Magic Trick: The Color Change

By means of this sleight the bottom card of the pack, which the audience have seen only a moment before, is made to disappear or rather to be replaced by a card of a different color and suit.

Method 1. When this method is followed only the left hand is used.

Fig. 34

Fig. 35

Fig. 36

The pack is held in the left hand, faces toward the audience. The top card is reversed, that is, it is turned back to back with the other cards. To the audience it will appear as if the pack were lying face upward in the left hand. It is held with the face of this one card toward the audience and the fingers of the left hand arranged as follows: The forefinger is at the left bottom corner; the second and third fingers are along the bottom edge, and the little finger is behind the pack near the right bottom corner. The thumb is behind the pack with its ball against the hindmost card, as shown in Fig. 34. The pressure of the four fingers maintains the pack in a standing position. Now if the thumb presses gently against the hindmost card (really the first card of the pack), slides it up and over the other cards, the top of the pack serving as a pivot, and then presses it down (see Fig. 35), it will come over and cover the face of the reversed card. The fingers help it into position, and if the entire movement be accompanied by an up and down motion of the hand, the operation will be imperceptible. Should the performer choose, he may repeat this change until every card that faces him has been exhausted, but it is not wise to do this more than four or five times.

Method 2. The pack is divided in two, and the cards are held so that one packet covers the other about half way. The faces of both packets are toward the audience, with the exception of the front card of the upper packet which is reversed, as in Fig. 36. To the audience it will appear as if the cards of the packets face in opposite directions. The cards are held in the left hand as in the illustration. The pack is now covered with the right hand and with the first finger of the left hand the back card of the upper packet is pushed down. This card will now cover the card of the lower packet that was in sight, and it will appear as if the face of the card had changed in some mysterious way. Even if the audience imagine that a card from the upper packet was brought down they will soon abandon that idea since they suppose the cards of the upper packet face the other way, and pushing one down would bring it with its back to them.

Method 3. In this the pack is held in the left hand, the faces toward the audience, the fingers on the top, the thumb on the bottom, and the little finger at the back, as in Fig. 37. The right hand, perfectly straight, is brought in front of the pack, the tips of the fingers of the left hand resting on it, as in Fig. 38. The pack, which is held between the forefinger and thumb of the left hand, is now turned round. The little finger which presses against the back card prevents that card from turning also, and it is kept in position and pressed forward into the palm of the right hand. The second and third fingers of the left hand, which are on top of this card, keep it down so that its upper edge does not show above the right hand. (See Fig. 39.) In the illustration the card is shown to make this explanation clearer, but it must always be kept so that the audience can not see it, being pushed down by the second and third fingers into the palm of the right hand.

Fig. 37

Fig. 38

The pack in the left hand has the thumb on top and the three fingers below, while the little finger presses the card against the palm of the right hand. The right hand is just below the pack. (See Fig. 40.)

When the right hand is now brought upward with a sliding motion over the pack it leaves the card which is in its palm on the pace of the pack.

Fig. 39

Fig. 40

Fig. 41

Method 4. While very simple, there is no better method of making the color change than the following: The performer holds the pack horizontally in his left hand, the thumb at the upper side, the fingers at the lower. The cards face toward the audience, as shown in Fig. 41. Holding the pack in this way, the palm of the right hand is turned outward so that every one may see it is empty. Then, as if to show that no cards are concealed in the left hand, the performer passes the pack to the right hand, taking it, the faces toward his palm, with the thumb at the lower corner of the end near the wrist, the forefinger at the lower corner of the opposite end. When the left hand has been shown to be empty the performer passes the pack back again to that hand, which seizes the cards with the thumb at their upper sides and the fingers at the lower, in the position they were held at first. At the same moment, or may be just a fraction of a second before, the tips of the second and third fingers of the left hand push the back card of the pack down and into the right palm. The right hand is now brought over the face of the pack, and the palmed card is left there.

Care must be taken that the fingers of the right hand are kept close together, so that when the card is palmed it will not show itself above the first finger. Instead of palming the card in the orthodox way, the "clip," may be used. The moment the pack is to be replaced in the left hand the hindmost card, as in the first instance, is pushed downward, but this time between the root of the third and little fingers of the right hand which clutch it at the lower right hand corner. The pack in the left hand is held as at the start. The right hand, which must be held perfectly straight, is removed a little way from the pack. It then covers the pack and with a sliding motion leaves the card it holds at the front of the pack.

Method 5. In this method the pack is held almost horizontally in the left hand, the thumb on the upper side, the second, third, and little fingers on the lower; the forefinger is at the back of the pack. The performer shows his right hand to be empty, and with it covers the front card of the pack. As he does this, his left forefinger slightly frees the upper edge of the back card, by picking at it, and then pushes the card backward into the fork of the thumb and forefinger of the right hand, where it is secured by clipping it, care being taken that the card does not show above the first finger. The hand, which is held perfectly straight, deposits the card over the face of the first card as it passes over. The color change is made.

This color change may also be made when a thin elastic band is placed crosswise around the pack, thereby precluding the idea that the card is taken from the back of the pack and placed on the front or taken away from the front. On three or more cards a black line is drawn on the face lengthwise and another crosswise with ink, while on the back of the cards only a line lengthwise is made (See illustrations, Figs. 42 and 43).

Fig. 42

Fig. 43

When the bonafide color change has been made two or three times, the prepared cards are secretly added to the back of the pack. A thin elastic band worn black by use and large enough to go crosswise around the pack is placed first, lengthwise around the pack without including the prepared cards. To do this so that it will not be noticed, the pack should stand on its long edge in the left hand, with the face toward the audience, the little finger dividing the prepared cards from the pack. The band is now stretched and placed crosswise around both the pack and the prepared cards. The pack may now be thrown in the air and shown back and front as the inked line on the back will be taken for an elastic. The color change in the last method may be made as the elastic will in nowise prevent cards being pushed downwards with the left forefinger and being placed in the front of the pack with the right. All the prepared cards may be changed from back to front of pack.

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