Every card magician will know the Triumph effect:
The performer is recklessly and haphazardly mixing cards face up and face down. Then, without warning or manipulation, this entire disorder is instantly corrected. All of the cards face the same way except for a selection.
The most famous routine is Dai Vernon’s “Triumph” originally published in Stars of Magic. However, he probably was influenced by other similar effects that came before. One such routine is Sid Lorraine’s “Slop Shuffle.”
Jon Racherbaumer will take you through the history of this wonderfully visual effect and will explain and discuss the many variations magicians have developed. In his selected bibliography he references 186 Triumph routines. A good start if you really want to study this plot.
Back to the Future Classic
Edward Marlo and Jon Racherbaumer study three similar effects:
- Everywhere and Nowhere
- The General Card
- The Universal Card
Marlo on Card to Wallet
This treatise is a compilation of Ed Marlo’s methods for performing a card-to-wallet, incorporating his Exclusive Card in Wallet (1961), plus other methods published in Ibidem, Hierophant, Card Finesse, Marlo’s Magazine, and previously unpublished but related methods. This material was discovered in a thick folder among Marlo’s private effects.
The idea of causing a selection to disappear from the deck and then reappear elsewhere is almost as old as playing cards. Reinhard Müller has painstakingly researched the basic effect classified as “Card Found in Some Object,” which was being performed (in some form) in the 17th century. For example, Müller discovered the effect, “Card in Mirror,” in a book written in 1690 by Eberhard Welper. There are 58 pages of references ferreted out by Jack Potter and listed in The Master Index to Magic in Print.
Causing a card to magically travel to a purse is centuries old and Bart Whaley in his encyclopedia writes:
The original version involving a stooge cued to miscall the card was exposed as early as 1790 and then by Gale in 1800, as ‘The Card in the Pocket-book.” This tired method was still being pushed as late as 1897 by Hercat under that same title. A new method (using a forced card and duplicate planted in the wallet) was probably invented by Professor Morris Loewy. In any case, it was first published by Hatton & Plate in 1910. Loewy taught it to S. Leo Horowitz. At this point, around 1918 (or so he recalled in 1956), 15-year John Scarne created the modern method that involves a palm of the chosen (and signed) card and a gaffed wallet to receive it. He claims he publicly premiered this version during a 10-minute guest appearance on a Houdini show at the Roosevelt Theater in 1924 or 1925.
Jerry Mentzer’s Card to Wallet: The Book appeared in 1991 and today is the most accessible compilation to date. Mentzer explains most of the modern day methods, including the premiere versions using the three primary gaffed wallets by Le Paul, Himber-Bombshell, and Mullica.
Al Baker's method was first published by Bill McCaffery in the Sphinx (October – 1930). Scarne's later method, using the so-called Marlo Wedge, was published in 1938. In fact, the use of “guides” to facilitate the loading of a card is ancestrally tied to early tricks where purses or containers were nested. Over the years, various kinds of “guides” or “wedges” were used—everything from built-in leather flaps, plastic pieces, cardboard slides, coins, credit cards, and so on. Ed Balducci published a version with an enclosed note pad in Hugard’s Magic Monthly (April – 1958). Keith Bennett replaced the note pad with a plastic guide for easier loading and marketed the “KB-Balducci Wallet” in Birmingham, England. Ed Marlo privately sold a wallet and manuscript (Exclusive Card in Wallet) in 1961 that used the “guide” idea, only in this case a coin was used to wedge and kept the wallet open for easy loading. Fred Kaps the idea to Ken Brooke in 1974. He put out (with credit to Balducci) “The Working Performer’s Card in Wallet.” The same year Emerson and West marketed “The Pocket Secretary,” which was designed along the same lines.
Perhaps one day there will be another magnum opus devoted to the Card to Wallet theme. In the meantime, this foray may serve to spur your thinking and motivate you to play with the wallets in your possession.
This book references photos but there are no photos included yet. We think that the text itself will be of interest and that is why we are releasing it as it is.
