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The Magic Cafe Forum Index Ľ Ľ Shuffled not Stirred Ľ Ľ Dennis Loomis' "Memorized Deck Magic" Articles (13 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Robert P.
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Dennis Loomis was not only a great contributor to The Magic Cafť and the Shuffled and Stirred section but also very helpful and one of the friendliest people on this forum. Although I never had the chance to communicate with him directly, his and Simon Aronson's contributions are a big reason why I finally decided to learn a memorized stack.

He is greatly missed.

In doing some memdeck research on the Cafť I noticed that the loomismagic site is no longer available. And with that the great articles on memorized deck magic that Dennis wrote, and made available to all for free, are also gone. These were some really great pieces of writing. What I want to do is repost them here as I have time, I believe his articles deserve to still remain accessible and not forgotten.

I was going to post them all at once, one post right after another, but decided against it because I want to take the time to update the links and make sure the text is displayed properly. I have only made minor changes like updating url links (like Simon Aronson's current website) or fix the formatting. Eventually, I'd like to compile these in a nice PDF and also make that available but for now I will just work on getting the articles uploaded.

Hope you all enjoy, Dennis had some great insight on memory deck work, and I'm really looking forward to reading these articles. I hope you all are as well.
Robert P.
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MEMORIZED DECK MAGIC (Article 1)

Comments on Simon Aronson's Website, Red Sea Passover, Henry Christ Routine, Matching the Cards, etc.

The First in a series of articles by Dennis Loomis

Iím thrilled with the reopening of Simon Aronsonís web site at the new URL:

http://simonaronson.com/home.htm

The first update is very special, Simon has included a free downloadable copy of his Memories Are Made of This (an introduction to memorized deck magic) from his 1999 lecture notes. I believe that this is simply the best introduction to memorized deck work, which has been written. If you have been thinking about getting into memorized deck magic, run, donít walk, to Simonís Site and print this out. Youíll never regret it, I promise you.

For me, the new gem is Simonís version of the Henry Christ Ace Routine. This is done from the Aronson stack and that both strengthens and simplifies the original great trick. Simon points out two advantages to Aronson stack users in doing the Christ effect this way. Any secret counting of piles is now unnecessary because known key cards instantly tell you where to divide the packets. And, the haphazard handling throughout the routine, with cards being continuously separated into various piles, dealt, counted, spelled and reassembled, is a strong convincer that the deck has been hopelessly mixed up. If you do memorized deck work, you know how important that second benefit is. Finally, let me point out that the routine is not technically challenging at all. Card workers of medium level skills who already are familiar with the Aronson stack will be able to add this to their repertoire quite quickly. If you can hold a break, do a double lift, and displace a card from one position in a spread to another with a cull, you can do this effect.

Thereís another new effect with the Aronson stack explained in detail on the site: Matching the Cards by Norman Beck and Simon. Itís a version of the Vernon Matching the Cards effect but done from the Aronson stack. Iíve not had time to really work through this one yet, but it certainly looks promising at first reading. And again, you start and end with the deck in Aronson Stack order.

Simon has a new-marketed effect on the site as well. Itís a new version of the routine This Side Up from his book Simply Simon. If you wanted to do this excellent routine before, you had to get special cards made up. Now, they are available from Simon. I've ordered the effect, but havenít seen it yet. However, itís been seven years since the book was published, and Iíll bet that Simon has some new touches and handlings worked out by now. This was the case with the marketed version of Red Sea Passover. It was originally published in The Card Ideas of Simon Aronson in 1978, and reprinted in Bound to Please in 1994. When A-1 Magical Media released the marketed version, in 2001, Simon included some new handling tips and instructions.

Incidentally, on the subject of Red See Passover. There are many other uses for the special cards that you receive with this routine. I donít want to infringe on any rights, but there is a marvelous version of the ten-card poker deal called Showdown in Nick Trost's book ďThe Card Magic of Nick Trost.Ē Nick also put this on the market including the necessary gaffed cards. However, I wasnít fond of the particular gaffs that were included. If you have the Trost book, look at Figure 1 on page 217. Two gaffed cards are pictured. I do not like the fact that one of these is in hearts and one in spades. If you use two cards alike, instead, you do not have the suits of the cards changing during the course of the routine. You can achieve this by buying two sets of Showdown, or two sets of Red See Passover. If you use the RSP cards, you will get lots of spares and will have much flexibility in choosing the ten cards you use in the routine. But first, buy Nickís book if you donít have it. Itís a gold mine of card effects that are not too technically demanding.

The new site has an improved version of the Aronson Stack Quizzer, a drill program on the Aronson stack by Mark Harris. This will be most valuable to those learning the stack, of course, but as an experienced user, I find it a handy way to just brush up on the stack and to work on recall speed.

Simon had some difficulty with the former host of his web site and had to change to the new URL. In particular, itís unfortunate that the August Genii has his ad with the wrong site address. If youíre a fan of Simonís work, as I am, you can help to spread the word. Let your fellow magicians know, and post the change to any other forums, chat rooms, etc., that you might frequent.

Again, wwwsimonaronson.net/home.htm is the new URL.

Next month I will share with the Smoke and Mirrors readers my tips and suggestions on Simon Aronson's Histed Heisted. The effect was created by Louis Histed, and made commercial by the addition of a strong ending by Simon. He published it in his book Bound To Please. I hope you will enjoy reading my additions to one of the strongest effects you can do with a deck of cards.

If you use a memorized deck in your work, I urge you to contact me. Iíd like to put together a network of people using this powerful tool. If you have any routines, thoughts, tips, or touches on this work that youíd like to share. Let me know and Iíll include them in upcoming issues of Smoke and Mirrors.

--

Dennis Loomis
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MEMORIZED DECK MAGIC (Article 2)

Loomis additions to Louis Histed and Simon Aronson's Histed Heisted]

The Second in a series of articles by Dennis Loomis

The topic this time is Simon Aronson and Louis Histedís effect Histed Heisted. This has become one of my favorite stand-up mentalism demonstrations. It requires only a deck of cards, an envelope, and a pair of scissors, and so requires little room in the prop case. But, it plays ďbigĒ and can be used in good-sized theatres as well as much smaller venues.

It is not my intention to describe the working of the effect. For that, youíll need to consult the book Bound to Please by Simon Aronson. Briefly, hereís what happens in the original Louis Histed routine. A deck of cards is introduced and small packets of cards are passed out to several spectators. Each one shuffles his packet and then mentally selects one of the cards from his packet. The cards are collected by one spectator who shuffles the entire deck and returns it to the performer. The performer reads off the cards, in their shuffled sequence, pausing from time to time to read the minds of some of the spectators until all of the cards mentally selected have been revealed. Itís a baffling routine, but Simon realized that what it needed, for dramatic satisfaction, was an ending. His solution to this was to have a prediction sealed in an envelope. He reveals the final card thought of by opening the envelope and having the prediction read aloud. It is the selected card. This addition takes a very good effect into the miracle class, in my opinion.

However, the envelope with the prediction cannot be put on display at the beginning of the routine. It is produced from one of your pockets right at the end and just before itís opened and read by a spectator. I also do not like routines where the spectator is ďin chargeĒ at the climax. This handling requires that a spectator read the prediction. (Obviously you cannot do it yourself.) Some may do a good job of this, but many will not. And, for larger venues you will have to get a microphone to the spectator, or have him come to the stage so that he can use the mike and be heard. I would rather be alone center stage for the climax of my routines whenever possible.

