By now you’ve probably guessed that I’m a big fan of Dr. Daley’s Last Trick! However, I’ve always thought that the trick is too short. Of course this can be a good thing, especially when time is limited, but I find that the abrupt ending often makes the trick feel incomplete. Additionally, the transposition of the red and black Aces is so strong that most people will want to see more magic. So, how can we lengthen the effect without tarnishing its purity?
There are two solutions to this problem:
- Develop a short card act that includes Dr. Daley’s Last Trick. For example, begin by performing a bare-handed four Ace production, such as Cliff Green’s “Phoenix Aces” or Lee Asher’s “Thunderbird” production. Follow this with Dai Vernon’s “Twisting the Aces”, and finish your act with a performance of Dr. Daley’s Last Trick.
- Modify the trick so that it has multiple phases. “Weighted Aces” by Gregory Wilson and John Carney’s “Sanverted” are both good examples of this approach.
I’ve developed several short card acts around the Doctor’s trick, similar to the one I’ve outlined above. More often than not, I use Dr. Daley’s Last Trick as my closer because the transposition never fails to get a great reaction. However, it also works well as an opener because it clearly establishes that you’re only using four cards (this often makes any subsequent magic you perform much more impressive in the eyes of your audience). The magic also happens fast and the trick leaves a lasting impression; all good attributes for an opening effect.
I’ve also developed several multi-phase approaches to the plot which I plan to publish at some point in the future. I have notes for more than twenty versions of the trick, so I’m not sure when this project will see the light of day! In the meantime, I’ve added one of these effects to the free trick area of this site. It is called “Big Bullet Monte” and has been designed to address all of the weaknesses I’ve mentioned so far in this series of posts. I hope you enjoy performing the trick as much as I do:
Please Note: To access the page you’ll need to enter a password. The password is the answer to the following question: Which book can Daley’s routine “The Cavorting Aces” be found in? Enter the password as one word (all lower-case).