After Hours Magic: A Book of Al Thatcher Card Magic

Encyclopedia of Card Tricks

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The, red backed prediction card which you remove from your pocket at the beginning could match the top card of the pack, in this case the Ace of Hearts. This means that its face can be shown as it is removed from the pocket, and also less care is needed as you fold it.


The professional card technique of Martin A. Nash by Stephen Minch

When ever a professional performer decides to release his methods and effects one can be certain that the material will be practical.

'Ever so Sleightly' will appeal to those whose chief interest lies in the study of moves and sleights, and tricks requiring their use. For those requiring easy tricks which are new in effect will find little to interest them.

From the introduction we learn that Martin Nash, known professionally as 'The Charming Cheat' works ten months of the year displaying his skill at trade shows, and lecturing to police departments on gambling and cheats.

Part One deals solely with sleights and the first one to receive attention is the double lift, the method explained requiring no 'get ready'. This is followed by five ways of replacing the cards after the lift. Next comes a one-handed double lift and turnover which can also be used to execute triple and quadruple lifts. It is explained how this double lift may be used as an 'add on' by double dealing the top two cards as one.

Nash's multiple shift is undoubtedly one of the sleights that will be used by many card table workers being relevantly easy and is performed with economy of movement which will appeal to those who appreciate the importance of such things.

A method of secretly reversing a given number of cards in the pack, an instant change of a card when being scaled into the air1,, a variation of the Hofzinser change, four small packet switches and an attempt to teach the perfect table faro. In this latter, considerable effort has been made to explain in detail the various position and pressures which are vitally necessary for the execution of this sleight, the success of which depends ultimately on getting the 'feel' of the sleight and this only comes after considerable practise and thought as I can personally testify.

Part Two gives some nineteen routines. The four kings turn face up, then turn to aces. A not too difficult cutting the aces. A peek control and a quick colour change routine are among the first to be explained. The remaining tricks include the McDonald aces without the usual fakes, and a three to seven hand poker stack in which a spectator says how many players are to be in the game the dealer eventually getting the four aces. It requires perfect faros and second dealing.

Everything is clearly explained and there are ninety photographs to supplement the text.

Fred Robinson

Londonl SE12 8JJ.

Everything is clearly explained and there are ninety photographs to supplement the text.

Fred Robinson

Londonl SE12 8JJ.



bob dribeek^


This effect in Pabular Vol.2 No.9, May 1976 is a beauty. I use eight Jokers from Aviator decks. Four are coloured red and four green using a felt pen. My story runs around the theme "East is East and West is West and never the twain shall meet". Follow the instructions as given in Pabular paragraphs one to five inclusive.

You are now ready to perform 'escapes' from East to West and vice versa. In the newspapers you will find plenty of material from which to make up a story. British diplomats involved in sex scandals fly to the Soviet Union, Russian writers seeking asylum in Switzerlarid, Bolshoi ballet dancers fly to Holland etc

I do not particularly like the first transposition given in para 6. The move I use is a kind of Hindu shuffle which is also used in the Fred Kaps handling of the 'Side Walk Shuffle'. Here it is. Take the so-called red (East) block in your right hand holding them at a narrow end with the thumb on the back and the fingers on the face Fig (1). Public see the face of a red Joker believing the three green Jokers behind also to be red. Turn the four cards face down fanning them slightly Fig.(2). Left thumb now peels off the top card keeping it face down in the left hand, and the right hand turns the remaining cards face up allowing the audience to see another (?) red Joker. Right hand turns the cards face down and the left thumb peels off another on to the top of the green Joker already there. Right hand turns it two cards face up again showing the same red Joker. The right hand turns the cards face down again but this time the left thumb slips the BOTTOM card onto the top of the two in the left hand. This leaves you with a green Joker in the right hand which you show as the first transposition. Put this card face down on top of the three cards in the left hand and cut the packet in the middle, i.e. the top two cards are placed on the bottom. Put the packet face up on the table with the red Joker showing. Repeat this with the green Jokers (West bloc) and you are then ready to perform paras. 7—8 and 9.

For the finish, para. 10, I would not suggest the side steal. This is a "testimonial paupertatis" because my efforts with this move are not very

convincing and I prefer the "Aenigma Replacement", which I use in a slightly different way in Paul Curry's "Out of this World".

Starting at para. 9 where you have the two packets face up on the table. In each one the second from the bottom is a 'stranger'. Take either packet and Elmsley count showing all four cards to be the same colour leaving the 'stranger' on the bottom. Put the packet in the thumb crotch and pick up the other packet with the right hand and do the Elmsley count showing them also to be of one colour. No difficulty will be experienced in performing the sleight whilst holding the first packet in the thumb crotch. Separate the hands slightly each holding four face up cards with a 'stranger' on the bottom. You now clean up using the Aenigma Replacement. Here's how.

