Between Your Palms

Discuss your favorite close-up tricks and methods.
Guest

Between Your Palms

Postby Guest » February 14th, 2003, 8:06 am

One of the finest card tricks ever devised is Alex Elmsley's "Between Your Palms." I sometimes perform it, but wonder if there are better versions out there.

I recently read versions by Simon Lovell ("Departed Point" in Simon's Australian Lecture Notes! from 1999) and David Regal ("Lies," from Close-Up and Personal), and found them very nice.

"Departed Point" is quite close to the original, but adds a couple of improvements. First of all, he changes the between-the-palms plot to between-one-palm-and-the-table, which makes things easier and more foolproof for the magician (you'll know what I'm talking about if you've tried Elmsley's original routine).

In addition, Simon's version uses a folded card as one of the three found cards, which sells the idea that all three cards remain under the spectator's palm.

David's version is nice, although it uses a deck that's half-filled with odd-backed cards, rendering the deck unusable for other tricks. This becomes a problem in walkaround work, whee pocket space is at a premium. The odd back probably sells the trick well, though.

I'm wondering how each of these routines plays in the real world.

I'm also wondering if there are other improvements out there.

And finally, I'm wondering whether Elmsley was the first one to develop this trick, or whether there were other versions out there previously.

User avatar
Joe M. Turner
Posts: 421
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Fred Kaps
Location: Atlanta, GA
Contact:

Re: Between Your Palms

Postby Joe M. Turner » February 14th, 2003, 8:15 am

Can't speak to improvements, but I perform the original at most of my stand-up shows and it never fails to play strong.

I adapted his "Hermit of Moon Mountain" to have a more "Georgia" feel.

Okay, now it's about the Dalai Lama's mystical Southern cousin -- the Bubba Lama -- who lives on Stone Mountain. But it's still a good trick!

Guest

Re: Between Your Palms

Postby Guest » February 14th, 2003, 8:15 am

I don't perform it anymore but there is a version called 'Between Elmsley, Brown and Himber'. I don't remember where this routine is published but I am sure someone reading this will know.
Cheers,
Jason

User avatar
Richard Kaufman
Posts: 25458
Joined: July 18th, 2001, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Theodore DeLand
Location: Washington DC
Contact:

Re: Between Your Palms

Postby Richard Kaufman » February 14th, 2003, 9:00 am

I'm fairly sure the plot is original with Elmsley or something would've been written otherwise by now.
"Between Elmsley, Brown, and Himber" is, I believe, in Kabbala Volume 3.
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine

Guest

Re: Between Your Palms

Postby Guest » February 14th, 2003, 9:20 am

My first exposure to that routine was Ammar's handling from the L&L video. I have used it ever since and it is probably one of the strongest pieces of magic that I do.

Rick

Guest

Re: Between Your Palms

Postby Guest » February 14th, 2003, 9:29 am

A variant of Between Your Palms - think of it as a super stripped down version - is Larry Jennings' "Mystery Card." It requires confidence in your ability to palm (actually cop) under pressure, but I don't think any version of the plot is as clean as this.

You can find Between Your Palms in The Classic Magic of Larry Jennings.

Zech Johnson

Guest

Re: Between Your Palms

Postby Guest » February 14th, 2003, 6:06 pm

I wonder if Hamman's 'Your signed card' would be considered a variation of this plot.
Thanks Richard for the location of 'Between Elmsley, Brown and Himber'.

User avatar
Richard Kaufman
Posts: 25458
Joined: July 18th, 2001, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Theodore DeLand
Location: Washington DC
Contact:

Re: Between Your Palms

Postby Richard Kaufman » February 14th, 2003, 9:25 pm

Bro. Hamman's "Signed Card" is indeed in the same family, however the idea of having an isolated card turn out to be a chosen card goes way back. Racherbaumer will correct me if I'm wrong, but Ralph Hull rings a bell.
Of course, what Elmsley added is that the card is in the spectator's hands ... that's a HUGE difference.
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine

Jon Racherbaumer
Posts: 843
Joined: January 22nd, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: New Orleans

Re: Between Your Palms

Postby Jon Racherbaumer » February 14th, 2003, 10:35 pm

The Elmsley plot ("Between Your Palms") is a time dislocation effect. The card placed between the spectator's palms PRIOR to having three cards LATER selected (one of which is signed) turns out to be the SIGNED SELECTION.

