Method and Handling

Hell Really Exists

Hell Really Exists

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Take out the envelope and remove the cards. However, leave the top card oi the packet behind. It doesn't matter if the audience sees that a card remains in the envelope, but don't call any attention to it.

Place the envelope on the table, flap side down and with the flap on the right side.

You're now apparently going to give the cards an overhand shuffle. Actually, you execute Fred Kaps' overhand shuifle variant of the Hamman count. Hold the packet as for an overhand shuffle, but with the faces toward the left palm. (This is the reverse of the way you would normally hold them.) Hold the packet toward your right, faces toward the audience. Run three cards singly off the face of the packet into your left hand. When you bring the packet down to continue the shuffle, your left thumb hooks over the top edge of the right-hand packet, retaining the whole packet in the left hand. At the same time, your right hand comes away with the three cards that had been run off singly. (In effect, the two packets are exchanged.) Finish by shuffling the three right-hand cards onto the face of the packet. This will casually but convincingly show the packet as con sisting of all aces of coins. I always repeat the shuffle a second time.

You could, if you wish, run four cards before executing the packet switch. By doing the move after three cards, however, you give yourself a safety net. If you accidentally dislodge the card behind the last one you pull off, you'll still show another ace. If this were to happen upon running the fourth card, you would partially expose a Devil card. In any case, you're supposed to be shuffling, not running every card in your hand.

These shuffles should occur as you're talking about the cards to be used in the game.

You now explain that, if you should choose an ace of coins, you'll win. As you say this, perform a standard Hamman count to more deliberately show the face of each card. Perform the packet switch on the count of five. 1 don't actually count aloud as I do this, but it's a matter of personal preference. (The Hamman count is taught in The Color of Money,)

As you continue to patter, casually spread over die four face cards of the packet and obtain a left fourth-finger break under them as you square up,

(Alternatively, you could simply take a break under these cards during the Hamman count.)

Turn your left hand palm down and pick up the envelope. (See illusfratkm I.) Turn the hand palm up again. The entire packet should be hidden under the envelope. Your right hand now takes the enve-1. Ii lope, fingers beneath and thumb above. However, the right fingers also secredy grip all the cards above the break. Your left hand immediately comes up and bends the flap back under the envelope. (The stolen packet is now trapped between the envelope and the flap as shown in the worm's-eye view in illustration 2.) Take care to keep the envelope tilted well downward throughout these actions.

Drop the left-hand packet Jace down on the table. Your left hand now removes the one card still in the envelope and drops it face down on the table. Take the envelope momentarily in your left hand as your right hand re-grips it at the top with fingers above and thumb below. Your right hand now puts the envelope away in either your inner left jacket pocket or your right pants pocket. Do this casually, but keep the envelope close to your body to avoid flashing the stolen cards.

Turn over the tabled singlf card to reveal that it's the Devil card.

Your right hand picks up the facedown packet in Biddle grip. You will now perform Brother Hamman's Flushtration count to show all the cards as aces of coins. Turn your right hand palm up to show the ace on the bottom. Turn the hand palm down and peel the top card into your left hand. Turn your right hand palm up again to once more show the ace. Repeat this sequence until all but the last card have been peeled into your left hand. Finish by placing this last card (the one real coin card) on the bottom of the left-hand cards.

This count should be done casually, almost unconsciously, as you patter. If you prefer, you don't have to count every card. After peeling and flashing a few cards, just place the remaining right-hand cards under the left-hand cards.

Turn the packet face up and insert the Devil card face up in the middle. The audience believes that you're holding a packet of coin cards with a single Devil card in it. In fact, the opposite is true.

Turn the packet face down and give it an overhand shuffle. (This time you must be careful not to flash any faces during the shuffle.)

After you've shuffled off about half the cards, throw the remainder on top, taking a left fourth-finger break under them. The ace of coins will be the card directly above the break.

You will now, in effect, force the ace of coins on yourself.

Spread the cards between your hands and outjog the card above the break. Square up, taking a fourth-finger break under the top card. Pivot the outjogged card out of the packet and place it outjogged on top.

(Throughout all these actions, be conscious of keeping the packet tilted downward to avoid flashing any faces.)

With your left forefinger, pull the outjogged card square with the packet. As soon as it is squared, perform a double turnover to apparently show that you selected the single Devil card. Turn the double face down and deal the top card onto the table.

Turn the packet face up and deal the cards in a face-up row on the table in front of the single facedown card to reveal that the entire packet consists of Devil cards. After only the briefest pause, turn over the facedown card to reveal that it's now an ace of coins. You will be left with a layout like that in illustration 3.

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