Routine

Take the four aces out of the pack and place them to one side.

Ask the spectators to choose the three cards. Have the cards returned and bring them to the top (e.g. using the Hindu Shuffle Control, Royal Road to Card Magic chapter XV). Let us suppose that the three cards are on top in reverse order, the third spectators card being uppermost.

Spread the pack saying, "Your cards are somewhere here. To find them I need the help of the aces." Square the pack into dealing position in your left hand, taking a left little-finger break under the three top cards as you do so. Pick up the aces and display them face-up, using both hands. Roughly square the aces, secretly adding the three face-down chosen cards beneath. Hold the combined packet for a moment in your right hand as you place the rest of the pack aside with your left, and square the packet (still with the aces face-up) into the left hand.

Now count the aces from the left hand to the right, reversing their order and naming the aces. The first three are taken singly and fairly — the last is taken with the three chosen cards concealed beneath it. Then turn the whole packet over and put it back in your left hand with the aces face-down. Take the top two cards in your right fingers and flash their faces as you say, "the aces will find your cards", and replace them face down under the others.

The cards in your left hand should now be, from the top: face-down ace, three face-up chosen cards, three face-down aces.

With your right thumb at the inner end raise the top three cards of the packet and get a left little-finger break beneath them. Do this as you turn to the third spectator and ask him to name his card.

When he names it, you show it face up among the aces by counting the cards from left to right as five. Take all three above the break as one, on top take the face-up card so that it projects forward about half its length, followed by another (single) face-down card level with the first, but jogged to the left about half its width. At this, pause to display the face-up card. The thickness of hidden cards is well concealed.

Turn the two cards remaining in your left hand face up for a moment to flash their faces. Then apparently put these two cards face-down under the others, but in fact, buckle the lowest card of those in your right hand with your right fingers, and place the two cards from your left hand between the buckled card and the rest.

Square the packet, and now ask the first spectator to name his card. Reveal it by again counting from left to right, reversing the order and showing six cards. The count is fair except that the last two are taken as one. Jog the faceup cards forward when counting, to display them better.

Square, and ask the remaining (second) spectator to name his card. This time just fan all seven cards out fairly and the spectator's card shows. Turn the fan over to emphasise that the chosen cards are interleaved among the aces. Conclude by laying the fan on your table with all the chosen cards showing.

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This is a further use of both a regular thick card and a double-back thick card in a routine I call

"SPLITTING THE ACES"

EFFECT:-

1. Two shuffled decks are dribbled onto the table as spectator calls 'stop'. It is found that at the face of each deck are two Red Aces and the top two cards of the tabled portions are Black Aces. A total of eight Aces.

FIRST METHOD:-

My original method was to use two thick Aces of Clubs, one in each deck. The set-up was AS - Thick AC - AH - AD. from the bottom, up. This was duplicated in the other deck. Riffle shuffle above the set-up. The spectator cuts decks and completes the cut.

2. Pick up each deck and do the dribble procedure. Eventually disclose two Red Aces at face of each of packet and two Black Aces on top of each tabled portion.

SECOND METHOD:-

1. Eventually decided it would be better if the eight disclosed Aces could be used in any follow effect. This meant that the four Aces had to be regular cards. The problem was solved by using a thick double-back card.

2. The set-up at the bottom of each deck is, AS — AC — double-backed thick card — AH — AD. Retain set-up at bottom during shuffles and have spectator cut the decks.

3. Do the dribble procedure. This time do not show the cards in the hands. Instead place these portions face down on the table. Pick up one of the tabled packets. Square it and hold in the left hand as for dealing. Thumb over two cards, the thick double backer and one Ace, at the same time also pushing third card far enough for left little fingertip to obtain a break beneath it at lower right corner.

4. Having displayed two face down cards you apparently turn them face up onto the packet. Actually as you square the two cards, against the packet, the card above the break is also taken and three cards turned over. Since the top card was a thick double-back card only two regular single Black Aces will be thumbed off. Repeat identical procedure with the other tabled half. Conclude by turning the two packets, which have the Red Ace at the face, face up, then merely spread the face cards of each packet to reveal the Red Aces. End by saying, "This is what is known as Splitting the Aces."

5. Since the Aces are ungimmicked they can be used for other effects. Using a thick double-back card in each deck as above, you can have two selections made from each deck making sure that you have the selections returned one on each side of the thick card. It is now a simple matter to use the same splitting procedure as with the Aces, except here you will be "Splitting the Selections". If you do not want to use a double backed thick card, you can, of course, use a thick card with a face, but you will have to force each thick card on two spectators using any riffle force technique in which the card is not handled by the spectator. The other two selections of course, can be free ones which should be controlled on top of the thick cards. From here proceed to split the selections.

Three standard close-up effects have been trimmed to make a slick, smooth running routine, requiring some white bottle tops, referred to as 'discs', and a Chinese coin.

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