March 30 1993

As I'VE mentioned, in Pasteboard Perpensions I described a variation of the Rezvani-Vernon New Theory Deal, which I called "The Sure Theory Second Deal." Now, by adding a variation of a Take technique by Mario, which he employed in his Push-Pull Bottom Deal (New Tops, Vol. 7, No. 12, December 1967, page 41), I've developed a new way of dealing Thirds. This new approach has at least one advantage over previously published techniques: There is no pre-positioning required when this technique is applied. The top of the deck can be viewed between deals. In other words, there are no step-jogged or fanned cards being controlled by your thumb, as in prior techniques. This is, in my opinion, a significant improvement and gives the Deal its merit; but this merger of concepts produces the potential for other uses of the Theory Thirds approach. The reader will find some of these exploited in the techniques that follow and may devise his or her own as well.

One other point should be made here: This technique is not easy to acquire. If you don't have a background in dealing both Push-Off and New or Sure Theory Seconds you will find the learning curve quite steep. Be assured that the Deal is workable and can fill your existing and foreseeable need for dealing Thirds.

GRIP

Hold the deck in Mechanic's Grip. Your first finger should be at the outer end, the other fingers along the right side. The first finger should extend above the front edge of the top card.

PUSH-OFF

Bend your left thumb slightly and place the left side of its outer phalange at the extreme left outer edge, resting on the top surface of the deck

(Figure 191). With sufficient pressure, a tiny crease of flesh will be forced over the edge of the second card. The cards may tend to bevel slightly, producing contact between the thumb and the upper surfaces of both cards, but it is preferable that this not occur. The two cards should be controlled by their edges alone.

Move your thumb to the right. The two cards should move rightward, passing over the left fingertips. The left first finger, at the front, acts as a guide, of sorts, so the cards move in a straight line across the deck. This is a feel that one develops with practice.

NOTE: While the idea of pushing off two cards by using the flesh overhang of the thumb dates back at least as far as Expert Card Technique, the idea of applying that flesh to the left side of the deck, rather than the front edge, stems from an Earl Nelson Double Lift technique taught on his Earl Nelson Video Workshop, Volume 2 (1984).

As you continue the push, the inner part _ 192

of your thumb will contact the third card down. This is the same technique used in the Rezvani-Vernon New Theory Deal. If you continue the push, the third card too will pass over the fingertips at the right side of the deck. Figure 192 shows the position, but with the misalignment of the top two cards exaggerated for clarity.

TAKE

Hold your right hand, thumb uppermost, about six inches to the right of the deck. Move this hand about three inches to the left as the left hand moves about the same distance rightward. As the hands approach each other, slightly necktie the deck. This is not a rapid action; rather it is performed at a smooth, even tempo. Eventually, the right thumb will contact the extreme right edge of the doubled cards, driving them back toward alignment with the deck. At the same time, the instant after contact, the left fingers straighten, pushing the third card farther to the right. When the technique is clicking, the doubled cards will act

and feel like a single card and the third card will almost jump from beneath the double card to under your right thumb.

At the completion of this push-back action, the card that is third from the top will be jogged to the right for about a third of its width, with your right thumb above it. The top two cards will be essentially square with the deck. If you find the third card rotating as it moves leftward, concentrate on equalizing the pressure exerted by the left fingers as they straighten. Ultimately, once the third card is side-jogged it is a simple matter to press up with your right second finger and down with your right thumb to grasp the jogged card and carry it to the right, clear of the deck. There should be no appreciable pause between the pushing of the upper two cards to the left and the grasping and carrying of the third card to the right.

Your left fingers should begin to curl back toward the deck before the jogged card clears the right side, although they cannot complete this action until the card clears. If you time the action correctly, your second and third fingers will be re-aligning the deck against the base of your left thumb before the removed card reaches the table. Applying forward pressure will align all the cards at the front by driving them against your left first finger. The Deal is complete when the deck is fully square. Other than the Two-Card Push-Off, maintaining the squareness of the deck is the most challenging part of the deal. You can anticipate that gaining assurance with it will be the last step of mastery.

NOTE: Ixv Mark Magazine, Volume 3, 1979, Eddie identifies and employs an additional action to enhance the illusion of his Natural Second Deal (page 65, Step 6). Vernon had applied essentially the same idea to a Bottom Deal. That action also applies well here. Add a left-hand wrist-turn at the moment of the Take. It is astounding how much this improves the look of the Deal in instances where you are dealing straight down to the table.

One more idea some may find appealing is to hold the right thumb parallel to the right edge of the pushed-off cards. If this approach is taken and you maintain close alignment of the doubled cards, the necktie may be avoidable. Some will find the Parallel-Thumb Take to be "unnatural"; you can make your own determination.

FOURTHS, FIFTHS, ETC.

When I began practicing the preceding technique, I experienced a fair amount of difficulty ensuring that the Two-Card Push-Off that began the action yielded only two cards. This is not a unique problem with Two-Card Push-Offs but the problem seemed exacerbated by the straight, rather than the more traditional arced, Push-Off. I began experimenting with holding a two-card fourth-finger break while dealing. The break is unnecessary if the deck isn't sticky, but it can be useful when it is. Nevertheless, some may find dealing easier when using the break. In any case, this practice taught me that with a break below three, four or more cards I could deal fourths, fifths, etc. You may find this useful as well. (Also see "Adding Differentiation" on page 276.)

Now that you understand the Theory Thirds concept, the following techniques will be both easier to understand and to acquire.

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