Twisting the Aces
"Twisting the Aces" is one of those rare blockbuster card effects which are easy to do and
have a very strong visual effect. It was developed by Dai Vernon
and uses the Elmsley Count
as its primary move. An exceptional trick like this spawns a lot of variations. Everybody is putting his spin on it. I personally learned a variation by Thomas Hierling from Germany from his New Wave Close-up Magic
book. It was one of the first tricks I performed that truly and utterly amazed my audience. Over the years I must have done it hundreds of times. It never fails to entertain.
Etienne Lorenceau from Paris, France, has collected a pretty complete resource list for "Twisting the Aces". If you know of other references please email me or comment below. A big thank you to Etienne who put in the time to make it a lot easier for all of us who want to study this wonderful effect in detail.
- Ackerman, Allan: Twisting the Aces Lybrary.com download video. This is the very visual effect developed by Dai Vernon using the Elmsley Count. The aces one by one turn face-up while the four aces are merely shown and counted. For the climax the black aces change place with the red aces while they are resting in the spectators’ hand.
- Alfonso: Apocalypse 6-10 p. 1433: A New Twist
- Ammar, Michael: Easy to Master Card Miracles Vol 2 DVD: Twisting the Aces
- Asher, Lee: 1993 Lecture notes: The Asher Twist & The Pass (1994) by Gary Ouellet, page 109 & Well Done 2000 VHS. & Essay by Jon Racherbaumer: Simultaneity, Turning Up Turns and Twisting in the Wind, January 1st 2002 & Asher Twist DVD & Revue Magicus 001 p. 30: Asher Twist Again. Lee Asher’s principle revised by Dominique Duvivier.
- Baioni, Andrea., Apocalypse, Vol. 15, N° 7 July 1992, page 2094 : Torn and Quartered. Very original torn and restored card with a twisting of the card pieces
- Bannon, John: Spin Doctor (Marketed Item with DVD) Four red-backed Aces, held face-down, are spun. After each revolution, a different Ace turns face-up. Then the Ace of Spades vanishes - it turns blank - in your spectator's hand, and reappears among the other Aces. Finally, each ace has a different back design and color - four different colored backs.
- Bebel : Imagik [French magazine] N° 27 April 2000 page 13: “Handling de Bebel”.
- Bengel, Robert: Apocalypse 11-15 p 2069: More Twist’n
- Bennett, Keith: Pabular p 353 Twisting the aces revisited or Son of twisting the aces (same as Fred Kaps except for the idea of showing the joker and get out clean)
- Bich, Mathieu. Easy Twist. Marketed effect using a special card.
- Binarelli, Tony: 1976 Lecture Notes p. 5: Technicolour. After a progressive twist with red backs the backs turn out to be blue backs. As a climax the backs become multicolor.
- Cataquet, Harold: Maxi-Twist X; Apocalypse 16-20 p 2576
- Cummins, Paul: Overtwist Minor. Apocalypse Vol 9 #3 p 1181
- Dingle, Derek: Epilogue N° 15 July 1972 with the backs changing color & The complete works of Derek Dingle © 1982 p 54: We’ll twist if you insist, an improved version with the same color change. & Arcane [magazine] N° 51 July 1988, page 31 La valse des cœurs. Translation in French by Jean Yves Prost.
- Dupré, Didier. Arcane [French magazine]] N° 113 January 2004 page 6: Twist 2004 combines TTA and Sandwich.
- Duvivier, Dominique. Twisting the Aces parfait. © 1996 Marketed effect by MMM (Mayette Magie Moderne)
- Elmsley, Alex. The Collected Works of Alex Elmsley 1991 by Stephen Minch, page 77: Twister’s Flush. A classic TTA using 5 cards ending in a Royal Flush. The ace vanishes after its twist: a very smart variant.
- Ferranti, Mirko: Fifth Twist; Apocalypse Vol 6-10 p 934 at the end the last card has traveled into the card case.
- Fleshman, Dan: Restaurant Magic Fleshman DVD #1 Appetizers: Maxi Twist Twist
- Forton, Piet. The New Pentagram April 1969. Queenie.
- Giobbi, Roberto. Grosse Kartenschule Vol. 2 © 1992 & © 1996 English translation Card College page 324: The Royal Acrobats. & © 1994 French translation by Richard Vollmer, Cartomagie Moderne Vol 1 Ed. Magix Unlimited page 322: Les Rois Acrobates.
