After Hours Magic: A Book of Al Thatcher Card Magic

Encyclopedia of Card Tricks

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Effects where spectators are allowed to shuffle the cards, and still some unexpected magical climax occurs, are usually well received by audiences. For example, the type of card control described in many of the earlier books on magic where the selected card is palmed out of the pack, before handing the pack out for shuffling by a spectator and subsequently adding the palmed carcl to the pack on its return. This procedure is, in my opinion, vastly superior to any advanced control of a selected or peeked card, in which the pack never leaves the hands of the performer. In this trick, the impression given is that the performer hardly touches the pack at all, and yet the trick is concluded successfully.

For maximum effect it is desired that the spectators have a simple knowledge of poker hands, although this is by no means essential, as the climax is apparent even to a non-poker player.

No new principles are used in the effect. Cy Endfield's Location in Pabular No.5, Yol.3 started me thinking about the presentation. Í believe the placement used is Bill Simons', and the reverse stack principle is in print and claimed by a number of inventors, so I will not name one, and offend the others.

A stack of nine cards is required and these should ALL be of the SAME COLOUR i.e spades and clubs or hearts and diamonds. The values reading from the top of the face down pack are, ace, two, three, four, five, five, four, ace, two. This simple stack is an easy one to remember.


Hold pack in the right in the normal overhand shuffle position with the face of the pack towards the palm of the hand. Explain that you have a lucky card, and should it fall into your hand when playing poker you always win. Name your lucky card as the three spot in your stack.

While you are saying this run the top five cards singly into the left hand reversing their order, and then drop approximately half the cards in the right hand on top and the remainder to the face of them. Now run the two top cards into the left hand, reversing their order, and throw the rest of the pack on top.

This little setting up shuffle takes only a few seconds and can easily be completed whilst your hands until you arrive at the face up three spot and break the pack at this point so that the three spot is on top of the left hand section. Twist the left hand inwards bringing the packet' face up and the three spot face down. With the assistance of the right thumb this latter is drawn face down onto the top of the face down half held in the right hand. As it is pulled off position it so that it is outjogged over the outer end of the pack for about its length when the left hand twists back bringing its half face down again and places it on top of the half in the right hand.

This complete sequence of movements are carried out smoothly and fairly fast, as you explain that to complete your Tucky cards' poker hand you need four more cards. After completing this placement sequence I normally tip the outer end of the pack upwards slightly and with the right fingers bend back the jogged card a little to show its face once again as I come to the point in the patter concerning the lucky three spot.

Say that you will take the two cards on either side of your lucky three to complete your poker hand. Run through the face down pack

you are explaining about the lucky three spot. You will now have the top five cards of the stack sandwiched in the centre of the pack, an ace on top and a two immediately below it. The bottom card will be a five with a four immediately above it.

Turn the pack face up and run through it removing your lucky three spot placing it face up onto the table, and breaking the pack into two halves at the point from which it was taken and place each half separately onto the table.

Spread each face down half slightly, and request a spectator to push the lucky three spot FACE UP into the centre of either spread. Point out the fairness of this. Close up each half into a face down squared packet and push them towards a spectator requesting him to riffle shuffle them together. It is natural that the two separate halves should be riffled rather than overhand shuffled, but it is advisable to make sure the spectator knows what riffle shuffling means before asking him to do it.

Take the shuffled pack and hold it face down in the left hand. Spread the pack between and 'VERY FAIRLY' remove your 'lucky card' and the. pair either side of it. Hold these five cards face down in the left hand and place the remainder of the pack aside.

For maximum effect please try concluding the effect as follows before trying to change it.

Look towards the spectator who shuffled the packets together and say, "Did you do a straight shuffle?" Pause a moment and then say, "You certainly did." On completing this remark turn the packet face up and you will find either an ace or a two at the face. If it is an ace deal the top two cards onto the table singly reversing their order. Should it be a two, thumb off the two cards together and place them onto the table without reversing them. Deal the next card which will be a three spot on top of them. The face card of the pair remaining in the left will be either a five or a four. If a four deal them singly on top of those already on the table. If a five, just spread them slightly and drop them on the three already on the table.

The result is a neat face up spread of a one colour 'straight' in numeric order.

I have a complaint. Before anyone suggests I see a doctor, it isn't that kind of complaint, it's a mental one, and as I write I know I should never have admitted that because I can see my reader (the editor has informed me that I do have at least one reader) saying to himself "true, true". I'll tell you what, let's start again.

Dear editor, I have a complaint to make about the way you run this magazine (I feel better already). Last month for some reason best known to yourself you squeezed my, did you get that, MY column out of existence

Yours in disgust, The Pageboy.

That's telling him. Well how would you like it if someone squeezed you out of existence. It wouldn't have been half so bad if they had replaced me with something decent, and comparable with my talents, like Mark Twain, Robert Benchley, or even MacGonagle, but no, what did they put in my place? Tricks, stupid bloody tricks, and close-up ones at that. I repeat, I don't like it. Can you imagine the Daily Mirror without Marjie Proops?, the Daily Express without William Hickey?, the Sunday Times without Bernard Levin. It's inconceivable to even contemplate these atrocities, but our editorial team, Messrs Bolton, Mason and Robspiere just don't care. But care they should, because the end is nigh (whatever the hell that means) and the revolution is at hand. It shall not happen again. It must not happen again, and this is where you, dear reader (the same one) can help. Right now, I want you to write NOW and complain. Tell them you have been unable to visit the smallest room for more than a month due to their idiotic blunder. Stand up and fight for your rights. Insist that the Pageboy has a place in your home which has been empty for too long and that the gap cannot be filled by the waving of a mere magic wand. Impress upon them that the sentiments come straight from the bottom of your heart and from your wife's bottom too. Tell them that you aren't going to just sit there motionless and do nothing. Give them action.

O.K. that's got that over with, now let's clear the air a little What's been happening recently. For the last issue I did a brilliant column about my travels on the continent, a column which, alas, will never see the light of a printers ink. Since then I popped over to Switzerland to appear at a convention in Montreux, in company with several other English magi. I enjoyed it. In the close-up field, the one I remember was Binarelli, a young Latin from Italy, who fooled me very badly with a version of Wild Card, during his lecture. I didn't feel too badly afterwards when I found out he was using a wrinkle which doesn't normally exist in the usual set of cards used in Wild Card. I thought at first he was using the regular set of cards and had switched something in. He didn't, he just fooled me. He has lecture notes entitled Playmagic and they are in English with beautiful photographs. Remember the name, Tony Binarelli.

I have not so far mentioned the Ramsay Reunion Weekend, which was a runaway success. You will read an ad. in this issue which will inform you that the whole affair was recorded. Fill in the loose leaflet enclosed with your name and address and listen to some of the really greats in magic do their thing.

Things I remember from the Ramsay Reunion:

Dai Vernon, who didn't stop talking.

Los Mancos, the two Spanish boys who had one of the most original and funny close-up acts of all time.

Gaeton Bloom, who had the funniest gag of the year when he asked Dai Vernon to shuffle the cards.

David Roth's sleeve.

And last but unfortunately Bob Read.

Patrick Page cThecPáge bojTspeak§


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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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