Al Baker's Undercount from his Magical Ways and Means is a false count that is more about rhythm and tempo than it is about technical precision. Though, technical precision is most certainly always welcomed. While the count isn’t technically demanding, it does require a fluidity that one may not be used to. In order to gain familiarity with the count, throw in the double deal at varying numbers within the count. Not only will this serve in your learning of the count, but it will enable you execute the false deal on any number you please. Due to the count being executed so early on in the routine, you are well ahead of what your spectators might begin to anticipate. This is a good thing. Some might say, though, to not run when you’re not being chased, but I’ve always felt that it doesn’t hurt to at least have a good pair of shoes ready to go.
Here's a quick review; Hold the deck in a loose dealing grip allowing a slight bevel to form along the inner and outer edges of the deck facilitating you to smoothly push off cards one by one. Begin by openly pushing off one card and taking it at the fingertips of your right hand. Repeat this process for the second card, taking it underneath the first card ensuring that you do not reverse their order, counting each card aloud as it’s received. On the count of three push over two cards as one in as perfect alignment as possible and add it to the others. You’ve essentially just performed a simplified handling of a double deal. Without breaking rhythm, continue counting cards, out loud, one after the other until you’ve arrived at the number ten. In actuality, you’ve counted eleven cards as a packet of ten.
I first came across this iteration of the instant stooge ploy in Joshua Jay’s Triple Thought of Card from his L&L DVD set Close-Up, Up-Close. While based on an Eddie Fields idea, the idea of instant stooging a spectator with playing cards is not new at all and one which I've only managed to trace back to the late 19th century. As far as published versions in English go, the earliest reference I've found is that of Theodore Annemann's Telepathy In the Audience from his 1931 book, The Book Without a Name.
While the actual mechanics of the force are quite simple (simply position your force card on the bottom of the facedown packet and reverse spread it, therefore obscuring all other indices OTHER than the card at the face) attitude is what really sells it. That's why your phrasing is so important. "Go ahead and take a look at a card and remember it. It doesn't matter what card you see, as long as you see it clearly," should be delivered firmly, yet very matter of factly. A soft smile goes a long way.
Ken Krenzel’s Mechanical Reverse, as published in Harry Lorrayne’s The Card Classics of Ken Krenzel, is one of those sleights that sounds more difficult than it really is. It is, however, one of the most practical and well-motivated sleights of its kind. In this instance, your work is reduced significantly because one only has to execute the sleight with a small packet of cards instead of the entire pack.
A re-cap; With a pinky break beneath the top card of the packet, insert it further into the break to about the length of your pinky nail. Allow your left ring and middle fingers to softly come around the side of the packet under cover of your right hand. Next, much like a book peek, your right hand will move to the outer left side of the packet grasping both halves of the packet at the outer top and bottom corners with your middle finger and thumb respectively; you are about to revolve the entire packet while maintaining your break. To do so, working in tandem with your right hand, allow your left fingers to extend softly about 180 degrees levering the packet to a face-up horizontal position (Img. 205 -206). This should automatically leave you with a wedge break between both packets; all this is left to for you to do is to curl in your left fingertips effectively reversing the top card of the packet. The bond between the double stick tape and the top card will break within the process of the reversal as long as the tack has been diluted.
From the top down;
1. Random Card W/ Double Stick Tape on it's Back.
2. Random Card.
3. Force Card/Duplicate.
4. Random Card.
5. Random Card.
6. Random Card.
7. Random Card.
8. Random Card.
9. Random Card.
11. Force Card/Duplicate W/ Double Stick Tape on it's Face.
1. Introduce the pack and false count eleven cards as ten without reversing their order. Pocket the pack.
2. False count the top six cards as five again without reversing their order and place them within the wine glass. This is packet A.
3. Display the remaining five cards in packet B to your spectator, forcing the face card of the packet utilizing the reverse spread. Keep in mind that this duplicate/force card has a small sliver of double stick tape on it's face. So don't let your spectator stare too long. Cut the packet in half to centralize the force card while causing it to adhere to the card underneath it thanks to the double stick tape. Place packet B within the other wine glass. Punctuate the moment of the transposition with either a snap or a clink of the wine glasses.
4. Remove packet B and display the vanish of the thought of card. Take care not to split the double. Maneuver the double card to the top of the face down packet. Execute the Mechanical reverse and replace it within the wine glass with the force card facing you.
5. Reveal the force card in packet A without changing the positions of the cards. Adhere the force card to the double stick backed card and reveal it's disappearance. Take care not to split the double. Pocket this packet, therefore reassembling the majority of the deck. Finally, execute the flash change to reveal the back fire.
tic tac toe
As Steve Beam so succinctly describes in his Semi-Automatic Card Tricks Vol.9, the Piano Card Trick is a single card across effect. To be completely honest, it's an effect which I ignored for the better part of my time in studying sleight of hand. It's a perfect example of an effect which is done no justice in the printed form; it really must be experienced to be appreciated. I emphasize the word "experienced" simply because there is nothing visually arresting about the effect let alone a traditional moment of magic. The moment manifests itself under the guise of a slow burning realization instead. Namely, that an impossible happenstance has in fact occurred.
Overtime many versions have come to light utilizing playing cards. Enough so that the aforementioned Steve Beam along with Jon Racherbaumer, have collected some of the finer handling in offerings of their own. Though, to be honest, it's the contributions that have taken it away from playing cards that really stand out for me. Friend, mentalist, magician, and dermatologist, Raj Madhok has an incredible version utilizing initialed business cards while Michael Weber has a gobstopping version with socks in his seminal Lifesavers. Jim Steinmeyer has two printed handlings utilizing produce and silverware in his Conjuring Anthology.
What is offered in Tic Tac Toe is a version which feels seemingly impromptu that not only plays incredibly well in close-up scenarios, but just as well within the virtual medium as well.
3 Tic Tac Cases
- 1 Multi