Swindle Cut Aces

Discuss your favorite close-up tricks and methods.

Postby Bob Farmer » 04/21/03 04:57 PM

I'm researching versions of this effect. Here are the references I have so far:

In his book, THE ELEGANT CARD MAGIC OF FATHER CYPRIAN (published by Frank Garcia, 1980, pp. 10-18)), Father Cyprian describes, Swindle Cut Aces.
After the tabled deck is cut into four packets, the top card of each packet is turned over to reveal the four aces.

Two of the packets are topped by two aces each. As these aces are turned face-up, they are turned over and onto packets devoid of aces. The remaining two aces are turned over onto their packets.

This works because during the turnovers, both hands move at the same time, but in opposite directions. The only conclusion that an observer can make during these swift and confusing movements is that cards are being turned face-up quickly.

At the point where all motion ceases, there are face-up aces on top of each of the four packets silent advocates of the argument that the aces were cut to.

HISTORY: In Gary Ouellets 1990 book, CLOSE-UP ILLUSIONS, he describes his handling under, Three Second Wonder (pp. 28-32). His references (provided by Father Cyprian), are as follows: Cross-Over Aces, by Al Smith, THE TALON #2; and Joe Destephano for the idea of turning a card over onto another pile. Also mentioned, briefly, are Herb Zarrow and Frank Thompson.

In Roberto Giobbis, CARD COLLEGE VOLUME 1 (English edition, Hermetic Press 1995), it shows up in Royal Flush Finale (pp. 114-118). Bob Veeser and Ian Baxter are credited.

In Harry Loraynes, PERSONAL COLLECTION (published 2001, Harry Lorayne), he credits a version (though its more like timed misdirection), to Bob Veeser (see, Tally-Ho Extended, at p. 371).

Another interesting handling by Shigeo Takagi can be found in Who Cuts First? (pp. 40-42, THE AMAZING MIRACLES OF SHIGEO TAKAGI by Richard Kaufman, Kaufman & Co., 1990).

In his manuscript, PASTEBOARD PRESENTATIONS II, (LaGerould, 2001) the always resourceful Terry LaGerould describes one of the more unique uses.

After the deck is cut into four packets, the top cards are turned over to reveal four random cards. These cards are rearranged on the packets and when turned over again, they have changed to four aces.

The trick, is "Cardboard Keyboard, (pp.34-35).

Are there any other versions anyone knows of?

Also, all of these versions use 4 packets -- anybody know of a 5-packet version?

Thank you.
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Postby Guest » 04/21/03 05:44 PM

The opening of J.C.'s Super Closer in The Commercial Magic of J.C. Wagner uses a swindle, credited to Ian Baxter, which differs from Father Cyprian's method, but achieves the same aim : two of four piles have two aces sitting on top, and the four aces appear to be found one atop each pile.
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Postby Bob Farmer » 04/22/03 09:02 PM

Thank you for that reference.

Here's another one: In Harry Lorayne's "Double Take" (Quantum Leaps pp. 214-217), he has a method for setting the aces on the piles. This method was later used by Gary Ouellet (uncredited to Lorayne) in Three Second Wonder.
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Postby Bob Farmer » 04/23/03 11:27 AM

Max Maven notes that Frank Thompson used this idea before others, though he did not publish.
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Postby Guest » 04/27/03 02:21 PM

Bob,

David Harkey has a version of the Swindle Aces; He published it in "Simplicities" (a manuscript he released in the early 90's.) The title of the trick eludes me (I can't find my copy of the booklet.)

FYI: I recall, the main difference is; all four aces start atop the same pile.

If ya need more info, lemme know, I'll dig through my piles-o-pamphlets.

Regards,
Doug Conn
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Postby Ian Kendall » 04/27/03 02:30 PM

The Shigeo Takagi version also has the four cards on one pile.

And it's fab.

Take care, Ian
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Postby Mike Powers » 05/01/03 06:21 AM

Harkey's item is called "Clear Cut." It is, as he states, loosely based on Cyprian's "Swindle Cut Aces." In the Harkey version, however, the spectator cuts the aces into four piles. You then show that each pile has an ace on top. As Doug Conn mentioned, Harkey's item begins with all four aces on top.

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Postby Jon Racherbaumer » 05/01/03 10:30 AM

The "swindle" idea, because it has been applied in numerous ways over the years, has been inaccurately credited or not credited at all. The idea of having two Aces on top of one pile and then simultaneously taking Aces off of packets in pairs was first recorded in FARO CONTROLLED MIRACLES (1964). Therein Marlo credits Bob Veeser, titling the item, "A Subtlety For The Spectator Cuts The Aces." (p. 46). Marlo had something similiar (only in reverse)that he applied to a trick called "Marlo's Four Card Miracle." He published this in FARO CONTROLLED MIRACLES, as well, although it was taken from Notes dated 1956. These versions were discussed via mail with Neal Elias, Bob Veeser, and Bill Simon.

