Method and Handling

The deck must be in a memorized stack order. (Any memorized stack will do as long as you can instantly determine the position in the deck of any card named.) You must use whichever cards are the top and bottom cards of your stack as the two sandwich cards (i.e., the two cards that you will use to trap the named card between.) In my stack these cards are the two red aces, so 1 simply start the effect by openly removing the red aces from the deck. To give the impression that the aces are lost randomly in the deck, I first give the deck a casual cut to centralize the aces. I then spread through the cards, remove one red ace, and square the deck. I then spread again and remove die second ace, this time cutting the deck at the point from which I remove the ace to bring the stack back to its correct order.

It seems natural to remove the two red aces since they are a pair of cards one might logically use for a sandwich trick. If the top and bottom cards of your stack are two random cards, you can use either of two approaches. The first is to justify why you're using them. Proceed as follows. Take a break above the bottom card. Give the deck a cut, maintaining your break as you square up. Comment that you need two random cards for your next trick. Dribble the cards from hand to hand, stopping at your break. Deal the top two cards to the table and square up by placing the right-hand cards below the left-hand cards. You have, in effect, dribble-forced the two needed cards on yourself. (You could instead dribble-force them on a spectator or even two different spectators. But, frankly, I think this would add nothing to the effect.)

An alternative approach (suggested by Andrew Wimhurst) is to use the joker and extra joker as your sandwich cards.

You must next obtain a left fourth-finger break under card number twenty in your memorized stack. This is facilitated by the fact that you know the identity of the card. I simply injog the card as I remove the second red

ace, then take a break under it as I flip the deck face down and square up.

If you're either using two jokers or dribble forcing two "random" cards on yourself, I suggest this alternative. After you've tabled the two sandwich cards, flip the deck face up and casually spread through it as you explain that you're going to ask a spectator to name any card in the deck. (The spread appears to be merely a gesture to illustrate your comment.) When you've spread almost two-thirds of the deck, glance down at the cards. When you spot card number twenty in your stack, injog it and continue spreading. Square the spread and flip the deck over book wise. As you square the ends of the facedown deck, take a break under the injogged card.

Take the two sandwich cards face up in your right hand. (For the remainder of the explanation, I'll assume these cards are the two red aces.) Explain that, although the spectator will have complete freedom to name any card, you will instantly trap that card between the two red aces. Stress the impossibility of what you've just described.

Place one red ace face up on top of the deck, injogged for about one-third its length. Slip the other red ace lace up under the deck from the front, leaving it outjogged for about one-third its length. (Maintain your break throughout.) The result will look as in illustration 1.

You will now have a spectator name a card. Point out that she shouldn't name either of the red aces (or whatever you're using as your sandwich cards) and she shouldn't name a joker since you don't have any in the deck. It is, however, important for the impact of the trick to have the audience appreciate that, other than those obviously necessary restrictions, the spectator can name arty card. In my instruction to the spectator, I not only stress that she can decide on any card, but also that she can change her on one card before naming it. Once the spectator says she has settled on a

Patter along the following lines: T said I would trap your card between the aces and, frankly, I've already done it Tve trapped the u*hole deck between the aces, so your card has to he between them somewhere" As you say this, square the aces with the deck and spread the cards between your hands ro illustrate your point that they are all trapped between the aces. You'll find that the audience gets the gag immediately.

The above actions will convince the audience that the whole thing has just been a joke. This will cause them to immediately relax their attention. You will take advantage of this to perform the critical move in the effect. During your casual spreading of the cards, you locate the named card and cull it to the bottom of the deck.

The first step, of course, is to calculate the location of the card in your memorized stack. This should be instantaneous. Once you've done that, you must spread-count to the card. You will avail yourself of two tools to facilitate this. The first is a deceptively simple idea of Alex Elmsley's. In The Collected Works ol Alex Elmsley, he mentions the idea of spread-counting by tens. You do this by pushing over a group of three cards, another group of three, a group of two, and another group of two. The beauty of this is that, since we have a ten-based

mind, as long as she finally settles card, have her name it aloud.

number system, it comes naturally lor us to count by tens. For a large number this is far superior to, for example, group counting by threes. The three, three, two, two rhythm comes very naturally. You'll find that, with only a little practice, you'll be able to count ten or twenty cards rapidly with Jittle concentration.

