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3. After the spectator has dealt about a quarter of the deck, tell him that he can stop the deal any time he wishes. This ensures a reasonable working quantity without excess. You don't really want any more than half the deck. Once he has finished dealing, ask him to place the rest of the deck to one side.

Pick up the cards the spectator just dealt, and place them face down in dealing position in your left hand. Execute a Double Lift and turn the top two cards face up as one onto the packet. Draw attention to this card, saying, "The Ace of Hearts. (We will use this card for the description) This is a rather odd card. It might look normal, but believe me when I tell you that it is odd." Flip the double face down again.

With your right hand pick up the Jacks from the table or card case, and place them momentarily squared on top of the packet. This adds the extra card concealed below the Jacks to the packet. Immediately push the two Jacks over to the right and take them with your right hand (figure 3). Looking at the two Jacks, say, "If I add these two Jacks to your packet of cards, there will still be an even number of cards. That's very important."

This is not true, of course, because of the extra card just added. Turn the Jacks face down, retaining them in a spread condition in the right hand (figure 4). Now push over the top card of the packet, apparently the Ace of Hearts, and slide it between the two face-down Jacks (figure 5). Drop the sandwich on top of the packet, retain a little finger break below it, and Double Undercut the three cards to the bottom.

4. Give the packet to the spectator. Tell him to deal off pairs of cards as he did before, but to stop about halfway through. Once he stops the deal, ask him to look at the card that lies on top of the tabled pile, then replace it. Finally, he drops the balance in his hands on top of the pile to bury his selection.

Ask him to pick up the packet, saying, "/ want you to count the packet once more as you did before, dealing the cards off in pairs." This time he will be left holding a single card. With a puzzled look on your face, say, "I thought we had an even quantity." Pause for a moment, then continue, saying, "Actually, there is a reason for this. Remember the odd card that I showed you at the beginning? The one I placed between the two Jacks? Well, turn over the card in your hand." He is holding the Ace of Hearts, which should come as a small shock to him. My usual comment is, "You see? I told you it was odd."

To conclude the routine, turn the packet face up and place it onto the table. Ask the spectator to call out the name of the card he looked at. When he does, spread the packet across the table. The two Black Jacks will show in the spread with the named card between them.

What follows is an entertaining Poker routine using only ten cards. No, it's not the Ten Card Deal, but a variation of a routine published by Jim Steinmeyer in Stan Allen's "Magic" called "The Ten Boys Poker Deal." This variation also appeared in "Magic."

Arrange the top ten cards of the deck as follows, reading from the top down:

Ten spot—any Jack—Queen of Diamonds—Seven spot—Ten of Diamonds—Seven spot—Jack of Diamonds—King of Diamonds—Seven spot—Ace of Diamonds.

The Preliminary Shuffle: You begin each step from Step 2 onward with this same short Overhand Shuffle. Run three cards, then throw the balance on top of them. Run three cards, then throw the balance on top of them.

1. Give the deck a Jog Shuffle retaining the top stock, then take the deck face down in dealing position. There are several options at this point. We will use the simplest, which is the Edward Balducci Cut Deeper Force. Extend the deck toward a spectator. Ask him to lift off about one third of the pack, turn it face up, then place the packet back on top of the deck. Now ask him to cut deeper this time, turn the packet over, and replace it.

At this point say, "You might consider this cutting procedure rather unusual, however, you ain't seen nothing yet."

Spread through the deck until you reach the face-down section (figure 1). Turn all the face-up cards face down and place them on the bottom of the deck, saying, "This is the point where you marked the cut. We'll use the first ten cards from this point." Deal ten cards, one at a time, into a face-down pile on the table. Place the rest of the deck to one side, as we no longer require it.

Pick up the ten cards, turn them face up, and spread them briefly to show the faces, saying, "You've managed to stop at some pretty impressive cards. What I propose to show you is a method of cheating which a gambler showed to me. As it only uses ten cards, there's not a lot of room for chicanery. However, we shall see."

2. Carry out the Preliminary Shuffle. Deal two hands of Poker in the regular manner, with the first card going to the spectator, the second to you, and so on. Pick up the spectator's hand and show it. He will have a pair of Sevens. Drop this packet face down onto the table again. Pick up

your hand and show it. You will also have one pair, but it will be a pair of Tens. You win! Drop your hand face down on top of the spectator's hand and pick up the packet.

3. Carry out the Preliminary Shuffle then deal two hands. Pick up the spectator's hand and show it. He will have a higher pair this time, two Jacks. Drop his hand face down onto the table. Show your hand to contain two pairs; Sevens and Tens. You win! Drop your hand on top of the spectator's hand and pick up the packet.

