Mario Center Deal

This Center Deal has several exceptional features, among them being; a fairly normal grip, a regulation "take" of the card plus the fact that there isn't any bending or swinging down of the lower half in order to widen the break between the halves. As a matter of fact, one can almost say the center card is actually dealt from a pack in which the halves are flush against each other.

1. The desired cards are on the bottom of the deck. After the initial cut the cards are put together with the upper half angled off to the right as shown in Figure 170 repeated here.

2. With the cards thus stepped the deck is placed into the left hand so it goes into either a Mechanic's Grip or Master Grip position. The left 2nd, 3rd

Figure 171

and 4th finger tips rest beneath the step in a manner similar to Figure 171.

I say similar because actually the left 2nd, 3rd and 4th fingers are pulled inward and away from the left forefinger so that there is a space created between the left forefinger and the left 2nd finger. The left thumb is across the deck to the 2nd finger, so that a space is also between the left thumb and first finger.

3. At this stage if you were to turn the left hand over you would see just the index of the center card, as it is stepped over in the upper right corner only. From above you will see a step at the upper left corner. For the time being do not worry about concealing it until you get the basic idea of this Center Deal.

4. The upper half of the deck should be under control of the left forefinger. Its tip presses against the upper corner while the lower left corner presses in against the palm. The lower half is thus almost automatically under control also.

5. The left thumb arcs the top card over very slightly, just enough to allow it to escape past the tip of the left forefinger. The right hand approaches to take this card while at the same time, the tip of the right second finger comes in contact with the center card at the step. The right forefinger is, of course, extended in the normal manner but the right 3rd and 4th fingers are curled in towards the palm. The tip of the right second finger comes in contact with the center card at the step in the upper right corner. The right thumb is on the top card in the space between the left thumb and left forefinger.

6. In the above position the right thumb and 2nd finger can "take" either the top card or the center card. To take the center card, the tip of the right second finger is pressed up against the center card at the step. Pulling inward on this card causes it to free itself from the tip of the left forefinger.

Once the center card starts to move out, the right thumb, which goes into the space between the left thumb and left 1st finger, slips off from the top card of the deck to come in contact with the center card. Thus the center card is taken between the right second finger and thumb. As the center card is taken the left thumb pulls back the top card flush with the upper portion. A repetition of these actions will bring additional center deals or top card deals as may be desired.

7. Be sure that the fingernail of the right second finger is clipped short otherwise the nail will strike the surface of the center card and prevent any contact with the actual fleshy part of the right second finger, making the taking of the center card an impossibility.

8. In first practicing this deal make the step at the upper right corner as large as you wish until you get the idea and knack of this center deal. After this you can gradually cut down on the amount of jog or step needed.

9. To cover the step in the upper left corner of the deck it is only necessary to bevel the top portion towards the left. Remember that you actually need to keep only about four cards, say the Aces, under the control of the left forefinger. The rest of the upper half can be askew. It is a good plan to never Center Deal from a squared deck as this accentuates any steps or breaks.

10. While the "take" technique has been mentioned in connection with this deal one can also easily use the strike or whip-out method to center deal the card especially if one is bent on demonstrating visual deception for his brother magi. It is, however, a good plan to first loosen the center card, via the "take" technique before embarking on the Strike Center.

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