Ed Brown added the special Himber-type wallet.

Hamman's trick is also a TIME DISLOCATION effect, only it uses one card, which is PREVIOUSLY tabled. It turns out to be the selection that is chosen AFTER the "future card" is tabled.

The R.W. Hull trick also uses a previously tabled card. A spectator THEN mentally selects a card. An Ace of Spades is removed from the deck as a "magnetic influence" card and it is rubbed against the tabled card. The tabled card is shown to be the mental selection.

This is NOT a time dislocation effect.

Onward...

Sean Piper
Posts: 195
Joined: January 26th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Brisbane, Australia

Re: Between Your Palms

Postby Sean Piper » February 14th, 2003, 11:12 pm

JR's comments reminded me of two other variations of this plot:

- John Bannon's "Do the Twixt" from Smoke and Mirrors, is his solution for doing Elmsley's effect without a duplicate card. It makes use of his Assisted Switch, also from Smoke and Mirrors.

- "Crystal Thought" from Expert Card Technique is in some ways similiar, in regards to a card being placed on the table from the outset. This then turns out to be the thought of card. While not strictly in the same family of effect, I've always thought this method could somehow be utilized for a Between You Palms type handling.

Has anyone played with this?

Pete McCabe
Posts: 2336
Joined: January 18th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Simi Valley, CA

Re: Between Your Palms

Postby Pete McCabe » February 14th, 2003, 11:34 pm

Bannon has another, very interesting version of this plot in Impossibilia; called Twixt The Devil.

Pepka
Posts: 412
Joined: May 4th, 2008, 9:40 am

Re: Between Your Palms

Postby Pepka » February 15th, 2003, 5:13 am

Jack Carpenter has a trick called "Quantum Theory" which is on vol. 1 of his A-1 video series. It is basically a combination of between your palms and Dr. Daley's last trick. I didn't care for the handling, or the patter, but these 2 tricks work very well together. I perform my own handling every night. It's probably one of the strongest routines I perform.
Pepka

Guest

Re: Between Your Palms

Postby Guest » February 15th, 2003, 11:03 am

Here are two routines which I recommended
1.Spirits Between Your Palms from Peter Duffie published in a Magazin where the Moderators of this forum are responsible for (The Looking Glass Winter 98)
2. Between Your Palms, Rethought from The Earl Nelson Workbook - my favourite version

Guest

Re: Between Your Palms

Postby Guest » February 15th, 2003, 6:50 pm

My favorite version of this type of effect is Darwin Ortiz' "The Psychotronic Card" from "Cardshark". The Kings from a second deck with a different back color are used to vanish the signed selcted card. The big advantage of this routine is, that you never touch the isolated 'Mystery Card' until the climax and that the Mystery Card never touches the Kings that are used for the vanish.

Guest

Re: Between Your Palms

Postby Guest » February 15th, 2003, 7:37 pm

And let's not forget Jay Sankey's paperclip thing, which is essentially an ultra stripped down version of the plot.

Guest

Re: Between Your Palms

Postby Guest » October 15th, 2004, 1:36 am

This trick has been on my mind a lot over the last couple years.

In the late '90s, I performed Elmsley's original for a couple months, but found that I couldn't pull it off 100% of the time. Sometimes, people knew that I had surreptitiously slipped the signed card into their hand; they felt the switch. So I dropped it.

Just recently, I learned John Bannon's "Do the Twixt" version on his Smoke and Mirrors videotape. But I still got some people saying that they knew I switched it. They felt it when I attempted the assisted switch.

Joe M. Turner, you're a worker, and it sounds like you get away with it 100% of the time. What's the secret?

User avatar
Joe M. Turner
Posts: 421
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Fred Kaps
Location: Atlanta, GA
Contact:

Re: Between Your Palms

Postby Joe M. Turner » October 15th, 2004, 9:12 pm

I have been under the weather this week (food poisoning) and am consequently late on a column. When I complete it, I will happily return here and reply to your question.

