Interlocked Principle Ip

A general purpose method for vanishing a card.

According to Bruce Cervon (Card Secrets of Bruce Cervon, 1976), Dai Vernon showed him this move in 1965, but said he'd been using it for over forty years. It was first described by Vernon in Ultimate Card Secrets. Cervon includes several descriptions of how to set-up and use the move, including a clever handling of his own. Genii's recent special Mike Skinner tribute issue (Nov. 2000) included Skinner's brilliant use of a Larry Jennings technique to get set-up for the Interlocked Principle. The method takes a little getting used to, but it's very good.

In order to see what this is all about:

a) Cut off half the deck, then pull the top card onto the bottom half, injogged for half its length (Fig.1).

b) Now pull the next card off the top lined up with the remainder of the bottom half so that one card is injogged second from the top of the -bottom half (Fig.2).

c) Finally lay the right half on top, aligned with the injogged cards (Fig.3). You're now set up, though you would obviously never do it this openly.

The move is as follows:

d) Turn the whole pack face-up end-overend and point to the face-up card in the middle of the deck (Fig.4). Then flip the pack over sideways, keeping it in dealing grip.

e) Finally, with your right hand from above, move the top half forward and place it on the table (Fig.5). However, as you're doing so, the left first finger pushes the interlocked card flush with the lower half. See figure 6 for a side view of this move.

You can now turn over the tabled half to show the card has vanished.

We should add a few notes regarding handling the interlocked card to ensure being able to get rid of it cleanly. After you turn the stepped halves over sideways, you may find it helpful if your left little finger pushes against the inside of the deck. Then grasp the upper packet with the right hand in Biddle position and move it back about half an inch, then forward again. This makes it easy for the left first finger to push the interlocked card into the lower section of the deck. The left little finger keeps other cards from also moving inwards during this process.

This use of the left finger is only necessary if the cards are at all sticky. The backward and foreword motion can also be eliminated, but makes the disposal much easier.

Now here are some secret methods of getting set-up and some tricks using the set-ups.


For Final Control, see Vol. 1, p. 15, also in sleights at end of this volume.

a) The left thumb riffles down the deck until told to stop. Pick up all the cards above the break with the right hand. As your right hand is displaying the chosen card, the left little finger gets a decent sized break under the top card. Final Control the chosen card into the break, but leave the right hand cards stepped inwards (figs.7 and 8).

b) Turn the deck over sideways to display chosen card again, then turn it end-over-end into position with the left little finger at the inside of the deck. The right hand moves the top half backwards then forwards. The left first finger pushes the interlocked card into the deck as the right hand moves away.

c) The right hand turns over to show that the chosen card has vanished. Use the right hand cards to flip the top card of the left hand half-pack face-up to show that it's not there either.

There are lots of ways to make it reappear if you like. One is to put the right hand cards under the left, with the wrong card still face-up on top of the left hand cards. Get a break under the second card from the top, then do a Braue Reversal, as you undercut half the cards and turn them faceup on top, followed by the remainder of the cards to the break. Tap the face card, then turn the deck over to show the chosen card has appeared face-up on top of the deck.

Or, after getting a break under the second card; flip the right hand cards face-up on top, pick up all from above the break and immediately pull the cards under the break out with the left hand and flip them face-up on top. Again you can turn the deck over to show the selection face-up on top.

Turn the stepped packets over sideways the first time for display: that way the card to be noted is on top facing the audience. Then turn the packets face-down end-over-end, getting the little finger into place as described previously.


This method can only be used in certain situations, but is one of the easiest methods when it can be used.

a) Start with a break over the bottom two cards of the deck. Pick up the break with the right thumb, then Swing-cut the top half into the left hand (Fig.9).

b) Now comes a part that should be done casually: Your right hand comes over to the left

2-card break hand, which tilts up a trifle, with its cards stepped-in an inch or a little less. The two cards below the break are transferred to the left packet, then the right hand pulls back slightly, then presses the top card forward until it lines up with the bottom half of the deck (Fig.10). This is just as is done in the Christ-Annemann Alignment move.

c) Leave the top half injogged, as the right hand shifts and regrips from above on the right and left sides. It pulls back the top half until the step is about half the deck. The left hand holds the interlocked card in place as this goes on. You're now in position.


As a variation in effects where you want to force the interlocked card, start with the break over the bottom two cards, Swing-cut the top half, and hold both the original break and a break between halves with the right thumb. Your left hand also holds the deck at the same time and riffles down the side with the thumb. This two-hand position isn't as awkward as it sounds because you move immediately into the riffle. When the spectator stops you, you do a variation of the Riffle Force: your right hand moves up, taking the cards above the bottom break, to display the card. At the same time, the left hand turns palm-down, automatically releasing its break.

After the spectator notes the "chosen card", you can get it set into interlocked position.

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