Compression Agents Revisited

Here's another take on the idea of "Compression Agents." In this case, the four Twos are compressed, first into two Fours, then into a single Eight, and finally to nothing.

Start with any Eight, Four, Four on top of the deck. Or simply cull them as described below.


1. Run through the deck and upjog the two black Kings, saying, "These two black Kings are the compression agents in the deck." As you're doing so, cull any two Fours to the top. Toss the Kings face-up on the table.

"We also need the four Twos." Cull any Eight to the top of the deck, over the Fours, as you're upjogging the four Twos. Remove the Twos and lay them face-up near the Kings.

2. Turn the deck face-down and Double Cut the top card (the Eight) to the bottom, then get a break under the top two cards of the deck. Place one King face-down on top of the Twos, then turn the other King facedown as well, and use it to scoop up the packet (Fig.1).

"I imagine you're wondering what I mean by compression agents. We'll use the four Twos and I'll show you what I mean."

3. Turn the four-card sandwich over on top of the deck so the Kings are now face-up. Immediately pick up all the cards above the break above with the right hand and held from above and use the Kosky Switch—this time switching four cards for two—up to the point where the four cards (which the spectators think are six cards) are outjogged on top of the deck.

Hold the outer end of the deck securely between the left thumb and fingers. The right hand then pulls the top half inward (Fig.2 - next page), stripping out the switched cards in the process, and lays it on top (Fig.3 -next page). It appears that you have merely cut the King sandwich to the middle of the deck. Slowly push the King sandwich square, then lay the deck on the table.

4. Hit the deck with your fist, saying, "Now I'll let you see what the compression agents can do."

from King Sandwich onto tower

Four 2's stripped out from King Sandwich onto tower portion

Spread the deck until you get to the face-up Kings. There are now only two cards between them. Remove the sandwich and place it on the table. Then turn it over to reveal the two Fours in the middle. "See how they work, they compressed four Twos into two Fours."

5. Casually Double Cut the bottom card to the top, then pick up a break under it. Repeat steps 3. and 4. "Let's give them another chance to work. We'll use the two Fours this time. Let's see—yes, only a single card. The two Fours have compressed into a single Eight."

6. You can stop there, or if you have the nerve, repeat the mechanics of the Kosky Switch, this time switching the single Eight for no card at all. That is, go through the Kosky procedure, but without picking up any cards under the sandwich to start. That simply leaves the two Kings outjogged.

"Of course, if we compress too much, there's nothing left at all. I lose more cards that way."

Note: the first use of the Kosky Switch to vanish a card was Rick Johnsson's "Empty Kosky Switch" (Epilogue #22). His version had three face-up cards, then used the Kosky technique to load a face-down card on top of the middle face-up card, so after the Kosky Switch, it appeared the deck was normal. Call the version used in the current trick "Bold Empty Kosky Switch."

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