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The piece of paper will now be hidden from view stuck to your right forefinger. Direct attention to your left thumb (which is believed to cover the tear) at the same time allowing your right hand to drop to your side. As you slowly remove your left thumb from the card to reveal its restoration, casually hook your right forefinger over the top of your back pocket - leaving you in a most convenient position to ditch the unwanted piece of paper. Toss the card out for examination, requesting your audience to find the mark.

Looy receives credit for the ingenious fingertip steal of the paper.

Ñ¿?TE_ - It is possible to peel off a larger section of card - I'll leave it to you to develop your own technique for adding and stealing the extra piece.

* I like this best for peeling a borrowed business card.

* Chocolate Coin (see Index) is a high concept/low overhead use of the peeler-principle.

"A Subtle Poker Move" is not a move, nor is A-\ it subtle. The effect, however, is so outrageous that your audience will allow the discrepancy to pass.

E-FFELCT - The self-assured close-up entertainer is about to go into his favorite "if-l-were-really-this-good-I'd-be-rich" gambling demonstration - when a self-assured close-up spectator demands to shuffle the deck. The blood drains from the close-up entertainer's not-so-assured face as he watches his precious fifty-two card stack become more random by the moment. There are two ways to play it: He can confess that he's no longer interested in the pointless confrontation of egos, or he can whip the spectator's butt with "A Subtle Poker Move" and fake his way to glory once again.

The performer fairly deals out five cards to himself and five cards to a spectator. The performer picks up his cards and says, "I think I've got you beat." He then spreads out his poker hand to reveal over fifteen cards - enough to give him a substantial edge over his opponent. The deck is shuffled and another round is dealt. This time you've cracked his cookies for real and actually display a killer hand.

PE_R.F0l2.IV|AtslCE- - The two moves required, while exceedingly bold, are eminently practical when employed in the context of this routine.

5TE-P - Hold the shuffled deck face down in left-hand dealing position. Deal out two poker hands of five cards each, one to yourself and one to the spectator. Pick up your five cards in one face-down packet from the right side between your right thumb (on top) and forefinger. Direct the spectator to pick up her cards and look them over.

.STE-P T\V<? - As the spectator's attention goes to her cards, pull down the bottom one-third of the deck with your left little finger at the inner right corner of the deck. Keeping your left hand in position, take all the cards above the break onto the face of your right-hand packet (FIG. 1).

In a continuing action, the right hand tables its cards to the right (FIG. 2).

This handling of the "Jinx Change," when viewed by a casual observer, appears as an innocent action. The packet remaining in your left hand will be thought to be the five cards that you dealt to yourself. No one ever believes these kinds of descriptions. So one day you just take the leap, and mess it up a few times until the obvious becomes apparent.

5TE.P TLlE.Lt - Make a wide spread of the cards between your hands (FIG. 3) as you make the remark, "I think I've got you beat." Your spectator will have to be an awfully jaded poker player not to laugh at the hand you're now displaying.

5TLP fOUZ - As you display the big hand, quickly cull the best hand of five to the face of your packet. Turn the packet face down and gather all the cards back together, putting your packet at the bottom of the pack.

±>TLP HVL - Shuffle the deck semi-legiti-mately as you retain the bottom five cards. Spread the deck and ask if it looked fair. As you re-square, get a little-finger break above the bottom five cards.

.6TLP 5IX - Deal out two hands again, (be fair) and do the same Jinx Change as before this time switching five for five. Say "I call, what do you have?" Comment on the spectator's cards, then show your hot hand.

For a more subtle poker move in a real game - Hold your cards so the player next to you can sneak a peek at your hand - and as he peeks, casually do an Elmsley Count - so that your pair looks like a three of a kind, or your four-card flush looks like the real McCoy. The peeker will either fold his "weaker" hand, or stay in the game - in which case you'll know to fold. If your illusionary hand creates a "five-Ace deck" just play innocent. There's no law against Elmsley counting your own cards -it's the other player who was trying to gain an illegal advantage.

lackjack Challenge" is a monster routine. It's the kind of thing you do when you're tired of playing Mr. Nice Guy and have decided to transform yourself into a part-time national hero. "Blackjack Challenge" is your basic "superhuman-riverboat-gambler-with-a-heart-of-gold" routine - the type of sequence that exhibits qualities inherent in your typical close-up entertainer.

This is actually three independent Blackjack routines strung together to form one marathon event. The mechanics of this routine are quite simple. The real challenge lies in committing the thing to memory.

6ELTUP - This is nothing serious, just twelve cards which can be openly arranged as you toy with the deck (ha-ha).

