This routine was evolved after reading John Ramsay's "Three Coins in a Hat". Although the two routines have nothing much in common, I feel that this one does reflect a small part of Ramsay's style. It is the nearest that I have been able to approach an understanding of his subtle methods.
Required are five dice. Two are in the left coat pocket. The other three are palmed in the right hand. Some people prefer the finger palm and there is no reason why this should not be used. For the time being I will describe how I do it and the reader can adapt the handling as desired.
The position of the three palmed dice is shown in Fig.l. Note that they lie along the crease at the base of the thumb. They can be comfortably retained in this position for some time prior to the performance.
Phase 1 : The Magical Production of Three Dice
1) The left hand is laid palm upwards on the table, with the fingers pointing away from the performer. The right hand reaches out to a point somewhere on the performer's right and picks up an imaginary particle of dust. This is apparently placed in the left hand, which instantly closes around it. Meanwhile the right pretends to pick up a second dust particle. Once more pretend to place this in the left hand, the fingers opening momentarily to receive it.
2) The right hand pretends to pick up a third speck of dust and place it in the left hand. As it does so die A in Fig.l is released and allowed to fall into the hand. It should be hidden by the left fingers as it falls. Immediately the left hand closes around it. It will be found a simple matter to release die A only, if the right ring finger curls over and holds dice B & C in position at the moment of release.
3) Pick up a fourth imaginary speck of dust and place it in the left hand. Take care not to flash the die.
4) Make a squeezing action with the left fingers, as though compressing the imaginary specks of dust together. Open the left fingers and reveal the die.
5) As the die appears, the right hand points to it (see Fig.2). During this pointing action die C is allowed to fall onto the curled right fingers.
6) The right hand picks up the die from the left palm, at the same time adding die C to it. The two dice are held in the right hand as in Fig.3, the right fingers being towards the audience. Meanwhile the left hand forms a fist as shown.
7) A is placed onto the fist as in Fig. 3a, where it rests for a moment, before being allowed to drop down inside.
8) When the die is in the fist, open the hand, showing it and repeat moves 6 & 7 a couple of times.
9) Pick up the die as in stage 6. Once more apparently place it onto the fist as in 3a. But this time, under cover of the right fingers A is allowed to drop straight into the fist, while C is placed on top. The action appears exactly the same as the feints in steps 6 & 7. Allow the die to drop into the fist, taking care that it does not talk against the other. With the right hand, pretend to pick up one or two particles of dust and drop them into the left fist after the die. Make a squeezing movement with the left fingers, then slowly open the hand revealing two dice.
10) The two dice should be on the left palm, in a position such that one of them is ready for palming. Next execute a "shuttle move". That is, apparently tip the two dice from the left hand into the right. In reality one is retained in the left palm, whilst the other drops onto the right hand, joining die B, already there. In this way, both palms are seen to be empty except for the two dice.
11) Now comes a little convincer, that seems to throw even the most knowledgable off the scent. It is an application of a Vernon move, from his three ball routine. Form the left hand into a fist, exactly as in Fig.3, except that you have one die palmed. Place one of the right hand's dice onto the fist as in Fig.3a. Point to it with the right forefinger, then allow it to drop into the fist. However, it does not go right down inside the fist. It is stopped, as soon as it is out of sight, by a slight pressure from the curled left forefinger. The thumb closes over the top of the fist, hiding it from above.
12) The second die is now apparently dropped into the fist in the same way. In reality, under cover of the right fingers, the first die is squeezed back up to the position shown in Fig.3a and under cover of pointing to it with the right hand, the second die is palmed. (A fuller description of this move can be found in the Three Ball Routine from the Dai Vernon Book of Magic).
13) The left hand opens once more, showing the two dice therein. Again the "shuttle move" in step 10 is repeated.
14) Next, place the two dice back into the left fist, which already has one palmed. Use exactly the same actions as when doing the Vernon move. This time the dice are really placed into the fist. The right hand 'mimes' picking up some more particles of dust from the table and placing them into the left fist. The left hand makes a squeezing action, then opens up, revealing three dice. This is the end of the first part of the routine.
Phase 2 : The Repeat Die Vanish
Start with the three dice on the table. The two additional ones are in the left coat pocket.
15) Form the left hand into a fist and place the first die into the hand, secretly getting it into position for the Vernon move, used above. Place the second die into the fist a la Vernon as detailed in step 12. This die is retained in the right palm, while that hand picks up the third one and really places it in the left.
16) Make a squeezing movement with the left hand, then open it showing only two dice.
17) Apparently tip the two dice into the right hand, really keeping one back in the left palm. This is the shuttle move described in step 10.
18) Repeat the shuttle move, dropping the dice back into the left hand. The right hand then picks the two visible dice off the left palm and holds them, while the empty left hand reaches into the coat pocket and brings out one of the dice in there.
19) The left hand extends, palm upwards displaying this die — apparently the one which vanished in step 16. The right hand drops its two dice (the ones openly held) onto the left palm.
20) The performer offers to repeat the vanish, and drops the three visible dice onto the table. Repeat exactly steps 15 & 16. The fact that there is already an extra die palmed in the right hand will not interfere. However the shuttle moves as in steps 17 & 18 must be left out this time.
21) After the vanish, the right hand picks up the two visible dice from the left palm. The empty left hand then extracts the last die from the coat pocket, exactly as in step 18. This is held on the left palm, while the right hand drops the two visible dice onto it.
22) Repeat the shuttle move from left to right, but this time the left hand holds two dice back in the palm, only one being allowed to pass across. (This variation of the shuttle move was much favoured by Ramsay; to take advantage of the fact that very few magicians watching would suspect a multiple holdback. Most magicians can appreciate that a shuttle move will hide one extra die. Few will suspect that the same type of move might hide more than one. Ramsay used this stratagem in his "Coins and Hat" routine).
The routine could be terminated at this point.
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