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Card Manipulations

Card Manipulations

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by Jean Hugard

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To the magician and to most audiences, card manipulations are the most fascinating type of card trick. Since the manipulator's skill is the only determining factor, once a degree of card dexterity is acquired the performer can go on to learn tricks sure to entertain, at any time, with no further preparation, using any available deck of cards for the performance. In


To the magician and to most audiences, card manipulations are the most fascinating type of card trick. Since the manipulator's skill is the only determining factor, once a degree of card dexterity is acquired the performer can go on to learn tricks sure to entertain, at any time, with no further preparation, using any available deck of cards for the performance. In this five-book series, Jean Hugard, master performer on stage and with small groups, teaches the passes, palming methods, shuffles, arm spreads, color reverses, sleights, flourishes, set-ups, and tricks in the best professional versions. After showing the basic manipulations, he develops a number of exceptional tricks where the manipulations are used. A number of illustrations and step-by-step explanations teach each detail as the trick would be given in a performance. By working through these tricks, from the simple to the complex, the magician learns his skills in a professional manner and also gains a wide repertoire of specific tricks. Throughout the book a great number of manipulations and over a hundred tricks are explained.
The keys to these tricks are not well known outside professional magicians' groups. But to the advanced beginner or semiprofessional who has some degree of card skill, the manipulations and tricks developed in this book will add to the dexterity of the performance, give hours of rigorous skill-developing practice, and help build a professional, well-rounded repertoire with cards.
"Recommended." — Linking Ring.

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Dover Publications
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Dover Magic Books
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Dover Publications, Inc.

Copyright © 1973 Dover Publications, Inc.
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-486-15651-4



Card Manipulation No. 1 and 2




The Hindu Shuffle or Running Cut

The Hindu Shuffle as a Substitute for the Pass

And yet again—The Rising Cards

An Easy Substitute for the Pass

Relativity and Cards

The Burglars—A Story Trick

The Burglars—A Second Version

The Modern Dovetail Shuffle

Just once more—The Aces

Thoughts Anticipated

A New Certain Force

The Boomerang Card


The Double Lift

The Novel Reverse Disovery

Invisible Transit Page

The Hand to Hand Palm Change

The Homing Belles

A Baffling Spell


The Hinge Change

The Book Change

A Spectator Does It

In Reverse

Patter Suggestions


The Best Front Hand Production (Single Cards)

Second Method


The Spread and Turn-Over


The Glide

The Back Arm Reverse

The Upright Spread

The Elbow Catch

The Turn-Over and Right Hand Catch

The Back Arm Catch

Vanish of Pack

The Half Turn-Over and Catch

The One Hand Catch

The Hat Catch

A Routine for Arm Spreads


A description of a method of palming the top card of the pack appeared in the Magic Wand some years ago. The following is that adopted by the writer. Once mastered, it will be found to be the best way to palm off a single card from the top. The sleight can be done with either hand with equal facility. It is best to learn it with the right hand first.

Hold the pack, well squared, face down in your right hand, the first joint of the thumb at the inner end and the top joints of your first three fingers at the outer end, the tip of the little finger resting on the outer right hand corner. (Fig. 1).

Press the tip of your little finger on the corner of the top card and push it slightly off the pack. (Fig. 2.) In the figure the projection of the top corner is exaggerated for the sake of clearness. Now press the finger tip down on the projecting corner of the card and it will spring up into the palm.

A little difficulty may be found at first in freeing the rear edges of the card from the thumb, hence the necessity for bending the tip of the thumb slightly inward. In practice the four fingers are pressed close together at the end of the pack, the little finger tip is moved to the corner of the top card, pushing it out very slightly, then it is immediately replaced at the end of the pack, which action levers the card up into the palm.

The sleight can be done in the act of handing the pack out to be shuffled and is imperceptible.


I have dubbed this very useful series of moves "The Hindu Shuffle" because it was first shown to me over thirty years ago by a Hindu magacian. Since then I have never seen a Hindu performer use any other kind of shuffle. Passing strange if the despised Indian juggler has given his vastly superior Western confreres another valuable legacy.

You hold the pack face down on the left hand, the top left corner near the base of the thumb, first finger tip at the middle of its outer end and the other three fingers at the outer side of the deck.

Grasping the inner end of the pack with the tips of the right thumb and second finger you pull out all the cards except a small packet on the top. This is held back by the tip of your left second finger pressing these cards against the base of the thumb (Fig. 4). In this action both hands move, the left hand a few inches outward, the right hand a few inches in the opposite direction. The packet thus drawn off you let fall on your left palm by releasing the grip of your left thumb and second finger.

You bring your right hand, with the rest of the pack, back over this packet to the same position that it originally had, and then you repeat the action by drawing off a second small packet from the top in exactly the same way. This packet is allowed to fall on top of the first and the tip of the left forefinger acts as a stop, keeping the outer ends of the deck squared.

Successive packets are thus pulled off into the left hand until the cards in the right hand are exhausted.

