After Hours Magic: A Book of Al Thatcher Card Magic

Encyclopedia of Card Tricks

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This is my version of John Racherbaumer's Ace Portation'. No fake card is necessary, the entire effect being achieved by using the Biddle and Elmsley counts.


Four cards each with a black spot in the centre, and four cards with a red spot in the centre are freely shown on both sides. The four black spots are placed on the table to the performers right and the red spots to his left. One by one a black spot card changes places with a red spot card until all four black spot cards are on the performer's left and vice versa.


Prepare eight blank faced by sticking a red spot to the face of four of them, and a black spot on the face of the remaining four. Suitable stickers are available from most stationers.


1. Openly remove from wallet the eight cards and spread out explaining that you will show them something unusual with eight cards, four with red spots and four with black spots. Square up the packet face up with the black spots above and the red spots underneath.

2. Holding the packet in the right hand in the Biddle position draw off the top face up black spot card with the left thumb. The second black spot is pulled off in a similar manner holding a break between the two cards with the tips of the left fingers. Draw off the other two black spots, pause and say, "Four black spot cards."

3. Left hand comes back to the packet held in the right hand and pulls off the first red spot card with the thumb at the same time leaving the three black spot cards above the break underneath the right hand packet. The left thumb peels off the next two red spot cards singly, and then drops the last red spot with the three black spot cards beneath it as one card. Reading from the top the order is one red, three blacks, three reds and one black.

4. Turn the packet face down and hold it in the left hand. Turn the top black card face up and count off four cards without reversing their order and place them on the table to your right. Count the remaining four cards retaining their order and take the bottom card and put it face up on top of packet which you put on the table to your left. The position is now, on your right a face up black spot with three red spot cards face down beneath it, and on your left a red spot face up with the face down black spot cards.

5. Take the face up red spot card, turn it face down and with it scoop up the three cards and turn the packet over replacing it on the table. Repeat the same operation with face up black spot card.

6. You now order one card in each packet to change places. Lift the top card of both packets revealing that the change has taken place. Replace the cards on top of their respective packets.

7. Make a magical gesture over each packet and using the Elmsley count with each packet in turn show that two have now transposed.

8. Make another magical gesture and this time count each packet in the normal manner reversing the order as you do so, but replacing the last card on the bottom. It is important that in this count which shows a third transposition to have taken place that the cards are held in exactly the same manner as when doing the Elmsley count.

9. A final magic pass and the fourth and last cards are shown to have transposed by Elmsley counting both packets.

10. The effect over drop one packet on top of the other and using the side steal bring the bottom card to the top. Place the packet on the table, and should anyone pick it up they Will find everything normal.


In this effect two selected cards are lost in the pack, and four cards taken from the top of the pack are shown to be all alike. Two of the cards disappear and the two left are shown to be the previously selected cards.

On being returned to the pack the two chosen cards are secretly brought to the top of the pack by whatever method you favour. Holding the pack in the left hand in the normal dealing position the thumb pushes the top four cards over the right side of the pack in a spread out condition. The right hand moves in to take the four cards roughly squaring them up as it does so and in the process pushes the bottom card of the four under the left thumb finally moving away with only three cards. This is not a difficult move technically, but does require to be done in an easy casual manner that will not arouse suspicion that you have done anything other than take the four cards from the top of the pack. The rest of the pack is now placed aside being no longer required.

With the packet of three cards held face down they are counted as four using the standard Elmsley count procedure which will bring the card not selected in the middle of two chosen cards. You now show the three cards as being four like cards, by using the familiar buckle move.

Hold the cards in the left hand, buckle the bottom card and with the right turn the other two face up as one card counting one, and turn them back face down again. Place the top card face down beneath the other two. On the count of two turn the top card face up and then put it face down on top of the packet, and buckling the bottom card place the top two cards to the bottom. Count three and repeat as on the count of one. Counting four turn the top card face up, and then turn it back face down. You have now shown that you are apparently holding four identical cards.

Continue by showing the four cards again by using the Swindle count, a move I believe to be original with me. It should not be used in such a manner as to make it appear that you are trying to prove anything, but should be performed as casually as possible and appear as part of the previous count which it should follow without pause.

