Method 4 is based on a Gene Maze idea, though he was not aware of this routine at the time. His concept, the Universal Stock (Ellison Poland's Wonderful Routines of Magic, First Addendum, 1973, page 39), introduces an additional element to the effect, allowing the number of hands—between three and seven—to be chosen by the spectator. You could, of course, accomplish this additional feature using Bottom Deals alone but for those familiar with Gene's method—using a combination of Riffle Stacking, Seconds and Bottoms—the top cards are each dealt fairly to the performer on each round. This is a nice additional feature.
This method begins like the previous ones. The Kings are stolen from the sleeve by Gambler's Cop or Lapping, as you prefer, and added secretly to the rear of the face-up deck. The deck is turned face down and a Double Cut used to move the cover card below the Aces from the bottom to the top. The Kings are then stacked for a five-handed deal (adjusting the stacking to accommodate for the card added on top). Ask the spectator how many hands you should deal. If the spectator names a number between three and six, proceed to deal Seconds as required to cause the Kings to fall to your hand. If seven hands are called for, you must do one more shuffle, adding two indifferent cards below the Aces on the bottom. You now deal Seconds and Bottoms as detailed in Gene's Method. (Or simply don't offer seven hands as an option.) Continue as per Method 1, Steps 5-9.
Here is another approach that avoids the Double Cut—and offers an important technique with wider applications. Cut only the Aces to the bottom of the deck, without including a cover card, and set the deck face down on the table as you pretend to load the Kings into the Holdout. While your right hand is in your lap or releases your lapel, position the retrieved Kings, back to palm, into Full Palm. Now add them to the top of the deck, using the following technique.
THE COUGHLIN PALM REPLACEMENT June 17, 1990
This Palm Replacement was developed by my close friend, Noel Coughlin. He recognized that when palmed cards are added back to the top of a deck, the right hand almost invariably covers the top of the deck at some point. Moreover, at worst, it frequently flattens onto the deck at the same time. Both these actions are potential tip-offs that something reprehensible is occurring. Noel's solution is both clever and easy. It may be applied any time palmed cards are being added to the top of the deck from any palm position of which I can think.
Bring the right hand, which we will assume has cards palmed, down to grasp the deck lightly in Overhand Grip. The hand should, however, be somewhat farther to the right on the deck than usual (Figure 110). How far right the right hand can be on the deck is dictated by the length of your left thumb. That thumb must contact the left edge of the right hand's palmed
cards and press them flush against the top of the deck. When the left thumb's grip is secure, move your hands apart. If you prefer, you may move just the left hand. As the hands move, use the left thumb to pull the right hand's cards flush with the top of the deck, aided if necessary by the left fingers. This action is much like that of pulling back the top card after a Second Deal. It is also closely related to Mario's Bobble Cover (Maria's Magazine, Volume 5, 1984, page 265).
If you time the pull-back of the cards with the movement of the left hand, which need not be large or fast, the Palm Replacement is totally imperceptible. I'm confident that if you run through this with cards in hand, you'll find yourself making it your top-card palm replacement of choice in a wide range of situations.
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