This is based on the original Ed Mario routine from Ibidem (No. 15, December 1958, page 2, or page 282 in the book version), Johnny Thompson's "Les Quick Cartes" in Cardiste, No. 13 (included only in Gene Shelley's 1969 bound, expanded reprint of this journal, page 24), Harry Riser's "Hofcinser All-Backs" that appeared in Epilogue, No. 12 (July 1971, page 91) and collaborative work Derek Dingle and I did. I have added little. The primary reason for its inclusion is to remind those unfamiliar with it just how good it is. I have been using it for many, many years. In fact, if I am in a position to perform only one effect, "Quick Three-Way" is usually my choice, and has been for a long time.
The basic plot is the classic Everywhere and Nowhere with an All-Backs phase inserted between them. I developed this version of the effect because I thought it would be useful to be set for another effect at the completion of "Quick Three-Way," even if I seldom used the set-up in a following effect. In fact, I rarely use this version. I usually perform this handling and presentation but with the standard four-card packet. The only difference between the four- and five-card handlings is the requirement of a preliminary set-up for the latter.
SET-UP: Secretly put four of a kind on the top of the deck. I'll use Aces here, as I sometimes follow this routine with my "L.S.D. Aces" (published in Epilogue, No. 16, November 1972, page 147; and in my Stop Fooling Us! 1990 lecture notes, page 35) in which case I eliminate the Spectator Cuts the Aces sequence (Stop Fooling Us!, page 34) that I otherwise use as a lead-in to that routine.
Have a card peeked at. My patter has been, "I'm going to ask you to take your left thumb—that's the big one on the end of your left arm. Do you have one?" Regardless of what the spectator says, explain, "I ask because in my old neighborhood not everybody did. [Telia tough neighborhood joke if you like.} Anyway, take your left thumb and push back the corner of the deck and just peek at a card." Turn your head away as the spectator peeks. Pick up your break as you say, "Did you get one?" The spectator will tell you that he did. This was an Eddie Fechter gambit (Magician Nightly: The Magic of Eddie Fechter, 1974, page 74).
Pretend that you didn't know that the spectator got one as you say, "I see they taught you how to take little tiny peeks in your old neighborhood." While it is not the most efficient or expeditious handling—as my publisher, Stephen Minch, points out, you could glimpse it in place—I use the following sequence because it gives me something to do with my hands while I'm acting like I didn't know they had peeked at a card. As any experienced actor will tell you, knowing what to do with your hands makes acting easier. Besides, if they buy the gambit, the audience has no idea what is being done. I cut the deck, bringing the peeked card to the bottom. I 63
next squeeze the deck, bowing it lengthwise to the left (Figure 63). This allows me to glimpse the bottom card. I then cut the cards again and hand them to the spectator saying, with a touch of self-annoyance, "Here, shuffle the damn deck."
NOTE: A Side Steal would also work here. (I'll describe my Side Steal later in this volume, on page 181), but since somewhere in the mid to late 1970s
I've been using this procedure.
When you receive the deck back from the spectator say, "I'm faced with the usual magicians dilemma—trying to find your card." Quickly go through the deck, culling the four of a kind you originally put together. They should not have been separated much by the spectator's shuffle. You should also bring the spectator's peeked-at card to the bottom of the deck. I use Marios Prayer Cull (New Tops, Vol. 6, No. 6, June 1966, page 28; or M.I.N.T., Volume I, 1988, page 232) to cull the Aces, under the spread, to the top. When you have the four of a kind on top and the selection on the bottom, say, "I'll tell you what; I'll make it difficult for myself. I'll do this behind my back, in the dark." Put your hands behind your back. Add, "Notice, I close my eyes. That makes it dark for me."
Behind your back rearrange the cards as follows: selection face down, peeled from the bottom; two Aces face up, peeled from the top and flipped over;
two Aces face down, peeled from the top. From the top down the packet will then be: face-down Ace-face-down Ace-face-up Ace-face-up Ace-face-down selection.
5 Bring the packet from behind your back in squared condition, held in left-hand Dealing Grip. The talon should be brought out held from above by the right hand. Place it aside or in your pocket.
6 Holding the cards in your left hand, push off the top one and do a Pull-Down of the bottom card. With your right hand, grasp the top card and the three-card block below it (Figure 64) and move them to the right, creating an apparent three-card Ian. Say, "I was so sure I knew which card you chose that I took out three cards, just to make certain; but whichever card you touch, that will be your card. Touch any one of the three and it will be yours."
