in position, gripping the deck from above with the tips of the four fingers at the front edge of the deck and the thumb at the rear edge. The right hand thus masks the absence of the left little finger. The right fingers now squeeze the cards and allow them to spring (without, however, separating the hands). The flat position of the left hand and the springing of the cards seem to obviate the possibility of any control.
The left thumb pushes the top card a little to the right. The right fingers (at the front edge) and thumb (at the rear edge) grip the card, while continuing to shield the deck. The performer says, "Your card is not on top." Both hands are turned over, rotating rightward simultaneously, and the left index finger is pointed at the face of the card. "You see, this is not your card."
The movement is exactly reversed and the card put back on top of the deck. The right second and third fingers now grip the lower half of the deck. The turnover of the two hands is repeated, but it is the group below the left little finger which is carried away by the right hand (between the second and third fingers at the outer edge and the thumb at the inner edge). The action is precisely the same as the two-handed pass except for the turnover and separation of the hands. The left forefinger again points at the face card of the right hand, the performer saying, "Your card is not at the center."
The movement of the hands is reversed once again, but the right hand cards are dropped on top of those in the left, to the remark, "I put the cards back in place." The selected card is thus cut to the top of the deck in an undetectable fashion.
The right hand now seizes the whole deck and turns over to show the face card. The left forefinger points at this card as the performer says, "And your card is not underneath."
The cards are replaced in the left hand, the performer remarking, "It must be somewhere
else in the deck."
This completes the Okito pass. However, I have an interesting manner of reproducing the card which follows very appropriately.
The performer says, "I am going to have you locate your card unconsciously. I should like you to draw your own card. Just draw a card, and the card you draw will be the card you previously selected." The end of the deck is riffled for a selection. "Take any one you please. Don’t look at it. Put it on top of the deck."
This procedure is repeated once more, having the drawn card placed this time on the bottom of the deck. "That gives me a second chance. I am sure one of the two must be your card."
The performer takes the top card between the right thumb and forefinger, in the manner customary prior to a top change, and shows it. It is not the selected card. He lowers the card until it is parallel with the top of the deck and says, "If this is not your card, then this must be your card." At this moment, the top change is executed, and, without a moment’s hesitation, the left hand is turned over to show the bottom card of the deck. This movement covers the action of the change. The card in the right hand is used to point at the card on the face of the deck as the performer inquires if it is the selected one.
Both cards having proved wrong, the performer has only to ask what card was originally taken and transform the card held by the right hand into that very card.
KINGS AND QUEENS
Paul Rosini fooled many magicians with this trick. Whatever theory one held about it always seemed to be exploded in the course of the routine.
Effect: A spectator is asked to remove four kings and four queens from his own deck and place the rest of the cards aside. The performer takes the packet of eight cards, places them behind his back, and brings forth the cards a pair at a time. Each pair consists of a king and a queen of the same suit.
The cards are gathered into a pile and a spectator is asked to give the cards as many square
cuts as he desires. The cards are again placed behind the performer’s back. He asks the spectator, "What do you like, kings or queens?" Whatever is asked for is promptly produced, the performer saying, "I knew that was what you were going to ask for."
The cards are again gathered together and the spectator is asked to cut them. The performer starts to take the cards, but says, "Give them a little shuffle, please." After this is done, he places them behind his back and brings the cards out one at a time, laying them in two face down piles. As he brings each card out, without showing it, he says, "This is a king, I hope," or "This is a queen." When two piles of four cards have thus been formed on the table, the performer says, "Look!" and turns over the cards in the first packet, one card at a time. They are all queens. All four cards in the other packet are turned over at once and seen to be kings.
Method: The performer picks up first the four kings, then the four queens. In doing so, he makes sure that the suit order of the queens is the same as that of the kings. With the cards behind his back, he counts off the top four cards and moves them toward his body so that they protrude at least an inch or more over the lower half of the packet. This makes it easy to pull a card off the top of each packet simultaneously. Drawing off the cards in this way results in producing pairs consisting of kings and queens of similar suits.
