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For all I know this may be used now, but the few cardmen I showed this to had not seen it before. This is simply a modification of the well known "Buckle Count". I have found it easier to use and a lot more foolproof in close quarters. At close quarters one can get away with the usual buckle count if one wishes to conceal no more than a couple of cards, but when one wishes to conceal four or perhaps more then some observant spectator is likely to spot the thick card.

I was developing a routine (see Three Cards Across article) and this required three counts which concealed three or four cards. After the first count you can be sure that the spectators study subsequent counts very closely indeed. It is no use counting fast as they will then be convinced you have done a twist somewhere. What you want is a slow (not too slow) count so that they can follow it with their eagle (?) eyes. If your count passes then the subsequent results knock them for six. The modification outlined here has since been used for other tricks with success.

It is a well known psychological fact that the maximum alertness by a spectator to such a thing as a count is at the start and near the end. At the start, they notice the style of counting and are watching for false moves. Towards the J end, their interest (and alertness) heightens as I

last three. Slow down slightly and emphasise "eight", "nine" and "ten" turning the body to face the audience.

Try it. It is very difficult indeed to explain in print but is quite easy in practice and is deceptive as long as you do not break the cadence at the crucial count.

An example for the use of this sleight is in the following effect.

they see how many we have counted. The middle period is the time when they want the count to "get on with it". That period is the one when they are not as mentally sharp. So, psychologically, that is the best time to count your four or five card stack as one. The count to be described is based on that assumption. I have had good results with it, and hope that you do also.

The idea is to buckle three (or even four if it suits your purpose) cards instead of the usual one. All the cards above these three are moved over as a single card. The spectator interest (and alertness) heightens during the last three card count. You are clean then as you really do have three and can, if you wish, slow down slightly and emphasise the count and let them see that there is only one card being moved over. For magicians who know the buckle this floors them. As you go "eight, nine, ten" (or whatever your last three are) you slide the single cards over one at a time and our eagle eyed friends will have to admit that all is well.

Take a little finger break above the bottom cards and count as follows: the cards are slightly bowed downwards by the thumb. The thumb slides off the top card. This is taken in the right fingers. Left thumb slides off the next card which is taken in the right hand above the first card. Cards in the right hand are held in a similar position as those in the left (i.e. with thumb on top and fingers on the side), which is as it would be for a normal slide off count.

You go on until you are four short of your target count. For instance, if you wish to count ten, you count thus up to six. The seventh is the "one". Here, you move your left forefinger (which is at the side of the packet) slightly away from the packet forming a break. This finger also bends slightly, accentuating the buckle. The left thumb keeping pressure straightens slightly. This moves the top packet towards the right and looks as though you have slid a single card off. This packet is taken in the right hand as a single card. You are now clean. Continue counting the


An example for the use of this sleight is in the following effect.

The effect here is as the usual routine of having two spectators count ten cards each. They hold these in their hands and after a suitable moment these are recounted to show that three cards have passed from one to the other. The spectators retain their packets (now seven and thirteen cards respectively). A second recount shows that one has only four and the other sixteen. The final knockout comes when all ten have finally been shown to have transferred from one spectator to the other. There are various ways to present this depending on the performer's style, but there is plenty of scope for comedy.

All that is required is a pack of cards. Beforehand, introduce seven cards into your right hand trousers pocket. Four are placed with long sides facing the floor and three are perpendicular to these (i.e. with short sides to the floor).

Two spectators are introduced and placed on either side of the performer. The pack is handed to the one on the performer's right with the request to count off ten cards on to his left hand. While this is being done steal three from your right pocket with your right hand. As the spectator finishes his count, take the cards into your right hand by picking them from above with that hand. Ask the spectator to give the pack to the other chap. You "check" his count at ten with a three card buckle. Hand it to him to hold. Left hand spectator counts ten more cards on to your left hand. On squaring, get a break above the bottom three cards. As you indicate to him to put the remainder of the pack down, bottom palm the bottom three (I use the gambler's bottom palm) and hand him the top seven with your right hand. As you do this, you will naturally turn so that your right side faces the audience. You then deposit the three palmed cards into your left trousers pocket. As an after thought, check his counting. Count seven as ten. Use any count you like but I use the one described by Edward Victor as the actions are identical with the other count.

After suitable by-play, chap on your left counts his cards on to your left hand. Get a break below the top three. Turn slightly to the spectator on your right and get him to count his cards (thirteen) on to your right hand. When completed, turn to the left chap making some comment like "How?" As you turn back to the right, your left hand which had been slightly extended to the left passes back in front of your right hand. As you continue turning throw the three above the break in your left hand on to your right hand cards. Do not make a jerking motion. The natural swing does it. Immediately, move your right hand to the right and offer the cards to the spectator. Re-count the cards in your left hand as seven (actually four) before handing them back to the spectator on the left. You could, if you wished, "check" the other cards as thirteen with the three card buckle. After by-play ask the spectator on the right to count on to your hand. While he is doing this you steal the four cards in your right pocket with your right hand. As he counts "16", you take the cards into your right hand (fingers above) adding the extra four.. "Check" his count using a three card buckle before handing to him (now 20). Get the spectator on your left to verify he has only four left by counting on to your left hand. Ask him to hold out his palm. As you do this bottom palm three as you lift off the top card with your right hand. Turn to your left and pocket these three as you place the card(s?) on to his palm. Place his other palm on top of this so that the card is sandwiched. More by-play follows (or a pause). Left hand chap is asked to check his four (?) cards. He does so and finds he has only one left. Take this in your right hand. Turn to the other spectator and ask him to count on to your left hand. He counts and under the surprise of having 20 instead of the anticipated 19 add the one in your right hand on them as you turn to the left spectator asking him where his card was or words to that effect. By then all will have forgotten that you had taken it and not returned it.

doug alkef


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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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