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Jon Racherbaumer

Jon Racherbaumer

(22nd January 1940 - )

Born in Oak Park, Illinois, under the sign of Aquarius. His early years were spent in Elmhurst, Illinois (Harlan Tarbell's hometown), a western suburb of Chicago. His interest in magic was sparked by seeing Dr. Tarbell perform in 1950. Soon thereafter, he received his first magic book, Tarbell Course in Magic - Volume 1, on his eleventh birthday. After discovering that Dr. Tarbell had donated his entire course to the local library, Jon spent many hours diligently studying each volume along with other magic books in the library.

Jon joined the Mazda Mystics Club (Juniors) in 1953, a club started by Russell Shaw and his wife in Oak Park, Illinois. Meetings were held in the basement of the Mazda Magic Shop. He maintained his interest throughout his schooling and thereafter when he moved to New Orleans in 1963. The Big Easy, home of the Mardi Gras, jazz music, and voodoo, is often called the Dream State, an ideal place for all things magical to ferment. From 1957 to 1965, Jon attended four universities and worked at various jobs: radio programmer, disk-jockey, promotion man, salesman, restaurant manager, male model, tree-trimmer, blackjack dealer, construction worker, warehouseman, program consultant (voluntary health agency), institutional house-father, social worker, gym instructor, bartender, ambulance driver (at a race track), and finally he went to work for Eastern Airlines from 1965-1990 as an airlines business person.

He eventually joined the IBM and the SAM in 1966, is a member of the Order of Merlin, and is a Lifetime Member of the Magic Castle in Hollywood, California. He is currently the Associate Editor of Richard Kaufman's Genii magazine. Prior to accepting this post, he contributed to numerous other magazines.

Jon's mentors were Ed Marlo and Eddie Fields.

His other interests are: body-building, literature, book-collecting, martial arts, philosophy, poetry, film, theater (theory), cosmology, painting, and mathematical recreations.


Coauthors: Edward Marlo, Norm Osborn, Steve Reynolds, Robert Walker

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Jon Racherbaumer
13 Ways to Three-Way by Jon Racherbaumer

This ebook explores the classic "Quick Three Way" plot. How can the faces of three playing cards be shown to be the same?

  • Foreword
  • Quick 3-Way (Ed Marlo)
  • New Quick 3-Way (Ed Marlo)
  • Freeway Three-Way (John Bannon)
  • Another Quick 3-Way (Ed Marlo)
  • Slide Three-Way (Phil Goldstein)
  • Cervon’s Quick Three-Way
  • Revised Quick D-Way (Derek Dingle)
  • Tweaked Three-Way (Jon Racherbaumer)
  • Okal's 3-Way (Bill Okal)
  • Kay-Kay Tri-Way (Kevin Kelly)
  • Flustrating Three-Way (Brother John Hamman)
  • Rhumba Three-Way (Vallarino)
  • Montesque Three-Way (Ed Marlo)
  • Bonus: Least-Likely Find

1st edition 2017, 42 pages....

★★★★ $10
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Jon Racherbaumer
A Hobsonian Handbook by Jon Racherbaumer

Explorations, examples, and routines using equivoque.

Hobson's Choice: the choice of taking either what is offered or nothing else; the absence of choice. [after Thomas Hobson (1544-1631) of Cambridge, England, who rented horses and gave only one choice, that of the horse nearest the stable door]
Equivoque or Magician's Choice in its myriad of forms is considered a First Principle by students of mentalism. What fascinates me is the elusiveness of this subject because no one has yet written a definitive, synoptic, and detailed magnum opus on the subject. There have been good piecemeal accounts written here and there about and most magicians understand how it basically works in specific cases; however, trying to ferret out its...
★★★★ $12
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Jon Racherbaumer
A Promising Premise by Jon Racherbaumer

Unpacking Dai Vernon's Pact

When Vernon's trick appeared, its puzzling aspect centers on the fact that the spectator chooses one of three cards and the one chosen changes into his selection. In other words, the spectator is permitted to make two decisions. He selects any card. Then he selects one-of-three cards, which changes into his selection. It is essentially a quickie.