I think Iíve solved both of these problems nicely. The envelope is placed on display right at the beginning of the routine. It can be hung on a clip on the curtain, or clipped to the microphone stand. The prediction inside is not written. It's a card from a different deck, and needs only to be removed from the envelope and displayed. I realize that in larger venues the people way in back may not be able to see the card, but they do know that the folks up front can see it, and that establishes for them that it is correct.

And, there are actually two envelopes, one large and one small. The smaller one is sealed within the larger one. At the end of the routine, I cut open the large envelope with the scissors and withdraw the smaller one. I show the inside of the large envelope to the people in front. Then the small envelope is cut open and a single playing card. It is the card that the spectator mentally selected. To accomplish this, one of the traditional tools of the mentalist is used, the double envelope. In fact, three of them are used for the routine. (See Notes One and Three for alternatives that eliminates the nest of two envelopes.) You need to be able to show any one of five playing cards at the climax of the routine. In Histed Heisted, the fifth spectator will be looking at the following cards: 9S, 7D, 7H, 10C and 4C. These are cards 5, 15, 25, 35, and 45 in the Aronson Stack. You need to be able to display any one of them. To accomplish this, the 9S is in one side of one of the small envelopes, and the 10C is in the other side of the same envelope. This envelope is, in turn, placed into one side of the large double envelope. The second small envelope has the 7H in one side, and in the other side is a double face card with the 4C and 7D back to back. The double face card comes in the normal double face deck of Bicycle Cards.

During Histed Heisted, you will, at some point find out which card that spectator five thought of. At that point, you just make a mental note of it and ask the spectator if he/she would mind waiting until the end as you have something special in mind for them. After all of the other cards have been identified, you now come back to this spectator. You remind them of the envelope that you put on display at the very beginning, and cut off the appropriate end to access the appropriate inner envelope. Itís withdrawn, and the large envelope shown empty. You now cut off the appropriate end of this small envelope. Three times out of five when you perform the routine, the card accessed will be a normal playing card with a back. You can withdraw it and handle it freely, even flashing the back. Twice in five performances, you will access the double face card. Simply pull out the card with the appropriate face showing and place it onto the envelope. This conceals the other card face on the back and you can handle and display the envelope and card quite freely. After using this method for a while, I came up with a different method which requires just one double envelope. It's described below.

Iíve got one other touch on this routine to share. As you know if you do the effect, you create the impression that each spectator gets a small random number of cards at the beginning. But thatís not true. Each spectator participating must receive exactly five cards, and you simply sight count the groups as you pass them out. This is not difficult, but in my practices and once in a performance, I accidentally gave a spectator an extra card. This throws off the routine, and problems can result. I lucked out in the show I had the error creep in and only one card thought of could not be properly determined. Perhaps this added a touch of believability. But, I did not want this to ever happen again. And so, I used a card punch to mark every fifth card in the stack. Those cards are the bottom card of each of the packets I point out. Now, as Iím passing out the packets, I feel the bottom card of each group, and I know that Iíve gotten exactly five cards. This makes for confidence during the performance.

If you do not have a card punch, I recommend that you visit the Web Site of James Riser at: http://www.jamesriser.com

He makes and sells two excellent punches. And Iím sure youíll enjoy browsing his site. He makes many wonderful magic props, including some of the nicest Cups and Balls youíve ever seen.

If you don't want to use a punch, there are other ways to mark a card so that you can identify it by touch. See the section on ďlocatorsĒ on Darylís Encyclopedia of Card Sleights videos for a bewildering array of choices.

The double envelopes that I use were designed many years ago for an effect I marketed called The Triple Prophecy Box. If you would like a sample of the envelope along with a set of instructions on how to make it up, send $10.00 to:

[Address removed]

I can accept either a personal check or a money order. Iíll send it out, First Class, when I receive your order. If you prefer Priority Mail shipping, include an extra $4.05. You may want to go ahead and order my effect: Mentalism 101. For $25.00, with free shipping, you'll received a gaffed deck of cards, an instructional DVD, and a sample of the double envelope. On the DVD are very clear instructions on how to make the envelope. You can read about it here:

Mentalism 101 - Dennis Loomis $25.00

The double envelope has numerous uses in magic and mentalism, of course.

NOTE ONE

If you like, you can eliminate the outer double envelope by using a Himber Wallet. Simply put one double envelope in each side of the wallet, and put the wallet on display at the beginning of the effect. Itís nice to open the wallet up and show the envelope inside when you first put it on display. At the climax, just open to the appropriate side of the wallet and remove the envelope within.

NOTE TWO

If you do not wish to purchase a full deck of double face cards, itís easy enough to make the 4C/7D up yourself. Since no one will handle it other than you, itís not really necessary to split the cards. Just glue the normal 4C and 7D back to back and use the double thickness card.

NOTE THREE

I used to do this using just one double envelope and four special cards. For this version, the second spectator selection is removed from the envelope at the climax of the routine. That spectator will receive these five cards: KC, 5H, AH, 10D, and 9H. These are cards 2, 12, 22, 32, and 42 in the Aronson Stack. In one side of the double envelope is a double face card with the KC on one side and the 10D on the other. On the other side of the double envelope is a special 3-way card. It also is a double facer and has the 9H on one side. On the back of the same card is a double ended card with the AH on one end, and the 5H on the other. If the spectator thinks of either the AH or 5H, the card is displayed, but the lower 1/3 is covered with your fingertips. This can be done because the center heart pip is ďmutualĒ to both the Five and the Ace. I had Neil Lester of Cards by Martin produce a batch of these cards, mostly for my own use. But, if you'd like to get one, here's a link to the page:

Histed Heisted Special Card $2.00@ (no longer active)

NOTE FOUR

If you do not own a copy of BOUND TO PLEASE, I recommend it very highly. In it youíll learn the full workings of Histed Heisted, of course, but there are many other wonderful card routines. And, this book is the logical starting point if you wish to begin your journey into the wonderful world of memorized deck magic. Simonís complete stack is explained, along with the mnemonic associations used to memorize the deck in the first place.

Histed Heisted came up as a topic on the Magic Cafť recently. In response to what several other posted, I shared the following. Some day I'll come back and rewrite this entire article in a more coherent form, but for now, here's the posting I did on the Cafť which contains some new ideas not mentioned above:

I think it's important, in Histed Heisted, that the audience thinks you are just passing out random sized small packets of cards. The fact that each spectator gets the same number of cards is a slight hint as to the method. Simon's patter helps. Even though it's easy to hand out five cards to each spectator, you should practice this a bit so that it's very fast and easy. I push off a clump of three cards, and then two more quickly as I'm moving to each spectator. For a while I used a card punch to punch the top card of each group of five except the first. That way, I can check to see that I gave exactly five to each spectator as I'm proceeding to the next. However, I like to give the deck out to the spectator that shuffles the full deck to keep, and if I plan to do that, the punch work is not a good idea.

I just keep the two extra cards in the box when I start, and when the effect is concluded, I put the deck in the box, completing it. Then I give it out as a present.

I've never had anyone pick up on the fact that the cards I'm calling out are not the cards in my hand at the time. But there are two factors involved here. You must be absolutely on top of your memorized deck so that there is not the slighest hesitation as you call the cards. That would be suspicious. And, of course this is ACTING. You have to be convincing.

