Ken Krenzel

After Hours Magic: A Book of Al Thatcher Card Magic

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Shortly after Nick Trost's principle of a visible perpendicular Tunnel Reverse appeared in The New Phoenix #364 (December - 1961), Krenzel developed this handling which is completely baffling to lay persons and magicians.78 In Trost's description, both cards had to be set-up prior to performance. That is, both cards were presented in a protruding, perpendicular position before the effect commenced. Consequently, despite the originality of this approach, much of the magical impact was weakened or spoiled. Krenzel wrote: "The following handling is totally original with me in its utilization of the plunger principle to set the cards for this effect, plus the follow-up kicker climax."

Krenzel's version preceded Derek Dingle's variation. Readers should study both methods before attempting the effect.

Effect: Two face-down, obviously ungimmicked cards are slowly pushed through a face-down deck at right angles. One card visibly turns face up. When repeating the effect, the back of the card changes from red to blue as it emerges on the other side.

Set-up: To prepare for this effect secretly place any blue-back card face up and second from the top of a red deck. For example, the face-up blue 5H is second from the top and the top card is a red-back face-down 5H.

Method: Fan the deck face up and ask the spectator to remove any black-spot card. Turn the deck face down and secretly obtain a left pinky break under the second card. Take the spectator's card—say, the 10C—and say, "Your card is the Ten of Clubs!" Drop it face down onto the deck, then slide it back about one-third its length to expose the back of the second card. Push this second card forward slightly with your right second fingertip as your right thumb simultaneously pushes the top card forward, aligning it flush with the deck. (This is an Annemann-Christ Alignment maneuver.)

Remove the outjogged, protruding card second from the top, remarking: "My card is the Five of Hearts." After showing it, drop it face down onto the deck, covering the face-down 10C. Your left pinky break has been retained during the entire operation.

Situation Check: The order of the cards above the break from the top should be: Red-back 5H (face down) - Red-back 10C (face down) - Blue-back 5H (face up).

Lift all three cards, ostensibly as two, in a right-hand Biddle Grip. Peel off the top card with your left thumb onto the deck so that it is side-jogged to the right for half its width. Immediately lift it under the two squared cards held from above by your right hand. It is placed under these cards so that it is side-jogged to the left for about half its width.

With all the cards in this condition, turn them towards yourself and look at them. Say, "Remember—the Five of Hearts and the Ten of Clubs side by side!" Be careful not to flash the faces toward the spectator. The cards are now turned face down and in the act of squaring

78 Other methods appeared after this was initially explained in Hierophant. It was published in Richard Kaufman's Cardworks (pp. 99-107) and in Stephen Minch's Ken Krenzel's Close-up Impact (1990). The Thompson-Judah variation appears in The Card Magic of Nick Trost (1997), along with Trost's original version titled "Nick's Push-Thru."

them against the top of the deck you imperceptibly unload the lowermost 5H onto the deck, lifting the top two cards. These cards squared and unbeknownst to the spectators they are face-to-face.

Re-grip these remaining two cards at their outer left corner and slightly spread them to the right the width of a white border. Both cards will appear to be face down. Down riffle half the deck with your left thumb at the deck's outer left corner and insert the two cards into the opening there. Simultaneously release one more card with your left thumb and when you insert the two slightly spread cards, the released card will be trapped at the inner right corner of the inserted cards. Continue to swing the two gripped cards counter-clockwise and the single, trapped card between them should remain stationary.

The two cards are then perpendicular to the deck. (Fig. 1) Turn the deck to a horizontal position with the protruding cards facing the spectators and push them through the deck. Due to the plunger principle, the trapped card will ride along and cover the face-up 5H. Watch your angles.

Re-adjust the top face-down card that is protruding by sliding it to the right with your right thumb. This causes both cards to appear next to each other, face down and protruding half way out of the deck's side. (Fig. 2) The cards, particularly the "double," must be kept carefully squared.

Ken Krenzel

Hold the deck broadside to the audience and slowly push both cards inwards and apparently through the deck. (Fig. ) The 5H will visibly turn face up. To repeat, remove the face-up 5H and drop it face up onto the table. Since this 5H has a blue back, be careful not to flash its back. Turn the 10C face up and use it to scoop up the tabled 5H. You can now square both cards and turn them face down.

Repeat the same mechanics just described, this time climaxing the effect with a surprising color change of the 5H's back. This change is unexpected and evokes a strong reaction.