The cards are then collected without breaking up the pairs. After a spectator cuts them, the performer places the cards again behind his back. This time the cards are run from the left hand into the right, the right hand pushing the first card up by about half its length, the second card down, the third card up, etc., so that the cards are interlaced alternately, four projecting up and four down. The two groups are stripped apart and held one in each hand. The right thumb and forefinger crimp the lower left hand corners upwards of the cards held in the left hand. The left hand then brings these cards forward. At this point, the performer does not know which hand holds kings or queens. However, he glimpses the left hand’s cards as they are brought out. If they are queens and the spectator has asked for queens, good enough. If he asked for kings, the performer simply lays the queens face down on the table and says, "I knew you would ask for kings." Then he brings the kings forward in a face up fan.
The two packets are placed together and the spectator cuts and shuffles them a bit. The performer takes back the packet, noting which end the crimp is on. With the cards behind his back, he can tell the kings from the queens by the crimp or the absence of a crimp. As each crimped card is brought out, the fingers straighten out the crimp.
When using his own cards, Rosini introduced an additional effect through the use of a duplicate set of kings and queens hidden in his hip pocket. They were stacked in a memorized order. He would switch for this set behind his back and was now able not only to
separate the kings and queens, but also call them by their suits. An alternate effect was to have a spectator call for any particular king or queen. With the cards behind his back, Rosini could bring forward the card named.
Effect: The spectator is asked to cut off about half the cards, fan them face down before himself, withdraw one card, and lay the card face down on the table. The performer does the same thing with the remaining half of the deck. The spectator is asked to take a peek at his card and remember it. The performer does likewise with his own card. The spectator then places the performer’s card somewhere among the cards he holds, while the performer takes the spectator’s card and places it in his half of the deck. The spectator is asked to cut his packet into two parts. One heap is placed face up on top of the performer’s packet and the other heap is placed face up beneath the performer’s cards. The performer’s cards are thus sandwiched face down between two groups of face up cards. Spectator and performer name the cards they looked at. When the deck is spread on the table, all cards are seen to have righted themselves except the two selected cards, which are now reversed in the pack.
Method: At the beginning of the trick, the bottom card of the deck is reversed (say the ten of clubs). At the moment when the spectator peeks at his tabled card, the performer turns over his half of the deck. This leaves the ten of clubs face down on top of the face up half. The performer takes the spectator’s card and inserts it face down into his secretly reversed half. This half is then sandwiched between the face up cards of the spectator’s heap. The performer asks the name of the spectator’s card and remarks that his own card was the ten of clubs. The two cards named are now the only reversed cards in the deck. The business of the performer laying down a card and the spectator placing this card in his half is, of course, only a ruse—the performer pays no attention to this card.
Few magicians use this trick, for it seems to require some nerve. Actually it is quite easy to handle, and the effect is very great.
A spectator, placed at some distance from both the performer and the company, is asked to shuffle a deck and then look through it and center his thoughts upon one particular card. He
is then asked to place the deck aside, write the initials of the card on a slip of paper, and pocket the paper. The spectator then returns to his former place and the magician goes over and looks through the deck. Then he takes a piece of paper and writes the initials of a card on it. He hands it to a spectator and asks the first spectator to produce the slip upon which he wrote the name of his card and read it aloud. The spectator holding the performer’s slip now reads the name of the card written on it. The two slips tally.
The secret is that the slip of paper upon which the spectator writes has been treated with talcum powder. A piece of the white border of a newspaper is probably best to use. The performer can prepare the corner of a newspaper and take the paper along with him, leaving it in a convenient place prior to the performance. Then, when a piece of paper is needed, he simply tears off this corner and lays it in front of the spectator. It is advisable to coat the paper on both sides with powder, rubbing it in very well so that there is no surplus powder on the surface of the paper. Or, if he takes a little box of powder along with him, he can prepare a paper quickly at the place of performance.
The success of the trick depends entirely upon forcing the spectator to write with the paper lying on a smooth, hard surface. A glass-topped table is excellent, but any polished surface will do— even a black patent leather handbag. Even if the writing is done with a very light touch, the initials of the card will be transferred to the surface beneath the slip.
As soon as the spectator has finished writing, he is asked to pocket the slip and return to his seat. The performer goes to the table and looks for the impression while scanning the cards. Then he tears a piece from the same newspaper and writes the initials of the card on it, at the same time wiping off the talcum marks on the table. After the revelation of the writings, the performer may retain both slips. No evidence of the method remains.