The clock effect/principle is a variant of the automatic placement principle. It allows you to force a card. The procedure typically is that the spectator freely selects any full hour on the clock (1-12). Cards are then dealt into a clock pattern where one card takes the place of each hour. The card at the spectator's freely chosen hour is the force card, which for example could have been predicted beforehand.
The Clock Effect using playing cards originated at the turn of the century. Potter's Index subsequently listed thirty-eight (38) references—one of the earliest being Hercat's More Conjuring (1912). However, Fred G. Taylor’s “Crazy Clocks” in Pallbearers Review (Volume 3 - Number 3: January 1968) was the method that piqued Jon's interest.
This e-book explains a number of the most important variants of this effect followed by a partial chronology of the effect.
Compleat K.M. Move
This is the fourth revised treatment of Ed Marlo’s hard-to-find manuscript that supplements the various chapters of his Revolutionary Card Technique series. The objective of the revision is to publish a new old-book by expanding the original work to include ideas, finesses, and variations devised after 1962. More important, this revision is more organized and cohesive than the original.
The original K.M. MOVE booklet was typed on twenty-three pages and featured only eleven hand-traced, inked drawings [by Marlo]. The material faithfully duplicates Marlo's hand-written notes and was typed by Muriel Marlo. All in all, the finished product had an unpretentious, unadorned look because Marlo never cared about packaging his Notes in fancy wrappings. Real value, he insisted, lies in good ideas and high-caliber effects.
This revised book supplements, without supplanting the original manuscript and was designed to churn the ferment and bring Marlo's work to future generations of cardicians.
There are references to photos in this ebook but no photos are included. The text itself should be of interest and that is why it is released it as it is. At some point photos with be added.
The Definitive Slip Cut
Slip Cuts play a vital role in “Cutting to the Aces,” a presentation auspiciously introduced in Stars of Magic (1946). Dai Vernon’s handling sparked lots of interest when it first appeared, providing strong incentive to master the Slip Cut. Cardini, who also knew a great trick when he saw one, strongly endorsed Vernon’s presentation:
To lovers of outstanding card magic I heartily recommend ‘Cutting the Aces.’ It is showy and mystifying, more so than you would think a card trick could possibly be.
Therefore, this treatise begins with explanations of three versions of Ace-Cutting. This may induce you to study other possibilities and applications. The rest of this treatise may also open your eyes to aspects you may have never considered.
Dreamwork: The Mindreader’s Dream
Several decades ago Bob Hummer invented a new principle which caused a short-lived stir among cardicians. The effect was called “The Mindreader’s Dream.” It sounded too good to be true: A spectator merely thinks of a card and performs a few, unseen dealing procedures with a deck of cards. The magician then briefly scans the cards, consults a “dream book,” and names the mentally selected card.Racherbaumer collects in this e-book several improvements and variations on this basic principle, including the original Hummer method. The contributors are an eclectic group of specialists including Justin Higham, Bruce Cervon, Gene Castillon, Edward Marlo, P. Howard Lyons, Ray Grismer, Roy Walton and of course Racherbaumer himself.
Even though the small packet card trick goes at least back to Hofzinser's times Jon argues that the modern small packet trick started in the 1940s when the Buckle Count was introduced by Dai Vernon and got into full swing when the Ghost Count (Elmsley Count) entered the stage.
When the Elmsley Count became more widely known, the genie was out of the bottle. Vernon’s “Twisting The Aces” provided momentum. Marlo’s groundbreaking work on “Think Ace” and “Touch Turn” was privately circulating and then was eventually published in The Linking Ring. By the time Larry West and Verne Chesbro published Tricks You Can Count On, all hell broke loose.
Jon Racherbaumer collects here a large variation on 'twistin and turning' effects.
Hofzinser’s Lost Aces
Karl Fulves published in Pallbearers Review an unsolved card problem wherein an Ace having the same suit of a previously selected card changes into that selection. The puzzling aspect of this problem was this: The four Aces are shown, mixed, and tabled face down. Nobody knows the order or disposition of the Aces, not even the spectator.
This robust manuscript describes eight solutions, each with its own trade-offs, strengths and weaknesses.