Start by removing all the Aces and Jacks from the deck. You'll also need the Ten, Queen and King of one suit (say Clubs) and one indifferent card. Place the Ten, Queen, King (in any order) face down on top of the deck. On top of these place an Ace, Jack, Ace sequence face up followed by a face-down indifferent card. Next place Jack, Ace, Jack face down, followed by the remaining Jack, Ace, which is placed face down - the Jack on top. If you were to now spread the deck face up, it would appear sort of like FIG. 1.

E-FF^-CT - A spectator cuts the deck and finds that she's cut to a Blackjack (Ace, Jack). The dashing performer then locates the remaining three Blackjacks in an entertaining yet educational fashion. The Aces are then openly separated from the Jacks. One snap from the performer's skillful fingers causes the eight cards to instantly transpose - once again producing four Blackjacks. Three of the Jacks are discarded, leaving the performer with a poker hand consisting of four Aces and one Jack. Without a false move, the five cards magically transform themselves into a Royal Flush!

¿TELP (anrii^ F^E e>LAC\t-JACkl6) - Give the face-down deck any combination of shuffles and/or cuts that leaves the top stock intact. Or if you prefer, you can simply ask your audience to trust you. Double undercut the top two cards to the face of the pack. Place the deck face down on the table in preparation for that ever-so-friendly "cross-cut force." Since the cards are always cut after the shuffle, you direct a spectator to cut the cards. Pick up the original bottom half and lean it against the remaining half (FIG. 2).

Chat for a few moments, then without disturbing the two packets, remove the two "freely selected" center cards with your right and left fingers (FIG. 3). (The right fingers remove the card from the lower packet as the left fingers remove the bottom card from the upper packet.) Place the Blackjack face up onto the table with the Jack to the right.

5TLP TW/<? - As you square the crossed deck on the table, obtain a break with your left thumb between the upper and lower packets. Double undercut (on the table) the cards below the break to the top with your right fingers. (Be sure not to cut into the reversed cards.) Immediately following the undercuts, execute a slip-cut so that the top card of the deck ends up on the lower half of the pack - which is cut to the right. As the cut is performed, swivel the front end of both packets away from each other so they stop directly behind the two tabled cards (FIG. 4).

At this point your hands are still in contact with the cards. The fingers of both hands grasp the top card of their respective packets, snapping the two cards face up and revealing a second Blackjack. Drop the Ace onto the tabled Jack and the Jack onto the tabled Ace.

6TE-P TJ-II2.ELEL - Riffle-shuffle the two tabled packets together so that the top stack of the left-hand packet (seven cards) and the bottom stack of the right-hand packet (one card) remain undisturbed - except, during this shuffle, allow the top card of the right-hand packet to fall onto the top stack of the left-hand packet. Square the deck, then execute a complete slip-cut (burying the extra card) as an added convincer to the shuffle sequence.

6TE.P F^UR. - Slide the right-hand tabled Ace to the right of its Jack - and slide the left-hand Jack to the left of its Ace. This leaves a face-up display of four cards: Jack-Ace-Jack-Ace. Hold the deck face down in your left hand. Place your left thumb under the deck. Lever the face card of the deck over the left side of the deck so that it arrives face up on top (FIG. 5). The Jack should just snap into view, making an instant appearance. Deal this Jack face up onto the right-hand tabled Ace.

6TE-P FlVt. - Double undercut the top card of the deck to the bottom, leaving a face-up Ace on top. Table the deck and grasp it from above with both hands by the sides (FIG. 6).

Slip-cut the deck as in FIG. 7. The right fingers take the lower half of the deck along with the Ace, revealing a face-up Jack on the left-hand portion. Using your right forefinger, push the Ace off the end of the right-hand packet and onto the tabled Jack second from the right (FIG. 8).

5TE.P -5IX - Place the left-hand packet onto the right-hand packet. This leaves the face-up Jack on top. Repeat the slip-cut as before to reveal the fourth Ace face up on the left-hand packet. The right forefinger then pushes its face-up Jack off onto the tabled Ace third from the right, while your left forefinger pushes its Ace off onto the tabled Jack at the left. The left-hand packet (with Ten, Queen, King on top) is placed onto the right-hand packet.

The entire deck is now tabled face down to the left of the four Blackjacks - thus ending the "cutting for Blackjacks" sequence (FIG. 9).

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Openly separate the Aces from the Jacks. The Jacks, which should alternate in color, are placed face up onto the face-up Aces (which should also alternate colors). The following move will secretly displace two cards undercover of openly counting through the Aces and Jacks. Hold the face-up packet by its ends from above (Biddle Grip) with your right hand. Slide off the first Jack with your left thumb into your left hand.

As your left thumb slides the next Jack onto the first Jack, obtain a left little-finger break between the two cards. Slide the third Jack off the face of the right-hand packet onto the two left-hand Jacks. As the fourth Jack is slid onto the left-hand cards, secretly add the two cards above the break to the back of the right-hand packet. Without breaking your rhythm, continue to reverse count the four Aces onto the face of the left-hand Jacks. As the Aces are transferred, their indexes should be visible. The last Ace, which conceals two Jacks, is placed on the face of the left-hand spread (FIG. 10).