The entire build up should be centered around the deck of cards, the performer insisting, if possible, upon being provided with a new unopened pack.
The performer should not be upset if an occasional spectator declines to write upon the carefully chosen surface, possibly out of fear that someone can see what he is writing. Failure in a mental test can be excused and there is always another test to follow up with.
WHILE I TURN MY BACK
This trick was shown to me twenty-five years ago by Paul Rosini. It is a jewel in card work. A
description of it is to be found in John Northern Hilliard’s Greater Magic which differs in several details from the presentation outlined here.
Effect: The deck is shuffled by a spectator. He is asked to think of any number, count down in the deck to that number, and remember the card at that position. The performer turns his back while this is being done. When the spectator calls him back, the performer removes one card from the deck, saying, "You might not believe it, but I think this is your card." With that he asks the spectator to deal the cards one at a time face up on the table in a neat pile. Should he see his card, he is not to stop dealing, but is to go right on through the deck. When this has been done, the performer asks him if his card is still in the deck. It is, so the spectator is asked to shuffle the deck again. The performer then runs through the cards and lays the selected card on the table.
Method: The card the performer removes from the deck the first time is taken from a point well down in the deck and this action serves only as a ruse to lead the spectator to go through the deck. In explaining to the spectator how he wants the cards dealt face up on the table, the performer deals the top card, then replaces it as though he had made a mistake, saying, "Oh, I didn’t mean to do that," and immediately giving the deck a fair cut. The cut should be made about two-thirds down the deck, so that some fifteen cards will be placed above the top card of the deck. Let us say that this exposed card was the king of clubs. The performer walks away or turns and looks out a window. He estimates the time it takes the spectator to deal the cards which are on top of the key card. When he senses that this number of cards has just about been dealt, he turns and asks, "Have you come to your card yet?" The spectator has not. "Then go on dealing." As the spectator begins to deal again, he asks suddenly, "What was the number you thought of?" Suppose the answer is, "Ten. The performer says, "Go on dealing. See if your card is in the deck." He now watches for the king of clubs. When he sees it fall, he counts until the tenth card beyond it is turned up and remembers this card, which is the one the spectator selected. Then he turns away again, directing the spectator to keep on dealing. When the deal is finished, the performer says, "Is your card still in the pack? It is? That’s funny, I thought I had your card here in my pocket. Please shuffle the cards again.
The performer now takes the deck and reveals the card as dramatically as possible.
EASY ENIGMA (By Harry Blackstone)
To the layman, one of the most amazing feats of the card experts is that of allowing one or
more spectators to select and return a card while the deck is spread in a ribbon on the table, the selected cards then being located by the performer. The simple method which I often adopt for this effect yields excellent results.
Effect: The performer shuffles the deck, shows the cards well-mixed, and spreads them face down on the table. Two spectators remove cards from different parts of the spread and look at them. They are then asked to exchange their cards so that each will know what the other selected. They push the cards back into the spread themselves, gather up the cards, cut them, and hand them to the performer. The performer runs through the cards, removes one, and lays it face down before one of the spectators. He goes through the cards again and places another card before the other spectator. The spectators name their cards. The two cards on the table are turned up—the performer has successfully returned to each spectator the card he took.
Method: Divide the pack into odd and even cards. Spread the pack so that the two spectators will find it convenient to remove cards from opposite parts of the deck. You know which spectator took an odd card and which took an even card. Having them exchange their cards before they are replaced in the deck results in the even card going back in among odd cards and the odd card going among even cards. The misplaced cards stand out sharply to the eyes of the performer.
A few false shuffles help the effect. An odd and even set-up can be handled very freely as all that is necessary is to avoid getting the two halves of the deck intermixed.
THE TEN OF DIAMONDS
This is an old trick which Rosini valued because of its effectiveness and simplicity.
The spectator selects any nine cards and writes down their names in a column. You assemble the cards as he does this so that they lie in the same order from top to bottom as they are listed.. There is no secrecy about the names of the cards. The cards are dropped on top of the deck and the deck cut several times.
