Gambler's Cop?

Discuss your favorite close-up tricks and methods.

Postby Tom Frame » 07/02/11 07:19 PM

Guys,

I'm looking for when and where the Gambler's Cop was first published. I see it mentioned by John J. Crimmins Jr in Hugards Magic Monthly (Jun 1954). Does anyone have an earlier source?

Thanks,

Tom
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Postby Leonard Hevia » 07/02/11 11:34 PM

It's described in Vernon's Mental Card Miracle from Stars of Magic. That has to be before 1954. The book was published in 1961 but the individual lessons were published beforehand.

When you're twelve years old and read this move, it doesn't seem possible to get away with it.
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Postby Philippe Billot » 07/03/11 03:11 AM

See Stanyon's Magic, Vol. 15, no. 1, October 1919, page 5, Palming Bottom Card Across Left Hand.

I think this palm is a very old one and comes from gamblers.

For Vernon's Mental Card Miracle, see Stars of Magic, Series 5, no. 3, 1949.
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Postby Tom Frame » 07/03/11 11:28 AM

Thanks gents!
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 07/03/11 11:30 AM

In Gaultier's Magic Without Apparatus, first published in France in 1914 (I think), there is a description of a palm performed by "M. Latapie" in which the card is palmed sideways in the hand. That would be a good description of gambler's palm.
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Postby Philippe Billot » 07/03/11 01:08 PM

Not exactly that.

Rmi Ceillier explains in his book Manuel pratique d'illusionnisme et de prestidigitation (1935) that Latapie had hands so large that he could palm a card (french size) "across" instead length as in the classic palm.
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Postby Pete Biro » 07/03/11 02:06 PM

Dunno any credits, but it is the best and easiest move that I use.
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Postby Oli Foster » 07/03/11 05:55 PM

I think I've found a slightly earlier reference, but you'll have to see whether you agree. One appears in Houdin's Secrets of Conjuring and magic, first published in French in 1868 (I think) and in English, in 1878.

Page 159 of the Routledge edition features a description for palming a back-jogged face card in the action of removing the deck with the other hand. I'd say that's fairly close to what we would call a cop. Interestingly Hoffman says in the footnote that he hasn't seen English magicians employ this move and suspects this may be due to French cards being smaller than Victorian English cards and it being "very rare that it becomes necessary to palm the bottom card of the pack." Good old Hoffman :)He seems to spend most of his editorial notes either being slightly snide or plugging his own 'Modern Magic'!

As to where Houdin learned of it is another question...
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 07/03/11 07:59 PM

That would qualify, Oli.

Philippe: I am aware that Latapie was palming a card vertically in his hand because it was so big, but doesn't that qualify as well? If I do that, the card sticks out the bottom of my hand and it's a Gambler's Cop!
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Postby Edwin Corrie » 07/03/11 08:02 PM

Theres a bottom palm in Ponsins Nouvelle magie blanche dvoile (1853) which could be a Gamblers Cop, but the description is not as explicit as Robert-Houdins. From what Ive seen, when bottom palming is mentioned at all in these older books, either the card goes into a full palm or else the technique is not explained in any great detail. Its also interesting that Robert-Houdin describes it in Les secrets de la prestidigitation et de la magie (for magicians) but not in Les Tricheries des Grecs dvoiles, which is all about gambling methods.
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Postby Philippe Billot » 07/04/11 03:26 AM

Ave Edwin, you're right.

I forgot Ponsin with Second Method to Palm a Card, page 44. (1853)
His explanations are not very clear but you retains the bottom card with your left little finger as you take the deck with your right hand "ala Biddle".

Stanyon's explanations are better, especially the end when he wrote : "If the left hand be now held in the correct position althought a portion of the card projects over the little finger side, there is no fear of the card being discovered."

it's also for that I wrote that "Latapie's palm" is not really a gambler's palm as it is a FULL palm. There is no projection of a portion of the card.

The Third Method explained by Robert-Houdin, page 179 (1868) is pratically the same as Ponsin, except you take the deck by its upper side. Again it's the little finger which retains the card (as if you are going to do the pass) but R-H explains that the left thumb must also conceal the top of the upper side of the card palmed.

The two methods must be done stand-up as you let the left arm drop along the body.

May be it's for that R-H explains this palm in Secrets of Conjuring and Magic and not in Card Sharping Exposed where gamblers are generally sit down.

Ouf! I hope my english is enough understandable.
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 07/04/11 10:28 AM

Philippe,

Please correct my attempt to interpret the findings so far:

The technique in use begins with an injogged card at the bottom of the pack, or with one's little finger (pinky) above the card. The card at the bottom is kept in place, cupped by the fingers as the pack is taken from above in some deliberate action. The hand holding that one card then drops to the side to a rest position. In one source the reader is advised to cover the front edge of the card with their thumb.

Close?

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Postby Philippe Billot » 07/04/11 10:46 AM

Very close.

In fact, in the two french sources, the left little finger is above the last or bottom then the left hand drops on the side.

Stanyon preconises a right thumb count to separate the bottom card and immediatly the deck (pack) is pushed forward and clear the left palm.
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