Lesson 13

After Hours Magic: A Book of Al Thatcher Card Magic

Encyclopedia of Card Tricks

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In this lesson you learn some interesting stabbed card effects. I also teach you here the REGULAR PASS.

In Card Magic one of the most essential principles to know is how to get a card that is placed in the middle of the deck to the top or bottom where it can be kept track of.

Magicians for a long time have depended on what is known as THE PASS. It has answered the purpose to a certain extent, but it is not a perfect principle. It must be performed in a perfect manner to be undetectable to watchful eyes. There is usually a flash of the cards which might lead a spectator to suspect something.

THE SIMPLIFIED PASS, which I taught you in Lesson 9, is best for the student as well as the skilled performer. There is almost no danger of detection and this Simplified Pass should be used in preference to the Regular Pass as a rule.

As a Magician, however, you should know the Regular Pass and be proficient in using it. There are times when its use is required and it is effective with proper Misdirection.


Fan a deck of cards and have spectator select card. Close deck and divide it into two parts, holding upper section A in right hand and lower section B in left hand. Faces of cards are down. Figure 1.

Have selected card returned to deck and placed on section B. Place section A on B, and in doing so, insert little finger of left hand between the two sections. Figure 2.

To the audience it looks as though the two packets have been brought together and the selected card lost in the middle. Keep front edges of cards well together so that audience cannot see that the two packets are separated.

Place first and second fingers of right hand (first joints) on front edge of lower packet B and right thumb on rear edge of B. Be careful not to exert any pressure on top packet A. Figure 3.

First, second, and third fingers of left hand are curved down over top of packet A.

Push up packet A with left little finger. The packet is securely held by little finger on left side and first, second, and third fingers on right side. Figure 4.

Raise packet B with right hand. Figure 5.

Curve fingers of left hand back toward palm, pushing packet A back down under B. Figure 6.

Get packet A down in position which B was in at first. Figure 7.

Drop packet B on top of packet A. Figure 8.

The selected card is now on top of the deck.

Study the diagrams, Figures 9 to 14. These show the movements in the PASS. Packets A and B are marked. The line above Packet B designates the selected card.

THE PASS must be performed in a flash. It must be done, not as a series of movements, but as one quick move. You must practice it until its performance becomes automatic with you and you can do it almost without thinking.

Never look at the pack while you are doing the PASS. Do not squint your eyes or make grimaces while doing it.

Some magicians close their eyes or do something peculiar while doing some important move like the PASS. You must watch yourself so that you do not give yourself away at a crucial moment by some grimace.

The best angle for doing the PASS seems to be the position in which the performer's right side is turned a little toward audience. Back of right hand and backs of cards are toward audience. Stand in front of your mirror and watch your reflection in the mirror in studying the Angles of Visibility in doing the PASS.

After spectator returns selected card to deck, wait a few moments before doing the PASS. Do not hurry to do it immediately. Wait until the audience is off their guard.

Remember NATURALNESS in performing the PASS. It must not appear that you are doing anything unusual or that you are performing any quick movements. Naturalness, you know, is the secret of good Magic.

When doing the SIMPLIFIED PASS you can go right ahead with it even when the audience is watching closely for there is no danger of detection. And this form of PASS requires no Misdirection.


This is accomplished by the same method that is used in getting a card to top of deck except for position of little finger of left hand. The little finger, in this case, is placed under the card instead of on top of it, when card is replaced on packet. When packet A is placed on packet B, the selected card becomes the bottom card of A with little finger under it.

When the PASS is performed, packet B becomes the top packet, and packet A with the selected card at the bottom becomes the bottom packet. The selected card is then on the bottom of the deck.

When accomplishing this with the SIMPLIFIED PASS, you must perform it in this way:

Be sure to have backs of cards toward audience instead of the faces. In shuffling the overhand way in the Simplified Pass to get a card to bottom of deck, a different move is required.

Raise top packet A and place on other side of packet B. With left thumb slip off the selected card as you raise packet A again and shuffle towards front of deck, being careful not to disturb bottom card. In this case you shuffle away from audience, whereas when selected card is on top, you shuffle toward audience with faces of cards toward them; and you turn right side a little toward audience, whereas in the other way of working, you turn left side toward audience.

When doing the Riffle Shuffle, selected card at bottom of right-hand packet A is merely allowed to fall first to keep it at the bottom.

The card effects in this lesson are impromptu and can be performed at a moment's notice anywhere. They are suitable for parlor, club, or stage work.

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Fundamentals of Magick

Fundamentals of Magick

Magick is the art and practice of moving natural energies to effect needed or wanted change. Magick is natural, there is absolutely nothing supernatural about it. What is taught here are various techniques of magick for beginners. Magick is natural and simple and the techniques to develop abilities should be simple and natural as well. What is taught on this site is not only the basics of magick, but the basics of many things.

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