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7. Pick up packet one and hold it face down in the right hand in position for the Glide (figure 7). The Glide will not be used until you reach packet four, however, one must be consistent. With your right hand slide out the bottom card and snap it face up, saying, "Once again the Ace travels from the bottom." Place this card face up onto the table at its position then drop the remaining face-down card on top of it so that the cards overlap.

Pick up packet number two and take it into Glide position. Slide out the bottom card and snap it face up, saying "And this Ace also leaves the bottom." Place this card face up at position two, then drop the two face-down cards on top so that they overlap the face-up card by half a card length.

Pick up packet three and repeat this procedure, saying, "And of course Ace number three also travels from its place on the bottom."

Pick up packet four and hold it in Glide position. This time you glide back the bottom card and remove the card above it. Snap the card face up to reveal a random card, saying, "And no surprise, the last Ace has also traveled from the bottom." Place the card face up in position on the table, then place the remaining four cards face down on top and overlapping (figure 8).

8. At this stage the audience fully expects the Aces to once again be on top of each packet. Snap your fingers over each packet, look at the audience, then reach toward pile number four. Pause for effect then turn over the four face-down cards, one by one, to reveal that all four

Aces have inexplicably traveled to the fourth pile. As a casual afterthought, turn over all the other face-down piles to reveal that they consist of only random cards.

A spectator removes four court cards from the deck. He then removes the four Aces. The rest of the deck is discarded. You lay the four Aces out onto the table in the familiar "T" formation. You now cause the four Aces, one by one, to join the leader Ace.

This routine was inspired by the minimalist approach often adopted by my good friend, Gene Maze, to the classic Four Ace trick. This may fall short of the virtual reality that Gene creates with his sleight of hand, however, it is still quite effective.

1. Give the deck to a spectator and ask him to remove any four court cards. As you take these four cards into face-down dealing position in your left hand, ask the spectator to now remove the four Aces.

While he is doing this, tilt the left hand up slightly and bring the right hand over to the front of the packet. The thumb rests on the front end of the top card (figure 1). Casually turn the top card face up, end for end, onto the other three face-down cards (figure 2). As the card turns face up onto the packet, lower the left hand again to its previous position (figure 3). This simple action has plenty of cover because you make the move when the spectator starts to search for the Aces. If you look at the spectator as you make the move, everyone else will look there. Having done that, place the packet onto the table in front of you. To the audience it appears that the four court cards are face up.

2. Take the four Aces from the spectator and tell him to place the remainder of the deck to one side. Show the Aces to the audience, then drop them in a face-down packet onto the table. Pick up the other packet and drop it squarely on top of the face-down Aces. It appears that both packets are back to back.

3. Pick up the combined packet, turn it over a few times to show the contrasting Ace and court card, and finish with the court card uppermost. Accompany your actions by saying, "It is often believed that the four Aces are the magic cards. That may be true most times but tonight it is, in fact, these four court cards which will make the magic happen."

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Flip the packet over one more time bringing the Aces uppermost. Spread over the top three cards to display all four Aces then close the spread. Now buckle the bottom card with the left fingers and flip over all seven cards above the break as a block. This appears to the audience as having only turned the four Aces.

Deal the top three cards into a row on the table, then deal the fourth card below the row to form the standard Vernon "T" formation. In order to make this explanation easier to follow, we will number the outer three cards 1,2, and 3 from left to right. (Figure 4).

4. You now hold only four cards. The upper three of these are Aces and the face card is a court card. The audience believes that you hold the four court cards. Count these cards from hand to hand reversing their order as you say, "Remember, the court cards are the special cards."

5. Deal the top card face down onto card number 1, then deal the next card face down onto the leader Ace. Snap your fingers over both pairs of cards, then turn over the two cards at position 1 to reveal two court cards. After a pause, turn over the two cards in the leader pile to reveal two Aces.

Pick up the two court cards and place them face down on top of the two cards in your hand. Turn the two leader cards face down leaving them where they are.

6. Apparently count off the top two court cards into your right hand. Here you execute the first two steps of a standard Elmsley Count. This leaves you holding one Ace and one court card in each hand. This Ghost Count Switch is a Roy Walton concept which first appeared in Fred Robinson's Pabular.

Now move your right hand over to the card at position 2 and deposit the top card from the pair on top of the tabled card (figure 5). Drop the remaining card onto the leader pile. Snap the fingers again, then turn over the two cards at position 2 to reveal two court cards. Turn over the leader pile to reveal three Aces. Pick up the two court cards at position 2, place them below the two cards in your left hand, and maintain a little finger break above them.

7. The three Aces in the leader pile remain face up. Say, "Watch the last one carefully." As you say this, flip over the two cards above the break as one to show a court card. Draw attention to this card then flip the double face down again. Deal the top card face down onto the three Aces. Flash the faces of the remaining three court cards and drop them face down on top of the card at position 3.

Build up the final phase then flip over the four face-down cards at position 3 to show four court cards. Turn the final face-down card on the leader pile face up to reveal four Aces to finish.

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