Unknown to the spectator, you have previously reversed the ten of diamonds in ninth position from the bottom of the deck. You now place the deck behind your back and remove a card (the top one) and bring it forward and look at it without showing it to anyone. Place the card back behind you and say, "The ten of diamonds. I’ll reverse it and put it somewhere
in the deck." Bring the deck out and spread it. Sure enough, there is the ten of diamonds reversed in the deck. The spectator has been asked to secretly circle one of the cards on his list. He now shows you the list. You immediately count down from the ten of diamonds and turn up the circled card.
If the circled card is one of the first three cards on the list, you say, "Well, my reversed card is a ten spot. We’ll count clown ten cards."
If the card is fourth, fifth or sixth on the list, you spell "Ten of diamonds."
If it is one of the last three on the list, you spell "The ten of diamonds."
Thus you consider the list as groups of three cards and have a different mode of counting from the reversed card to reach each group.
In each case, if the card is the first card in its group, you start the count with the reversed card. If the card is second in its group, you lay the reversed card aside and start counting from the card that was below it. If the card is third in its group, you do the same thing, but instead of turning over the card upon which your spell or count ends, you turn over the card following.
WITH A SHORT CARD
Rosini felt that the use of a short could make some tricks appear marvelous to laymen. He did not hesitate to employ this device when the opportunity arose. The following was a very successful presentation.
Effect: A deck of cards is shuffled and a card removed by a spectator, who is asked to show it around and then place it on top of the deck and cut the deck. The performer takes the deck from the spectator and says, "I shall try to find your card with the deck behind me." He brings the deck forward after a short trial and says, "I guess I have failed. You locate your card and hand it to me." The spectator does not find his card in the deck, whereupon the performer asks what the card was and produces it from his inside coat pocket.
Method: After the cards have been shuffled, the performer demonstrates what he wants
done. In doing so, he gets the short card to the top of the deck. The spectator now takes the pack in his own hands and follows the instructions given by the performer. The performer places the pack behind his back and riffles up to the short card. He cuts the pack at that point, bringing the short card to the top and leaving the selected card on the bottom of the deck. He takes the deck in the right hand, leaving the selected card in the left hand. The left hand reaches up under the back of the coat and pushes the card under the right arm pit. He then brings the pack forward and asks the spectator to remove his card, pretending to have been unable to find it. As the spectator is given the pack, the performer shows both hands empty. When the spectator finds his card to be missing and names the card, the performer says, "Why! That card is here in my inside coat pocket!" He reaches under his coat and takes the card from under the right arm pit, imitating the motions of removing it from the inside pocket.
ACES RUNNING WILD
This deceptive ace trick was a pet of Rosini’s for many years.
The four aces are laid face up on the table. The performer explains what he is going to do, then turns them face down in a row. He removes three cards face down from the top of the deck and places them on the ace to his left. He removes three more cards and places them on the next ace. He apparently repeats this procedure with the third and fourth aces. However, in squaring the three cards to put on the third ace, he leaves one card behind on the deck and places on this ace only two cards.
The performer picks up the fourth pile (right hand pile) and calls attention to the ace on the bottom of it. He drops this pile on the third pile, picks the two piles up together showing the ace on the face of the third pile and drops them on the second pile. The three piles are picked up, showing the ace on the bottom of number two pile, and dropped together on the first pile. The assembled piles are now placed on top of the deck, attention being called to the idea that every fourth card is an ace.
Now the four top cards are dealt out from left to right and the fourth card shown to be an ace. Twelve more cards are dealt from left to right onto these four, but the performer does not bother to show the faces of any of them. To all appearances, this action deposits the four aces in the right hand pile. Actually, the first and second piles from the left contain four indifferent cards each, the third pile contains three aces and an indifferent card on the bottom, and the last pile contains three indifferent cards and an ace on the bottom.
The left hand packet of four cards is now picked up, showing an indifferent card on the face, and the packet placed in the middle of the deck. The same thing is done with the second pile. The third pile is similarly shown, but when it is inserted into the deck, it must be brought to the top by a pass which should be invisible.
The last packet is picked up with the ace showing on its face and placed on top of the deck. The performer states that in order to make the trick just a little more difficult, he will separate the aces by placing them in four different parts of the deck. The first three cards are distributed at intervals in the body of the deck, but the last card is inserted third or fourth from the top. This leaves four aces on top of the deck. They may now be produced as the performer sees fit.
Rosini considered this quick trick a sure-fire fooler.
