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Written and designed by John Guastaferro

Edited by Raj Madhok

Photos by Emma Guastaferro

(my 9 year-old daughter)

Copyright 2017 by John Guastaferro

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form
without written permission from the author and publisher.




Virus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
Upper Hand Triumph . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
Mini-Mental . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25

Essay: Your Brand Voice . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33


Boxing Day . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
The Box Whisperer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
Think Tank . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47

Essay: Sharing Your S.E.C.R.E.T. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55


All In Your Hands . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59

Chip Off The Old Daley . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63
Double Agent . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69
Flash Pocket . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77



Its past midnight as I make the final edits to this

book. Im sipping a Moscow Mule as The West Wing
plays on Netflix in the background. Its season 3, and Toby is
talking to poet laureate Tabitha Fortis (played by Laura Dern).
She delivers a beautifully scripted Aaron Sorkin line that
catches my attention: An artists job is to captivate you for
however long theyve asked for your attention. As
magicians, we have the extraordinary opportunity to
captivate our audienceto transport them and bring them
safely back. This journey of exploration and audience
experience is the very premise of this book.

In my view, being en route with magic is about being on a

continual forward moving expedition to:

1. Strengthen magic through one-degree improvements (see

One Degree, 2010); and

2. Transport our audience through presentations that are

clear, creative, and captivating.

When these two factors are in sync, you are en route toward
a greater experience for both you and your audience.

When we look at a painting or sculpture, it never physically

changes, Magic, however, evolves and can become stronger
over time. Even when an effect has reached its final version
on the page, we can bring it to life in new ways each time we
perform. In this respect, we are always en route.

Looking at magic through this lens, we can unveil new ways
to make even the simplest of effects soar. We can put the
power of an Ace production completely in the hands of two
participants; or turn a pick-a-card effect into a memorable
moment of trapping a whisper inside a card box. In this book,
youll find ten card effects, each describing how theyve
developed over timeand how they bring an audience
along for a captivating ride. I also offer two essays to sharpen
your perspective as a performer. When youre ready to pack,
all youll need are the items pictured below to perform every
effect in this bookthree acts that fit in your pocket.

In reading this book, you are already on your way toward

greater discovery. I hope you find ideas that make you think
and inspire you to explore even further. And after youve
gone through this creative trek, I hope you find even greater
satisfaction bringing your audience along as you transport
them during performance.

As you do so, Ill enjoy being en route with you.

John Guastaferro
January, 2017


Welcome your audience aboard with this set of three effects,

a perfect set for strolling and other close-up environments.
It features a visual opener, a direct in-the-hands version of
Triumph, and a powerful closer that involves four people.


Time to call deck support. A virus causes your deck to go
from all backs...to all blanks...to printed faces.

This is an update to my effect Troubleshooter (Brainstorm,

2003). The original effect featured one odd-backed card. By
adding the word virus to the back and making the face
blank, these one-degree improvements have greatly
heightened the magic. Just one card is still used, but it
produces several new magical moments, including a blank
deck display and a surprising kicker showing a virus in your
deck. The best part is that the extra card is woven into the
presentation, so there is no need keep its presence secret.

Like my effect Truth in Advertising (One Degree, 2010),

Virus features a widely relatable presentational hook. Most
everyone can relate to the fear of losing files or having a
computer virus. Dont miss the opportunity for spontaneous
dialogue during the effect.

Youll need either an odd-backed blank-faced card or
double-blank card. I use the latter. Write the word "VIRUS" in
bold letters on one side of a blank-facer or the double-blank
card (photo 1). Place this card on the bottom of your deck,
blank side outward. To prepare for the effect, spread eight
cards off the face and turn them over. Turn the deck face
down and you are ready to perform.

1 2

Give the deck and swing cut and retain a fourth finger break
between the halves. Youll dribble the cards and ask your
participant to say stop. Use a Dribble Force to stop at your
break. Raise your right hand as you ask everyone to
remember the card at the face of the upper packet (photo
2). The audience will be a little perplexed to see a back. Wait
a beat, then say, Oh no, it happened again. My deck
crashed. Last time I had to call deck support. (Thanks Chad
Long for the deck crash angle). Turn your right hand palm
down. Swing Cut a few cards onto the left hand packet
(photo 3) and display the underside of the right packet again
(photo 4). Place the right hands cards underneath those in
the left hand.

Turn the deck over and spread no more than six cards to
show backs. Re-square the deck and turn the deck over to its
starting position.

You will now display more backs in the following spread

1. Spread off about a quarter of the deck and hold these
cards spread in the right hand.
2. Use the right fingertips to lever the rest of the deck over
in the left hand (photo 5).
3. The left thumb spreads three cards and takes them
under right hands cards (photo 6).
4. Lever the bottom portion over again.
5. Repeat steps 1 through 4.

5 6

As you do this, say, Yes, the deck definitely crashed. Now Im

stuck with nothing but backs on both sides. Last time I called
deck support, they told me to reboot, but I couldnt because I
was right in the middle of a trick.

The deck should now be face down with two cards still
reversed underneath: a standard card and the Virus card.

Say, The heck with deck support. We can fix the deck
ourselves. Turn the deck over and attain a fourth finger break
below the top two reversed cards. You will now perform J.K.
Hartmans Blow Away Change: With the deck held in left
hand dealing position, place the right hand over the cards as
if you are going to take the cards into Biddle Grip (photo 7).
Raise both hands up toward your mouth so the deck is held
upright (photo 8). Once the top of the deck is out of sight,
secretly lever the two cards over sideways by lifting up the
right edge of this card with your right hand and rotating it
over to the left (photo 9). Your left thumb can help in this
action. The entire move takes only two seconds. The large
movement of raising the deck covers the small action of
secretly levering the cards over. Slowly lower so the blank
card comes into view.

Say, Well, the backs are gone, but now all the cards are
blank. All my files are deleted! Perform a reverse fan to show
all blanks (photo 10). The blank side of the Virus card makes
this blank deck display possible. Square the deck and turn it
face down. Swing cut a few small packets as you flash the
blank card each time, then assemble the deck so the Virus
card is centered.

9 10

Place the deck on the table. Pause a beat and say, Theres
not much I can do with a blank deck. Wait, I think I know what
the problem is. Spread the deck across the table or in your
hands. One card will stand outthe "Virus" card (photo 11).
This is a very surprising moment for your audience. Remove
the Virus card (without showing the blank side) and let
everyone get a look at it. Place it away in your pocket as you
say, The deck must have gotten infected with a virus. If we
get rid of the virus, it should fix the deck.

11 12

Spread the deck face up to show that all the faces have
returned (photo 12). The deck is now clean and ready for your
next effect.

There are numerous routines that show all backs, including Dai
Vernons The All Backs from Expert Card Technique (1950).

Walter B. Gibson describes a right to left fan to portray the

deck as blank in The Appearing SpotsA New and
Sensational Effect With Cards, found in The Sphinx Vol. 23, No.
2 (April 1924).


A selection is lost in a deck that is shuffled face up and face
down. The performer names the selection, discerns if its
facing up or down, cuts to it, and has the deck straighten
outwhile being held by the participant.