The method on my web site allows you to put the envelope in view at the beginning. I think it strengthens Simon's finale a bit, but his contribution is the recognition that the effect requires an ending. (Which was actually suggested to him by his friend David Solomon.) Doing it his way is still much stronger than the Histed Original which lacks the ending.

As to whether it's dull or that it drags. The effect is not boring... the performer might be. Work briskly and have fun with it and so will the audience. It you are still struggling with the memorized deck, you're going to be stressed out as you do it, and the audience will pick up on that.

The hardest part may be keeping track of the spectators when seating is rather informal or haphazard. I try to get a look at the audience before the show and figure out the ten people I'm going to use. I also find something noticable about spectator number six. They may be wearing a bright color, some unique piece of jewelry, etc. When the spectators from 6 to 10 raise their hand, you don't have to count from spectator one, you can start from 6.

When you have formal theatre seating, it's very easy to keep track of your helpers. But, occasionally you may find someone that doesn't want to participate. This can mess you up, trying to remember the "gaps" in your group of spectators as you look out at the first row of the audience. To minimize this problem, don't tell the group what you are planning to do in advance. Just say that you need several people to "Hold" a small group of cards. Then walk out into the audience and pass out the cards. Most people will instinctively just take anything that's handed to them. Don't ever ask if they want to participate. Don't give them the choice and things should go well.

Another little tip. It's easy to forget where you are in the routine, especially when you first start to do it. You may be looking at two raised hands, and you're not sure if you are in the "thirties" or "forties" if you know what I mean. What I do to help with this is to keep the blocks of cards I've already used in my right hand. So, I can tell by feel, that there are thirty cards in my right hand, and twenty cards in my left, for example. Since you're dealing with blocks of ten cards it's not hard to tell from the feel where you're at if you have spaced out.

I like using the cross referencing principal (Or "Princess" principal) with a memorized deck. The lack of any "crib" make the effect very clean and allows you to focus on the presentation.

Of course, this effect, and all magic or mentalism routines should be done for the appropriate audience. It's certainly not for a drinking crowd. And it's clearly not a kid's trick. It's best for an intelligent audience.

If I had learned the Aronson Stack only to do this one effect, it would have been well worth the effort.

Dennis Loomis
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MEMORIZED DECK MAGIC (Article 3)

Giobbi's Invisible Card Routine Done With The Aronson Stack

The Third in a series of articles for the Smoke and Mirrors E-ZINE
by Dennis Loomis


This month, weíll look at a version Robert Giobbiís very entertaining routine: ďThe Invisible Card.Ē Youíll find it on page 523 of Volume 3 of the ďCard CollegeĒ series of books. The routine has a very funny premise, and is also strong magically. In the original version, the deck is in random order, and you need to glimpse a card and then force it. Later, youíll need to do a couple of Biddle steals. In this variation, the force is eliminated, but the deck is stacked. I use the Aronson Stack, and this explanation will assume that. You can, however, do this routine with any memorized deck.

The routine leaves the deck in memorized stack order, so it can come prior to any other routine youíre planning with a memorized deck. And, doing this effect first helps to sell the random order of the cards. Begin by false shuffling the deck. Then, place it face down on the table in front of a spectator and ask that he cut the cards. If he does not do so, ask him to complete the cut as well. Point out to him that the card now on top of the deck could be any card, since he had a free choice to cut the deck wherever he wished. He can take that card, as his selection, or he can cut the deck again if he prefers. When heís happy with the card, have him take it, look at it, remember it, and show it to other members of the audience. Caution him not to let you see it. As heís doing this, pick up the deck and glimpse the bottom card. Itís probably best to use the all around square glimpse for the purpose. Next, undercut approximately half the deck, and hold a break below the card that you just glimpsed. The spectatorís card is one card ďhigherĒ in your memorized deck stack, so remember the card the spectator chose. For this example, lets assume that you glimpsed the 7D. That tells you that the spectator chose the 8C. (In Aronson stack order.) Ask the spectator to put the card face down on the table. Then state that you want to lose it in a small group. Cut the deck at your break and table the top half. Now remove four cards from the top of the deck and place them onto the spectatorís card. If all is well, the four cards you placed on the selection will be the 3S, AD, 7S, and 5S. (Numbers 17-20 in the Aronson Stack.) Have the spectator shuffle the packet of five cards, and when theyíre mixed, he can hand them to you. Turn the packet of cards face up and cut the selected card to the center of the packet. You will now establish the comedy premise of the routine by explaining that you will try to determine which card is the chosen one by watching the spectators face as you ask a series of question. Explain that the spectator must do his best to keep a ďpoker faceĒ and he must also answer no to everything that you ask him. Follow Giobbiís routine to milk the fun out of this. When ready, you place the packet of five cards onto the half deck that youíve been holding all of the time. The half-deck is face down, with the five-card packet face up on top. You then peel each card off into your left hand, one at a time. Each time you ask the spectator whether the card he sees is his card. He answers ďNoĒ each time. As you pull the third card (the chosen 8C) into your left hand on top of the two cards already there, hold a break under the 8C. As you come back to get card number four, you Biddle steal the 8C to the bottom of the entire packet, and come away pulling the fourth card into your left hand. After the fifth card is legitimately taken into your left hand, it is holding a group of four face up cards. The right hand is holding the half-deck in biddle position and the cards are face down except for the 8C which is face up on the bottom. Place this half-deck onto the other half of the deck that has been sitting face down on the table. This puts the selected card face up into the face down deck. You now finish the routine as in the Giobbi original except for one difference. After you take out the ďInvisibleĒ card, the packet of cards is shown to contain only four cards. Turn them face up to show that the selected card is no longer there. At this point, casually rearrange the cards into memorized deck order, as if just displaying the cards freely. Turn this packet face down and place it onto the deck on the table. Finish as in the Giobbi routine, by pretending to pick up the invisible card, and tossing it into the deck. It lands upside down. As proof, spread through the deck and show the 8C reversed in the center. Remove it and place it on either the top or bottom of the deck. The deck now needs only to be cut once, between cards 1 and 52, to return it to memorized deck order. If you keep a short card at position 1 or 52, this is easy to do.

In Simon Aronsonís later book: ďTRY THE IMPOSSIBLE,Ē on page 175 is a trick also called ďThe Invisible Card.Ē As in the Giobbi effect, one card becomes invisible and reappears reversed in the deck. However, in Simonís version, the card is randomly selected by a spectator who simply names any card. Also, the card vanishes from the full deck, not from a small packet. Simon replaces the Biddle steal with another procedure for ďvanishingĒ the card. I recommend that you also study Simonís routine. There are two good reasons for doing so. First, you may prefer Simonís handling of the effect. I like my version of the Giobbi routine a little better, because the original comedy premise is lots of fun, and because the vanish of the selected card from the small packet is much faster than looking through the entire deck. But, the other reason to look up Simonís trick is that he has a great line that you can use in any of the versions outlined here. Iím not going to tell you, because I think you should have ďTry the ImpossibleĒ in your library if youíre going to do memorized deck magic. The line is the sixth line of text on page 176.
If you donít have a copy of ďTry the Impossible,Ē you can order it from Loomis Magic.