Effect: The top card of the deck is turned face upwards after the spectator has finished shuffling the deck. As you turn this card up, you remark, "I am going to write something on the face of this card." You do so, then turn the deck over in your left hand and pull the card you have written on off the underside of the deck. Say, "See, I have written something on this card," and show it to the spectator by shaking the card before his eyes so that he can see the writing but cannot read it. The deck is given a square cut and the written-on card inserted somewhere in the deck. The cards are spread face down on the table and among them is one face up card. Suppose that it is the king of hearts. This face upward card is slid out of the deck. The spectator is asked to remove the card on which you wrote at the beginning of the trick. The writing on the card says, "King of hearts."
Method: As soon as the shuffled deck is handed to you, you apparently turn over the top card but actually do a double turnover. Turn the deck up sideways and squeeze the top card a bit at the index corner so you can glimpse the index of the card below it. Write the name of this card on the top face up card. Turn the deck face upward and slide out the reversed card from beneath the deck with the right fingers and show it as described. The glimpsed card left reversed under the deck is now brought to the center with a cut.
The trick is now concluded as described. The performer might hand the deck to the spectator who shuffled the deck and ask him to reverse a card in the deck magically. The performer could then spread the deck and say, "See, you did it. And not only that, I guessed
what card you were going to reverse before you ever reversed it. Look through the deck and find that card I wrote on."
A GUESS THAT IS RIGHT
Effect: A spectator is asked to shuffle the cards and remove twelve cards from the pack. While this is being done, the performer writes the name of a card on a piece of paper, folds the paper, and gives it to someone to hold. He then asks the spectator who shuffled the deck to mix his twelve cards so that he does not know the location of any card in the packet. He is then asked to push out four cards face down on the table and lay aside the remaining cards. The four selected cards are placed in a face down row about two inches apart. The spectator is asked to pick up the balance of the deck, peek at the face of each of the four face down cards, and deal face up onto each of these cards enough cards to make a total of ten. Thus, if there is a five spot on the table, five cards should be dealt on it. If there is an ace, nine cards are to be added to it. Nothing is added to a ten spot. Face cards are all counted as ten.
When this has been done, the performer places the balance of the deck upon the eight cards originally discarded and says, "The four cards lying face down on the table will tell me what kind of a guesser I am." He asks the spectator to turn over the four packets. This places the selected four cards face up. The spectator is asked to total the spots on the original four selected cards, then count down to that number in the deck and turn that card face up on the deck. This being done, the performer now asks the spectator holding the paper to read the guess which he wrote at the beginning. The name read is the name of the card the spectator has just counted to and turned over.
Secret: It is only necessary for the performer to spot the bottom card of the deck. The beautiful part of this trick is that the performer has nothing to do except write the name of this card on a piece of paper. However, it is important to remember to place the deck on top of the eight discarded cards, as they mask the fact that the original bottom card is inevitably the card counted to. There must be 52 cards in the pack.
REPEATING A GOOD GUESS
If you wish to repeat "A Guess That Is Right" and at the same time throw the spectators off
the scent as to the method, you may employ the following procedure.
Palm off a card, first getting a glimpse of it, and go to your pocket for a pencil. Leave the card in the pocket and write down the name of this card as your prediction. Have a spectator shuffle the cards, particularly cautioning him not to let you see any of them. Ask him to remove any number of cards, choose four, and lay the four face down in a row as before. The discarded cards go back on the deck. Ask him to peek at each face down card and deal face down onto each card the difference between the number of spots on the card and twelve. Face cards, as before, count as ten. While he is doing this, palm the card from your pocket in your right hand.
Ask the spectator to look at the bottom cards of his four packets and total them. Demonstrate this by picking up the first packet and indicating the bottom card, and leave the palmed card on top of this packet. Tell the spectator to collect the packets, one on top of the other, from left to right. The added card thus becomes the top card of the assembled packet. Drop the rest of the pack on this packet. Ask the spectator to count down in the deck to his total. The card he arrives at is the one you predicted.
THE HOMING ACES (By Arthur Buckley)
This ace trick is one of my best effects. It was published in the April, 1949, issue of The Linking Ring and is reprinted here with permission. However, I have added a few improvements in the handling of the cards which are placed on the aces.
