Edward Marlo

Cardmen have devised techniques where regular cards are shown in a misleading ways. This is done by concealing indices and covering pips. An early example is Ellis Stanyon's faked display where a Three-Spot is passed off as an Ace. The upper and lower sections of the Three are covered so that only the center pip shows against a field of white. The resultant Gestalt is convincing. When this "picture" is flashed or briefly shown, the spectator sees only one pip and sees the card as an Ace. This concept has been used in many ways over the years, advanced by Ed Marlo, Brother John Hamman, Alex Elmsley, Roy Walton, and others. For lack of a better term, the technique is called Pip Covering. This handling is a sensible application of this dodge.

Objective: When you have two cards such as a black and red King, you slyly and subliminally convey that both cards are black Kings. This can also be used when the card are a Queen and a King and you want the audience to think that you have two Kings.

Method: Suppose that both cards are a red and black King and you want to show them as two black Kings. This condition is reached after a convincing switch where the cards are initially shown to be black Kings, then one of the black Kings is switched for a red one. The "Insertion Subtlety" is used to reinforce the initial assumption that two black Kings are being used.

Fan both cards face down in your left hand. The red King should be on top. Pick up the insertion card—say, the Ace of Clubs—by its outer right corner with your right hand. (Fig. 1)

Position the inner left corner of the face-up AC under the outer right corner of the top red King. (Fig. 2) Keeping the cards in this position, turn both hands inward and palm downwards. (Fig. 3) The partially inserted AC, now face down, covers the inner index corner of the red King. The face-up black King covers the outer index corner of the same red King. As you execute this insertion, say: "The Ace of Clubs is reversed between the black Kings!"

With the cards held as shown, begin to slide the AC to the left so that its outer left corner starts to slide under the uppermost black King. (Fig. 4)

When you reach this stage, turn both hands palm up again as your right hand simultaneously moves the AC in position to complete the card-sandwich. (Fig. 5)

February 21, 1980

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