NOTE: You will likely come to realize that I use the Pull-Down technique almost exclusively throughout this routine. I generally prefer Pull-Downs when handling a small packet, as I find that multiple-card alignments are better preserved. In some instances, the Pull-Down does not feel right for various reasons. 1 will then switch to the use of a Buckle. I guess you could say my use of the Pull-Down is more than just preference but certainly not dogma. Remember, the audience thinks I'm in trouble because I missed the peek. "1 was so sure..." is delivered with a false bravado. The next part, "that I took out three cards..." is delivered sheepishly. The delivery of the line makes it work. It isn't hilarious, but it amuses the audience to see me go through the emotional change.
7 If they touch any card but the bottom one, say, "...except that one. Actually, I was hoping you'd touch this, the bottom one." If they touch the bottom card say, "I'm glad you touched that one. I think that was your card." Turn over the bottom card and show it as the spectator's selection. Then replace it face down on the bottom.
8 Square the fan. Pull back the top card with your first fingertip (Figure 65), then reverse directions and push out the second card with the second fingertip. At the same time use your
right thumb to realign the top card with the bottom card at the near end (Figure 66). This is often called the "Christ-Annemann Alignment Move." During this action, say, "Of course, you could have touched the top card or the middle card."
Grip the protruding second card by its sides, taking it between your left thumb and first finger. This will allow you to pinch the remainder of the packet at its near end and turn it 67
end over end as one card The action rT~
is shown exposed for clarity in Figure f ' /
67, but in performance the right hand _ y> ¿¿Zl^
does not begin to turn its cards over ^^«OTggffi1^ _ until they just clear the left hand's card. To do otherwise, will cause the \ visible split shown in the illustration, Iv. \ \
which would expose the maneuver to ' \
the spectators. It should appear that \ (
you are turning only the top card face up on the packet. As soon as the turned packet has fallen square, push the top card to the right and remove it from the packet. It will be the spectator's peeked-at card. Say, "If you had touched the top card you would have seen a card that looks a lot like the card you saw on the bottom."
Place the card back onto the packet, face up. Execute a Pull-Down of the bottom card of the packet and turn over all but the bottom card as one. It appears as though you have simply turned the top card face down. The right hand now takes the packet in Overhand Grip. Spread the bottom card and the card second from the bottom to the left, in a Back-Spread. With your left thumb, jog the center card forward and close the spread. Remove the protruding card and turn it face up on the top as you say, "If you had touched the center card you would have seen a card that looked a lot like the one you saw on top and a good deal like the one you saw on the bottom." As you say "top," turn the top card face down; and as you say "bottom," transfer the bottom card to the top. Square the packet.
NOTE: Here again, what I now do is less efficient but works better in my hands. I square the packet without making the bottom to top transfer. I then say, "I know what you're thinking. You're thinking I'm using three cards that all look alike." During this line I'm performing a Pull-Down
Count as follows: Holding the cards in my left hand, I push off the top one and do a Pull-Down of the bottom card, which allows me to grasp the three cards, as one, below the card I've pushed over. 1 move this apparently-two-card fan to the right and transfer the remaining bottom card to the top. 1 then square the packet as I say, "You're right." 1 continue as in Step 11 but 1 perform the actions there quickly and silently.
11 Push over the top two cards, forming a face-down fan. The third card is actually a triple. Take the fan into your right hand, the thumb above, the fingers below. As you are doing this, say, "I know what you're thinking. You're thinking I'm using three cards that all look alike. You're right..."
12 Grasp the bottom triple card, pinching its left edge between your left thumb, above, and fingers, below. Show the under side by rotating the hand palm down as you continue, "but it's the top of the card that looks like the bottom of the card—or is it the bottom that looks like the top?" The triple card will look as though it were double-backed. Turn the card(s) back again by rotating the left hand palm up. Replace the triple card on the bottom of the spread and square the packet.
13 Perform another Christ-Annemann Alignment and turn the aligned inner cards end over end on top (Steps 8 and 9). This again apparently shows a double-backed card. Say, "On the top there's a card—it looks the same on the top of the top card as it does on the bottom of the bottom card, and the same on the bottom of the top card as it does on the top of the bottom card." Turn the same block over side for side on the bottom card and square the packet.
