Cutting on the ace

Discuss your favorite close-up tricks and methods.

Postby Philippe Noël » 08/30/03 11:40 PM

I am looking for cutting on the ace routines, done by the magician, cutting on one ace at the time, with two hands. An example would be "Knocking out the aces" by Michael Skinner, Classic Sampler.
Can you give me good references?
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Postby Temperance » 08/31/03 02:56 AM

Cheaters Aces from "card artistry of Andrew Wimhurst" is a good one. It's pretty easy too.

--Euan
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Postby Guest » 09/12/03 09:00 PM

"Gambler's Aces" from The Classic Magic of Larry Jennings is one that is not easy to do. The author said that spectators would get the impression that you were the greatest card manipulator they had ever seen. That's because if you could do this routine in front of an audience, you would in fact be the greatest card manipulator they had ever seen.

For something that's a little easier, I suggest the Halo Ace Cutting sequences from Harry Lorayne's Rim Shots.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 09/13/03 10:03 AM

"The Gambler's Aces" (which is unfortunately not described properly in Classic Magic) is by far the closest thing I've ever seen to the mythological Scarne routine where he cut the Aces from a shuffled deck.
I saw Jennings do it several times, glimpsing the Aces during the shuffles and the cutting to them. The Stevens Control is also used in the trick.
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Postby Pete Biro » 09/13/03 10:17 AM

You should have seen Jim Cooper cut the aces. He used a combo of "slick" and "edgdwork" -- Great edgework put in with the striking surface from a book of matches.

I don't know what "slick" he used but a gambler in Las Vegas gave me a slick ace deck that is awesome. The belly strippers he uses are too fine for my chops... darn. :cool:
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Postby Pete Biro » 09/13/03 10:20 AM

I wish I could reveal his name, but he's a refomed mechanic friend in L.V. (Forte knows him well) but I watched him deal Blackjack in a casino where he did run ups and dealt winning hands to people for the fun of it.

He told me on an earlier break what he was going to do ... and told me to just stand back and watch ... and he did what he said he would.

Amazing to see the real stuff in a real situation.

He showed me a bottom and I said it was so so... he said, to you maybe, but the eye-in-the-sky CANNOT see anything suspicious.

Ramble ramble... ;)
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Postby Thomas Van Aken » 09/15/03 03:27 AM

Hello,
Why not use Vernon's classic "Cutting the aces" changing the one handed slip cut for a two handed tabled slip cut and adding some false riffle shuffles between the cuts ? If you want the loose the aces in the deck before skillfully cutting to them, it is difficult to find a more convincing sequence.
Also, Martine Nash has a nice routine called "Up and down aces" if I remember well.
Best regards
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Postby Greg Bornstein » 09/15/03 12:09 PM

And not only is Vernon's trick a display of skill, but it also has the element of ENTERTAINMENT...remember this when you cut that final ace...
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Postby Guest » 09/15/03 05:57 PM

Marlo's Professional Ace Cutting seems like a nice routine. I first saw it on Allan Ackerman's Advcanced Card Control, Vol. 3.


By the way, if anybody knows where it was originally published, I'd like to know. Thanks in advance.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 09/15/03 07:36 PM

Could be "Faro Controlled Miracles." Racherbaumer would know.
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Postby Jon Racherbaumer » 09/15/03 09:59 PM

Yes, RK is right. It IS in Marlo's FARO CONTROLLED MIRACLES, plus umpteen others sources, with and without credit.

Onward,

JR
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Postby Guest » 09/16/03 08:18 AM

Originally posted by Richard Kaufman:
"The Gambler's Aces" (which is unfortunately not described properly in Classic Magic) is by far the closest thing I've ever seen to the mythological Scarne routine where he cut the Aces from a shuffled deck.
I saw Jennings do it several times, glimpsing the Aces during the shuffles and the cutting to them. The Stevens Control is also used in the trick.
The best.
Do you have any idea what Scarne was doing in his ace-cutting trick described in the preface Scarne on Cards?

Greater Magic refers to him using cards edge-marked with daub to produce the Aces from a shuffled deck.(P. 72, Kaufman and Greenberg edition)

That doesn't seem to fit the "mythological" conditions, with gamblers examining the cards before and after.
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Postby Ian Kendall » 09/16/03 09:09 AM

</lurk>

As I recall Scarne took the cards, riffled them and then cut to the Ace of Spades (just the one card). His claim that he was glimpsing the ace during the riffle seemed plausible to me.

