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I like John Bannon's and Gary Kurtz's.

Very clean and direct. Come to think of it they're pretty similar in handling too.

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Carlos the Great
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On 2006-03-13 19:35, Frank Starsini wrote:
If you don't like the shuffle in Bannon's version, which I find just fine, you could easily do an Side steal I suppose. I have not found this to be necessary but you'd probably know way ahead of time if a specky was of "that sort" to require sure a thing.

I love the shuffle sequence to get into position for that version.
was great for me to practice and learn. I've never done anything like that before.

Very nice.
Splendid routine.

Yeah, I find it very elegant, especially the way in which the routine builds on itself. I know this is the card forum, but I have shifted away from cards in the last 6 years or so (still do a lot of them since cards are always around but trying to be less and less dependent on them, I guess).

You bring up a spectacular point about the side-steal to get into position. In reality, you can use any card control or even a force (riffle force or bluff pass, for example). In reality, there are a ton of things you can do. I just happen to like how off-hand the shuffling seems, like you are trying to make it harder and harder.

As for Gary's routine (or whoever's it actually is, lol), is it the same one he teaches at the end of one of the Early Ammar videos? I remember using that one for quite a while back in, I would guess, 1999. It was nice but I moved on from it because some of the handlings didn't really mesh with the way I handled cards normally (something that is very important to me is that everything seems natural, not rehearsed and definitely not unnnatural). That is another reason why Bannon's routine is particularly nice FOR ME, it meshed with my natural handling of cards and the way in which I normally structure routines anyway. I don't do the question mark thing at the end, though, that does not mesh with my style, even though it seems like it might get some nice reactions.

The best advice I can give is to learn a few different cut to the aces (where spectator flips as well as where spectator doesn't). Figure out what feels best in your hands and then evaluate the other tricks. Are their strengths strong enough for you to modify your natural handling? Keep in mind that many tricks require you to modify your natural tendencies with the cards. Some are totally worth it, some are not. What works for you, what feels natural, and, most importantly, what handling will result in the best show for your audience? A great trick that doesn't look natural will have weak reactions but a weak trick that looks natural may also have weak reactions. It is all a balancing act, that is one of the most important things to remember about performance, IMO.

Let us know which version you decide on and why, if you would. I think it may be educational for everybody involved.

Cognite tute
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Cool to know. Unfortunately I do not have Ackerman's Magic Mafia book. I wished I did. Anyway, it does sound like what Ackerman had did get lost in the shuffle.

On another note, doesn't Marlo have something titled "The Spectator Cuts To Turn Over The Aces" or "The Spectator Cuts To And Turns Over The Aces"? I think I may have seen it in the lecture notes book, The Card Magic of Edward Marlo.

PS I received the stuff you sent me for the raffle, thank you very much. Any chance you still have a copy of your book available? If so, I want to get it from you.

Hope to see you next year at TSD.
Trini Montes
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Bill Goodwin has one of the best ace cutting routines in his notes 'At the expaense of grey matter' I use it all the time, look into these hard to find notes.
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I recently saw Michael Paul lecture at the Magic Barn in Massachusetts. One of his best routines was,"Spectator Cuts to the Aces". I know there are several versions of this effect, but I don't know the others. This one is impromptu, with a borrowed deck, and the spectator turns the Aces over. It requires some sleights, but it does not look hard to learn.

Cody Fisher
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I have never performed this effect and as far as I know the only version that I have is Dai Vernon's. Anybody know about it and if it is worth learning?
Michael Paul
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I have my version of SCA's in Simply Devastating. The cards are put down in front of the spectator, and they cut. They find an ace. No funny turnovers, no switches, no palming, no extra cards, no crimps, no gimmicks. Impromptu.
Andrew Loh
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Check out Gregory Wilson's version in Pyrotechnic Pasteboard DVD, I highly recommended as well. Smile


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Mike Powers
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Hi Trini,

I managed to score 12 copies of Top Secret Stuff awhile back but they sold out right away. It's very hard to find. I may put out an ebook version at some point.

Howard Coberly
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I second the Wilson version. You have to give up the spectator turning over the cards(except the last one) but this is, in my opinion, the best version ever devised.
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^ You can see a quick clip of Wilson performing his ace cutting routine here (about 1 min 15 secs into the video):
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Hideo Kato
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Thanks for pasting the link of Mr.Wison's clip. His performance of this method clearly reminded me the weak point in this method. Dirty work of discarding indifferent cards is done at the last when audience's attention is at peak.

You can do that dirty work at first before anything happens when you place the first face up Ace on a packet. Thus you can end clean showing you are using no extra cards seemingly.

Hideo Kato
Michael Paul
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I didn't like that version much either.
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On 2006-03-13 08:53, LordPH wrote:
Bill Malone´s - On The Loose Vol.2 shows one version too.
David Regal´s - Constant Fooling has it too.

I second those 2 versions...I've seen both and they are both great, though I prefer Bill Malone's handling
Paul H
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Hi Ross,

The most direct and unequivocal spectator ace cutting routine I know of is Andrew Wimhursts 'The Spectator Estimates the Aces'. It is described in his 'Down Under Deals' lecture notes and performed on his video 'The Card Artistry of Andrew Wimhurst. Eddini reviewed the video here:

In Andrew's book, he begins with simple ace cutting using a tabled strip shuffle to reveal each ace. After further shuffling, it is the spectators turn to cut to the aces. The deck is offered to the spectator who is required to cut to three aces. After each ace is revealed, the performer strip shuffles the deck. For the fourth ace, the performer takes back the deck, averts his face and spreads the cards to show the final ace lost somewhere in the middle. The pack is re-assembled, riffled, strip cut 'up the ladder' style and the fourth ace pops out of the middle of the deck. It is very impressive and Andrew's handling of this effect on his video is exemplary as is all his card work.

Eddini made the point that this method is risky and if it does not work out, the trick will bomb badly, one reason why I avoided the routine. However, I have recently re-discovered this 'unsung hero' of spectator ace cutting. The effect seems to work brilliantly and if you work on the patter, failure on the spectators part can be a source of amusement rather than anticlimax. This is currently my favorite ace cutting effect and I use it as a closure to one of my gambling routines. Highly recommended and well worth the effect required to achieve a smooth handling.


Paul H
Ross W
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Wow! I had no idea there were so many versions of this trick out there. And I'll bet there are more...
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Mark Powell
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It also might be worth checking out Paul Gordon's "Easy Ace Estimation", found in one of his earlier books (Nocturnal Creations?).
Nathan Kranzo
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Check out Dave Solomon's original cut ten premise and also take a look at Ackerman's handling. Ackerman's bar slip cut is great!

All the best,

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I'm really interested in learning one version of this effect, and I have to admit that I was blown away by the video Michael Paul put up on site, "Spectator Cuts to the Aces," which is in his "Simply Devastating" set of notes.

Without fishing for the method, can anyone who knows this version as well as some of the others tell me which one they prefer? Specifically, I'm looking for a version which is for the most part reliable.
Harry Lorayne
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Among others, you mAy want to check out Double Take, in QUANTUM LEAPS, and the first routine in the bonus section of new stuff in LORAYNE: THE CLASSIC COLLECTION. You may just find them interesting. HARRY LORAYNE.
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