Martin Nash

After Hours Magic: A Book of Al Thatcher Card Magic

Encyclopedia of Card Tricks

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By working from left to right you will end in a position with the right edge of the pack shielded from the audience's view. This is done to insure that no accidental glimpse of the three breaks can be had.

The deck is now lowered to dealing position and the right hand comes over it to square the cards. The right fingers rest on the outer end of the pack while the right thumb holds steady all three breaks at the back. This frees the left fingers so that they may dig into the breaks and push the three peeked cards to the right in Side-Steal fashion. Each finger controls its own card: first the second finger, then the third and fourth. The three cards are side-jogged smoothly and quickly with a rippling action of the three active left fingers. As each card is pushed out its outer right corner is clipped in the crotch of the right third and fourth fingers. This action is seen in progress from underneath in Figure 2. As soon as the three cards are securely pinched between the right fingers the left fingers contact the face card of the pack and push it into the right finger-clip too.

Now, in a righthand squaring action the four clipped cards are pulled from the pack and allowed to fall between the left fingers and the bottom of the deck. They are then neatly brought flush onto the bottom as the squaring action is completed. When they come square with the pack the left fourth finger catches a break above them. This whole process takes only a few seconds and nothing can be seen.

Immediately after the right-left squaring action of the right hand, the deck is given one back and forward squaring action. During this the right thumb takes over the break and the four bottom cards are moved into Gambler's Cop grip. You are now in position for Martin's Disarming Hide-Out (ref. Apocalypse, Vol.7, No.1, p.873).

As the deck is brought forward again during the last action of squaring, it is carried over the front of the left hand until the rear end of the pack can be gripped deep in the left thumb crotch (Figure 3).

The right hand immediately follows through by fanning the deck from left to right with either the right forefinger or thumb. The fanned pack will completely cover the copped cards. This position is made clear in Figure 4 (fan almost completed).

Run your right forefinger from left to right along the fan as you say, "Each of you is thinking of a card somewhere in the deck." When the right forefinger reaches the right front

corner of the fan it pushes the fan closed from right to left. Due to the position of the copped cards they will remain in place (Figure 5). The right forefinger misses them as it closes the fan.

The deck is now grasped from above by the right hand and given to a spectator for shuffling. The four copped cards stay in the left hand and that hand travels to a rest position at the edge of the table until the shuffling is completed.

The right hand then reclaims the deck, replaces it in fanning position in the left hand (Figure 3) and fans it just as before, over the copped cards. Gesture at the fanned deck and say, "Now no one can know the cards you are thinking of, or even their approximate posi tions in the pack." Square the fan, but this time the right forefinger pushes from a position closer to midway on the right edge of the fan, engaging the copped cards and adding them to the bottom of the deck as the fan closes.

This combination of Triple Clip-Steal and Disarming Hide-Out is totally convincing. You have outwardly done nothing to the cards but handed them out for shuffling. Control of the three "thought-of" cards seems impossible.

Turn the deck face-up and place it into lefthand Mechanic's Grip. Turn to the first spectator who peeked at a card and ask him to name it for the first time. Riffle fairly quickly down the outer left corner of the pack with the left thumb. As you do this, let the first four or five cards off the thumb as a block so the selections aren't flashed. Ask the spectator, "Did you see your card?" Of course, he hasn't. "Don't worry. I did. It's about twenty-fourth down from the top."

Just as you say this you perform a One-Handed Second Deal into the right hand. The deal Martin uses is this: the left thumb pushes over the top card of the face-up deck to the right, and follows through by contacting the face of the second card from the top. This second card is also pushed to the right, beneath the top card. The left second and third fingertips contact the back of this second card and hold it in position as the top card is drawn back onto the deck with the thumb. The left thumb continues to pull the top card to the left until it rides slightly over the left edge of the deck. Once here, it can be levered up slightly off the pack by pushing down on its left edge with the thumb. This posture is shown in Figure 6.

This leaves the second card from the top jogged to the right and lying loose between the top card and the deck proper. The left hand now moves sharply to the right and back, snapping the second card from the deck and causing it to fly into the waiting right hand.

Place the first selection that has just appeared before its owner and turn to the second spectator. Ask him to name his card and go through the same byplay of riffling the corners of the deck and fictitiously noting the card's position. This time Martin uses the Gambler's Slap Second (ref. Sleight Unseen, p, 317). The mechanics are the same as in the previous Second Deal, but rather than throwing the card into the right hand, it is dealt smartly to the table with a sharp downward snap of the left hand.

The third spectator names his card and you once more pretend to spot its location in the deck with a quick riffle. You then produce it on the face of the pack with the Erdnase Plus

Vernon Color Change (ret. Inner Secrets of Card Magic, p. 49). The right hand comes flat over the face of the pack and covers it. As it does so the tip of the right fourth finger contacts the outer right corner of the top card and secretly out-jogs it about half an inch. The pads at the base of the right fingers can now press against the exposed rear edge of the second card from the top. The right hand draws back to apparently give one last view of the face of the deck. In this action the second card is pulled back under the hand until it just clears the rear edge of the face card. Then the right hand moves forward once more, carrying the second card over and onto the face of the pack. The left forefinger pushes the two out-jogged cards square with the pack under cover of the right hand...and the right hand lifts to reveal the transformation.

That's the routine. It leaves the spectators with the impression that you can spot and count cards at an incredible speed and then deal them from wherever they lie in the pack. It is a formidable demonstration of skill that can't help but make your performance memorable.

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