Method and Handling

Start by removing the four aces from the deck. Hand a marking pen to a spectator and have her sign or initial the face of each ace. When she has finished, place the marking pen in your right front pants pocket, clipped to the pocket near its right corner. Gather up the signed aces so that there is a red ace on top and a red ace on the bottom and spread them face up on the table in front of you.

Have four other spectators each select a card from the deck. Have the four cards returned to the deck and control them to the top. I do this by means ol the Neal Elias multiple shift. Since my handling differs somewhat from the standard, I'll describe it in detail.

Take back the first selection from the spectator. Holding the deck in dealing grip, riffle off about six or seven cards with your rhumb at the outer left corner. Insert the selection into the opening, leaving it outjogged for about half its length. Retrieve the second selection. Riffle off another six or seven cards and insert the selection, again leaving it out-jogged. Repeat this process with the third and fourth selections. You should be left with more than a third of the deck below the lowermost selection.

Spread the deck between your hands to show that the selections are scattered throughout the deck. This is shown in illustration I. Note how the left thumb is strategically positioned to obscure the fact that there is a large block of cards under the lowermost selection. Close up the spread. Your right hand now comes over the deck as in illustration 2. The thumb is at the inner left corner of the deck, forefinger curled on top, and the second, third, and fourth fingertips contacting the outer edge of the outjogged cards. Note that the second fingertip is right on the outer left corner of these cards. Push the selections into the deck. However, exert all the pressure solely with the second finger. This will cause the selections to angle out at the inner right corner, hidden under your right hand. The cards will also stick out at the outer right corner. Illustration 3 provides a worm's-eye view of this condition.

Your right fourth finger engages the selections at the outer right corner and pulls inward and to the right until the cards are sidejogged at the right side of the deck. (Again this is hidden by your right hand.) Illustration

4 provides an exposed view. You'll have to experiment to determine the size jog you'll need for the upcoming strip-out action. It should, however, be large enough for the tip of your right fourth finger to solidly contact the selections. I find that placing the side of the left fourth finger against the inner edge of the selections during the squaring and sidejog-ging action allows you to control the size of the resulting jog.

Grip the deck in your right hand. You're now going to perform a swing cut. Your forefinger engages the cards at the outer left corner. There are two critical points to keep in mind during this action. The first is that the packet you swing over must contain at least all the cards that are interlaced among the selected cards. If you engage about two-

thirds of the deck with your forefinger, you should be safe. The second point is that your right fourth finger must keep the sidejogged cards from moving during the start of the swing cut. In other words, the selections will be stripped out of the cards that are swing-cut. It might be more accurate to say that the deck is stripped out of the selections since the selections don't move.

As soon as your forefinger srarts to swing over the top packct, your left hand pinches the packet at the base of the thumb crotch. At the same time, shift your right (ourth finger to the right side of the jogged cards. Rotate your left hand outward, sliding the base of your thumb along the left side of the deck. Throughout this action, your right second finger should slide along the right side of the upper packet. (See illiistration 5.)

Remember, the left thumb base slides up along the left side of the lower half as the right second finger slides down along the right side of the upper half. This is important to hide the stripping action. This combined action will complete the process of stripping the top packet away from the selections and square the selections with the lower half of the deck. (The selections are trapped on the left side by your left thumb base and on the right side by the edge of your right fourth finger. See illustration 6.) The whole action should be both fast and smooth.

As your left hand continues to rotate in one direction, your right rotates in the other direction. Follow through by placing the left-hand cards under the right-hand cards as shown in illustration 7. Square the deck by running your left fingers and thumb down the sides. Finally, rotate your right hand counterclockwise and your left hand clockwise and place the deck in your left hand in dealing position.

The purpose of this handling is to eliminate two tells evident in most executions of the Elias move. The first is exposing the stripping action at the front of the deck at the start of the swing cut. The second is the fact that the stripped-out cards land on the lower half in an obviously sidejogged condition. You can, of course, use the standard handling of this move if you prefer or any other method of controlling the chosen cards. Just pick a method that is not only deceptive but also fast. You want to get the preliminaries over with as quickly as possible.

Obtain a left fourth finger break under the top four cards of the deck (the selections.) You will now scoop up the four tabled aces but, in the process, load the four selected cards behind them using the actions of the versa switch. (This move is explained in Cannibal Holocaust.)

Place the ace packet (actually consisting of eight cards) face up on the deck, taking a fourth-finger hreak under it. Spread over the top three cards between your hands to show four aces. Your right second and third fingertips should contact the back of the third ace. Perform a block push-off (i.e., the left thumb pushes over all the cards above the break) to flip the entire packet face down on top of the deck. As you do so, however, pull inward with your right second and third fingers to injog the third ace from the face. (Don't be afraid to make this a good-sized jog.)

As soon as the cards land on the deck, your right thumb pushes down on the injogged card and you take all the cards above the injog in your right hand, all four fingers in front and thumb at the back. (This packet will consist of the four selected cards plus one ace.)

Turn your right hand palm up to show an ace on the face of the packet. This will confirm the audience's belief that you're holding the four aces. The card initially at the face of the ace packet was a red ace and the

card now at the lace is a red ace, ensuring that the audience will not notice any change.

Place the deck aside. You will now turn the packet face down and transfer it to your left hand. In the process, you palm the red ace in your right hand using the actions of my modified Erdnase palm change (originally published in The Annotated Erdnase, pp.249-51.) As you place the packet in the left hand, your left first and second fingertips contact the inner left cor-

ner of the face card just forward of the right thumb. Your left second finger and right thumb should just touch. This position is shown in illustration 8. Keep the left first and second fingers straight, their tips pressing against the bottom card, as you place the packet in the left hand. This will cause the ace to pivot into the right palm. Illustration 9 shows an exposed view of this action in progress.

