Surprise

January 28, 1972 BETA

"hupped ACE surprise" is a straightforward, tongue-in-cheek, Four-Ace Location. Since I avoid flourishes like the plague, most such routines are out of the question for me. This one is fun and effectively devoid of flourishes.

SET-UP: The Four Aces are on top of the deck in Diamond-Heart-Club-Spade order from the top down.

Give the deck a convincing false shuffle and false cut, retaining the Aces on top. Spread the cards between your hands and hold them out toward a spectator, saying, "Some magicians would spread through the deck and have you select a card." Pause as though thinking, until the spectator makes a motion toward the spread. Abruptly close the spread as you say, "But I won't do that." Square the deck while saying, "Because you might feel that I somehow influenced your choice." Continue, "I'll give you one. That's fair." Hand the top card of the deck to the spectator.

NOTE: This sequence should not be handled in an aggressive manner. It should appear as though there was a simple misunderstanding. You should not try to embarrass the spectator. The spirit of the routine is farce but your manner should be matter-of-fact, straight not silly.

Have the spectator show the card to the audience while you turn your head away. Turn back saying, "Now everyone knows the name of the card except me." Take back the card and look at it as you say, "Now everyone knows the name i

of the card." Give the card back to the spectator. "Return the card to the deck anywhere you like—face up."

Allow the spectator to insert the card anywhere into the deck. Square the cards after making certain that he is satisfied with his point of insertion. Spread the deck, calling attention to the face-up Ace of Diamonds and the card below it.

Openly form a break under the card below the Ace of Diamonds and close the spread, but keep the pair of cards spread and clearly in view (Figure 8). With your right hand, slip all the cards above the face-up Ace into the break (Figure 9) and square the deck. All you've done is transfer the face-up Ace of Diamonds and the face-down card beneath it to the top of the deck.

Say, "Would it prove interesting if the card you placed your selection next to were a card of the same color and value?" Execute a Hit-style Double-Lift in the following manner: Push the face-up Ace of Diamonds to the right for about half an inch. Move the deck inward toward your right hand, which should be positioned to the right of your body's center line and slighdy higher than the left hand. This almost automatically causes you to tip the deck backward slightly as your right first finger extends downward to contact the right edge of the Ace of Diamonds. Push a bit further with your left thumb to cause the second card from the top to move rightward (Figure 10). It is a simple matter to align this indifferent card and the Ace of Diamonds above it, using the left thumb to pull back the upper card while the right fingers complete the squaring of the pair. You then immediately lift them off as though they were one. Remove the double card and hold it to the right of the deck. Push the top card of the deck to the right for

half its width. Use the double card to lever the top card face up. Take it onto the double and replace them, squared, on the deck. Deal the two face-up Aces onto the table.

NOTE: The approach to the Hit-style Double Lift used in the previous step is based on the analysis of Steve Draun, which appears in his thoughtful book, Secrets Draun from Underground (1993, page 19). Steve clearly has an exceptional eye for the fine details that separate the card expert from the norm. (See page 161 of the present volume for more on this technique.)

Hold the deck in the left hand for an Overhand Shuffle. Undercut half the cards with the right hand and run six. Throw a block of cards from the right-hand packet onto the left-hand half, in-jogging the block, and shuffle off the remainder of the right-hand packet. Undercut at the in-jog and run seven cards in a broken rhythm. That means, as an example, run three, pause as you say something, then run four. After the seven cards are run, throw the rest of the deck on top. There are now two black Aces on top of the deck.

NOTE: The shuffle sequence just described is essentially the G. W. Hunter False Shuffle (which is a full-deck false shuffle; see Greater Magic, 1938, page 167) used to retain just the top stock. At the same time, it gets rid of the one extra card left behind by the previous sequence.

Perform a Double Undercut in the hands to move the top Ace to the bottom. The audience should be convinced the deck is in random order.

Set up for a Four-Card Catch by placing a face-up red Ace on top of the deck, jogged widely to the right. The other face-up red Ace is placed jogged widely to the left on the bottom of the deck. Your left thumb contacts the top face-down card of the deck and the right-jogged Ace. The left second finger contacts the left-jogged, face-up Ace and the card above it (Figure 11). Now say, "At the count of three, the deck will vanish from between the Aces; one—two—three." On the count of three do the "Catch." In other words, press lightly on the deck, maintaining contact with the top and bottom pairs of cards and, with a tossing action, release the rest of the deck. The deck should land on the table, leaving just four cards in your left hand (Figure 12).

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NOTE: This Four-Card Catch is a variant of the Three-Card Catch contributed by Reinhart Müller to the July 1971 issue Pallbearers Review (Vol. 6, No. 9, page 431). Almost thirty years later Mr. Müller himself discovered this sleight described in a scarce 1853 book, Ein Spiel Karten: Lehrbuch der höheren Kartenkunst, by "R. P.," published in Prague. The handling I use is based on one by Harvey Rosenthal, which also appeared in Pallbearers (Vol. 6, No. 12, October 1971, page 461). Harvey's handling was, like its predecessor, for a three-card catch; however, the four-card variant was an extension that I've long credited to Harvey. In checking with him, he tells me he did indeed come up with the idea in the early 1970s, but never got around to publishing it. He had forgotten about it until I contacted him for purposes of tracking the attribution. This may indicate how much material Harvey has developed over the years. In the interim, I suspect others discovered the expansion to four cards, and may even have published it. If any such reference exists, it has so far eluded me.

Say, "You see the deck has vanished from between the Aces. I know what you're thinking: you're thinking two cards didn't vanish from between the Aces—these are Aces!" As you deliver these lines, place the face-up Aces on the table. Turn over the face-down cards in unison with your remarks and show they are the black Aces. Place them down, forming a square display around the deck, as shown in Figure 13. You can then proceed to your favorite effect with the Aces. I think a version of The Collectors would be a logical follow-up. You might wish to look at "The James Gang" on page 67, the presentation of which can be adapted to fit "Trapped Ace Surprise" or vice versa.

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