Jon Racherbaumer concludes his manuscript with:
The Hofzinser Lost Ace Problem is a good example of a card problem that intrigues magicians because it lends itself to “creative noodling” and “brainstorming by committee.” The challenge, which is also great fun, is to discover the nature of the trade-offs accepted, the number and kind of prices paid, the type of weaknesses revealed, and the unexpected subtleties that are often uncovered in the process. The EFFECT (as far as lay people are concerned) is not always mind-blowing or artistically satisfying, but the problem-solving process affects creative magicians. It improves how we approach and think about magic, and this has a lasting effect and affect.
Roberto Giobbi is a strong supporter of this kind of academic exercise. Not every version or solution you develop should be performed or even presented to other magicians; however, the exercise to flex your magic muscle and think creatively about solutions will make you a better magician as well as is a fun and rewarding work in and of itself.
Ladies on the Loose
This routine by Jon Racherbaumer was inspired by a magician’s challenge that it was unfeasible and unadvisable to perform several Ace Assemblies in a row for lay audiences. In fact, the challenger argued that most Four-Ace Assemblies are neither entertaining nor interesting to layman because they are essentially magician’s exercises.
This synergism, however, is an exercise based on an opposite view. The key to making it work lies in the presentation. The performer ostensibly relates a bit of history regarding how a card trick was performed in the 16th century. In the course of the explanation, he acts as a proxy for skeptical spectators who desire that the puzzling feat be repeated—not once but several times.
This synergistic routine consists of four phases, each seemingly better or more challenging than the preceding one. There are various step-by-step enhancements—not only in terms of overall deception, but also in virtue of their theatrical aspects.
Jon Racherbaumer thinks that the greatest sleight of the 20th-century is the Double Lift Turnover. If we consider the scores of different ways to lift, turn, toss, propel, flip, rotate, and spin two cards as one—not to mention ways of getting ready, gripping, insuring alignment, and unloading, then this is certainly a pretty valid move to pick as the most important sleight. At the minimum Racherbaumer has me convinced.
In this e-book Jon collects ways to finesse the move and also traces its historical development. I am pretty sure you are using probably several times a double lift turnover somewhere in one of your effects. Studying this e-book will definitely improve your handling and show you a number of options and subtleties you can implement. And even if you decide that you will stick with your old way of doing the move you will have learned more about the double lift turnover than you ever thought possible.
Muscle Moves: A Crash Course in Powerful Cardmanship
1st edition 2009; 169 pages.
Muscle Moves: A Crash Course in Powerful Cardmanship
This comprehensive, detailed e-book is about moves, card moves to be precise. If you are already familiar with the basics of card magic then you will find here a lot of advanced moves and concepts to significantly improve your magic. If you are an experienced veteran of card magic you will probably still find some moves you are unfamiliar with.
It is also a great reference e-book to have in case you run one day into any of these moves. The moves are described in text and photos with references and sources in the usually meticulous style.
The Filet Mignon of Ace Assemblies.Ed Marlo
Olram Aces is a tribute to the genius of Edward Marlo, which shows how Marlo's lifetime work steadily influenced Jon Racherbaumer.
This powerful presentation makes maximum use of the gaffs and the Aces in the non-leader packets disappear in different ways and are successively stronger. It has been audience-tested on laymen and magicians and was one of Marlo’s preferred methods for performing this enduring classic.
In typical Racherbaumer style you also get a history on the Ace Assembly plot starting with The Discoverie of Witchcraft.
The Real-Gone Aces problem is a side branch of the classic Four-Ace Trick. In the classic you place four Aces on the table, then put three indifferent cards on each Ace, and magically all aces end up in the same pile. In the Real-Gone Aces plot, which was originated by Marlo after correspondence with Neal Elias, three Aces vanish to join an isolated leader ace.
If this plot appeals to you then you will learn a good number of variations by studying this e-book. If you are the kind of performer who enjoys reading such detail, filled descriptions of finesses and fine points, you will certainly come up with your own ways to continue to spin the yarn and create further variations or perhaps even develop an entirely new branch on the Ace trick family tree.