  • Introduction
  • 1, 2, 3 Dai Vernon
  • RECOUNTING ON 1-2-3 Dai Vernon
  • LASSO-DOE-TRE Edward Marlo
  • THE PROMISE II Edward Marlo
  • STICKING TO THE PROMISE Jon Racherbaumer
  • ISOLATED 3-2-1 Jon Racherbaumer
  • 1-2-3 INFINITY Jon Racherbaumer ...
★★★★★ $12
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Jon Racherbaumer
All That Jazz by Jon Racherbaumer

Jazz Aces was inauspiciously introduced to the magic world in 1971 when Peter Kane published Another Card Session. It was a fortuitous event because it appeared about the same time the Elmsley Count was gaining favor with magicians from coast to coast. Like weeds in an open field, packet tricks were also popping up everywhere. Furthermore, Kane's routine clarified the transposition aspects of basic Ace Assemblies. Using only 8 principal "players" (cards), his action procedure was simple and direct. Best of all, the final transposition was squeaky clean. As a result it did not take long for Jazz...

★★★★ $15
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Jon Racherbaumer
Antics and Interludes: Contextual Card Cozenage by Jon Racherbaumer

Classic Racherbaumer. I had to use the dictionary twice just to make it past the title :-) If you don't learn any card magic you will certainly expand your vocabulary. But I am sure you will learn a good amount of very thoughtful pieces.

From the introduction:

Can we then agree that Card Antics consist of novel actions, cute bits, and amusing maneuvers? This is what happens when cards jump, rise, change, multiply, disappear, reappear, penetrate, spin, and so forth. Aren't Card Antics meant to provoke delight and bewilder?

To explore ways to convert, tweak, and redeem "pasteboard antics"...

★★★★ $15
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Jon Racherbaumer
Arch Triumphs by Jon Racherbaumer

Every card magician will know the Triumph effect:

The performer is recklessly and haphazardly mixing cards face up and face down. Then, without warning or manipulation, this entire disorder is instantly corrected. All of the cards face the same way except for a selection.

The most famous routine is Dai Vernon's "Triumph" originally published in Stars of Magic. However, he probably was influenced by other similar effects that came before. One such routine is Sid Lorraine's "Slop Shuffle".

Jon Racherbaumer will take you through the history of this wonderfully visual effect and will explain and discuss the many...

★★★★ $15
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Jon Racherbaumer
At the Table by Jon Racherbaumer

Beautiful close up magic by Jon Racherbaumer, John Cornelius, Roger Klause, Ed Marlo, Jim Hunter, Steve Draun, Eddie Adams, Lee Fried, Chuck Smith, Phil Goldstein, Tom Mullica, and Simon Aronson. Here is magic that is unique and that you will not see in other books. The ebook is divided into chapters on Coins, Cards, Linking Pins, Mental Magic, and Diversions. You will find such unusual items as Marlo's complete presentation of the Color Vision box, Racherbaumer's close up Miser's Dream, Marlo work on Linking Pins, Cornelius' Coins thru Table, Mullica's version of Jarrow's Cig thru Hanky, and more. The section on card magic (mostly Marlo...

★★★★★ $18
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Robert Walker & Jon Racherbaumer
Avatar by Robert Walker & Jon Racherbaumer

Robert Walker was a unicycling, high-school student. Looking five years younger than he was, he was a dyed-in-the-wool card guy tutored in Marlovian ways. He was also a precocious writer-creator, obsessed with false counts and packet tricks. He spent many hours "twisting the night away," taking voluminous notes, and developing new methods and approaches. His first mini-treatise dissected a marketed packet trick by Larry West ("Wild, Wild West") which he passed onto Jon Racherbaumer to publish. It became the second installment of the loose-leaf Avatar, printed on pink paper and unadorned by illustrations...