As the name implies, you get an upper hand by putting in a

few seconds of impromptu preparation. This gets you far
ahead of the audience and allows for several strong
moments, including a convincing display before handing the
deck to your participant. There are numerous one-degree
touches throughout.

To prepare, spread the deck to show the cards face down.
When closing the spread, use a Half Pass or Spread Pass to
reverse the bottom half of the deck. Double undercut the top
card to the bottom and you are set (photo 1). You can do this
ahead of time or during performance.

With the cards set in position, turn the deck face up. Casually
bottom spread (or dribble cards) from the lower half of the
deck to show only face-up cards (photo 2). Say, "As you can
see, all the cards are different. I don't want you to think that a
cheat. I mean I do cheat; I just don't want you to THINK that I
do." This always gets a laugh. More importantly, it shows a
face-up deck without over-proving.

2 3

Turn the deck face down and slowly spread the top half of
the deck. Say, Id like you to touch any card so I cant see
it. Dont spread past the center. Once a card is touched,
outjog it and keep the deck slightly spread (photo 3). Raise
the deck upright so the participant can see the selection
(photo 4). You will now displace the card and get a glimpse in
the process during a natural gesture. Remove the selection
with your left hand under the guise of ensuring your audience
gets a clear view of the card. Take this opportunity to glimpse
the card by flicking the bottom of the card forward with your
left third finger (photo 5). This gives you a brief instant to spot
the lower left index. Lets say its the Queen of Hearts.

4 5

6 7

With the deck still held upright, replace the card back in the
deck by partially inserting it into the lower half of the deck
(photo 6). From the audiences view, the deck looks
completely face up (photo 7). Lower the deck and square all
the cards except for the selection. Invite your participant to
push the card flush with the deck. No controls are necessary.
Follow with an optional face-down reverse fan to ostensibly
show a face-down deck.

Say, Im now going to give the cards an unusual shuffle by

mixing half the deck face down and half face up. As you say
this, display a few face-down cards, then lever the deck over
and bottom spread some cards to show face-up cards.

You will now separate the deck at the face-to-face natural
break near the center of the deck. Start with the deck held in
right hand Biddle grip. Give the deck a light downward
motion and the block of cards below the natural break will
easily fall into your waiting left hand (photo 8). Glancing at
the underside of the right packet will let you know if youve hit
the natural break since you will see the face of a card. I now
like to give the right hands cards a wide bevel at the left
edge and riffle down the edge with my left thumb. Be sure the
bevel is turned toward you so the backs are not seen (photo
9). This small touch helps convey they are all face up.

8 9



Use the cards in the right hand to lever the left hands cards
face down (photo 10). Fairly weave the halves together in
such a way that the face-up card on the right hands packet
stays on top (photo 11). Slowly square all the cards.

Position check: All the cards are face down except for the
face-up card on top and the face-up selection near the

Mental and Physical Skill

Say, You might ask why shuffle the cards in such a manner. It
creates a challenge of both mental and physical skill.
Mentally, there is no way I could know what your card is,
where it is, or if its facing up or down. Physically, its much
more challenging to find your card in this mess. Yet I am going
to do both of these things. Please concentrate on your card. I
have the sense you chose a red carda heart...the Queen of
Hearts. I also have a strong feeling it is face UP. After the
audience reacts, continue, That takes mental skill. Now for
the physical skill as I cut directly to your card. Cut to the card
by lifting up at the face-to-face break. I find it easy to lift up
lightly from the back with my right thumb (photo 12).

You are now in a perfect position to provide a convincing

display of face-up and face-down cards. With the upper half
in Biddle grip, use the right fingertips to lift half of the bottom
half and stagger it back about an inch (photo 13). Place the
upper half on top, stepped back another inch (photo 14).
Finally, cut off about five cards and injog these as well. You
are left with a display of four packets, alternating face up and
face down (photo 15). Heres a final touch. Take the upper

packet in the right hand and flash the underside as a spread,
then replace them on top as they were (photo 16).

12 13

14 15

The rest of the effect is completely hands off. Slowly square

the staggered deck and hand it to your participant. Say,
With the cards mixed up and down, I am going to hand you
the deck in this state. After giving her the deck, gesture
toward the top card and say, May I have just one card?
You are guiding the participant to hand you the top card,
while implying it could be any card. After she hands you the
card, ask her to hold the deck tightly. You or another
participant can wave the card face down over the held
deck. Say, Just by waving this card face down, it causes the

entire deck to turn face down in harmony. Some people say
they even feel the cards moving. Lets see if it worked. She
can now spread the deck herself to show that all the cards
are face downexcept for the selection (photo 18).

16 17

Alternate Turnover: Here is another way to turn the top card

over. After the stair-stepped display, ask your participant to
hold out her hand palm down. Your left hand brings the deck
forward, and under cover of her hand, your left thumb pushes
the top card over; as the card reaches the right edge, your
thumb and fingers pinch the card and lever it toward the left
until it lands face down on the deck (photo 17). Have your
participant bring both hands together to conceal the deck.


Dai Vernons original Triumph can be found in Stars of Magic
(Series 2, No. 1, 1948).

Regarding the glimpse used in this effect, there are three

sources for the basic Flimpse move that you may wish to
consult: Mentzer, Card Cavalcade Four, p. 54 (1977); Minch,
By Forces Unseen, p. 112 (1993); and Racherbaumer MO, Vol.
II, p. 8 (1994).

Allen Akawa had a similar presentational angle of cutting to

the selection in the 1970s. John Bannon also recalls Roger
Klause using a similar approach. Others surely exist.

30-second Flash Triumph: For a quick and direct version, forgo

naming the card or cutting to it. After weaving the deck
together, just turn over the top card using a flourish such as
Looy Simonofs Flippant or John Cornelius Spring Set move.

Face-down Selection: If you prefer to keep the identity of the

card secret until the final moment, start with the deck in the
following order: face-down card, half the deck face up, half
the deck face down. Have a card selected from the lower
half and returned to the upper half. Separate the deck at the
face-to-face natural break and weave the cards together.
You can display the deck in the stair-stepped condition
described earlier, but with the selection face down and the
top card face down. All that remains is to turn the top card
over and show that all the cards are face up except the

After four cards are selected, the performer reads the minds
of four participantsthen finds each card.

In my book Discoveries & Deceptions (2013), I published the

effect Multi-Mental. For formal shows, its one of my favorite
showpieces. Yet, for casual close-up performances, it has its
limitations since it requires seven participants and 4-5 minutes
to perform the routine.

For this reason, I developed Mini-Mental. This streamlined

version, which features four selections instead of seven, has
several advantages. The effect can be performed in less than
two minutes. The selection procedure is streamlined since
each participant merely touches and remembers a card. It
features the most powerful aspects of Multi-Mental,
including my four favorite revelations. Most importantly, it
maintains the original mindreading premise. The effect is
about reading peoples minds, a very powerful premise. The
fact that you also produce the cards is icing on the cake.


Freely shuffle the deck or hand it out to be shuffled. Identify
four people to participate. Say, I need the help and open
minds of the four of you. In a moment, you are each going to

think of a card from this shuffled deck. It will be my job to not
only read your minds, but also determine where your card is in
the deck. Lets start by having each of you just touch a card
and remember it.

