The Ace which is pressed against the lower ha

Ace Mc

the deck. The cards in the right hand are then renlaceri fourth Ace is now in the center with a left pinky bre^b^LS it P The

While you are executing the Slip Cut ask tht> *

card that you have placed face dol on ftetSe to ^ ^

mother possibility is that the spectator, in his shuffling, will leave the five-card group mostly mtact. For example the first two Aces and ind.fferent card bet^n them wall be in one part of the deck, and the other two Aces may be in another. In this case you would simply deal with whichever group you ran across first, either cutting the deck, or inserting an indifferent card between the third and fourth Aces (if this is the first pair you come to), and then cutting those to the rear. After that, you would spread until you arrived at the next Ace, upjog it, then spread past the indifferent card and obtain a break beneath the next Ace.

Square the deck, strip out the upjog-

card. and place face down on ^^¡^¡BKEttEEEKKKKKII^K^BK^B^ the table. Once you are familiar with the position you must get to, dealing 1

with the various permutations is quite simple.

If the spectator does succeed in completely scattering the Aces, then Steve performs his version of Mario's Quick Cull (from "The Quick Cull Miracle. The Unexpected Card Book, 1974) to rapidly set a different four of a kind in position for the routine.

The Quick Cull and Setting of Four Mates

Begin spreading the deck between your hands. As before, the faces are toward you and the backs are toward the audience. Look for a pair of mates or, even better, a pair of mates with an indifferent card between them. When you locate a pair (and there will always be one) slip an indifferent card between them if one is not there already. To expeditiously slip that in different card between the mates, place your lett thumb onto the in different card directly above (to the right of) the uppermost mate. Move your right fingertips up against the back side of the uppermost mate .Separate your hands, your left thumb pulling the indifferent card onto the face of the second mate, while your right fingertips pull the first mate along with the cards in the right hand.

Bring your hands together again. Your left thumb immedmtelyshoves over the two cards on the face of its half-an indifferent card and, beneathjit, thesecond ma£ These are taken beneath the mate at the rear of the cards m the nght ^

sandwiches the indifferent card between the two mates. Cut the deck, transferring

, ■ u t„thp rear (or top). Immediately continue spreading through the the mate sandwch to^he mate Once it is found, upjog it. Continue spreading he deck, looking when you find it, obtain a left pinky break behind

T d ™ ¿e^eck HoW the deck wath your left hand for a moment, alio.Tag nghtTa^id to remove the upjogged card and place it on the table, face down.

There may be an adjustment necessary if the fourth mate is too close to either the top or bottom of the deck. If that is the case, there are two contingencies: 1) If the card is closer to the face, or 2) if the card is closer to the rear. If you have the first situation, vour right hand grasps the inner end of the deck in Hindu Shuffle position. Actually, only a small group of cards beneath the left pinky break is gripped at the inner end. These are pulled downward, free of the deck, and then placed on the face. The left pinks' remains inserted in the deck, directly beneath the fourth mate, throughout. The fourth mate should now be centralized with a left pinky break beneath it. If you have the second situation, your right hand grasps the cards above the break in Biddle Grip (all the while keeping the face of the deck tilted toward you), ready for a Swing Cut. The right first finger peels a small group of cards off the face of the deck, and the right second and third fingers swing out all the cards up to the break. These cards are placed on the face of the deck, with the left pink}* darting beneath them at the last moment to obtain a new break. This centralizes the fourth mate, with a left pink}- break beneath it.

A few additional notes. First, if, during the initial spread, you find two mates with two indifferent cards between them, slip one of the indifferents onto the face of the lower half of the deck and cut at that point. (You can now take advantage of a pair of mates whether you find them together, with one indifferent card between them, or with two indifferent cards between them.) Second, after you have upjogged the third mate, the supposed reason you are continuing to spread through the deck is because you have not made up vour mind that the upjogged card will, in fact, be the prediction. Act as if you're unsure. This gives you the reason you need for continuing to spread through the cards and locate the fourth mate.

Whatever cull is required m _

the spectator is asked to turn the prediction card face up before you produce the three remaining Aces.