Next month weíll be looking Stephen Minschís ďEyeless in Gaza.Ē This is a full act with a deck of cards; the magician is legitimately blindfolded from start to finish. The original effect had itís own stack, but weíll see how to do it with the Aronson stack instead. That way, you can reset it quickly and easily without learning a new stack.

As always, I'm happy to hear from other magicians that do memorized deck work. If you have any ideas, tips, or full routines that you'd like to contribute to this series, drop me a note at:

deloomis@mindspring.com
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MEMORIZED DECK MAGIC (Article 4)

Stephen Minch's Eyeless in Gaza
Done With The Aronson Stack


The Fourth in a series of articles for the Smoke and Mirrors E-ZINE
by Dennis Loomis


This month Iíll be reworking Stephen Minchís routine ďEyeless in Gaza.Ē The booklet was published in 1984 by Micky Hades International, and remains in print. A local magic dealer was able to get one for me through Micky Hades. This is a complete blindfolded card act in eight phases. Each phase becomes stronger and more baffling than the last. It is a remarkable piece of work in which the blindfold is genuine. That is, you actually cannot see throughout the entire demonstration. It requires some practice, as does all good card magic, and it also requires that you have some punch work in the deck, and one card corner shorted. To find out more, youíll have to get the manuscript if you donít already have it. I cannot recommend this too highly if you do any parlor work. The routine would also make a great demonstration for a service clubís luncheon or breakfast meeting.

Finally, there is a set up of cards required. What Iíve discovered is that instead of learning a new set up, it can be done using the Aronson stack for those of you that already use it. And that means that you could precede Eyeless in Gaza with any other Aronson stack effects that you like as long as they retain, at a minimum, the first eighteen cards in the Aronson Stack. (From the Jack of Spades, to the Ace of Diamonds.) With that stack of cards intact, and the appropriate ďworkĒ put into the deck, youíre ready to go. Even if you intend to do Eyeless in Gaza as a separate routine, if you already know the Aronson stack, I recommend this handling. You are then in a position to reset the stack any time and anywhere just from memory. If you were to find yourself without the necessary cards, in some distant city, using a needle or pin and a set of nail clippers you can put the necessary work into any deck in a few minutes, and youíre all set.

Incidentally, by sheer happenstance, in Eyeless in Gaza, the Jack of Spades is chosen as the card thatís corner shorted. Since this is card number one in the Aronson stack, I already have the same card prepared in all of my decks. I use a scallop or belly short. You can, however, use a standard corner short. As Jay Marshall is fond of saying: ďItís a matter of personal preference and little consequence.Ē

There will be just a few minor changes necessary to the Eyeless in Gaza†routine.

Assuming that you have the necessary work in the deck, and that it is set in Aronson Stack Order, to get set for the routine, just cut the Ace of Diamonds to the face of the deck. Since you know that it is 18 cards down from the top of the deck, this is quite easy. Itís not hard to quickly sight count 18 cards if you do it in six groups of three. Then you can cut the deck at that spot, and just do a glimpse of the bottom card to make sure it is the Ace of Diamonds. I use an all around square glimpse for this. Alternatively, you can spread through the cards face up until you reach the Ace. Since you know where it is, this is very fast. You then cut at that point. If youíre fast at thumb counting, you can just thumb count 18 cards and cut at that point. This can be done as the spectators are reacting to your previous effect and will go unnoticed, particularly if you drop your hand to your side.

Perform the first three phases of Eyeless in Gaza exactly as in the Minch booklet. Phase four is also performed the same, except that the card you name aloud will be the King of Clubs, not the six of spades.

Phase five is the remarkable poker hand demonstration. For this version, you begin the same way. After the two poker hands are dealt, you will change the procedure just a bit. As in the original, ask the spectators if either of them has an opening hand, that is, a pair of jacks or better. The spectator on your left will respond affirmatively since heís holding a pair of aces. The other spectator has a terrible hand, the 5C, 9S, 3H, 8D, and 10S. These are cards 3, 5, 7, 9 and 11 in the Aronson stack, which will help you to remember them. You now state that you are going to help spectator number two since heís the underdog. Instruct spectator number one to keep his pair of Aces and throw in the other three cards. (Remember you have not been told what pair heís holding, so your knowledge of them is effective in and of itself.) He discards three cards and you deal him three more, but face up on the table. Comment that you didnít promise to help him. The three indifferent cards, in fact, do not help and he ends up with just the pair of aces. You then turn your attention to spectator number two. You tell him to pay close attention. He is to keep his eight and three and discard the other three cards. Again, you are divulging information that you seemingly cannot know. You then deal him three fresh cards. Inform the spectators that he now wins, because he has two pair, threes and eights. Get the spectator to verify this by holding up his cards.

This last phase is ďshow stopperĒ caliber in and of itself, but you have three, even stronger sequences to go.

Phase 6 will be done exactly as in the original. However, the prediction in the sealed envelope must state that the Jack of Spades will be found 17 cards from the top of the deck. Incidentally, in this version, because of the way that phase 5 has been reworked, there will be no adjustments needed, and you can just reassemble the deck and proceed. (You still need to overhand shuffle the bottom card of the cards in your hand to the top, as in the original.)

You are now set to do the 7th phase (the presentation of Out of This World while blindfolded) and the 8th phase wherein you show your own ability to determine the colors. No changes are necessary.

I cannot take much credit for the strength of this truly unbelievable routine. Iíve simply made it possible to do it using the Aronson stack. It does, of course, destroy the stack. I donít consider this a disadvantage, however, since the routine is so strong that you really have to end your act with it.

Stephen mentions that the act may be changed in many ways. I think itís perfect as he originally worked it out, and the only change I can imagine is that you may wish to shorten it for some performances. What Iíd recommend, in that regard, is to eliminate one or perhaps two of the card revelations at the beginning. The third phase, although based on the color separation principle, is the revelation of two selected cards, and makes an effective opening to the Routine. If you need to shorten it further, Iíd recommend that you eliminate Phase 7, the version of Out of This World. While itís very strong, it is one of the longer segments. If you do this, Iíd begin phase 8 by having your helpers try to identify the colors of a few cards after the deck has been shuffled by one of them. They will get some right, and some wrong, but youíre establishing how difficult it is to be always right. Then dismiss them and end the routine with your own demonstration of your uncanny ability to determine the colors accurately while blindfolded.

If you donít have a card punch, I recommend that you visit the Web Site of James Riser at:

http://www.jamesriser.com

He makes and sells an excellent one. And Iím sure youíll enjoy browsing his site. He makes many wonderful magic props, including some of the nicest Cups and Balls youíve ever seen.

As always, Iím interseted in your thoughts on memorized deck magic. Drop me a note at deloomis@mindspring.com with comments, questions, etc.

And, feel free to visit my website at:

http://www.loomismagic.com
silvercup
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It's a very cool thing you are doing but this is not the place.
Steve Suss
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Robert, I'm really glad you're doing this. Dennis had a wealth of knowledge on memorized deck and he was very generous in sharing. His work should be kept alive for others to enjoy and benefit from. Thanks.
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Atom3339
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Silvercup, Where else should it be posted? This is wonderful stuff Dennis gave us. I personally really appreciate it.
TH

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george1953
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Love it,well done . I will enjoy Reading these articles.
By failing to prepare, we are preparing to fail.
Robert P.
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I'm glad you guys are enjoying the articles.

