The Left Hand Diagonal Palm

The genesis of this move is a sleight of Paul LePaul' s (The Diagonal Left Hand Palm, The Card Magic of LePaul, pages 61- 64). Ed Marlo describes the move in his Side Steal booklet (pages 4547) but he changes the way the right hand removes the deck from the left hand. My only addition is applying the Pivot Point Principle to the sleight. If you have ever tried the Erdnase Diagonal Palm Shift, I think you will find the following sleight much easier to learn.

Suppose you have had a card selected. The spectator looks at the card. The deck is squared and is held in a normal dealing position in the left hand; that is, the lower left corner is not at the Pivot Point.

Take the card from the spectator with the right hand. The left thumb runs down the left side of the deck, making a opening near the middle so the right hand can insert the card. As the card is inserted, it is tilted to the right very slightly. This will cause the lower left corner to emerge from the left side of the deck. Place that corner against the Pivot Point. The card is now out-jogged for about one-third of its length, and is tilted slightly to the right. The lower left corner is at the Pivot Point (Figure 7). The right hand can be removed, and the left hand can be raised if desired, affording the spectators one last look at the out-jogged selection.

The right hand will now apparently push the card flush and the deck will be squared. Actually, the card will be palmed. The right hand comes over the deck with the fingers extended. The right thumb rests at the back end of the deck. The right middle finger contacts the outer left corner of the out-jogged card (Figure 8). It appears as if all the fingers push the card flush. However, only the middle finger exerts any pressure, and this pressure is downward and to the right. The card will swivel between the Pivot Point and the right middle finger and will protrude from the right side of the deck (Figure 9). (At this point the right fingers are against the front edge of the deck; the side-jogged card is hidden by the back of the right hand.)

The left fingers need only open slightly to grasp the card in palm position. It is now necessary to extract the card from the deck. Here's how:

Slide the left thumb to the left so it lies along the left side of the deck. Curl the right forefinger so it rests on the upper left corner of the top card of the deck. During the next series of actions the left thumb must never jut out to the left. It must remain in contact with the left side of the deck as if squaring the cards. The upper left corner of the deck is pinched between the right forefinger and middle finger (the hand extends slightly to allow the middle finger to wrap around the end of the deck). In a squaring action, the right hand pulls the deck forward and away from the left hand. In order for the palmed card to come free from the deck the right thumb must relax its grip on the end of the deck. The thumb does not move away from the end of the deck, it merely relaxes and slides over the top of the palmed card as the right hand moves the deck forward (Figure 10). The instant the palmed card clears the deck, the right thumb regrips and the right middle finger loosens its

grip so that the deck is again held between the thumb and the fingers. The right hand reverses direction bringing the deck back into the left hand. [There is a moment during this procedure when the right hand assumes an awkward position. However, this moment is very brief, and the right hand assumes a more natural appearance the instant that the deck clears the palmed card. It is very important that the awkward position is not held any longer than is absolutely necessary. When I do this palm, the awkward grip lasts less than a second.]

The deck can be moved forward and back (legitimately this time) as if squaring further. At this point the deck can be placed into the left hand (as mentioned above), or the deck can be tabled. Remember: from the moment the card is pushed flush with the deck the action should simply simulate a squaring of the cards.

This palm need not be done quickly to be effective. If you wish, after the card has been side-jogged, the right fingers can make a squaring motion against the front end of the deck. Then you can go into the simulated side squaring and steal the card. The steal can also be done mind-bogglingly quickly. The card is pushed in and the right hand immediately tables the deck.

Also remember: success with this palm depends on accurately placing the lower left corner of the card against the Pivot Point. If you are conscientious about this you will find that the move almost works itself.

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