Effect: After thoroughly shuffling and cutting the pack, the top card is shown to be the Ace of Hearts, which is placed face down on the table. The shuffle and cutting are repeated and the top card is turned over and shown to be the Ace of Clubs. This card is placed face down to the right of the first ace. Again the pack is shuffled and cut, and the top card is turned over and shown to be the Ace of Diamonds. This card is placed face down to the right of the two previously dealt. Once again the cards are shuffled and cut, and the top card is shown to be the Ace of Spades—which is placed face down on the table alongside the last ace dealt.
Again the pack is shuffled, and twelve cards are then unmistakably counted off the top of the pack onto the table, and the pack is laid aside. The twelve cards are gathered up and held in the hands while three of the cards are pushed off the packet with the left thumb, and these
are laid on the first ace on the left. Three more are likewise placed on the second, third, and fourth aces.
Three packets are picked up and placed in the pack after the bottom card of each packet is shown to be an ace. Each packet of four cards is carefully inserted into the pack and the pack meticulously squared. The four cards remaining are turned over and spread out so they may be seen unmistakably to be only four cards, and each card is an ace. Impossible! It does seem so!
Arrangement: Commence with four aces and one indifferent card on top of the pack as follows: Ace of Hearts, top; second top, an indifferent card; third top, Ace of Clubs; fourth top, Ace of Diamonds; fifth top, Ace of Spades.
Sleights: The Hindu Shuffle, Buckley’s Throw Cut, Double Lift, the Palm, the Break.
Hindu Shuffle: Hold the pack face down in the left hand; the second finger supports the pack on one side near the index corner; the thumb supports the pack on the opposite side. With the right hand draw away the lower half of the pack and lay it squarely on the top ace; but as you do so, secretly insert the left fourth finger between the packets. The right hand draws away with half of the top half of the cards, the second finger and thumb of the left hand retaining the others. Repeat the moves of placing the right hand packet on top of the pack in the left hand and drawing away half of them until only a few cards remain in the right hand. These cards are placed on the pack. That is essentially the Hindu Shuffle required here, and at the completion the left little finger retains the break, resting above the original top stock.
Buckley’s throw cut: From the position in which the pack of cards lies in the left hand at the completion of the Hindu Shuffle with a break, lift the pack between the second finger and thumb of the right hand by the right hand corners. The packet above the break is not held by the right thumb at all. The bottom packet is held by, and the top packet only rests on, the right thumb. That is very important. A short upward movement of the right hand will cause the free top packet to be tossed a few inches off the under packet into the air, and the left hand catches it, and the packet remaining in the right hand is instantly dropped on top of it. The move is a very pretty cut and looks quite fair. No one can at any time see the break. The moves should be carried out with a careless, dexterous precision. The top stock is now back on top of the pack.
The Double Lift: For this effect I prefer the following method. Several cards are pushed across the pack by the left thumb so that the four top cards of the pack held in dealing position by the left hand are spread about a quarter of an inch, one overlapping the other, and instantly pushed back square with the pack, but not before the fourth finger of the left
hand has been inserted to separate the cards to be lifted off the pack.
These cards are then lifted off the pack between the second finger and thumb of the right hand by the opposite end corners, which permits the cards being kept squared perfectly and allows them to be easily and surely rotated when desirable.
The Palm: Several of the top cards are pushed part way off the pack as explained for the lift, and the fourth finger inserted between the pack and the two top cards, and the cards squared excepting for the break. The left thumb now moves to the side of the pack and protrudes a little beyond the end of the pack. The right thumb is at the middle of the end of the pack, and the first joints of the first, second, and third fingers are at the other end of the pack. The two top cards are raised a little by the side of the tip of the fourth finger of the right hand which presses the two top cards against the ball of the left thumb. In this manner the two top cards are pivoted into the right palm. The right hand with the cards palmed slides off the side of the pack, and as soon as the pack is clear, the top card of the pack is kicked over by the right thumb. The pack is seized by its two ends between the fingers and thumb of the right hand, and placed on the table. Thus the right hand with the cards palmed has only a very short distance to travel to lay the two cards on the aces on the table, but that is part of the working, so here it is.