The packet in right hand is placed on top of the packet in the left AT AN ANGLE and in so doing the right finger tips pull the bottom card of its packet back to the right causing its right outer corner to coincide with the right outer corner of the packet beneath as indicated by X in Fig.3. From the point of view of the audience the trick is over and they have seen you casually put the two packets of cards together. Do not make a 'move' out of this action. The right hand having momentarily moved away leaving both packets clipped under the left thumb comes in again and taking the out-jogged bottom card of the top packet together with the four cards beneath places them on top of the other three in the left hand. You now have four of a kind followed by four of a kind with no interlopers.

Here is a pleasant follow-up to the DUFFIE-WALTON contribution on page 254 of the same issue of Pabular.

If you have the cards stacked in face-up pairs held in the left hand reading from face to bottom: A,A,2,2,3,3,4,4,5,5,6,6,7 and 7 try this.

Turn the packet face down in the left hand and start dealing alternatively a card left and right onto the table into two separate heaps clearly dividing the pairs. That is what you appear to do, but in actual fact you deal seconds on the second, sixth, and tenth card, dealing the eleventh on the left heap and the twelfth on the right when you stop leaving the two Aces in the left hand. Display these and wave them over the two piles which you then turn face-up showing that the odd pairs are re-assembled in the left heap and the even pairs in the right heap.


The original inspiration for these two Monte effects came from a George Blake column in Magigram in which he recognised that an effect he had just outlined was short of a strong ending. I was sufficiently interested in the effect to try and remedy this deficiency and in the process I developed or rather modified the effect to what I considered to be a more deceptive one. Later, the original aim of a strong finish was achieved, but as it was not possible for the two effects to follow one another, I finished with two separate effects.

Here is the first one:

The effect is along the lines of the classic three card monte. A Queen is shown with two Jokers and the spectator fails to locate it despite being so certain of his choice.

Required are three Jokers and one Queen. With the cards face up arrange them in the following order. Joker, Queen, Joker, Joker. I show these in a fan twice in a certain way that the spectators are convinced of there being only three cards. Hold the cards in the left hand as you would for a buckle count. Push off the top card, a Joker, taking it in the right hand with the thumb above and fingers below and moves it clear of the pack. Without altering its grip on the card, the right hand brings the card back towards the pack where its left long edge is gripped lightly between the left thumb and fingers. An upwards pressure with the right fingers causes the Joker to 'snap' free of the left hand grip. This is a now popular move to convey the impression that the right hand is holding only a single card. The left thumb now pushes over the

Queen which the right hand takes below the Joker it is already holding Fig.(l). The left fingers keep the two Jokers remaining perfectly squared. 'Snap' the Queen as you did the Joker and then take the two Jokers from the left hand keeping them in alignment 'snap' them also. A little practice will be needed to make the snapping sound the same for all three counts, i.e. when snapping one or two cards. It is a matter of adjusting how far the card(s) are bent and the amount of pressure applied.

I usually follow this with a repeat count which you may dispense with if so desired. In this second count the bottom card is buckled and the second and third cards taken as one leaving a single card at the end. This second count usually clinches matters and convinces the spectator that you have only three cards.

When the counting is finished the cards are left slightly fanned. The cards are squared and held face down in the left hand in a dealing positipn. The left hand pushes the top card off the side of the pack as when dealing and taken in the right hand with the thumb at the inner end and the fingers at the outer end Fig.(2). Squeeze the two ends slightly making the back convex and drop it gently on the table from a height of about two inches. At the same time say, "Joker." Do not throw the card down or put it on the table, just let it drop. We now come to what I call the 'DOUBLE CARD HAND OVER'. Lift off the top two cards as one from the three in the left hand, bend them slightly, and keeping them aligned show the face card saying, "Queen". The left hand is now

turned over to show the Joker. The left hand turns over bringing the Joker again face down. The double card with the Queen at the face is now dropped face down on top of the face down Joker in the left hand, and in so doing the right thumb releases the bottom card of two leaving a little break between the first and second cards. The right hand now empty picks up the tabled Joker, shows it to the spectator and drops it back onto the table. The right hand returns to the packet and removes the top card, which the spectator believes to be the Queen, bends it, and drops it to the left of the Joker. The small break between it and the second card enables it to be taken without hesitation. The right hand now takes the remaining two cards from the left hand as one and shows it/them to be a Joker and gently drops this double onto the table from a height of a couple of inches as you did the two previous cards. It is quite easy with a bit of practice to keep the two cards aligned as they are dropped and land on the table. A steady nerve also helps. The dropping of all three cards should be uniform and as casual as possible. The spectator is totally convinced of the whereabouts of the Queen if you have done the necessary moves slowly and deliberately, and will be really surprised when he turns over a Joker instead of the Queen. You gather up the cards before he goes for a second chance.

The second one. Also along the lines of the classic effect but with a kicker at the end when the Queen turns out to have a different coloured back from the Jokers.

