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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.

website: www.JonRacherbaumer.com

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

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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,...

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Jon Racherbaumer
Lipstick Traces by Jon Racherbaumer

Racherbaumer thinks that the greatest sleight of the 20th-century is the Double Lift Turnover. If we consider the scores of different ways to lift, turn, toss, propel, flip, rotate, and spin two cards as one—not to mention ways of getting ready, gripping, insuring alignment, and unloading, then this is certainly a pretty valid move to pick as the most important sleight. At the minimum Racherbaumer has me convinced.

In this ebook Jon collects ways to finesse the move and also traces its historical development. I am pretty sure you are using probably several times a double lift turnover somewhere...

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Jon Racherbaumer
The Too Perfect Theory by Jon Racherbaumer

Can a magic trick be too perfect? Too impossible? Well, opinions differ. Some of the most prominent minds in magic disagree. Reading these essays will help you form your own personal opinion on this fundamental question. The theorists are:

[Note that this collection of essays is also part of the Ask Roberto Giobbi ebook.

1st edition 2008; 61 pages....

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Jon Racherbaumer
Thirty Years Ago: Contributions to the New Pentagram by Jon Racherbaumer

These are Jon Racherbaumer's contributions to the New Pentagram Magazine from 1979.

  • Surprising the Princess: ESP card effect with a surprise ending that will whack you down.
  • Simplex Mental Reverse
  • Magical Separate Colors
  • King-Currence
  • Still Another Lie Detector

articles first appeared 1979; 14 pages

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Jon Racherbaumer
Real-Gone Aces by Jon Racherbaumer

The 'Real-Gone Aces' problem is a side branch of the classic four Ace trick. In the classic you place four aces on the table, then put three indifferent cards on each ace, and magically all aces end up in the same pile. In the 'Real-Gone Aces' plot which was originated by Marlo, after correspondence with Neal Elias, three aces vanish to join an isolated leader ace.

If this plot appeals to you then you will learn a good number of variations on it in this ebook. And I am sure, if you are the kind of guy or gal who enjoys reading such detail filled descriptions of finesses and fine points, then...

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Jon Racherbaumer
Olram Aces by Jon Racherbaumer
"The Filet Mignon of Ace Assemblies." - Ed Marlo
Olram Aces is a tribute to the genius of Edward Marlo which shows how Marlo's lifetime work steadily influenced Jon.

The presentation makes maximum use of the gaffs and the Aces in the non-leader packets disappear in different ways that are successively stronger. It has been audience-tested on lay persons and magicians.

In typical Racherbaumer style you also get a history on the Ace Assembly plot starting with The Discoverie of Witchcraft.

1st edition 2009; 10 pages.

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Jon Racherbaumer
Ladies on the Loose by Jon Racherbaumer

This routine was inspired by a magician’s challenge that it was unfeasible and unadvisable to perform several Ace Assemblies in a row for lay audiences. In fact, he argued that most Four-Ace Assemblies are neither entertaining nor interesting to layman because they are essentially magician’s exercises. This synergism is an exercise based on an opposite view; however, a key lies in presentation. The performer ostensibly is relating a bit of history regarding how a card trick was performed in the 16th century. In the course of the explanation, he acts as a proxy for skeptical spectators who...

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Jon Racherbaumer
Hofzinser's Lost Ace-Problem by Jon Racherbaumer

Karl Fulves published in Pallbearers Review an unsolved card problem wherein an Ace having the same suit of a previously selected card changes into that selection. The puzzling aspect of this problem was this: The four Aces are shown, mixed, and tabled face down. Nobody knows the order or disposition of the Aces, not even the spectator.

Jon describes eight solutions each with its own trade-offs, strengths and weaknesses.

Jon concludes his manuscript with:

The Hofzinser Lost Ace Problem is a good example of a card problem that intrigues magicians because it lends itself to "creative noodling" and...

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Jon Racherbaumer
Gene Castillon's Redoubling the Double Cut by Jon Racherbaumer

Gene Castillon presented this lecture at a meeting of Ring #27 IBM in the early 70’s, calling it "The Double Undercut Routine". This routine was designed to feature only one sleight or move—the Double Undercut. To prove the versatility and usefulness of this one move, Gene incorporated into one routine a series of different effects all accomplished by this one move. As you will discover, there are magic appearances, a simple sandwich prediction, several Ace tricks, a poker deal, and a simple triumph trick.

When recently asked to lecture again, Gene pulled out his old lecture notes and was surprised...

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Jon Racherbaumer
Minutia Memes 1 by Jon Racherbaumer

Regarding changes, sexual and otherwise.

