Method and Handling

Begin by explaining that you're going to play a litde gambling game with the spectator in which he'll have a chance to win some money. As you do so, perform an overhand shuffle, undercutting about half the deck and injogging the first card. Take the deck in dealing position and square the jogged card, taking a fourth finger break under it. Ask the spectator to call out stop as you riffle down the side of the deck with your left thumb.

Perform a riffle force, stopping at the point indicated but cutting at your break.

Deal the top two cards (the two sixes of hearts) face down on the table and square up the deck, placing the right-hand cards under the left-hand cards. Obtain a break under the top card of the deck (your previously positioned picture card). Pick up the tabled card that was originally on top (the signed six) and place it on the deck, outjogged for about half its length. Then turn the other tabled card face up. (This will be the unsigned six.)

As you perform these actions, explain that the spectator has selected two cards» one for himself (say this as • you place one card outjogged on the deck) and one for you (say this as you flip the other card face up).

With your left forefinger pull the outjogged card back square onto the deck. As soon as it's flush with the deck perform a double turnover of the cards above the break. The pulling back of the single card and the turning over of the double should be one smooth, continuous action. (This handling is a simple subtlety I've used for many years that I feel helps sell the notion that you're turning over a single card.) The double turnover will reveal the queen of clubs. Reiterate that this will be the spectator's card.

Hand the marking pen to the spectator. Turn the double face down and hold the deck out so that he can sign the back of the top card. Encourage him to write big; this will simply make it easier to spot the card later in the effect. Of course, the spectator believes he is signing the queen when he is really signing the six of hearts that you've previously signed on the face.

Take the pen from the spectator and sign the face of the tabled six of hearts as you reiterate that this will be your card. (You should, of course, try to match the signature on the other six of hearts as closely as possible.)

Perform another double turnover to again show the spectator's card. You're now going to insert this double face down into the deck. I do this as follows. Obtain a fourth-finger break under the two face-up cards. Slide your right thumbtip into this break from right to left, lifting the back end of the double. Grip the double between the right first finger along the left edge and the fourth finger along the right edge, the middle fingers on the face and the thumb on the back, (See illustration J.) Pivot the double forward. Open a break in the deck about two-thirds from the top with your left thumb and start to insert the double into this opening.

Push the double into the break with your fingertips. When only about three-quarters of an inch is sticking out, perform a push-in change. Your second finger pushes the bottom card of the double in as your first finger and thumb pull the top card out. Pull the card out for about half its length. At the same time, your left first finger catches the edge of the lower card and pushes it flush with the deck. Throughout these actions, your left thumb should extend beyond the front of the deck for about three-quarters of an inch and press against the edge of the double. This will conceal the lower card^s movement from the left side. (The earliest appearance of the push-in change that I'm aware of is in August Roterberg's 1897 book New Era Card Tricks where it

appears on pp.87-8 under the tide "A Mysterious Change.")

Pick up the face-up six of hearts that hears your signature and insert it into the deck face up about a third of the way from the top. Leave it outjogged about half its length. Briefly spread the deck between your hands as you comment about the two cards being well separated. This will show the positions of the two cards and also show that the facedown card is a single, subdy covering the tracks of the earlier double turnovers. Square up the deck.

You're now going to explain the premise of the game. The cards will be shuffled and dealt one at a time. If your card is dealt first, you win. If the spectator's card comes up first, he wins. As you explain this, you spread through the deck. Your apparent purpose is to illustrate your comments and also emphasize the positions of the two cards. Your real purpose is to cull the face-up six of hearts to the bottom of the pack.

As you start to spread, cull the fifth or sixth card from the top under the spread. Simply place your left thumb on the card above the one you want to cull, place your left fingers on the face of the card you're culling and push over the card until it hits the right palm. Then allow it to ride under the cards as you continue spreading. Because this happens early in the spreading action, no one is watching closely. This card will become your guide card in culling the six of hearts.

Continue spreading the cards until you reach the face-up six. Break the spread with the six on top of the left-hand cards. (At this point, you should be explaining that, if your card is dealt first, you win the game.) The six should be pushed over well to the right, clipped by the left thumb. As you bring the two hands together, allow the six to disappear under the right-hand cards (and the guide card). Immediately push it over with the left fingers until it strikes the right palm. Your left hand pulls its remaining cards to the left until you feel them click off the guide card. Continue spreading cards above the guide card. (Both the guide card and the six should ride under the spread.)