Once the ace is in full palm position, your left hand follows through by spreading its four cards face down on the table as your right hand goes to your right pants pocket to remove the pen. (Freeing your right hand to take out the pen is the unspoken motivation for transferring the packet from one hand to the other.)

In the act of removing the pen from your pocket you slide the palmed ace into the pocket using Norman Houghton's pocket load as follows. When your hand reaches the pocket, bend the first finger in slightly, separating it from the second finger up to the middle joint. Only the first finger and thumb, which are slightly pressed together, enter the pocket near the right side. The cloth of the pocket slips between first and second fingers, your second, third, and fourth fingers remaining outside the pocket. The palmed card, which is now controlled by the thumb and first finger, starts to slide into the pocket. Illustration 10 shows the position at this point.

Rotate your hand downward toward the clipped pen. This rotating action causes the heel of the hand to push the palmed card the rest of the way into the pocket. At the same time, your forefinger and thumb should close on the pen and pull it out.

The result is that the card is loaded into the pocket in the natural action of removing the pen without ever placing your hand inside your pocket. (You can, in fact, use this handling even if the pen is loose in the pocket. 1 find that clipping it in position eliminates any fumbling in gripping it.)

Place the pen across the tabled spread of "aces" as you explain that this improvised paperweight will help ensure that you cannot tamper with the aces in any way. As a further precaution, instruct the spectator who signed the aces that it will be her job to watch the aces and warn the rest of the audience if you go near them.

At this point the audience believes that the four aces are on the table and the selections are scattered throughout the deck. The real situation couldn't be more different. Three of the aces are on top of the deck, the fourth ace is in your pocket, and the four tabled cards are actually the selections.

top palm. This is taught in Smart Money.)

Pick up the deck and spread the cards between your hands as you remind the audience that the four selected cards are lost within it. This spreading gesture, which accompanies your comments, is your motivation for picking up the deck. In reality, you need to have the deck in your hands for the next move.

"Would it be a good trick if I could make those four selected cards fly to my fochets?" you ask. When the audience admits that it would be, offer to instead perform something more difficult. As you patter, palm the top two cards ol the deck in your right hand. (1 use the Erdnase

Reach into your inner left jacket pocket with your right hand. With your thumb, push the lower of the two palmed cards into the pocket and come out with the other card. I like to let the audience see the card emerge from the pocket. Therefore, as soon as the first ace is completely in the pocket, I pull open the jacket with my left hand (which still holds the deck) so the audience can see my right hand finish pulling the other ace out of the pocket. Toss this card face up on the table, well in front of the four cards under the pen.

You will now transfer the deck from your left hand to your right hand. In the process, you palm the top card by means of the I,oewy palm. The starting position for this move is shown in illustration II. You'll note that the deck is held entirely by the thumb crotch at the inner left corner and the first and second fingers at the inner right corner. The thumb is extended along the

left side of the top card. To prepare for the Loewy palm your right hand would have shifted the deck into this position as soon as you finished executing the Erdnase top palm earlier.

Your right hand now starts to take the deck at the outer right corner, thumb above and fingers underneath. At the same time, your left thumb pivots the top card downward and to the right. The left first fingertip prevents more than one card moving, illustration 12 shows the performer's view of this action. The deck is tilted upward, face toward the audience, throughout this action. The position of your right fingers hides the movement of the outer right corner of the top card as it's pivoted over. (When I do it, the lower side of my right third finger rests against the upper side of my left first finger, I find that this guarantees there will be no leak of the top card's movement.) Your left fingers now extend and the outer joint of your left second finger hooks over the outer edge of the top card as in illustration 13. As your right hand comes away with the deck, your left fingers curl inward slightly, drawing the card into the palmĀ»

Your right hand places the deck aside as your left hand reaches into your left front pants pocket and produces the palmed ace. I recommend using the Houghton pocket load I explained earlier so that your hand never goes completely into the pocket. Toss the ace face up next to the first one.

Your right hand now reaches into your right front pants pocket and removes the ace already waiting there. Toss it face up on the table with the others.

You will now produce the last ace from your inner right jacket pocket. Since the ace is actually in the inner left jacket pocket you must employ a Mario stratagem to secretly transfer it across. 15. ' This ruse combines acting and technique. The acting part, which motivates the necessary actions, is that you absentmindedly reach into your inner left jacket pocket for the card. Realizing your error, you then reach into your right jacket pocket and remove the card.

The technical part is as follows. Your right hand reaches into your inner left jacket pocket. At the same time, your left hand grabs your left lapel to steady the jacket as in illustration 14. Your right hand removes the ace irom the pocket and swivels it back so that the curled leit fingers can clip it. Jlitistraticm 15 shows an exposed view of this action. The impression you must convey i3 that you mistakenly reached into the wrong pocket and just realized your error. (Don't overplay this.)

Your right hand now grasps your right lapel and your left hand travels across your body toward your inner right jacket pocket. The ace remains clipped by the fingers and hidden behind the hand as it travels across. As soon as your left hand is hidden behind the jacket, bring the palmed card to the fingertips and slide it into the pocket without letting go of it. With your right hand, pull the jacket open so that the audience can see the ace emerge from the pocket. Toss it on the table with the others.

To conclude the effect, remove the pen from the four tabled cards and have each spectator name his selected card as you turn each one face up.

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