With a quick and easy method of counting by tens, it remains then only to sight-count the remainder. If it's a large remainder, count by whatever groupings seem most convenient. For eight cards, for example, you might count three, three, two.

The other tool you can utilize in counting is your break. You don't necessarily have to count from the top of the deck. Depending on the position of the card you want to cull, you can use any of four options: you can n count down from the top of the deck; you can count down from your break; your can count upward from the break; you can count upward from the bottom of the deck.

What 1 have found most efficient is to count down from the top for any number from 2 to 16, count up from the break for 17 through 20, count down from the break for 21 through 46, and count up from the bottom for 47 to 51. (Naturally, numbers I and 52 never come up since they're the two red aces.)

Finally, if counting a very large number, keep in mind that you can perform part of the count, take a new fourth-finger break at that point, and square up. You can then spread again, under cover of some relevant comment, starting the count from your new break. For example, if you need to count to the forty-second card, you can count down to the thirtieth card, starting the count from your break and using the Elmsley ten-count technique. Take a new break at that point as you square up. A moment later you can re-spread to count the last twelve cards (Elmsley ten-count plus a remainder of two), starting the count from your new break.

Only practice with this system will make you adept at it and make you realize how quickly and casually you can reach any card in the deck. Once you understand the options, however, facility will come quickly.

Don't make the mistake of ignoring the red aces in your counts just because they're face up. If counting down from the top, you must count the ace of hearts. If counting up from the bottom, you must include the ace of diamonds. (Of course, if you're using jokers for your sandwich cards you do ignore them in the count.)

The whole point of spread-counting to the named card is to secredy cull the card to the bottom of the deck. (See Ultimate Oil d? Water for details on the underspread cull. In this case, you use the technique described there for culling the first card.) To the audience, it will appear that you merely spread the deck between your hands to illustrate your joke, then square up. Nothing has changed. In reality, you've controlled their named card to the bottom of the deck.

As you finish spreading through the deck, do a block push-off of all the cards above the ace of diamonds with your left thumb and again outjog the ace. Take the deck in your left hand. Place your right fingertips on the face of the ace of hearts and riffle up the hack of the deck with your right thumb until you can pinch the ace of hearts between fingers and thumb. At that point, pull the ace back so that it's injogged once more. However, in the course of riffling up the back of the deck, take a left fourth-finger break anywhere around the middle of the deck.

You are again in the position shown earlier in illustration 1. This picture visually underscores the gag that the named card is trapped between the aces because all the cards are. More importantly, by echoing your starting position, it reinforces the notion that nothing has changed.

impress the audience. At this point you perform a shift to apparendy make the two red aces vanish. Any variant of the classic pass will work here as long as it's one you do well: a riffle pass, dribble pass, jiggle pass, etc. You can also use a turnover pass. I use the Ortiz shift, taught in Darwin's Ambitious Card. That shift involves furn ace of diamonds has vanished from the bottom, then turn the hand palm up again to show that the ace of hearts has also vanished.

If you do a good pass, this vanish will be quite striking. Give the audience a moment to absorb it. I take the deck in my right hand, thumb on top and fingers underneath, and turn the deck face up and face down a couple of times to drive home the vanish.

Explain that the aces haven't really vanished, but have instead penetrated into the center of the deck to trap a card. As you say this, rihbonspread the deck on the table. The audience will see the red aces face up in the center with one facedown card trapped between. Turn this card over to reveal that it is the one the spectator freely named.

& If the spectator should name either the second or the fifty-first card in your stack, you can skip the gag part of the presentation and cut right to the chase.

After the audience has reacted to the trapped-between-the-aces gag, square the deck from above, pushing in the jogged aces. Comment that you sense you're going to have to do the trick the hard way if you hope to ing your left band palm down and palm up again. In this case, you turn your hand palm down to show that the

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