The Working: With the four aces and an indifferent card on top of the pack, the indifferent card second position, the pack is Hindu Shuffled as explained and the throw cut completed; the pack, apparently thoroughly and quickly mixed in the most careless and haphazard manner, still has the five top cards in their original order. The top ace is turned over and placed, fairly, face down on the table. The Hindu Shuffle and throw cut are repeated, and this time the two top cards are turned over and back as one, concealing the indifferent card and showing an ace. The indifferent card is then placed alongside the first ace, and the three aces on the top of the pack are shuffled off the pack into the left hand, one at a time, and placed on the pack again.
The Hindu Shuffle and throw cut are repeated. The top card is now the Ace of Spades. This is turned over, then taken and placed face down alongside the indifferent card. The Hindu Shuffle and throw cut are executed again, and the top card of the pack is the Ace of Diamonds. This is shown and placed alongside the Ace of Spades.
The four cards on the table are, from left to right, the Ace of over; the Ace of Diamonds is seen for the second time, but no one ever notices this if you do things smoothly. The packet of six is turned face down, and four cards are pushed off and placed in the middle of the pack.
Now comes the most difficult maneuver, wherein you palm off the two aces, the top two cards of the pack. Follow the instructions for the Palm implicitly and you should have no trouble. As you place the pack on the table, the right hand with the cards leaves the pack and moves to the packet of two aces, places the hand flat upon the aces, adding the two from the hand, casually picks them up, and counts them, backs down, and then turns them over.
If you once learn to do this effect as it should be performed, you will have as near to a miracle with an ordinary pack of cards as you will run across in a long, long time.
After doing several card tricks, Rosini dealt a square of 16 cards, consisting of four rows of four cards each. He handed the balance of the deck to a spectator and asked him to remove secretly any number of cards up to ten and pocket them. Rosini then took out a pencil and asked the spectator to deal a card at a time from the deck while Rosini tapped the cards in the square with the tip of his pencil. When the spectator dealt the last card in the deck onto the table, he was to say, "Stop." Rosini then turned over the card his pencil was resting on, and the index number on that card told the number of cards in the spectator’s pocket.
Method: The 16 cards dealt onto the table are set up beforehand so that when they are dealt out into a square, the denominations of the cards will be:
10 A 2 3 X 9 4 X X 5 8 X 6 X X 7
Each "X" indicates an indifferent card. These cards are arranged in order for dealing on top of the deck.
After the performer deals the top 16 cards onto the table, he hands the remaining 36 cards of the deck to the spectator, who is told to shuffle them. If the trick is being done where people are seated at a table, the spectator is asked to keep the cards below the top of the table so the performer cannot see them. The spectator is told to remove any number of
cards up to ten and put them in his pocket or sit on them. Or he may just cut off a few, as he does not have to know how many he has.
After this has been done, the performer asks the spectator to place a card face down on the table from the remainder of the deck every time the performer taps a card in the square. The tapping is done slowly so the spectator can keep in time with the performer, and also to allow the performer to keep track of the cards laid on the table by counting silently. He taps the cards in any order whatever until the 26th card is dealt from the deck. When the 27th card is dealt, the performer taps the 10 spot in the square. When the 28th card is dealt, he taps the 9 spot, on the 29th the 8 spot, and so on in descending order of the number of spots. At any time that he is stopped by the ending of the spectator’s deal, the number of spots on the card he is tapping is the same as the number of cards the spectator has taken from the deck.
Note, however, how this is handled: if there were 33 cards left in the deck for the spectator to deal out, the performer is stopped not on the 33rd, but on the 34th tap. In other words, he apparently does not pay attention to the spectator’s dealing, but goes on and taps another card after the last card dealt, so the spectator must say, "Stop," or "I have dealt all my cards." Thus, if 34 cards were dealt, the performer is stopped on the 35th tap, a 2 spot, indicating that the spectator had removed two cards.
Few performers have used this trick, but it was sensational for Rosini and was one of his favorite table tricks. The important point is that the deck should be set up early and several tricks that will not disarrange the set-up should be performed first. A good preliminary trick is the improved "Jack Jack Jack" effect described in my book, 50 Tricks You Can Do. Doing a few tricks before dealing the 16 set up cards off the deck gives a much more convincing impression that the cards are well mixed than any number of false shuffles. Rosini frequently repeated the tapping effect—it seemed even more amazing when it was done a second time.