Philippe Billot
Posts: 1336
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: PARIS - FRANCE

Re: Between Your Palms

Postby Philippe Billot » October 16th, 2004, 12:51 am

And what do you think about The Money Card by Edward Marlo, described in Marlo Without Tears ?

Frank Starsinic
Posts: 331
Joined: January 23rd, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Davis,CA
Contact:

Re: Between Your Palms

Postby Frank Starsinic » October 16th, 2004, 12:58 am

You might want to consider Earl Nelson's routine
Between Your Points of Departure.

Philippe Billot
Posts: 1336
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: PARIS - FRANCE

Re: Between Your Palms

Postby Philippe Billot » October 16th, 2004, 2:50 am

In which book is it described, please ? (Earl Nelson's version)

Guest

Re: Between Your Palms

Postby Guest » October 16th, 2004, 8:54 am

Philippe,

Earl Nelson's "Between Your Points of Departure" can be found in his book VARIATIONS (pp. 7-11). Previously unavailable for a long time, the book has been recently rereleased as VARIATIONS REVISITED. It's an excellent book with practical, working material, and I suggest picking up a copy while it's still available.

Cameron

Philippe Billot
Posts: 1336
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: PARIS - FRANCE

Re: Between Your Palms

Postby Philippe Billot » October 16th, 2004, 10:00 am

Thank you, Cameron. I don't forget you. The next month, I'll work on the Genii Open Index Project.

Guest

Re: Between Your Palms

Postby Guest » October 16th, 2004, 9:01 pm

Re: Wallets and Time Dislocation

One of the best effects in this genre is Darwin Ortiz' "Dream Card"

Another wonderful routine (along similar lines) is Gary Kurtz' "Hypothetical Possibilities"

The Ortiz routine can be found in "At the Card Table." & the Kurtz routine is describe in "Unexplainable Acts."


Re: The Signed Card

Hamman's effect plays MUCH better when integrated into a sandwich routine (as opposed to using four of a kind.)

Alan Ackerman has a superb routine along these lines.... Check; "Las Vegas Kardma" (look for "The 76 Sandwich.")

Members of "The Second Deal" will find my handling ("Dante's Sandwich") in the trick section... Non TSD members may consider checking my web site (the routine is also available in my 'Conn-juring' notes.)

FYI: My routine was semi-inspired by Racherbaumer's "Synergystic Sandwiches" (members of the Rock's site will find said routine there.) Rounding out the credit chain; Racherbaumer was inspired by Eric Eicher (who I believe was the first to use a sandwich with the Hamman plot in his "Fast, Faster, Fastest".)

...

Regardless of the above, if I were to reccomend just one time dislocation card effect for 'real world' work... it would be Sankey's Paperclipped routine.

End ramble.

Carl Mercurio
Posts: 505
Joined: January 18th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: New York
Contact:

Re: Between Your Palms

Postby Carl Mercurio » October 18th, 2004, 8:34 am

I use the original Elmsley effect in walkaround and other close-up settings often, and it plays very well.

Guest

Re: Between Your Palms

Postby Guest » October 18th, 2004, 10:33 am

Originally posted by Carl Mercurio:
I use the original Elmsley effect in walkaround and other close-up settings often, and it plays very well.
Yes, but don't you get caught switching in the card? I've had people, perhaps one in eight, say: "You took out the wrong card." That one in eight keeps me from doing the trick.

Jim Maloney_dup1
Posts: 1709
Joined: July 23rd, 2001, 12:00 pm
Location: Northern New Jersey
Contact:

Re: Between Your Palms

Postby Jim Maloney_dup1 » October 18th, 2004, 11:12 am

While I'll admit that I haven't worked on this effect, removing the cards does seem to be a potentially vulnerable area.

Sounds to me like some mental misdirection is in order. In other words, get the person who's holding the cards focused on something other than which card you're removing. Which card you're removing should be apparent when it's face is shown, not necessarily when it's being taken from their hands.

A thought: Perhaps, when the card is revealed initially, before putting it in the spectator's hand, you could make some kind of joke. Later on, when removing the card from their hand, you can make a callback to this joke. The laughter will likely be enough to get their mind away from exactly which card is being removed. The joke will also help reinforce in the minds of everyone which card is being taken out. I haven't tried this, but it sounds ok, at least on paper (or...on electrons, I guess...whatever... ;) ).