Silvercup, not sure why you don't think these should be posted here but if they shouldn't the Cafť moderators will take care of it.

Exposure did come to mind, but considering that the description of this forum talks about "memorized decks" I'm not really concerned (especially considering the effort that is required to memorize a deck). Dennis had these articles posted freely as well and most of what I have read so far requires the original books mentioned in the articles.
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Quote:
On 2013-08-22 10:14, Robert P. wrote:
I'm glad you guys are enjoying the articles.

Silvercup, not sure why you don't think these should be posted here but if they shouldn't the Cafť moderators will take care of it.

Exposure did come to mind, but considering that the description of this forum talks about "memorized decks" I'm not really concerned (especially considering the effort that is required to memorize a deck). Dennis had these articles posted freely as well and most of what I have read so far requires the original books mentioned in the articles.


RobertP,

These are wonderful and many thanks for taking the time to post these. I am guessing that silvercup feels that Secret Sessions would be a more appropriate place. But, as you say, the mods will take care of it if they think it more appropriate.

That said, I DO hope that wherever these articles end up, The Cafť moderators will have the wisdom to "sticky" these. Great work!!!!!

Best,
Vlad
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I hope they go to "secret Sessions". A while ago, I too have saved all this articles on my PC. I understand your good intentions, but please, place them elswhere (Secret Sessions).
Here it is exposure.
Robert P.
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Here is my dilemma. Do I want any kind of exposure? Of course not. But I think sometimes we worry about it a little too much. Heck, we have a sticky in the ďWorkersĒ section about finding more information concerning ĎDLsí yet in the main post it is spelled out numerous times. But even if it wasnít, anyone would easily be able to tell what was going on from the context of the posts.

So then I look at these articles, and what is really being exposed. As I mentioned before, from the forum description we already know that memorized decks are involved. While Dennis gives advice and his take on certain routines, I donít really see how a layman is going to take away anything from this (plus he/she would have to do a lot of research just to figure out what is being talked about, i.e. the terminology and the effects themselves). Is a magician going to learn about someone elseís material? I donít think so, because from what Iíve seen Dennis always directs them to the original source.

I just donít believe anything is really being exposed. Heck, even someone familiar with memory deck will still need to take the time and effort to find the resources and learn the material in the articles. Memorized deck work is still a very niche area of card magic. Out of the seven forums on card magic here on the Cafť, memorized deck magic ranks fifth in popularity, right above jumbo/mini card and self-working effects. I just think there is more Ďexposureí happening in the main page of the workers (which I donít have a problem with) then there is hidden in these articles.

My concern is letís say we move these to ďSecret SessionsĒ. Well, being the niche area of magic that this is they will probably not be seen anymore after a few days and those who normally visit ďShuffled not StirredĒ may not ever know about these resources provided by Dennis. A search on the Cafť search engine wonít help either because you have to specify the forum (and a search on this forum would bring up nothing). Maybe a compromise that might make everyone happy is to have a sticky in this forum that points people to the thread on the articles in ďSecret SessionsĒ? We would need Cafť moderators to help with this.
Waterloophai
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Quote:
On 2013-08-22 17:14, Robert P. wrote:
Maybe a compromise that might make everyone happy is to have a sticky in this forum that points people to the thread on the articles in ďSecret SessionsĒ? We would need Cafť moderators to help with this.


That would be a very good solution.
JanForster
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Although I saved all articles time ago I do agree to move this thread downstairs. It would be enough to point from here to there. Jan
Jan Forster
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Robert P.
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I discussed the situation with the Cafť administration and asked about it being moved and it was decided that the thread would remain in "Shuffled Not Stirred".
Robert P.
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MEMORIZED DECK MAGIC (Article 5)

Gene Anderson's Si Stebbins Routine
Done With The Aronson Stack


The Fifth in a series of articles for the Smoke and Mirrors E-ZINE
by Dennis Loomis


More years ago than either of us would care to admit, my pal Gene Anderson and I worked together on a routine he was putting together using the Si Stebbins Stack. Gene has honed and polished his presentation over the years, and has also published it. He sells it at his magic lectures and you can get a copy directly from him Gene at gene4864@earthlink.net, or even better, just send a check for $6 to Gene Anderson, 3309 Isabella St, Midland, MI 48640. If youíre not in the U.S., better check with him first to see how much shipping will be. Gene would be the first to admit that heís not really a card magician. But this routine is one of the strongest things Iíve ever seen done with a deck of cards. To lay people, who see this, Gene is a GREAT card worker. And, itís fooled a lot of magicians who should know better.

My contribution to Geneís routine was to suggest the ending. The effect he uses as the final phase was created by Nick Trost. Nick wrote it up in his TOPS column about 1970. One year, when I was performing close up at the annual one-day magic convention in Galion, Ohio, Nick was in the audience. I performed this effect, and afterwards Nick not only complimented me on it, but also wanted to know where it came from! When I reminded him that it was one of his own creations, we both had a good laugh. (I wish that I had created so much strong magic that I might forget one of my routines.) That also reminded him to include it in his book: The Card Magic of Nick Trost published in 1997. Itís called the Automatic Lie Speller and you can find it on page 155.

What I want to address here is the body of Geneís routine, prior to the Nick Trost ending. While I love the routine, there are some distinct advantages gained by doing it with a memorized deck instead of the Si Stebbins setup.

Geneís full patter is in his booklet, and I encourage you to get it from him. Itís a delightfully simple way to present a series of card revelations and itís based on the senses of sight and sound. It begins with the old saw: The hand is quicker than the eye. The routine is in five phases. In phase one Gene quickly has a card selected and he openly looks through the deck, claiming that he doesnít see one particular card. Of course the one he names is the one the spectator is holding. He repeats this two or three times. Itís fast and very strong for magicians and lay people alike. First, he dispels any idea of a stack with a quick Haymow or Erdnase False Shuffle. (Later Iíll explain my apparently unique handling of this.) A spectator takes one card, and Gene cuts the deck at this spot. However, the cut is done quickly and smoothly and at the same time that the spectator is showing the card around. Iíve Gene seen fool some knowledgeable card magicians because they donít see the cut of the cards. Now when Gene looks through the deck, the card adjacent to the selection is right on the bottom of the deck. Since the selected card is one higher in the Stebbins stack, thatís the card he names. This is just as fast and easy with a memorized deck, of course. And, Gene cannot openly spread through the deck because that would reveal the red black alternation of the cards. With a memorized deck, like the Aronson stack, this is not a problem. So, in my handling, I initially spread the cards face up, commenting that theyíre already well mixed, but to be sure, weíll shuffle them some more. Then I do my handling of the Erdnase shuffle.

As soon as the named card is confirmed, Gene retrieves the card and replaces it on either the top or bottom of the stack. This is repeated two or three times, working very rapidly.

The second phase of the routine is actually just like the first mechanically; itís just that Gene apparently determines the identity of the selected card by listening to the deck as he riffles down it with his thumb. Apparently he does not look at the cards at all. Actually, as the card is being shown around, Gene cuts the deck at the spot where the card is withdrawn, and glimpses it as he brings it up to his ear. With the deck along side his ear, Gene makes a big show of not looking at the cards at all. Of course, with the brief glimpse, he can determine the selected card. The strength of this phase is very much dependent on convincing the audience that the cards are not looked at. Timing is critical. Practice the cut and glimpse action and bringing the deck up to your ear so that it is all one continuous action. Gene also does this phase two or three times, working very quickly. I recently saw Gene do this for a group of very knowledgeable magicians and afterwards one confided to me that they thought he was doing a classic force!