Frank Thompson used a similar ploy, only one of the Aces was taken from the BOTTOM of a packet. The second Ace was on top. This, as Max Maven pointed out, was never published. Therefore, we have no dates and don't know points of inspiration, if any.

Onward,

JR
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Postby Guest » 05/01/03 05:29 PM

Another similar effect is Marlo's "Knoxville Layout" which I can be a good opener to a set of ace effects. The first phase is a great little swindle.
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Postby Guest » 05/03/03 03:19 AM

Frank Thompson used a similar ploy, only one of the Aces was taken from the BOTTOM of a packet. The second Ace was on top. This, as Max Maven pointed out, was never published. Therefore, we have no dates and don't know points of inspiration, if any.

Jon:

The Thompson Routine has been in my lecture notes for many years.
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Postby Gerald Deutsch » 05/03/03 06:29 AM

The way I learned this effect (I don't remember who showed it to me - it could be Peter Marshall or Lenny Greenfader) was to lay out the 4 piles not in a row but in a square - that is :

1 2

3 4

Two aces are on pile 1 and 2 on pile 4

The top cards (aces) are picked up together from piles 1 and 4 and dropped back down face up on piles 2 and 3 and then the top cards of 1 and 4 are again picked up and put back on piles 1 and 4
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Postby Bob Farmer » 02/29/08 01:52 PM

After much research and many emails, I suspect that the key guy in this story is Neal Elias. His name is mentioned in the original Marlo notes on the Veeser idea (1964) and by Paul Harris (who was using the Swindle Cut Aces idea in the mid 70s)-- in fact, Paul refers to it as the "Neil Elias Cutting Sequence."

I've sent a note off to Allan Ackerman because he may have some info on all this, but does anyone else have any details or references for the Neil Elias handling?

Is Elias still alive? If so, is there anyone here who could contact him and ask him?

Thank you.
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Postby Ryan Matney » 02/29/08 05:28 PM

Neal Elias passed away several years ago. Around 2002 or 2003, I believe.

I published a trick using this concept in my first booklet. I tried to make it as automatic as possible and it uses a prelude effect to set up the aces.
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Postby Jim Martin » 02/29/08 08:42 PM

Here is a tribute site with a great deal of info regarding both his magic and his origami:

http://elias-tribute.co.nr/

One of the 'Forwards' is by his granddaughter, which specifically mentions his card magic.
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Postby Bob Farmer » 03/01/08 05:42 AM

Thank you -- I checked out the site and sent an email to the granddaughter for more information.

I met Neil once at the 4F convention. He gave me a great tip for his multiple shift ("Double Undercut Multiple Shift," pp. 360-362, REVOLUTIONARY CARD TECHNIQUE by Ed Marlo, republished 2003 by Magic Inc.).

This is a marvellous move. Neil's tip: for the insertion of the 4th and last ace, riffle down and break the deck several cards below the outjogged third ace.

However, as you go to insert the 4th ace, close the break and insert it right under the outjogged 3rd ace. This makes the move more certain, since two of the aces are already together, and it still looks as if you placed the aces in different parts of the deck.
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Postby Pete McCabe » 03/01/08 09:57 AM

If this is the move I'm thinking of, it's taught in John Bannon's Dear Mr. Fantasy. A very nice multiple shift -- I'll have to try out this tip. Thanks, Bob.
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Postby Jim Schuyler » 03/04/08 03:55 AM

Thank you, Bob Farmer, for the Neal Elias fourth ace placement idea.

I've found that the marvelous Elias idea also works when placing four aces face down into a face down fan of cards. The first three aces are placed, from the right side of the fan, in widely spaced apart places. You turn the fan face to the audience to show the wide spacein after each ace is inserted. On the fourth ace placement, you seem to go widely spaced, but as you are placing the ace, you are also beginning to turn the fan face up. That's when the fourth ace it place directly below the third, but then tilted to the left so that it appears widely spaced from the front.

Anything that makes this stuff easier to do is a joy to me.
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Postby Pete McCabe » 03/04/08 07:53 AM

Isn't there a move where you appear to put the four aces spread out in a face-down fan, but really the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th aces all go directly below the first one, but arranged to look like they're going in at different places? I know I've seen pictures of this, although I don't know if I've seen it in person.
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Postby Edwin Corrie » 03/04/08 09:34 AM

Originally posted by Pete McCabe:
Isn't there a move where you appear to put the four aces spread out in a face-down fan, but really the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th aces all go directly below the first one, but arranged to look like they're going in at different places? I know I've seen pictures of this, although I don't know if I've seen it in person.
Ken Krenzel's Opti-Stack from his book "Ingenuities" is sort of the opposite - the cards seem to be together but are actually spaced apart. Apparently the basic principle was discovered by Audley Walsh (Tarbell Vol. 5, page 133). I'd be interested in a reference for the other version though.
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Postby Bob Farmer » 03/04/08 01:50 PM

Harry Lorayne has a really good version of this where the aces are dropped on a face-down spread and then the spread is scooped up. It looks great.

