After Hours Magic: A Book of Al Thatcher Card Magic

Encyclopedia of Card Tricks

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Sonny Day

Showing some of my magical friends some card tricks someone commented "You must have a lot of skill to do,that." My reply "I don't need skill - it's just MV NERVE." Hence the title.

MINERVE is a locator made by cutting out the figure from one Joker card and sticking it over the picture of another Joker of the same design. Jokers which are coloured and of simple design are best for making this practical locator which has many applications. The centre being raised makes a 'thick' card, and also when in the middle of the pack it creates a break which can be found by sense of touch when cutting the pack either by the ends or sides.

TO LOCATE: Start with the 'Minerve' on the bottom of the face down pack. Spread the pack and have a card selected, and as it is being noted square up the pack and cut it bringing 'Minerve' to the centre. Cut at 'Minerve' and have selection replaced on the bottom half and replace the top half and square the pack. Bring the chosen card to the top by cutting at the break. To ensure that the break is a good one the left thumb exerts a slight downwards presslire on top of the pack.

I leave it to you what effects you produce — two of my own favourites will be found at the end of this article, but first here are a few variations on the standard cut which may be used to bring the chosen card to the top of the pack. -

UNDER CUT: With the pack held in the left hand face down pull out the bottom portion with the right thumb and fingers Hindu Shuffle fashion. Do not push this bottom portion out with the left forefinger.

TWO HANDED CHARLIER: Hold the pack in the left hand as for the Charlier one-handed pass with the pad of the thumb on one long side and the tips of the fingers on the opposite long side. Relax the pressure of the thumb and the portion below the break will fall. The right hand pulls this portion away and places it on top of the rest* of the cards completing the cut. It is not advisable to perform the regular one-handed Charlier.

THROW CUT: Hold the pack in the left hand in the normal dealing position, but with the tips of the fingers clear of the half above the break and only in contact with the bottom half. Raise the thumb, and with an action which is more of a jerk than a throw, toss the upper half above the break upwards and to the right and catch it in the right hand. Replace it in the left hand under the half which was retained in that hand.

DROP CUT: Hold the pack in the right hand with the fingers at the outer end and thumb at the inner end. Relax the grip slightly allowing the bottom half below the break to fall onto the waiting left hand which is held some six inches below. Place the half in the right hand under those in the left hand to complete the cut.

SPECTATOR CUT: Under cut the pack to bring the 'Minerve' card with the chosen card immediately below it to a position about one third down from the top of the pack. If the pack is then held in the left hand and a spectator requested to cut, he will, nine times out of ten cut at the break bringing his selection to the top.

FLOURISH CUT: Hold the pack in the left hand in the dealing position, but with the first finger at the outer end about a quarter of an inch from the right outer corner — somewhat similar to the mechanic's grip. Extend the right first finger and press it lightly against the bottom inner right hand corner and raise the half above the break holding it momentarily between the left and right first fingers. Move the right hand to the right and turn it palm uppermost to catch the top half. Complete the cut by putting the left hand half on top.

DOUBLE UNDER CUT: Under cut about one third of the pack with the right hand and have chosen card returned on top of the portion remaining in the left hand and drop the right hand packet on top. Under cut about one third as before and complete the cut. Using the Two Handed Charlier bringing the chosen card to the top and the 'Minerve' card to the bottom. 814

In all the above variations it is possible to check whether or not the chosen card is at the top after the cut without having to look at the pack. Just feel the face of the bottom card for 'Minerve'.

Now for the two effects mentioned earlier - the first being CUTTING THE ACES.

This is a routine devised by H.E. Burnside. The handling is easy and the effect created is out of all proportion to the skill required.

Start with 'Minerve' on the bottom and the four aces on top of the face down pack. Patter about how gamblers cut the pack in various ways as you demonstrate cut the pack twice using one of the methods described bringing an ace to the top.

Show the ace and toss it face up onto the table. Cut twice more using a different method — show the ace and throw it to join the first one on the table. -

Now prepare for the SPECTATOR CUT (to see if he is lucky???). If he is not lucky, continue to cut to the other two aces using different methods. Either way, you can cut the last ace behind your back, or blindfolded.

The second trick you claim to be the FASTEST TRICK IN THE WORLD. Have a card selected and returned (see TO LOCATE). When the card is in the centre of the pack under 'Minerve' patter about it being the fastest card trick etc and explain that to find their card you must know its name. Then say that when you 'snap' your fingers would they please name their card, and you will try and find it BEFORE they finish.

Prepare for the THROW CUT. Snap your fingers (right hand), and simultaneously do the THROW CUT. As you catch the top half of the pack with the right hand push the top card of the bottom half (the chosen one) over to the right with the left thumb, and with the first finger of the right hand turn it face up.

That is 'Minerve', and I hope it helps you to enjoy your magic.

I-O-U Gordon Bruce

The underlying idea here is to perform the Card in Wallet effect without tipping the finish ahead of time. No palming is involved, and a further bonus is the inclusion of a restoration and transformation.

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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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