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Edward Marlo & Jon Racherbaumer
Back To The Future Classic by Edward Marlo & Jon Racherbaumer

Edward Marlo and Jon Racherbaumer study three similar effects:

  • Everywhere and Nowhere
  • The General Card
  • The Universal Card

2nd edition 2002, 50 pages.

Table of Contents

  1. Afterword
  2. A Future Classic
  3. Streamlined Classic
  4. Comedy Classic
  5. Quick Three-Way
  6. In Lieu of the Hindoo Shuffle
  7. Mini-Classic I
  8. Mini-Classic II
  9. A Sixy Effect
  10. Early Marlo: Everywhere and Nowhere
  11. No Deck: Everywhere and Nowhere
  12. Spade Book: Everywhere and Nowhere
  13. Marlo's Hofzinser
  14. Additional Climax
  15. Future Classic Double-Cross
  16. Four Eightses Classic
  17. 'Tis Rough On Hofzinser
★★★ $10
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Jon Racherbaumer
Big Easy Card Cunning by Jon Racherbaumer

These are all self-working or very easy to perform effects.

One item that I would like to highlight is the Klutz Force, because it is on the same skill level as the popular Criss-Cross force, which is frequently used in self-working effects. With the Klutz Force you have an alternative that has a different feel and procedure.

  • Simplex Physical & Mental
  • Telephenomenal
  • 21 And Then Some
  • Guesstimation City
  • Marked Calculation
  • What Is the Question?
  • Easy Prefiguration
  • Klutzy Forces
  • Hobson Chooses Again
  • Punch-Line Division
  • Simple Sync
  • Is Your Pants On Fire?
  • Made In the Shade
  • No-Clue ...
★★★★★ $15
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Jon Racherbaumer
Bluffery by Jon Racherbaumer

Jon explores the bluff pass and its spin-offs.

    • THE BLUFF FORCE / Andrew Galloway
    • NOT FOR THE FAINT-HEARTED / Edward Marlo
    • BLUFF-BLUFF PASS / Roger Klause
    • THE BLUFF CUT / Edward Marlo
    • BLUFF SHIFT / Bob Vesser
    • PUT / R. Paul Wilson
    • BLUFF ACE ASSEMBLY / Edward Marlo
    • BLUFF SANDWICH / Edward Marlo
    • REPEAT...
★★★★★ $15
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Edward Marlo & Jon Racherbaumer & Steve Reynolds
Burn: Surviving Riffle Forces by Edward Marlo & Jon Racherbaumer & Steve Reynolds

The five techniques explained in this treatise are directly or tangentially inspired by Ed Marlo’s An Updated Force (1987).

Techniques taught are:

  • An Updated Force (Ed Marlo)
  • Piffle Force (Jon Racherbaumer)
  • Balm-Applied Riffle Force (Steve Reynolds)
  • Drop-Block Riffle Force (Jon Racherbaumer)
  • Slip-Less Clip Force (Jon Racherbaumer)

1st edition 2009; 20 pages photo illustrated

★★★★★ $10
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Jon Racherbaumer
Centric Doubles by Jon Racherbaumer

This is a detailed and thoroughly researched work on double lifts taken from the center of the deck, or so called center double lifts.

A double lift is one of the hardest moves to do well and at the same time one of the most practical and useful moves in magic. One strategy to make a double lift more deceptive is to take two cards from the center rather than from the top of the deck. The downside of this strategy is that the utility of the move is reduced. Nevertheless, for the expert card handler it is worthwhile to study these types of double lifts and acquire one or two versions for one's...

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Jon Racherbaumer
Clockwork by Jon Racherbaumer

On the Clock Effect

The clock effect/principle is a variant of the automatic placement principle. It allows you to force a card. The procedure typically is that the spectator freely selects any full hour on the clock (1-12). Cards are then dealt into a clock pattern where one card takes the place of each hour. The card at the spectator's freely chosen hour is the force card, which for example could have been predicted beforehand.

The Clock Effect using playing cards originated at the turn of the century. Potter's Index subsequently listed thirty-eight (38) references—one of the earliest...