Lower your hands to normal no.ri the deck tilted toward you) Your ^\(remember> 311 of ^e preceding occurs with Biddle Grip, outjogs it a quarter tf arf ^ h°ldin§ half of the deck in the outer end of the deck, thumb V "»»«lately moves forward and grasps onto the back. Lift the deck om of f , faCe and ^rs wrapped around the end Lower the deck back into leftTjd^ 1 ^ hand rotate it' end over end (tig -'

dealrng position. Your right hand immediate*

arches over the deck back into Biddle Grip The riaht lower haIf of the deck and pushcs ii ^--^rxrr^pr^

Steve's handling of a Noel Stanton sleight first described in The Gen. The right hand now shifts position and regrips the deck at the inner end, thumb at the left corner, second finger at the right corner (taking over the pinky break). Lift the deck out of your left hand and turn it so the face is toward the audience.

Ask the spectator to turn over the prediction. At the same time, your right first finger reaches to the right long side of the upper half of the deck, just beside your second fingertip, and buckles it back. Your first fingertip must contact the back of the Ace in the center of the deck

By simultaneously pushing to the right with the first finger, and relaxing the buckle, the Ace is pivoted partially out of the deck (fig.4). This requires a very light touch and some practice.

Lower your right hand, turning it palm down so the back of the deck is exposed to the audience. This gives the spectators plenty of time to see that the Ace is really in the center of the deck. Your left hand pulls the protruding Ace out of the deck and turns it face up, placing it onto the table.

The Second Revelation: Place the deck, face down, into your left hand. At the same time, your right thumb injogs the top card slighdy in preparation for the "Spooky Revelation" described elsewhere in this book. Perform the sleight, making the third Ace mysteriously rise to an upright position. Your right hand takes the Ace and tosses it face up on the table with the others.

The Third Revelation: This is a previously unpublished Ed Mario finesse of The Changing Card" (see p. 168, The Royal Road to Card Magic, Hugard and Braue, _194b). The little touches Mario has applied here make an enormous improvement in the deceptive quality of this well-known change. Turn the deck face up and raise it to he left fingertips in Charlier Cut position. Tilt the left hand forward so the face of the

deck is angled toward the audienr^. quite a bit. At the same time v -right hand bevels the deck inward

Turn your right hand palm toward you and use it to cover the outer end of the deck. Under this shade, your left first finger reaches to the outer end of the deck and peels down the end of the top card. Push it upward/inward, so it rises toward you, visible to the audience at the inner end of the deck (fig.6). At the same time, wiggle the right fingers in a magical gesture.

When the indifferent card is injogged about an inch to an inch and a half, the left first finger immediately returns to the outer end of the deck and peels down the end of the second card (the fourth Ace or mate). The right hand now glides inward and, the moment it passes over the injogged indifferent card, the left first finger pushes up the second card (fig.7). The instant the two cards are aligned, the right hand grasps their extreme upper edges (so a good view is given to the audience because this is the moment when they first see the change) between thumb, at the rear, and first and second fingers, on the face. Pull the double card inward until it is clear of everything else and then lay lt squarely on the face of the deck.

Thumb off the final Ace/mate and take it with your right hand. Turn your left hand palm down as the car« moves away from the deck so tlu' indifferent card seen a momen earlier in the change is not revealed-

the Most Convincing


The title of this trick is reminiscent of the many mail-order catalogues which flood our homes these days which advertise eveiy item as "The Best Flashlight," "The Quickest Calculator," etc. If one were to describe this in such a catalogue, it would be "The Most Convincing Topsy-Turvy Aces." Truly, because it is. The plot is Ed Mario's, and his first method appeared in The Patented Shuffle in 1964. Since then many cardmen have produced versions, most relying on Push-Through or Zarrow Shuffles. Steve's handling uses neither, and adds several face-up/face-down convincers at key points that add greatly to the mixed-up deck illusion.

Begin by turning the deck face up and giving it a longitudinal concave bridge (fig.l). Next, remove the four Aces and say, "Sometimes when certain card players finish a game of poker, they'll cut high card to see who gets the money. If you want to know how they do it—they cheat, rve got four different parts of the deck. They'll often mark the cards, but not on the back like you might think . . . ." During all of that patter, square the deck and place it face up on the table in front of you in Riffle Shuffle position. Execute The Tabled Multiple Shift described earlier in this book, inserting the Aces (face up in this case) into different parts of the deck. Continue with the Multiple Shift, controlling the Aces to I the rear of the deck. Since the deck is face up here, the handling of the final cut changes slightly from the previous description. When the right hand withdraws all the cards from "between the Aces, and the cards which remain in the left hand collapse onto the table, the right-hand cards cannot simply be dropped on top. T he face card of the deck has been brought back to the face. So, the right hand circles over the deck and the left thumb and fingers pull a small batch of cards off the face of the right-hand packet. These drop onto the cards on the table. This can be repeated again if you like, and then the cards which remain in the right hand are dropped on top of all (a running cut).

