IN the course of toying with a deck of cards, card workers can and have produced many amazing techniques and concealments. What is, perhaps, more surprising is that new discoveries continue to occur regularly. In the summer of 1979, while toying with a deck, I made what seemed at the time a discovery that could revolutionize card magic. I was wrong. Someone else had made the same discovery more than twenty-five years earlier. He had published it, and card magic had not been revolutionized by it. I guess I have no future in soothsaying.
Somewhere between Lateral Palm (as first described by Jim Steranko, Steranko on Cards, I960, page 18) and Clip Steal position (as defined by Ed Mario in Revolutionary Card Technique, Chapter 4: Side Steal, 1957, page 22—although this position was first described by Arthur Buckley in Triple Climax, 1921) is a palm position described by Ellsworth Lyman (M.U.M., Vol. 44, No. 1, June 1954, page 30). For reasons unknown to me, Lyman called the position Cloyes (pronounced Klow-ee) Palm. Bruce Cervon, in his book Ultra Cervon (1990, page 125), applies this position to what he loosely—and in my opinion incorrectly—defines as the "Free-Turn Principle." (Cervon's concept is not a principle but rather a broadly defined cover action.) Unfortunately, the Palm position, the "Principle" and the Free-Turn Pass (Cervon's most noted application) have become confused. This and other factors have obscured the utility and scope of the Cloyes Palm. For that reason, among others, I propose to rename the Cloyes Palm "Low Lateral Palm"—a more apt moniker—with full credit to Ellsworth Lyman, and to offer some exciting new applications for this truly under-appreciated grip.
While, as I've said, I first employed this position in 1979, I began exploring it in earnest in May of 1993. Most of the material described herein was devised in and around that time. I did not immediately commit these ideas to my notes. The techniques have been continually refined, using the mirror and video tape to fuel the analysis. In addition, I have received feedback and ideas from a few of my most trusted magic friends. Finally, I've tested the material by incorporating it into my performances. I am now, as a result, solidly persuaded of the strength of these techniques.
I do not envision Low Lateral Palm replacing Lateral Palm in all applications. Techniques like Dan Garrett's Spin Change and Lennart Green's Snap Deal do not lend themselves to the use of Low Lateral Palm. Nevertheless, for those applications to which it can be applied, it is at least marginally superior in a variety of particulars. In applications involving larger packets, add-backs to the deck (Capping) or those that have angle considerations, Low Lateral Palm has significant advantages. Large packets are better supported and more secure in Low Lateral Palm. Adding or stealing cards from a packet or the deck can be handled more naturally using Low Lateral Palm. Finally, as a general matter, because the grip holds the card(s) lower in the hand, the angle considerations are less demanding. No individual benefit of Low Lateral Palm may be sufficiently persuasive argument for its adoption. Cumulatively, the benefits are compelling.
To begin, one needs to understand exactly where Low Lateral Palm position is in the hand. The easiest way to convey this information is to guide you through the process of putting cards into the position. Begin with your right hand relaxed before you, palm to the left, with the fingers more or less straight. Take a group of ten cards and hold them parallel to the floor by the middle of the left edge, at your left fingertips. Now place the front right corner of the packet into the fork between the right third and fourth fingers, directly at the base. Next, curl the right fingers inward until the right second fingertip rests on the front left corner of the packet. Adjust the second fingertip until it extends far enough past the corner, around to the left, to hold the packet with no assistance from the left hand (Figure 258). Be aware that in practice the curled third and fourth fingers can support the cards from below but, for our current purpose, use only the second fingertip and the area at the base of the third and fourth fingers where they join. That's the basic Low Lateral Palm position. The hand should be in a relaxed curl. The cards are quite secure. Hold some cards in this position for a few minutes every day, while you're watching TV for example, and you'll become quite comfortable with it in no time.
In the next few pages, I'll share with you a considerable amount of information on this position. I'll begin with the technique that started my exploration of this extremely useful concealment and go on to share enough of what I've learned to, hopefully, give impetus to my original prophecy. Where there's life there's hope.
