The Simple Shift

tion as you will lose the casualness of the whole sleight.

4. With the cards held face up in the left hand as for dealing, see Figure 95, the left thumb presses on the face of the pack so as to cause a slight pressure between the thumb and base of the 1st finger.

Figure 95

Figure 95

5, With pressure applied, merely push in the Aces with the left forefinger. You will find the Aces will go in, but will plunge out a center portion of the pack at the inner end as in Figure 96.

Figure 96

Figure 96

6. On examining the deck at this stage, you will find that one Ace is flush against the bottom block, the other flush with top block and two in the center sticking out of the plunged portion.

7. So far the action has been done with one hand. Now the right hand comes in to strip out this center portion completely, but not before you move the left thumb to the side of the pack so as to hold the four Aces back as in Figure 97. Remember the cards in the left

Figure 97

hand are not shifted from the dealing position, only the left thumb moves to the side of the deck. The right hand then strips out the center portion, as in Figure 98, while the left thumb and second finger keep pressing on the upper sides to hold back the Aces as well as the block above and below them. Figure 98 is a diagram of all finger positions during the cut. Complete the cut by placing the cards in the right hand on top ofthose in the left.

Figure 98

8. If you will examine the deck the four Aces will be together somewhere below the top ten or twelve cards. To bring them to the top, you spread the bottom or face of the pack to show no Aces there.

Turn the deck over and spread the top cards, but not too many so as not to include any Aces, and show them in a fan. Keep taking single cards, from the top to add to the fan and flash each time to show no Ace. You do this until you reach your key card.

9. When the key card is spotted, replace all cards on top of the deck but keep a left little finger break. Do a Double Under-Cut to bring the Aces to the top. If you like you can use a

Quadruple Cut, a Triple Cut or a Single ut or cut your fool head off.

10. To summarize the action: You place the Aces in different parts of pack. Using one hand, the left, you push in the Aces with the left forefinger. Immediately, the right hand comes over and strips out the injogged portion in a single cut. Show Aces not on bottom or top. Locate the key card and bring Aces to top with a series of cuts.


A. In placing the Aces in different parts of the pack they may be placed in while the pack is in a fanned condition. The spotting of a key card is simpler in this case. Also, the closing of the fan, plus the pushing in of Aces and Strip Out Cut combine to make a bewildering and hard to follow series of natural actions.

B. In stripping out the plunged cards, you will find it easier and less binding to strip them out sort of sideways, as in Figure 98. The left 3rd finger is the fulcrum point as the cards are swung or twisted, to the right, by right hand.

So far in all Multiple Shifts, the control of the Aces has been to either the top or bottom and that is about as far as they usually went; however, using the Simple Shift and the added idea of a crimped Ace you can control the Aces in Combinations as will be shown next.

The Crimped Ace

1. Decide on the Ace you wish to crimp and always use the same one to avoid confusing yourself or forgetting.

2. At what point you insert the crimped Ace will decide on the combination you will eventually get. The deck is handled face down in these instances.

3. To Get All Four Aces To The Top-Insert the Aces, as for the Simple Shift, with the crimped Ace going above the other three. After the execution of the Simple Shift the four Aces are together in the center with the crimped Ace marking off the location. To get them to the top, cut above the crimped Ace and all will be on top. Any crimp can be used but the belly crimp, only at the inner end, is best. To take the crimp out easily do a side-squaring action of the pack as right forefinger bends top of deck inwards.

4. To Get Three Aces To The Top And One On The Bottom - All you do is proceed as in Step 3, cut the crimped Ace to the bottom which brings the other three Aces to the top.

5. To Get All Aces To The Bottom -Insert the crimped Ace first with the others above it. After the Simple Shift, all the Aces will be together. A cut to bring the crimped Ace to the bottom gets all four there.

6. To Get Two Aces To The Top and Two To The Bottom - Insert the crimped Ace in the 2nd position from the top among the four inserted Aces. After the Simple Shift, a cut to bring crimped Ace to bottom will result in two Aces on top and two on the bottom,

7. To Get Three Aces To The Bottom And One On Top - Insert the crimped Ace into the 2nd position from the bottom among the four projecting Aces, After the Simple Shift a cut to bring the crimped card to bottom will result in three Aces at the bottom and one on top of the deck.

8. For those who may just wish to control the four Aces and yet not crimp any one of them, then use a crimped key card that is about ten cards from the top of the deck. In inserting the Aces the first one is placed directly


below the crimped key. After the Simple Shift all the Aces are together marked off by the crimped key. A cut at the crimp and all four Aces are on top.