Take care, Ian

<lurk>
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Postby Pete Biro » 09/16/03 09:38 AM

If you just want to cut to an ace, why not a crimp?
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Postby Matthew Field » 09/16/03 10:40 AM

An easy routine is Lorayne's "HaLo Aces."

Steve Draun does the real work, a la Scarne.

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Postby Guest » 09/16/03 02:01 PM

Originally posted by Jon Racherbaumer:
Yes, RK is right. It IS in Marlo's FARO CONTROLLED MIRACLES, plus umpteen others sources, with and without credit.

Onward,

JR
Thanks, Mr. Racherbaumer.
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Postby Jon Racherbaumer » 09/16/03 02:25 PM

Draun's routine is excellent. So is Jennings.
Re the Biro advice re a crimp, check out Marlo's "Professional Ace Cutting." This is a sleeper.

Onward,

JR
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Postby Guest » 09/16/03 03:48 PM

Hello all, this is my first post to the forum, and I thought it would be appropriate that it regard a subject with which I feel I have a somewhat peculiar attachment.

As far as I can tell, the rather legendary ace cutting sequence (both in terms of plot and method) that gets linked to Scarne seems to be based almost entirely on the description and anecdote recited in his own texts.

Anyway, I feel like I can provide some information regarding the source and background of said description and anecdote...

You see, my grandfather was William A. Caldwell, a pulitzer prize winning journalist in New Jersey, and the man who wrote the introduction to "Scarne on Cards" that provides the anecdote. My grandfather died in 1986, and his wife, my grandmother, died a few years back. I don't know th exact relationship between Scarne and my grandfather, but as I understand it, my grandfather was the ghostwriter for at least one of Scarne's books, probably "On Cards." I don't know how well or how long they knew each other, if it was more than a purely business relationship, or how exactly they met/communicated with one another. They definitely had some sort of correspondence or relationship, though, as Scarne inscribed a number of his books to my grandfather. (I have the inscribed copies of "Scarne on Dice," "Magic," and "Cards," in my possession and I believe my aunt has his "Complete Guide to Gambling") My grandfather's office in their house on Martha's Vineyard was more or less untouched until we began to clean it out a few years ago in order to sell the house. I believe my aunt took possession of his filing cabinet and papers, and while some very interesting letters were found(from Einstein and Groucho Marx, for instance) I don't know that any correspondences with Scarne were there. On the other hand, I don't know exactly how thorough the cataloguing was, so there may yet be some relevant notes and papers waiting to be dug out.

So. I don't know if this helpful, or even particularly interesting, to anyone. Hopefully it's one or both to a few of you. I don't know if my grandfather invented that story in his forward or not, or if it was a sort of well known anecdote, but since it seems to have played a fairly significant part in introducing or promoting the ace-cutting story, I thought I'd share what I knew about it.

Anywho, as I said before, I hope this post holds some meaning for at least some people out there. And if anyone has any other information about Scarne that might support or contradict what I've said, or has information about the writing of his books in particular, or about the writing of magic books 50 years ago in general, I'd be interested in hearing it.


~Andrew Cohen
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Postby Guest » 09/17/03 12:31 AM

Richard, perhaps you could elaborate on the errors in the description of the Gamblers aces in the Classic Magic of Larry Jennings.

J
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 09/17/03 08:11 AM

I can't elaborate on the errors because I don't do the routine. However, after watching Jennings do it a few times, and watching it from the back, I went to the description in the book and found numerous details missing (the case with many of the items in the book--details missing). Unfortunately I didn't videotape Jennings explaining them item to me, and so can't be more specific.
It was extremely difficult, and the reason I saw it several times was because he used to practice it frequently. If HE needed to practice it frequently, then you know it was really tough to do.
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Postby Guest » 09/17/03 10:49 AM

Thanx Richard.