★★★★★ $10
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Jon Racherbaumer
Compleat K.M. Move by Jon Racherbaumer

This is the fourth revised treatment that Marlo and Jon worked on during the last year of his life. Their objective back then was to publish a new old-book by expanding the original work to include ideas, finesses, and variations devised after 1962. More important, the revision was to be more organized and cohesive than the original.

The original K.M. MOVE booklet was typed on twenty-three pages. There were only eleven hand-traced, inked drawings [by Marlo]. The material faithfully duplicates Marlo's hand-written notes and was typed by Muriel Marlo. All in all, the finished product had an unpretentious,...

★★★★★ $10
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Jon Racherbaumer
Criss-Crossings: Unleashing the X-Force by Jon Racherbaumer

This is an interesting study of the X-Force and variations thereof only the way Jon Racherbaumer can do it. The X-Force is the simplest force that every magician has learned to do at one point in their life. Jon dissects the X-Force or Criss-Cross Force and then puts it back together in different and new ways. This is fodder for those that want to go into the fine and nuanced details of performing this force.

  • Introduction
  • Drilling Down
  • A Little History of the X-Force
  • Layered-Cross-Cut Force
  • First Method
  • Second Method – Layered Double-Cross
  • Two Cuts Are Better Than One
  • Three Free...
★★★★ $8
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Jon Racherbaumer
Cull-Mination by Jon Racherbaumer

Culling (cards) is not a particularly fashionable technique. During the past forty years, card magicians started to pay closer attention to various ideas and techniques, especially those having broad application. In this treatise three types of culls will be examined:

  1. Desired cards are secretly culled during the logical and natural course of an effect.
  2. Free selections are controlled (culled) to desired positions during a visible procedure that looks fair and above board.
  3. A cull done during another fair procedure that results in separating the four suits in Ace to King order.
Contents: ...
★★★★★ $15
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Jon Racherbaumer
Cunning Attractions by Jon Racherbaumer

A different take on the usage of the mini-plunger or tiny plunger. When Danny Orleans showed the item to Jon it sparked his creativity. Read about the outcome here.

  • About the Mini-Plunger
  • How to Make a "Breather"
  • Stuck Up
  • Suck-Up Sleuth
  • Malini Lite
  • Pokerratum
  • A Plunger Went A'Courting
  • Aces Take a Plunge
  • In-Depth
  • Bonus: Ham-Fisted Find

1st edition 2013, 41 pages.

★★★★★ $12
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Jon Racherbaumer
Cutting Deeper: an exploration of coercive cutting by Jon Racherbaumer

This manuscript is ancestrally related to Criss-­Crossings: Unleashing the X-­Force insofar as it also deals with cutting cards. In this case, it deals with "cuts" and "turnovers."

This type of combinatorial maneuver began with Henry Christ's forcing technique that he developed in the early 1920s. He originally developed six variations but he only published the fifth one in Ted Annemann's book, Sh-­h-­h It's a Secret, calling it "The 203rd Force." It subsequently has been referred to as the Christ Force and it spawned many versions and applications.

Because of the cut-­?turnover-­?and-­?replacement mechanics, the Christ Force is often confused with Ed Balducci's...

★★★★ $8
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Jon Racherbaumer
Daley Bred by Jon Racherbaumer

A study of Daley's Aces its history and spin-offs.

This treatise is a compilation of methods for performing a simple transposition of pairs of cards - namely the red and black Aces. The basic plot has a checkered history and, despite being associated with Dr. Jacob Daley, there are lots of tangled connective tissue and ancestral than meets the eye.

Besides these aspects, you will discover that this treatise is a rich mixture of memes. That is, there are lots of bits and pieces to play with and, if you are the kind of student that likes to study the history of a trick and then work through...

★★★★★ $12
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Jon Racherbaumer
Debits, Credits, and other Leftovers by Jon Racherbaumer

Polishing and old principle of mooted origin ...