- Girard Christian. Arcane [French magazine] N° 112 October 2003 page 31: Les Souverains. Third phase of a 7 pages illustrated routine. Using a sleight created in collaboration with Bébel : the Sisyphe turnover first described in Imagik [another French magazine] N° 27 April 2000 page 12.
- Gordon, Paul: Twister; Apocalypse 16-20 p 2859
- Goldstein, Phil [Maven Max]. Pabular, Vol. 4, N° 11, July 1978 page 597: Back Gammon. Twisting The Aces combined with All Backs using the Ascanio Spread.
- Griffin, Gerry: Complete Card Magic with Gerry Griffin DVD 3 Advanced: 14 Valuable Mysteries. Twisting the Aces.
- Guinn, Scott: Treasure Valley Twist A very direct and entertaining presentation of the effect.
- Hallas, Paul. Small but Deadly © 2005 page 53: Vernon on the Twist.
- Hamman, Brother John: Hierophant N° 7 1975, page 3, The Hamman Twist apparently the effect already existed in1963 & The Secrets of Brother John Hamman by Richard Kaufman, page 34: Brother Hamman’s First Twist; page 38: Brother Hamman’s Second Twist without the extra card.
- Hierling, Thomas: New Wave Close Up © 1987 p 38: Twisting the Aces combined with Dr Daley’s last trick.
- Hollingworth, Guy. Lecture notes 1996 page 1: Waving the Aces. Notes on Card Tricks and Other Diversions. translated by Daniel Rhod as Vision royale in Imagik [French magazine] N° 15 of April 1996, p. 4. & https://www.lybrary.com/waving-aces-p-21823.html; Recorded live at the Convention at the Capital 1998: Waving the Aces. After "Reformation", this is Guy Hollingworth's most brilliant creation. The aces visibly turn face up while at the fingertips. If you think Twisting the Aces is a strong effect, then Waving the Aces will blow your mind. And it is not at all difficult to perform for an intermediate level card magician & Twisting the Aces © 1999, page 4 & Quartet page 33 Waving the Aces. New variant used for demonstrating the verssatility of his gimmick.
- Houchin, Wayne: Genii magazine June 2009 by Richard Kaufman Wayne Houchin's handling, which is pretty much the traditional version with a few finesses here and there
- Jennings, Larry. The Classic Magic of Larry Jennings © 1986 by Mike Maxwell page 198: Twist’In 2. A J.K Hartman startling finish.
- Kaps, Fred: Lecture notes. Using the Ascanio spread and with the backs changing color at the end. It is possible to get Bicycle cards with different backs by buying an effect called Strangers Gallery. It enables to show aces with four different backs at the end of the trick.
- Kenner, Chris: Totally Out of Control © 1992 page 107: Twister combines TTA with Bro. J. Hamman’s Underground Transposition.
- Roger Klause: Worker’s series #5 © 1996 by Michael Close, page 469, Roger’s Lovely Idea, in the Reverse Logic effect.
- Latta, Geoff: Apocalypse 1-5 p 139: Twist till it hurts. The aces turn one by one, the four cards being shown to be face down after each card. Then progressively the aces turn one by one (the ace, joined by the two, joined by the three) until there is a problem with the four. The cards which have no problem are discarded, until, finally, the four is turned face up revealing that it changed color. Strong climax.
- McClure, John: the amazing eights Apocalypse 11-15 p 1482 The four cards have four different backs at the end.
- Maddison, Walt: Apocalypse Vol 6-10 p 990 Twist and Show & Not Marked Apocalypse 6-10 p 1047 & Apocalypse 6-10 p 1189 The Outsider
- Malone, Bill: Bill Malone On The Loose DVD 4, © 2002. Edward Marlo’s Twisting Flush.
- Marlo, Edward. F.O.E. 1976 page 124 Count Conjuring & Marlo’s Magazine, Vol. 2 page 128 : Complete Revised Routine. In both routines the aces turn face up and their backs change color without using the Elmsley count. Instead Marlo uses his F.O.E. count (Fake Out Elsmley), now called Marfoe or his Bluff Count described page 131. A typical Marlo « me-too ».
- Nash, Martin: Award Winning Card Magic of Martin Nash DVD 5.