9. To Place All Four Aces At A Certain Number From The Top Or Bottom -Suppose you wish to place the Aces at nine cards from the top. In removing the Aces note the 9th card from top of deck as your key card. Hold the deck face up in the left hand as the right hand nandles the Aces. In riffling the deck, at upper left corner, locate your key and insert the first Ace at this place. The other three Aces are inserted above the first one. Now, just doing the Simple Shift automatically gets all four Aces together under the top nine cards.

There are several effects possible now with the Aces at this position such as the standard mathematical effect of "Between Ten and Twenty" or some forms of spelling to the Aces such as the one I contributed to the Sphinx for September, 1950. Except using the above placement you need not shuffle cards onto the Aces after the Simple Shift.

To get the Aces to a certain number from the bottom again spot the key but this time from the face of the deck. Insert the first Ace in the usual manner starting at the back but in putting in the last Ace, placed it in front of the key card. (In this case you would spot a key card at a number one greater than the number at which you wish to place the Aces. For example, you want Aces with nine cards from the face of the deck, so you must use the 10th card as your key.) With all Aces inserted first, turn the deck face down, then do the Simple Shift. The aces will be nine cards from the bottom of the deck.

10. To Get A Center Stock Of Cards To The Top Or Bottom - Suppose you wish to insert the Aces and while keeping them under control, as a unit, get per haps a previous stack of cards into play at either the top or bottom. Assume you have a stack of twenty cards in the center of the deck. Also you know the top and bottom cards of the stack. In inserting the Aces the first one goes in back of the top card of your stack. The last Ace goes in front of the bottom key of your stack. Now if you wish to get the stock to the bottom all you do is the Simple Shift while the deck is face up. This will bring the stack to the face of the deck. If you want the stack on top, then turn the deck face down before doing the Simple Shift. The stack to be thus controlled can be any number of cards. The following effect will show how use of the Center Stock, involving only four cards, is made in connection with the Aces.

Aces and Numbers

In effect, the four Aces are found at numbers designated by playing cards apparently arrived at by chance.

A. Secretly arrange the following four value cards of 4-7-9-5. The suits do not matter but the arrangement is from face to back. Place these cards together at about ten cards from the face of the deck. Remember the face card of the four value cards as your key. Assume it to be the 4D.

Assume the four Aces have been removed and you are holding the deck face up in the left hand. Place the first Ace to the back in the usual manner following with the next two being placed in front of it. The fourth Ace is placed in front of your noted key card, the 4D. Be sure to note a key card for the First Ace you insert. This will later be used to get the Aces to the top.

C. Do the Simple Shift and here is what will happen. As the Shift is made the center section will be plunged out but the 4D will be the face card of this inner section. Cut the in-jogged center portion to the face of the deck. The 4D will be the face card and directly following it are the 7-9-5. The four Aces are together below the key card noted when the first Ace was inserted.

D. Immediately after the cut you spread the face cards of the deck and say, "The Aces are not on the bottom. Incidentally, as long as I cut to these cards I will use them." Here the four face cards are taken off, without reversing their order, to be tossed face down onto the table in a packet. The top card of the four will be the 5, then the 9-7-4. Continue with, "Of course, the Aces are still not anywhere at the bottom and they are nowhere near the top." Here you have turned the deck face down and shown the top cards till you reach the key card. From here the Aces are brought to the top of the deck by holding the break under the key card and cutting the deck.

E. With the Aces on top split the deck for a Faro In-Shuffle to place the Aces at 2nd-4th-6th and 8th positions. Show the top and bottom cards as still not Aces. Call attention to the four face down cards and say, "We will use those cards, arrived at by chance, and which no one knows, to find the Aces." Take the top card of the four tabled cards and say, "Whatever the value of this card we will use it to count down that many cards into the deck." Turn the card face up against top of deck as you say, "It is a five spot. We will count down five cards into the deck." Here turn the card face down on top of the deck. Next, count off five cards one at a time, reversing their order, onto the table. The fifth card is turned face up to disclose an Ace.

Return the counted cards to the top of the deck. Pick up the next tabled card, the nine spot, placing it face up against deck, then turning it face down onto the deck. Count down nine cards and turn the ninth card to show the second Ace. Repeat the process for the next tabled card, the seven spot, to disclose the third Ace. Here hand the deck to spectator and say, "So sure am I that the last Ace is at the number designated by that card I want you to count down to it." Here turn over the tabled card but retain it in your hands as you say, "Four, count to the fourth card, please." The effect finishes when spectator turns over the last Ace.

