The elusive joker

by Bede
(Southend on Sea, Essex, England)

Displaying the three aces at the start

Displaying the three aces at the start

The magician shows three cards, three aces. He then shows you the backs to make sure there are no others. He turns them over and pushes out the middle card. It is a joker. he puts the joker on top face down, turns it back up again and it is an ace once to begin more. He shows the other two cards and there is no sign of the joker.

You will need: Three aces and a joker

Put the joker in the third position down.
Now you are ready to begin!

Turn over the top card, an ace, and place it so that the bottom edge is about half-way up the pile. Do the same with the second ace, placing it so that the indexes of both aces can sill be seen (it should be 1/4 of the way up the pile). For the fourth card to e displayed without showing the joker, take hold of the bottom edges and keep them aligned. Turn this pair over (still keeping the joker hidden) and put it below the second ace. You can turn over this arrangement of cards to show nothing underneath, as the joker and third ace should still be kept flush with each other. Close up this pile of cards by pushing towards your body with the index finger of your free hand. Now turn the pile over.
The next step is to push the three cards on top towards the spectator. Do this as a casual move with your thumb; it is not a secret of furtive move. Now, holding the pile of three and the card on the bottom by the long edges with your thumb and middle finger, pull the top card back towards you so it is in line with the bottom card. The audience will believe that there is only one card sticking out but there is actually two: the ace on the top and the joker on the bottom. Keeping these cards together as one, turn them over to show the joker on the bottom. Put this face-down on the top of the pile.
Now turn over the top card, which will be an ace. The audience will believe the joker changed into an ace, but will soon figure out that there were two cards and that the joker is the next card, but you pause a beat, execute a double lift and show the other two aces, with the joker behind the first one. The timing of this move is crucial, as you have to allow them to guess that the joker is underneath, then remove any possibility (or so they think). Practice these moves constantly; they are not difficult but they are unusual, and so you will need to do them a few times before you get them right

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