Dai Vernon's "Royal Monte": Fixes?

Discuss your favorite close-up tricks and methods.

Postby Richard Kaufman » 08/06/01 10:33 PM

Let's try something new here on the forum: everyone put on your thinking caps and take out your decks.
A few days ago, in another thread, Roger Klause wrote that he felt that Dai Vernon's "Royal Monte" from The Stars of Magic was one of the best packet tricks using ordinary cards. To which I replied, "I've never actually seen ANYONE perform Vernon's Royal Monte, and it's one of the few things in Stars of Magic that I've never fiddled with. How good is it?"
To which Rafael Benatar replied: "Thanks to Roger Klause's post, I've fiddled with it for the first time and here is what I think. It's deviously clever. Wonderful ways to conceal the extra cards used while showing nothing but single edges. However, I can see why nobody uses it. Calls for very neat handling. Needs a set-up that is not open. You end up with the extra cards in gamblers cop. Nothing wrong with any of that, but put it all together and it gets a little awkward. Also, what happens in the trick is only clear because of the patter which is a bit far-fetched. Yet, I want to try it out with in front of an audience. I think the quote next to the title says it all: "A lesson in artistic card handling."
GENTLEMEN AND LADIES, surely we can all do a bit of cogitating on some of the aspects that Rafael Benatar has raised which might prove troublesome for many of us in performance ...
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Postby Rafael Benatar » 08/08/01 12:29 PM

Great idea. Here's a first attempt, to get the ball rolling. At the beginning, the extra cards are in a Gambler's-Cop-ish position, concealed under the fan, and the handling is somewhat contrived. This is covered by the patter ("how amusing
it is... to watch the average player inspect his hand"). I'd put those cards in a full Gambler's Cop so I can handle the visible cards more freely, i.e. passing them from one hand to the other.
Split the fan for a moment to loosely show 3 cards in the right hand and 2 in the left. These 2 cards afford some cover so you may tilt the hand forward to show them, if necessary. Pull out the Ace and the 10, lay them on the table face down, and have them guess "to make sure they're paying close attention".
Now for the Monte part, as you explain they have to try and pick a card that is not a 10, openly reverse the order of the 4 visible cards as you display them, peeling them into the right hand. Without even squaring the cards, casually one-hand fan them to the right so the 10 is left injogged. Close the fan against the left-thumb crotch and obtain a break under the top three cards, letting the injogged 10 coalesce with the hidden packet.
Without pausing, turn the packet end for end towards you, performing Marlo's Pivot Switchout (a wonderful sleight from "35 Years Later", see also "The Card Magic of Edward Marlo", p. 17). This leaves the picture cards in a full left-hand palm and the Tens in a face-down packet, in view. Spread those cards immediately and toss them, still spread, to the table. This gives you a chance of disposing of the picture cards in a convenient place, as Hofzinser used to say, while a card out of the four is being picked.
One more thing: When you first put the Ace and the 10 on the table, you can say: "Look, I'm gonna shuffle them with just one finger." Do so by stretching out your right hand, as if not wanting to get close, and shift the cards around a bit. This conditions the spectator so that later, when you lay the Tens on the table, you can do the same and easily pocket the palmed cards.

[ August 08, 2001: Message edited by: Rafael Benatar ]
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 08/08/01 11:11 PM

Thanks, Rafael, those are some great ideas. Roger Klause, are you there? You must have a few subtleties and tips on the standard Vernon handling ... perhaps something the Professor didn't tip in print? ;)
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Postby Guest » 08/09/01 09:28 PM

Richard: Indeed I am here...and thoroughly enjoying the very learned posts from many of
the real thinkers in our midst. I applaud you and your staff for the concept of this

Re: "Royal Travelers"...Nice work Rafeal!

I use to perform this quite often in the
early sixties after having been taught a
slighty improved version by The Prof. in 1959.

Vernon carried the royal flush cards inside a hip-pocket wallet in his left front pants pocket. The other three tens were face down on the outside of the wallet. This allowed him to remove the wallet and the tens with his left hand thus concealing the tens beneath.

He then flipped open the wallet with an outward flick of his left wrist. He removed the flush, face-down, with his right hand and casually fanned them as he flipped the wallet closed. Thus, five cards were cleanly
shown face-down. He then squared the fan using the wallet as a brace, and then turned
the squared flush face-up. Taking the flush by the lower right corners with his right hand, his left little finger pulled down the lower right corners of the tens allowing him to place the flush beneath the wallet and above the tens as the wallet was transferred to his right hand.This action is closely related to the dice switch with currency.

A break with the left little finger was maintained below the flush cards. Apparently
the left hand now held only five face-up cards with the ten of spades showing on the face.Right hand then placed the wallet on the table.