While I have described the effect as needing pre-setting there is no reason why the expert can not locate the desired cards, bring them to the face of the deck in proper order, all while in the process of removing the four Aces. A short Overhand Shuffle to place the four value cards at tenth from the face of the deck and you are all set to do the effect. (For another effect involving the use of value cards and Aces see Neal Elia's effect, 10-6-9-4 in Show Stoppers With Cards by Hugard and Braue.)

Some may prefer to have the four value cards at the top and insert the four Aces so the first one is directly above the four top cards. Now the Simple Shift, the deal off of the top four cards, a Faro In Shuffle and you are all set to do the effect; however, you do not get the subtlety of the Center Block Stock.

To Use In A Mental Effect

Here you can give the impression of actually distributing, throughout the pack, the mentally selected cards, yet later they are together, in the center, marked off by a key card of some sort. The procedure is to tell the spectator that you will show him some cards and as you do you will insert the cards face down into various parts of the deck; however, he is to think of any one of the cards that you show to him. As the last card, depending on how many cards you intend to show, is inserted into the deck, it of course, goes above


the others. Here it is secretly crimped, at its upper right corner, by the right first finger pressing the corner down over the right 2nd finger.

After the Simple Shift all possible mental selections are under the crimped card and can be cut back to the top of the deck. From here handle them in your favorite manner, eliminating down to the actual mental choice. Another method of crimping is to crimp the top card as you are showing the next to last card of the group. In other words, the right hand displays a card. The left hand, which is holding the deck in Mechanic's Grip position, thumbs over the top card so that the left 2nd fingertip comes in contact with the top card's upper right corner. Now all you do is pull downwards on this corner just enough to crimp the upper right corner of the top card, then pull it back flush onto deck. The misdirection of showing the face of the card to spectator is enough for the crimp to be put in unnoticed. Note: For an effect using the above Mental Distribution idea see The Mental Sandwich notes of October 20, 1954.

Simple Shift - Undercut Variation

1. Insert the Aces as per the Simple Shift, Figure 95. Now place left thumb across the pack as in Figure 95 but do not as yet place the left forefinger at the front end.

2. Right hand now comes over the pack, as if to push in the Aces, with the 1st finger curled on top and the 2nd, 3rd and 4th fingers at the front end, thumb at the rear of the deck but not against it at this point. As the right hand comes over the deck, the right fingers will normally extend when about to push in the Aces, Under cover of the right fingers the left 1st finger plunges the Aces, as per the original action of the Simple Shift, to cause the center section to come out at the inner end. Naturally the right fingers move inwards just as if they had done the pushing in of the Aces.

3. Immediately as the center section is plunged out, the left thumb moves over to the left side of the deck. The right thumb, at the back end, pivots the in-jogged center section to the right as seen in the Figure 99 which is a diagram showing action and finger positions of both hands. The right hand is marked by R's and the left hand is marked by L's. The arrow indicates direction of pivot with the fulcrum point being the left 3rd finger.

Figure 99

Note that the right 1st finger is curled on top near the upper left corner of the deck while the right 2nd, 3rd and 4th fingers are still in front of, and covering, the left 1st finger. The right thumb, at the back end, has pushed over the in-jogged section and is now pressing against the back end of the deck near its inner left corner.

4. Once the center section is angled left, the 4th finger pulls inwards on this section causing it to swing out of the deck into the position shown in Figure 100 where already the left 1st and 4th fingers have straddled this center section. Of course, this is nor mally covered by the right hand from above. The circles show the right hand fingers' position around the deck.

Figure 100

5. The left hand, with its straddled cards, now moves backwards until this section clears the rest of the pack. The line of action is seen in Figure 101. Immediately as the straddled portion is free, the left hand comes around and over to place its packet onto the cards in the right hand. The whole action simulates a Single Undercut.

Figure 101

6. If the pack is handled face up, then the usual noted key card can be used to tip off the location of the Aces which are now together in the center. If the pack is handled face down the crimp is recommended as a means of marking off, and later locating the Aces, in another cut to the top.

7. Some may prefer to place all four fingers at the front end, during the jogging action, to give greater cover for the left 1st finger. Also some may wish to use the right fingers to do the actual pushing in of the Aces. Grasping the deck with all four right fingers at the front end, during the actual Undercut, will be found easier as there is less binding of the cards. I have, however, described the technical preference, with the right 1st finger curled on top of the deck, rather than the easiest method. Do not press down too hard with the right 1st finger on top of the deck and in time you will find it as easy as having all four fingers at the front end. Still the choice is yours.

