Described by Michael Ammar

E-ITE-CT - Over and over you prove your ability to cause cards to vanish and reappear at will. First you prove it by having them appear under a spectators seat, and then you repeat it. Finally, the spectator becomes the astonish-er, as she performs the effect for you!

COMMENTS - This is more than a cards-across routine, it is a showpiece structured to maximize audience interaction while retaining the clarity of the effect. If you entertain with magic, consider these things:

(1) There are no special props required, and it can be done immediately with a borrowed deck.

(2) The setup takes about one second.

(3) Technical demands are minimal, but the entertainment value is very high.

(4) It is angle-proof, packs small, but plays very big.

This presentation and handling can work "as is" for groups of five to groups of 300 or more. No wonder Paul depends heavily on this, and alternates closing his show between this and "Whack Your Pack" for the last 12 years!

PRESENTATION - "I'm going to teach you how they count cards in Las Vegas. They have a method guaranteed to prevent cheating. I don't know if you'll ever have a need for this talent, but you never know...

"Will you hold out your hand? Place your thumb on top, exactly like this. With your other hand, take the top card, turn it upside down, and place it on the bottom like this. Repeat that for number two. Continue until all the cards are counted. Ten? Fine. That's the fairest of the Las Vegas counts, so keep the cards away from me. In fact, I'd like you to sit on those ten cards. You've just made ten cards very happy.

"I'm going to give you three cards, by magic. And I'll do this without leaving any marks, bruises, or tattoos. Well, maybe one little tattoo as a keepsake...

"First. I'll warm up my hand to your body temperature, to show I am sensitive to your feelings. Watch as the card leaves my hand, dives down your blouse, taking the scenic hillside route, and joins his friend under your seat, on top of your seat. Do you feel a tiny bit taller? Just a little?

"We'll try again with card number two. Watch, it vanishes from my hand. Finally, card number three, the Two of Hearts, touches the deck, and fades away. I had three cards; you had ten. Take them out and count them onto the table. 1, 2, 3. 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9,10,11,12, and 13. And look, the Two of Hearts is still warm!

"We'll do it againl Hold them against your chest. Do you feel your heart beating? Thump, thump, thump. If I can tune the deck to your heartbeat, I can do it once more. Let me try. Thump, Thump... a little flutter there... Thump. Look! You'll notice that the deck is three cards thinner! Count your cards again. Sixteen! Wow!

"Now it's your turn. I'll take the sixteen, you take the deck. Just shake it towards me three times. That's enough! We had sixteen when we started, but now (counting one at a time, out loud, until...) 26, 27. 28, 29! Well, you've obviously done this before, you're GOOD!"

PR.OCLPUR.L6 - This is beautifully structured, from the beginning - where she counts them herself, before sitting on them, to the repeat (set up undercover of a gag), to the very end, when the spectator gets to perform the effect for you. At almost every point, you seem to be only a conductor of the events, with little or no chance for dirty work.


5TE-P ONE. - Begin with the deck face up, and reverse the bottom three cards (FIG. 1).

You can go into this with a random number of cards, if you like, or you can seem to revolve it around ten cards to start with. (Paul sometimes just cuts about thirteen total cards from the bottom, not really concerning himself with the actual number. Other times he makes a point of seeming to thumb off ten into his left hand. To do this, the left hand comes under the deck, so the left thumb can pull cards from the face of the deck (FIG. 2).

left little finger gets a break above the three bottom face-down cards (FIGS. 3, 4).
the face-down ones pulled from the bottom of the deck. Repeat this until you've counted ten cards onto the face-down three.

5TE-P ~[\J0 - The most important factor in this routine is control. At all times, without seeming to, you must be in total control of the spectators every movement - from the way she holds the cards, to the way she takes them from the packet, to the way she counts them. Hand the cards (apparently ten but actually thirteen) to the spectator. Have her hold them in her left hand, clipped between the thumb and index finger as in FIG. 5.

Take the deck into your own hand, as you illustrate exactly how she is to count her cards. FIGS. 6 and 7 show how you take the top card with the right hand, turn it over, and place it face down on the bottom of your pack. Since her packet is clipped by the thumb, the fingers are out of the way for this. She continues counting this way until she runs into the first face-down card. At this point she and the other spectators should be completely convinced she is holding only ten cards, which she then sits on.

6TE-P TIJR.E.E. - You'll now seem to take three cards from the top of the deck, so that you may pass them magically to the spectator. Actually, you only take two from the deck, which makes the vanish of the first card quite easy! There is a special way to false count them from the deck, and a quick reproving count for the 'three' cards follows this. FIGS. 8 - 12 show these two counts.

For the false count from the deck, the left thumb pushes the top card of the deck into the right hand. The right hand takes it deep into the thumb crotch, pinched between the thumb and base of the right index finger. Flick the right hand away from the pack, taking the card, and counting "one" (FIGS. 8, 9).

ing to the same position shown in FIG. 8. The card first counted goes beneath the left fingers, so the next card can apparently be taken into the right thumb crotch. However, just as the right hand begins to flick away as in FIG. 9, the left thumb pulls the top card back onto the deck. "Two." Once again, the right hand swings back as in FIG. 8, as the left thumb fairly pushes off the top card to be taken and counted as "Three." The most important factors here are rhythm and uniformity of action.