* * *


This shuffle may be used by the magician as a powerful weapon to use in controlling a card, or cards, which have been returned to the deck by members of the audience, which he apparently loses among the rest of the cards by a thorough shuffle.

To do this by means of the two-handed pass the textbooks instruct the student to divide the pack into two portions, have the chosen card replaced on the lower part, then make the pass, false shuffle retaining the card on top. Again make the pass, bringing it to the middle, cut at that point, have the second selected card placed on the first, again make the pass, false shuffle, and so on and on, for as many cards as have been drawn. To make the pass cleanly is a difficult operation and to control four cards by the method outlined, you would have to do it seven times and false shuffle four times.

The use of the Hindu shuffle to attain the same end is so much easier and cleaner that I have no doubt that having tried it once you will "use no other".

Let us suppose that a card has been chosen and you are about to have it replaced in the pack. Holding the pack in position for the Hindu shuffle you pull off two or three packets into your left hand, as described, advancing toward the person who drew the card. "Kindly replace your card in the pack," you say, "anywhere you like," and you pull off another small packet, then extend your left hand towards him.

He will naturally put his card on top of those in your left hand, you immediately bring the cards in your right hand on top of it and continue the process of pulling small packets off the top of the pack, letting them fall on those in the left hand.

Nothing could appear to be fairer and, to the audience, the card is lost among the others; in reality, you have it on the top of the pack. This is how you do it: When you bring the right hand packet on top of the chosen card, just replaced, you pick up the rear end of that card with the tips of the right third finger and thumb, holding it concealed under the other cards in the right hand.

It is immaterial whether you pick up one, two or three cards from the packet on your left hand, therefore there is no hesitation or change in the tempo of the action. You hold a small division, or break, between this picked up card, or cards, and the rest of the cards, at the back. This break is not visible from the front, but it enables you to draw off all the cards above it cleanly by the sense of touch alone, leaving the picked up card, or cards, only, between the thumb and second finger, to be dropped on the top of the pack as the last move in the shuffle.

The actual pick up is completely covered by the action of pulling off another packet from the top of the pack and letting it fall on the left hand, apparently on top of the selected card. You continue pulling off small packets until you are warned by the break that only the picked up chosen card remains and you drop this on the others. You have the selected card on top.

To collect and control several cards by this method, you proceed as described above to get the first card to the top. Then, as you go to the second person, you pull out about two- thirds of the pack, allowing the top third to fall on your left hand. The second card is replaced on this, i. e. on top of the first card. You continue the action exactly as before, except, of course, that you must pick up at least two cards.

You will readily see that no matter how many cards have been selected the action is simply a repetition of what is to all appearances an honest shuffle, yet at the conclusion you have all the cards on the top of the pack. You must remember, however, that they are in the reverse order to that in which they were chosen.

* * *


No apology is needed for this attack on the Rising Cards. It remains the best effect possible with cards. The new twists here described add to the mystery.

A small fake is required. This is a long thin black hat pin, on the blunt end of which is soldered a little cup in which you put a dab of magician's wax. The pin you push into your right sleeve on the side nearest your body, so that the cup is near your wrist on the outside of your sleeve. Under the lower edge of your vest near the middle you have a thick piece of cork.

THE EFFECT:—Freely selected cards rise from the pack and the last, not only rises, but remains suspended without support.

THE METHOD:—You have the pack shuffled and allow three cards to be chosen freely. These are returned to the pack and you bring them to the top by means, let us say, of the Hindu Shuffle. It will strengthen the effect if you palm off the three cards and have the pack shuffled by a spectator, but this is not absolutely necessary.

The top card, which will be that drawn by the third person and returned to the pack last, you cause to rise by the old method, you hold the pack in your right hand, squarely facing the audience, and you push the card up with the tip of your forefinger.

You make a false shuffle and take the pack in your left hand, upright, the bottom card facing the front; the back of your left hand covers the lower half of the deck. You secretly push about half the rear cards of the pack about one quarter of an inch downward, making a step, visible from the back, but not to the audience. (Fig. 5-A).

You rub the tip of your right forefinger on your sleeve, then lay it on top of the pack and slowly lift it. Nothing happens. You repeat the rubbing more vigorously and again apply your forefinger tip to the cards. This time the second chosen card rises from the pack apparently attached to the finger tip.

You do this by straightening the little finger of your right hand behind the pack and with its tip you push up the rear card. You raise the card slowly and, as soon as its lower end clears the top of the step between the two packets (the pack is divided) you push it forward against the top of the front packet, then, with your little finger you push the rear packet up flush with the other.

You now have the card clipped between the two packets and you can turn the pack sideways to show that the card has really risen from the middle. You go over to drawer of the card and request him to remove it himself. In returning to your position before the audience you seize the cup of the fake and draw it out behind the pack with ease, then clip it with the fingers of your left hand. With your right hand you adjust the front of your vest and, under cover of doing that, you guide the point of the pin to the cork. You push the pin home by drawing your left hand back toward the body and so attach the rear card to the wax. This card you now cause to rise, apparently in the same way as the last, by the attraction of your fingertip, but in reality you gently lower the pack, the card remains stationary, but the illusion is perfect.

