After Hours Magic: A Book of Al Thatcher Card Magic

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Figure 18

5, The right hand can now toss its card aside or replace it, still face up, onto the tabled packet.

6. Now, in my case, if I should count those face up cards, I will have between 19 and 20 cards; however, in your case it may be less or more. At any rate, with practice and proper timing you will eventually get one or two numbers close together, more often than any other and this will be your Key Number for this Back End Riffle Estimation. Naturally, the Back End Riffle Estimation can be done with the pack in the hands but it is more impressive when the pack is tabled.

The Cut Estimate

By holding the deck at the sides,Just as if you are about to do the Faro Shuffle, and using the tip of your right thumb you can cut a packet of cards that will always result in the same amount. Again, in my case, this is around 20 cards. You can, if you have had experience with the Faro Shuffle, cut to 26 but the right thumb has to move in further. This causes the Cut Estimate to lose its casual appearance plus the fact that it is not as obvious as cutting a pack into equal halves. Even more important is the fact that when the pack is tabled and the Cut

Estimate is made you will more readily get less than 26 and nearer the amount mentioned. This is also used in several effects below so a description in connection with a glimpse is here given.

1. Hold the deck at its sides as for a Faro Shuffle. With the right thumb do a Cut Estimate at the same time pulling back the corner of the deck in order to glimpse the card at this point as seen in Figure 19.

2. Once you have glimpsed the card release them and square up the pack. You know the name of a card at an approximate position from the top of the deck.

3. In the case of the deck being tabled, there is no glimpse, so to speak, but you can make good use of the fact that the cut can be made at an approximate number. An example of its use is to have, say, four Aces placed from 19 to 22. Using the Cut Estimate you can cut to the Aces one at a time and point out that no crimps or locators are being used. Naturally you precede each Ace location with an injog shuffle to keep the Aces in position.

4. The Cut Estimate can also be done from the back end of the deck as the pack is being held in regular left hand. dealing position. When you use this method, the right thumb lifts up the estimated number, the left 4th finger obtains a break below them. Now do a Square Up Glimpse (See Chapter Three, Fingertip Control) to note the

Figure 18


card at this approximate position after which you release all breaks and openly square up the deck.

Visual Retention Estimate

In most cases when a spectator cuts off a packet of cards or is asked to take a peek, as the pack is held in Fingertip Peek Position, the tendency of most card men is to try and determine the number of cards cut or the number at which the peeked card could be.

The results will be much better if you forget about the number of cards that may be involved, but, instead, concentrate on the size of the block involved. If you visually retain this so called Size Picture, you will more readily be able to later cut to the card or very near the card. Of course, the cut is immediately followed by a shuffle being sure that the bottom of the cut is shuffled to the bottom and the cards that were below the cut remain on top. This is using the Riffle Shuffle, of course.

The only other source that came close to this type of estimating is that in Outs, Precautions and Challenges by Charles H. Hopkins. His method can be found on page 56 of the above book under "Estimating the Cut."

In the previous chapter I have already dealt with the Comparison Estimation but want to mention that this type of estimation can be used in connection with the Fingertip Peek. This now leads us into that channel.

Fingertip Riffle Peek Estimation

Several methods of so-called Forced Estimation can be found in Chapter Three, Fingertip Control, but the methods depend on the principles set forth of Riffle Estimation plus several ideas to insure success to the point of infallibility. Quite a number of effects have been included using this type of control.

1. Hold the pack as for the Fingertip Peek. Start at the very tip near the face of the deck at its upper right corner. This riffling will be clone with the right 1st fingertip.

2. Starting as suggested, the right first finger riffles the upper right corner of the deck in the conventional manner as you request the spectator to please call "Stop".

3. When you start the riffle, do not hesitate and, in most cases, you will stop at the same definite number just as the "Stop" is called. In my case, it is at 14, but yours may be different depending on how slowly or quickly you riffled.

4. Of course, you can start at other points on the corner such as about a third back from the face of the deck on the upper right corner. In this case, the riffle will have to be slower and you will definitely slow up as you reach the estimated number.

5. At any rate you can use the Pinch Check, which consists of pinching the upper right corner of cards between your right thumb and 1st finger as in Figure 20. This is done to feel the thickness of the block retained by the fingertip. Sight estimation is also used. In this way you can tell whether you have more or less than the estimated 14 cards. This Pinch Check is made as the spectator is noting his card as shown in Figure 20.

6. On getting an unfamiliar deck always get your estimated number by secretly counting off the needed amount, in my case it would be 14, then use the Pinch Check plus a Visual Retention Estimate of the size of the block. Do this a few times for yourself and then you can safely proceed. Remember that decks sometimes vary in thickness so it is always best to check as suggested before attempting any effect. This also applies to other estimation ideas. A few minutes of toying with the pack is all you will need.

7. The most important advice is to decide on a definite number procedure. As an example, if you practice at getting and estimating only 14 cards each time, you will more readily be able to tell when you have more or less than 14 cards. If you insist on working with haphazard numbers you will have less success and more failures with the effects based on the Fingertip Peek Estimation. The same principles of practice apply to other forms of estimation, the Back End Riffle, Side Riffle Cut Estimate, etc.

The Sudden Stop

On many occasions in doing the Fingertip Peek you can form what I call the Sudden Stop. This consists in merely riffling the upper right corner, with the right 1st finger backwards rapidly and at one point the cards will suddenly snap and stop. Note this card and release all cards.