The First Shuffle: Pick up thr deck and continue, turning the edge, of the cards toward the audience as you say, ". . . they mark them on the ends or the sides, like this, so that they can see what they need if they're trying to cut to the cards." Table the deck in Riffle Shuffle Position, ready for Mario's Spade Shuffle (p.44 0f

Mario in Spades, 1947). Say, "Now I'm going to try to do that, but I'm going to make it harder for myself because there are no marks on these cards, and secondly, I'm going to shuffle these cards face up and face down which makes this a lot harder.1' Cut off the upper half of the deck with your right hand, then flip the lower half face down with your left hand. Your right hand then lifts the face-up half. Both hands now dribble the cards to the table to display that they truly face in opposite directions (fig.2). This also sets up a false face-up/face-down display later on.

Square the two halves and bring them together for the Spade Shuffle. Your hands grasp the ends of the deck which meet so that the shuffle is "closed," i.e., the center area where the cards fall together is blocked from audience view (fig.3). Begin the shuffle by allowing half of the facedown cards to riffle off the left thumb. This is followed by allowing half of the face-up cards to riffle ott the right thumb, followed by riffling off the balance of the face-down cards in the left hand except for the four Aces on top, followed by riffling off the balance of face-up cards in the right hand, followed by dropping the four Aces on top of all (fig-4- 111 which the hands are removed clarity). The blocked-off nature 0» packets is concealed from the audi ence by your fingertips.

Immediately cup your hands around the outer ends of the deck and shove the packets square. This is a natural action, one which many laymen use to overcome the binding of the cards as they're squared after the shuffle. Your fingers remain in front of the deck, continuing to shield the true condition of the cards from the audience as they are pushed together.

Say, "In spite of the fact that the deck is in this J'ace-up face-down condition . . . , Your right hand grasps the deck, thumb at the inner long side, fingers at the outer, and lifts it about six inches. Dribble the cards back to the table, simultaneously moving your hand in a circular motion (fig.5). The resulting mess gives the appearance of a deck mixed fairly evenly face up and face down. Square the deck.

The First Acc: Continue, saying, . . I'm going to see if I can cut to the four Aces." The first Ace is produced during that sentence using a technique which Steve developed during the late fifties. Since that time, several other magicians have published similar ideas, most notably Ken Krenzel in his book Card Classics (1978). Steve's approach is quite different. Begin by cutting off about a quarter of the deck with your left hand. The amount of cards taken is determined by the fact that you want a face-up card to show on top of the cards which remain on the table. Your right hand lifts the balance of the deck and begins swinging it around in a counter-clockwise motion as if to cut it on top of the cards in your left hand.

At the same time, your left first finger shoves the top face-down card °f its packet an eighth of an inch to

Part Two: Tncks

Part Two: Tncks


the right (fig.6). The right-hand packet is brought over the left-hand packet, jogged to the right, so that your right second fingertip comes into contact with the jogged portion of the top card of the left-hand half (fig.7). While keeping both halves of the deck parallel to one another, move the upper packet inward, causing the jogged card to pivot clockwise ninety degrees between your left thumb and right second "finger (fig. 8).

Use the left-hand cards to lift the outer end of the turning card. This will tilt it upward at the outer end. and its inner end will touch the table (fig.9). (This last point is vital or you will become involved in bizarre acrobatics.) Continue to shift the left-hand cards upward and inward, then downward and onto the right-hand cards. This rotates the perpendicular card face up so it eventually protrudes at right angles from the reassembled deck (fig. 10). Remove the face-up Ace from the deck and toss it aside.

The Second Shuffle: The bridge you've placed in the deck will allow your right hand to easily cut where the center blocks meet face to face at the natural break. Your right hand immediately lifts the upper half oi the deck. Your left hand grasps the lower half and flips it over—a face-up card will be seen on both sides. Now. the left thumb lifts the upper ha!:' ol its packet and establishes a break between the back to back quarters ol the deck (fig. 11).

