there isn't a great deal to say about the history of this effect. Its ancestors are fairly apparent: Vernon's "Triumph" (see Stars of Magic, Series 2, No. 1, 1946) and U. F. Grant's untitled card-locating coin effect (Item 3 in Grant's 1940 monograph, 50 Kute Koin Tricks). The most familiar version of the Grant plot is probably Larry Jennings' "Coin Cut" (The Gen, Vol. 23, No. 2, June 1967, page 33, and later, Larry Jennings on Card and Coin Handling, 1977, page 14). My effect does not apply the methods of Vernon, Grant or Jennings. However, since it is related to Grant's plot, it is also peripherally related to Bob Dreibeck's "Tosheroon," (The Gen, Vol. 23, No. 11, March 1968, page 250), which is a card change under a coin rather than a location effect. My effect is not the same as any of those I've cited. Rather, I believe I've created a new combination of effects that is unique. I am cheered that it has also proven very effective with the public. I hasten to add that I truly appreciate the contributions of all these men, through their respective effects. Differences not withstanding, this routine would not exist without the foundation of their prior efforts.
EFFECT: The performer has a card selected and returned. The deck is tabled and half is turned face-up and riffle shuffled into the face-down portion. After demonstrating the face-up and face-down condition of the cards, a second shuffle is performed. The performer then states he is so confident he can straighten out the mess and find the spectator's card that he'll "put money on it." Upon cutting the deck, a half dollar is seen to be resting on the back of a card. That card proves to be the selection—and the remainder of the deck has returned to its proper orientation, all facing the same way.
METHOD 1 (Basic)
REQUIREMENTS: A deck of cards with a convex, longitudinal bridge which provides some space underneath, when it's face down, in which to hide the required half dollar. The effect must be performed on a close-up pad or other cushioned surface.
1 Keep the half dollar hidden in the left hand or under a tabled spread as you have a card selected.
2 It is of course possible to have the selection returned to the deck, then controlled to the top via various means. A coin in Finger Palm in the left hand interferes very little with many control techniques. At various times I've used the Double-Undercut, the Mahatma Control and a simple Hindu Shuffle. While some attention must be paid to angles, all these are easily accomplished with the half dollar in left-hand Finger Palm. Alternately, have the card returned, face down, to the top of the deck.
3 Arrange the deck on the table in riffle shuffle position, with the coin on the mat under the deck.
NOTE: I have successfully used so many handlings to accomplish this sequence (Steps 1—3) that I'm disinclined to endorse one over another. I have, on occasion, even gone so far as to hide the half dollar under the deck during a previous effect. I usually hide the coin under the deck as I spread the cards between my hands for a selection to be withdrawn. I use whatever control strikes my mood. It is then a simple matter to place the deck onto the table, as one does for riffle shuffling, secretly loading the coin beneath it. I could go into great detail about finger positions and such but a few attempts will teach you more than hundreds of words; it's easy.
4 Undercut the deck to the right, without moving the upper packet to the left, turn the right-hand packet face up, and execute the following shuffle pattern. Release cards from the left-hand packet first. Continue interweaving the cards lightly until there are about twelve cards held by the right thumb and only one held by the left thumb. Release half the cards the right thumb holds, then the one from the left thumb, /ZP^—204
ing cards from the right. / ' vrff^^^^^^" \ \\ I
With the left first finger, / ) \ j push the top card of the " ^x \ J \ 1
left-hand packet to the \ - \ i right and slightly for- / \ \ j ward (Figure 204). / \v I
Continue with the mechanics of the Zarrow Shuffle, as previously discussed, through the rotation of the packets and the resulting unmeshing of the interweave. At that point, rather than moving the right-hand packet leftward, into the left-hand packet, move the right-hand packet backward for about half its width (Figure 205). Now complete the shuffle as previously explained in my description of the Zarrow. It's easy to make too much of this departure in technique. The right-hand packet merely follows a different path on its way into the left-hand packet. This variation, which I call the "Diagonal Rear-Entry Approach," is, I believe, attributable to Derek Dingle. It is useful in this instance because of the single left-side cover card (the selection) and the Block Transfer during the Shuffle. I believe it improves the deceptiveness of the Shuffle under these conditions while making it appear a bit sloppier.
