Up next is arguably one of the most powerful moves in card magic. Unfortunately, it’s also pretty overused, and in the case of Royal Road, not as well-taught as it could be. In any case, let’s dive in.
7.1 The Double Lift and Turnover
From Royal Road, chapter 11. Learn this just to know about it, but we’re going to move on to better approaches very quickly. The idea of using the thumb to lift up cards at the rear to get your break is currently regarded as bad advice. The turnover isn’t bad, but it’s a bit affected. Assuming you’re holding the deck in your left hand, the more common approach is to drag the double to the right and turn it back over onto the deck like it’s the page of a book. It’s worth knowing how to maintain your break so that you can turn it back face-down afterwards.
7.2 The Push Off Second Deal
From Expect Card Technique, Chapter 2. Now, we’re learning this technique not to give you a flawless second deal, but rather because the action of pushing off two cards, when mastered, is an excellent get-ready for the double-lift. So, you push over two cards, and rather than deal the second card, just use the right hand’s fingers to catch the double and turn it face-upwards onto the deck. It’s not uncommon for the cards to be slightly mis-aligned when pushing over two, so when you take it, you can align the cards by bumping them against the curled middle finger (your thumb and first finger are extended to grip the double), and then after taking them, turn them over as explained above.
Not going to lie, this approach will take practice. However, if you can execute your DLs in this manner, you’ll have (in my opinion) the most innocent-looking DL possible.
7.3 The Top Thumb Count & Transfer
Both from Expert Card Technique, you will need to learn the thumb count from Part 3 (the section called “The Secret Count”), and the transfer from Chapter 13 (Part 1). If you’re stuck using cards that don’t handle as nicely as you want them to, a push-off might be a bit tough to attain. This method allows for you to use your thumb to count off a couple of cards, at which point you can transfer the gap to the rear of the deck, get your pinky break, and then get your double from there. Take it from me, it’s tempting to use this technique all the time rather than as a failsafe. In my opinion, don’t make it your go-to — learn and master the push-off, and fall back on this only when the cards aren’t handling as you like.
7.4 Rapid Transit
From Royal Road, Chapter 11. Here you go, the two-card transposition. This is a serviceable strategy for getting two cards to switch places, and if you’re confident with your audience management, you can have them hold onto the second card. Now, this approach calls for three double-lifts in a single routine, which in my opinion is pushing it a little. However, if your execution is good it ought to work fine, and if it works fine it’ll get a strong reaction because the magic will be happening in their hands, rather than yours.
7.5 The Ambitious Card
From Royal Road, Chapter 11. Like the original description for the double-lift, you’ll want to know about this, but as you learn more techniques you’ll want to consider slotting them in. It’s not really Hugard and Braue’s fault, but the 20th Century brought so much evolution on this card plot, to the point that hardly anybody shuffles mid-routine anymore, and the card is almost always signed from the get-go. As far as a beginner’s ACR this will suffice for now, but get ready to look for improvements. Also, this particular routine calls for a palm to effect the climax, which you haven’t learned yet. Instead, you’ll learn the following technique…
7.6 The Pop-Up Card
From Expert Card Technique, Part 4 (Chapter 6). This is great. Arguably it is one of the purest possible climaxes for the trick, and it will allow you to save your card-to-impossible-location effect for another trick.
7.7 Magician Vs. Gambler
From the Annual of Magic, 1937 (lybrary.com’s TLPP section). There are more than a few versions out there of this general plot, but Hugard’s is fine. If you don’t like the gambling aspect of it, you can instead try it out as a magician-in-trouble trick, where you have a card selected (ie: forced), and then you produce three cards that you think match it, only to find that the card they selected doesn’t match, at which point you change the other three cards to match it. If you like this idea, look into Dai Vernon’s “Matching the Cards”.
7.8 A Paradox of Pairs
Daley’s trick, from Annemann’s Full Deck of Impromptu Card Tricks (lybrary.com, TLPP) is a nice twist on the “Do As I Do” trick. It only uses one deck as well.
7.9 Perambulating Pasteboards
Hal Haberd’s trick from the Annual of Magic, 1938-39 (lybrary.com’s TLPP section) is an intriguing trick. When it comes to cards switching places, “Rapid Transit” has a lot of clarity. However, the scope of “Perambulating Pasteboards” feels larger, and you’re not using the double-lift as much. Plus, nobody’s really doing it.
7.10 Uneasy Aces
From Conjuring with Christopher, Chapter 4 (Victoria State Library). I was pretty stoked to find this, since it’s the earliest version of “Dr. Daley’s Last Trick” that I could find. It’s worth mentioning that DDLT has a common presentation that’s pretty much universally done, so hunt down that on Youtube to see if it’s something you want to emulate.
7.11 The Homing Card
From Show-Stoppers With Cards (Victoria State Library), I personally can’t recommend this trick enough. It’s one of the few card tricks you can do for kids as well, assuming you can pull off the acting needed to be horrified every time the odd card returns. There is a lot of handling of doubles, though, so it’s not exactly for beginners. It also calls for a palm at the end, which you haven’t learned yet.
In my opinion, if you like the idea of the plot, then start practicing the opening phases of it now so that you can get those down, so that later, when you come to the palm, you’ll be ready to incorporate it into the trick. Again, the handling is demanding, but it’s a great trick. Also consider looking up Bill Malone’s performance of “Homing Card” on his Malone Meets Marlo DVDs, which will help somewhat if the written instructions here feel too daunting.
Not really much to add to what’s already out there. The double-lift is incredibly powerful. If, for whatever reason, you want to expand your knowledge and learn more about double-lifts, I’d recommend Daryl’s Encyclopedia of Card Sleights, Volume 5, where he demonstrates and teaches over a dozen different variations on the move. As a bonus, that volume also includes some great multiple-card controls, an area where a lot of public domain literature on card magic comes up a bit short.