You now remove your left hand with the pack and the card remains suspended from your finger tip. The climax is reached when you remove your finger from the card and it remains in the air like Mahomet's coffin.

To get rid of the fake, you replace the pack in front of the floating card, with your left thumb detach it from the waxed end of the fake. Bring your right hand over to the pack, take the card and toss it to a spectator. In doing this you bring your right forearm in front of the left hand and the cards. With the left fingers behind the pack pull out the pin and thrust it into your right coat sleeve in its original position.

While the card is suspended a hoop can be passed over it if so desired.

* * *


This is a simplification of the Charlier one hand pass. You hold the pack by its sides at the tip of the thumb on one side and the tips of the second and third fingers on the other. As you advance the pack toward a spectator, inviting him to replace a card he has previously drawn, you allow the lower half of the pack to fall into the fork of your left thumb. (Fig. 6- A). You have the card placed in the opening thus made and at once drop the upper packet on top of it. (Fig. 6-B).

This procedure looks perfectly fair, but in dropping the top packet you pushed it out a little so that instead of falling squarely on the lower packet, it lies a little to one side, so making a step between the two packets (Fig. 6-B). The chosen card is on top of the lower packet.

You proceed at once to an overhand shuffle. As you take the pack in your right hand your left thumb falls naturally on the back of the chosen card, and you pull it out in the first movement of the shuffle. (Fig. 6-C). You then shuffle off the rest of the cards on top of it in the regular way. The chosen card is thus brought to the bottom of the deck and can be disposed of as may be necessary for the trick in hand.

* * *


Among the best of comparatively recent card tricks is one wherein two initialled cards change places under apparently impossible conditions, for no duplicates are used. The only drawback to this mystery is the fact that a special card is necessary, which takes it out of the most favored class of card tricks, those that can be done with a borrowed deck at any time. To remedy this the following method has been devised.

THE EFFECT:—Two cards freely chosen are marked, one with a spectator's initials, the other with those of the performer. Each card is placed in a pocket of the person whose initials it bears, yet they change places and are removed by the spectators themselves. Here is one place where that much overworked expression, "a knock-out," might be used in truth.

THE METHOD:—Any pack of cards may be employed and the only preparation necessary is for you to take any one card, preferably not a court card or a card with many spots on it, say a four or a six of any suit, and write your initials plainly in pencil on its face.

Having done this put the initialled card face up on top of the deck. Take any other card and place it, also face up, on top of this initialled card and, finally, take any other card and put it face down on these two.

This is the way things stand just prior to beginning the trick. On top of the pack you have a card face down, under it a card face up, and under this again, that is third from the top, is a card bearing your initials, also face up.

You begin by false shuffling the pack. This can be done by either the riffle or the overhand method. If you use a riffle you must be careful not to allow anyone to get a glimpse of the reversed cards. Spread the pack and allow a spectator to choose a card. Do not say, "You notice I do not force a card on you," or anything of the kind. Be satisfied to allow it to be seen that a free choice is given. It is fair enough to give the person the option of replacing his card and taking another if he desires it. That is convincing enough without suggesting to your audience that there is such a thing as forcing a card.

As soon as a card has been taken you separate the inner ends of the three top cards with the ball of your thumbs and slip the tip of your left little finger under them.

You take the card from the drawer and let everyone see what card it is, then place it face up on top of the deck. You ask him what his initials are and write them plainly on the face of his card in pencil. Let us suppose he has chosen the eight of diamonds.

You turn the card face down, lift it off the pack with your right hand and place it in the person's inside coat pocket. Or, rather, that is what you appear to do. In reality, thanks to the break held by your left little finger, you have turned the four top cards, as one, thus bringing the card with your initials on it, the four of spades, to the top, and this is the card you put in the spectator's pocket.

Naturally you must not allow anyone to see the face of this card. To avoid doing so when putting the card in the spectator's pocket, you keep it face down until you have it inside his coat, then turn the card so that its face is toward the cloth and only its back is visible as you drop it into the pocket.

You have succeeded in getting your initialled card into the spectator's pocket, it remains for you to place his initialled card in your own pocket with all apparent fairness. The method by which you manage this is ingenious.

The other initialled card is now face down, third from the top, just above it is an indifferent card face up and on top of the pack is a card face down. This is the natural result of your having turned four cards, as one, to bring your card on top. You must now bring these three cards to the middle of the pack. So you undercut about half the deck and shuffle the lower portion on top in a perfectly fair and open manner.


Excerpted from CARD MANIPULATIONS by JEAN HUGARD. Copyright © 1973 Dover Publications, Inc.. Excerpted by permission of Dover Publications, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Card Manipulations 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The sample has the first 75% of the book