Cut the cards at various points as you say, "Some cards face up, some face down. Some cards are face to back, some are back to back." As you say, "back to back," lift off the cards above the uppermost reversed card (the selection). As you replace this portion, form a left thumb break at the rear edge. Next, using your right hand, cut the portion of the deck lying below the thumb break and above the central division between face-up and face-down blocks to the right (Figure 206). In other words, pull out the center block, the top card of this being the selection, while the bottom card is the 206
lowermost face-up card. As you place the right hand's packet onto the left's, completing the cut, use your left thumb to maintain the break at the division between the face-up and face-down cards. The top card will now be the face-down selection.
NOTE: It is worth mention here that the timing of your cuts to show faceup and face-down cards should reflect your character as a performer. If you profess that skill is the cause of the effects you create, stating the condition of the cards you are about to cut—e.g. face to face—before actually doing so is consistent. Someone skillful enough to rapidly locate, separate and right all the reversed interwoven cards would certainly have the skill to decide whether to cut to face-to-face or back-to-back cards. On the other hand, if
you profess that the phenomena you offer your audiences are the result of external forces, arcane means or other outside causes, you would not know the state of the cards you cut until you have done so. As a result, the timing of your patter should reflect what you are observing. This simple timing adjustment and the acting that would accompany it give consistency to your performance. Such matters add to one's credibility as a performer. My bias aside, it is not critical which choice you make; but your choice should be consistent with your professed relationship to the magic you perform.
With your right hand, cut the block below the break to the right and turn this face-down packet face up. Shuffle the packets together, making sure cards fall from the left-hand packet first and last. This second shuffle is not false, but it should simulate the actions of your Zarrow Shuffle in all particulars.
Give the deck one more cut, bringing the lone face-down card to just below the middle of the deck. Make the cut a bit sloppy, justifying your hands moving over the deck to square it. As they do so, form a break above the face-down card with your left thumb. Your hands should be arched over the deck as they do during squaring.
ing the back edge slightly, and leave the coin on the pad surface. Move the right thumb so that it can press on the near edge of the coin. Continue moving the deck forward until the front edge of the coin clears the back edge of the deck. The coin will tip up at the front (Figure 207). Sliding the deck backward and the coin forward, it should enter the break in the deck (Figure 208). With the right thumb, push the coin into the break. You will find that the angles on this loading action are not as demanding as it might at first appear. With a bit of attention to detail you can screen it from most angles, provided the audience is not significantly above your eye level as you sit at the table, and is not seated extremely close to you.
Once the load is complete, you can, as I sometimes do, squeeze the deck by the long edges, re-establishing the bridge in the deck and thus the space, now within the deck, for the coin to rest. Your hands can come away from the deck
4?;v|f but should rest to the right and left of it, fingers curled loosely. This may not always be necessary, but it is a good habit since it screens the gap caused by the -. p coin, preventing it from being seen prematurely.
9 "If I said I could straighten out this mess of face-up and face-down cards instantly, you might or might not believe me. But if I said I could straighten out this mess and find your card, you would probably think I was crazy. Well, that may be true but I'm sure. I'm so sure, I'll put money on it!"
10 Cut the deck at the coin and place the cut off portion to the right. Lift off the • J§| face-down card with the coin on it and place it directly in front of you. Move the : ; ; remaining packet to the left. Slide the coin back, off the selected card.
-ij| Ask for the name of the selection and reveal it saying, "Then that's your card."
12 Spread both packets back toward you at the same time, revealing all the cards - 'jji face up and add, "And I believe that straightens the mess."
NOTE: The revelation of the selection and the righting of the deck are shown as two steps. This is done to stress that there are two distinct effects and that they should not be rushed, blurring them together. You do not, however, want to stop between these steps. Your energy—as expressed through voice and body language—should build as each layer of the climax is revealed. A brief pause between the steps is acceptable but not mandatory. There should not, however, be a pause in your energy, which should build steadily to the final climax.
Was this article helpful?