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Make a magic gesture and do an Ascanio Spread, showing a face-up heart and diamond. Do not strip out die block diis time. Instead, square the cards, then deal the top two cards (the face-up red aces) onto the table.

You apparently hold two cards, both double-backers. Actually, you hold four cards: face-down spade, face-down club and two double-backers (both blue-side up).

Hold die packet in die left hand. Obtain a left litde-finger break below the top two cards. The right hand then performs a Double Lift, taking die two cards above the break, gripped at the centers of the long edges in readiness for a Sleeve Change.

To "print" the ace of clubs, perform die change, snapping the double card over as it is rubbed on the left sleeve. Place the double card on top of the left-hand double, obtaining a left little-finger break beneath it.

Now, to print the ace of spades, perform a Paintbrush Change: The right hand grasps the two cards above the break and pulls them back into die injogged position shown in figure 28. The right diumh braces the drawn-back double at the inner end; the right fingers rest on top of the double. The left forefinger braces die outer edge of the rest of the packet.

The right hand slides its double card forward until it is aligned with the lower cards. You will know this instant they are, thanks to the bracing finger and diumb at die ends. The moment die cards are square, the right fingers draw back the top card, again injogging it for about half its length. It appears as if the spade has been instandy printed.

The right hand removes the injogged face-up ace of clubs and apparently replaces it below the ace of spades. In fact, die left fingers do a Pull-Down or Buckle on die lowermost card of the packet, opening a break at the inner end, into which the right hand's card is inserted.

You can now fan die four-card packet. Due to the roughing, die cards will spread as two black aces. Hold this fan of two double cards in your left hand. The right hand picks up the red aces from the table.

Rotate the hands to reveal the unexpected color change of the backs of the cards from blue to red. If you prefer, you can make each back a different color at die finish.

Jumping Bean Aces

This is a simple version of the Four-Ace Assembly, styled after Elmsley's "1002ndAces," with kickers added. It first appeared in Scattershot.

At die start of die routine there is a five-card stack on top of die deck: the kings of spades, hearts, diamonds and clubs, followed by the joker.

To perform, begin by turning the pack face-up and openly removing the lour aces. These are arranged in order from the face: spades, clubs, hearts, diamonds. Place the aces face-up on top of the face-down deck. The I lartman Secret Subtraction technique is now used: Spread the top stock of the deck, obtaining a break beneath the sixth card from the top (king of hearts). Square the cards. Then, with the right hand, remove the block of six cards above the break, holding diem in Biddle Grip.

The left thumb pulls the top card of the packet (the ace of spades) onto the deck. The packet is used to Hip the ace face-down. The right hand picks up the ace of spades beneath its cards, getting a break widi the right thumb between this ace and the rest of the packet. Rotate the right hand to flash the face of the ace of spades on the bottom of the packet as the hands separate.

Repeat this entire process with die next card (die ace of clubs). When die hands come back together to flip over the third card (die ace of hearts), the right thumb drops die aces of spades and clubs back onto the deck. This unloading action is screened by the left thumb drawing off the ace of hearts. The ace of hearts is levered over, taken beneath the packet and flashed as with die previous aces. Repeat the procedure with the ace of diamonds.

The right hand's packet now consists of four cards, in order from the face: ace of diamonds, ace of hearts, king of hearts, king of spades.

The left hand tables die pack. The four-card packet is turned faceup and the card at the face (the ace of diamonds) is dealt onto the table, face-down. The ace of hearts is now seen at the face of die packet, silent "proof' that the packet contains all aces.

Flip the packet face-down and deal the three cards into a row from left to right above die first card, forming a standard T-formation.

State that you will deal three indifferent cards onto the "leader" ace in the first position. Pick up the deck and deal the top three cards facedown onto the ace of diamonds. As you do this, flash die face of the last card dealt (the king of diamonds). You can use this final card to square the packet, overdy flashing the king as you comment, "Neatness counts!"

Explain that you must locate the joker, which will serve as a magic wand. Give the deck some false cuts, then do a Double Turnover to show that you have located the joker. Flip the double card face-down and remove the top card (supposedly the joker just seen, but really the king of clubs). Table the pack.

With the face-down card, tap the tabled row of three supposed aces. Then use the held card to flip over the card at the left end of the row. That "ace" has changed into the king of spades.

Use the face-down card to flip over die center card, revealing the king of hearts.

Now use a Mexican Turnover to show the king of clubs at the right end of the row. In brief: The left fingers rest on top of die tabled card, bracing it to allow the right hand to slip its card underneath. The right hand's card is slid to the left, until the cards come into alignment, as in figure 29. Now the right thumb presses down on the back of the upper card. The right hand moves upward, and the right fingers push die lower card slightly to the left, allowing die left fingers to gain contact with it. The action continues, the right hand moving upward with the upper card, the right fingers causing the lower card to lever over to the left,

pivoting against the left fingers, as in figure 30. In this fashion the two cards are switched. The king of clubs is face-up on the table; the facedown card in your hand is die ace of hearts.

Use the face-down card to flip over the four-card leader pile. Here, a Mexican Turnover variant is used: The right hand slides the face-down card under die four-card packet. As the packet begins to turn over, the right fingers release die ace of hearts. The right thumb grips the top card of the packet, while the right fingertips flip the four aces face-up; and the right hand comes away with the king of diamonds, face-down.

Spread the four aces. Gesture toward the row of three kings and say that the joker will do one more trick: to make everything complete, it will change into the fourth king. Snap over the card in your hand to show that it is now the king of diamonds. Place it below die ace spread for an attractive layout to conclude.