4. Carry out the Preliminary Shuffle, then deal two hands. This time the spectator's hand will have improved again, and will consist of two pairs; Jacks and Tens. Drop his hand face down onto the table. Pick up your hand and show it to contain three of a kind; three Sevens. You win! Drop your hand on top of the spectator's hand and pick up the packet.

5. Carry out the Preliminary Shuffle for the last time, then give the packet to the spectator, saying, "This is the clincher because I will now let you deal. If your three of a kind is the best hand available, then I want it. So deal the cards." He deals two hands. Turn over your hand to reveal that you have indeed received the three Sevens. Thank the spectator for his generosity, and appear smug at apparently having received the winning hand.

As an apparent afterthought, pick up the spectator's hand and glance at it. After a double-take, toss the cards face up onto the table to reveal a Royal Flush (figure 2), saying, "I've heard of a twist in the tale, but this is ridiculous."

You shuffle the deck, give it a tap, then show the top and bottom cards to be the two Red Kings. You place the Kings face down onto the table. Next you have a card noted by a spectator. This card is lost into the middle of the deck. You drop the deck on top of the two Red Kings, whereupon they instantly vanish. When you spread the deck, the Kings are face up in the middle with one face-down card caught between them. It is the selected card.

1. Run though and spot any matching pair with one card between them. Cut these three cards to the rear of the pack and turn the deck face down. We will use the two Red Kings for this

description. They are at positions one and three from the top. Secretly reverse the bottom card of the deck while you are talking to the audience. This is your starting position. You could arrange the deck in advance (see End Notes).

2. Give the deck a Riffle Shuffle without disturbing the top and bottom cards. Now Double Undercut the top card of the deck to the bottom. Meanwhile, you are saying, "It doesn't matter how much I mix this deck, there are two cards that I can always find. And that is because one always comes to the top. The other always goes to the bottom."

Execute a Double Lift, turning the top two cards face up onto the deck. This is the first Red King. As you turn the double face up, outjog it for about one inch over the outer end of the deck (figure 1). This is the position for the Edward Victor Glide.

Turn the left hand palm down to bring the deck face up (figure 2). Glide back the lower card of the protruding double (figure 3 is a worm's eye view of the move). Grip the remaining outjogged card and pull it clear of the deck. Drop the card face down onto the table.

3. Keep the deck face up and place it into dealing position. Obtain a little finger break below the three face cards, then draw attention to the other Red King at the face of the deck. Flip over all three cards as one, then deal the upper card onto the table on top of the other (?) King. Turn your left hand inward slightly to shield the face of the deck while the triple is turning over, because the face card will change. Be careful not to flash the face-up King at the back while turning the deck. Depending on which cards are involved, the change could be a dramatic one, so it is best to guard against this. You are about to use the face card of the deck, so you don't want anything peculiar to happen to it!

4. Explain, saying, "These two Kings will perform the best magic trick of the evening (or afternoon depending on the time of day). We will use this card which happens to be at the face of the deck." Tell the audience to remember the card. Cut off about half the cards, place the packet onto the table, then place the balance on top to complete the cut. If you can trust a spectator to do this without disturbing the cards, then allow him to make the cut.

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5. Pick up the deck and hold it face down from above with the right hand. Position the deck so that it is directly over the two apparent Kings on the table. Drop the deck squarely on top of the two face-down cards, saying, "Watch!".

After a pause, lift the deck with the right hand and slowly raise it so that the audience can see the bottom card is no longer a King. Lower the hand, then spread the deck across the table to reveal the two Kings face up in the middle with a face-down card caught between them (figure 4). Ask the audience to name the card that you showed them a moment ago. Remove the facedown card and turn it over to show that the Kings did indeed perform a pretty good trick!

If you want to set the deck in advance, you can add a further enhancement. Select two similar looking cards, like the Eight of Hearts and the Seven of Hearts. Position one reversed on the bottom of the deck, and the other third from the bottom. This will allow you to dispense with the wrist turn, because the change of the face card, during and after the Triple Lift and turnover, will not be noticeable. This switch is a Mario concept.

You shuffle the deck, cut it into two halves, then you discard either half. You never touch the cards again. You invite two spectators to participate in a friendly game of "Random Blackjack." You point out that you have devised a new system that guarantees every player a total of twenty-one. You give both players a Black Jack from the deck and each inserts his card face up at a random point in the half deck. The spectators further randomize the cards, after which the packet is spread face down on the table. Each now removes his face-up Jack along with the adjacent cards on either side. You turn the rest of the cards face up and invite close inspection. There are no two cards together that total eleven. When the spectators turn over their two facedown cards, they both find that they total eleven. Along with their Black Jacks, that makes twenty-one each. The result is a draw.

This uses a little known principle which Charles Hudson submitted to The Cardiste. All I have done is to change the arrangement and add a presentation. I must thank my good friend and New York correspondent, Gene Maze, for his assistance with the presentation.