-Jim

User avatar
Joe M. Turner
Posts: 421
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Fred Kaps
Location: Atlanta, GA
Contact:

Re: Between Your Palms

Postby Joe M. Turner » October 18th, 2004, 11:53 am

I use this a lot -- more in parlor/cabaret settings than close-up -- and get a consistently good response. I have used a variety of presentations.

I have never had a problem with anyone saying I removed the wrong card. What I consider the most troublesome point in the routine (as Elmsley taught it on his Tahoe videos) is the pocket switch, which I find infinitely weaker than any moment at the end. That is the weakness I work to correct -- and there are plenty of ways to do it -- but I've never had a problem at the end.

Then again, I generally use this on a cabaret stage and the person is likely a bit nervous and not paying as much attention to the order of the cards in her hands as she might in a close-up performance. I also engage her in conversation and do try to verbally misdirect a bit at the moments when I'm putting the cards in. Finally, I try not to focus too much on that ONE card until the end... I tell her that she'll be guarding my prediction, of course, and then I add to her responsibilities with the other two cards. I try to have her guard them as a packet of cards... then there is less focus on the individual identities or order. When I remove the cards from her hands, I ask the people in the audience who selected them to name their cards again before I show them (and I act like I'm not sure which one is which when I'm turning them over)... this reinforces that those were the cards I put in there along the way... and that therefore the remaining card has been there throughout the whole presentation.

Before I take the cards out, I get the spectator to acknowledge that I have not done anything to the card that was in her hand nor have I touched the other cards I have given her since she took possession of them.

I think the main issue here may be guiding the experience verbally. I love Elmsley's use of the stranger card as a marker for placing the signed card back into the fan, but I wish I could find a really great solution to that switch... his pocket switch just isn't my cup of tea.

JMT

Guest

Re: Between Your Palms

Postby Guest » October 18th, 2004, 3:23 pm

Thanks, guys, for all the advice.

Carl Mercurio
Posts: 505
Joined: January 18th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: New York
Contact:

Re: Between Your Palms

Postby Carl Mercurio » October 19th, 2004, 8:19 am

I take out all three cards, hold them as if for an Elmsley and count as follows:

Push the top two into the left hand and count "one."

Place the single that's in the right hand on top and remove the bottom card (the signed card) and count "two."

With your left thumb, flick the corner of the signed card in your right hand and count "three."

Turn over the two card in the left hand and point to them with the face down card, reiterating the first two selections. Then turn over the signed card.

Throughout all this I always use a psychological misdirection, emphasizing that "I only use three cards." This gets their mind off the order and onto looking for more than three cards, which of course there isn't.

So the patter line goes something like this. "Your card, the signed card, is the easiest to find because before this trick even started I put a prediction card in your hand. Now it's important to remember that I only use three cards. One, two, three. This is your card, this is your card, and this is my prediction, the signed card."

Carl Mercurio
Posts: 505
Joined: January 18th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: New York
Contact:

Re: Between Your Palms

Postby Carl Mercurio » October 19th, 2004, 8:25 am

P.S., a nice way to find the selections, which I always use, is as follows. First, you should have controlled one selection to the bottom, and the signed card a duplicate to the top.

Explain how you have this skill in which you can cut to any card. Do a false cut, double lift and reveal the first selection. Put signed card in hands.

Say something like, "Your card I'm going to find with one hand." Then do the Hot Shot cut.

Finally, go into the ending above.

Guest

Re: Between Your Palms

Postby Guest » October 19th, 2004, 11:57 am

Thanks for the great details, Carl.

Sam Kesler
Posts: 349
Joined: January 21st, 2008, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Ed Marlo
Location: Los Angeles

Re: Between Your Palms

Postby Sam Kesler » October 24th, 2004, 12:31 pm

Check out a "A Divine Palms Departure" (Protean Card Magic,1998, Natzler Enterprises) by Paul Gordon.

Paul acknowledges that routines where the cards go under the mystery card are inferior. Paul solves the problem with a Bilis move and a very easy bottom deal. Take a look. :eek:

Guest

Re: Between Your Palms

Postby Guest » October 24th, 2004, 3:58 pm

Originally posted by Sam Kesler:
...Paul solves the problem with a Bilis move and a very easy bottom deal. Take a look. :eek:
Finally, someone who has run into the same problem as I. Thanks, Sam.