14 Push off the top card of the squared packet and take it into your right hand. Move the right hand back until its card is in-jogged for about half its length. Buckle the bottom card and take the center block of three, as one, into the right hand, in an out-jogged position. Finally, add the bottom card to complete the fan (Figure 68).
15 Transfer the fan to your left hand and grasp the center block as one card, pinching its right edge as near the middle as your out-jog permits, between your right thumb, above, and fingers, below. Lift your hand and show the other side of the card. Place it under the remainder of the packet, without reversing it, then square the packet. Accompanying this, you comment, "In the center there's a card—looks the same as the top of the top card and the bottom of the bottom card, or the bottom of the top card and the top of the bottom card." This line will take you through the next step as well.
16 Turn the entire packet over side for side. Turn it a second time, side for side, and repeat this a third time.
17 Push off the top two cards, take them into the palm-down right hand and rotate the hand palm up to reveal the faces of the two cards—Aces. Say, "By now, some people think I'm using an extra card. It's true. After all, it's better to have four of a kind than three of a kind."
18 Perform a Pull-Down of the bottom card, which will allow you to take the double card into the right hand, face up under the other two cards it holds, and move the bottom card to the left. Show the fourth card in the left hand, then place it onto the face of the right hand's cards and close the spread. Without squaring, turn the four cards (actually five) over into the left hand. As you square them, execute a right-hand Palm of the top card (I use the SPOT Palm described below). Hand the spectator the four cards that remain and say, "Would you like to see a four-Ace miracle?"
NOTE: If the patter sounds confusing, it's because it should. It is an accurate description of the situation but it is made to sound like double talk. Because the sentences get so convoluted it is amusing. Learn the patter. It helps. The Top Palm I use in this situation is unusual, but very useful. I tightly guarded it for many years, and almost didn't include it here. It is described below.
SMALL PACKET ONE-HANDED TOP (SPOT) PALM september 20, 1965
This technique is a close relative of the standard One-Handed Top Palm. (While this sleight is often attributed to Jean Hugard, Card Manipulations, No.l, 1934, page 2, Hugard acknowledges that his technique is merely a version of one that appeared in the Magic Wand. This referrence is undoubtedly to John Elrick's "Solo Palming" in the March-May 1930 issue of that journal; Vol. XEX, No. 145, page 48.) As anyone who has attempted the technique with a small packet learns, it is nearly impossible, because the packet doesn't provide enough support. I also feel that most of those who perform that Palm telegraph it by the frozen stiffness of the hand, and the fourth finger in particular. This approach to the technique addresses those issues. It is the only form of One-Handed Top Palm I use.
With your right hand, hold the packet from above, thumb at the near left corner, first finger at the front left corner. The fingers at the forward end should be positioned so the first finger screens the left forward corner while your fourth finger rests over, but not on, the extreme right forward corner of the packet.
When you're ready to palm the card, your right fourth finger aims for a table surface. (If no table is available, contact your left first fingertip, the back of your left hand or the inside of your left forearm.) On contact, the fourth finger presses slightly to the left and forward, rather than downward, on the corner of the top card (Figure 69). A bit of downward pressure will be required to make it possible but it occurs as a natural result of sliding the card forward. Once the card overlaps the packet at the forward edge it will escape your right thumb, pivoting around your second fingertip (Figure 70). Continue pressing forward and the card will tilt upward toward the palm (Figure 71). It need not move all the way into palm position initially but it does swivel toward the right and upward past the flesh at the base of the thumb. Curl your fourth finger inward as you lift it off the surface of the packet and the card will curve upward into your palm, where it can be secured by a slight cross-pressure between the fourth finger and the base of the thumb.
Of course, the hand above provides cover for all the actions, and the contact with the table surface is very brief, just long enough for the card to move free of the right thumb and begin to tilt upward. Immediately move the hand as you lift and curl your fourth finger to complete the palm. You can then toss or hand the packet to a spectator, or drop it into your left hand. The choreography of the technique prevents the moment of strain, when the right hand freezes to lever the card up, typical of the way the technique is most often performed. It is masked by the gesture in which the fourth finger makes contact with the table, and cover continues by tossing the packet to the spectator or yourself. If you practice both the mechanics of the technique and the choreography of gestures that accompany those actions, you will find the Palm completely indetectible.
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