Immediate Aces

This is another simple version of the Four-Ace Assembly, first published in the July, 1978 issue of Pabular. Eight cards are used (although the audience is aware of only seven): the four aces, plus the black eighLs and nines. Start with the cards in order from the face: ace, ace, black, ace, ace, black, black, black.

Hold the cards face-down. Fan out the top seven cards (holding the last two squared as one). Say, "Some playing cards are different from others." Square up the packet and deal the top three cards to the table as you comment, "These cards are not very important."

Flip the remaining cards face-up and do an Ascanio Spread, displaying four aces, as you say, "These four cards are important; they arc the four aces. Please remember that." Square the cards and, as you do so, obtain a left little-finger break above the lowermost pair.

Pick up the three tabled cards. Turn them face-up and place them onto the left-hand stock. "The reason that these three cards are not important is that they are only used for contrast with the aces. You do not have to remember their values, only that they are black spot cards."

During this explanation, you display die diree black cards, with the following switch-out technique: The right hand grasps the block of six cards above the break, holding the cards in Riddle Grip. Then the hands separate. As they do, the left thumb presses down upon the face card, so that diis card is retained on top of die packet; and the right hand moves off to the right, holding a block of five cards. The left little finger catches a break beneath the retained black card as it is drawn onto the packet.

The hands come together. The left thumb draws the top card of the right-hand stock onto the left-hand stock. Now die right hand's card

(really lour cards held as one) is placed on cop of all. You have apparently just counted three black cards onto the left-hand stock.

The hands come together again, in the same manner as before. Again, the hands separate. The left thumb presses down upon die top card of the packet, so that this card is retained on top of the left-hand stock, as the right hand moves to the right, taking away all of die other cards above the break. At this moment the left hand has a stock of three cards, in order from die face: black, ace, ace. The right hand holds five cards: ace, ace, black, black, black. The audience will believe diat die left hand holds the three black cards and the right hand holds the four aces.

Move your left hand to the right (passing beneath die right arm). The left hand turns palm-down and places its three cards onto the table, spreading them into a face-down row, as you say, "I will place the black cards over here."

The right hand places its packet into the left hand. With the right hand, remove the top ace and use it to gesture at the center of die table as you say, "I will deal the aces into an orderly formation here." During this action, a second ace will show on the packet. This reinforces die idea that you are holding die four aces. Replace die right hand's ace onto the left-hand packet.

Flip the packet face-down, holding it in the left hand. Deal the top card to die table, at the upper left. Deal the next card to the right of the first. Deal the third card to the right of that. There are now two cards in the left hand. The right hand takes diis pair, squared as one, into Biddle Grip. Rotate the hand to display the face of the double card (an ace), saying, "This ace will be the leader." Turn the hand palm-down. Place the two cards, still squared as one, on the table, beneath the row of (supposed) aces.

As the right hand puts its double card down, die left hand reaches over to pick up the spread group of (supposed) black cards diat was put off to the right earlier. The left hand crosses over the right hand, screening the spectators' view of the tabled double card. (This ensures that the audience will not see the double edge of that card.)

The left hand squares the three spread cards, grasping them from above by the ends. Rotate the hand palm-up, briefly displaying die black card at die face of this packet. Then turn the hand palm-down again and drop die packet onto the leader ace (the squared pair).

"The idea now is to cause each of these aces to switch places with the black cards, one at a time. Would that be a good trick?" The audience will agree that it would. Respond, "Yes, but much too slow. I'll do it all instantly!"

Snap your fingers, then pick up the pile of live cards in the leader position. Flip the packet face-up and do an Ascanio Spread to display four aces. The right hand removes the double card (a black card hidden behind an ace). Drop this pair straight down onto the table; done properly, the cards will not separate. Deal the other three aces onto the first, screening the front edge of the double card.

Turn over the three cards in the row above the leader position. They are black spot cards.

Relative Interchange

This transposition routine was inspired by Stewart Judah's "Aces & Jacks"; however, this is far more elaborate. A slightly simplified version was published in the Winter, 1976 Pallbearers Review Folio, and the complete handling appeared in my 1977 booklet, Scattershot. There have been many similar effects in print, but I think you will find this one to be interesting in its construction, as each phase sets up the next.

Eight cards are used: the ace, deuce, three and four of clubs, and the red eights and nines. At the start of the routine, these are in order from the face: ace, deuce, trey, four, red, red, red, red.

Hold the packet face-up and spread it, calling attention to the cards involved. Square the packet and, as you do so, obtain a left litdc-finger break below the fifth card from the face. The right hand removes the cards above the break, holding them in Biddlc Grip. Use the right-hand block to flip the left-hand stock face-down.

Display die right hand's cards one at a time, in this manner: The left thumb draws the top card of the right-hand group (the ace) onto the left-hand stock. The right-hand packet is used to flip diis card face-down. The deuce is drawn onto the left-hand stock and flipped face-down. The trey is taken onto the left-hand stock and flipped face-down. Now the two cards in the right hand (a red card hidden behind the four) are held squared as one and flipped face-down onto the left-hand stock. The order of the cards is nowr, from the top of the face-down packet: red, four, trey, deuce, ace, red, red, red.

Deal the top four cards into a face-down row, moving from right to left, and reciting, "Four, three, two, ace," as you do so.

For ease in description, assume there are eight positions on the table, as in figure 31. At the finish of the deal, the deuce is in position A, the

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