Monday, July 15, 2002

Contributions to this blog are welcome. The following is from Peter Duffie:

The Expert at the Card Table by Erdnase, while not the largest of magic related books, is crammed with detail. So much so, that every visit yields new fruit, regardless of how often you may have read the book. One item that caught my attention a few years ago was at the end of the Diagonal Palm Shift explanation. In the final paragraph the author says:

Several cards may be palmed together, when inserted at different points, or from one point, or from top, or bottom. If the top card is to be shifted, it is slipped into the same diagonal position and held in place by the right little finger being curled up on top. The action is the same.

In my previous visits to this book, I had failed to notice the top-card Diagonal Palm Shift. The few people whose attention I drew to this had not seen it either. It's easily written off as an addition thrown in for the sake of completeness - but not all that practical. I admit I find the other variant mentioned above, from the bottom, just that - not practical. At least not for me.

However, a top card DPS is not only practical - it's actually marginally easier than doing it from within the deck. Bear in mind this is all Erdnase - but the following brief expansion may prove useful to anyone who wishes to learn the move.

a) The first point - not entirely clear in the above extract - but surely intended is: you don't start by pushing the card inwards from an outjogged position. The card begins square on top of the deck.

b) If you now begin as if you were about to do Vernon's well-known "Topping the Deck" (Select Secrets) and stop as soon as your left thumb has pushed the top card over diagonally, you will find that you can now carry out the actions of the Erdnase Diagonal Palm Shift. Your left thumb bears down on the angle jogged card and moves it inwards - passing the right thumb. Now complete the steal as per normal.

NOTE: It helps if you give the deck an upwards bend first. A sharp frontal riffle will do this. You don't want the card to bend outwards away fro the left palm!