Miscellaneous Techniques

It's in the small details that one tveagnizes the great artists.

Arturo de Ascanio

Versatile jokers

In tills discussion we shall explore various ways in which two Jokers can be put to avantageons use. The idea is to use the Jokers of the deck as larilitaiors" that help to introduce or get rid of one or more special cards, such as duplicates or specially gimmicked cants On toj » of this, the Jokers themselves n\ay be gimmicked

Since die concept is so versatile, HI describe the basic ick-a tiret, and then detail a few applications. This will give you a start, from which you can develop many more uses in your work At the end I will describe what I believe to Ix? an excellent effect using the Jokers.

Adding or Subtracting Special Cards

By sjxxial cards 1 mean duplicate cards and any kind of altered card, such as a double-back card, doul >le-face card, split-face caid, etc. Lefe assume you have added two < li iplirates ofdie T\vo of Diamonds to die deck for some miracle, and tliat they are secredy resting on toj» of the deck You will now remove theJokeis under some pretext and place them into the card case. However, you will use the Jokers as a Tftpjan horse" to transport the two duplicate cards secredy from die deck. There are many ways of doing this, as you will soon recognize, but I will limit myself by mentioning just two: a technically advanced method that is elegant, and a less refined method that still does the job.

Start by saying something along diese lines: "In this nert eacjxnimerd I would like someone merely to think qf a ccaxL"Spread the cards face up between your hands to illustrate your intention and to show die breadth of choice. "A nil please don 7 th ink of a -Joker; they are kind of non-canls. Actually HI remove them so that you wont be temjthd." As you spread the cards, outjog die two Jokers one alter the other as you come to them.

inn leftwarddirection. As soon as Hie deck rests in left-hand dealing position ^r^r^Tdo a doable buckle (Volume 1, page 212), and catch a left UttJc'

Now execute the Vernon addition (Volume 3, page 520), Hie right hand grasping aU the cards above the bottom two ¿it the inner right comer as your left hand strips out the Jokers, secretly taking along the two separated cards; in our example the two duplicates of the T\vo of Diamonds. The illustration shows the Vernon addition in pir>gress.

Set the deck momentarily aside as you put the two Jokers and the hidden extra cards away in the card case. When, at the end of the performance, you replace the deck in the case, the Jokers and the stolen cards will be automatically added back to the deck. Everything is now reset for the next |>erformance. Should this not be desirable, you can also put the Jokers and their hidden i>assengere away in your outer breast ¡x>cket or in any oilier secure and convenient place.

If you don't wish to use the Vernon addition, you may start by bringing the two duplicates of the TWo of Diamonds to the face of the deck. Spread the deck face up between your liands, keeping the faces of the cards tilted toward you to conceal the pair of duplicates. Shift the Jokers to the face of the spread as you come to them. Then square the deck, still holding it with the faces toward you as you visibly spread the two Jokers to the right In this action it Ls an easy matter to spread the next two cards a little, in readiness to form a break below them.

As you look at the spectators and comment on the removal of the Jokers, as suggested alx>ve, push the spread cards closed to the left, the left little finger momentarily catching a break below the four cards on the face of the deck. Immediately shift the right hand's grip, taking all four cards above the break as two into end grip, and stow them in the card box while the left hand continues to hold the deck.

Miscellaneous Tecminiques

Check Paints

1. The reason for using two Jokers rather differs than one is thai it is far more deceptive to inake four or five cards pass as two, than it is to make several cartls pass as one. In the action of the removal it is almost impossible to see dial you are taking away more than two, whereas it is far more difficult to hide several cards behind a single Joker.

2. I suggest dial you always carry two Jokers in your decks. If you use the Spanish Founiier 605 cards, as 1 often do, you automatically have two identical Jokers and one extra Joker that miters Ironi the other two by having a small re<l index. If you use any of the brandsproduced by the US. I laying Card Co. and many other manufacturers, you may eidier add a Joker from another deck, giving you two identical Jokers, or you may use the Joker and "extra" Joker dial normally come in dec ks. In any case, having two Jokers In the deck will not l>e noticed by your audience, nor will diey bother you in your pofbrmance. If they do, just take them out of tin- deck and place them aside There Ls certainly nothing unusual about thai.

Have the special canls on top of die deck, followed by die two Jokers and then the deck proper. When you take out the deck to start your performance, secretly hold back die two Jokers and the card or cards above than in the case (Volume 3, page 516).