After setting the deck aside, Paul quickly recounts the two cards as three. This is very simple, but it does add to the deception, and when done smoothly, goes completely unquestioned. Hold the cards by their lower left corner in the left hand. You will count them into the right hand just as you took them from the deck. FIG. 10 shows how the right hand has 'flicked' away with the first card (so it makes a snap sound off the other card).

In FIGS. 11 and 12, we see the key moment in this count. As the right hand swings back, the card counted first goes underneath the one remaining in the left hand. In one movement, the left hand retakes the card from the right hand, as the right hand 'flicks' away with the current top card for a second snap. Finally, Paul has a 'touch' when counting the third card. The right hand swings back to take the third card, and as the left hand releases it, your left fingers flick upwards on the lower left corner to count "Three" so all three cards are seen and

5TE-P FOUR. - For the vanish of the first two cards, Paul uses the Venezuela Vanish (from P.H. Invisible Palm, see Index). First one card goes, as you very plainly reveal you have only two cards left. (Needless to say, this can be a very clean vanish!) Repeat the Venezuela Vanish, ending up by snapping the double to 'prove' its singularity. To complete the first phase, you'll use the "Fade Away Vanish" by Allan Ackerman. Show the double card, which \Vie spec\a\ovs aye suve is bu\ a smg\e, as m

the double onto the deck, then immediately show the top card as indifferent. (At first, you might think this to be too simple or obvious, but I think this is where Ackerman shows his genius.)

PJJA6E T\\lO 6TELP p\/E. - FIG. 14 shows how the left thumb gets a break under the top three cards as the top card is shown, in preparation for the second phase. Replace the indifferent card on the bottom of the deck, as you ask the spectator to count her cards. As she does, palm the top three cards in the right hand. You'll have all the time and cover you'll ever need as she counts the cards. In fact, you might need extra cover for the time you'll be holding out those three palmed cards, so hold onto the deck as in FIG. 15 as she counts.

As soon as she finishes counting, and before she has time to really react, add the palmed cards onto those counted undercover of sliding off a single card. The left hand takes the deck from the right, as the right moves to the tabled cards. (You add the two cards and open your fingers to slide off a card at the same instant.) You won't want to place the right palm flat onto the tabled cards since that would be an unnatural way to pick up a single card. FIGS. 16 and 17 show how you drag off and turn over the top card with the base of the right middle finger. Turn this card over, showing it to be the card just dropped onto the deck seconds ago. What seems like a joke, "...And the Two of Spades is still warm!," is actually a confirmation of the effect, while setting up for another phase!

óTE-P 5IX - Have her retake the cards, holding them against her chest. Paul acts as if he is tuning the deck to her heart, then riffles the pack each time he goes "Thump, Thump" Pause an extra beat between the second and third riffle as you say, "a little flutter there Thump." This is great for a laugh. Have her recount the cards to show 16.

pjJase. tjJe.ee.

•STE-P ÓE-VE-N - Now give her the deck as you take the tabled 16 cards. Move very fairly now, since you are clean and have nothing to hide. Have her riffle or shake the deck at you three times, and then begin counting the cards you have. As you do, try to false count every other card (using the false count explained in Las Vegas Leaper). As you count past 20 and on towards 30, the effect becomes clear, as the audience reacts and you say "You're GOOD!" to end.

pjJootNote - I have de-evolved to the point where I will now often do the remarkably easier vanish of the first three cards as described in the original Las Vegas Leaper (see Index).

C0MME-NT6 - Michael Skinner taught Paul the Francis Carlyle False Count years ago, and the handling has evolved slightly over the last decade. I've watched Paul false count cards this way many, many times, and I still can't tell when it happens and when it doesn't. Go about it confidently, yet naturally, and you'll have a utility false count that will always do its job.

The first card is taken between the right index finger and thumb. Take the second card between the back of the right index finger and middle finger (FIG. 1).

A micro-instant before the second card clears the deck, your right index finger flicks out from between the two cards...as the right middle finger moves up to take its place, so the two cards are now pinched between your right thumb and index finger (FIG. 2). (The back of the nail of your right index finger creates an audible "snap" as it flicks out from between the two cards. The sharp snapping sound audibly confirms the count, while the flicking index finger sends a visual cue.) As the card is snapped off, allow the forward momentum to naturally tilt both hands down and away from each other. This creates a natural sway-action that will later neutralize the action when you false count.

Note that the left thumb always stays flat on top of the deck. As soon as the right fingers take the card, the left thumb instantly slides back to its original position at the upper left corner of the packet. This movement of your left thumb should blend with the natural downward sway of the left hand.

Immediately after snapping the right index finger out from between the two cards, allow the hands to tilt up and gently rock towards each other again, in order to take another card, where your right index finger again changes positions with the middle finger, so the right hand cards are again pinched between your right index finger and thumb (FIG. 3).

Now for a false count: The left thumb has pushed over the top card, where it's taken between your right index finger and middle finger. Note how the right-hand cards cover most of your left thumb.

An exposed view of the third card as it goes between the right index and middle fingers. This shows the action an instant before the left thumb pulls the third card back onto its packet (FIG. 5).

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