Ace Triumph

Some of the strongest card tricks substitute clever handling for sleight of hand. Once the handling is learned well enough for it to be performed without hesitation, the magic just seems to happen. In this routine fece-up cards are mixed with face-down cards. The magician snaps his fingers and all the cards turn face down. The kicker is that four of the cards remain face up, but they are the four aces!

Method: Beforehand secretly reverse the four aces on the bottom of the deck. Thus the deck will be face down with the four aces face up on the bottom.

To perform the trick place the deck face down on the table. The long sides of the cards are parallel to the near edge of the table. Cut off the top half of the deck with the left hand, turn it face up and place it to the left of the other half of the deck. Then grasp both packets from above, as in Figure 81.

Push both halves of the deck toward the center of the table. This will allow you enough room to cut the packets back toward you. Lift off about two-thirds of each half. Cross the hands and place the cut-off packets on the table as shown in Figure 82. The hands then cut off about half of these packets, the arms uncross, and the packets are placed on the table as shown in Figure 83. Note that face-up and face-down packets alternate in two rows on the table.

Without letting go of the packets held in the hands at this point, draw them back to the near edge of the table, get the thumbs under the packets and lever them Qver. Place them on top of the next packets in line, as in Figure 84. The arrows in Figure 84 indicate that the packets in the hands are flipped over onto the next packets.

Fig. 83

Fig. 83

Slide these packets back to the near edge of the table. Get the thumbs under these packets and lever them over. Place them on top of the remaining packets, as in Figure 85. You now have just the two halves of the deck on the table. But when you do this smoothly and quickly, it appears as if face-up and face-down cards have been hopelessly mixed.

Without hesitation draw the two halves of the deck back toward the near edge of the table. The right thumb slides under the right-hand packet and levers it over. Immediately riffle shuffle the two halves of the deck together, as in Figure 86. It helps if the hands are close together, covering as much of the cards as possible, so thai the audience sees only the top card of each half of the deck. Hie illusion is that face-up and face-down cards are being shuffled together.

After the shuffle, square up the deck. Give it a cut, complete the cut and turn the deck over. Snap the fingers and say, "Just like that, all the cards turn face down."

Spread the deck face down on the table. All the cards will be face down except for four face-up cards, and they are the four aces.

There is a way to obtain an additional climax with no change in the handling. Assume you are using a red-backed deck. Remove the four aces and place them aside as they will not be used. Take the four aces from a blue-backed deck and place them face up on the bottom of the face-down red-backed deck. Then on the face of a red-backed joker write, "They're marked!" Turn the joker face up and place it on the bottom of the red-backed deck.

This completes the preparation. From the top down you have the red-backed deck, then four face-up blue-backed aces, then a face-up joker on the bottom with "They're marked!" written on the face.

Perform the routine exactly as described. At the finish you will have a face-down deck with five face-up cards in the middle. Remove the joker and have the spectator read aloud the writing. Act puzzled for a moment, then turn the aces over to show that they ate indeed marked, with blue ink!

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