Top And Bottom Blacrstone

After Hours Magic: A Book of Al Thatcher Card Magic

Encyclopedia of Card Tricks

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The following is my method of performing Harry Blackstone's favorite card trick. Harry used a special deck. Larry Jennings' impromptu method is very well explained in his wonderful book "The Cardwright," pp. 1 through 4.

While taking a momentary break from performing your card mysteries, and holding the deck in your hands, per- _

form the "Turn Around Glimpse," spotting the top and bottom cards.

The glimpse is performed as fol- /^^j^fr^f^^^^. iti'j^iliiB h lows: The deck is held in dealing ^¡m**»

position in your left hand. The right ji'JMMjft1 .i^^SBl^j^^B <>

hand holds the deck from above, first M, finger curled on top and second, diird ■ ^^§|| 1

and fourth fingers at front end and right thumb at rear of pack. Left HH^Br _ JS thumb pushes top card of pack to the ^^^BB^^^B right about one-half an inch. This is B^^^Hfl covered by the right hand from above. (See Photo 1)

If, after performing the Turn Around Glimpse, the top and bottom cards are too low, simply cut the deck and perform the glimpse again. Let's say that, after the glimpse, the top and bottom cards are an Eight, and a Ten. Added together they total eighteen. Subtract one from your total and you get seventeen. Remember this number as vour kev.

The right hand rotates the pack clockwise and the left fingers regrasp the pack. Glimpse the top and bottom cards as the left thumb pushes the top card flush writh die pack. (See Photo 2) You want to get two fairly high cards, but a high card and a low card will do as well. I count the Jack as eleven, Queen as twelve and King as thirteen.

Slowly spread the cards from your left hand to your right. Count the cards in groups of two's and three's until you reach your key number, in this case seventeen. As I begin the spread 1 say, "Notice all the cards are face down!" This remark enables me to be deliberate in my spread as I am counting the cards.

When I reach the seventeenth card, my right little finger pulls the key card inward for about 1/4 of an inch as I spread the rest of the pack for a selection. As my right little finger injogs the key card, mv right thumb pulls the top two or three cards inward to cover the jogged card from the top. Have a card selected from the bottom 2/3 of the pack. (See Photo 3)

When the card has been selected, have the spectator show it to everyone present. During this time, you perform the following: close the spread of cards into a left hand dealer's grip. The injogged card will stay in place. Bring the right hand over the pack, fingers in front and right thumb in back. Cut under the jogged card, and place this packet of seventeen cards to the bottom of the pack, and regain a break with your left little finger over this packet.

With your right hand, lift the 2/3 of the pack away from your break. With your left hand move the small packet of cards under your right hand for cover, and bridge the packet convexly at the inner end only, with your left third and fourth fingers and heel of the thumb. (See Photo 4)

Immediately cut the bridged packet back to the top and release all breaks. Looking at the pack from the rear the bridged packet should look like Photo 5. Holding the pack in left hand dealer's grip, take back the selection in your right hand, keeping the card face down. With your left thumb run down die outer left corner of die pack. When you have passed the bridged cards, ask the spectator to stop you at any time.

Stop the moment the spectator tells you to. Insert the face down selection into the break formed by the left thumb. (See Photo 6) With your right hand above the pack, fingers in front and thumb in back, push the selection in at an angle so that the right lower corner of the selection protrudes from the right inner corner of the pack.

With your left little finger pull down on the jogged corner, push it flush and form a break. With your right hand cut the bridged packet to the table to the left. This is packet # 1. Cut a second packet of cards up to the break and place them on the table to the right of the first packet. This is packet # 2. Cut 1/2 of the remaining cards to the table to the right of packet # 2. This is packet # 3. Place the remaining packet in your hand to the table to the right of packet # 3. This is packet # 4. Place # 1 onto # 3 and # 2 onto # 4. Then place # 1 and # 3 onto # 2 and # 4.

The deck is now assembled with the original top and bottom cards in place and the selection below the correct amount of bridged cards. Pick up the pack in your hands and say, "It's quite easy to find the location of your card. All I have to do is add the values of the top and bottom cards together, and the total will tell us how far down in the pack your card is!"

Show the top and bottom cards are an Eight and a Ten. Added together they total eighteen. Set the squared deck on the table and say, "Most people would pick up the deck and count down to the eighteenth card to see if it were there. I am going to find

it in a more interesting way. I will cut off exactly seventeen cards and the eighteenth card will be yours!"

With your right hand cut at the bridge and drop the packet into your left hand. Hold your right hand above your left in a palm up gesture, and say, "Hold out your hand!" With your right hand above the left for cover, bend the packet concavely, taking the work out of the packet. (See Photo 7)

Hand the packet to the spectator and let him count the cards. He will count seventeen cards. Pause and have him turn over the top card of the pack, the eighteenth card, which will be his selection.

This routine has been a pet of mine for over twenty years.

Michael in Las Vegas

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