Allan AcklLRMAN

After Hours Magic: A Book of Al Thatcher Card Magic

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Allan Ackerman, a man notorious for his surgeon-like skill with a deck of cards, has outdone himself by a remarkable performance of cosmetic surgery on "The Cannibal Cards." After months of smoothing out the wrinkles, Ackerman's Face-Lift is finally being released to the public, ready to be admired and exploited and positively commented upon.

ELFfEL^T - The close-up entertainer attempts a performance of mind reading by placing a prediction card between two Jacks. The first attempt results in the sandwiched prediction card changing into a spectator's selection. On the second and third attempts the prediction card vanishes! For the final effect an invisible prediction card placed between the two Jacks becomes visible, matching the spectator's selection.

Allan performs this routine very matter-of-factly - his attitude being one of forgetfulness as he tries to remember if the prediction card should be placed between the two Jacks face down, face up or somewhere in the deck.


A prediction card placed between two Jacks changes places with a spectator's selection placed in the deck.

¿TtLP ¿?NIE. - Openly place two Jacks face up onto the face-down deck which is held in left-hand dealing position. Place an indifferent card face down between the two Jacks. Spread the deck between your hands in order to have a card selected and noted by a spectator As you square the deck obtain a left-little finger break below the second card from the top of the deck.

5TE.P T\V/7 - Apparently place the spectator's selection face down into the center of the deck; actually place it into the deck's inner end below the break - third position from the top via Vernon/Marlo's Tilt move (FIG. 1).

Grip the two cards from above the break at their right sides between your right thumb (on top) and first and second fingers below. Pull this double to the right as one card as your left thumb pushes the two cards below it to the right. See FIG. 2.

Remove the top double, along with the facedown card jogged below it, off of the deck with your right fingers. Drop the single facedown card onto the table and replace the double below the face-up Jack on the deck. As a spectator turns the tabled card face up (to reveal its change into the selection), push the two single face-up Jacks onto the table.

Table the face-down deck to your left. The selected card is sandwiched face up between the two Jacks for safekeeping. The performer remarks that he's made a mistake and that the "prediction" card should have been positioned face down. The sandwiched card is caused to vanish, enabling the performer to start over.

5TE.P TJJR-LL - Place the selection face up between the two face-up Jacks and square the packet. Grasp the face-up packet from both sides with both hands, thumbs above, fingers below. Use your left fingers to slide the back card a quarter-inch to the left (FIG. 3).

The right fingers are now grasping the top two cards as one. Snap the left side of this double down against the right side of the single to show the selection has vanished. Continue by snapping the side of the double up against the single and then down again. Place the double below the single and square the cards.

5TE-P fO\M. - Turn the packet face down into your left hand. Grasp the packet from above by its ends with your right fingers. Slide the top card onto the left palm with your left thumb - leaving a double retained in your right fingers. Flash the face of this double to the audience, showing a Jack, then replace the double face down, squared onto the left-hand card.

As soon as the cards are square, use your left thumb to push the top card over to the right - once again displaying only two cards. As you square the packet from above with your right fingers, obtain a right-thumb break above the bottom two cards. The cards are now held from above by their ends exclusively by your right fingers.


Another prediction card is vanished while sandwiched between the two Jacks.

6TE-P FIVE. - Pick up the face-down deck with your left hand where it is held in dealing position. Push the top card of the deck to the right with your left thumb. Use the left side of the right-hand packet to lever this card face up onto the deck. This face-up card is your "new prediction card." As you lever the card back face down with your right-hand packet, secretly add the two cards from below the break onto the deck (FIG. 4).

Slide the new top card of the deck between your right first and second fingers (FIG. 5).

Table the deck to your left. Then grab the other single face-down card (supposedly two Jacks) by its ends from below with your palm-up left hand.

"prediction card" between the "two" Jacks in your left hand. Actually place the right-hand card below the single left-hand card. At your option you can now false count the two cards as three. The Snap Count from "Illusion" and the Two-as-Three Count from "Tap Dancing Aces" (see Index) are both excellent false counts.

Turn the two Jacks face up and show the prediction card to have vanished by the same snapping actions as before. As the vanish is executed say, "That's not right either - you should choose the prediction card yourself." (Perform vanish.)


An invisible prediction card placed between the two Jacks becomes visible - materializing to become the spectator's final selection. This phase makes use of Allan Ackerman's "Ackerman Varies Kelly" move from his book The Esoterist.

5TE.P 5C.N/E.NI - Place the two Jacks face up at the bottom of the face-down deck which is held in the left hand. Fan the cards, so that the two Jacks are visible, and remove an imaginary card from the fan - placing "it" between the two Jacks. You have thus made your invisible prediction. Close the fan, squaring the cards in the left hand. The "Ackerman Varies Kelly" move which follows will invisibly position a spectator's up-jogged selection between the two Jacks. This move cannot be surpassed for its pure magical effect. (For those of you who don't care to put in the four or five hours of practice necessary to perfect this sleight, an alternate, though less elegant, handling is included at the end of the routine.)

Riffle down the deck with your left thumb, asking the spectator to say stop. Remove the top portion where the spectator stopped at by grasping it from above between the thumb of the right hand at the center of the rear and by the second, third and fourth fingers in the front The forefinger is curled on top of the packet Show the selected card to the spectator and start to place it on top of the lower packet As you do this, the top half slides across the top of the left third finger, angle-jog-ging the selection (FIG. 6).

This sliding action continues only for about one quarter of an inch. Separate the halves again and pinch the second card from the bottom of the right-hand section with your left thumb and third finger - gliding the card out and up-jogging it. Bring the right-hand packet to rest over the left-hand packet (FIG. 7).

Notice that the angled selection is not resting on the left-hand packet. The right thumb presses down on this in-jogged card and pushes it down so it will clear the left-hand half of the deck. Both hands now push the halves flush. As you square up, buckle the bottom card with your left fingers to allow the selection to be positioned second from the bottom. You'll now have the selected card secretly sandwiched between the two Jacks at the face of the deck. The audience will believe the up-jogged card to be the selection.

•6TE.P □¿¡'J-lT - Obtain a break above the three bottom cards with your right thumb. Remove the cards from above the break with your right hand and table the deck to the right. Use your right fingers to slide the top two cards of the sandwich as one to the right. This displays two Jacks to the audience (FIG. 8).

Announce that you'll now make the invisible prediction visible. Use your right fingers to square the out-jogged card flush with the deck. As this card is squared use your left thumb to spread its cards - causing the invisible prediction to become visible. Direct a spectator to remove the sandwiched card where it is revealed to be the spectator's selection - which just a moment ago was seen out-jogged from the deck!


(in place of the "Ackerman varies Kelly" bottom replacement)

Give the face-down cards one complete cut. Execute a double lift, displaying the face card of the double. Replace the double face down onto the deck. Next, insert the top single facedown card out-jogged in the center of the deck. This out-jogged card is apparently the spectator's selection - while actually the top card of the deck is the spectator's card.

As you pick up the two face-up Jacks with your right fingers, obtain a left little-finger break under the top card of the deck. Square the two Jacks face up onto the deck and transfer the break (now below three cards) to your right thumb. Use your left thumb to drag the top card onto the deck as your left fingers place their two cards as one onto the right side of the dragged-off card below it. Remove an "invisible" prediction from the deck and place it between the two Jacks. Remove the three cards as two with your right fingers. As you square the out-jogged card with your left forefinger, your right fingers spread their cards to reveal the spectator's selection sandwiched face down between the two Jacks - the invisible prediction having become visible!

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