Slowly spread the deck from hand to hand and have the
participant on your far right touch a card among the top
quarter of the deck. Outjog the card and raise the deck so
the card can be seen and remembered by him (photo 1).
Continue spreading and have the next participant touch a
card and remember it. Continue these actions until you have
four selections outjogged from the deck (photo 2). This also
gives everyone a chance to see their card one more time.

Lower the deck and close the spread, leaving the four
selections outjogged. You will now execute a variation of the
Multiple Shift from Josh Jay. His one-degree touch allows you
to obtain a break above the necessary cards during the
process. Begin with the deck in left hand dealing position with
your first finger curled around the front edge of the outjogged
cards. Tilt your hand left hand forward and lessen your grip to
cause the block of cards above the top selection to slide

forward (photo 3). Your right hand grips the inner packet as
your left hand begins to strip the outjogged cards forward,
but not completely. Your right hand twists its packet toward
the right to create a gap under the original first selection,
allowing you to obtain a left fourth finger break above the
bottom three cards (photo 4). Your left hand removes the
outjogged cards, still maintaining the break, and continues
peeling groups of cards from the right hands packet using a
Hindu Shuffle.! All four selections are now on the bottom of the
deck, with a break above three cards. Simply cut the deck at
your break to bring the three cards to the top.

3 4

You will now reveal the four selections, starting with the person
on your right. For each participant, you will use mindreading
to verbally reveal the card, then produce it in an impressive
way. The effect is structured to provide an imperceptible
glimpse of the next persons card.


Glimpse the bottom card during an all-around square-up
(photo 5). Look at your first participant and say, Please send
your thoughts to me. Furrow your eyebrows a bit and
continue, Wait, not THOSE thoughts. Just your card please.

This always gets a laugh. Verbally reveal her card.
Say, Not only that, Ill even find your card...by cutting the
deck with just one finger. You will use Hubert Lamberts
Swivelroo move. Hold the deck in right hand Biddle grip. Your
left first finger swivels a center portion of cards from the rear
edge of the deck 180 degrees forward, using your right
second finger as a pivot point (photo 6). After the center
packet lands in your left hand, place your left thumb on top
of it. Drop the right half onto it, keeping your left thumb
between the halves. Move your thumb leftward to drag the
card directly above it up and around the left edge of the
deck (photo 7). The card continues levering face up directly
onto the deck (photo 8).

5 6

7 8

Notice how the card naturally lands back-to-back with the
second selection. You will utilize this to your advantage. With
your right thumb, lift two cards from the rear edge. Pinch the
double (photo 9) and lift it forward so the audience can see
the card. Your left hand raises the deck upright and riffles to
the center with the left thumb. Insert the back-to-back double
into the deck. Not only does this allow you to get a crystal
clear view of the next selection, it also secretly positions it
reversed in the center of the deck (photo 10). This is my
favorite part. I cant help but smile every time I do it.



Gaze into the eyes of your second participant and verbally
reveal the glimpsed card. Say, Id like you to use your mind
to turn your card over in the deck. Give the deck a face-
down reverse fan to convey that all the cards are face down.
The reversed selection will remain hidden (photo 11). Re-
square the deck and raise it upright with the faces toward
you. Spread through the deck and upjog the reversed card so
all can see it. This is a devious moment where you are actually
glimpsing the next two selections at the far left of the spread
(photo 12). Remove and replace the second selection.

11 12


Demonstrate the mental feat of naming the third participants
selection. Ask, Would it be a good trick if your card could fly
out of the deck and spin around in mid-air? After roaring
approval, reply, I agree it would be a good trick. I can't do it,
but it would be great. This gets a good laugh. Continue,
Maybe if you concentrate hard enough, we can make it

Follow this with Audley Walsh's Long Distance Spinner (Tarbell

Course in Magic, Vol. 4) to make the card fly out of the deck.
You can also use Daryls Hot Shot Cut or any other flashy
production of the top card.


Now for the final selection. My preferred way to reveal the
card is to do a Double Turnover to show an indifferent card
then cause it to change. Ask the participant to extend her
hand palm up. Repeat the Double Turnover and deal the top
card face down onto her hand. Gaze into her eyes and say,
I can tell by the look in your eyes that this is NOT your card.
Verbally reveal the selection as if reading her mind. For the

final revelation, ask her to turn the card in her hand over.
Dont underestimate the power of a card changing in the
participants had, especially when integrated into a routine
such as this. When performing this for some guests at The
Magic Castle main bar recently, and as I walked away, it was
this last revelation that they could not stop talking about!

If palming is more your speed, you can alternatively produce

the card from your pocket or wallet.

Whenever multiple cards are selected, there is always the risk
of someone forgetting their card. Ive found that the structure
of this effect helps solve the issue since you name each card
first. Audience members are never put on the spot to name
their card. Instead, they merely have to respond affirmatively
that you got it. This enables them to more fully experience the
thrill of having their mind readand of course, seeing their
selections produced from the deck.

Your Brand Voice

As a marketing professional for over 20 years, I see the

importance of brand every day. In One Degree (2010), I
guide you through defining your personal brand, your mission,
and vision. There is an additional aspect of your brand, and
that is your Brand Voice. These are the characteristics you
present through your words and actions. For large companies,
its a useful tool to ensure all employees exhibit one voice in
their interaction with colleagues and customers. As a
magician, even though your brand is essentially YOU, it is still a
great idea to define your Brand Voice.

You can see examples of brand voice around you. Go to

Disneyland, for example, and see everything and everyone
expressing its brand with one Voice. It is clear that Disney
encompasses key characteristics such as: being courteous,
positive, focused on family, magical, and memorable. The
YMCA is another major brand. Their voice consists of five key
words: welcoming, nurturing, hopeful, genuine and
determined. When everyone understands their brand voice,
and exhibits these characteristics, it deepens relationships,
connects people to a common cause, and brings the brand
to life with crystal clear alignment.

So, how would you define your Brand Voice? Hold up one
hand and come up with five adjectives to best align your

verbal and nonverbal style. You might come up with more
than five, and thats okay. Take some time with this. Enjoy the
exploration. Are you more mysterious or boisterous? Witty or
serious? Meticulous or laid back? Ultimately, boil your list down
to five words that define how you best communicate and
come across. They should all align to you and the brand
promise you keep through your magic.

Once youve come down with five

aspects of your brand voice, you can
look at your hand before every
performance and remind yourself.

Everything from your movements,

words, gestures, attitude, collateral
material, website and more should all
point to the same target and embody
your brand.

If youre curious, here is my brand voice:

Welcoming: Connect with people through rapport,

positivity, and genuine interest.

Authentic: No shtick. Draw from real experiences.

Creative: Infuse my love for design, writing, music,

and the arts into both the method and presentation.

Poised: Graceful handling and self-assurance.

Quick-Witted: Infuse spontaneous humor.


The card box is a perfect organic propsomething we always

have when performing card magic. Why not use it?

The following three effects each use the card box in a

different way, including an off-beat cards-to-pocket effect,
a fun take on the Whisper plot, and a boxed transposition
between Jokers and Aces.