Jon Racherbaumer explores an old but fascinating self-working trick which can be performed with any set of counters, be they cards, sticks, stones, coins, matches, business cards, bottle caps, gummi bears, ...

  • Prelude
  • Introduction
  • My Introduction To The Version With Playing Cards
  • The Quickie Card Trick
  • Beginnings
    • A Novel Card Trick (Howard L. Grant)
    • Toothpick Magic (U. F. Grant)
    • Counting Trick (Rufus Steele)
    • A Matter Of Debit And Credit (John Northern Hilliard)
  • Spin-Offs
    • Balancing Debit And Credit (Ian Baxter)
    • The Trick That Fooled Einstein (Harry Franke) ...
★★★★ $10
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Jon Racherbaumer
Definitive Slip Cut by Jon Racherbaumer

Slip Cuts play a vital role in "Cutting to the Aces," a presentation auspiciously introduced in Stars of Magic (1946). Dai Vernon's handling sparked lots of interest when it first appeared, providing strong incentive to master the Slip Cut. Cardini, who also knew a great trick when he saw one, strongly endorsed Vernon's presentation:

"To lovers of outstanding card magic I heartily recommend 'Cutting the Aces.' It is showy and mystifying, more so than you would think a card trick could possibly be."
Therefore, this treatise begins with explanations of three versions of Ace-Cutting. This may induce...
★★★★ $15
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Jon Racherbaumer
Dreamwork by Jon Racherbaumer

Several decades ago Bob Hummer invented a new principle which caused a short-lived stir among cardicians. The effect was called "The Mindreader's Dream". It sounds too good to be true: A spectator merely thinks of a card and performs a few, unseen dealing procedures with a deck of cards. The magician briefly scans the cards, consults a "dream book," and then names the mentally selected card.

Racherbaumer collects in this ebook several improvements and variations on this basic principle, including the original Hummer method. The contributors are an eclectic group of specialists including Justin Higham,...

★★★★ $5
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Jon Racherbaumer
Dunbury Delusions by Jon Racherbaumer
"It is one of the very best tricks which can be done for close-up work." - Hugard and Braue from Show Stoppers With Cards

From the Foreword:

The Dunbury Delusion has an illustrious pedigree that has been up, down, and all around the magic scene for at least 100 years. Charlie Miller's method that was published in Expert Card Technique in 1940, more or less branded his name on it, but seven year earlier Victor Farelli published a modified version ("The Partagas Sell") in Farelli's Card Magic. He did not claim paternity but credited a Spanish magician named Partagas who apparently taught him the trick in 1908.

Basic Plot:

A selection "lost" in a deck is successfully found by using three...

★★★★ $16
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Jon Racherbaumer
Elevation Ovations by Jon Racherbaumer

Although Marlo is generally credited with the Elevator plot, analysis of the action steps taken in the Four Burglars, Jacob's Ladder, and Marlo's Penetration exhibit procedural similarities and could be presented as "elevating tricks" if accompanying patter expressed the "elevator" analogy. As far as the "elevator" trope is concerned, we can credit Bill Simon for naming rights.

  • Part One: The Burglazing Beginning
    • Introduction
    • Gibson Puts Perps On Parade
    • Rising Crime / Daryl Martinez
    • Rising Robbers / Jon Racherbaumer
    • Four Burglas / Jerry Mentzer
    • Mystery Of The Penthouse / Nick Trost
    • Burglar Trick / Nick...
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Jon Racherbaumer
Facsimile 1 by Jon Racherbaumer
  • A Decade Later
  • Publisher's Notes
  • Round-Trip Travellers
  • Student's Exchange
  • Marlo Card-To-Pocket Items In Print
  • Detached Collectors
  • Table Side Manners
  • Future Trap
  • Olram Cunningly Catches A Card
  • The 1003-1006 Aces
  • An Apparitional Bit Of Nonsense
  • On The Spread Cull

1st edition 1983, 2nd edition 1994, 50 pages; 1st digital edition 2020, PDF 52 pages.

★★★★★ $15
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