Aldo Colombini – Bottoms Up

Aldo Colombili

Bottoms up for this control! It is one of the most deceptive controls that I know of. It’s based on a move by Harvey Rosenthal and I know that J.K. Hartman also has something similar. I use it all the time. This move is hard to beat when you have to control a card to the bottom of the deck. I offer no apologies for my enthusiasm about this! It is really good for tricks like Spell The Name. By the way, it also happens to be a particular favorite of mine! The beauty of this move is in the simplicity of the sleight and in the subtle way of controlling a specific card. Of course, I do not claim much originality; several other moves of this nature have seen print before, but I stick out my neck about this one and strongly advise you to master it.

Not a trick or routine but a sure-fire way to control a selected card to the bottom of the deck while apparently losing it in the middle of the deck!

Keep the deck face down in the left hand dealing position. The left thumb riffles down at the outer corner while asking a spectator to say “stop”. At the “stop” the right hand clearly and openly grips the top portion of the deck from above the forefinger curled on top, the other fingers at the outer short side and the thumb at the inner short side-Biddle Grip. Move the top half of the deck into a vertical position so that the bottom card of that portion is facing the audience. The left hand moves simultaneously and approaches the right hand portion with the left SECOND finger pointing to the selected card at its left index pip corner (Figure 1). The two portions are now both facing audience at your face height. Carefully study Figure 1.

Once the spectators have had a good look at the selected card move the hands down, bringing the two portions parallel to the floor (or to the table). AT THE SAME TIME, the right hand moves the top portion slightly to the left. The left second finger never leaves its contact with (maybe just a little more than a quarter of an inch) has, as its effect, to side jog the bottom card to the right (the right hand covers this at all times) as shown in Figure 2 (bottom view).

Automatically the left second fingertip is now also in contact with the SECOND card from the bottom, which is, without any pause, moved (slid) to the left by the second finger and it is gripped by the forefinger on top and second finger below (Figure 3).

Totally remove the card and place it onto the right hand portion (Figure 4) and then place the left hand portion on top of all, apparently trapping the selected card on the middle of the deck. Really, the selection is on the bottom. Square the deck and you are done!


  • The left second finger presses VERY LIGHTLY on the card. Remember, you move the RIGHT HAND to the left. You many be tempted to push the card with the left second finger to the right instead of moving the right hand portion to the left. Either way the move will work.

  • The left second finger NEVER leaves its contact with the card. It is brought there with the good excuse to point to the selected card and remains there until the second card from the bottom is slid to the left, removed with the two fingers and brought onto the right hand portion. The move is undetectable and deceptive.