After a card is selected and returned to the deck, the
performer claims he will make it fly from the deck and appear
inside the card box in his pocket. The deck is tossed in the air
and it instantly changes into the card box. Inside the
performers pocket are now all the cardsexcept for the
selection. It is removed from card box now in the performers

I remember kicking off an S.A.M. lecture in 2014 with this

effect. I was certain that a room of magicians would suspect
that I was holding the card box instead of a real deck of
cards. It flew by everyone. The smiles got even wider during
the explanation when they realized I had placed the
selection inside the card box right under their noses. Since
some setup is required, it should be performed as an opener
and with your audience primarily in front of you.

The effect is made possible by a slightly gaffed card box,
inspired by Paul Harris P.H. Vanishing Deck. The bottom
edge of the box is made to look like the edges of a deck. I
use a white address label. Use a ruler and a pencil to draw
multiple thin horizontal lines. Affix the label to the bottom
edge of your card box and trim off any edges (photo 1).

Place all but six cards into your right coat or pants pocket.
Youll also need a Sharpie and a thick rubber band that fits
tightly around the width of the card box.

Before approaching your audience, place the six loose cards
on top of the box, and hold everything in left hand dealing
position with the flap facing you, label uppermost. From the
front, it looks like a normal deck of cards. It helps to position
your fingers to cover the front corners and sides of the box
(photo 2). Spread off five cards and just remove a card and
hand it to the participant (photo 3). The focus is on signing a
card, not on selecting a card. Say, Id like to start by
having a card signed to make it unique.

2 3

As the card is signed, lift up the rear edge of the top card in
preparation for the Tilt move, similar to how you would if you
were holding a regular deck. Take the selection in your right
hand and apparently insert it in the deckreally placing it
inside the card box (photo 4). From the front, everything looks
as is should (photo 5).

4 5

You will now set the premise of the entire effect. Say, In a
moment, I am going to cause your signed card to fly from the
deck into the card box thats in my right pocket. Pat toward
your right pocket as if the card box is there.

Place the rubber band around the width of the box and
cards. The use of the rubber band makes perfect sense in the
presentation, but it plays an even more important role in the
method as you will see. Say, To preclude any sleight of hand,
I will trap all 52 cards this rubber band. I would like you all to
count to three, and at that instant, your card will fly inside the
card box in my pocket!

As the audience counts, tilt your left hand back slightly. Your
right hand grips the box, pinched between the thumb and
fingers, thumb on top (photo 6). As you prepare to toss the

box in the air, your right fingers briefly shield the back of the
box from the audiences view (photo 7). On three, your right
hand tosses the box up vertically so it spins in the air a few
times. Catch the box, again pinched in the right hand. The
back of the box should now be in full view of the audience
(photo 8). The rubber band keeps the loose cards from falling.

6 7

8 9

Open the box and grip the flap, letting the card box dangle
(photo 9). Say, Wait, now the box is in my hands. Where is the
deck? With your right hand, remove all the cards from your
pocket and place them onto the table or participants hands.

Say, Your card seems to missing from the deck. Wait, I said I
would cause your card to jump inside the boxand thats
exactly what I did! Point the opening of the box toward the
audience with the hidden cards underneath the box. Fairly
remove the signed card from inside, which also provides
camouflage for the cards underneath the box (photo 10).

You can either just place the box away or add the loose
cards to the rest of the deck as you remove the rubber band.


I usually continue with my routine using this prepared card
box. The bottom edge of the box simply does not get noticed.
If youd like, you can easily switch the box by placing it in your
pocket, then bringing out an unprepared box after some time


A card is selected and lost in the deck. The participant
whispers the name of her card into the empty card box and
closes the flap to trap her whisper inside. The performer holds
the box up to hear the whisper and reveals the card. For the
kicker, the selected card is found inside the card box!

While the Whisper plot typically involves having cards

whisper something to you, here its the participant herself
who does the whispering. The act of inviting someone to trap
her whisper inside a card box is a powerful premise that
audiences find memorable. Plus, you end with a powerful
kicker of the selected card materializing inside the card box!


Spread the deck and have any card touched. Outjog it and
hold the deck upward so it can be seen. With your left thumb,
secretly add a corner crimp to the bottom left of the selection
(photo 1). Hand the deck out for shuffling. Take the deck
back, feel for the crimp, and cut the card to the bottom.

Have your participant pick up the card box and ensure that it
is empty. Say, Id like you to just whisper the name of the
card you are thinking of inside the box, then immediately
close the box to trap your whisper inside.

1 2

3 4

Say, Have you ever held a seashell to your ear and heard
the ocean? Well, Im going to see if I can hear the whisper
you trapped in the card box. Please take the deck and hand
me the box. Your right hand moves forward with the deck as
the left hand retains the selection in Gamblers Cop (photo 2).
As you take the box into your right hand, position it in such a
way that the flap faces you and the label is uppermost. Place
the card box directly onto the copped card (photo 3).

With your right hand, pinch the rear edge of the card box and
the card, and move both upward to a vertical position (photo
4). Take this opportunity to glimpse the card. You will verbally
reveal it in a moment.

Regrip the box and card in the left hand, held from the front
along the long edges (photo 5). Raise your left hand to bring
it toward your right ear. This naturally keeps the front of the
card box facing the audience to avoid flashing the card.
Open the flap with the right hand and act as if listening to a
whisper inside (photo 6). Verbally reveal the card. This is a fun
moment that in some ways offers credence to the idea of
trapping a whisper in the card box.

5 6

Close the flap and keep it gripped in the left hand by the long
edges. Lower your hand so the box is held near waist level
(photo 7).

7 8

Say, Lets see if we can trap something else inside the card
box. Invisibly remove your card from the deck and pretend to
place it inside the box. Can imagination become reality?

9 10

Follow with the Marlo/Schulien Cardcase Load to apparently

remove the card from inside the box. Your right thumb
untucks the flap and goes inside the box (photo 8). Bring your
right hand away as your right fingers swiftly drag the card
from under the box (photo 9). Done quickly, this creates the
illusion that the card comes from inside the box. Turn the card
face up to display the selection (photo 10). You can take this
opportunity to remove any remaining crimp from the corner.

The Whisper plot to reveal a card can be found in The
Reticent Queen by Newton Hall (The Jinx, issue 24, 1936).

Corner Crimp in a Fan appeared in The Jinx, issue 114 (1940).

The Marlo/Schulien Cardcase Load appeared in The

Complete Works of Derek Dingle (1982).


The spectator thinks of one of the four Aces. The Jokers are
placed in the box to discuss the matter in their think tank.
Listening in, the performer reveals the name of the Ace. For
the finale, the Jokers are now seen on the outside of the box,
and the four Aces are found inside. Whats more, the selected
Ace is reversed among the other three Aces.