New York City

February 10, 1971


A brief version of this routine appeared in Derek Dingle's lecture notes. The idea for the color-changing deck kicker was suggested by Matt Corin, but the exact handlings, wiles, and other bits of finesse were devised by Dingle.

Requirements: (1) A blue-backed deck; (2) From a red deck: AD-2D-3D-4D; (3) A red card case.

Set-up: Arrange the cards from top to bottom: AD (red) - 3D (red) - AD (blue) - 2D (red). This four-card set-up is placed face down in the center of the face-down blue deck. The red-backed 4D is placed face down on top of the deck and the deck is placed in the red card case.

Method: Fingertip Peek Force the red-backed AD, using the same technique from Dingle's Deceptions. Now reverse the red-backed AD, using the technique outlined in the same book. As an alternate, Dingle suggests using Bruce Cervon s "Invisible Reverse" (Genii), which accomplishes the same thing. The result of either technique is: the red-backed AD will be face up in the center of the pack.

Say, "I'll cause your selected card to magically turn face up in the deck." Riffle the front end or make a suitable magical gesture. Spread the pack face up between your hands until you come to the face-down AD. Slightly down-jog the face-up 4D immediately preceding it, then out-jog the face-down AD. Spread the rest of the cards to show no other reversed cards. Carefully close the spread and turn the entire deck face down (sidewise). (Fig. 1) The implication of having a red deck is subliminally planted.

Remove the out-jogged AD with your right hand and turn it face up, revealing the peeked selection. Square the deck so that all the cards are flush. Your right hand now places the AD face up on top of the deck, which has been held in your left hand all this time. Using your right thumb at the back end, lift the top three cards and get a left pinky break below them.

Using your right forefinger, push and slide down the face-up AD so that it is in-jogged about an inch. Your right forefinger remains in place as your right second finger contacts the red-backed, face-down card (3D) immediately under it as your right thumb contacts the in-jogged AD at its lower edge. With both fingertips on their respective cards and your right thumb in place, push both cards simultaneously upwards until your right thumb contacts the edge of the deck, bringing the face-up AD flush and the face-down card (3D) second from the top to an out-jogged position. This is a standard Alignment Move whose concept is attributed to Ted Annemann and Henry Christ. (Fig. 2)

When this is completed, your right hand removes the out-jogged card and turns it face up onto the AD, disclosing the 3D in the process. As soon as the 3D is face up on top, your right hand immediately lifts all three cards above your left pinky break.

Situation Check: The positions of the three cards in your right hand from the top down should be: 3D (face up) - AD (face up) - AD (with a blue-back and face down). Your right hand is holding this packet of three cards from above and by the ends.

Patter about using the 3D for some magical reason. As you patter, your left thumb peels off the 3D and places it face up on the bottom of the three-card packet. The packet is further squared and turned face down. Your left fingers slide out the bottom card in a side-glide action and

places it on top. This results in the following set-up from the top down: AD (face down) - 3D (face down) - AD (face up with a blue-back). These actions are done quickly and casually as though you are showing a pair of cards to be used in an ensuing effect. Some may think that the two cards are over-handled, but the idea is to show faces and backs of both (?) cards while subliminally strengthening the idea of red cards.

As the packet is further squared, secretly or openly angle-jog the lowermost card (AD) of the three-card packet so that it protrudes slightly at the inner left side. This protrusion should be no more than the width of the card's white border. Remember that the bottom card is face up.

As in Krenzel's version, your right thumb riffles down on the outer left corner of the pack; however, since the pack consists of mostly blue cards, hold the three-card packet as shown in Figure 3,only instead of being in the insertion-position, the packet is held above the outer left corner so that it hides the riffling action and possible flashing of blue backs. By the same token, you can see when the first red card shows up during the riffle. When you see it, immediately stop riffling and prepare to insert the packet into the opening. (Fig.4 and Fig. 5)

The red-back card you riffle-stopped on is the 4D. Insert the three-card packet so that this red card goes between the middle and lowermost cards of the packet. This is done by inserting the packet into the break just enough so that your left thumb can release the red 4D. It will snap up against the middle card's exposed edge due to the slight jog.

When this red 4D is securely against the middle card (Fig. 6,an exposed shot), lower the three-card packet and slide it inwards as in a conventional insertion. This results in sandwiching the red 4D as already explained. Once the cards are inserted, adjust them so that they are outjogged as a unit. (Fig. 7)

As in Krenzel's version, the three-card unit is shifted to position (B). (Fig. 8) Note the left finger positions. You must achieve the "picture" shown in (C). (Fig. 9) To do this, your right thumb lifts the uppermost card of the three-card packet. (Fig. -a side-view) Once this card is lifted and more or less separated from the other two, it can be slid to its left as indicated by the arrow.

