Moving Monte Switch

Chuck Smith

Allan Ackerman contributed this technique in 1970. It was also performed by Chuck Smith and recorded on film. The move made a ghostly passage through the underground in the 70's, but few cardmen actually mastered or utilized it. One exception was Brick Tilley, who studied the film and figured out its probable handling. In turn, he performed the technique on his own film titled "Watch Out, Cleveland!" Because this technique has been kicked around and possibly claimed by others, this description serves to properly credit Chuck Smith, the originator and unsung expert in this story.

Objective: As two cards are moved around on the table, ostensibly following a Monte mix-up procedure, one of the cards is invisibly switched.

Method: Place the two principal cards face down on the table about a foot apart. The card on the right will be the switch-card and is marked "B" in Figure A . The cooler-card is on the bottom of the deck. Hold the deck from above and by the ends with your right hand. Angle the bottom card as when getting set for the Kelly-Ovette Bottom Placement.

Place the forefingers of both hands onto the tabled cards. (Fig. 2) To avoid confusion, the mechanics of the switch will be described first. Afterwards, the complete action procedure will be explained. Here is the switch itself: Your right hand moves to the left and around your left hand. (Fig. 3)

During this action, your right forefinger pushes its tabled card in a shifting, sliding movement. Once both hands reach this position, your left forefinger slides its card under the cooler-card still slightly angled under the deck. The left-hand card is moved under and fractionally to the right and into a slightly side-jogged position below the cooler-card.

It is then jammed under your right second and third fingertips, where your left forefinger immediately moves onto the back-end of the cooler-card. Move your right hand and its principal card back to the right, thus reversing its initial, sliding action. As it moves away from your left hand, your left forefinger then holds the cooler-card against the table and the original switchcard is on the bottom of the deck. The whole action takes only a second and should be executed with fluid dispatch.

The switching action must occur during a logical, natural action sequence. As the title implies, such an action is used in a Monte routine where cards are shifted around to confuse onlookers. The schematic shows the shifting action of the principal cards as both hands, using only your forefingers, slide the cards around on the table. Figure A shows the starting position. Figure B shows the initial shift, which is a simultaneous action involving both hands as the right hand crosses in front of the left hand. This is when the switch is made.

Figure C shows the hands returning to the starting point, uncrossing in the process. Almost immediately both hands cross again. This time your left hand crosses in front of your right hand and completely bypasses it. (Fig. D)

Both hands uncross, leaving the principal cards on the table and the switch is complete. The whole sequence takes only a few seconds and cannot be detected. Imaginative cardmen should be able to devise many applications for this utilitarian move. Chuck Smith also uses it as a holecard switch where one or more cards can be switched. Another action ruse, using poker chips, can be applied.

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