Taking two cards (as one) from the center of the deck while the deck remains squared is unquestionably odd. Larry Jennings, Jack Avis, and Ken Krenzel have experimented with this kind of Double, and J.K. Hartman published a version in his appropriately titled book, Odd Lifts. The most natural way to remove a card or card(s) is to spread or fan the cards. Edward Marlo and Dai Vernon published versions using this approach. Taking a Double from a fan is unconventional and quite disarming because there is not any technical tip-off. Since this is so, you may justifiably ask—Why remove a Double in an unnatural way?
The answer, though arguable, is one usually advanced by cardmen of the Flash-and-Filigree School: Everything an expert does with a deck of cards, whether it is a Triple, One-Hand Cut or Faro Shuffle, is unnatural. Average card handlers cannot do these maneuvers and consequently would not perform them. Lay people, they suggest, expect cardmen to perform flashy, weird-and-wonderful things with the pasteboards.
This technique, which is fast and sure, is submitted with this kind of razzle-dazzle performer in mind. Although it looks showy and tricky, lay people are unlikely to suspect a Double because it does not seem possible in this case.
Method: Hold the deck face down in a left-hand dealing position and say, "Let's take any card from the middle of the deck." Your left thumb riffles the upper left corner of the cards downwards until reaching the approximate center. Your right hand moves over the front of the deck. (Fig. 1)
Your left thumb simultaneously maintains the opening between the portions. Insert your right second fingertip into the opening. Insert only the fleshy tip as shown, then release two cards with your left thumb, letting them snap upwards and against your right second fingertip, which presses further inwards against the corner of these cards.
Pivot the card(s) slightly to the right, then your left thumb releases its grip and moves out of the way. Then the card(s) is pivoted further to the right. (Fig. 2) Perfect alignment is maintained since your left third finger, acting as a fulcrum for the pivoting action, keeps the opposing longitudinal side of the card(s) aligned. During the pivot-action, your left second finger moves out of the way and remains underneath the moving card(s).
Continue pivoting the card(s) until it swings out 180 degrees. When it reaches the stage shown in Figure , your left second fingertip moves under the card(s) near the upper left corner. It serves to further steady the card(s), which is eventually tilted upwards to an almost upright position. (Fig. 3) The cards will be perfectly aligned and completely controlled.
The next part is tricky. Your right hand moves away and the card(s) remains clipped between your left second and third fingers. Your left second finger curls inwards, causing the card(s) to flip face up. (Fig. 4) Your left thumb immediately moves in to hold the opposite corner of the card(s) to ensure that no alignment is lost, then your right hand comes over and grips the card(s) at its inner end between your thumb and second finger.
The card(s) is held at its longitudinal edges, then is buckled so that it is slightly convex. Your right first finger moves towards your thumb to eventually grip the card(s) as it is snapped face down as in Francis Carlyle's "Snap Double Lift" from More Card Manipulation-No. 2 by Jean Hugard.
Roots: The pivot action has been used by other magicians. John Gilliland published such a handling for an off-the-top Double-Lift in the Linking Ring and R. M. Jamison submitted a pivot-lift to More Card Manipulations- No. 2.
August 21, 1970
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