Starting with Jokers arid Special Canls in the Canl Case

Let s assume tliat you require one or two specially prepared cards for an effect, but thai diis effect is so strong you want to perform it as the last piece of your act And lets presume you must add diese cards Just before die performance of said piece, because the nature of die gimmicks would otherwise interfere widi the execution of the preceding pieces.

Don't worry if someone notices and mentions die fail dial you left a few cards behind. Just tell them these are die Jokere mid you don't need them nght now. as they tend to confuse people. ">C

When vou later want to introduce your special cants to the deck you might do tt in the following way. Mold the deck face iqi in dealingposition Tlien take (Hit ail die amis fi tm die c~ani case using actions exactly the revvrse of those you used to put them away (refer I *ek to "Adding or SulHincting Special t ;urls' aniI die last illustration there*

Miscellaneous Tecminiques f of the decJ< and immediately take away thetwo Jokers, which pl-u v the ranis on the i.u ^ exmi!ed Ulis effect, you c-an either leave the

CS ZZ ,n".Ju,n away and go into the perfonnance of the piece requiring the

in handv when you wish to use a stacked deck, such as a memorized TOSstrategyhantf* ■ jn ^ ^ J(erfom, whatever effects you have

T k ^n Si i «lo one final effect using this powerful principle If

^ ^to"^ spectators shuffle ******* ** « *** «« Z nr u^tiiev Will remember the deck was shuffled, thus cancelling any suspicions of SSSdeck p'riiKipIejust used At the same time, they will become convinced that you 1 nans ordinaiy cards, eliminating any consideration of the method for die effect you are at »out to perfomu ising the extra canb awaiting Uieir immanent entrance on stage.

Now introduce the Jokers with the extra card or cards. Perform an effect with die Jokers to justify tlieir introduction, then ki^i diem in the deck or put diem away, and go into your final

even the initialed

The Jokers themselves can be giiuinicked in various ways, and moving them in or out of the deck will allow their direct use. HI mention just two kinds of gimmicked cards as examples.

There is a venerable gimmick for The Rising Card tJial uses two Jokers with a length of ml>-ber band or elastic thread secretly strung between them near one end When you insert a nonnal can! between tin» Jokeis and push ti\is card fit ish, the elastic threac 1 is stretched And when you release finger pressure, the normal card slowly rises or shoots out, depending on how quickly the pressure Ls relaxed Hie .Jokers can be easily used for the performance of the Rising Card effect by liaving them in the deck to begin with. You could even perform several effects and then simply pin them away, either in your breast ¡xx-ket or in the card case, with little or no comment

The second example of a gimmicked Joker uses Edward Mario's improvement on albm Sellers idea In this instance a partial card is stuck to the face of a Joker to force this card. See The Credit-card Force (Volume 4, page 7D7) for the handling of this gimmick. The full duplicate of the partial card can then make its reappearance anywhere you wish.

Jokers and Simple Setups

This strategy is one of (he best and most natural when you desire to bring just a few ranis impot^Hbly to the lop. Stan by bringing one of the two Joke* to the tr ,p, ,f the ckvk You can do this as you start spreadingUieamfainyourhandsandju* before explaining thai you

Wish to remove the two Jokers, giving whalever reason you rare lo invent.

As you spread through Hie raids, told them horizontally ami use tJ«- spread c^ull to draw the desired canls, say the four Kings, secretly Wow the spread (Wnvw I, page 187). Wllen you come to the firs« Joker, outjog ii and continue spreading, uniil you liau- cullwl all fair Kir^s below die spread RnaDy you will reach the ere I of the spread, where the last rani hap( * ■■ is to be the second Joker you were looking for. With your left liand, take it out, ;it (Ik- same lane stripping out the first outjogged Joker, and place them aside. If you wishtocomminl on the fort tlial the Joker came last you might say, ".-V/, Murphyk law again; aluxiijs the Inst mnl."

Aside from bringing a few cards to the top or bottom in llus manner, the procedure (-,ui *Tve otlier purposes, such as dunging (he position of one or several ranis; swiftly counting a number of cards, say, to pick upabreak below them; maiidng a specific position in the (kvk with an injogged rani a nail nick, a srTaich, a bridge or a crimp; ascertaining the jxMiion of a specific card and remembering it and its location, as a key rani < >r for some other purpose.

Tricks Using the Jokers

Tii justify the use of the Jokers as detailed above, you might want to perfoim an effeci in which the two Jokers play an important role. TWs could lx* some kind of sandwich effect, such as Bill Goodwin's wonderftil "Hold the Mayo" in Volume 4 (page ) or any < >ther type of effect11 will provide one further suggestion, and a full routine using two Jokers, which I've been performing for many yearn

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