The Technical Steal

Although there have been many excellent techniques devised in relation to the Side Steal we sincerely believe that the ones here described have several points in their favor which the others do not possess. First, there is absolutely no visible movement to the left fingers. Even at the crucial point, of pressing the stolen card into the right palm, the left fingers remain motionless. Second, the high arched right hand over the pack as compared to the close, almost flat, position in the standard form of the steal. Third, a left hand squaring action followed immediately by a right hand squaring action during which it seems impossible to hold a break, let alone steal the card, Fourth, the forward position of the pack in the left hand makes it difficult to imagine a Side-Steal. This last position also makes for an easy withdrawal of the card.

1. Hold the pack with the right hand from above. With the left fingers and thumb bevel the sides of the pack by pushing the upper left corner of the outer end to the right with the left thumb and pressing the lower right corner of the outer end to the left with the left second and third fingers. The left forefinger is curled under the pack during the beveling action while the fourth finger takes no part at all.

2. After the pack is beveled properly, the pack is placed in the left hand. The left four fingers should be at the right side while the left thumb presses down on the upper left corner or the pack as in Figure i.

3. Proffer the pack for the spectator to pull back, or peek, at the upper right corner of the pack. Due to the position of the left thumb the pack will open bookwise down the length of the deck. This enables the left fourth finger to press inwards against the lower right corner of the deck. When the spectator releases the cards after the peek, the fourth finger will easily maintain the break below the selected card. After the peek the left hand drops to waist level and left thumb moves to the left side of the deck.

4. The right hand comes over to the deck placing its four fingers on the front end of the pack and the right thumb on the back end. The right thumb should be touching the base of the left thumb while the tip of right forefinger should be touching the tip of left thumb. This position is shown in Figure 2. Note that the right hand is arched over the pack. Try to avoid giving any appearance of the right hand hugging the pack.

Figure 2

5. With both hands in the position shown in Figure 2, the left fourth finger enters further into the break. The fourth finger, curled into the break, now presses upwards on the selected card. As this fourth finger moves out to the right the peeked card will come out at an angle as in Figure 3. This angle will be slight. The corner of the angled card will be felt by the right thumb and right fourth finger which press in on these corners to keep the card in position.

6. Once the card is angled as in Figure 3, the left fourth finger need no longer keep a break. The pack is now flush with the exception of the selected card, the corners of which now press against the right thumb and right little finger.

7. The right hand holds onto the pack and projecting card while the left hand

shifts its position by curling the left forefinger under the pack and squaring the sides with the left thumb and left second, third and fourth fingers. Figure 4 shows a bottom view of the existing condition. The right hand moves the deck back and forth during the squaring process; however, the left hand seems to be moving also.

Figure 4

8. After the squaring process with the left hand, the pack is lowered so its lower left corner goes into the thumb crotch of the left hand as in Figure 5. The right hand has been omitted in order to give a clearer picture of the pack's position at this point. Note the forward position of the deck as well as the projecting inner left corner and outer right corner. These corners will normally be grasped between the right thumb and right fourth finger.

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9. In a squaring action of the ends, the right hand holds onto the corners of the projecting card. As the hand moves to the right the card is taken along also as in Figure 6 which is a bottom view of the action. Note that the left forefinger is in a straight line while the remaining left fingers are against the side of pack. The fingertips of the left hand will be rubbing slightly on the face of the card being stolen during the strip out action. From here on do not move the left fingers at all as the rest of the mechanics will be accomplished by the right hand.

Figure 6

10. When the card is stripped out for almost its whole width the right hand moves back to the left. During the movement to the left the right thumb releases the pressure on its corner, but the right fourth finger presses downward on the upper right corner. At the same time the card will pivot on the left second finger tip into the right palm as shown in Figure 7. The movement to the left is continued until the lower left corner of this card comes in contact with the base of the right thumb. At this point a slight contraction at the base of the right thumb will hold the card between the right fourth finger and the base of right thumb.

A corner of the card will still be in the pack as can be seen in Figure 7; therefore, the right hand once more moves to the right until this corner clears the pack. Once the corner comes out of the pack there may be a tendency on the part of the right hand to want to curl around the palmed card. This should be avoided.

12. The right hand moves towards the left over the pack again. This time the palmed card is pressed further into the palm as the index corner of the palmed card is made to ride over the upper right corner of the pack.

13. After the final squaring motion the right hand drops to the side with the palmed card while the pack still remains in the left hand almost at the fingertips.

14. A moment later the stolen card can be replaced to the top of the pack using any one of the palm replacements described in the Action Palm, Chapter 2, or those detailed here later on in the chapter.

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