This effect started as a straight transposition of two boxed

Jokers and four Aces. Upon discussing the handling with Jack
Carpenter, he came up with some great improvements. The
only downside was that it left one of the Aces face up in the
box. Well, talk about turning lemons into lemonade. I worked
the reversed Ace into the presentation, turning the effect into
a select-a-card effect. The result is a mental mystery, where
the Jokers and Aces end up changing places. The reversed
Ace, which was once a problem, is now a wonderful final

But, the effect was not yet complete until I showed David
Regal at The Magic Castle. His input led an additional one-
degree refinement. He suggested having the participant hold
the card box rather than having it sit on the table. Not only
does this get the audience involved, it creates a wonderful
final moment that happens in their hands.

With only six cards used, the effect creates several magical
moments. Once the Jokers are placed inside the card box, a
four-part conclusion is unveiled:

1. You verbally reveal the selected Ace.

2. The Jokers escape from the box.
3. The Aces fly inside the box.
4. Among the Aces, the selected Ace is reversed.

Its ironic that Jack, David, and I embodied the think tank
approach in sharing our ideas for this effect. With that, I
present to you, Think Tank.

Youll need the card box, four Aces, and two Jokers. Prepare
the Aces by turning them face down and placing a pencil
dot in the upper left corner (photo 1). Any marking to aid you
in the one way principle will work.

Place the two Jokers face up near the card box. Display the
Aces, then turn them face down, ensuring that the pencil dots
are all in the upper left corner. Mix them by transferring cards
side to side, which preserves the orientation of the Aces. Say,
Id like you to give the four Aces a quick mix like this so no
one knows the order of the Aces. Invite your participant to
mix the Aces the same way. This ensures that the orientation
of the Aces will stay intact as the participant mixes them.

Take the Aces back and spread them face down as you
invite your participant to select one. Its very important that
she keep her selection in the same orientation, so some verbal

coaching helps. Say, Please remove any Ace and take a
quick peek at it. Dont show anyone else. By asking her not
to show anyone, it will help keep the card pointing in the
same direction. As she looks at the card, close the fan to
rotate your three cards 180 degrees (photo 2).

1 2

3 4

Invite your participant to return the card and shuffle the Aces
from hand to hand again. Say, Place your Ace back and
give the cards another mix as you did before so no one knows
what your card is or where it is.

Take the Aces back and look at the upper left corner for the
uniquely marked card among the other three (photo 3); this
will be the selected Ace. Casually cut it to the bottom and
glimpse the card during an all-around square-up (photo 4).
Remember this cardAce of Clubs in this example.

Say, The Jokers are going to help me determine your

thoughts. Can you please hand them to me. As she does this,
execute a Half Pass to reverse the bottom three Aces.

Continue, Ill trap the Aces in between the Jokers for a

moment. Turn the Jokers face down and place one on the
bottom of the Aces and the other on top.

Say, In order to know exactly what Ace you are thinking of,
the Jokers will go inside of their think tank to brainstorm.
Thats where the card box comes in. Please hold the box with
the opening toward me. Now open the door so the Jokers
can go inside. Have the participant hold the box and open
the flap. I usually help to ensure the flaps are open too.

Turn the top Joker face up, followed by a five-card block

turnover to apparently turn it face down. The right hand takes
two cards as one using the mechanics of a hit double lift. I use
my right first finger to feel for a double at the rear right corner
(photo 5). Lift up on the card and pinch it tightly in the right
hand. Insert the double card into the card box (photo 6).

Openly remove the bottom Joker and place it face up onto

top of your packet. Perform a three-card block turnover. As
before, take two off as one and feed it into the card box, on
top of the previously inserted card(s). Say, Ill place each

Joker inside the think tank so they can concentrate. Please
close the flap to seal them inside.

The reality is that all four Aces are in the box, while you hold
the two Jokers.

Say, Ill keep the Aces safely outside the box. Please
concentrate on your card. Perform a two-as-four count with
the remaining cards, verbally referring to them as the Aces.
You are simply exchanging them from hand to hand during
four beats.

1. Verbal Reveal
Lean in toward the card box and as if listening in on the
Jokers. Say, I can hear the Jokers doing their thing. Theres a
little debate, but ultimately they have concluded that you are
thinking of theAce of Clubs (name glimpsed Ace). This is a
strong moment, so let it sink in.

7 8

2. Jokers Out
Say, If you think thats good, watch this! Your Ace will fly from
my hand into the card box. Actually, not just your Ace, but
ALL the Aces! You will now reveal that you hold the two
Jokers using a flourish from Paul Harris Las Vegas Split.
Square the face-down Jokers and hold them by opposite
corners: your left hand should be palm up pinching the rear
left corner; and your right hand should be palm down
pinching the front right corner (photo 7). Rotate your hands,
allowing the top card to snap off the left thumb and the
bottom card to snap off the right thumb simultaneously
(photo 8). Continue rotating your hands to display a face-up
Joker in each hand. This is a cool visual moment to punctuate
that the Jokers are now on the outside of the card box.

3. Aces In
Ask your participant to shake the box. Say If the Jokers are
now on the outside, I wonder whats on the inside? Please
open the door to the think tank so we can see. As she opens
the flap, remove all four cards as a block. Turn them face up
to display an Ace at the face.

4. Reversal Kicker
Say, As the Aces invisibly flew inside the card box, one card
flipped over along the way. Not just any Ace, but the very
card you are thinking ofthe Ace of Clubs. Spread the Aces
to show one card face down. Invite your participant to turn it
over to show the Ace of Clubs.

Theodore Annemanns use of one-way faces and backs
appeared in The Jinx 1-50 (Section "Summer Extra 1935").

The use of a one-way back design can be found in Jean

Hugards Encyclopedia of Card Tricks in the chapter entitled
Card Mysteries Using A One-Way Back Design (1937, 1974

During impromptu situations when you dont have a pencil

dot on the backs of the Aces, you can still use the One Way
Principle by using inherent properties of the center pips. Start
with the pips in the same orientation (diamonds does not
matter). After the Aces are mixed, casually flip them face up
and look for the center pip that is facing the opposite
direction from the others; this will be the selected Ace. If they
are all facing the same direction, then the selected card is
the Diamonds.

Sharing Your S.E.C.R.E.T.

While secrets are meant to be kept, this one is meant to be

shared. Over the years, Ive come up with six key factors to
guide myself toward the most effective performance possible,
and Ive framed them into an easy-to-remember acronym,
S.E.C.R.E.T. It supports my overarching mission to connect
people to extraordinary moments. I hope it inspires you to
adopt a similar approach to guide your own magic.

S - Smile
A smile has more power than you
think. More than naturally raising
your likeability factor and opening
up an extra degree of connection
with your audience, it is a useful tool
to camouflage your moves. Think
about it...it's hard to concentrate
AND smile at the same time. Just
look at Auguste Rodin's famous
statue The Thinker. So, smile through
your magic, and it will diminish the perception that you are
concentrating on your next move.

E - Eye Contact
Please don't stare at your cards the whole time. Lock eyes
with everyone in your audience and you'll "touch" them. For

large crowds, make it a point to look into the eyes of a few
people in your audience, which will help you connect with

C - Commit
Don't just recite your lines; stand behind every word. David
Regal is one of my favorite performers. He makes even the
simplest items shine. The secret? He "COMMITS." Every word &
action is used to make the impact as clear, compelling and
entertaining as possible. So, believe in what you say, and say
what you believe.