Hold the packet face down in the left hand, thumb on top of the cards and fingers beneath. The right hand takes the top card pulling it off the top of the packet with the thumb displays it face to audience counting one. On the count of two the right hand takes a second card from the left hand leaving the first card beneath the remaining card in that hand. The face of this second card is not shown but is kept face down in the right hand as you continue to count three and raise the left hand showing the face of the bottom card of the two in that hand. Bring the left hand to its original position and pull off the top card of the two with the right thumb onto the top of the card already in the right hand. Count four and raise the left hand as before and show the face of the card it holds. Place this card face down onto the top of the two in the right hand.

It may be felt that such a blatant miscount is sure to be noticed especially as in the first few attempts the rhythm will tend to feel a little unnatural. Once the latter is overcome this manner of counting win never be questioned.

To bring the effect to its climax the three cards are held face down in the right hand in the Biddle position. With the tips of the left hand fingers pull out the bottom card to the left of the two cards above it, the latter being retained in the right hand taking care to keep them perfectly squared. The position is now that you have one selected card in the left hand and the other in the right with a card concealed behind it. On being told the names of the selected cards display the face of the bottom card of the two in the right hand and drop it/them as one card face down onto the table. Without hesitation snap the card in left hand with the fingers and show it to be the other chosen card. To prevent the two from separating when they are dropped onto the table squeeze the ends sufficiently to put a slight bridge in them.

cThecPlage bqfik

Well now, let me see, the last time you read ^p this column it was coming from New York. This time we're back home in London. In actual fact MSjj^ I had to leave the USA earlier than I had wanted mmM due to my wife being taken ill. I had intended WbB staying in New York for a few days doing ^BB

absolutely nothing apart from chatting to my K|g very good friend A1 Flosso. Unfortunately it was wig not to be, although in fact I did have some time to spend with Al. going out for a meal one ^

evening with him, Stanley Palm and Stanley Burn the ventriloquist. You probably will not believe this, but my only reason for going to New York was to see Al. It's just as well that I did because now, unfortunately Al is no longer with us. A little more than eighty years ago God decided, in His wisdom, that he would explain the meaning of the word Magic to us and so he created Al Flosso. For me he succeeded. The Flosso-Hornmann Magic Company is now in the very capable hands of Al's son Jack. I wish him all the success his father had.

Last time out I said I would mention a few of the people I met in the USA. The first one who springs to mind, because he was the first person I met, was Ed Mario in Chicago. Ed had a few pertinent words to say about Pabular. Mainly the fact that one or two of the items that have been printed have previously appeared elsewhere. (Listening, Mr Editor?). There are few people in this world who could say such things with his authority. Another name was Eddie Fechter. He runs a bar cum hotel in Buffaloe, New York and this was the first time I had ever met Eddie, and I hope it isn't the last. I have mentioned before that I never had the pleasure of meeting the late Matt Schulein and Eddie Fechter must surely be his worthy successor. In saying that, I would appreciate the fact that Eddie's actual technique is probably far in advance of the late Mr Schulein but the approach is, I imagine, very similar. Eddie is a well-built man with a very pleasant personality and knows how to handle a deck of cards and a handful of dice better than most. He showed me quite a number of things I have never seen before (I'll bet you are wondering what they are).

Dick Kohl is a name of which I had never heard. I appeared with him on a show at Hunter College, New York where he was billed as 'The Great Kohl and Company', (the Company being his charming wife and daughter). I am not quite sure what kind of an act Dick does normally, but the act he performed that night was unbelievably hilarious. He did stunts and twists on existing effects that I have never seen before. He's funny, funny, funny. One day we might even see you in England, Dick — but if you do come don't forget to bring that Sawing-in-Half effect.

Doc Dougherty was someone I do not think I had met before, and this time it was in Washington. I had an afternoon to spare and Doc was kind enough to take me on a partial tour of the Smithsonian Institute in Washington. That, I may add, was one of the highlights of the whole trip. I had always believed that this particular institute was a place where they kept records and nothing else. How wrong I was. It turned out to be one of the finest museums, particularly of American history, that it has been my pleasure to see.

Scotty York and Billy Wells were another two guys I had met in Washington — Scotty I had met before but not Billy. After my lecture they drove me back to Billy Wells' home where I was to spend the evening and I had the pleasure of watching Scotty York perform a lot of close-up magic. He has some really excellent ideas. He actually performed his lecture for me. It is, of course, a close-up lecture in which coins and cards are predominant and also an effect using a 'goldfinger' (I always thought 'goldfinger' was a Jewish gynaecologist).