Required are three Jokers, say with red backs and a blue backed Queen. To my mind, the handling etc of this method is not quite so clean as the previous one but it is easier and many readers may like the final kicker. Here goes.

There are two ways of making your 'display fan' and I will describe both. When you have decided which you will use you must stick with the same method throughout the effect.

Method 1. (which I prefer). Hold the cards face or face down in the left hand in the dealing position getting a break under the top two cards. Slide the top two cards above the break to the right as one card and take it in the right hand. The next card is slid off and taken in the right hand below and to the left of the first one. The third card is added to the left of those already in the right hand forming a three ? card fan. Actually there are four cards, the top one being double.

Method 2. Hold the squared cards in the right hand (Biddle position). With the left hand palm up place the fingers against the bottom card and draw it to the left and clear of the other cards. The left fingers now draw off the new bottom card on top of, and to the right of, the card already there. The remaining two cards held in the right as one Eire added onto the two in the left hand to form a three card fan.

The set-up for both methods is the same. Reading from the top with the cards face up it is Joker, Queen, Joker, Joker. Display them one at a time in a fan using whichever of the methods you prefer. Close the fan and turn the packet over and repeat the fan which will be seen to consist of three red backed cards. Ask a spectator to indicate the Queen which he fails to do. Repeat the process and he will again fail. At the third time display the fan FACE UP and again ask him to indicate the Queen. This time he cannot fail and you ask him to remove it. Turn the two ? cards in your left hand backs uppermost showing the expected red backs commenting that you cannot understand how he failed to pick out the Queen on the previous occasion because it has a different coloured back. Inevitably he will turn the Queen over and discover that it has a blue back.

If you have read no further than the title thinking this article explains some sort of practical joke the loss is yours. What follows is the description of a novel but simple pull of considerable value to close-up magicians. Its uses are varied and the loose change in your pocket should provide the necessary capital for the properties required which consist of a small button, a larger button of the kind usually found to be missing from your overcoat or mackintosh, a length of elastic or, preferably, a length of rubber often used to provide the motive power for model aeroplanes, obtainable from a model shop and lastly a length of nylon thread.

First, make a loop in one end of the rubber sufficiently large enough to put the foot in, stirrup fashion, leaving enough length of rubber so that the end reaches the knee without stretching. To this end attach the large button by pushing the end of the rubber through one of the holes and tying a knot in it. Fasten the nylon thread to this larger button passing it through the hole diagonally opposite the one through which the rubber is attached.

To set the pull first remove your shoes and trousers and put your left foot into the loop. It is important that the correct foot is in the loop otherwise you may experience some personal discomfort when operating the pull and cause the audience to wonder why you are taking a bow in the middle of the trick.

To prevent the audience from seeing the pull it will be necessary to put on your trousers again. Normally this is a fairly simple matter, but in this case it is necessary to have the end of the thread available at the top of the trousers after they are back on in order to pass the thread through the waist band from inside to the outside at a point between the buttons at the front of the trousers on the left side to which the braces are normally fastened. If you are a belt-only person the above information will be sufficient guide for you to know what is required.

The difficulty you will experience will be to hold the end of the thread with one hand and pull up the trousers with the other and you will probably decide, as we did, that it would ease matters if you held the thread in the teeth leaving both hands free. It is precisely at this point you find that your teeth are some inches short of their objective and it would have been much easier if you had not been so stingy with the thread. However, by pulling the thread and stretching the rubber band you manage to make the end of the thread reach the mouth — and you make further discoveries. The first one, that it slips through the teeth because it is on tension and secondly when trying to prevent this happening you will bite through the thread. In either case you will lose the thread and have to start the whole business again from square one.

Fortunately, there is an alternative and that is to get your wife, girlfriend or boyfriend to hold the thread while you deal with the trousers, or vice versa. If you have all three perm trousers, or vice versa. If you have all three, perm any two from three and let them do both jobs which will leave you free to advise them how to do what you failed to do yourself.

Assuming that you now have the thread through the waist band, pull it through to take up the slack and fasten the small button onto the end, and fill the recess with wax and you are now ready to vanish any small light object that will adhere to the waxed button. You simply steal the waxed button with the left hand and press the object on it. On releasing the button it will take the object with it back to the top of the trousers and out of sight beneath the coat. The button can be replaced with the usual hook found on normal pulls and thus increasing its versatility.

It has certain advantages over the sleeve pull. It is completely out of the way leaving the arms free and when not in use one has only to remove a shoe and take the foot out of the loop which will, if properly adjusted, go out of sight just inside the trouser leg. It can just as easily be regained when it is required to go into action. And finally it can remain fixed in position at all times with one exception. Do not forget to remove it when sending the suit to the cleaners or the young lady might wonder what kind of fellow you are who keeps such a strange piece of apparatus up the trouser leg.

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