THE DEAL-OUT SUBTRACTION SEPTEMBER 12, 1979 ALPHA
Most magicians who spend any significant time with cards have used some of that time thinking about variations of the celebrated Secret Addition and the more recently introduced Secret Subtraction (the J. K. Hartman technique). I'm no exception. While looking for a substitute that could be performed away from the deck, while standing, I came up with what I've dubbed the Deal-Out Subtraction. It uses a novel combination of ideas (including Low Lateral Palm) and, when the circumstances for its use prevail, it is extremely fair looking. No possibility of a switch would enter the mind of either magician or lay person (though magicians rarely believe, when watching such things as Ace assemblies, that you've laid down the Aces unless you leave them face up, in which case they will then assume you're using double-facers). I have on occasion used this as a substitute for the Secret Subtraction in conjunction with my "L.S.D Aces." (See Epilogue, No. 16, November 1972, page 147, and Stop Fooling Us!, 1989, page 35.) It has always proven most effective. I'll describe it as I use it in that situation, though it is clearly applicable in many others as well. If you try it (getting past the idea of the "strange" palm position) you'll find it very deceptive.
SET-UP: You are holding the deck in your hands, and the four Aces are on the table. There are many other ways to begin; but, for the sake of learning, this will be clearest.
Either palm two cards in left-hand Gambler's Cop or get a break under two cards. If you use the Cop, put down the deck to your left and pick up the Aces as a face-up spread, adding the two face-down, copped cards to the Ace packet as you square it. If you formed a break, add the two face-down cards to the face-up Ace packet as you square them over the deck (you needn't actually place the Aces onto the deck). Lift away the Ace packet with the two extra cards and place the deck to your left, fairly close to the edge of the table. Regardless of the method you use for the Add-On, you want to end up with a packet of face-up Aces in your hands with two face-down indifferent cards below them, and the deck tabled to your left.
After calling attention to the card on the face of the Ace packet, turn that card face down and put it under the packet. Do the same with each of the other Aces until you've shown all four. (This hide-out principle was described by Martin
Gardner in his 1942 booklet, Cut the Cards (page 14), and was later used in the better-known Unlimited Count by Norm Osborn from the Mario and Osborn manuscript Unlimited (1953). Here it merely conceals cards, as in the original Gardner application.) From the top down, the face-down packet will now consist of two indifferent cards followed by the Aces.
Take the packet into a Forward Dealing Grip in the left hand. The important feature of this grip is that both front corners of the packet should extend beyond the left first finger (Figure 259).
Deal the top three cards face down onto the table, left to right, in front of you. As you deal, move the left hand out alongside the spot to which you deal each card. In other words, don't take the card with your right hand and carry it to the spot. The taking of the card and the tabling of the card should occur at essentially the same location.
After dealing the third card, move both hands back toward the middle and closer to you. As the hands travel, the left thumb slides the top card of its packet to the left. The card will rotate on the major crease between the thumb and first finger at the outside edge of the hand (Figure 260). As you move this card, your left hand should be cocked leftward at the wrist and your right hand kept close but in front of the left, acting as a screen for the action. A slight turn to the left may also help.
When the left hand has arrived at the spot where the last card is to be dealt, to complete the T-formation, it stops. The right hand continues as though taking the card. The front right corner of the lower two cards beneath the top card hit the right hand at a point on the pad of flesh below the base of the third and fourth fingers. The right second finger curls around the front end so its tip can grip the left front corner of the packet under the pivoted top card—and you have achieved Low Lateral Palm (Figure 261). These grips on the packet (in this case, two cards) and the packet itself are hidden by the pivoted card and the right hand.
As soon as the right hand's grip on the packet is secure, it moves, in an unhurried manner, to the right, pinching the top card between the right thumb and first finger, in preparation for dealing it to the table. The left hand comes along, as though helping to carry the card to the table, pulling it to the left sufficiently to aid its clearance of the cards palmed in the right hand. The left hand also acts as a screen from the left side (Figure 262).
As soon as the final card is dealt, the right hand moves unhurriedly to the left, over to the tabled deck. It descends to the deck, adding its cards to the top, then picks up the deck for use in whatever way your effect requires.
NOTE: Under most conditions, turning to the left is sufficient cover. Adding the left-hand screen merely makes the technique more usable when the angles are demanding. Further, when the technique is applied to switch out other combinations of cards, or more cards, you may need to change the open display-and-duck procedure to create the displacement needed for the cards to fall to the positions your application requires. This is fairly easily accomplished once you understand the switch sequence.
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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.