Patter And Presentation

"In any demonstration of crooked gambling" patters the performer as he shuffles the cards "the operator usually starts by controlling a good hand of cards, such as four aces, to the top of the pack. It is of course possible to prevent this deceptive procedure, simply by cutting the cards."

VERSADEALby John Bragoli

So saying, he cuts the cards, then invites the spectator to do likewise. "At this stage" he continues, "it is unlikely that the top cards will be seen." Turning over the top card of the pack (which for example might be the seven of spades' he says, "the top card is certainly not an ace, it's a seven. I'll burn it." He thereupon puts it face down on the bottom of the pack. The performer next deals out four hands of thirteen cards. "Different card players" he patters, "may show preference for different games."

He now turns up the top card of the first hand, which may for example, be the queen of hearts. "A picture card" he states, "is always useful in poker or brag, especially if you have some matching cards." Turning up the top cards of the second and third hands they are seen to be queens. The three queens are now discarded to one side.

"In blackjack or pontoon" the performer continues, "the player is trying to achieve a maximum score of 21." He turns over the top card of the first hand which proves to be an ace. "In either of these games" he remarks, "an ace is an excellent card to hold since it has a value of either one or eleven. A seven (turning up the top card of the second hand) takes us to eight or eighteen and a three (turns up top card of the third hand) gives us the maximum score of twenty-one. The ace, seven, and three are discarded.

Once again the performer turns up the top two cards of the first and second hands, which are seen to be a two and an eight. "In a game of baccarat, chemin de fer, or punte bance, he explains, "these two cards would be a poor combination since their total is nil, or baccarat, and one would need a nine to achieve the maximum score with three cards. Here's a nine." Turning over the top card of the third hand which proves to be a nine, he then discards the three cards displayed.

For the last time the performer turns up the top card of the first hand which may, for example, be the four of diamonds. "On it's own" he points out, "this is not an exciting card, but if a player held the four, five and six of diamonds it would be a useful combination in a game of kalooki or rummy." The top cards of the second and third hands are now turned up and seen to be the five and six of diamonds.

"Personally" concludes the performer, "I prefer a nice leisurely game of bridge, particularly when I can win all thirteen tricks by bidding a grand slam in spades." The performer now spreads the last hand face up across the table showing it to consist of all the thirteen spades.


Stack the pack in the following order — the bracketed numbers (4—5—6) must be cards of the same suit.

K-K-K- any spade -Ar7-3-any spade-2-8-9-any spade-(4-5-6) Q-Q-Q-any spade-A-7-3-any spade-2-8-9-any spade-(4-5-6-) J-J-J-any spade-A-7-3-any spade-2-8-9-any spade-(4-5-6-) 10-10-10-any spade-A-7-3-any spade-2-8-9-any spade-(4-5-6-) any spade.

It will make the setting up a simple matter if the spades are removed first and placed face up in a separate pile. Then remove the three kings and drop them face up onto the table followed by a spade from the pile, then A-7-3, another spade etc, etc. At the start give the pack a brief false shuffle retaining the order of the cards and continue the routine as described under patter and presentation. After the spectator has cut the pack secretly glimpse the bottom card, and if it is a spade simply deal out four hands of thirteen cards. Should it not be a spade then turn up one, two or three cards from the top of the pack until you reach a spade, pointing out that those cards are not aces. Put the cards which have been named at the bottom of the pack so that a spade becomes the bottom card.

After the four hands have been dealt the top card of the first hand dealt will be either an ace, a two, a four, or a picture card (or ten) and will determine the point of the routine from which you can progress.

For example, if this card was a four the first game referred to would be kalooki. Should the first three cards shown be the three tens, remark that they would be a good combination for poker, but you will discard one of them. Then turn up the next top three cards of the first three hands, the three kings, and announce that a full house of kings on tens would be a winning hand in most games of poker.

With rubber but a single strand And doubled thread you understand Will, as depicted in the sketch Add several inches to the stretch. And should this time you get it wrong Will bring more dreadful verse ere long.

Alf Goodwin

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