J
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Postby Philippe Noël » 09/17/03 12:16 PM

Richard,
The question that comes to my mind is:
Did Jennings really find the aces from a shuffled deck, I mean shuffled by a genuine spectator not by himself of course or did he find the aces after having seemingly lost them in the deck as it is described in The Classic Magic of Larry Jennings.
Talking of the routine described in The Classic Magic of LJ, Gambler's Aces, this routine was previously described in Riffle Shuffle Technique Part Two by Karl Fulves. Are the two descriptions different?
Jennings must also have shown this routine during his Japan Tour because it was in his Lecture Notes at that time. I think he also explained and showed this routine at F.F.F.F because the routine is also in the Lecture Notes of this event. I think it must be possible to know from those references what the routine was like at that time.
Now Richard, the routine you saw was perhaps an evolution of the previous routine.
Coming back to Scarne routine, I think you can use the Cull Riffle Of The Mysterious Kid from Revelations to mark the spot where to cut from a really shuffled deck.
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Postby pduffie » 09/17/03 12:59 PM

Thank you Andrew Cohen for a fascinating post.

The original Ace-cutting story appeared in full in the (apparent) autobiography - The Amazing World of John Scarne (a.k.a. The Odds Against Me). I wonder if your grandfather was involved in the writing of that book, as I never believed Scarne wrote it?

Best Wishes

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Postby Bob Coyne » 09/17/03 01:30 PM

I don't think Scarne's ace cutting is just from his own books. I remember reading Dai Vernon offhandedly writing somewhere that Scarne's ace cutting used some sort of crimp that was not widely known or used at the time.

I saw Scarne on TV doing a riffle cull (or at least I think that's what it was -- that was back in the late 70's and I was just a kid.) In any case, his techniques for riffle culling are in some of Karl Fulves's books.

I wonder if his ace cutting was a combination of a couple techniques (riffle culling and crimping). It would be interesting to know.
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Postby Luis » 10/07/03 07:38 PM

Here is the original Scarne's story:

http://scarne.freeservers.com/sharks.html

Was it true?

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Postby Guest » 10/07/03 08:34 PM

I am not much of a card guy; I guess I don't have the patience for what can be a rather "ingrown" kind of work.

However, I use a 4-aces-on-a-two-handed-multiple cut that appears in Lorayne's APOCALYPSE, Vol. 4. It's easy, and fast, and floors laymen. Toss in a false shuffle and cut just before you begin, and watch jaws drop.

It is called "Bargain Four, by Mike Bornstein, on pages 2165-2156.

Jon
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Postby Philippe Noël » 10/08/03 09:58 AM

In Classic Sampler, Michael Skinner explains that around 1972, he had the chance to meet John Scarne. Scarne cut the Aces for him but he performed an entirely different routine from the one described in "The Amazing World of John Scarne".
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Postby Guest » 11/05/03 05:23 PM

Originally posted by Jon Racherbaumer:
Yes, RK is right. It IS in Marlo's FARO CONTROLLED MIRACLES, plus umpteen others sources, with and without credit.

Onward,

JR
Marlo being the creative guy that he was published two fabulous routines. Miracle Aces on page 44 of Faro Controlled Miracles and Professional Ace Cutting on page 146 of Advanced Finger Tip Control. These two routines are completly different in method but very powerful for any audience.

Mike Vincent
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Postby Guest » 11/06/03 09:40 AM

Pete Biro mentions the legendary Jim Cooper. I met him in the early '70's at The House of Magic in SF. He demonstrated his Ace Cutting, and then "tipped" the method. It appeared to be consistent with the description of the Scarne version, and DID use a crimp that is better known now than it was back then, thanks to some of Vernon's material coming out. Now, it is possible that Jim also used the aforementioned edgework, something that Jack McMillen used extensively and shared with several people. In fact, the McMillen work is based on some Charles Jordan work that he experimented with in the thirties. Both Charlie Miller and Jim Cooper were close to Jack, and familiar with the edgework, so it wouldn't surprise me to find out that Cooper used several methods, or combined methods. Is any of this relevant to the Scarne methods? I can't say for sure, but both methods meet all the conditions in the Scarne description.

Best, PSC
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Postby Guest » 12/21/04 01:26 PM

Are there any methods that use just a standard deck and no crimping? Im just looking for the principle of this technique.

Also, has anyone seen Damian Nieman perform this in shade?
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Postby AMCabral » 12/21/04 02:41 PM

Two nice versions (of Steve Forte's) can be found on the Sal Piacente DVDs. The Marlo "Miracle Routine" is in Card College in the "Estimation" chapter. Card College 5 has a nice sequence inspired by a Frank Garcia performance (I can't remember the name of it).