He slowly squeezed out the royal flush as he
told the story as outlined in "Stars".

Now, he transferred the Ace to a position second from the face of the fan, and turned it and the ten above face down in the former position. After a brief pause, to set up the monte phase with his patter,(time misdirection) he then took the two face down cards in his right hand in position for his Optical Move. (Further Inner Secrets)

After the Optical Move, the spec. is convinced that the ace is the bottom card of the two. The spec. is asked to withdraw the ace and of course gets the ten. The ace is then placed face-down on the table and the
ten retrieved and place in it's proper face-up position on the fan. The patter then continues offering the spectator a second
chance by selecting any card BUT a ten.

After the climax, ie. four cards are shown to be all tens via the buckle count: the ten of spades is placed at the face and the cards are squared and a break is held above the bottom three (K,Q,J).

The ace is placed face up on the 10S and the right hand picks up the wallet flipping it open just as the left hand did at the beginning. Mention is made of the four of a kind, a hand worth keeping!

The left little finger pulls down on the bottom three cards as the right hand slides
the opened wallet into the spaced just formed. Thus the left hand now holds the opened wallet with the tens and ace and the J,Q,K safely underneath.

The right hand now turns the visible packet
face-down and places it into one of credit card pockets. The left wrist flips the wallet closed and it is returned to the pants'pocket. Fini

I am quite certain that the above has never seen print and perhaps will help to revive
an interest in one of the earliest precursors to the ever popular packet effect.

Rich:Will see you and Jon in Vegas in a few days...

Postby Richard Kaufman » 08/09/01 09:31 PM

Roger, thanks so much for your post. Yes, will see you in Vegas next week!
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Postby Gerald Deutsch » 08/10/01 07:10 AM

I studied with Slydini for many years and rather than ask him to teach me his tricks I would discuss tricks that I liked and ask for his suggestions. One such trick was Royal Monte and with Slydini's help I worked out a routine that was published in the May 1980 issue of Apacalypse on page 343 called "Added Attraction".

Like much of the magic I did with Slydini, it's a sit down trick.

Basically the performer has a packet of cards from the 10S to the As (which of course is the royal flush) with the As on the face followed by the 10S then the other 3 10s and then the JS, QS, and the Ks.

The packet is shown one card at a time to the audience by lifting one card at a time and then, after showing the 3 picture cards, a buckle count is made showing the 10S (with the other 3 10s hidden) and then the As.

As the packet is assembled a break is kept under the 3 picture cards and they are lapped.

The packet is turned face up and the AS dealt face up on the table. The 10S shows on the face. The packet is turned face down and the four cards (all 10s) are dealt face down. The spectator is asked to put an object on the face down card he thinks is the 10. (they are all 10s)

While he his doing this the performer palms the 3 lapped cards in his right hand and then with his right hand he moves the deck out of the way depositing the 3 lapped cards.

The performer shows that all the face down cards are 10s - and then gets up - which has fooled many magicians.
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Postby Guest » 08/14/01 09:09 PM

Wow! What a fantastic series of posts. Thanks to all

Postby Guest » 08/29/01 01:51 PM

When I first studied Royal Monte my concerns were getting into the routine, getting out, and managing some of the breaks, which twice come at important moments. To begin, I perform Royal Monte after another effect where the royal flush is produced for the climax. The three tens were simply added to the set up of the previous routine. I then gamblers cop the three tens from the bottom of the deck. As my left hand tables the deck, my right hand reaches to my right to pick up the royal flush. The royal flush is now added onto the copped ten holding a break, which was break problem #1. The deck, incidentally, is tabled face up, to my left, position for the left hand to later pick it up. The second break problem comes after the buckle count. As the spread is closed a break is held above four cards. The right hand comes over in biddle position. The right thumb lifts one card from below the break, at the same time, the hands gamblers cop the bottom three cards. The right thumb's action and the copping is done in one fluid motion. As my right hand moves away to the right and spreads the tens on the table, my left hand picks up the deck, adding the copped cards below. My right hand now picks up the tabled ace of spades and places it into the deck. I now perform a routine with the tens. It's surprising how the deck can be picked up and tabled with cards in gamblers cop. This notion is discussed in "Larry Jennings * The Cardwright".
As a point of interest, Vernon's work on Royal Monte crosses paths with his Aces by Proxy, found in Vernon Chronicles #2. Together both routines offer a lot of help in dealing with packet tricks where the number of cards far exceeds what is supposed to be there. One such routine I like very much can be found in Richard Kaufman's "Cardworks" under the title of "Even Odder II". Study "Royal Monte" and "Aces by Proxy", then try "Even Odder II" using some of the Vernon techniques.

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