Alpha Minus

Inspiration and points of reference:

In 1980 I sent several Monte-type routines to Fred Robinson (then editor of Pabular). Most of these were fairly appalling, but the following version (which was not sent to Fred) is the most acceptable of those I devised. You need a regular pack of cards with two identical Jokers.


1) Run through the necktied pack and upjog the two Jokers and the QH. Strip out these cards and table the pack. Arrange the cards in Joker

— QH — Joker order. Patter, "I carry a duplicate QH in this pack so that I can show you an interesting quessing game."

2) Double Turnover showing a QH. Turn the double card face down and thumb off the top card to the pad. Single turnover showing a second (?) QH. Turn the single card face down and deal it onto the first tabled card, slightly overlapping it. Turn the single card remaining in the left hand face up to show a Joker.

3) Patter, "You have to follow the Joker." Place the Joker face up between the two face down tabled cards, forming a "sandwich' Carefully pick up the sandwich and square the cards. Slowly reverse count the cards, asking the spectator to follow the Joker. Ask him to guess where the Joker, is. He will probably say, "In the middle" (unless he is a very suspicious type). Spread the cards to show that the Joker is indeed in the middle. Nothing magical has happened yet.

4) Patter, "That was too easy." Remove the face up Joker and table it. Quickly Flushtration Count (Brother John Hamman) the two cards remaining in your hands, showing two QHs. Spread the two cards face down with the left hand. With the right hand, pick up the tabled Joker, turn it face down, and insert it between the two QHs (?). Patter, "I will mix the cards slowly." As you say this, mix the cards very rapidly; however, keep your eye on the

QH and bring it back to the top at the end of the mixing.

5) Ask, "Where is the Joker?" The chances are that the audience will be confused. Whatever they say, turn the packet face up to show the Joker on the face. If they got it right, congratulate them. If they got it wrong, say that you will make it easier by turning the Joker face up again.

6) Thumb the face Joker onto the table. At the same time, wrist turn to "kill" the Joker now showing at the face of the packet. Turn the packet face down and spread the two cards. Place the Joker face up between the two. cards and square. Make a suspicious move (don't go over the top) and'ask where the Joker is. Spread to show it still in the middle. Now, perform a move that is used in Walker/Solomon's "Dunbury Sandwich" (The Last Hierophant (1980), pp. 63-64), to wit: Close the spread and quickly do a Double Turnover as you simultaneously turn your left hand palm down to execute the Through-the-Fist Move. When the cards emerge from your "fist" a face up Joker will show 6n the face: apparently, the Joker has jumped to the face. Immediately spread the cards, showing a Joker on the top as well. This is the first time the audience has seen two Jokers and they will be confused.

7) Patter, "Well, what on earth is this card (the face down "sandwiched" card) then?" Turn the sandwiched card' face up to reveal the QH.


A few months ago I had the pleasure of meeting Roberto and he waisted no time in demonstrating to me that he is a very fine card-man.

Whilst editor of Pabular Walt Lees managed to pursuade Roberto to part company with three other routines — these will be released in future issues

This effect was inspired by an Anneman effect in an old JINX magazine. This version consists of old and more or less well known techniques, principles and subtleties. The overall handling and management however make it a very deceptive trick for laymen . . . and sometimes also for magicians.


A spectator thinks of a card in a shuffled deck. The magician reveals it in a very clean and direct manner.


An ordinary deck of cards. Preparation None.

Management and Handling

1) Give the deck to a spectator on your right for shuffling. Take the deck back and ask another spectator on your left to cut it.

2) Ask the spectator on the right to ribbon spread the cards face down on the table.

3) Ask the spectator on the left to draw three cards from different parts of the deck.

4) Take these cards and fan them faces towards the spectator on left turning your head away as you do so: "Just think of any one . .. and please do not forget it. "Display the cards only for about two seconds (you do not want him to memorize all the cards ).

5) The left hand picks up the deck face down and holds it in dealing position. The right hand inserts the three cards it is still holding together into the middle of the deck. Perform a Diagonal Push-In and follow with a Mario All Around Square Up. Pause. The left little finger pushes the protruding block flush at the same time obtaining a break above it. Form a step and immediately execute a two handed fan (see Dai Vernon in Ultimate Secrets of Card Magic p. 128).

"You are thinking of one of these 52 cards, do you still remember it?" Close the fan and place the deck face down on the table (the step remains undisturbed).