Keep spreading until you reach the card that bears the spectator's signature on the back. Break the spread with this card on cop of the left-hand cards as before. (At this point, you should be explaining that, if the spectator's card is dealt first, he wins the game.) Bring the cards together and continue to spread above the two culled cards, leaving the spectator's card buried in the deck. (In other words, you actually do with his signed card whac you precended Co do with your signed card.) When you finish spreading through the deck, square up the cards. The face-up six of hearts will be on the bottom of the deck.

Patter about the fact that you need a wager to make the game more interesting. As you say this, palm the bottom card (the face-up six) into your left hand. I use a technique of my own devising (although all the basic elements can be found in The Expert at the Card Table.) For want of a better name I call it the Ortiz bottom palm. Obtain a fourth-finger break above the bottom card. (I do this by buckling the bottom card with the forefinger.) Your right hand now comes over and grips the deck with

the second, third, and fourth lingers covering the entire front of the deck, the first finger curled on top, and the thumb at the inner left corner. (See illustration 2.)

Your right thumb takes over the break as your left hand slides back so that the inner left corner of the deck is in the thumb crotch. The tip of the left third finger engages the inner right corner of the bottom card. Simultaneously curl your left . third finger inward and slide your left hand forward until the outer left corner of the bottom card touches the tip of your right fourth finger. (See illustration 3.) If you now simply allow the deck to settle into left-hand dealing grip and move your right hand away, the bottom card will curl into your left hand in palm position.

Do not straighten out your left fingers as you palm the card. This is the standard giveaway on bottom palming. Be very conscious in practicing the move to avoid this amateur's tip-off.

As you finish the comment about needing a wager, reach into your left pocket and remove the hundred-dollar bill, leaving the palmed card behind. A subtlety I use here is to incorporate the Norman Houghton pocket load. (This move is taught in Hitchcock Travelers.) The only difference here is that, once you've pushed the palmed card into the pocket, instead of your first finger and thumb gripping the card, they grip the hundred-dollar bill and pull it out, leaving the card behind. If anything, the move looks even better when combined with the action of removing the bill than it does in its original form.

This move isn't strictly necessary at this point. If you prefer to stick your whole hand in your pocket to deposit the palmed card and retrieve the bill that's fine. However, the Houghton move will ensure that the thought of your having palmed out a card will never cross anyone's mind.

As you toss the bill on the table, explain that if the spectator's card comes up first, he wins the hundred. If yours comes up first, you keep the money. Comment casually that, as in all hanking games, the house wins all ties. "Since Ym bankrolling the game, I m the house." (This talk about ties won't make much sense to the audience since there seems to be no way to tie. However, experience has shown that no one will question it.)

Give the deck a shuffle. (One quick riffle or overhand shuffle is sufficient.) Allow the spectator to give the deck a cut. (I offer to let the spectator cut 'if you don't trust me." The fact that they always cut adds some amusement.) As you pick up the deck, you must glimpse the bottom card to ensure that the spectator ha6 not accidentally cut the six of hearts to the bottom. There's no need for anything fancy here. Just make sure that you see the bottom card and the audience doesn't. (I use an all-around square-up glimpse.) In the rare event that the six is on the bottom just ask another spectator to cut also (because I'm not sure I trust him").

Hand the deck to the spectator and instruct him to hold it in dealing position. Explain that he is to deal the cards into a facedown pile. Recap the bet: 'Tf your card comes up first, you take, home the hundred; if my card comes up first, 1 keep the money. And, of course, the house unns all ties." Point to yourself when you mention the house. (When I first worked out this effect I decided that if anyone mentioned that a tie was impossible, I

would just respond, "OH, yeah. I gu£ss youre right." After a couple oi hundred performances, I've yet to have to use the line.)

Have the spectator deal cards in a facedown pile. As soon as he reaches the card with his signature on the back, stop him. Take the card and place it in front of yourself, still face down. Act troubled—as you certainly would be if you'd just lost a hundred bucks—and ask the spectator to deal a lew more cards to see how close you came to winning. Of course, your face-up six won't come up. Keep egging him on to keep dealing until he has gone through the whole deck.

At this point, everyone will be puzzled since your card seems to have vanished. You also appear baffled until you suddenly realize what must have happened. T did say that tiw hous^ urins all ties. And* you have to admit, this is a tis." Punctuate this last observation by turning over the facedown card to show that it is the six of hearts with your signature on it.

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