The Kings Holiday

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This routine was inspired by Larry Jennings' "Visitor" (The Classic Magic of Larry Jennings), one of the finest routines for laymen in print.

WHAT THE AUDIENCE SEES: The magician produces the four Kings from the deck. The deck is cut in half, and the Kings are buried in one half, which is left in plain view on the table. Three spectators are invited to select cards from the other half of the deck, which is shuffled. This half is clearly shown to contain none of the spectator's selections on either the top, or the bottom. The magician magically "throws" the three selections from the half he is holding to the half on the table. When the half on the table is spread a moment later, three face-down cards are seen between the four Kings. They are the selections!

SET-UP: This routine can be done performed with a secret set-up (four Kings on top) or without one, depending upon your performing conditions.

TO PERFORM: If you have the Kings on top, then start the routine by magically making them appear. There are many excellent ways to do this, including having the spectator cut to the Kings. (Harry Lorayne has many excellent methods in print.) I prefer Frank Thompson's revelation sequence, which was published in Genii years ago, and can also be found in the pamphlet The Cold Deck. If you aren't familiar with these methods, simply do a number of false cuts, and after each one, reveal a King on top of the deck.

If conditions do not permit having the Kings on top, openly cull them from the deck:, and you are ready to start.

With the deck face-down on the table, cut a little more than 1/3 off the top, and hold this portion in your left hand. Place the four Kings face-up onto this portion. Double cut the Kings to the bottom, and with the right thumb, drop one face-down card from the bottom onto the top King. Maintain a left pinky break above this face-down card (you are holding a pinky break above the five bottom cards).

You will now place the packet in the left hand onto the table in front of the remaining portion of the deck while performing the Vernon transfer move as follows:

With your right hand holding the packet in Biddle grip, your left pinky swings the five cards below the break to the right (this is hidden by the right hand). The right hand holds these five cards with the pad of the right pinky, and the pad of the right thumb at the opposite corners. No other part of the right hand touches these five cards. Your left hand now grasps the left long side of the cards above your pinky break between the thumb (on top) and the fingers (below) and deposits these cards to the table. At the same time, the right hand drops the five cards it is holding onto the other 2/3 of the deck sitting on the table, (see illustrations #1-3).

The right hand places the other 2/3 of the deck into your left hand, then turns it faceup. With the thumb and forefinger of your right hand, draw out the top and bottom cards, fanning them as you do so, and deposit them on the face of the packet. This leaves the 4 reversed Kings at the rear of the face up packet.

Spread the face-up cards between your hands, being careful not to expose the reversed Kings. Have three spectators name any cards they see in the spread. Upjog these cards, then close the spread.

Now perform the D'Amico Simple Shift of the three cards as follows:

Hold the squared packet with the outjogged selections in the left hand. Tilt the left hand down, causing the block of cards above the first outjogged selection to slide forward. Keep the left forefinger curled around the outer end of the outjogged cards, which will cause the sliding packet to stop. With the left hand, pull the packet that just slid forward, stripping free the out-jogged cards in the process (see illustrations #4-5).

You are left holding a packet of cards in each hand. The packet in your left has the three selections on the bottom. The packet in your right has the four reversed Kings on the bottom.

Perform an In-Faro starting at the bottom of these two packets, interlacing the three selections between the Kings. This is not hard, as only seven cards must be perfectly shuffled.

Now double-undercut two cards from the face of the packet to the rear, then flip the entire packet face-down in your left hand.

This whole sequence (selecting the cards, doing the shift, then the faro) should be done briskly.

Show the top and bottom cards to the spectators, verifying that neither are among the three selected cards.

Now pantomime removing the three selections from the packet and "throwing" them in the air toward the packet on the table. This should be performed tongue-in-cheek. After the third card is "thrown" get a left pinky break halfway down in the packet.

Your right hand picks up the packet sitting on the table in Biddle grip and brings it backwards, towards you. As your hands cross, the cards above the break in your left hand are added to the bottom of those cards in the right. Your left hand must swing away from you, to your left (out of the picture, so to speak). Immediately spread the packet in the right hand across the table to display the 4 reversed Kings in the center with 3 face-down cards interlaced between them.

Dramatically reveal the 3 face-down cards as selections to end.

FINAL NOTES: This routine owes a great deal to Jennings' "Visitor", and to Don England's "Another Collector's" in his book T.K.O.'S.

A more thorough description of the D'Amico Shift can be found in Ed Mario's The Multiple Shift as well as in the England book.

Dai Vernon's transfer move was taught to me by Derek Dingle, who performs it to perfection. It is one of card magic's best invisible sleights, yet is rarely used. For a more complete description, see Vernon's The $20 Manuscript or Derek Dingle's Complete Works, page 50.

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