The Immovable Multiple Shifts

These are those Shifts in which after placing the Aces into different parts of the deck they seem to remain there, The deck is not cut in any way but apparently only squared and yet the cards, to be controlled, end up at either the top or bottom of the deck as you may wish.

To The Bottom - Delayed Type

1. Deck is face down in the left hand, Insert the four Aces and get them to the angled position shown at A of Figure 48. Next straddle the angled Aces between the left 1st finger and 4th finger as already shown in Figure 85. This is all covered by the right hand from above.

2. With the right thumb at the back end, move over the top block of cards to cover the angle-jogged Aces thus going into the Delayed Strip Grip, as per Figure 86, while the right hand moves away from the deck for the moment.


3. On bringing the right hand back to the deck place all four fingers at the front end and thumb at the back near the inner left corner. The deck is now mostly held by pressure between the right 1st finger at the upper left corner and right thumb at the back, near the inner left corner. With this grip the major portion of the cards are controlled.

Figure 48

Figure 85

Figure 86

4. With the deck under control by the right hand the left fingers can move the straddled Aces to the position shown in Figure 100. This is done by stretching the left fingers to the right until the left 1st finger, which is straddling the Aces, can clear the upper right corner of the right hand cards. Once this is done the right hand moves the deck forward. The left hand now remains stationary during all the next actions.

5. Keep moving the right hand forward until the Aces in the left hand clear the rest of the deck. At this stage the situation will be as in Figure 101 where the hands have been omitted to show what is taking place; however, the Figure 102 shows how it looks to the performer.

Figure 102

Note that the right hand is almost directly in line with the back packet of Aces. From the spectator's view the picture would be as in Figure 103 where you will note how the forward position of the right hand effectively conceals the straddled Aces held back by the left fingers.

6. The right hand now moves backwards, keeping the deck down very close to the left palm. The Figure 104 shows the backward action almost in the process of being completed. Remember to keep the left thumb along the side of the deck during the forward and backward movements.

Figure 85

Figure 86

Figure 102

Once the backward action is completed, and the Aces are at the bottom of the deck, the right fingers and thumb run over the ends of the deck in a squaring action to complete the sleight.

Figure 104 Second Variation

1. With the deck face down, insert the Aces and angle jog them as in the above method. Here do the All Around Square Up to get the Aces in-jogged at the back end of the deck.

2. With the right thumb pivot the injoggedAces as in Figure 99. This now is followed by the left 4th finger pulling inward on the Aces in order to get them into the straddle position shown in Figure 100.

3. From the straddle position execute all the actions depicted Figures 101 to 104 of the Delayed Shift. The Aces will be at the bottom.

4. It is also possible to use the same two above methods to control a block of Aces, inserted into the deck as a unit, to the bottom as well as a card that has been peeked at. In this case the left 4th finger, which normally holds the break after the peek, is used to angle the card out as needed. From here the single card is handled in the exact manner as explained for the Shift to the Bottom. In this form you have practically a Side Steal control to the bottom of the deck.

In the above, To The Bottom Shift, I have described it with all four fingers at the front end because the extra width will give greater cover for the action of the left hand as it swings its straddled cards around the upper right corner of the deck; however, if you posess a fairly large hand then you can use the curled right 1st finger on top of the deck during the actions described.

To The Top - Deck Face Down

1. Insert the four Aces into the deck in the prescribed manner. Angle-jog the Aces as per A of Figure 48. The Aces should be inserted as near the bottom of the deck as possible in order for the next move to be successful, in fact, among the bottom twenty cards.

2. With the Aces angled the corners of these cards will be felt by the right thumb and right 4th fingertip. Keeping pressure on the corner felt by the right thumb, the left 2nd and 3rd fingers press inwards on the right side of the angled Aces, thus forcing the upper left corners of the Aces against tip of the left thumb.

The ball of the left thumb is now pressed against these protruding corners. The protruding corners, against the tip of the left thumb, are further maintained by pressure against the right side of the Aces by the left 3rd finger which is in a better position to control the four cards then the left 2nd finger.

3. The left hand remains stationary while the right hand moves the deck forward. The left thumb and left 3rd finger retain their pressure on the Aces so that as the deck is moved forward the Aces automatically move towards the rear of the deck at an angle.

This forward movement is continued until the left and right thumbs meet at inner left corner of the deck as in Figure 105. The jogged corners of the Aces will be about an inch from lower left corner.

Figure 104 Second Variation

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