Edward Marlo

After Hours Magic: A Book of Al Thatcher Card Magic

Encyclopedia of Card Tricks

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The performer culls any four Court cards of the same value—say, the Kings. Court cards are used because they contrast well with Spot cards. The black Kings are paired and placed face up on the right. The red Kings are paired and placed face up on the left. The pack is ribbon-spread face up and a spectator is asked to remove a red and black Spot card. Suppose that the chosen Spot cards are the AS and AH. He signs his name on their faces. The AH is then dropped face down on top of the face-up red Kings. The AS is also placed face down onto the black Kings.

With the deck held face down in the performer's left hand, the red cards are picked up by his right hand from above, thumb below, fingers on top. They are rested on the deck, moved to the left, and squared against his left thumb, which rests alongside the left side of the pack.

Once squared, the three-card red packet is moved to the right so that it projects over the deck's right side. His left thumb falls or presses onto the top card of the packet (face-down AH) as his right hand moves away with the balance of the packet. The face-down All is then on top of the deck, but side-jogged to the right for half its width. His right hand, having moved slightly to the right, is now clear of the deck. His right hand, with its packet, then comes over to pick up, in a sliding action, the projecting face-down card from the deck. It goes under the packet held in his right hand. This pick-up and sliding action is continued until the packet is flush with the left side of the deck. The packet immediately moves to the right, having picked up the projecting facedown AH.

The packet again returns to the right side of the deck so that it projects over the side. The performer's left second, third, and pinky fingers simultaneously contact the bottom card of the packet, holding it stationary, as the packet moves further to the right. The face-down selection underneath is exposed. (Fig. 1)

The red King on top of the packet is then peeled off and slid beneath the other two cards, so that it is side-jogged to the left, creating an open sandwich condition. (Fig. 2) This action-sequence of peeling and ducking cards simulates the basic handling of Marlo's Atfus and Simulated Pick-up techniques from The New Tops (April-1964 and August-1967.).

These three cards in their jogged condition are lifted by the performer's right card and are turned toward the spectator so he is reassured that the sandwiched card is the signed AH. This step will surprise some magicians who suspect that an unloading move occurred.

The three cards are brought back to the pack and the performer's left pinky prepares to get a break above the face-down AH. Because of the jogged condition of the cards, as the three cards are squared, this break is easily obtained. The performersays, "I'll cut the red Kings and red Ace into the pack!" Once the break is picked up, the performer performs a Double Undercut, bringing the top Red King to the bottom of the deck. The face-down AH is on top, covering the other Red King. His right hand reaches over and picks up the black packet, while his left hand simultaneously gets a left pinky break below the AH on top of the deck. His right hand flashes the underside of this packet, and he adds, "Remember, the Black Ace is between the Black Kings!"

This three-card packet is squared against his left thumb, following the same action sequence explained earlier. In this case, however, his right thumb picks up the card(AH)above the break. His left thumb again rests on top of the uppermost face-down card(AS), as his right hand moves off the pack and to the right. in an open slip-cutting action. His left thumb holds back the AS, which conveniently "kills" the face-up red King which otherwise would be exposed. His right hand, with its packet, immediately slides back, flush with his left thumb. This move is ostensibly made to pick-up the AS just peeled off. In reality, the Simulated Pick-up is performed as his left fingers contact the bottom card, side-jogging it to the left. This action follows the same maneuver made with the red sandwich-cards.

The three cards, in their jogged condition, are lifted and tabled as the performer says: "I'll' place the black Kings and black Ace on the table and in full view!" As this line is uttered, the performer's right hand comes over the pack, lifts off the top half, and uses these cards to point at the tabled sandwich. Once this pointing gesture has been made, the cards are brought back under the left-hand portion. This ruse cuts the cards, centralizing the red sandwich. The pack is ribbon spread face down and the spectators are shown that the transposition has taken place. Have the spectator remove the "changed" Aces from each sandwich to cap the effect.

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