Alignment displacement sequence

(A WJ TECHNICAL VARIATION) January 14, 1990

In TED ANNEMANN'S Alignment Move (see "Synthetic Sympathy" in The Jinx, No. 2, November 1934, page 7) the top card of a three-card packet is pulled partially back so the second card can be pushed forward while simultaneously realigning the top card with the bottom one. The out-jogged card is then either drawn from the packet for display or relocation; or the aligned cards are turned end over end as a single card onto the out-jogged second card to display the face of the bottom card as though it were the top one. It was, I believe, Henry Christ's idea (although I've failed to date or find the reference to support this) to invert the Annemann procedure by pushing the top card forward so the second card can be drawn inward while the top card is pulled flush again with the packet. When this handling is applied to open displacements, as in routines such as Sam Schwartz's "Back Flip" (Epilogue, No. 19, November 1973, page 175) and Derek Dingle's "We'll Twist-IfYou Insist" (The Complete Works of Derek Dingle, 1982, page 55), it has always been a bit problematic, requiring more justification than it is given. More often than not it's given no justification at all. The sequence defies logic when used in the usual way, so none is typically offered. What has made the sequence useable, in spite of its total lack of justification, is that it appears innocent or, at least, doesn't seem to accomplish anything nefarious. It is, as typically used, an unjustified open rearrangement of the cards. If this sort of procedure were to be used in most other types of effects, it would be roundly criticized. In the context of the types of packet effects in which it is generally applied, so much happens that can't possibly be explained by this odd procedure that it "gets by." That's not good enough for me. What I'm about to describe is an effort to provide an alternative procedure and an alternative rationale. It isn't a perfect solution but it gives a rather different look to the procedure and provides some, however tenuous, justification. Give it a try. I think you'll agree that this technique is a step in the right direction.

The situation is as follows: Let's say we have a seven-card packet, in which the second card from the top is face up and out-jogged. This is the card we wish to align and displace, and we'll displace it, in this example to a position third from the bottom of the packet while appearing to cut it to the bottom.

Pull down with your left fourth finger 285

usual way. Your right hand moves over I

the packet and the right second finger ^

lightly kicks the out-jogged card to the /

left and into a canted position, creating / ^

space for the second finger to contact / /^f^v/

the packet at the extreme right front / \ J

edge while the right thumb contacts / *

the right near corner (Figure 285).

Carry the two cards below the fourth-finger break forward and into alignment with the out-jogged card. While the right hand holds the upper four cards—the top one and the three below the out-jogged card—the left hand pulls the out-jogged card onto the two cards in the left hand (Figure 286), drawing the card out of the right hand's packet. You'll need a patter line at this point. To some degree this is specific to the effect one is performing. I suggest something like "Remember, the King of Hearts [here you name the card being stripped from the packet] remains in the packet," or "We cut the King of Hearts into the packet." Conclude by putting the right-hand cards on top of the left-hand cards. That completes the Alignment-Displacement. You may note that this procedure is similar to the well-known Strip-Out Addition of Dai Vernon's. This has not escaped me.

In some cases, rather than have the audience conclude that you've cut the card to the bottom or some known point in the middle of the packet, or when you need to position the card and rearrange the order of the cards above it, as you might in some effects, you'll want to convey that you are losing the card within the packet. In that case, you'll need to follow the first displacement with a second. This presents no problem; simply obtain a break under the upper two cards as you deposit them on top of the left-hand group. Without adjusting your Overhand Grip, openly draw the second card by its ends from under the top card (Figure 287), then deposit it on top. This procedure is somewhat like an Overhand Shuffle with the packet remaining parallel with the table rather than being turned on edge. It also resembles a Running Cut. You are probably well advised to cover this sequence with a line like "We can even mix them up a little." This will not serve as justification in every instance, but it will work in many. I'll leave it to you to come up with the appropriate rationale for the situation.

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