Note that the spectator sees two face-down cards side-by-side in an injogged position as you hold the deck by its ends. (Fig. 11) This shows your left-hand grip, noting that your left forefinger is free to later push downwards on both cards.

With the cards jogged, your right hand moves into the position shown in Figure 12 Your right thumb contacts the bottom edge of both cards and they are pushed together as a unit until they emerge from the opposite side. Two face-down cards ostensibly protrude in an outjogged position. (Fig. 13)

Your left forefinger pushes both cards (really three) back through the deck and into an injogged position. (Fig. 14, just prior to the actual push-through.) During this pushing action, your right fingers applies a slight pressure on the top of the pack. This may or may not be needed and depends solely on the condition of the cards. You will need to experiment with your deck prior actual performance. You want to avoid having too many cards or the wrong cards protruding during the injogging-outjogging movements.

After pushing the pair (?) through the deck a couple of times to demonstrate the action, stop when the cards are in an injogged position. (Fig. 15) Your right thumb again lifts slightly on the lower end of the single card (to your left) and slides it back on top of the "double" to your right. Now the three-card packet is back in the position. (Fig. 16)

You apparently repeat the actions, but this time your right thumb lifts the uppermost pair of cards. Once this "double" is lifted and more or less separated from the bottom card, it can be slid to its left as an aligned unit. (Fig. 17) When you do this, note that the single card remaining on your right is the face-up AD. Your right hand covers this face-up AD, even as the "double" is slid to its left. Now your right hand moves back to the position shown in Figure 18. The face-up AD is again completely covered by your right fingers.

Your right thumb pushes both injogged cards as a unit through the "tunnel." The pair will emerge in a outjogged position still face down. In reality, due to the plunger principle, the inner right corner of an indifferent card from the deck covers the face-up AD below it. The illusion is perfect and everything should be perfectly aligned.

Your left forefinger pushes downwards on the outjogged cards. (Fig. 19 ) When the cards begin emerging from the inward side, (Fig. ) the AD will appear to visibly turn face up. (Fig.20 ) This is visual magic at its best. (Note: In the last two drawings, the face-up card is the 2D. Do not be confused. The AD will emerge in this routine.)

Once the cards are in the position shown in Figure 21, your right thumb and fingers grasp the face-up AD at its index corner and openly slides it out. This AD has a blue back. Place it face up on the table. Deliver appropriate patter, as you maneuver the remaining "double" back to its original position. (Fig. 22)

The deck is held normally in a dealing position. Your right hand comes over from above and your thumb pushes down and inwards on the injogged "double," getting a right thumb-break at the inner end above the three Red cards in the center of the deck.

Your right hand lifts all the cards above the break, separating the deck into two portions. Your right-hand portion is all blue except for the top red-back 2D. Your left-hand portion is all blue except for the top three red-back cards. Their order from the top down is: AD - 3D - 4D.

With the portions still separated, your left thumb pushes over the top card (AD) of its section so that its slightly sidejogged to the right. Your left hand moves over with its section and takes this card on its bottom, leaving it sidejogged to the left. (Fig. ) Your left thumb pushes over the next red card (3D) so that it is sidejogged to the right. (Fig. )

The right-hand section, including the bottom sidejogged card, flips the red-back 3D face up. Your left thumb pushes off the face-up 3D so that it falls face up onto the tabled blue-back AD. Place both sections together and square up. There are now two red-back cards in the center. Place the deck in your left hand.

Your right hand turns its attention to the two tabled cards. The 3D is face up on top of the faceup AD. Scoop up the AD with the 3D and turn both cards face down as a squared unit. Your left hand, still holding the deck, helps in the side-squaring action. A red back will show.

Your right hand now holds both cards at their outer right corner. Your right thumb moves the uppermost card in a slight downward arc to the right so that the pair is spread. Repeat the previous actions, except you are only using two cards this time. Also, instead of a reversal, the back changes color as in Krenzel's routine.

Remove the blue-back AD and repeat the actions. Cut to your break and execute a Marlo Slip Cut so that all four red cards are on top. Necktie the action so that you do not prematurely flash any blue-back cards. Hold the deck face up, get a break on the face card (top) and Double-Cut it to the bottom. To conclude the routine, ribbon spread the deck face down across the table. Be careful not to expose the four red cards just below the top blue card.

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