Sandwich tricks, long popular with cardmen, are nothing more than glorified locations. What makes them conspicuously different is that the selections are found at specific places: between two other cards. Perhaps the best way to present these stunts is to perform a few in a rapid-fire, successive way—each phase following the preceding one in a logical, progressive way. Also, each phase should be stronger than the preceding one. When such phases unfold in this manner, the overall impression will likely have more impact and be memorable.
And this is exactly what Jon Racherbaumer has engineered in his Synergistic Sandwiches routine. You will learn seven phases, each stronger than the next. If you learn this combinatorial routine, you will have something lay people will talk about and remember.
Thirty Years Ago: Contributions to the New Pentagram
These presentations first appeared 1979; 14 pages
Thirty Years Ago: Contributions to the New Pentagram
These are Jon Racherbaumer’s contributions to the New Pentagram Magazine from 1979. There are five, viable presentations.
- Surprising the Princess: ESP card effect with a surprise ending that will whack you down.
- Simplex Mental Reverse
- Magical Separate Colors
- Still Another Lie Detector
1st edition 1953, 2nd edition 1983, 3rd edition 2002, 48 pages.
This manuscript originally published by Ed Marlo and Norman Osborn explores in detail the possibilities of the “Double Count.” As the title implies, the possibilities seem unlimited. After reading this PDF you will surely come up with your own variations and approaches on the effects presented. The Double Count in its basic form is to show five cards absolutely cleanly as six. One of the five cards is a double facer.
Who Was Gombert and Why Should We Care?
This 24-page manuscript is a jump-about tale of moves and muddling and explores how moves originate, propagate, and are (pardon the pun) passed on. The move in question is THE GOMBERT PASS, which has a checkered history and is related to the Mechanical Reverse. 13 photographs accompany the detailed text.
The Too-Perfect Theory
Can a magic trick be too perfect? Too impossible? Well, opinions differ. Some of the most prominent minds in magic agree about many things and disagree about other aspects. Reading these essays will help you form your own personal opinion on this fundamental and controversial question. The theorists are:
- Rick Johnsson
- Jon Racherbaumer
- Tomas Blomberg
- Magic Christian
- Robert Neale
- Bob Fitch
- Jamy Ian Swiss
- John Carney
- Michael Close
- Darwin Ortiz
- Harry Lorayne
- Martin Lewis
- Patrick Watson
- Simon Aronson
Marlo’s Chameleon Aces
The basic plot of the “Chamele Aces” was developed in the late 40s by Edward Marlo, who shared ideas about this motif with Neal Elias in 1949. Elias wrote notes regarding the methods they explored, which he and Marlo then filed away. Neither published the “work;” however, Marlo performed an impromptu version at a Pittsburgh magic convention in 1955. Earlier the same year, Roy Walton published his version of “Chamele Aces” in The Gen (February-1955: Volume 10 – Number 10). The basic Chamele Aces plot is four red-back and four blue-back Aces transpose one at a time.
Gene Castillon’s Redoubling the Double-Cut
Gene Castillon presented this lecture at a meeting of Ring #27 IBM in the early 70’s, calling it "The Double Undercut Routine.” This routine was designed to feature only one sleight or move—the Double Undercut. To prove the versatility and usefulness of this standard move, Gene incorporated into one routine a series of different effects all accomplished by this one move. As you will discover, there are magic appearances, a simple sandwich prediction, several Ace tricks, a poker deal, and a simple triumph trick.
When recently asked to lecture again, Gene pulled out his old lecture notes and was surprised to see that this old routine still packed a powerful punch—even after thirty years. He also noticed how this routine contained many principles and approaches now used in memorized deck work to retain partial set-ups and stacks. He hopes that this routine will inspire students to consider applying these partial stack principles and approaches to your own magic performances. The power of a delayed stack is devastating and should be in the arsenal of every magician.
Michael Skinner, a close-up master, believed that magic should be learned in groups of three. Instead of mastering a single trick or effect, he advised linking three tricks or effects together into one seamless routine. His approach was always to learn the routine—not individual tricks. The power of this approach results in a two-fold benefit. Your performing repertoire becomes dramatically larger and your performance becomes more theatrical and polished as you segue seamlessly from one trick to the next.
Big-Easy Card Cunning
These 24 “workers” are semi-automatic and very easy to perform.