Now square up the pack and again retake it into the Fingertip Peek Position. Once more riffle the cards back rapidly as before and again you will find that the cards snap or stop at the same card. If this happens, the next step is to secretly count to this card so as to get is exact position.

Now, in getting ready to do the Fingertip Peek, first undercut half the deck, injog the 1st card and shuffle off. Get a break at the injog and shuffle off to the break. You are now set to practically do a Fingertip Force of this card. In this case you not only know the name of the card but also its exact position. You can even hand the pack out to be shuffled and finish with any kind of miracle you wish.

The Sudden Stop is caused by a certain belly in the cards that happen as your right 1st finger riffles the cards back sharply. Such a condition can actually exist so that it will happen even on a soft riffle. Matter of fact, by bending the top 14 cards upwards, with the right fingers and thumb holding the packet at the ends, pulling the outer ends upward as the right 1st finger presses downward in the center, then replacing these cards on top of the deck you will have a very workable method for the Peek Force.

In doing the Fingertip Peek using these bellied cards, be sure that the right thumb presses down on the upper right corner just before the peek so as to prevent this corner from separating and thus tipping off the fact that the cards are bellied or crimped.

Getting back to the original idea of the Sudden Stop, not using any work put into the deck, it is possible to force the same card on several spectators. Be sure, however, that you include a shuffle between each peek. Also see that the pack is squared up very fairly before and after each peek.

I consider this one of my more amazing discoveries with the Fingertip Peek but even more amazing, is that it happens between the 12 and 15th cards. So you can see that the Fingertip Riffle Peek Estimation is based on a pretty sound premise.

You can use this Sudden Stop idea in the various effects dependent on the


Fingertip Estimation Peek; however, included further in the book are some which are based on just the Sudden Stop.

The Fan Spread Estimate

This is based on the fact that if you do a fairly even spread of the pack between both hands, and separate the hands as the spread gets longer, that you will be able to spread the cards only so far before you start to feel that the spread is apt to fall or get out of control. Figure 21 shows the Fan Spread at its maximum.

When you reach this maximum stage, both hands move in to close the spread but get a break under the last card that is over the right side of the deck and lift this portion into the right hand which takes it from above by the ends. Now count the number of cards in this packet and replace it onto the deck. Repeat the Fan Spread and as before, when it reaches its maximum, close up the spread as you again get a break or separation on the spread cards. Once more count these cards. You will find that it will be either the same number or pretty close to it.

The whole object is to be sure and do it in such a manner that it becomes apparent that you could not possibly count the cards as you are spreading them for a selection.

After a selection is removed, merely break the spread above the deck so that the Fan Spread is really held by the right hand, with the deck in the left hand. The chosen card is returned on top of the deck proper and the spread in the right hand is fairly closed over onto the selection with no breaks of any kind held. You now know the approximate position of the selected card. In my case it is the 18th card. For an effect using this Fan Spread Estimate see Sensitive Fingers later in this Chapter.


Demonstration or Practice

Some twenty years ago, Paul Montgomery, at that time of Akron, Ohio but now a resident of San Diego, California, reprimanded me for demonstrating the ability to estimate correctly the number of cards in a cut off packet. His contention was that this should be used as a secret weapon rather than a means of exhibition. Ever since that time I have followed the secretive approach to this type of work and I believe that those who aspire to this type of work should do likewise. The following is put before you as a means of keeping in trim on estimation; however, the road you choose to follow as regards this is up to you.

1. Shuffle the pack and then table it. Taking the deck from above by the ends, release small packets of cards from the bottom of the deck, until you have several such packets of not more than ten cards to a packet.

2. Now pick up any one of the packets and holding its side to yourself estimate as to how many cards it may contain. At the same time retain a visual image of the thickness of the block. Count the cards, it could be you are right. At any rate, you now use the comparison of this first packet to decide as to how many cards the next packet has. Even if you were off on the first packet you still use it as a sort of yardstick on the next packet.

3. Count this packet and again you may be right or wrong, but regardless you are now getting a general idea as to how to proceed on the subsequent packets. You will be surprised, using this Comparison Method, how many of the packets you will estimate correctly. Once you have done it with the small numbers, under ten, try it with larger packets of over ten. As I have said, you can use this for practice or an out and out exhibition of skill at estimation which, naturally, will detract from any effects based on estimation. The following effect can use the above idea and yet not completely give away the idea.

Packet Estimation

1. Have a deck shuffled and cut into several small packets. This is all done by the spectator. Packets should have not more than ten cards each.

2. Have the spectator hand you any one of the packets. You quickly estimate its number of cards as you drop it face down on the table. Have him hand you another packet and you repeat the process of estimating but, at the same time, add the two totals of the packets. Thus, you estimate and add each time a packet is handed to you until you reach a total of about 15 to 20 cards.

3. Place your estimated packet aside as you direct the spectator to gather up the rest of the packets, shuffle them and then place the cards face down on the table. Hand him your estimated packet to shuffle, and then tell the him to note the bottom card. He drops these cards onto the tabled half and all is squared up.

4. Ask the spectator to name his card. Look at deck as if X-Raying it with your eyes, then call out your estimated number. Count the cards face up to the number called. The selection should fall on completion of the count. A startling demonstration.

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Fundamentals of Magick

Fundamentals of Magick

Magick is the art and practice of moving natural energies to effect needed or wanted change. Magick is natural, there is absolutely nothing supernatural about it. What is taught here are various techniques of magick for beginners. Magick is natural and simple and the techniques to develop abilities should be simple and natural as well. What is taught on this site is not only the basics of magick, but the basics of many things.

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