Taking a pack of cards which has been thoroughly shuffled, a spectactor cuts it into four piles. Turning the top card of each packet himself, he finds that he has actually cut to the four aces.
Preparation. If you make this your first trick, you must beforehand place the four aces on the top of the pack. If you wish to do it following other tricks, or with a borrowed deck, then you must get the aces to the top secretly. Never attempt to do that furtively. Run over the faces of the cards, holding them so that no one else can see them and at the same time saying, "I suppose these are ordinary cards?" Watch for an ace, cut the deck to bring it to the bottom as you look up and say, "Is there a joker in the pack? If so, I don't want that card."
Continue running through the cards; each time you find an ace separate your hands just enough to be able to push it to the bottom with the left thumb as you glance at the spectators and make some casual remark. If there is a joker, discard it.
If you do the work openly and casually, to the onlookers you are merely toying with the cards and your actions pass without special notice.
Procedure. The steps are as follows:
1. If you are beginning with this trick and you have the aces at the top of the pack, well and good. If, however, you have had to sort them to the bottom as we have just explained, then you turn the pack face downwards and make an ordinary overhand shuffle. When you reach the last half-dozen cards run them--that is to say, pull them off with the left thumb one by one, thus bringing the four aces to the top.
2. Execute the overhand shuffle control, retaining top stock, again leaving the aces on the top.
3. Offer to demonstrate how gamblers cheat at cards and comment casually that their skill is greatly overrated. "As a matter of fact," you say, "almost anyone can duplicate their feats with very little practice." Single out one of the spectators. "You look as though you might be a good poker player. Will you help me?"
4. Place the pack before your assistant and request him to cut it into four packets about equal. He does this, and for the purpose of our explanation we shall call these packets A, B, C, and D, the four aces being the four cards at the top of D (Fig. 9).
5. Instruct him to pick up A, remove three cards from the top of the packet and place them at the bottom, then deal one card from the top on to each of the other three packets.
6. Have him take B and repeat exactly the same process, putting three cards to the bottom and dealing one card on each of the other three packets. Have him do the same with C and D. (Follow this procedure with the cards and you will at once see that the three cards that are placed one by one on D are finally moved to the bottom of that packet, and then three aces are placed on top of each of the other packets quite unwittingly by the spectator himself.)
7. Recapitulate what has been done. "You will recall that you yourself cut the cards and that I did not touch them at any time. I picked you for this demonstration because you have a poker face. Let's see if I judged you correctly--let's look at the cards at which you cut." At your direction, the assistant turns over the top card of each packet and to his astonishment finds each card to be an ace.
Note particularly that at the end of the trick you emphasize that the assistant cut the cards, but do not mention that he also moved cards about. You do this deliberately because you want him to forget about this part of the trick. The average person has great difficulty in recalling the details of any fairly complex action. Capitalize on this weakness by stressing a part of what he did and suppressing another part. This expedient is often used in magic. You will be amazed, sometimes, to hear the assistant describe the trick and state that he shuffled the cards and then cut to the four aces, which he certainly did not do. This unconscious distortion will enhance your reputation and at the same time bring you considerable secret amusement.
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Magick is the art and practice of moving natural energies to effect needed or wanted change. Magick is natural, there is absolutely nothing supernatural about it. What is taught here are various techniques of magick for beginners. Magick is natural and simple and the techniques to develop abilities should be simple and natural as well. What is taught on this site is not only the basics of magick, but the basics of many things.