Bottom beai

Part Strike and part Pushoff, this Bottom Deal is invisible in Steve's hands. It takes well-known techniques and combines them in a slightly offbeat way. (It should be noted that Steve is not the first person to make this combination.) Like all of the most difficult card sleights (such as Passes and other forms of false dealing), the method you choose for the Bottom Deal should be based entirely on what suits you best; what feels best in your hand; whether you can hold the cards in the particular grip required without looking awkward, etc. This deal is perfect for Steve Draun, but only a bit of experimentation will tell you if it's perfect for you.

The deck is held in mechanic's grip in the left hand. The left first fingertip rests against the outer right corner of the lower cards and presses diagonally inward in a straight line toward the left wrist. The inner left corner of the deck presses against the lowermost area of the left thumb base (fig.l). This grip allows complete control over the deck by the first finger's inward pressure, freeing the other fingers. Note that it is only necessary for the first finger to actually contact and control the cards in the lower portion of the

w-m deck. It does not curl up around the outer right corner of the deck like a C-clamp.

While the left second, third, and little fingertips are pressed lightly against the right long side of the deck (actually against the edges of the cards), the middle phalange of those fingers can be pressed against the face of the bottom card to buckle it slightly inward (fig.2). The bottom card is loosened from the first finger in this manner, but it is not pushed out from beneath the deck. (If the fingers were relaxed, the bottom card would once again flatten out squarely on the bottom of the deck.)

As the hands come together, the left thumb pushes over the top card, whose inner left corner acts as a pivot point (fig.3). When the right hand moves away with the bottom card, the left thumb will pivot the top card back to its original position. If you are genuinely taking the top card, then the left thumb relaxes so the right thumb can pull the card out. When taking the bottom card, the right thumb simply slides diagonally off the left thumb and onto the bottom card as it emerges.

When the right hand comes over to take the card, it goes in "deep." The right thumb descends onto the top card at its outer end, just in front of your left thumb and slightly to the left of center (fig.4). At the same time, the right second finger moves between the left first and second fingers, onto the bottom card (fig.5).

The right second finger now does something commonly used in Strike Bottom Deals—it curls in-

»at. snapping the bottom card out tVom beneath the deck (fig.6), The Irtt second, third, and little fingers relax at the same time, straightening htt as they do. Both actions happen almost simultaneously. This allows your right hand to draw the i-.iul over the fingers until it is clear of the deck. The right hand immediately moves to the table with the card.

The goals with this Bottom Deal arc the same as they are tor almost all false deals: do not break rhythm when doing tops or bottoms; do not create a different sound between tops and bottoms; avoid the left linger flash as much as possible; and practice, practice, practice. You'll know you've practiced enough when you develop a permanent mark on your left hand where the inner left comer of the deck lays when in mechanic's grip.

• ■ otinn fnr this change is a Dai Vernon technique, modestly titled "To SAmrldtp77*The Dai Vernon Book of Magic (Ganson, 1957). A related f—fs c" ne Maze s "The Deal Switch" (p. 308 of Packet Switches Part Five, More G^X c^rs^es, Fulves, 1977). Both the well-Known Vernon switch and h ' cnnfp^ iPflVP a card palmed in the right hand—Steve s ingenious method palmed does not.

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