Volume 7 Number

After Hours Magic: A Book of Al Thatcher Card Magic

Encyclopedia of Card Tricks

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Inspiration and Points of Reference

Jon Racherbaumer suggested a plot, in which three selections, interlaced amongst the four Aces, vanish and appear between four Kings, One of the earliest routines to follow such a line, known to Ian, is Edward Mario's "Flight of Three". This was described in "Kabbala", Volume 1 Number 10 (June 1972). The Mario routine was inspired by Lin Searles' "Pre-Cannibal Cards", which can be found in "Epilogue" 14 (March 1972). In this version, the second four of a kind was kept secret, until the climax.

In "Pabular", Volume 6 Number 7 (1980), Steven Hamilton and Peter Duffie outline a version, which gets closer to the Racherbaumer problem. In this, both fours of a kind are seen at the beginning of the sequence. However, one is inserted into the pack and the latter comes into play, to a large extent.

The first published version, known to Ian, which isolates the two packets and does not involve the rest of the deck, is Mario's "Interlaced Transposition". This appeared in Mario's Magazine", Volume 4 (1981). It is this routine, which inspired Ian's. Much of the mechanics came from Mario's "Interlaced Vanish — First Method" from Volume 3 of "Mario's Magazine" (1979)


Four Kings and Four Aces are shown. The Aces are placed on the table. Three selected cards are placed between the Kings, being interlaced with them.

Instantly, without any recourse to going near the pack, the cards vanish from between the Kings and appear among the Aces. The whole thing is tremendously clean and very startling.


A pack of cards

Preparation Nil.

Working and Presentation

1) Run through the pack and throw out the four Aces. Place them on the table, in a face up pile, to your right. The red Aces are on the face of the pile, with the blacks beneath.

2) Remove the four Kings. Place them in a face up pile, slightly to your left.

3) Spread the pack, face down and allow three people to each remove a card. When the three cards have been selected, place the pack to one side. It is not used any more.

4) Take the four Kings, in a fan, face up in the left hand. Interlace the three selected cards, alternately with the Kings. This position is shown in fig 1. Bring up the right hand and hold the packet, spread between the two hands. The three Kings are face up, the chosen cards are face down.

5) Close up the packet. In the process, do a half pass with the lowermost card, turning the face up King, face down. The position will now be, from the top of the packet, downwards: face up King; face down selection; face up King; face down selection; face up King; face down selection; face down King. The audience believe all of the Kings to be face up.

6) Using the left fourth finger, secretly obtain a break, above the lowermost card. Bring over the right hand, to take the packet, holding it from above. The fingers are at the outer short end and the thumb at the inner. The tip of the thumb takes over the break and keeps it, as the packet leaves the left hand.

7) The left hand comes below the packet, so that the thumb can be placed on the face, as shown in fig 2. The thumb draws the face King away, into the left hand. At the same time, the left finger tips, beneath the packet, "milk" away the bottom card, taking it along with the King from the face and perfectly aligned with it. It is easy to keep the two cards in perfect alignment, so long as the forefinger acts as a guide, as shown in fig 2. The other fingers line up the long sides of the two cards by pressure against the base of the thumb.

8) Once the card(s) clear(s) the right hand packet, the left hand returns to draw off the new face card (first selection) from the right hand's packet. As it does so, the two cards, in the left hand, go momentarily beneath the packet. They are seized a la Biddle move, by the right finger and thumb tips and held beneath the packet. The left hand moves away, with only a single, face down card.

9) The left hand returns once more. The thumb peels off the new face card (King) from the right's* packet. This is taken on top of the face down card, already in that hand. A break is maintained between the two.

10) Return with the left hand, so that the thumb can peel off the next card from the right hand's packet. This is a face down selected card. As it is taken, the right fingers and thumb seize the face up King, above the break and retain it on the bottom of their packet. This is the standard Biddle move.

11) The next face up King is treated exactly as was the previous one. It is taken into the left hand. A break is kept beneath it. It is stolen back onto the bottom of the right hand's packet, as the next face down card is drawn into the left.