Although this consists of an arrangement of twenty-four cards, it is a very easy one to remember. Remove all the Twos, Threes, Fours, Sevens, Eights, and Nines. Set them in the following order without regard to suits. This is a value-only stack, and it can run in either direction:

2—3—4—9—8—7— 2—3—4—9—8—7 — 2—3^—9—8—7— 2—3^—9—8—7

You will notice that the stack is really four groups of six cards repeated three times. If you take a closer look you will notice that the first and fourth cards total eleven, as do the second and fifth cards, and also the third and sixth cards.

Give the rest of the deck an upward bridge at the inner end only, then place the stack on top (figure 1). For the description we will assume that the stack is a secret one and is on top of the deck with a bridge below it.

Note: In the presentation, you say that you have devised a new system that will guarantee twenty-one every time. It is, therefore, quite acceptable to arrange the cards on the face of the deck in front of the audience. Keep the faces of the cards toward you as you transfer the required cards, one at a time, to the face. Don't allow the audience to see what the arrangement is.

1. Spread through the deck and toss out the two Black Jacks leaving them face down on the table. Give the deck a few false cuts then place it face down onto the table. Cut the deck by lifting off all the cards above the bridge and place both halves onto the table, side by side. Invite two spectators to participate, saying, "I have invented a new card game called "Random Blackjack." By its name you will have guessed that it's a variation on Blackjack. The rules that govern the various hands are very much the same but the procedure is totally different. In fact, it's somewhat easier to understand. However, we're not going to play cards. Instead I would like to show you a sure-fire system I have invented which guarantees twenty-one every time. It's a fabulous invention because I never touch the cards."

Ask one of the spectators to point to a half. We want to discard the bottom half. Using the standard Hobson's Choice, either discard the selected half, if he selects the bottom half, or say that this is the one we will use, if he chooses the top half.

2. Say, "As this is a version of Blackjack, I thought it would be appropriate if we used the two Black Jacks for this." Turn over the Jacks and place one in front of each spectator. Ask either or both spectators to give the half deck a few straight complete cuts.

3. Ask one of them to place his Jack face up on top of the packet and to give it a complete cut. Now ask the other spectator to place his Jack face up on top of the packet and to give the packet a complete cut. Tell the spectators that they may cut the packet further, however, if a Jack finishes on top, tell them to cut again to lose it.

4. Continue, saying, "So far so good. You each cut your Black Jack into the cards at random places. I now want either of you to pick up the cards and deal them into two piles. Deal the cards left, right, left, right, just as if you were dealing in a two-handed game."

Watch the deal and note where the two Jacks end up. There will either be one in each pile, or both will be in the same pile. Proceed as follows:

a) If they are both in the same pile, turn over the other one and spread it face up on the table. Draw attention to the cards saying, "You will notice that no two adjacent cards total eleven. I can say this with impunity because that's how the system works."

Spread the other pile face down so that both Jacks are visible in the spread (figure 2). Slide out each of the face-up Jacks along with the cards immediately above and below them in the spread (figure 3). Now turn the rest of cards over face up and spread them on the table. Again draw attention to the fact that no two cards located together in the spread total eleven.

Finally, ask each spectator to turn over the two companion cards to his Jack. Both sets of cards total eleven. Along with the Jacks both spectators have a total of twenty-one. Conclude by saying, "I declare the game a draw."

b) If there is a Jack in each pile, simply spread each pile face down, then slide out each Jack along with its two companion cards. Gather up both spreads and place one packet on top of the other. Spread the complete packet face up and draw attention to the fact that no two cards together in the spread total eleven. Conclude as already outlined, finally declaring the game a draw.

You cut the deck into two halves; one face up and the other face down. You shuffle both halves together so the deck is in a mess. You draw attention to a random face-up card that happens to be on top. This might be the Three of Hearts, which you place onto the table face down. Pointing out that the Three spot can influence the other cards in the deck, you wave it over the deck which you then spread. All the cards are now face up except for three face-down cards in the middle. The reason that three cards failed to respond, is because the card is a Three and three cards remained face down in sympathy with the value. What would have happened if the card had perhaps been a King? You snap your fingers then turn over the Three spot revealing it has transformed into a King. When you turn over the three cards, they are the other three Kings.

I based this routine on Roy Walton's "Overworked Card." The Fake Turnover belongs to Tenkai.

To set the deck, remove the four Kings and any Three spot. We will use the Three of Hearts for this description. Hold the Kings face up and place the Three on the face. Place any random card face down in third position from the top, then place another random card face down on top. With the packet fanned it should read, from the top down:

Face-down random card—face-up Three spot—face-up King—face-down random card—other three Kings face up (figure 1).