R - Respond
Listen to both verbal and non-verbal gestures, and look for
opportunities to respond and interact. Magic is about
dialogue, not monologue. Take a genuine interest in what
your audience says, and seize these unscripted moments.

E - Express yourself
You are the brand, so don't let your props upstage you. Be
authentic and genuine in how you interact. In the end, you
want your audience to remember youyour name, your
charisma, your style. Create opportunities to be you and bring
your personal brand to life.

T - Transport
Always be en route toward transporting your audience.
Magic is about taking your audience to a different place; a
different state of mind. Look for ways to elevate the
presentation and meaning of your magic. Point out the scenic
views as you give your audience a brief, unique view of the
world around them.


The following set features the Aces as your entourage. It

features a completely hands-off Ace production, a fun take
on Daleys Last Trick, and an exciting Mission Impossible
themed routine, and an ultra clean cards-to-pocket closer.


Two participants thoroughly cut and shuffle the deck,
and together, find the four Aces.

In Hands Off My Notes (2016), I featured a nearly hands-off

Ace production. I say nearly hands off since I had to turn over
the four Aces at the end. My friend Caleb Wiles suggested
utilizing an idea from Dani DaOritz, used in a different way
here. This one-degree addition now makes the effect
completely hands off. Two participants mix the cards, cut the
cards, and turn over the Aces at the end. For such a simple
effect, its caught they eye of many magicians. It is one of my
favorite ways to produce four Aces.

Start with four Aces on top of the deck.

During opening conversation, use a slip cut to casually bring
the top two Aces to the center, then place the upper half on
top. Hold a break between the halves. Spread to your break
and give the halves to two participants. They will unknowingly
have two Aces on top of each packet. It is completely hands
off from here.

Say, Id like the two of you to help. Will you each take half
the deck. In a moment, you will mix the cards. At the end, we
are going to see who is the luckiest among you.

Youll now use my variation of Ben Earls Spectators Shuffle
Holdout by having two participants execute the sequence.
This allows the cards to be shuffled and exchanged without
disturbing the Aces. With the cards face down:

1. Have each participant spread off a small group of

cards (photo 1);

2. Have each participant place these cards in a face-up

pile onto the table (photo 2);

3. Have them mix the remaining cards they hold;

4. Repeat the above steps by having them spread a few

cards, place them face up onto their tabled portions,
mix the remaining cards, and continue until there are
no cards left. I like to invite them to swap packets as
much as theyd like during the procedure. There will be
two face-up piles on the table.

During the above actions, say, By cutting, turning, mixing,

and exchanging cards in this way, everyone can see the
cards are thoroughly mixed.

1 2

Have each participant pick up his mixed pile and hold it
face down. Now for the cutting sequence based on Dani
Ortizs effect Twin Prediction. Have each participant take
the top card of the packet he holds, then partially insert it into
the other persons packet (photo 3). Say, Have you ever
played blackjack in Vegas? The dealer invites a player to cut
the deck by inserting a cut card to split the deck. Id like you
both to do the same. Use the top card off your packet as a
cut card. Now insert it into the OTHER persons packet, but
leave it sticking out.

Have each participant pick up all the cards above the

protruding card and place these onto the table. Next, have
them square their remaining cards and table them next to the
previous piles. There are now four packets of cards on the
table with an Ace on top of eachand you never touched
the cards.

You can reveal the Aces any way you wish. I like to say, Id
like each of you to place your hand on any pile. You mixed
and cut these cards, so no one knows what these cards could
be. Whoever has the highest card is the luckiest. Please turn

over the top card of your pile. They will both be surprised to
each find an Ace. Ask them turn over the top card of the
remaining two packets, and they will discover two more Aces
(photo 4). Say, Well, its clear that you are BOTH the luckiest
people Ive ever met. Next time I go to Vegas, youre both
coming with me!

The Spectators Shuffle Holdout was published in Ben Earls
Gambit, Issue 2 (2010). My additions are to use a spreading
action and to involve two people, which allows the option to
exchange cards during the shuffle.

The cutting phase is inspired by Twin Prediction by Dani

DaOrtiz idea, which appeared in his Utopia DVDs and a
booklet called Card Magic SemiAutomatic. Ortiz forced a
predetermined total by having each participant insert the top
card into their own packet. It was Caleb Wiles who suggested
applying this idea to the Ace production by having the
participants cut the other persons packet.


A red and black poker chip change places. The performer
offers to repeat it under test conditions by covering the red
chip with the red Acesand the black chip with the black
Aces. This time, the chips dont change places; its the Aces
that do.

The use of red and black poker chips adds visual interest to
the classic effect. As Stephen Minch put it after I showed him,
I really like the conceit of framing Daleys Last Trick as a chip
transposition. A charming surprise.

It is important to set the premise of the poker chips changing

places during the first phase. This also serves as a red herring
for the second phase, where the focus is on the poker chips,
not the cards. When the poker chips fail to change places the
second time, the brief magician in trouble moment
heightens the impact of the final transposition.

Youll need a red poker chip, a black poker chip, and the four

Remove the four Aces or produce them using the previous
effect All In Your Hands. Introduce a red and black poker
chip. Say, If youve ever played cards or even roulette, you
know that red and black are the prominent colors. Id like to

show you something amazing using this red and black poker

Phase One: Chip Transpo

With the Aces face up, place the black Aces on the left side
of the table, and the red Aces on the right.

Pick up the black poker chip in the right hand. Apparently

place it in your left hand using a Retention Vanish. Ask a
participant on your left to hold on to your wrist. Demonstrate
this by holding your left wrist for a momentarily, which naturally
conceals the finger-palmed chip in your right hand (photo 1).

Ask someone on your right to hold out her hand. Say, And Id
like you to hold on to the red chip tightly so no one can get to
it. With the black chip finger-palmed in the right hand, pick
up the red chip. As your right hand approaches the
participant on your right, position the red chip into Thumb Clip
and let the black chip fall onto her palm, covered by your
outstretched fingertips (photo 2). Have her close her hand
immediately so no one can get to it.

1 2

Relax your right hand at your side as you remind everyone
that the black chip is in your left hand and the red chip is in
the participants hand on your right.

You will now secretly load the red chip into your left hand
using a Dai Vernon move. Slightly uncurl your left fingertips so
there is an opening from the back (photo 3). Wave your right
hand over as you secretly let the thumb-clipped red chip fall
into your hand (photo 4). Say, Will each of you please wave
your hand over the poker chips. When you do that, something
amazing happens. The red and black chips change places.

Open your left hand to show the red chip. Have the
participant on your right open his hand to discover she now
holds the black chip.

3 4

Phase Two: Ace Transpo

You now offer to repeat the transposition, but under test
conditions. Ask the participants on your left and right to hold
out their outstretched palms. Say, That was so much fun, lets
make the red and black change places again. To preclude
any sleight of hand, I will cover the poker chips with the

Acesthe red Aces with the red chip, and the black Aces
with the black chip.

Fairly place the poker chips on the outstretched palms of your

two participants; black on your left, red on your right.