This is an unusual one, but Jon Racherbaumer always weaves an interesting yarn meshing history with magic and card tricks with culture. In this short but nevertheless interesting ebook Jon starts out with a historic event that in the 1950s made huge waves. Today it would hardly make the news. In 1952 a man by the name of George William Jorgensen Jr. had a number of operations to change his sex and became Christine Jorgensen. Edward Marlo exploited this event and created a card trick called "Christine", and with Christine, he meant Christine Jorgensen. This is...

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Jon Racherbaumer
Holistic Hamman by Jon Racherbaumer

Brother John Hamman's effects are conducive to creating strong, synergistic routines. That is, many of his individual effects, including its discrete parts, can be combined to form powerful presentations. The following nine-phase is a good example.

Holistic Hamman was originally part of an unpublished book titled Real-World Cardstuff: Synergistic Schemes.

Requisites: A regular deck of cards.

1st edition 2000, 2nd edition 2013, 15 pages.

★★★★★ $6
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Jon Racherbaumer
The Universal Card by Jon Racherbaumer

This ebook explores variations on the Universal Card theme, is part of the Yod series. Universal Card is a classic card plot in which a single card (like the joker) transforms to one at a time to match each of the selected cards. Originally posed by Karl Fulves in his Pallbearers Review, where he used the term "Universal Card", a name that caught on.

  • The Hypnotic Card
  • Marlo's Favorite Universal
  • Universal Solutions
  • Universal IV
  • Tout's Universal
  • The Chameleon Card
  • Universal Combine
  • Hypno-Versal Way
  • Cervon's Universals
  • More Universals
  • Not Quite Ambiguous Universal
  • Full-Circle Universal
  • Open-Faced...
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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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Jon Racherbaumer
Dustbin Dossier 1 by Jon Racherbaumer

The contents of this series, for the most part, emphasize the history of effects and ideas. There are effects and methods in some of them, though.

From the introduction:

Dustbin Dossier will service a distinct minority interested in examining documents (letters, notes, booklets, diaries, journals) in their original, "aboriginal" forms. Personal letters, for example, are a primary source of raw, unfiltered knowledge - seasoned with salt, not sugar. They are usually characterized by their spontaneous candor and unguarded subjectivity. After all, most of them were written for one person...

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Jon Racherbaumer
Dustbin Dossier 2 by Jon Racherbaumer

The contents of this series, for the most part, emphasize the history of effects and ideas. There are effects and methods in some of them, though.

  • Proem
  • About this Issue
  • Excerpts Taken from a Photocopy of a Letter Written from Ed Whitford to Edward Marlo
  • A Marlo Letter to Persi Diaconis
  • Racherbaumer Letter to Charlie Miller
  • Shall We Ask All The King's Horses and Men?
  • Correspondence Between Jon Racherbaumer and Stephen Minch Regarding the So-Called Hide-Out Move
  • Appendix: Paul Curry's "Out of this World"; a new version / Ed Whitford

1st edition 2014, PDF 30 pages....

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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...
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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...

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Jon Racherbaumer
Playing Canasta by Jon Racherbaumer

The presentations in this manuscript are homage to the nonmanipulative, off-the-cuff approach taken by Chan Canasta.

The material is stuff Jon has published elsewhere, mostly piecemeal. The thrust of the ebook, though, is how these effects are PRESENTED in a CANASTA WAY. This then is its organizing principle. It is basically designed to demonstrate Canasta's approach. The material is easy and commercial.

  • INTRODUCTION
  • KISS MET
  • OPTICUNNING CUTTING
  • SOMATIQUE
  • TACITRIX
  • VOCALYSIS
  • THE JOKER EATS YOUR MIND
  • UNTOUCHABLY YOURS

1st edition 2016, 25 pages.

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Jon Racherbaumer
Robert Walker's Hyper Twist by Jon Racherbaumer

Effect: Four blue-back cards are shown. One at a time each card - the Ace, Two, Three, and Four of Diamonds - turn face up. Their backs then change to red and then one at a time the backs change back to blue. Finally, the cards change to four Fours of Diamonds.

1st edition 1975 in Paul Diamond Presents Magical Masterpieces #2, updated 2018, PDF 15 pages.

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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
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Norm Osborn & Edward Marlo & Jon Racherbaumer
Unlimited 3.0 by Norm Osborn & Edward Marlo & Jon Racherbaumer

This manuscript explores in detail the possibilities of the 'Double Count'. As the title implies, the possibilities seem unlimited. After reading this PDF you will surely come up with your own variations and takes on the effects presented. The Double Count in its basic form is to show five cards absolutely cleanly as six. One of the five cards is a double facer.

1st edition 1953, 2nd edition 1983, 3rd edition 2002, 48 pages.