User avatar
Ryan Matney
Posts: 978
Joined: January 18th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Abingdon, Va
Contact:

Re: Between Your Palms

Postby Ryan Matney » October 24th, 2004, 10:07 pm

Why not use any version of Hamman's signed card including the original? Place the unknown card onto a spectator's palm as per Elmsley's routine and at the end have the spectator uncover the card, you make a move to take it and then stop short saying "Opps, I don't want to touch it." Then do the Hamman switch, Trevor Lewis's Monte switch, etc.

That is, of course, unless you had your heart set on a three selection routine.
Get the Dirty Work - Available now at http://www.ryanmatneymagic.com

Anthony Brahams
Posts: 196
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Norwich, U.K.
Contact:

Re: Between Your Palms

Postby Anthony Brahams » October 25th, 2004, 1:58 am

Another in the "Between Your Palms" genre is Lou Gallo's "Missing Lady" in Precursor XII that is, according to editor Bill Miesel, "very easyan excellent routine." IMHO it is. It is the trick I was working on the night Lou died.
Anthony

Guest

Re: Between Your Palms

Postby Guest » October 26th, 2004, 2:07 pm

Daryl's 'Holding On' in 'Secrets of a Puerto Rican Gambler' is pretty nice. Dan Fleshman has a less movey version of Hamman's 'Signed Card' that I think is on his Restaurant Magic DVDs.

Sam Kesler
Posts: 349
Joined: January 21st, 2008, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Ed Marlo
Location: Los Angeles

Re: Between Your Palms

Postby Sam Kesler » October 29th, 2004, 10:38 am

I don't mean to beat a dead horse sort of speak
:) , but I came across another good version by Jack Carpenter in the Magic of Jack Carpenter (page 13) called "Mysterious." It is a fusion of Daley-Elmsley-and Hamman.

I don't have the original Elmsley version in front of me, but Jack puts the red Aces (the spec thinks they're black) on top and bottom of the mystery card. He then reveals using the Hamman displacement to center the selection between the aces. I rather like it.

Guest

Re: Between Your Palms

Postby Guest » October 29th, 2004, 1:27 pm

Originally posted by Sam Kesler:
...Jack puts the red Aces (the spec thinks they're black) on top and bottom of the mystery card. He then reveals using the Hamman displacement to center the selection between the aces. I rather like it.
Man, that's the solution! Wow! Thanks, Sam.

Jim Maloney_dup1
Posts: 1709
Joined: July 23rd, 2001, 12:00 pm
Location: Northern New Jersey
Contact:

Re: Between Your Palms

Postby Jim Maloney_dup1 » October 29th, 2004, 1:44 pm

Actually, that seems to confuse the effect.

In Elmsley's original, three cards are placed into the spectator's hand. Two of them are known cards, one unknown. When the cards are removed, you see the two known cards and the third is one that appears to have been impossible to get there.

Now, looking at the Carpenter version, three cards are placed into the spectator's hand, one mystery card and two black Aces. When you remove them from his hand, you get the two black...wait no, red...Aces, and the mystery card is one that appears to have been impossible to get there.

The problem is that "wait no, red." In Elmsley's version, everything is as it should be -- the cards that go in are the cards that come out. With Carpenter's, none of the cards that go in come out at the end. It SMACKS of a switch.

Now, using the Hamman switch WITHOUT the aspect of Daley's Last Trick is a fine idea, I think.

-Jim

User avatar
Ryan Matney
Posts: 978
Joined: January 18th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Abingdon, Va
Contact:

Re: Between Your Palms

Postby Ryan Matney » October 29th, 2004, 2:47 pm

Posted by Jim Maloney:
Now, using the Hamman switch WITHOUT the aspect of Daley's Last Trick is a fine idea, I think.
And that's what I suggested.

Carpenter's version sounds clever but might be too many effects at once. I'll reserve judgement until I read it.
Get the Dirty Work - Available now at http://www.ryanmatneymagic.com


Return to “Close-Up Magic”