- Normansell, Andrew: 100% Commercial DVD Volume 3 Close-Up Magic Twisting Dai Vernon: A contemporary take on the classic "Twisting the Aces" but with an even bigger twist! All of the cards instantly turn face up for the climax! Many convincers and subtleties have been incorporated into this routine that elevates it into the miracle class
- Ortiz, Darwin. Strong Magic, © 1994 pages 62. Twisting The Case uses Brother John Hamman’s idea of climaxing with a Royal Flush replacing the aces and including a twist within the card box.
- Pelkey, Francis: Apocalypse 1-5 p 663: Universal Twist
- Racherbaumer, Jon. Pastiche magazine N° 1. © 1992: Twisting Deluxe & The Olram File, Vol. 1, N° 12 June 1992 p 11: Precursor to Twisting The Aces underlines the underground circulation of the Elsmley count.
- Rhod, Daniel. Plus Secrets Secrets (in French) © 1994 page 19: Twisting the Jokers. Using tha author’s count called Comptage Intervisuel explained in the same book, The aces twist and change color using only 4 cards for a Twisting en Technicolor.
- Rindfleisch, Joe. Apocalypse, Vol. 20, N° 11 November 1997 page 2864: Process of Elimination.
- Rogers, Mike: Card Cavalcade: very clean and deliberate with color changing backs thanks to an extra card with a different back. The ending can be improved by using the Ascanio spread. It is possible to get Bicycle cards with different backs by buying an effect called Strangers Gallery. It enables to show aces with four different backs at the end of the trick.
- Rollins, Walt : MUM, Vol. 53, N° 7 December 1963, page 333 Pineapple Surprise
- Sanvert Jean Jacques: Best of JJ Sanvert - World Champion Magic DVD #2. Twisting Hofzinser : Hofzinser's classic Four-Ace Problem meets Twisting the Aces and the results are truly amazing. J. J. also teaches his utilitarian Retro Count
- Stahl, David: Don’t Stall, Stahl! Lecture notes by John Mendoza: Maxi Twist IX. & Arcane [French magazine] N° 34 April 1978, page 12. Translated by Jean-françois Berger
- Vappereau, Damien: Credit Aces (marketed effect). The magician tells a story about a strange poker game he played with his friends. He displays a four-card poker hand of blue-backed cards. The magician`s hand wasn`t so good, so he decided to cheat just a little with a fifth card. With a snap of the fingers, an ace appears face-up in the packet! Tough luck though, because the ace has a red back and doesn`t match the other cards. The first ace is placed on the table and he tries a second time. Another ace appears...but it also has a red back. This ace is placed on the first and he tries one more time. A third ace just as magically appears...but it also has a red back. He places the third ace on the table and decides to try one last time. The magician magically changes the four cards in his hands into a single ace of spades, but it also has a red back. Since he lost the game, the magician now has to pay everyone at the table..but when he turns over the four aces on the table their backs have magically changed to credit cards! Comes complete with special cards on Bicycle stock.
- Vernon, Dai. Dai Vernon's More Inner Secrets of Card Magic by Lewis Ganson, published by Supreme Magic & Hierophant N° 7. 1975 by Bruce Cervon page 17: Twisting the aces. This Walt Rollins’ Pineapple Twist variant by Dai Vernon is the routine, which started it all. Still valuable with its own climax, but later improvements turned out to be real improvements.
- Vollmer, Richard: Apocalypse Vol 6-10 July 1983 p 797: Hyper twist.
- Walker, Robert. Kabbala, Vol. 2, N° 7 March 1973 page 50: Pineapple Preserve. A Walt Rollins variant. & Topsy Turvy Torsion Version 1976. Marketed Item by Jon Racherbaumer. & Counthesaurus by Jon Racherbaumer page 195 : Hyper-Twist is the same as Topsy Turvy Torsion Version.
- Yedid, Meir: Twist and Shout. Marketed effect. Four face down cards are pushed through your fist; they turn face-up and face-down, one at a time. First the Ace, the Two, the Three, the Four of Clubs and then the FIVE! Wait there are only four cards. All four cards are now FIVES! The outstanding part of this routine is that the fives can be handed out for examination. Easy to do and uses only one specially gaffed card. Comes complete with poker-size Bicycle cards and photo-illustrated instructions.
- York, Scotty: The Silver Fox 3 DVD Volume 2: Hisownself: Twisting the Aces
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