Action

Because this topic is so extensive, I cannot take as systematic an approach as I have in previous sections. I am not, however, unaware of how useful such an analysis would be. For the time being, I can only offer that there are at least three recurrent problems in efforts to create deceptive Bottom Deals. These are:

(1) Hiding the finger drop and/or flash in Side-Take Bottom Deals, whether Buckle or Strike type. The Artanis idea of strongly beveling the deck is extremely helpful in masking this problem. The Deep Take introduced by Mario is also helpful.

(2) Noise. Tremendous effort has been invested in trying to reduce the "pop" noise made by Strike Deals and the friction noise made by Buckle Deals. Cardini (not Mario) introduced the Wrist-Turn Deal, in The Tarbell Course in Magic, (1927 mail-order course, Lesson 35, page 19; and later, Volume 2, 1942, page 185). Dr. Daley created the Left Take—Left-Hand Deal (see Jacob Daley's Notebooks, Item 308; Larry Jennings' T.N.T. Bottom Deal is a variant of Daley's concept). Mario gave us the Missing Finger Deals (Seconds, Centers, Bottoms, page 85). All these approaches were, in part, an effort to address the noise problem.

(3) The third problem is the psychological one. Psychological problems don't always lend themselves to psychological solutions. A number of individuals have endeavored to use physical actions to create a sense of casualness. Three such ideas are Audley Walsh's Scissor-Take Stud Bottom Deal, which appears in the Tarbell Course in Magic, Volume 2 (Method 3, page 187), Tony Giorgio's Toss Take (unpublished) and the End Take—Snap Over Bottom Deal (an unpublished Al Gallo technique that was slated for a Karl Fulves book that never saw publication), championed by Ken Krenzel. Of course, ideas like Necktieing, Wrist Swinging and Carrying, at least in theory, are aimed at these problems. It is an arguable matter how well they succeed.

Much more could, and should, be written on this subject. For now I will conclude by saying that too many Bottom Deals have been reinvented and claimed by uninformed, under-informed or dishonest newcomers to the scene, who have more ego than honor. Deal development is stifled by such individuals filling book pages with the same old techniques in, at best, new combinations. Such efforts are to my way of thinking "rip-offs."

COVER

The last issue I'll address is perhaps the area of greatest frustration to me: Cover. Part of this issue relates to the creation of a visual illusion that the top card is being taken when in fact it's the bottom one. This is distinct from creating the visual-psychological illusion that the top card must have been taken because no other card could have been. I refer to the first case as a "Positive Illusion" and the second case as a "Negative Illusion." Though I have written about it before, for the sake of completeness, creating the visual-psychological conviction that the top card must have been taken because no other card could have been is a Negative Illusion. It differs markedly from the more pure, affirmative optical illusion that the top card is being taken, which constitutes a Positive Illusion.

I wish there was much more to be said on this subject but there simply hasn't been much contributed on the matter. Mario titled one of his Deals the Illu-sionary Bottom Deal (see New Tops, Vol. 8, No. 3, March 1968, page 36; and MINT, Volume I, 1988, page 356) but it is nothing of the sort. He was arguably more successful with a psychological ploy he called the IBD (Immediate Bottom Deal) in Fulves' Pallbearers Review (Vol. 4, No. 5, March 1969, page 245). My Long Stroke concept (part of the Back-Right Bottom Deal from Pasteboard Perpensions) takes a serious stab at creating a Positive Illusion but falls short for packets larger than about fifteen cards. At the time of this writing, no one I have seen has developed a technique that produces a full-deck Positive Illusion Bottom Deal. When I consider the dumbfounded looks I get when I broach such matters with most Dealers, or the argument I get from others, I don't hold much hope for the near future. Nevertheless, the Bottom Deal, in its capacity as a switch, is among the most powerful tools in the entire arsenal of card magic. It should increase in popularity in years to come. I am hopeful that my contributions in the following pages will help speed the day.

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