Practice Techniques

Set up a large hatbox in the center of the room and sit in a chair about five feet away. Hold the cards in your left hand and feed them one at a time into the right hand as you begin to throw. It is best to toss the cards lightly over the box so they will float gently down inside.

A Hatbox

58 This requires a subtle control which will be useful later in more difficult shots.

Once the student is proficient at this drill he should move the chair so that it is ten feet away, and throw cards into the hat instead of the box. I suggest a collapsible opera or top hat which may be carried easily, allowing the student to practice almost anywhere.

To throw cards into a hat requires a different knack than that used for target throws but it is a good stunt to practice for two reasons: first, it gives one a feeling of subtle control when it is mastered (note in the illustration how the wrist gently moves upward for the release of the card); and second, in the vernacular of the street, it allows one to "hustle a buck." True, the days when Rajah Raboid hustled the hatboys in the millinery shops on Broadway are gone, but a clever fellow can always get up a bet for cards-in-the-hat at the local barber shop or billiard parlor. If you're looking for an edge, if sheer skill isn't enough, then the following anecdote may be heartening.

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