In phase 3, Gene shows that he can determine how many cards are in a cut off portion of the deck. Ostensibly itís done by listening to the sound of the individual clicks made when the packet is riffled next to his ear. This phase is quite strong, but requires some quick calculating. Gene simplifies things by cutting the cards himself, and, by cutting near the center of the deck. Iím not going to explain the calculations used to determine the number of cards in a packet when the deck is in SS order. I am going to suggest that if you have a memorized deck, this becomes much stronger. First, you can have a spectator cut off the block of cards for you. It can contain any number, but when you site the bottom card of the packet, its stack number tells you instantly how many cards are in the packet. Gene will cover the thinking time by riffling down the packet with his thumb fairly slowly, and if heís not ready, he will riffle through a second time. Itís still a strong effect in his hands, but if youíve already memorized a deck it can be much stronger and certainly a lot easier to do.

I always have the top card in my Aronson Stack belly or scallop shorted. This makes it easy to cut the deck back to starting order at any time. So, in the first two phases the deck gets cut several times, and is apparently shuffled. Just before I go into phase three, I just cut the cards at the short and Iím all set.

Again, some of the strength of this phase is that you do not apparently look at any cards. While I have a spectator cut the packet off for me, I misdirect my glimpse at the bottom card. As I reach out to take the packet from the spectator, I ask him if he can tell by the weight how many cards the packet contains. As I finish the question, I have the packet in my hands, and as he responds, all eyes go to him briefly. At this moment I get my glimpse and continue bringing the cards right up alongside my ear. I mimic Geneís action of not looking at the cards as I ďcountĒ the clicks.

Gene will sometimes repeat this phase, and the second time he again cuts the cards himself and tries to cut exactly ľ of the deck. Since he will probably only be off by a card or two, the calculations are quite simple. I almost always repeat this phase and again have a spectator cut off a packet and hand it to me. Again, no calculations are required; your memorization work pays off with an effortless performance.

In the fourth phase, Gene now shows that he can locate any card named by listening to the sounds the cards make as he again riffles them alongside his ear. A spectator names any card they wish, Gene picks up the deck, listens, and then announces that the card is number 22. (Or whatever.) If youíve tried to do this with the Si Stebbins deck, you know that the calculations are a little tricky. Again, the memorized deck makes this so very easy to accomplish. I usually give the deck another Haymow shuffle before this phase, and then cut at the short card. So now when a card is named, I simply name its stack number as the location and then count down to it. No glimpse is required, of course. Gene will often repeat this phase, and I do too. But the second time, I do it a bit differently. I take out a pocket-handkerchief and blindfold myself before the spectator names the card. I then name the stack number, and count the cards down onto the table still blindfolded until I get to the card. I drop the rest of the deck to the table to free up one hand. The free hand removes the blindfold (its just on with a single knot) and holds it up as the other hand holds up the card to show that itís the one that was names. Perfect applause position.

That phase may destroy the stack, but itís a small price to pay for this routine. I usually end right there anyway. If itís necessary, I can count the cards from hand to hand, retaining the stack order, but itís much more dramatic just tossing them onto the table willy-nilly while blindfolded.

Gene, as mentioned above, concludes with the Nick Trost ďAutomatic Lie Speller.Ē

I believe that I originally learned the Haymow shuffle from Royal Road to Card Magic by Hugard and Braue. Iíve done it for years, and was rather surprised, in discussing it with another magician that I was doing it differently. I checked Geneís instructions and also the Royal Road again, and indeed, what Iím doing is somewhat different. I donít know how I fell into this action. Perhaps I read the instructions wrong in the first place. But, it works just the same even though it looks quite different. For completeness, hereís how I do it:

The deck is held in the left hand dealing position and a bunch of cards are pushed off the top into the right hand. The number is unimportant, but I push about half of the deck. The left hand is raised until itís just above the right hand and the right fingers push a small block of cards from the top onto the bottom of the left-hand packet. This is probably six or eight cards, but itís not important. The left hand is lowered back to its original position, and the left fingers push a small block of cards onto the bottom of the right hands cards. Again the left hand is lowered and the right hand pushes off a small block of cards onto the bottom of the left-hand cards. If youíre pushing off roughly the same amount of cards each time (except for the first time, of course) then the packets in the hands remain about the same size and you can keep going as long as you like.

When you stop, if you have a corner or belly short in your deck, you can easily cut the deck back to starting order. This is not necessary for the first two phases of the routine. You will want to do that for the third and fourth phase.

Like Gene, you can end with another kind of effect. The bad news is that you canít do the Automatic Lie Speller with a memorized deck, but the good news is that you have your choice of dozens of great routines with, for example, the Aronson stack. If you would like to do something similar to the Trost Routine, I would suggest Aces Awry from Simon Aronsonís latest book: Try the Impossible. Itís another spelling effect where you spell to a selection (in this case, an ace that is forced.) But, along the way you also find the other three Aces.
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MEMORIZED DECK MAGIC (Article 6)

A Few Ideas on the Birthday Book And Additional Thoughts on the Haymow Shuffle


The Sixth in a series of articles for the Smoke and Mirrors E-ZINE
by Dennis Loomis


This month I want to share some thoughts on two items. First, a brief look at one of my favorite routines with the Memorized Deck: The Birthday Book. Then a few more thoughts on my handling of the Haymow shuffle which I described last month.

The Diary Trick or Birthday Book was created by Alex Elmsley. It is a brilliant concept. You show a full year diary and open it to show that written into the diary, for every date of the year, is the name of a playing card. The diary is set aside and a spectator is asked to reveal the month and date of his birth. The same spectator selects a playing card from a deck, and when he opens the diary and looks up his birthday, the very same card is written in for that date. Elmsley used a repeating bank of only ten cards, and the book therefore could not be looked at very carefully. The 1st, 11th, 21st, and 31st dates all had the same card written in. As did the 2nd, 12th, etc. Simon Aronson came up with the idea of using his memorized stack in conjunction with the Birthday book. His routine is excellent and you may want to look it up in his book: Simply Simon. Youíll find it on page 96 under the title: Happy Birthday. Simonís idea is to use the numerical value of the month (January equals 1, February 2, and so on,) and add it to the date to come up with a total for each date of the year. You then write into that date, the card that falls in that position in your memorized deck. For example, my birthday is August 31. Adding 8 (for the eighth month) to 31, we get the number 39. In the Aronson Stack, number 39 is the six of hearts, so thatís what you write in for that date. In this way you fill up the entire diary and can calculate in your head, almost instantly, what card is written in for each date of the year. You simply force that card.