Pick up the Aces and go straight into "Dr. Daley's Last Trick,"
covering the red chip with the supposed red Aces, and the
"black" Aces on top of the black chip.

After some byplay, lift the cards slightly, and act disappointed
that the chips have not changed places. Say, I promised the
red and black would change placesbut I didnt mean the
chips this time, I meant the CARDS. Turn over the cards to
show that the red and black Aces changes!

Dr. Daley's Last Trick appeared in The Dai Vernon Book of
Magic (1957). An earlier predecessor is Arthur Buckleys Color
Memory Experiment No. 26 in Card Control (1946).

This effect can be done without a table if you have a third
participant hold the Aces during the first phase.

During the poker chip transposition, instead of placing the

second poker chip in the participants hand, you can drop
the chip into a dice cup or coffee cup. This makes the move
easier and places less heat on the switch. Give it a try. After
some practice and some audience management, you can
perform the effect as described.


A top-secret card is selected and returned to the deck. The
Aces (a.k.a. Secret Agents), go into the deck to gather intel
about the card, then each escapes in a perilous way. The
performer riffles the deck toward the Aces, and the selection
appears between them, proving hes been a double agent
the entire time.

Double Agent makes a great follow-up to the previous two

effects since it uses the Aces already in play. The Mission
Impossible theme is a refreshing change of pace, adding
some fun and intrigue to your set.


Have the Aces face up on the table in the following order
from the face: Spades, Clubs, Hearts, Diamonds.

Pick up the deck. You will need to secretly note the seventh
card down, which will be your key card. This is easy to do
during shuffling. Simply give the deck a face-up overhand
shuffle by peeling cards off the face one at a time.
Remember the seventh card you peel off (photo 1), then
continue your overhand shuffle. Your key card is now seventh
from the top (King of Hearts in this case).


Say, A lot of people dont know that the A on the Aces

actually stand for Agents. In a moment, these secret agents
are going to go on a top secret mission. First I need to have a
top secret card selected. Please remove any card youd like
and remember it. Its top secret, so don't show me. Spread
the deck face down in your hands. Once you are past the
seventh card, invite your participant to select any card.

Have it returned to the seventh position (above your key

card). As the card is shown around, I get a left fourth finger
break under six cards by casually spreading and re-squaring
the deck. You are now prepared to do a Bluff Pass. Riffle the
outer corner of the deck with your left thumb and invite the
participant to say stop. Your right hand apparently lifts all the
cards above this point, but really lifts just the six cards from
above your break in a deep Biddle grip (photo 2). Extend your
left hand to have the card returned on top of the packet. It
helps to tilt the left hand downward to hide the thickness of
the deck. Slap down the cards in your right hand on top of
the selection to bury it. A full-deck dribble of the cards works
nicely here to reiterate that the card is lost.

Say, "The Aces' mission should they choose to accept it is to
spread out in the deck, gather intel about your cards identity,
and return safely." You will now place each Ace in a different
part of the deck. Hold the deck face up in left hand dealing
position. With your left thumb, riffle down about 10 cards. Your
right hand picks up the first Ace from the table (Ace of
Spades) and partially inserts it into the deck at this point.

Continue riffling down about another ten cards, then insert

the next Ace (Ace of Clubs). Repeat this with the next Ace of
Hearts. For the Ace of Diamonds, your left thumb riffles down
and slow down as you approach the last ten or so cards.
Continue riffling one card at a time as you look at the indexes.
Once you spot the key card (King of Hearts) (photo 3). Riffle
this card and stop. The index you see now is the selected card
(Seven of Clubs in this case) (photo 4). Remember this card.
Pick up the Ace of Diamonds and insert it into the deck at this
point, above the selected card. You have imperceptibly
glimpsed the selection during a casual placement of the

3 4

Your left hand now holds the face-up deck in dealing position,
with four Aces protruding from the front. You will now execute
Marlos Simple Shift. To do this, clamp your left thumb tightly
into the face of the deck. Extend your left first finger to come
in contact with the outjogged cards. Slowly curl your finger to
bring the outjogged cards flush with the deck, and notice
how this causes a block of cards to emerge from the rear of
the deck due to the Plunger Principle (photo 5). With your right
hand, strip out all the protruding cards from the rear of the
deck (photo 6), and continue a Hindu Shuffle onto the left
hands packet.

Turn the deck face down. The position of the deck is: six
indifferent cards, selection, Ace of Diamonds, Ace of Hearts,
Ace of Clubs, Ace of Spades, remainder of deck.

Say, The Aces are now on their daring mission. The hard part
is for each to return safely. You will now produce each Ace in
a different way as they escape from the deck.

Ace of Clubs Say, For the Ace of Clubs to return, he just had
to sign in his password, which is Ace of Clubs spelled

backwards. Spell with me: S-B-U-L-C-F-O-E-C-A Deal one card
for each letter and turn over the last card. Sure you could just
spell the card, but doing it backwards in much more fun.
Place the Ace of Clubs face up on the table. Replace the
dealt cards onto the top of the deck.

Ace of Hearts Say, The Ace of Hearts escapes by

helicopter. Execute Audley Walsh's Long Distance Spinner
(Tarbell Course in Magic, Vol. 4) to make the card fly out of
the deck. You can also use Daryls Hot Shot Cut or any other
flashy production of the top card. Place the card next to the
Ace of Clubs, sidejogged to the right.

7 8

Ace of Diamonds Double undercut the top card to the

bottom. Say, The Ace of Diamonds discovers a secret
trapdoor in the center of the deck and comes back safely.
Perform Swivelroo as described in Mini-Mental on page 27.
The card naturally lands face up on top of the deck, which is
actually the selection. With your right hand, apparently pick
up the Ace of Diamonds in Biddle Grip, but really lift two cards
as one (photo 7). As you place this double card sidejogged

onto the other two tabled Aces, you will see the selection as a
reminder (photo 8).

Ace of Spades Say, The Ace of Spades is nowhere to be

found. Maybe you can help me. Touch the back of any card.
Wait, thats not the Ace of Spadesor is it? He is a master of
disguise. Just like in Mission Impossible where Tom Cruise lifts
the mask off his face to reveal his true identity, if we give this
card a shake, we find that it his indeed the Ace of Spades!
To do this, begin spreading through the deck from hand to
hand. Site count six cards and use a Hofzinser Cull to secretly
bring the seventh card (Ace of Spades) under the spread. Ask
the participant to touch any card. Outjog the touched card
as your secretly load the Ace of Spades underneath it. Cut all
the cards above the outjogged card to the bottom. Pick up
two back-to-back cards as one in right hand Biddle grip, held
by the diagonal corners (photo 9). Cause the card to change
to the Ace of Spades by rotating the double, such as with a
Sleeve Change or Shapeshifter move (photo 10). Replace the
double onto the deck, then pick up the individual Ace. Place
this onto the three tabled cards, sidejogged to the right
(photo 11).

9 10

Most of your work is done. To reveal the selection, act as if you
are listening in on the four Aces, then verbally reveal the card
(the card you glimpsed while initially inserting the Aces into
the deck).