12) At this point, the right hand is holding four cards, which are supposed to be one. Place them, as a block, on top of those in the left. Keep a fourth finger break, immediately beneath them.

All of the steps from 7) through 12) should be executed at a brisk, even tempo. As with most false counts, rhythmn is more important than anything else. There must be no pauses, hesitations or fumbles.

13) Under cover of squaring the packet, get the three cardsNbelow the break into the Gambler's Cop position (fig 3). The right hand then lifts away the packet and places it down. The left, meanwhile, comes to rest at the rear edge of the table top.

14) Pick up the Ace pile, with the right hand and draw it off the rear edge of the table, into the waiting left hand, as in fig 4. This is a standard technique and will place the three selections, face down, beneath the Aces.

15) The next few moves are to secretly interlace the three selections with the Aces, under cover of showing the latter. The technique is by Edward Mario and was first published in Hierophant 2 (see the third method in "Alternatives for the 1129 Collectors", for details in depth).

In brief, the packet is held by the rights hand, from above in exactly the same manner as for steps 7) through 12) above. As the packet is taken into this position, a break is "obtained above the lowermost card, exactly as in step 6). This is held by the right thumb.

16) With the left thumb, peel the top card from the face of the packet in a manner similar to that shown in fig 2 earlier. The left hand then returns to peel off the second Ace, on top of the first. As this is being done, the bottom card of the packet is also released so that it goes between the two Aces. This is a sort of reverse Biddle Move. Thus the first selection has been secretly sandwiched between the red Aces. The patter for this is simple, say, "Here we have one, two red Aces. .".Do the move and place the three cards as two face up on the table. Continue the patter, "... and two black Aces." As this is said, peel the first black Ace into the left hand, in the same manner as before. In doing so, milk the bottom card from the packet along with the Ace. This is the same move as described in step 7). The right hand will be left holding two cards as one. Place these on top of the double card, in the left hand. Place the four cards on top of red Ace pile, on the table.

To the audience, you appear to have merely displayed the four Aces. In fact the selected cards have been interlaced between them. The position at this point will be. On the table is a seven card packet containing four Aces and three selected cards interlaced. The Aces are face up, the chosen cards are face down. The audience believes1 this packet to contain only the Aces.

There is also a second packet, containing four Kings. The second one from the face is back upwards. The remainder are face up. The audience believe this packet to contain the four Kings, interlaced with the selected cards.

The next flew moves are designee? to once more show the selected cards, between the Kings and then to cause them to vanish in a sudden and unexpected manner. It utilises a Mario count, described in Mario's Magazine, Volume 3 (1979). To maintain consistency, it is done from the Biddle grip.

17) The packet is held as in step 6). As it is taken by the right hand, the left contrives to slide the bottom card slightly to the right. This is shown in fij£5

18) Peel the top card into the left hand. The next two cards are peeled off as one. This is rendered simple by the fact that the card below them is side jogged slightly. As the second card(s) is (are) peeled off, so the left fourth finger holds a break beneath it (them).

19) Peel off the last card from the right hand but, as this is done seize back the two cards, above the break, with the right fingers and thumb. This is a standard false counting technique. Also, keep a left fourth finger break between the two cards, remaining in the left hand at this stage.

20) Peel the next card from the right hand. Then as the final card is taken from the right, seize back the two above the break. This is the same move, as in step 19). Finally, genuinely peel off the last two cards. Perform this count briskly and the audience will see four Kings and three face down cards.

21) Square the packet. Turn it face down. Snap the cards. Perform an Elmsley count. All of the cards will appear to be face down. Only four will be seen.

22) Under cover of the startling vanish in step 21), while the audience react, quietly reverse the bottom card. Turn the packet face up showing four Kings only.

23) Pause for a moment and then ribbon spread the Ace pile, revealing the face down cards between. Turn these over, one by one calling attention to their identities.

End Notes

Ian does not always use the vanish described in step 21). He sometimes prefers Mario's "interlaced Vanish" steps 15 to 17, as described in Mario's Magazine, Volume 3 (1979). Readers may care to check this out.

The Half Pass, which Ian uses is the Christ Twist, as described on page 509 of Lorayne's "Best* of Friends" (1982).


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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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