Ace Elimination


THE EFFECT of this trick, namely that of card is not new at all. But in most versions one out of four aces changing to a selected to date the effect has been accomplished by complicated false counts, double lifts and endless handling. I doubt if there can be a more direct handling than the following which still has a very good effect upon laymen as a trial will show.

The only real sleight used in the trick is a change which, if I remember rightly, has appeared some time ago in this magazine. Here is the actual working: —

Secretly cut any ace to the bottom of the pack. This is simple enough. Have any card selected. Have the card returned in such a way, that the lower half with the Ace (suppose it is the Ace of Hearts), falls on top of the selected card. There are many ways of doing that, e.g., the Hindu Shuffle. (Personally, I prefer a different way but this will not be familiar to all readers. I riffle the pack looking for an ace and getting a break below any ace which lies about in the middle of the pack. I retain that break during the selection, and for the return I fan the pack and separate the pack at the break. This is a very direct and fair handling.) Now you openly declare that for this trick you need the four Aces. Take the pack, face against you, in the left hand and fan it into the right hand looking for the Aces. When an Ace appears you separate the hands, so that the ace lies as the first card of the left-hand part. Show this ace, turn the hand over and push this ace face down on to the table. Proceed similarly for the other aces. While looking through the pack you may hold them in such a way that the spectators see the faces of the cards too. One of the Aces you arrive will be the Ace of Hearts. Just here the procedure is a little different for you. Make sure that the spectators don't get aware that the selected card just lies before. Separate the hands with the Ace the same way as before, showing the ace on the left part. During this the right fingers move the backmost card, the selected one a little to the left, the left fingertips just holding this card, but actually resting on the back of the next card. Now the left hand in the act of turning back and putting the Ace on the table picks up the selected card from the right part on its way and it is this card which is actually put on to the table. If done correctly this is absolutely invisible. Then proceed to look for the remaining aces. When all the four aces are on the table, put the pack aside and have a spectator take the four aces into his hands. Normally the selected card should lie as the second or third card. Suppose it lies second. Have the spectator hand you the bottom ace. Flash it and put it into your left hand. Have him hand to you the top ace. Proceed the same way. Have him hand to you again the bottom ace. Then ask him if he has paid attention and if he can name without looking at it the fourth ace still being in his hand. Whatever he says have him turn over the card, which will be his selected one staring him into his face.



WATCHING a dear old gentleman perform that classic, the Sympathetic Silks, I was intrigued by the trouble he had in first picking up the silks. Nothing was wrong with the routine proper, but the clumsiness of the initial taking of the silks destroyed the smoothness of the performance.

If memory doesn't fail me I believe that the late Ned Proudlock, in his excellent routine, suggests using bulldog clips to hold the sets of silks. Though effective and free from any form of breakdown, simpler methods could be devised.

The method, if one can call such an elementary device, a method, to be described allows a perfectly easy pick-up and at the same time there is nothing for the performer to get rid of or worry about. Naturally the use of any anchoring or holding device only applies when the effect is not an opening item, for in such case the performer would be well advised to make his entry holding the silks.

All that are needed are two elastic bands, the kind measuring about half an inch in diameter.

Each set of three silks is taken and at a point about six inches from the ends they are folded and a band slipped over the folded part like this: —

The ends of the silks are then brought back so that they now appear like this: —

Both sets of silks are then either laid over a chair back or placed upon a table.

When the time comes for the performance of the effect the left hand takes the handkerchiefs untied set between thumb and first finger, tied set between first finger and second finger. As the handkerchiefs are lifted, the right hand comes over to apparently steady the silks. Actually a slight pull is given to both sets with the result that the silks straighten and the elastic bands shoot off and fall unnoticed to the floor.

So simple is this procedure that I feel others may have used this and, perhaps, even published it. For myself I have never seen it used or described. It is, however, recommended when the occasion demands.

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