Harry -- what's the reference?
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 03/04/08 01:54 PM

Lorayne's Spread Control from Personal Secrets. How good is it? Ricky Jay uses it in 52 Assistants.
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Postby Jeff Pierce Magic » 03/04/08 02:00 PM

I think David Regal has some work also.

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Postby Pete McCabe » 03/04/08 04:04 PM

Originally posted by Bob Farmer:
Harry Lorayne has a really good version of this where the aces are dropped on a face-down spread and then the spread is scooped up. It looks great.

Harry -- what's the reference?
I've definitely read this -- or something similary -- in a Harry Lorayne book, and I never owned Personal Secrets. I recall Harry crediting this to Tim Wenk.
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Postby Harry Lorayne » 03/04/08 04:30 PM

I think you folks are referring to my Spread Control, which is all mine and never credited to Tim or anyone else. Boy! You guys are some researchers! The Spread Control was originally in CLOSE-UP CARD MAGIC, probably one of the best-selling magic books (or so I've been told), and been around since 1962 - it's on my DVD set, it's re-written in LORAYNE: THE CLASSIC COLLECTION. And etc. HL
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Postby Bob Farmer » 03/04/08 06:28 PM

No wonder I couldn't find it.
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Postby Pete McCabe » 03/05/08 07:58 AM

Harry -- Close Up Card Magic it is. That's the only book that I kept during the ten-year gap between my high-school magic phase and my adult phase. Unfortunately my brother has all my Harry Lorayne books so I couldn't check the entry.

And I stand corrected on the Tim Wenk reference. My memory is not as good as yours!
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Postby David Britland » 03/05/08 09:33 AM

Sorry to contradict Harry but his Spread Control goes even further back than 1962.

He'd published it in Hugard's Magic Monthly, ten years earlier, in 1952!

Amazing.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 03/05/08 09:49 AM

Got the credit right at least, if not the original place of publication.
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Postby Pete McCabe » 03/05/08 10:13 AM

Well, if Harry can't get his own credit right, I don't feel so bad!
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Postby Harry Lorayne » 03/05/08 02:19 PM

Absolutely correct, David. But would have been silly of me to mention Hugard's since that's not available now; at least so far as I know. Whereas my book LORAYNE: THE CLASSIC COLLECTION is easily available. Why sell Hugard's when I can sell my own book? But at least we have a researcher in the crowd! Best - HARRY LORAYNE.
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Postby Harry Lorayne » 03/05/08 02:20 PM

PS: Since I was only about six years old way back then, it was difficult for me to "remember" it! HL
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 03/05/08 02:33 PM

I used to use Harry's Spread Control years ago when tables were more commonly around in the venues in which I did tricks. You don't think it will work at first, but when you scoop up that spread and all the desired cards are on top, it's pretty amazing. It seems like it will be obvious to laymen that the cards are just sitting on top of the spread and then riding to the top, but it's not at all obvious in practice. They don't see it.
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Postby Harry Lorayne » 03/05/08 03:03 PM

Try tucking just a small piece of the inner-right corner of the card nearest top of spread under the, say, 4th card from top. Then when you do the move, two of the cards end up on top and the "tucked card" ends up fifth from top. You can, of course, tuck it to whatever position you like. Fits into lots of routines, and it IS amazing. Best - HL.
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Postby Bob Farmer » 04/09/08 07:56 PM

Does anyone here recall seeing Jimmy Grippo do Swindle Cut aces? If so, when was that?

Also, does anyone here have Joe Destephano's email? Apparently he may have something to do with the development of the trick.
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Postby Harvey Rosenthal » 04/20/08 02:27 AM

Frank Thompson demonstrated and taught me his handling of the Swindle Cut Aces at my home in Maryland in early 1971. I wrote up a complete description of the handling which I used for a number of years. I have not done Frank's handling in at least 15 years and have forgotten it. In addition, I have been looking for the write-up of the routine but still have not yet located it.

I would appreciate anyone who knows the routine in question would be kind enough to e-mail a description of the handling to me. My e-mail address is:
hmrosenthal1@comcast.net.

Thanks in advance.

Harvey
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Postby Bob Farmer » 04/21/08 12:48 PM

Harvey:

I've sent you an email on this topic with some additional information.

Bob
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Postby Philippe Billot » 05/06/08 11:04 AM

Lorayne's Spread Control, page 917, Hugard's Magic Monthly, Vol. 9, N 11, april - 1952

Then

Spread Control, page 121, Close-up Card Magic - 1962
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Postby Philippe Noël » 06/18/11 10:43 AM

In M.i.n.t volume 1, page 135, there is an article called : A problem posed. In this article Marlo explains that he has notes from Neal ELias on the effect "Spectator cuts aces". Does someone know what happened to those notes?
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 06/18/11 11:18 AM

All of Marlo's correspondence was bought by Persi Diaconis.
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Postby Bob Farmer » 06/18/11 12:19 PM

An extensive history of this effect which traces its origins back into the mists of time will appear in my upcoming (at some point) book, THE BAMMO FLIM-FLAM CONglomeration.
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