Location Pass

After Hours Magic: A Book of Al Thatcher Card Magic

Encyclopedia of Card Tricks

Get Instant Access

This pass will be particularly useful when it is desired to bring a certain card to the top or bottom of the pack, even though its actual position in the pack is not known and has to be found.

Hold the pack face down in the left hand with all four fingers curled well over the right side of the pack, which is perfectly squared. Squeeze with the left fingers to prevent the cards slipping out of alignment when the thumb is released.

By bending the left thumb, the pad can be brought to the left side of the pack. When the thumb is moved forward with pressure the sides of the cards can be released in a riffling action. By glancing down, the performer can see as the cards pass and can locate any card by spotting the inner index. When the required card is seen, the riffling stops at that card. Dependant on the requirement for bringing the card to the top or bottom of the pack, the card is either retained in the seen position or allowed to escape from the pad of the thumb.

There will now be a V shaped opening in the side away from the fingers, the top packet; being heavily bent - Figure 5. By bringing the right hand over the V opening, the bottom half of the pack can be seized in the regular Pass position and hinged upward (Figure 6), as the left fingers pull the top packet down and under.


Johnny C. a well-known devotee to pure sleight of origi nated this pass and called it a "Hinge Pass". He demonstrated it to Dai Vernon, then also sent him detailed written instructions. Expertly performed is invisible.

The pack is held as in the regular Pass - all four fingers curled at the right side - but the third finger is between the two packets.

The whole pack is hinged face up (back of pack now facing the floor) to show the whole face of the bottom card. This is accomplished by turning the right hand (holding the pack) so that the back is to the floor. The left fingers are extended (third finger between the packets) so that the pack is now on the left fingers - see Figure 7. Simultaneously as the reverse movements are made to turn the pack face the left fingers are lowered (they hold the back packet). There is no tilting of either the back packet sliding down the back of the other packet (Figure 8), then coming up on the face of the packet as the right hand continues an uninterrupted and natural turning down action - all the right hand does is to turn the packet face down.

Sprong's favourite method of exhibiting this Pass was to have a card selected and then inserted his left third finger one card above the selected card. He showed the bottom card by the pass made the pass

then immediately took off the top card and showed it. He buried both the top and bottom cards in the centre of the pack and was all set with the selected card on top of the pack.


This pass is performed in rather an unusual position in that the pack is held at above knee height, with the performer bending forwards. It was devised by Walter one of the original founders of the Tarbell Course.

Hold the pack face up in the dealing position in the left hand. Hold a break with the left little finger so that a small packet is held close to the left palm. Insert the right fingers into the break and fan the upper portion of the pack (not a wide fan). Notice in Figure 9 how the left thumb is along the left sides of the cards. As the right hand turns fan face down, make a quarter turn inwards with hand until the thumb is directly facing the specta tors.

Retain the left hand position until the backs of the cards held in the right hand completely cover the packet in the left hand. As the movement is continued the under packet is lowered by the left fingers - Figure 10 (exposed view from lower right side). This brings the back of this packet upwards to conform with the fanned packet which is squared on the left thumb coming over on top to complete the squaring of the pack.

The effect is that the cards are fanned face up in a short turned over and squared. Walter Baker only used this as a transformation of the bottom card - he performed it extremely well.


In the last chapter we dealt with the Pass with the cards held in the hands. Now we will explain methods of making the Pass after the pack has been cut on the table, and in the action of completing the cut.

First Method:

This method is good because it allows the cut to be shifted when the pack is actually on the table, and the general rules of making a cut are observed; that is, the cut-off portion of the pack should be placed towards the dealer, for there to be two portions of the pack on the table.

To make the shift after the pick up the packet furthest from you in the following manner: -

Place the right second, third and little fingers over the far side of the packet, with the thumb at the centre of the near-side to tilt up that side for the thumb to be slid underneath. Curl the forefinger inwards onto the back card. Lift the packet and bring it above the other packet. At this point, with the right thumb and first finger, carry the lifted packet to the table behind the inner side of the other packet. Holding the lifted packet with the thumb and first finger only, extend the second, third and little fingers to the outer side of the other packet, the second finger going near the left outer corner. With the forefinger, push down on the top of the lifted packet, so that the outer side is firmly on the table behind the table packet, and begins to slide forward. The lifted packet will now be standing on its side on the table, the cards held by the thumb on the face card and the tip of the forefinger on the back card. With the second, third and little fingers, pull on the outer side of the table packet for it to be scooped up onto the lifted packet. The top card of the lifted packet acts as a guide for the table packet to be aligned as it is scooped up and pulled onto the lifted packet - Figure 1. Without any loss of time, the pack is placed into the left hand.

Timing is a most important factor in the execution of this Table Pass.

There are two separate actions and a series of actions, making three phases, each of which must take the same time - say, on a lazy silent count of "One -Two - Three" as follows: -

"Two" - Pick up furthest packet.

"Three" - Make the shift and place the pack in the left hand. Second Method:

Cut the pack into two packets on the table as in the previous method, but this time have the end of the pack facing you and cut to the left.

With the right hand, pick up the right packet by the ends, the second, third and little fingers at the outer «id, the thumb at the opposite end, and the forefinger curled on top. This would be the most natural method of picking up the packet by the ends for most people, and the essential thing is that it must look natural. So if the reader would pick up the packet by the ends in some other manner, then it should be adopted.

Slap the lifted packet on top of the other packet at an angle, diagonally to the left as in Figure 2. Without removing the right hand, change the grip for the first finger to go right to the left corner of the upper packet, and curl the little and third fingers under the outer end of the lower packet. The second finger is relaxed. - Figure 3. Extend the first finger and thumb to the left, taking the top packet with them, the lower packet being held by the curled third and little fingers which hold it against the palm. As the right hand moves to the to place the pack in the left hand, curl the right third and little fingers a little more to make the sides of the packets clear each other, the original lower packet now being a little above the other packet - Figure 4. The side of the extended packet hits the left thumb as the hands come together and the right hand continues to travel for the packets to be squared on the left palm.


This Pass can be used for retaining a dozen or so cards on the bottom of the pack after the cut.

Make the cut as in the previous method. Pick up the original lower portion with the right forefinger at the outer end, and the thumb at the centre of the opposite end. With the little finger reach forward to the centre right corner and swing a small block of cards from the bottom to the right; that is the block pivots on the right thumb.

Place the visible portion of the packet (the bottom block is covered by the back of the right hand) flush onto the other packet on the table, and slide the whole pack back to the edge of the table, the second, third and little fingers extending in front of the pack and hiding the block. Figure 5 shows an exposed view of the holding position, the hand having been turned to show the packets and block of cards.

Draw the whole pack over the edge of the table, until the first finger is clear of the table, but extend the other three fingers for their tips to rest on the edge of the table. The moment the pack dears the table, bring the left hand up from below to the underside of the pack, the left thumb crotch contacting the left side of the pack.

Extend the left fingers and spread them apart under the pack. The protruding block of cards must now be clipped by the left forefinger at the outer end, and the left little finger at the inner end. With the tips of the right

second, third and little fingers still on the table edge, and the pack itself dipped below the edge, shift the protruding cards to the bottom by pulling down with the left first and little fingers, then lift the left hand with the whole pack squared on the palm.

Was this article helpful?

+1 0

Post a comment