An item worth highlighting is the Klutz Force, because it is on the same skill level as the popular Criss-Cross force, which is frequently used in self-working effects. With the Klutz Force you have an alternative that has a different feel and procedure guaranteed to fool fastest company.
Antics and Interludes Contextual Card Cosenage
1st edition 2012, 61 pages.
Antics and Interludes Contextual Card Cosenage
From the Introduction:
Can we then agree that Card Antics consist of novel actions, cute bits, and amusing maneuvers? This is what happens when cards jump, rise, change, multiply, disappear, reappear, penetrate, spin, and so forth. Aren't Card Antics meant to provoke delight and bewilder?
To explore ways to convert, tweak, and redeem "pasteboard antics" the presentations in this ebook feature several brief, atmospheric tricks. Each is meant to create a mood or begin a "set" or "link" to other lively episodes in your performance.
Table of Contents
- THEMES AND SCHEMES
- CASCADE (Roy Walton)
- RIGHT-BRAIN – LEFT-BRAIN
- BELIEVING IS SEEING?
- GUARDIAN ANGELS
- MIRASKILL TO THE MAX
- TURNABOUT IS UNFAIR PLAY (Edward Marlo)
- HOMING, SWEET HOME
- IN THE NICK OF TIME
- FULL-BLOWN FOURSOME
This is a detailed and thoroughly researched work on double lifts taken from the center of the deck, or so called center double lifts.
A double lift is one of the hardest moves to do well and at the same time one of the most practical and useful moves in magic. One strategy to make a double lift more deceptive is to take two cards from the center rather than from the top of the deck. The downside of this strategy is that the utility of the move is reduced. Nevertheless, for the expert card handler it is worthwhile to study these types of double lifts and acquire one or two versions for one's card move toolbox.
You will learn the following moves:
- T. Nelson Downs' Method
- Avis Center Double Lift
- Double Lift from Fan (Dai Vernon)
- Marlo's Double from a Fan
- The Center Lift (Larry Jennings)
- Double Lift from the Center (Karl Fulves)
- Spinout Center Lift (Martin Nash)
- Lift-Out Center Lift (Martin Nash)
- Center Double (Jon Racherbaumer)
- Center Double Lift (J. K. Hartman)
- Push Pair (J. K. Hartman)
- Daley's Center Double
- Gemini Center Double (Brother John Hamman)
- Chop-Sticks Center Double (Ken Krenzel)
- U.C.L.A. Move (Karl Fulves)
- TB Spread Double (Tomas Blomberg)
Plus a detailed bibliography and chronology.
Controlling a card to the top or to the bottom is the most fundamental technique in card magic. Every card magician should have at least one good method to do that. Consequently many authors use the phrase "control card to the top/bottom with your preferred method" and leave the rest to the reader assuming that everyone already has his or her preferred method. While you might have your favorite method, the search for better ones never stops.
In this ebook Jon Racherbaumer describers several — as he calls them 'finessed' methods — to control a card to the top or to the bottom. You should find at least one or two that fit your style and needs.
- IN-DEPTH CONTROL (Jon Racherbaumer)
- DUNBURY CONTROL (Edward Marlo)
- MOVEABLE CARD PASS (Edward Marlo)
- BRASSY BLUFF PASS (Edward Marlo - Frank Thompson)
- MAHATMA CONTROL
- TOPPING THOMPSON’S PASS (Edward Marlo)
- CASCADE CONTROL (Charlie Miller)
- RIBBON DROP FLOURISH
- SCREENED LEIPZIG CARD PASS (Ron Bauer)
- JOG-PODGE CONTROL (Jon Racherbaumer)
- NO-CLUTCH BOTTOM PLACEMENT (Edward Marlo)
- PLOP-DOWN BOTTOM PLACEMENT (Edward Marlo)
- DELAYED BOTTOM PLACEMENT (Jon Racherbaumer)
- SLIP-SLIDING BOTTOM PLACEMENT (Jon Racherbaumer)
- BLUFF BOTTOM PLACEMENT (Edward Marlo)
- FAN-ANTIC CONTROL (Gene Maze – Jon Racherbaumer)
- HOCK CHAUN PASS (Tan Hock Chaun)
- THE BLUFF CUT (Edward Marlo)
Streamlining Discernments Sundering Strategies
1st edition 2011; 52 pages
Streamlining Discernments Sundering Strategies
A treatise on classic versions for determining a thought of card using subtle methods of induction, elimination, and psychology.
