Marios Card Switch

I first devised this Card Switch back in October of 1954. Between 1954 and 1956 I demonstrated the Switch to several notable card men among them Carmen D'Amico, Bill Simon, Art Altman, Charles Aste, Jr., Herb Zarrow and in 1956 to Dai Vernon during his visit to Chicago as a guest of the Jay Marshalls.

The underlying principle can be likened to a card cheat's Hole Card Switch;

however, the technique, handling and effects are my own. It is a Card Switch for one or several cards designed for close up work at the table. First I will describe the basic mechanics of the Switch, then several ways to get into the necessary position or grip and finally some effects.

First, an important point. Always have the hand that is holding out the card, move as close to the surface of the table as possible during all the actions. In fact, the Hold Out Hand sort of glides across the table top and is seldom if ever lifted off the table for any distance or height.

1. The card to be "rung in" is held in a Rear Flat Palm and kept in place by the tip of the thumb and base of the little finger as in Figure 56. This figure shows the card held in the right hand but, of course, the same grip and position will apply to the left hand if you happen to prefer using that hand.

Figure 56

2. With the card in Figure 56 position the hand can relax and bend inwards

Figure 56

2. With the card in Figure 56 position the hand can relax and bend inwards

If you have a narrow palm you will have to take care that the palmed card does not expose itself at the rear of the wrist.

3. The forefinger can be extended now to point to some object, or to move a card as in Figure 58 while the other three fingers keep the card in place.

Figure 58

4. As the forefinger is brought back to normal, again as in Figure 57, it is worked under the palmed card as in Figure 59. The card is now between forefinger on the back and three fingers at the face. In this position it is also held snugly against palm by hand resting flat against table with hand in a clenched position as in Figure 57.

Figure 59

5. The left hand picks up the card, that is to be exchanged, then holds it as in Figure 60 which shows the action of the left and right hands approaching each other.

Figure 60

6. The left and right hands come together as if to transfer the card, see Figure 60. As the two hands meet, however, the card from the left hand is deliberately placed into the right hand directly above the palmed card as in Figure 61 which shows the action from the bottom.


Thus the card from the left hand is between the right palm and the original card. It also has been placed into the palm position so it can be clipped between the thumb and base of the little finger. See Figure 62 for a side view of this action.

Figure 60


8. Both cards are now momentarily in the right hand; however, the right hand moves forward immediately and straightens out its fingers to release the palmed card, keeping the other in the Rear Flat Palm as in Figure 63.

Figure 63

9. The right hand immediately, with fingers still open touches or moves the tabled card slightly forward with the fingertips or forefinger only. After this it moves back to assume the position shown in Figure 57.

The above nine steps and Figures 56 to 63 comprise the basis of the Mario Card Switch. Since the switch itself requires starting with a card in the Basic Position of Rear Flat Palm, we offer these -

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