The Buckle Count

After Hours Magic: A Book of Al Thatcher Card Magic

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The Buckle was devised by Dai Vernon over thirty years ago, after he watched Malini move two cards as one (held together by -saliva). Malini used this method to false count cards onto a table, the two cards (as one) being allowed to slide off his fingers onto the table. Dai Vernon realised that there must be a way of moving more than one card as one, without the use of saliva, and matching the natural action of counting.

To count cards onto the table.

Assume it is necessary for five cards to be counted as four.

Hold the cards face down in the hand, the packet well forward in the hand. Bring the right hand to the packet, grasping the right outer corner with the thumb above and the side of the top joint of the forefinger against the edge. Not until the grasp is taken do you push the top card to the right with the left thumb. The card is now carried to the right and down, so that the edge of the card slides off the edge of the packet with a click, and onto the table. Count the second card in the same manner. When the right hand is at the packet to take the third card, buckle the bottom card with the tips of the left third and little fingers as the side of the right curled forefinger comes against the edge of the two squared cards. The slight movement of the bottom card (by the buckle) allows the two cards to be taken together and carried to the right and down, sliding off the edge of the last card and onto the table with the same action (and sound) as before. Now the last card is counted down onto the table.

Figure 1 shows an exposed view of the buckle, the right hand having been removed from the packet for clarity. Notice how the left third and little fingers are making the buckle which should be very, very slight. A strong buckle is neither necessary nor desirable. Magicians who use this move almost always use a deep whole essence of the move is that the buckle is so slight as to be inn-perceptible from the front edge. It is only necessary to move the side of the bottom card a fraction of an inch so that the side of the right

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