Bottom Dealing

BOTTOM DEALING has been described as the best single accomplishment of the professional card player, and it is a very useful addition to the repertoire of sleights of either the professional or amateur conjurer. It may be brought to perfection, and when perfectly performed it is impossible to say whether the card was dealt from the top or bottom of the pack.

Those who have had the privilege of seeing the close work of Richard Cardini will realise that he is one of the neatest dealers of cards in this or any other generation. He uses a different hold to Erdnase, and his action is necessarily swift to create an illusion. He deals like lightning, and I envy him his perfect technique, but he in turn eulogises the work of two of his New York friends. Messrs. Scott and Dai Vernon.

Although the Erdnase method of bottom dealing requires a certain amount of movement if performed as described in The Expert at the Card Table, it gives an illusion when performed at low speed. However, a certain amount of movement can be eliminated, and one should be able to learn to deal in a short time from the following analysis, if the necessary time is devoted to practise.

I am told that in America the hold for dealing from the bottom, or for second dealing, is termed the "Key", and in the following description the same hold is used for both bottom and second dealing.

A tip which is worth while for preliminary practice, is to have made a wood block or placque exactly the same size as the cards to be used, and about the thickness of fifteen to twenty cards; or to glue that number of cards together. The advantage of the wood block is that once made it never wears out or gets soiled sufficiently to throw away.

The placque may be used with one or two loose cards at the top and bottom, and it will save a lot of time in the early stages of learning.

We will analyse the bottom deal as follows:—

To Hold or "Key". Which embraces the position of the fingers in relation to the pack.

The Deal from the Top. The swing of the left forearm, and the action of the right hand.

The Deal from the Bottom. The combined action of both hands. The cover.

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