3 card packet, clipped on top of deck.

fingers beneath, a la Elmsley Count grip. Do the double pushoff associated with the Elmsley Count, pushing the top two cards of the three card packet onto the top of the deck as one card. Turn over the right hand card to show one selection. Drop this card to the table. Turn over the top card of the deck to show the second selection. Drop this card onto the table. This is a smooth and quick sequence, and ditches the double backer onto the top of the pack.

15) Patter, "You will remember that I placed a red backed prediction card into the case, before you even selected your cards. Remove the card and look at it." The spectator removes the prediction card to reveal, astonishingly, that it is his signed selection. As the spectators are recovering (and if your patter properly emphasises what has supposedly happened, this is genuinely shocking) you have all the time in the world to dispose of the gaff. Alternatively, leave it in the deck (it won't interfere unless you are doing effects that require a 52 card deck) and use it later.


1) Alex Elmsley's original routine can be found in Abracadabra 335 (June 1952). The idea of using a card case instead of a spectator's palms appears to be Roy Walton's; see "Card Case" in The Devil's Playthings (1969).

2) Latterly, wallet versions of the trick have become very popular (Ed Brown is credited with this notion). Wallet versions appear in Kabbala Three, Jon Racherbaumer's Lecture Notes 1, and The Last Hierophant.

3) The interested reader may like to study Mario's "Signed Card In —which is found in Hierophant 3.


Inspiration and points of reference:

Lately, many four card versions of Alex Elmsley's "Point of Departure" have become popular. There was Martin Nash's "Down the Garden Path" from "Ever So Sleightly" (1975); Phil Goldstein's "Palm Off" from "Scattershot" (1977); Earl Nelson's "Between Your Points of Departure" from "Variations" (1978) and Roger Curzon's "Variations Variant", published in "Spellbinder" (Volume 1, No. 8 — December 1981).

This method applies a couple of new conditions. Firstly, the selected card must be signed on both sides. Secondly, the four of a kind, which are used, must have different coloured backs.


Assuming that a red backed pack is being used, from the top down there, should be:—

3) King of Diamonds, face up.

4) The balance of the pack, face down.

The King of Diamonds (3 above), should have a small sticker, on the centre of its back. This you have previously initialled. You could write directly onto the card, if preferred. This would, however, deface it.

Also required are three blue backed Kings. These are Clubs, Hearts and Spades; in that order from top to face. This small packet is placed in a convenient pocket, until needed. Also required are a packet of stickers, similar to the one which marks the King of Diamonds and a pen, which writes with the same coloured ink.


1) Table the pack, face down.

2) Bring the three blue backed Kings, from your pocket. Hold them face down and perform a 3 as 4 Elmsley Count.; showing 4 blue backs. (A three as four Elmsley Count is no different from the usual one, except that only three cards are used, instead of the usual four. The movements are identical, except that, on the count of "two" a single card is pushed across, instead of the normal two or more. The audience will see four cards.)

Flip the packet face up and do another 3 as 4 Elmsley Count, showing four Kings. The King of Hearts is seen twice but this is never noticed.

Turn the kings face down and place them on the table. Have the spectator place a hand over them. Do not place them between the spectators palms or put them into his hand. If this were done, there would be a danger of the "missing" one being noticed.

3) Pick up the pack. Spread it face down, between your hands, taking care not to expose any face up cards. Visually and verbally emphasise that the cards have red backs.

Turn the pack face up. Reverse Double Undercut the indifferent card from the back of the pack to the face. This means that the reversed cards are now on the bottom of the face up pack.

Spread the face up cards, between your hands, keeping the bottom few tightly bunched. Have a card selected and placed face up, on the table. Square up the pack and place it down, face up, to the right. Take care not to flash the reversed card(s) on the bottom.

4) Get out the stickers and the pen. Take one sticker and place it onto the centre of the face of the selected card. Have the spectator initial it.

Flip the card face down. Attach a second sticker to its back. This should be located as closely as you are able to the position of the sticker on the King of Diamonds. Initial the sticker yourself, trying to duplicate as accurately as you can, the signature, which you made earlier.