Scotty tells me he wants to come to England and in fact I have recently heard that this will be happening and he will be doing his lecture. Don't miss it, he's good. The thing that impressed me most of all the things I saw Scotty perform for me was a routine I believe is published in manuscript form and is sold in the U.S. under the title "The X rated Caps and Balls Routine by Scotty York". This is a more or less standard type cups and balls routine (in effect) but in this particular routine there is just no way you can guess where those final loads come from. It is excellent, excellent, excellent. On that particular evening Billy Wells was, like myself, a spectator, but in the course of conversation I began to realise that he too had a thing or two up his sleeve. Why not come over with Scotty, Bill?

Goodbye, Patrick Page

Prior to the publication of Card Shark we were shown the effect described below by Trevor Lewis who had heard that Roy Walton had a trick with the film 'Jaws' as the theme but had no details. That the effect should be similar even to cutting the card in half zig-zag fashion is surprising and another example of great minds etc. We believe it will be of interest to those with the ability to force a card in the classic manner enabling the effect to be achieved with less handling and the sudden appearance of the half card above the pack is rather more startling. Credit for the origination belongs, of course to Roy Walton. 0 Q O

A duplicate Queen of Hearts cut in half as in the original version. One half is left in the card case which represents the shark. The other half is placed in the pack approximately fifteen from the top, and squared up in line with the end of the pack nearest the body. The Queen of Hearts belonging to the pack is on top of the pack.

Using an overhand shuffle, undercut below the half card, in-jog the first card and shuffle off. Force the Queen of Hearts by the classic method and close up the pack. Fan out the pack for the card to be replaced. Close up the fan and turn the pack end for end in one action using the move which must be well known to users of the one way back principle and stripper packs.

Hold the pack in the left hand pick up the empty? card case with the right and zoom in towards the pack giving the best imitation you can of a shark diving towards its victim including the gobble, gobble business. Drop the card case. With the left thumb across the middle of the pack riffle the outer end of the pack with the right fingers. This will cause the half card to jump above the end of the pack. Try to regulate the pressure so that the half card does not fly right out clear, but just peeps out above the end of the pack. Let the spectator verify it as being the selected card and ask him to remove it from the pack. Ask him now to open the card case

(shark) where he will find don't forget to put it in.

The jump up move was shown to me some years ago by Patrick Page during a late night session at some convention or other. I suppose therefore, that this Welshman must, with reluctance, give part of the credit to a Scotsman cDpROPIT

Iff One of the most useful of gadgets to a close up magician, and one that is in constant use with many of our top flight performers is TOPIT. It is not claimed that DROPIT will make it redundant but it is a ready made substitute which most of us already possess and is extremely useful when it is required to cause small objects, particularly coins, to vanish completely.

Having aroused your curiosity I hope that you will not be disappointed to learn that

IROPIT is merely the outer breast pocket of your jacket. Should you not be wearing one, a similar pocket in your shirt will serve as a substitute in most cases.

The idea of using this pocket as a receptacle for secretly disposing of vanished objects is not new but does not seem to have been fully exploited. Only two of its many possibilities appear to be well known, dropping a coin into it from a right thumb palmed position as the right hand pulls back the left sleeve, and stealing a coin held at tips of the left fingers with the right fingers as the right hand draws a handkerchief over it. Towards the end of this action the right hand with coin comes near the pocket and drops it in just before the handkerchief falls off the left fingers revealing an empty left hand.

The following ideas which have on occasion been used and proved to be practical may inspire others to try them out and in so doing find other uses for DROPIT.

Before attempting any of the ideas it is necessary to ensure that the mouth of the pocket is open slightly and remains so. This can be easily achieved by pushing a small handkerchief or paper napkin down to the bottom of the pocket or as I do, pull up the lining of the pocket from the bottom about half way up the pocket.

1. Hold a coin in the cupped hands and shake them as you would if you were holding more than one coin and wished to make them 'jingle'. Bring the hands still cupped and clasped together near to the breast pocket, blow on them, and repeat the 'jingle' action during which you work the coin back towards the heel of the left hand (Fig.l). At this point the coin is a mere couple

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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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