Table of Contents
- Out of Sight - Out of Mind (Dai Vernon)
- Streamlined Discernment (Edward Marlo)
- Mental Discernment Improved (Ken Krenzel)
- Mental Selectivity (Charlie Miller)
- Far Out Of Sight (Bob King)
- Out Of Order (Jerry Sadowitz)
- No Questions Asked (Randy Wakeman)
- The Spectator Seems to Really Think of any Card (Bob Farmer)
- A Card That Lies = A Deck That Tells The Truth (Bob Farmer)
- Unambiguous Discernment (Edward Marlo)
- Fish-Fry For Two (Robert Baxter)
- Fish (Lewis Jones)
- The Discerning Mentalist (J. K. Hartman)
- Mental Schemental (J. K. Hartman)
Oils and Queens
Table of Contents
- OIL AND QUEENS (Roy Walton)
- CONSISTENT OIL AND QUEENS (Dave Bendix)
- AGE OF REASON (Robert Stencel – Terry LaGerould)
- MIXING WITH ROYALTY (Steve Hamilton)
- OIL, OIL, EVERYWHERE (Jon Racherbaumer)
- EIGHT-CARD OI LEVERYWHERE (Gene Castillon)
- OIL, OIL, OIL (Gene Castillon)
- DISGUISED WATER (Jeff Busby)
- VANISHING OIL AND WATER (Jon Racherbaumer)
- KOLOR KILLER (Peter Duffie
- CLEARING THE WATERS
This 43-page manuscript is a collection of presentations and ideas using the Mini-Plunger popularized by Jon Armstrong. Fortified by 45 color photographs, this manuscript explains 6 offbeat presentations—STUCK UP, SUCK-UP SLEUTH, MALINI LITE, POKERRATUM, and A PLUNGER WENT A’COURTING, ACES TAKE A PLUNGE—plus explanations of two simple but subtle controls. If anything, this manuscript is a testament to the impulse to play around with anything and as a result perhaps invent something more amusing than people watching at the mall or gazing at reruns of “Dancing With The Stars”?
Transforming cards dates back to the 1500s and the notion of having one card successively change into three, four, or five different cards can be found in Gilles-Edme Guyot’s Nouvelles Recreations, Physiques et Mathematiques (1740). The effect was later named “The General Card” and notable versions were devised by Houdin, Sachs, Hoffman, Roterberg, and Downs.
The Universal Card closely resembles “The General Card” than “Everywhere and Nowhere.” This is the basic effect: One card ostensibly changes to three, different selections in succession and then reverts back to its original state. Another distinguishing feature is that the principal cards used to play out this plot are, relatively speaking, isolated from the deck or a large bank of cards that would be an accessible source of duplicates.
Table of Contents
- By Any Other Name – Karl Fulves
- Universal Card – Robert Parrish
- Universal Card – Francis Haxton
- Universal Ghost – Roy Walton
- Universal Mexican – Roy Walton
- Universal Joker – Horace Bennett
- Reflection – Edward Marlo
- Hypnotic Card – Edward Marlo
- Favorite Universal – Edward Marlo
- Universal Solutions – Edward Marlo
- Universal IV – Edward Marlo
- Tout’s Universal – Edward Marlo
- The Chameleon Card – Jon Racherbaumer
- Universal Combine – John Thompson
- Hypno-Versal Way – Edward Marlo
- Cervon’s Universals
- More Universals – Edward Marlo
- The General’s Universal Card – Allan Ackermann
- Full-Circle Universal – Edward Marlo
- Open-Faced Universal – Edward Marlo
- Universal Variations – Brother John Hamman
- Universal Chameleon – Derek Dingle
- Xerox – Francis Pelkey
- Backing the Universal Card – Jon Racherbaumer