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After Hours Magic: A Book of Al Thatcher Card Magic

Encyclopedia of Card Tricks

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The three cards are held parallel with the table until the face-up card is clipped between the right fingers. At this point, raise the packet to eye level so that the face-up card is toward you - with the faces of the other two cards toward the audience. Keep the "top" and "bottom" cards as flat (unfolded) as possible until the link phase is actually started. The lower end of the bottom card (Two of Clubs) should be pressed between your thumbs and little fingers. This keeps the card flat and gives more stability to the link handling.

As you start to squeeze the sides of the top and bottom cards together for the link, tilt your hands slightly down towards the audience. The configuration of the cards will make it appear as though the three-card packet is being turned end over end, while, in fact, two of the cards are being secretly folded. Practice so that you can execute this secret fold in a smooth and easy fashion. The faster the two cards are folded, the greater the illusion of the two unfolded cards.

Remember—the slight downward tilt of the hands as the fold starts conceals the action.

From this point on, the two pinched-together folded cards will be referred to as "the fake." The creases on the two folded cards will be referred to as the "broken ends."

For a condensed version of The Immaculate Connection, skip on ahead to "The Tear," Step Forty-Four, otherwise continue to Step Twenty for the entire sequence.

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Get back into linked position (FIG. 19). Make sure the fake is held between your thumbs and middle fingers only. Look at FIG. 27. This is where we're going.

5TE.P LigJlLLN - Look at FIG. 19. This is where we're at. Tilt your hands down so that the backs of your hands are towards the table (FIG. 20).

6TE-P NMLTE-E.n1 - Use your index fingers to tilt the outer end of the fake up toward yourself forming an "L" with the fake. See FIG. 21. Note that the broken ends of the tilted-up card pivot against your middle fingertips.

from both your middle fingertips against the broken ends. Move your left thumb down to the position shown in FIG. 22, beneath the left side of the inner half. Move your left index fingertip on top of the inner end as in FIG. 23. Tilt your hands slightly so that the fake is in a true "V" formation. Note that the broken ends (still pressed against the middle fingertips) are now toward the table.

broken ends together between your left thumb and left middle fingertip as in FIG. 24 (an "exposed" view). Your left index finger stays sandwiched inside the V, keeping the V from folding flat. As the two left broken ends are squeezed together, slightly raise your left index finger so that your left thumb and middle fingertip can get a good grip on the two left broken ends. Your right middle fingertip still supports and "covers" the two right broken broken ends. Your right middle fingertip still supports and "covers" the two right broken

index finger down against your left thumb. The pressure will cause the inner-right broken end (the one on "your" side) to press against the outer right end. Nudge the single linked card with your right thumb as in FIG. 25, so that it hangs from the right side of the V. The constant pressure from your left index finger and thumb keeps the right broken ends pressed against each other—preventing the hanging card from falling through.

middle fingertip down a tiny bit away from the right ends. If you feel the hanging card start to drop through, put your right middle fingertip back up against the right broken ends. Then produce greater pressure on the right broken ends by sliding your left index finger more over to the left of its white border. See FIG. 26 (right hand removed for clarity). Pressure applied at this point will "lock" the two broken

6TELP TW/ELI^TY-F^UR. - Move your right hand (and middle fingertip) away from the cards - letting the linked card hang free (FIG. 27).

index finger through the center of the hanging card (FIG. 28), being sure not to touch any part of the card. Blow a strong sharp puff of air through the top of the "V" directly onto the top of the hanging card. If you blow with enough force, the hanging card will unlink itself and drop onto your extended index finger (FIG. 29). Allow the fingered card to slide face-down onto the table so that one of its long sides is toward you as in FIG. 30.

Take a break, shake out your hands, then take a look at the following few fine points.

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Get the fake back into "V" formation as in FIG. 27. For the "V" to be properly deceptive, the inner broken end must be a little higher up than the outer broken end. This overlap conceals the right broken ends from the front, and gives you an added margin of safety in case the ends shift during the "Blow-Through" penetration.

Ideally, the right broken end should spring into this position as the right middle fingertip is removed from the broken ends (Step 26). But, chances are that at first it might do just the opposite, the inner broken end extending beyond the outer broken end.

The inner broken end can easily be adjusted to its proper position with your right thumb and a little "pressure" help from your left index finger and thumb. You'll find yourself making this adjustment automatically as the V is formed after a bit of practice.

After you stick your index finger through the center of the hanging card, freeze all movement of your hands and cards just before the "Blow-Through." This "stop-action" focuses all attention on the linked card and points out that the linked card is actually blown through and not pulled down by your index finger.

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