Lower the right-hand packet to the table and move vour hands into position for a "closed" Riffle Shuffle. Say, 7 want to point out somethr-y Each time the cards arc shujjled. get worse and worse Begin by

genuinely shuffling the face-down cards off the bottoms of both halves. The cards in the left-hand half are allowed to run off a little faster until you reach the break. Then, release the balance of the face-down cards off the right-hand cards. As soon as face-up cards begin falling from the right side, continue shuffling with the left hand so the face-up cards from both halves mix. Complete the shuffle by allowing the three Aces, which are on top of the right-hand half, to fall last. Do not square the cards just yet.

Say, . . that is, each time I shuffle them the face-up face-down mix-up gets more mixed up. Your right hand grasps the upper three-quarters of the deck and lifts it an inch or so. Immediately, as you lift the cards, begin dribbling the still-telescoped deck back to the table as you shift your hand slightly from side to side (fig. 12). The scattering of cards again gives the impression that the cards are still thoroughly mixed. Square the deck and say, In spite of that I'm going to see if I can cut to the four Aces."

The Second Ace: The next Ace is produced using The Benzais Cut. While your right hand holds the right end of the deck, your left thumb riffles up the inner side to about center. Your right first finger presses lightly downward on the top card to hold it in place during the following Slip Cut. While your left hand holds the upper half of the deck exactly where it is, your right hand takes both the bottom half and the top card and shoots diagonally forward and to the right. The right hand snaps outward at the wrist, propelling the slipped-off top card forward with a spinning motion (fig. 13). Retract the right hand and slap the left-hand


cards on top of those in your right hand. Turn the just-produced card face display the second Ace.

Position Check: There are two face-down Aces on top of the deck, followed bv of the deck face up, and beneath that the rest of the deck face down.

already bee^s^^rmfth^ third Ace' a barmen DAnuco idea. H

P dUnng *** shufile. Shove the halves of the deck tog**"

up to cards on top of those in your right hand. Turn the just-produced card face display the second Ace.

Position Check: There are two face-down Aces on top of the deck, followed bv of the deck face up, and beneath that the rest of the deck face down.

The Third Shuffle: Your right hand cuts off the upper half of the deck at • point where the cards meet back to back without hesitation due to the natural bre-k Flip over the cards in your right hand and move them end to end with the other h if in preparation for another "closed" shuffle. Your left thumb allows a few cards to ffl' off the bottom of the left-hand half, followed by an Ace off the bottom of the oh ° hand half, followed by several more cards from the left-hand half, and then the from both halves are shuffled evenly together, as yet unsquared.

already bee^s^^rmfth^ third Ace' a barmen DAnuco idea. H

P dUnng *** shufile. Shove the halves of the deck tog**"

approximately half way. Your right thumb lifts the inner end ^ +u • u ^ ^ .

Ace, untouched v____, immediately strips its cards out of the right hand half by moring fLLd aid toTh, left (fig. 151 The .solated Aee is earried with the left-hand half axi ap^eS "ot™d£g from its right end. ** &

Your right hand leaves its cards on the table for a moment so it can remove the Ace from the left-hand cards and place it with the other two already produced.

Afterward, your right hand once again picks up its half of the deck. Both halves of the deck are now simultaneously flipped over.

The Fourth Shuffle: The entire deck is now face up except for the remaining Ace, which is face down on top of the right-hand half. Grasp the halves for a closed shuffle. Execute a genuine shuffle whose only bit of tricky business is to make sure that the face-down Ace falls last. Square the deck.

The Fourth Ace: Put the deck in front of the spectator and say, "It would he helpful if I could have you try it. Please demonstrate how difficult this is: please cut the deck and cut to an Ace." Allow the spectator to cut off the upper half of the deck, but of course no Ace will be seen. Say, "Put it back and try again." After he fails, cut the cards and turn the deck over (face down). Say, "I'm going to see if I can find the last one, and in addition 'right' the cards so they're all face down except for the final Ace. Simply ribbon spread the deck widely from left to right to display all face-down cards with the remaining Ace face up in the center. Remove it from the spread and square the cards to end.

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