6) Pause. Pick up the deck with the right hand, place it in left hand dealing position the left little finger immediately obtaining a break above the step. Shuffle off all the cards above the break thus bringing the three cards (one of them is the thought of card) to the top. False Shuffle retaining top stock.

7) Obtain a break with the left little finger under the top card. Transfer the break to the right thumb as this hand takes the deck from above in biddle position. The left hand cuts the bottom half to the top, the thumb still keeping its break.

8) Dribble off all the cards below the break and turn the top card of the lower half face up using the right hand packet as a lever — as you do so glimpse the face card of this packet. "I will turn over just one card of these 52 cards ..." Pause. The spectator's reaction will immediately, show you whether this is his card or not. If he doesn't react continue: "... which will indicate your thought of card." "Would you be so kind, Sir, and make everybody in this room the* witness of your thought by naming your card."

9) There are now two possibilities: either he names the card you glimpsed or he names any other card. In the first case simply lift off the packet above the face up card and show its face. In the second case slide the face up card and the cards above it aside and turn over the top card of the bottom half.


The above handling is not making a simple effect more complicated — on the contrary: it makes it more convincing (IF THE TECHNIQUES ARE SMOOTHLY EXECUTED) and therefore more magical!

Tableaux be Par us ^

Many years ago, Frances Marshall wrote a book called "You Don't Have To Be Crazy", which was a collection of reminicences about magicians. I liked it when I first read it, and recently I read it again and liked it even more. Maybe I have matured a little and understand it now better than I did first time around. It really points up just how nutty we magicians are. She did another one called, "With Frances in Magic Land", which emphasies even more the lunatic fringe of the magic scene.

After attending the British Ring I.B.M. convention in Llandudno I'm convinced she is right. We should all be locked up and hidden away away forever. No one in their right minds should be allowed to talk to us, hear us, and more important, see us. If a person can be sadistic and masochistic at one and the same time" we are it. We can inflict and suffer great pain like no other group on earth.

At the aforementioned magical shindig from which I still haven't recovered, I had a dealer's booth, which for the benefit of anyone who has been fortunate enough never to attend one, means that I was tied up all day and was unable to see any of the events which tpok place during "working hours". But I did see everything which happened in the evening.

The highlight for me is always the Shield Competition on the Thursday evening. Usually there are one or two outstanding acts or effects, and a similar number at the other end of the scale. This year the overall standard was very good, which was a pity, because it is usually the one or two stinkers which make you realise just how much work the others have put in to achieve an acceptable standard.

As we all well know, certain magic effects suddenly "take off" and become so popular among magicians that we get sick to death of them. This year, the gala show, which should be the main event was all balls. Literally. We had them appearing, disappearing, multiplying, changing colour, floating, expanding, and falling apart, all in the same show, many times over.

The best act of the convention for me was Mark Raffles with his dove act. He appeared on the after banquet show, which for me was the best show I saw. Ali Bongo compered this show and had the best gag of the convention, and I only say that because I was involved in it.

My spies tell me that for them, the best thing of the convention was Trevor Lewis doing his ring routine. He tells me the next time he performs his act at a convention hds going to do it in Welsh so the rest of us can't steal his gags. Can you imagine the frustration of all the notebook gang sitting there laughing their heads off at his material in Welsh and knowing full well that they can't lift one single line?

As far as I can gather, most, but not all of the dealers caught a cold. Punters weren't exactly throwing their money around. I had one new effect, which is an almost pocket version of the coins to glass effect or "copenetro" as our U.S. friends call it. I sold out and took orders for mailing. It is called Patrick Page's MONEYBAG and sells for £15.00. Just thought I'd mention it. Can't think why.

If I can revert back to the beginning of this trivia, do you want to know why I think we are all "out of this world" mentally? Because I really enjoyed the convention. I did, and I just can't wait to get to Eastbourne next year. With luck George Orwell might turn up. His Big Brother was barely visible at Llandudno. Will he show in 1984?



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Fundamentals of Magick

Fundamentals of Magick

Magick is the art and practice of moving natural energies to effect needed or wanted change. Magick is natural, there is absolutely nothing supernatural about it. What is taught here are various techniques of magick for beginners. Magick is natural and simple and the techniques to develop abilities should be simple and natural as well. What is taught on this site is not only the basics of magick, but the basics of many things.

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