You could use a regular deck, but the effect is strengthened enormously if the selection appears to be very fair and you do not look through the deck at all. By using a deck that is already set up in Aronson Stack order, you can quickly and easily force ANY card without having to look through the deck to find the force card you need. Simon has his own solution as to how to do this for the effect: Two Beginnings in his book Try the Impossible. Its on page 172. Mike Close uses a different procedure that youíll find in his book: Workers 5, p 156. They are both excellent, and my handling borrows a little from each of them. Letís use my birthday... August 31. I simply add 8 and 31 in my head and get 39. I donít have to even worry about what card it is, I just need to know that itís 39 cards down from the top. Iím going to force that card using a simple cull. But first, I need to get that card about five to ten cards from the top of the deck. This is NOT critical. All is not lost if itís four from the top, or thirteen from the top, but five to ten is what I prefer. Prior to offering the spectator a selection, I just give the deck a casual cut. Itís completely fair and makes the selection appear to be a random one. But, the cut was an estimation: I just tried to cut from five to ten cards above the 39th card. (In other words, I try to cut from 29 to 34 cards down from the top.) Even if youíve never done any estimation work, this is not difficult. And, you can relax because if you donít hit in that range you can easily fix the situation. As I square up the cards after the cut I do the all around square glimpse to get a quick look at the bottom card. You may use any glimpse you like; you just need to know what the bottom (or top) card of the deck is. Let's say that I see the King of Hearts. Thatís great, I know itís the 30th card in the stack, and I want to cull the 39th card. As I begin to explain to the spectator that he is to touch a card, but not remove it, I begin to push blocks of cards over with my left thumb. Itís quite easy to push three cards at a time and you just watch and count. With three blocks of cards, the card on the left in the last batch of three will be the card you want to force. You cull it under the spread, and your work is almost done. As far as the spectators are concerned, the trick hasnít even begun. With the force card riding under the spread you continue to thumb cards over to the right and when the spectator wishes, he touches one card. At this point, break the spread, with the touched card as the bottom card in the right hand. At this point, stress that the spectator can change his mind if he likes You can go further into the deck, or back some, whatever he wishes. Usually they decline to change their mind, but this emphasizes the fairness of the selection. If they do want to change their mind, reassemble the deck in a slightly spread condition with the force card still hidden under the spread and let them touch a different card. When they do, again break the spread with their selection on the bottom. (At least as far as the spectators are concerned.) You continue to offer them the chance to change their mind until they decline to do so. When they do, table or pocket the cards in your left hand. You now ask the spectator to look at his selection, and you quickly square the spread cards in your right hand and tip it up to show them the bottom card. Done casually, this is completely deceptive, although the force card has been switched for their selection. As an ďafterthoughtĒ decide to let everyone see the card, and remove the bottom card and show it around. You now either table that card, or if working standing up, you can put the card into your breast pocket, but leave the majority of the card in view, facing the spectators. The deck is reassembled and attention is focused on the Birthday Book itself. The spectator is allowed to look at the book. Finally, ask them to look at their own birthday and read aloud the card that is written there. It is the card they freely selected. This is a fairly quick effect, and for intelligent spectators, it is absolutely mind-boggling. To reset, you have only to replace that one card back in itís proper position. An easy way to do this is to fan the deck. Since you know right where it has to go (in our example, the 39th position) you fan so that you can see the faces of the cards in that area. It is very fast and easy to spot where the chosen card has to go, and you take the card from your pocket or the table and plunge it into the deck. To the spectators it appears that you just stuck it back in a random location.

But what if your original cut is off? You simply cut again to correct the situation. For example, lets say in our example that when I glimpsed the bottom card that I saw that it was the Ten of Hearts. Since thatís the thirty-eighth card in the Aronson Stack, Iíve cut too deeply. The card I want to force is on the very top of the deck, an impossible position to cull from. I cut a very thin block from the bottom of the top (trying for five to ten cards). Because the cut was so thin, I immediately follow it with a false cut. Again, I glimpse the bottom card and know where Iím at. On the other hand, lets say that after the first cut I glimpse the bottom card and itís the Queen of Hearts. Thatís the 26th card, and my force card is way down at position 39. I could spread over the thirteen cards before I cull but Iíd prefer to cull a little sooner than that. So, I just cut a thin group of cards from the top of the deck to the bottom. Again I glimpse and know where Iím at.

August 21, 2005. I've revisited this write up to add a couple of additional points on this force. First, Simon discusses his handling of the cull force in conjunction with the effect: Two Beginnings in the book [i]"Try the Impossible." (Page 171) There is another variation of the cull force in Roberto Giobbi's book "Card College Vol 1" on page 191. My handling is very much like the Giobbi version, except that I often work in venues where I don't have a table. Therefore, I can't table the left hands packet. I find it easy to still put the right hands cards into the left hand, squaring them up in the process, but with the selected card outjogged.

There are other ways to force a card from a stacked deck. I'll mention two of the possibilities. Both will assume that you have made an estimated cut and the card you need to force is the sixth from the top. If you do a second deal, you start to deal single cards onto a pile on the table. The first five are dealt from the top, and as you're dealing them, you explain to the spectator that you want him to say stop whenever you wish. In this way, he has no chance to stop you until after you reach the force card. After the first five cards are dealt, you start to deal seconds, and you keep dealing seconds until he says stop. When he does, you hand him the top card of the deck as his "selection."

I would suggest that you deal stud seconds, turning each card face up as you deal. (Of course, you do the same with the first five single cards.) In this way, you keep your deck in order, but, more importantly, when the spectator says stop, the face up card is dropped on the table. Now, it's more natural to hand them the unseen card on the top of the remaining cards in your left hand.

There's another excellent way to force a card assuming that you've cut it to a known position a little way down from the top of the deck. It uses the JB Kard Kop invented by Johnny Benzais. It was explained in Harry Lorayne book: Close-Up Card Magic. That's long out of print, but fortunately Harry has included most of the text of that book and several others in his "Classic CollectionĒ. This is available directly from Harry Lorayne. With this move, you deal the cards above the force card straight until you get to it. Then you "Kop" the card and keep dealing. When the spectator says stop, you drop both of the cards in your right hand onto the tabled cards, and have the spectator take the top one as their selection. In this version, you cannot deal face up, and so you have reversed the order of the small group of cards on the table. This is easily corrected. Here's one way: as the spectator looks at his card and shows it to the other spectators you pick up the dealt cards and casually give them an overhand shuffle. You just run then singly, reversing them, to restore the sequence of your stack. Drop them onto the tabled remainder of the deck. After the trick is over, you will only have to return the selected card to it's proper place in your stack.[/i]

Both Mike Close and Simon Aronson use a patter ploy that I did not like. They talk about the difficulty of finding the right birthday card for someone. This is word play, a birthday card, in our culture, means a greeting card from Hallmark (or their competitors) that says ďHappy BirthdayĒ on it. It has nothing to do with a deck of playing cards. I found this confusing and not particularly entertaining. And, I wanted to get away from having to hand write 365 cards into a diary. For one thing, my handwriting is terrible. And so, I came up with the idea that there actually is a Lucky Playing Card for every day of the year. Why not? We each have our own Zodiac Sign, or Birthstone, even the appropriate flower... why not a lucky playing Card. And so, I printed out and bound a little fake booklet. The cover reads:

Hallmark Greeting Cards
Presents
YOUR LUCKY PLAYING CARD
The Lucky Playing Card for Every Birthday of the Year


With a little artwork, and printed on my printer, it looks quite official. I claim that I picked it up at a Hallmark store, and suggest the spectators can do the same. I know this is a minor infringement on Hallmarkís name, but as I do not make these in quantity and sell them, I doubt if Iíll ever have any legal problems. But it gives a kind of ďofficialĒ atmosphere to the premise. Inside, the months, dates, and playing cards are all printed out, one month to a page. And, if I ever loose it, or it becomes too soiled, I can just print out a new one.