6TE-P E.li^JJT - Square the spread, then turn the packet face down into your left hand. Your audience will believe the four Jacks to be on top and four Aces at the face.

The following actions will separate the eight cards into four pairs, showing four Aces as the first two pairs and four Jacks as the second two. (Actually, the four pairs will consist of four Blackjacks.)

Spread the top four face-down cards into the right hand (which holds the cards from above), leaving the remaining four cards squared in the left hand. Push the top card of your left-hand packet to the right. Tilt your left hand up to show the two Aces as in FIG. 11.

Turn your hand back down and push the top face-down Ace onto the table immediately followed by the next card which is pushed off face down onto the tabled card. Lay the remaining two cards face down to the left of the other two in a spread condition (without changing their order) as in FIG. 12.

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When done properly, this handling will convince your audience that four Aces are on the table. While performing the maneuver, comment: "Four Aces are fine for poker, but when divided up into two Blackjack hands they aren't worth very much."

6TE.P NllNlE. - Your right hand should still be holding its four face-down cards (two Jacks, two Aces) from above by their ends. Reverse count the cards into your left hand as follows: Slide off the top card with your left thumb into your left hand. As the second card is pulled off, obtain a left little-finger break below it. As the third card is pulled onto the left hand, secretly add the one card above the break to the face of the right-hand card. Obtain a left little-finger break under the right-hand double as it is placed onto the left-hand cards. During this reverse count, comment: "No matter how I arrange these cards, the best I'll be able to come up with is two hands of twenty."

5TE-P TE-hJ - Turn the top two cards face up as one (easy because of the break). Return the card face down onto the packet, then slide the top card face down onto the table to the right of the two tabled pairs. Grasp the packet from above with your right hand as your left thumb slides the top card off into its hand. As the two cards from your right hand are placed onto the left-hand card, obtain a left little-finger break above the bottom card. Execute another double-lift, showing a second Jack.

Return the double face down to the top of the packet, then deal the top card off with your left thumb to the right of the other single tabled card. Reverse count the remaining two cards in your hands. Remove the top card with your right fingers, show it to be the third Jack, then place it face down onto the single tabled card second from the right end. Show the last Jack and place it face down onto the remaining single card at the right.

Make a mystic gesture over the four pairs of cards, then turn each pair face up, showing their transformation into four Blackjacks (FIG. 13).

5TLP LLLVLM (R.tfYAL frLACI^JAClO -Pick up the Jack of Clubs (or whatever suit your Royal is in) and use it to scoop up the Ace of Clubs Scoop the other three Aces on top of this Ace, followed by the remaining three Jacks (from back to face: Jack of Clubs, Ace of Clubs. Ace. Ace. Ace, Jack, Jack, Jack). Square the cards and drop them face up onto the face-down deck Comment: "If I wanted to trade these Blackjacks in for a poker hand, I'd have to get rid of three of my cards"

5TELP T\VG1_\/E_ - Pick the deck up in your left hand and spread the cards into your right hand, displaying the eight cards. Obtain a left little-finger break below the third face-down card (the eleventh card from the top) as you square the deck (FIG. 14).

With your hand from above, grasp the cards above the break by the ends. Pull this packet to the right as your left thumb drags the top Jack off onto the deck. Lever this Jack face down onto the deck with the left side of the right-hand packet. Lever two more Jacks face down onto the deck in the same manner. Table the deck face up to your right.

6TE.P TLIIE.TLLH - Transfer the face-up packet to your left hand. To show that you now have a five-card poker hand consisting of four Aces and one Jack, push each face-up card to the right and place it face down to the back of the packet. Do this until you run out of face-up cards. (The extra thickness of the packet is concealed by your left forefinger.)

6TE-P r^UR-TLLN - To produce the Royal Flush, hold the packet face up from above with your right fingers and execute the Ascanio Spread as follows: Place the pads of your left fingers against the back of the packet. The back card is held in position as the rest of the packet is moved down about an inch and a half. Press your left thumb onto the face card of the packet (Jack of Clubs) as your right fingers move the group of cards below it up and to the right (FIG. 15).

Hold the new back card of the packet in place with your left third finger as your right fingers move the rest of the packet down and to the right. To show the fifth and final card of the Royal Flush, press against the back card of the packet with your left little finger as your right fingers slide the remaining five-card packet as one to the right (FIG. 16).

In a continuing action, your right fingers remove the packet (as one card) and place it face up onto the face of the tabled deck. Place the remaining four cards onto the face of the pack one at a time in a similar manner (FIG. 17).

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