5) Pick up the face up pack, from above by the ends. Do this with the right hand. Place it in top of the face down selected card. Pick up the card, on the bottom of the face up pack, then turn the hand over. This will turn the pack face down and bring the selected card, face up, onto the top. Place the pack into the left hand Mechanic's Grip. Tap the sticker, on the face of the card and say, "You have initialled your card, on the face . ." Triple turnover, the top three cards, as you continue, " . . and I have initialled it on the back."

Thumb the top card (apparently the selection but really the prepared King of Diamonds) onto the table. Keep it face down. The real selection is second from the top.

6) Place the pack to one side. Pick up the face down King of Diamonds (supposedly the selected card) and ask the spectator to lift his hand from the King packet. Push the King of Diamonds into the blue backed packet, without allowing its face to be seen. It should go in third from the top. When this has been done, have the spectator cover the pile once more.

7) Make a magical gesture, do a voodoo dance or whatever. Ask the spectator to once more lift his hand. Pick up the King packet and Elmsley Count it, face down. The last card of the count goes to the bottom of the packet. The latest jargon for this is the Underground Elmsley Count, a term coined by Bob Walker. Anyway, four blue backs will show, the red card having seemingly vanished.

Turn the packet face up and show the four Kings. Use Mario's Olram Subtlety, while showing the Kings. This will appear to allow the four blue backs to be seen once more. In fact, only three backs and one is flashed twice. Do not verbally mention the colour of the backs. This will be visually apparent to the spectators. Also, do not be tempted to add additional "proving" actions. These will only serve to create suspicion.

8) Casually pick up the pack. Give it a false shuffle and cut as you patter, "It looks as though your card has vanished. Let's try and find it." As this is said, the selected card, which is second from the top, is reversed secretly and cut to the centre of the pack. One method of accomplishing this is to double undercut the two top cards to the bottom, thereby placing the card on the face of the pack. From here it can be reversed by means of a normal Half Pass, or, as Ian prefers, Mario's Bottom Reverse, described in Alton Sharpe's "Expert Card Mysteries. (This is also in "The Card Secrets of Bruce Cervon" (1976), which is number one in the series "The Real Work". A straight cut brings the reversed card to the centre.

9) Turn the pack face up and, after snapping your fingers, ribbon spread it across the table. A face down card will show in the centre. The sticker, with your initials, will be plain for all to see. Have the spectator remove the card and turn it over, Have him verify the initials, on the face and remove the stickers. While this is being done, quietly pocket the four Kings. You now have a clean pack, minus the King of Diamonds.

End Notes a) Ian prefers to use a second red backed pack and to perform one or two effects, prior to this one. The prepared pack is then switched in, at the appropriate moment. He uses Mel Brown's Joker Switch, from an old M-U-M. This is redescribed in "Arch Triumphs" and credited to Frank Pemper. It also appears in "Mario's Magazine", vol. 4 (1981), in the routine "Commercial Poker", where credit is re-established to Mel Brown.

Of course, the pack switch can be eliminated, by prefacing this effect with a few, which do not interfere with the set-up. Another alternative would be to have the three card stack in a convenient place and palm it onto the pack, when required.

b) If the spectator chooses a King, have him select another card, instead. Explain that you are using the Kings from another pack and do not wish to create any confusion.

c) As an alternative to having the card appear face up in the pack you could use any revelation that you care to, within reason. The card is second from top, a position from which endless variations are possible. One natural would be to have another card chosen, which is obviously not the one. Point this out and execute the Kaufman/ Krenzel "Secondfromtpp Change" from "Cardmagic" (1979). This will visually change the indifferent card into the vanished selection.

You could, of course, contrive the appearance of the card in your wallet, pocket, a cake, Watford . . . etc. . . etc.

d) In his book "Means and Ends", Jerry Hartman has a "cannibal" type effect, entitled "A La Card". This is also reminiscent of "Point of Departure", using fours of a kind.

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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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