The Dunbury Switch

Tom Gagnon

This is a switch on the old drop switch. Admittedly, it is a subtlety. It is not an earthshaker. However, this is the type of thing which card handlers use to wile away the wee hours at magic conventions. It is easy to anyone who already uses the drop switch and I°m sure will have uses other than fooling magicians. The original Drop Switch is described in Expert Card Technique as the Modus Operandi of Charlie Miller°s excellent Dunbury Delusion. Since only experienced card handlers will be interested in this, I will assume you know the original switch (or you will have a copy of Expert Card Technique).

Assume that you want to secretly switch one card for another. For explanation purposes, we will assume that you want to switch the second card for the top card. Start with the deck held in the right hand from above with the fingers at the far short end and the thumb at the near short end. Flash the bottom card of the deck at this point. Unlike the original move, this card will not change during the switch.

Use your right forefinger to swivel the top half of the deck into the palm up left hand in dealing position. Again, flash the bottom card of the right half. Using the left long side of the right half, lever the top card of the left half face up.

When the card falls face up onto the left hand0s half, the left thumb executes a double push off. The two cards do not have to be perfectly aligned --- just be aware that most people in the audience needing glasses have them.

The right hand°s cards now come over to brush the face of the face up card. As soon as the right half covers the right side of the face up card, this top face up card is pulled flush with the deck. This leaves the second card sidejogged under the cover of the right half.

This card is immediately picked up beneath the right half between the thumb and right second and third fingers. A break is held at the rear by the right thumb. The right hand now brushes the face of the face up card from (your) left to the right. This is a simple gesture used to call attention to the face up card.

The face up card is now going to be levered face down. This is done by using the left edge of the right hand°s cards to lift up on the right edge of the card. It is pivoted up, around, and over the left thumb which then moves out of the way so as not .to block the falling card.

For the switch, you have simply to drop the card from the bottom of the right half onto the falling card so that both reach the top of the pack at approximately the same moment. This is the most difficult part of the sleight. Tiie smooth deposit of the two cards as one is crucial to the performance of the sleight.

You can now deal the top card of the left half to the table. It is not the card you just showed --- although the audience thinks it is. Be sure to flash the bottom card of the right half at your earliest convenience. It hasn°t changed during the switch.

The best way to practice the drop switch is to practice flipping the card over and over without executing the switch. Then, execute the switch approximating the same moves. While the original move is not the easiest thing to do, the addition just described Is only slightly more effort to learn.

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