I have already told You that I like Oil & Water routines. As a matter of fact, I collect them.
This routine has been in my repertoire since 1977 (how time flies!). It is strong in impact and it’s one of my all-time favorite effects. It is a nice lead in for the Nice Salad trick which you’ll find on page 83 in this book. Do the Italian Dressing and then, for an encore, perform the Nice Salad (wine, anyone?).
As for the standard routine, the red and black cards are alternated and then they separate. At the end, when you separate them they mix back together!
Take out a packet of nine face down cards (the audience should be aware of only eight) placed in the following order from top down: one black spot card, four red spot cards and four black spot cards (choose a combination of Eights, Sixes and Nines). Leave the deck aside, you do not need it. Explain that oil and water never mix in nature (although, because of the name Italian Dressing, I say oil and vinegar) and that the same thing happens with the colors of the cards.
Keep the packet face up in the left hand. Spread the cards between the hands, keeping the last two as one, and show four black cards followed by four red. Square and turn the packet face down in the left hand. Deal the top three cards face down onto the table at the right side, one after the other, so that you reverse their order. Turn over the fourth, dealing it face up onto the three face down cards. Turn the left hand cards face up and fan them keeping the last two as one, showing four black cards. Square and turn the packet face down in the left hand.
The right hand takes the face up red card and places it face down on the table, starting a new pile. Take the top card of the left hand packet and place it onto the tabled red card. The right hand takes the next card from the ‘red’ packet and places it face down onto the two cards. Then the right hand takes the new top card of the left hand packet and deals it onto the three tabled cards. Take the next card from the ‘red’ packet, the next from the left hand, the last from the ‘red’ packet and then the last two as one which are dropped on top of all.
Pick up the packet and place it face down in the left hand. Deal the top four cards one after the other, reversing their order, onto the table. Leave the other cards aside. Pick up the previously dealt packet and turn it face up. With the same grip and count as for the Elmsley Count (but without doing it) show four black cards and then place them onto the table slightly spread so that the audience can see that they are really four black cards.
Pick up the other packet and turn it face up. Perform an Elmsley Count showing four red cards. Fan the cards keeping the last two as one to really show four red cards! Square the packet and with these face up cards, scoop up the other packet (the four black cards) by singly sliding the red cards below the tabled packet and picking it up face down in the left hand.
Deal the top four cards onto the table, one after the other. Turn the last card dealt face up (red) and repeat the first phase except that after the Elmsley Count, keep the red packet in the left hand, face up. Grip it from above with the right hand and with the left thumb peel off the top red card into the left hand. Do the same with the next card and then with the third. Leave the other two cards as one on top but secure a left little finger break below them
Place a black card FACE UP in the center of the table. Onto this card place the top two cards as one (face up) as one of the ‘red’ packet. On top place a black card, then a red, then a black and so on until the end. You have apparently, openly and clearly, separated the red and black cards. Pick up the packet, square it and fan it again keeping the last two as one, showing the red and black cards clearly alternated. Square and turn the cards face down.
Deal the top four cards onto the table, one after the other, so that their order is reversed. Leave the other packet aside. Pick up the dealt packet and turn it face up. Perform an Elmsley Count showing four black cards. At the end of the count, casually bring the top two cards to the bottom. Leave the packet on the table, face up.
You will realize that you do not need to show the other packet because the effect at this point is so strong and the audience is completely convinced because of the impossibility of the separation. However, I proceed as follows using the Olram Count by Ed Marlo: Pick up the other packet and take it face down in the left hand. Take the top card into the right hand and turn the two hands palm down showing two red cards (figure 1). Turn the hands palm up again and deal the right hand card onto the table followed immediately by dealing the TOP card of the left hand packet. Without pausing, the right hand takes the top card of the left hand packet and then the two hands turn again palm down to show two more red cards (the left hand keeping the two cards as one). Bring the hands palm up again and place the right hand card onto the two cards in the left hand. Finish by placing the three cards onto the two tabled ones.
Pick up the packet and drop it face up onto the black cards. Say,”… but if I shake the cards, just for a moment, the oil and water will mix!” Shake the cards, fan them face up keeping the last two as one, and show all the colors mixed. This is a killer! Place the packet onto the deck and you are done.