Say, Theres a plot twist. Your card has actually been a

double agent. He was working with the Aces the whole time,
and it looks like we just blew his cover. Riffle the deck toward
the tabled Aces. The air will cause the Aces to flutter and
bring the face-down selection into view (photo 12). Remove
this card and show it to conclude the routine.

11 12

My inspiration for this effect was Frank Garcias Four Bullet
Routine from Stars of Magic video series #3.

LePauls Bluff Pass appeared in Tarbell Course in Magic,

Volume 3 (1943).

Marlos Simple Shift appeared in The Cardician (1953).

Before revealing/producing the selection at the end, I
sometimes place the Aces into the participants hands first. To
produce the selection, forgo the riffling of the deck, and just
have the participant spread the Aces in her hands to discover
her card in between.

Depending on the mood of the room, I might play the Mission

Impossible theme as a musical backdrop to the routine. Its
worth the 99 download to carry on your mobile phone. This
way, you are always ready to play it through your phone

The Jacks are placed in four different pockets as your
participant holds the Aces. The Aces instantly turn into Jacks,
then the Aces are removed from the pockets.

"Flash Pocket" is a clean four-for-four pocket transposition.

While other effects of this type typically feature a repeat
transposition, this effect focuses on one incredible moment
where the cards instantly switch places. Ive had several
iterations of this effect, including Quick Pocket and Hide
and Seek. The version presented here has three discerning
characteristics: it is structured to be done without a table; it is
short and powerful; and it features a lightning fast moment
where the cards change places. For magicians and
laypeople, it is a very fooling moment. You will need some
brief preparation (roughing one side of two cards), but the
result is well worth it.

As the closing effect of this chapter, and the book overall, I

think it makes a perfect way to close out our journey together.

You will need four Aces and four Jacks. You will prepare the
Ace and Jack of Spades. Apply roughing spray to the back
of the Jack and face of the Ace. See what I did there.?
Easy to remember. Once youve done this, you are all set.
These cards can be in your deck during performance without

Remove or produce the Aces and Jacks. With the cards face
up, arrange the Aces on top of the Jacks, with the Spades as
the lowermost suit of each foursome. The bottom two Jacks
should also be alternating in color (photo 1).

1 2

3 4

Ask for the help of a participant on your left. Pick up all eight
cards and hold them in right hand Biddle grip. Obtain a right
thumb break above the bottom two Jacks at the inner right
corner (photo 2). With your left thumb, fairly peel the top three
Aces singly into your left hand. As your left hand returns to
peel the fourth Ace, align the three previous cards directly

under the packet and secretly steal them back in Biddle grip.
At the same time, your left thumb contacts the right edge of
the packet (photo 3) and frees the three cards above your
right thumb break. Your left thumb drags the three cards into
the left hand (photo 4).

Turn your left hand palm down and place the "Ace" packet
face down onto the participants outstretched palm. Say,
Here is a mini-miracle done with just eight cards. Will you
please hold on to the Aces for a moment? As you do that, I
am going to place the four Jacks in four different pockets.

With the "Jacks" face-up, transfer the face card to the

bottom. Turn the packet face down and hold it in Biddle Grip
in preparation for Daryl's Rising Crime Display. With your left
thumb, peel the top three cards singly into your left hand. Turn
your left hand palm down and grip the double between your
thumb and third finger. Notice how this action flashes the
Jack at the face of the packet (photo 5). Rotate your left
hand palm up to show the face of the double, held securely
at the fingertips (photo 6). Turn the double face down and
place the top card into your right pants pocket.

5 6

Similar to the above actions, peel two cards one at a time
into your left hand and repeat displaying the face-up double.
Turn the double face down and place the top card in your
right coat pocket.

I now take a brief deviation from the Rising Crime Display. Turn
the remaining cards face up. Pinch them along the right
edgethumb on top. Do a multiple push-off with your right
thumb and pinch this double with the left fingertips. Separate
the hands slightly so each displays a Jack (photo 7). Flick the
cards up and down against each other a few times, then
place the right-hand's card on top of the double. Turn the
cards face down. Take the top card with your right hand and
place it in your breast pocket.

Apparently place the last "Jack" (really a double) inside your

left pants or coat pocket. Before doing so, you can rotate
your left hand palm down momentarily to flash the Jack
(photo 8). Dip your left hand into your pocket, and while out
of sight, position the card in Gamblers' Cop (face down).
Remove the copped card and relax your hand at your side.

Say, The Jacks are separated in four different corners of the
world right now. And you hold the four Aces. With your right
hand, pick up the Ace packet from the participants hands
in Biddle grip. Turn your hand palm up to display an Ace as
your left hand begins moving forward with its two copped
cards (photo 9). Your right hand returns palm down and
places its cards directly onto the copped cards. This brings the
roughed sides of the Ace and Jack of Spades together. Hand
the Aces back to your participant. Larry Wilmore suggested
a nice touch of giving the packet a twist as you demonstrate
what youd like the participant to do. This gives perfect
reasoning to picking up the cards and handing them back.


Build up the premise that you will cause the Aces and Jacks to
change places in an instant. Due to the roughed sides
between the Ace and Jack of Spades, you can easily snap
the cards into a one-handed fan to fairly show the Jacks
(photo 10). Sometimes I even have the participant spread the
cards! Let this impossible moment sink in. Take two Jacks face
up into each hand (Ace hidden under the Jacks in the right
hand). Bring the cards back together so the Ace is on the

Say, With the Aces on the outside, and Jacks in my pocket,
this is all going to happen in the blink of an eye. As a matter of
fact, please blink you eye. Thats all it takes. Now the Jacks
are in your hand, and the Aces are all in my pockets.

Place the cards into left hand dealing position and obtain a
fourth finger break above the Ace. Hold the cards from
above in Biddle grip and move them forward as you secretly
keep the Ace in Gamblers Cop position. You can fan the four
Jacks for misdirection. Your right hand continues to pull the
Jacks away and hands them to your participant.

The left hand reaches into the left pocket and comes out with
the copped Ace of Spades. Fairly remove the other three
Aces from their respective pockets.

There are many variations of the Pocket Interchange plot,
most featuring kicker transpositions. Jack Carpenter's
"Multiplex Reset" from Modus Operandi is one prominent
example. Handlings have also been offered by Jerry Sadowitz,
David Solomon, Allan Ackerman and many others. For more
history, I encourage you to read Racherbaumer's Modus
Operandi VII.

A Successful Landing
Being en route is about being on a continual expedition to
improve magic and transport audiences. But what is the
destination? To best define this, it boils down to one important
question: What does success look like? In my more than 20
years in the business world, Ive asked this question countless
times to guide my progress. I ask it before developing a
marketing plan; before leading a consulting project; and yes,
before every magic performance or endeavor.

So, what does success look like for you? I am not talking about
money or fame; Im talking about the desired impact you
want your magic to have on others. Envision what you want
your audience to say, feel, or do in response to your magic.
When you can answer this, you have defined your VISION. It is
your stamp on the world.

Whether in business or magic, my overarching vision is to

create extraordinary moments that help people feel joy,
curiosity, and a heightened belief that anything is possible.

Whatever your vision, I wish you a successful journey filled with

creativity and insight. Thank you for traveling with me. I hope
our paths cross soon.