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Picnic Pocus

by Jon Racherbaumer
#1 Magic author
#1 Cards author
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Picnic Pocus by Jon Racherbaumer

#3 in Magic hot-list
#1 in Cards hot-list

This manuscript is about one trick that incorporates a seminal sorting procedure now given the name Belcho's Disbursive Deal. Over the years the trick eventually morphed into an organized compilation that shares the same identifiable title: "Poker Player's Picnic."

It begins with Vernon Lux, an enterprising amateur who founded the International Society of Junior Magician in 1931 and began a magazine called The Dragon in 1932. Therein Oscar Weigle had a column called "Themes and Schemes" where he explained a trick called "The Million to One Trick." (Later it was changed to "Belchou's Aces.") It's unclear whether many readers at the time realized this trick's potential; however, a few card specialists noted its commercial worthiness - namely Jean Hugard, Edward Marlo, and Martin Gardner.

Effect: A spectator cuts the deck into four piles, which we shall call A, B, C, and D. Pile D is the pile which formerly was the top of the deck. He is instructed to pick up pile A and deal three facedown cards on the spot it formerly occupied on the table, then to deal one card face down upon each of the other three piles. Pile A is then replaced on top of the three cards. The same procedure is exactly followed with the remaining three piles, taking them in B, C, D order. When the top cards of the piles are turned face up, they prove to be the four Aces! The sorting procedure underlying Belchou's trick had no name but as mentioned earlier it now has its own identity.

  • Introduction: An Inauspicious Beginning
  • Belchou's Aces: Steve Belcho
  • Belchou's Disbursive Deal
  • Weigle's Aces
  • Expert Card Technique Excerpt (1940): Ace Assembly
  • Aces In Reverse: Edward Marlo
  • Five - Nine - King: Martin Gardner
  • A Poker Player's Picnic
  • Spin Offs
    • The Contest: Poker Player's Picnic Redux: Ed Oschmann - Tom Dobrowski
    • Another Version Of "Gambler's Luck": Jack Potter
    • Poker Player's Trick: Dougie Gibbard
    • Gilbreath Aces: Nick Trost
    • The Poker Player's Royal Flush Picnic: Roberto Giobbi
  • Omega Points
    • Stoned Soul Picnic: John Bannon
    • Liars Al Fresco: John Bannon
    • Bibliography: Poker Player’s Picnic
    • Poker Player’s Chronology
    • Appendix: Who Was Vernon Lux?

1st edition 2021, PDF 64 pages.
word count: 13239 which is equivalent to 52 standard pages of text


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