Skull Shakers

the second finger on top of the card. Release the thumb from the top of the card and extend the first and second fingers. The card will be gripped between the first and second fingers at the tips and swing away from the pack (see diagram). Now, by reversing the moves you can replace the card on top of the pack. Notice, however, that when the fingers are extended the card is face up; when it is returned to the pack it is, like the rest of the pack, face-down.

Originally this move was merely used as a fancy count. The cards were taken one at a time from the top of the deck as described and placed face-up one at a time on the table. The "reverse move" described above was not, of course, used at all. The whole effect was that of a one-handed deal and I believe some performers have used it for an effect in which they pretend that someone has asked them what tricks they could do if they suddenly lost their right hand.

All right. Now you know the worst; let's move on to the routine.

After you have said your introductory piece about Levante and have placed the borrowed hat to your left above the eye-level of the audience (if using a soft felt hat it is advisable to push the "dent" out first so that the hat is given greater depth) pick up the packet of cards in the left hand and openly write "Esme" on the top card. Lift this off the packet with the right finger and thumb and show it to the audience. Now move the left hand, which still contains the packet, across to the right-hand and, extending the left first and second fingers, take the card from the right hand, holding it in the position it would occupy if you had just completed the "one-hand deal" move mentioned above. The exact position is shown in the diagram. Place the left hand into the hat. As soon as the hand is out of sight, bend the first and second fingers inwards and deposit the card, writing side down, on top of the packet of visiting-cards and then withdraw the hand from the hat. It takes a bit of practice but after a short time in front of the mirror you will soon be able to make this look as though you really have deposited the card in the hat.

Actually it is face-down on top of the packet. You now perform the double-lift and turn-over and openly write "Levante" on the card which is now on top of the packet. As far as the audience is concerned you have simply turned over one card and written the great man's name on it.

In fact the top card was the one with Esme's name on it, but in doing the double-lift, of course, you bring the underside of the second card to the top and it is on this that the word "Levante" is written. Having written "Levante" and shown it, you perform the double-lift and turnover once more. To the audience it looks as though, having written "Levante" on the top card, you have merely turned that card face down on top of the deck. In actual fact, the Esme card is now face down on top of the packet and the Levante card is face down under that.

Pick off the top card and, without showing the face, place it blank side outwards in your outer breast-pocket making sure that part at least of the card is in sight at all times.

Let's recap. The audience think the Esme Card is in the hat and one bearing her father's name is in your breast-pocket. Actually the Esme card is in your breast-pocket and the Levante card is face-down on top of the deck.

The rest is simple. In accordance with your story, count "One, two . . ." and then plunge your left hand, still holding the pack, into the hat. By performing the "single-hand deal" move mentioned above you can apparently pluck the Levante card out of the hat at your fingertips. Before they've time to wonder how that happened, place your right finger and thumb on the card in the breastpocket and whip that out to show that it is now Esme.

The Mathematician's Poker Game

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