Table of Contents

  1. The Card Goes Home (Norm Osborn)
  2. Improved Double Count (Edward Marlo)
  3. Effect One
  4. Effect Two
  5. Effect Three
  6. Effect Four
  7. Effect Five
  8. Effect...
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Jon Racherbaumer
Synergistic Sandwiches by Jon Racherbaumer

Sandwich tricks, long popular with cardmen, are nothing more than glorified locations. What makes them a little different is that the selections are found at specific places: between two other cards. Perhaps the best way to present these stunts is to perform a few in a rapidfire, successive way—each phase following the preceding one in a logical, progressive way. Also, each phase should be stronger than the preceding one. When such phases unfold in this manner, the overall impression will likely have more impact and be memorable.

And this is exactly what Racherbaumer has engineered in...

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Jon Racherbaumer
Good Turns by Jon Racherbaumer

Even though the small packet card trick goes at least back to Hofzinser's times Jon argues that the modern small packet trick started in the 1940s when the Buckle Count was introduced by Dai Vernon and got into full swing when the Ghost Count (Elmsley Count) entered the stage.

Jon writes:

When the Elmsley Count became more widely known, the genie was out of the bottle. Vernon’s “Twisting The Aces” provided momentum. Marlo’s groundbreaking work on “Think Ace” and “Touch Turn” was privately circulating and then was eventually published in The Linking Ring. By the time Larry West and Verne Chesbro published Tricks You Can...

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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...

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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,...

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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

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Jon Racherbaumer
Winning Winnowing by Jon Racherbaumer

Ways To End Up With the Only Thing You Want

From the introduction:

This paper is an introductory effort yearning to be a disquisition. Please forgive its discursive style. So far, this recondite subject has resisted an in-depth, organized treatment. The subject at hand is an exploration of reduction and the process of indirectly seeking information. Or, to use the jargon term, it is about elimination and fishing as applied to card magic—more specifically to the Think of a Card effect.

  • Two Ways to Convincingly Disclose One of Two Possibilities
  • A Card That Lies, A Deck That Tells...
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Jon Racherbaumer
Pasteboard Permutations by Jon Racherbaumer
  • A WHIM-WHAM WARM-UP: Warmed Over Rhetoric
  • KINDS OF PERMUTATIONS
  • FIRST PERMUTATION: HUMMA-HUMMA-HUMMER
  • SECOND PERMUTATION
  • PERMUTATION THREE: VALUE-SUIT, SUIT-VALUE (Jon Racherbaumer)
  • PERMUTATION FOUR: WHY IS THIS ODD CARD SO QUEER? (Jon Racherbaumer)
  • PEMUTATION FIVE: THE LAST GAME (David Britland)
  • PERMUTATION SIX: BILE AND BLOOD (Jon Racherbaumer)
  • PERMUTATION SEVEN: PURIST CARD PUZZLE (Edward Marlo)
  • PERMUTATION EIGHT: MR. FOGG TRACKED DOWN (Steve Reynolds)

1st edition 2013, 49 pages.

★★★★ $10
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Jon Racherbaumer
Oiled and Watered: A Mystery in Ten Movements by Jon Racherbaumer

There is something incurably viral about this curious card problem. Does anyone know? What's so irresistible about displacing, displaying, counting, spreading, mixing, re-mixing, un-mixing red and black cards? What's the allure? What's the incentive? Yet, despite all cease-and-desist entreaties, methods keep popping up, including the ones in this compact manuscript.

The Ten Phase routine described in this ebook combines ideas and handlings by Hideo Kato, Dave Solomon, and Edward Marlo. You can figuratively use the Oil and Water patter theme, referring to red cards as "water" and black cards as "oil," but some...

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Jon Racherbaumer
Pockethereal by Jon Racherbaumer

As a plot, Cards Across is fairly simple and direct. It's a transition effect where a number of cards - usually three - magically travel from one packet to another. There are methods that use gimmicked cards, others use purely sleight-of-hand.

This manuscript is an exploration of subtle methods based on Stewart James' "Pockethereal." Its selling point is that there are no switches or exchanges. The only sleight of hand is the false counts. This put it in a class by itself.

  • INTRODUCTION
  • POCKETHEREAL (Stewart James)
  • POCKETHEREAL, MINUS POCKETS (Bert Fenn)
  • POCKETHEREAL MINUS POCKETS (Edward Marlo)
  • CLARIFIED PACKETHEREAL...
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Jon Racherbaumer
Marlo: Low-Down and Cozy by Jon Racherbaumer

This ebook features six presentations by Edward Marlo, one of the most prolific producers of card magic ever known. My criteria for selecting these six presentations was to pick effects that stressed subtlety and psychological cunning and required little or no difficult sleight-of-hand. The irony here is that such tricks are seldom associated with Marlo, even though he devised scores of easy, semi-automatic tricks during his career. But don't despair. The ones in this ebook run a gamut.

Cozy Card to Case is a subtle version of an ancient trick dating back to Walter Gibson's Popular Card Tricks. Most versions are based on miscalling a...

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