Magic Trick: The “Diagonal” or “Dovetail” Pass

While used for the same purpose as the two-handed "pass," the manipulation of this "pass" is altogether different. By its means not only one card, but several cards in different parts of the pack may be brought together to be kept on the top of the pack.

Fig. 8

Fig. 9

Fig. 10

Let us suppose that several cards are selected by the audience. Holding the pack, as shown in Fig. 8, the performer presents it in turn to each one who has drawn a card, with a request that the selected card be placed in any part of it. He sees to it, however, that no card is pushed home entirely, but that about three-quarters of an inch of each protrudes from the pack. For this purpose the left thumb, which is on top of the pack, presses the cards together slightly.

The performer now places his right hand on top of the cards as if to push them flush with the others. What he really does, however, is to twist them to the left, by help of the thumb, first and little fingers, so that they are in the position shown in Fig. 9. The first finger then presses them downward as far as the left thumb, which is across the top of the pack, will allow. The cards are now in the position shown in Fig. 10.

Then the second, third, and little fingers of the left hand press against the side of the protruding part of the cards and straighten them flush with the rest of the pack, as shown in Fig. 11.

Fig. 11

Fig. 12

These movements must be blended into one and take up only a fraction of a second.

The right hand is now removed from the pack for a moment, ostensibly to show that the cards are well home in the pack, care being taken to conceal the protruding parts at the bottom. Then the right hand rests on the back of the pack, and the protruding cards are clipped at the left lower corner between the thumb and fore-finger of that hand, as shown in Fig. 12. The left hand is moved forward a little from the right which move separates from the rest of the pack the selected cards that are held between the thumb and forefinger and they are now placed on top of the pack. A slight upward motion of both hands will completely conceal any suspicious movement.

If the trick requires that the cards should be at the bottom of the pack they may be brought there by the two-handed "pass."