Whatever version of the effect you use, Mike Closeís, Simon Aronsonís, or mine, I believe you will find it to be a very strong effect made even stronger by using a memorized deck.

Last month, I explained my own version of the Haymow shuffle. For completeness, I am going to include that description before I explain how it can be used to move a block of cards of any size from top to bottom:

I believe that I originally learned the Haymow shuffle from Royal Road to Card Magic by Hugard and Braue. Iíve done it for years, and was rather surprised, in discussing it with another magician that I was doing it differently. I checked Geneís instructions and also the Royal Road again, and indeed, what Iím doing is somewhat different. I donít know how I fell into this action. Perhaps I read the instructions wrong in the first place. But, it works just the same even though it looks quite different. For completeness, hereís how I do it:

The deck is held in the left hand dealing position and a bunch of cards are pushed off the top into the right hand. The number is unimportant, but I push about half of the deck. The left hand is raised until itís just above the right hand and the right fingers push a small block of cards from the top onto the bottom of the left-hand packet. This is probably six or eight cards, but itís not important. The left hand is lowered back to its original position, and the left fingers push a small block of cards onto the bottom of the right hands cards. Again the left hand is lowered and the right hand pushes off a small block of cards onto the bottom of the left-hand cards. If youíre pushing off roughly the same amount of cards each time (except for the first time, of course) then the packets in the hands remain about the same size and you can keep going as long as you like.

When you stop, if you have a corner or belly short in your deck, you can easily cut the deck back to starting order.


If you try that, deck in hand, youíll find itís easy to do. So now, letís use it to accomplish something: moving a block of cards of any size from top to bottom. My primary use for it is as a way to get ready for the Simon Aronson Three Phase Poker Deal from his book: Bound to Please. I do not intend to explain that routine, but you must begin the routine with the ten of spades on the bottom of the deck. This is the eleventh card in the Aronson Stack. I do this in the process of the Haymow Shuffle. The deck is cut approximately in half, but the upper half goes into the left hand. To do this, hereís one simple method: With the deck held in dealing position in the left hand, the right hand comes over and takes the entire deck from above in Biddle Grip. The right index finger swivel cuts approximately half of the cards back into the left hand. This is the original top half of the deck of course. With some help with the fingertips and thumb of the left hand, the cards in the right hand are moved into a dealing position in that hand as well.

You begin the Haymow Shuffle by pushing a block of cards with the left thumb off of the top of its cards onto the bottom of the left hands cards. But instead of a random number of cards, push off exactly three cards. This is very easy. Now the right hand pushes off a block of cards from the top of itís half onto the bottom of the left-hand cards. This can be any number; I usually do four or five. Again, the process is reversed and the left hand pushes off a block of cards. Again, it pushes off exactly three. And again the right hand pushes a random number of cards off the top of its pile onto the bottom of the left hands cards. The third time that the left hand pushes cards into the right hand, it again pushes exactly three cards. At this point, youíve pushed a total of nine cards off of the cards in the left-hand pile. Again the right hand pushes any number of cards onto the bottom of the cards in the left-hand pile. Finally, the left hand pushes just two cards onto the bottom of the cards in the right hand. The right hand now places its entire pile onto the bottom of the left hands cards and the deck is squared. You have transferred exactly 11 cards from top to bottom, no other mixing has been done, and you have the ten of spades on the bottom ready to do the Aronson Poker Deal.

You can move any number of cards you wish. For example, if you wanted to move fifteen cards from the top to the bottom, the left hand pushes four cards in itís first ďturn.Ē four more cards the next time, four more cards the third time, and finally just three cards. To move larger groups, you may want to move five or even six cards each time. Keep a running count in your head. In the above example, as I do the shuffle, in my head I say: "Three, six, nine, and eleven."

I hope you find this simple procedure a useful addition to your arsenal. As always, I invite comments, suggestions, ideas, questions, etc. You may reach me at:

deloomis@mindspring.com

And, feel free to visit my web site to see those commercial items that Loomis Magic has available.

Loomis Magic has some of the lowest prices on magic DVDís on the Web. If youíre in the market for DVDís I invite you to visit the site and see our great prices and selection. We promise to take very good care of our customers... you are the lifeblood of our business.
Robert P.
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MEMORIZED DECK MAGIC (Article 7)

A New Version of Harry Anderson's Yard Sale Deck using the Aronson Stack


The Seventh in a series of articles for the Smoke and Mirrors E-ZINE
by Dennis Loomis


This month Iíll share my version of Harry Andersonís ďYard Sale Deck.Ē I saw Harry do this in a lecture at the Magic Castle many years ago and found it to be a very direct and clean mental effect. Iíll describe his version first, and then share my own reworking based on a memorized deck. Iím not claiming that my version is better. Itís a different effect. Harryís is faster; mine adds a second element of deception.

In Harryís original version, he holds up a deck of cards and explains that he found it at a yard sale on the way to the show. He explains that he bought it at a pretty good price, and invites an audience member to see if they can guess that price. By way of help, he suggests that they name any two-digit number from 1 to 99. For our example, letís say that they choose 41. He gets them to repeat the number in a nice loud voice and them tosses them the deck. (Which is in its box, of course.) He asks them to hold it up and show everyone the price tag. Itís one of those little round press-apply dots. But written on the dot is: ď41 Cents.Ē The method is simple... just a nail writer. The boxed deck makes a good writing surface and it doesnít take much practice to learn to write digits. You have the time to do this when the spectator repeats their number. And, people are looking at them at that moment anyway. The cent sign is prewriten before the show, of course, but do it using the nail writer so that it will match. To reset, you only have to pull off the press-apply dot and put on a new one.

My variation is to have the deck of cards in memorized stack order. Again, your premise is that you bought this deck of cards at a yard sale on the way to the show. This time, you get several spectators involved by having them participate in the process of selecting one card. Spectator one names either Red or Black. Assume they say red. Then spectator two chooses hearts or diamonds. Assume they say diamonds. Spectator three says high or low. Assume low. Spectator four says odd or even. Assume even. Spectator five then gets to choose from two, four, or six. He says four. And so, the group has chosen one card that no one would have been able to predict. The deck is then tossed to a final spectator who reads the price tag on the box. The price is thirty-one cents.

The spectator is then asked to remove the deck from the box, and to count the cards off the top onto the table, turning them face up in the process. Spectators get to see that the deck is in random (?) order. When the spectator gets to the forty-first card, it is the group-selected card: the Four of Diamonds.
Again, you use a nail writer. As soon as the card is determined, you know itís stack number and use the nail writer to write the digit(s) on the price tag. At the end, your deck is still in order, ready to continue with another memorized deck effect.

You should use an old, beat up card case for this routine, of course. You may want to count through the cards yourself, thus not risking disarranging your stack. Just be sure to do it in a very clean, open manner.

I hope you find this simple effect a useful addition to your arsenal. As always, I invite comments, suggestions, ideas, questions, etc. You may reach me at:

deloomis@mindspring.com

And, feel free to visit my web site to see those commercial items that Loomis Magic has available.

And, Loomis Magic has some of the lowest prices on magic DVDís on the Web. If youíre in the market for DVDís I invite you to visit the site and see our great prices and selection. We promise to take very good care of our customers... you are the lifeblood of our business.
Nick Pudar
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Many people are unaware of a remarkable service that exists at archive.org
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Let me explain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up.
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