Other favorites in this genre (I collect them like pocket lint):

Passe-Passe Aces (I think) in Expert Card Technique
Jack Carpenter's "Sweep Control" from Expert's Portfolio 1
Andrew Wimhurst's "Cheater's Aces" from his "Card Artistry" video
Martin Nash's "Celestial Aces II" and his original Steven's control-based four-packet cut

Study these, and study as many full-deck false cuts and top-stock controls as you can lay your hands on. There's so much to work with here. Damian Nieman does a nice job with his sequence, but it's no more difficult than anything I've mentioned.

And until the Esteemed Head Genii brings the fire down the mountain with the rest of the Jennings material, there's absolutely no shame in learning "Gambler's Aces" as written in the Maxwell book. It's a great sequence, even if it's not what RK remembers Larry doing.

-Tony
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Postby Steve Bryant » 12/21/04 05:44 PM

"Gambler's Aces," by Bob Irons in Roger's Thesaurus, is an excellent version of cutting aces from a tabled deck. It looks very close to the real thing.
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Postby Guest » 12/21/04 08:15 PM

"Gambler's Aces," by Bob Irons in Roger's Thesaurus, is an excellent version of cutting aces from a tabled deck.
Amen.

Note: Those with "Tricks of My Trade" might want to check out 'Weighing the Aces' (one of my favorite routines from the book.)
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Postby Guest » 12/21/04 09:15 PM

Originally posted by Steve Bryant:
"Gambler's Aces," by Bob Irons in Roger's Thesaurus, is an excellent version of cutting aces from a tabled deck. It looks very close to the real thing.
This is what I would like to talk about, doing the real thing.

Basically culling cards?

I have read some other posts with recomendations, but they were unclear and vague. What is there that I can look into that I can actually get (something thats not rare and impossible to find).
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Postby AMCabral » 12/22/04 06:52 AM

I'm assuming by "the real thing" you mean either genuinely cutting the aces out of the center (without a jog or a break) or actually finding aces in a genuinely shuffled deck.

For the former, I'd still recommend the Marlo "Miracle" routine because it will always feel as amazing to YOU as well as your audience. "Ace Cutting Routine 1" on the Sal Piacente DVD feels the same way.

For the latter, I can really only think of three options:

1) Crimp all the aces (snap, breather, Infinity)
2) "Ace Cutting Routine 2" from the Piacente DVD required similar "prep work", but you will be able to hand out the deck to be shuffled and then shuffle and cut to each ace.
3) The Dad Stevens Riffle Cull, found in Vernon's "Revelations" and Andrew Wimhurst's "Down Under Deals", is the genuine "real thing" I think you think you want. Genuinely shuffled deck, you riffle, spot an ace, and cut to it. It's also screamingly difficult to do well. Good luck.

Before you knock yourself out looking this golden goose, keep in mind that some of the routines that have you foaming at the mouth (e.g. Damian Nieman's sequence in "Shade") are NOT the "real thing". They sure LOOK real good, don't they, though?

-Tony
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Postby mago » 12/22/04 07:49 AM

There is a simple technique that Eddie Marlo taught me years ago.

Because all decks are not the same, remove the aces from a Different deck and switch them from the new deck that you are now using.

If you use my one handed shift done on the table,instead of in the air, you can Feel the different aces and cut to them every time.

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Postby Guest » 12/22/04 10:31 AM

Originally posted by AntonioMCabral:

Before you knock yourself out looking this golden goose, keep in mind that some of the routines that have you foaming at the mouth (e.g. Damian Nieman's sequence in "Shade") are NOT the "real thing". They sure LOOK real good, don't they, though?

-Tony
Yes I know Damian's isnt the real thing. Im also fairly sure on how he does his.

Thanks for the info.
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Postby jimmycards » 12/22/04 10:36 AM

Yes, just check the last few items in Marlo Magazine Vol 1 for some ideas as Tom mentioned.
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Postby AMCabral » 12/22/04 10:39 AM

Originally posted by Iamafish:
Originally posted by AntonioMCabral:
[b]
Before you knock yourself out looking this golden goose, keep in mind that some of the routines that have you foaming at the mouth (e.g. Damian Nieman's sequence in "Shade") are NOT the "real thing". They sure LOOK real good, don't they, though?

-Tony
Yes I know Damian's isnt the real thing. Im also fairly sure on how he does his.

Thanks for the info. [/b]
No problem. I only say this because I've done the same thing. What do you think I was looking for when I found all these other routines?

-Tony
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Postby Guest » 12/22/04 11:16 AM

Oh also, revelations is like $300.

Does he have it on any of the DVD's? which volume is it?
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