1. Place four aces face up on top of the deck. Have the deck cut to bring them to the center.
2. Pick up the pack and run it between both hands to show the Aces are really in the middle. In squaring up get a left 4th finger break below the four face up Aces.
3. To further square the pack, the right hand comes above deck to square the ends. During this time the right hand lifts up the cards above the break so the pack is open along the whole right side. The left forefinger moves into the break at the upper right corner and takes over in place of the left 4th finger. Figure 164 shows how the side of the left forefinger holds the break.
4. With the left 2nd, 3rd and 4th fingers around the side of the deck this break will be concealed. The left thumb, which is across the top end of the deck and touching tip of the left forefinger, presses down on top of the deck to aid in closing the break at the front. The Figure 165 shows the starting position of the deal.
5. The right hand, all fingers extended, comes along the right side of the deck. The right thumb comes on the top card at about the center of the deck. This position is shown in Figure 166.
6. The left thumb now pushes the top card to the right only slightly - just enough to get its right side onto the fingertips of the left hand. The right thumb, pressing down on the top card, takes it off the deck onto the extended right fingers. The right hand deals the card into the first hand of a five handed game.
7. Continue taking the top card in the manner as already described. When ready to Center Deal, to the fifth hand, the right hand again comes against right side of the deck. Under the cover this hand affords, the left 2nd, 3rd and 4th fingers pull down the cards below the left forefinger break as shown in Figure 167. At this stage the upper portion is firmly under control between
left forefinger tip pressing on the upper right corner while the left side of the deck is held firmly against the crotch of the left thumb.
8. Note that the lower cards are not bent or buckled but merely pulled down to create a break large enough for the left 2nd and 3rd fingertips to bend in and press up against the center card.
9. Press up, then outwards, against the center card with the tips of the left 2nd and 3rd fingers. This pressure is at the upper right corner of the center card, near the left forefinger. Using the left forefinger as a pivot point will cause the center card to swing out at an angle as shown in Figure 168, a bottom view. Note that the break is also closing automatically and the left forefinger will again regain its original break.
10. Of course, all these actions are covered by the right hand at the side of the deck.
At this stage the performer's view shows the Center card pivoting out against the right hand as shown in Figure 169.
1. After the cut you must step the deck as shown in Figure 170.
2. Place the deck in the left hand so that the left forefinger is straight across the upper front end of the deck while the left 2nd, 3rd and 4th fingers are just under the upper stepped portion and pressing up against it as shown in Figure 171, a right side view.
11. The center card is dealt as is into the fifth hand. Without any break in the rhythm of the deal continue with the next round until eventually all four Aces are face up in the fifth hand.
12. The fascination of the Aces coming out face up will prevent any discriminating analysis of the deal itself. For this reason this Center Deal is an exhibition type.
The left hand in this case does not depend on any break held with the left fingers but rather the control of a step with these fingers. The action depends on slightly bending the lower portion of the deck which in turn acts as a sort of tension spring that aids the left fingers in moving out the center card.
3. From the front, the extended left forefinger covers the front end of the deck. The left thumb stretched across the deck to touch the tip of the left forefinger. This causes the folds of skin at the base of the thumb to cover the step condition on the left side of the deck as shown in Figure 172.
4. This time, in order to enable one to deal off only one card from the top, the left thumb pushes the card over onto the tip of the left forefinger. The tip of left forefinger also prevents more than one card from being moved over.
5. The right hand comes over to take the card as already shown in Figure 166; however, when the center card is required the left 2nd, 3rd and 4th fin gers squeeze the lower portion of the deck inwards as shown in Figure 173. Here the buckling of this lower portion is exaggerated. In actual practice this buckling action can be very slight.
6. As before, the tip of the left forefinger and base of the left thumb control the upper portion of the pack during the action of the Center Deal. The break in the pack, on the right side, is also, as before, covered by the position of the right hand during the buckling action.
7. With the lower portion of the deck buckled, press the left 2nd and 3rd fingertips up against the center card. Now just relax these fingers letting the buckled cards straighten out. You will notice that the buckled cards will act almost as a tension spring to the left fingertips with the result that the center card will be pivoted out in the same manner already shown in Figure 168. The right hand takes the card as previously shown in Figure 169 and from here the card can be dealt either face down to the table or face up in a Stud Deal fashion.
A few more important points to keep in mind when doing the Step Center Deal are:
A. Bevel the deck forwards, end to end, as you apparently square the ends of the deck with the right hand. The right thumb, at the back end, pushes forward causing the cards to bevel. The upper left corner of the top half of the deck, will lie in a bevel across the front to the tip of the left forefinger. This forward bevel not only gives more cover for the deal from the front but also insures an easier pivoting out of the center card.
The center card can be pushed or pivoted by using only the tip of the left second finger, thus a closer pivot point is made between it and left forefinger. This means the bending of the lower half need only be very slight thus insuring greater coverage at the right side as well as at the back end of the deck. The actual breaking or separation of the pack should be held down to a minimum in all center deals. The technique of the Step Center Deal however, practically assures this.
C. Control of the upper half of the deck is maintained between the left forefinger and palm; however, the upper left corner of the top half of the deck, is also helped by the left thumb and left forefinger at this corner.
In taking the center card with the right hand you will find the normal taking of the card between the right second finger and thumb, quite easy and yet gives plenty of right side cover, An excellent method I have used is to extend the right forefinger but keep the other three fingers in towards the palm. The right hand comes towards the deck so its extended forefinger touches the nail of left forefinger. During this time the center card is pivoted against right hand. The card is automatically placed between the right thumb on top and curled second finger below. These nip the projecting card to carry it away from the center of the deck, to either deal it face down or face up as the occasion may call for.
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