Changeover Queens

After Hours Magic: A Book of Al Thatcher Card Magic

Encyclopedia of Card Tricks

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The effect is based on Tom Sellers' effect of the same name, which he published in Magical Mixture (Davenports, 1943). This version uses Dai Vernon's "separation move" from More Inner Secrets of Card Magic, where he described it in an effect called "Thoughts Transposed."


1. Remove the four Twos and the four Queens. Start with the two black Twos face-up in the right hand, the two reds in the left. Display, then put the blacks on the reds, keeping them spread. Pick up a black Queen and place it face-down between the face-up black Twos, then a red Queen face-down between the red Twos.

2. Turn your hands over doing the Vernon separation move as each hand takes three cards, as if to display the Aces on the other sides: the cards are spread between the hands. Briefly; the left thumb engages the third card from the top while the right fingers press upwards on the third card from the bottom (Fig.l). The hands turn over, supposedly splitting the fan in the middle, with each hand taking half. Actually, the left hand takes the bottom two cards plus the third from the top, while the right takes the top two cards, plus the third from the bottom (Fig.2). This procedure transposes the two middle cards and works with any number of cards.

Say, "The black Queen is over here with the black Twos, the red Queen with the reds." Without turning your hands over again, place the right cards on the left, then shift their positions in your hands so that you can spread once more and hold in the left hand.

"Is everyone clear?"

3. Insert a pause here by picking up the remaining Queens and sliding them to the center of the table.

Then do the Vernon switch again as each hand takes three cards and places them on opposite sides of the table. The cards are naturally spread so that their long sides are parallel to you and the spectators.

"Reds on the right."

Note: There is an inconsistency here as the spectators have seen the black Queen on the right before this, and now the reds end up on the right. This is the sort of inconsistency that no one ever notices.

4. Pick up the remaining two Queens face-up, with the red on the face. As you turn them face-down, do the standard Hofzinser Monte Switch, which is, briefly; push with the thumb, pull with the fingers—which reverses their positions (See "R.I.P" in Chapter 8, Vol.1 for a full description). Again say, "Reds on the right," as you place the top card on top of the red spread and the bottom card on top of the black spread.

The display looks nice at this point, with face-up and face-down cards alternating, the colors separated. A snap of your fingers and the Queens have moved to the opposite color.

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