I think this is a showy routine, full of magic and I am very fond of it. It was published in Linking Ring Magazine (my third Parade, October 1994.) The approach is at least a different one, giving to the Assembly Type routine the variation of using a progressive theme.
The routine begins with a Four Ace Assembly done with the four Kings. In the second phase, the four Kings change to the four Aces. In the final phase, the Kings are found magically!
From the top of the deck downward: A black King, two red Kings, the other black King, two Aces, a Joker, two Aces, two Jokers.
Spread the top four cards and flip them face up on top of the deck. Spread further and take a little finger break beneath the top three face down cards. Square the cards and with the right hand lift up the block of seven cards. Perform the Add-On as follows: the left thumb peels off the top King which is flipped face down on top of the deck using the left long side of the right hand packet. Repeat twice more flipping the next two Kings face down on top. Then drop the right hand cards on top, immediately flipping the last King face down.
Deal the top King face up on the table (D). Deal the next three cards face down onto the table from right to left (A, B and C) in front (north) of the King in the standard “T” formation. The card at D is a face up King. The cards at A and B are two face down Aces. The card at C is a face down Joker.
Double Undercut the top card (King) to the bottom. Spread three cards from the top of the deck and take them face down in the right hand. At the same time, as you display them without showing their faces, the left little finger takes a break underneath the top card of the deck. Apparently as an afterthought, the right hand places its cards on top of the deck. The right hand turns the King as D face down, leaving it in the same position. Then the right hand apparently takes the top three cards from the deck, but actually takes the fourth card too, taking all the cards above the break. Square these cards and place the four card packet on top of the King (at A.) From the top you should have: A red King, a black King, two Aces and a black King.
Returning to the deck, perform a Double Turnover showing a Joker. Grip these two cards in the right hand. At the same time the left hand leaves the deck face down to the right on the table. Place the double face down on top of the card at C. Pick up the supposedly two, actually three cards turning them face up. The King is gone and a Joker is seen. Take the packet from above in the right hand (Biddle Grip) and with the left thumb peel off the top card into the left hand, then from the two remaining cards as one on top of the first card. Square and turn them face down, dropping this packet face down onto the card at B.
Pick up the packet and grip it from above in the right hand. The left thumb peels off the top card into the left hand, followed by the next, ending by dropping the last two cards as one on top. Turn the packet face up and perform a partial Ascanio Spread showing three Jokers. (To wit: The packet is gripped from above between the middle finger and thumb at the short sides of the packet near the outer corners-Biddle Grip-the left forefinger pulls the bottom card to the left while the left thumb pulls the top card to the left, leaving the two middle cards as one in the right hand as in Figure 1. You’ll show three Jokers only).
Square the packet without changing the order of the cards. Turn it face down and drop it on top of the card at A. Pick up the packet and as if emphasizing the number, Elmsley Count the packet showing four face down cards. Turn the packet over and perform another Elmsley Count showing four Jokers. Leave the packet aside.
Pick up the packet at D, turn it face up and perform an Elmsley Count but take the first card from the bottom. Drop the packet face down on top of the main deck (two Aces are on top followed by two Kings.)
Place the top card of the deck face down on the table. Pick up the “Joker” packet face down in the left hand and take the top card into the right hand. Drop this card on top of the tabled card, then another from the top of the deck on top of the two previously tabled cards and another from the “Joker” card packet.
Place the top card of the deck aside starting another packet. On top of it place the top two cards as one of the packet that is in your left hand (perform the Buckle or a Double Lift), then the new top card of the deck and finally, the last card from your left hand. You now have two tabled packets: one contains the face Aces and the other is in the following order from the top down: Joker, King, two Jokers, King.
Pick up the packet containing the Kings and perform an Elmsley Count showing four face down cards. Turn the packet face up and do an Elmsley Count showing four Jokers. Turn the packet face down and casually slide off the top and the bottom cards together (as in the partial Ascanio Spread) replacing these two cards on top of the packet. Leave this packet on top of the main deck.
The Kings are expected to be in the second packet. Turn these four cards face up and show the four Aces for a good surprise.
You have a King on the bottom, a King on top, another is third from the top and the fourth is sixth from the top. After a couple of False Cuts, reveal the first two Kings with a variation of the Braue Flourish. Perform a Double Lift, turning over the top two cards as one, revealing a Joker. In this position, the left thumb pushes the top card of the deck slightly to the right so that the card gripped, move the right hand palm down over the deck which will cause the top card to pivot face up revealing a King as in Figure 3, between the ring and little finger. Without pausing, the right thumb drops the bottom card of the two onto the deck, retaining the King. Move the right hand away from the deck and leave the face up King on the table. Snap the face down card face up to show another King and leave it on the table. This change belongs to Stephen Tucker.
Place the deck face down on the table. The two hands grip the deck from above. The right hand cuts the bottom half of the deck and moves it to the top. The left thumb keeps a break between the two halves at the inner long side only (the side toward you.) With the right hand, take the top card of the deck, turn it face up and throw it at the long side of the deck toward you so it lands face up between the two halves (the left thumb lifts up the top half so that the right hand can throw the card into the break). Apparently you have thrown the card anywhere into the deck. Leave the card face up in the position shown in Figure 4.
The right thumb is brought to the short side and the right middle finger to the opposite short side. Pinch the fingers toward each other quickly and the face up card will snap, bending up and will make the top half of the deck turnover and up to the left, ending up in the position shown in Figure 5, revealing another King. Place the King with the other two Kings.
Take the cards below the King face down in the left hand, place the face up card face down on the left hand packet. Pick up the tabled portion and drop it on top of the cards in your left hand. The fourth King is fourth from the top.
Over-Hand Shuffle the top three cards (Jokers) to the bottom so that you have the fourth King on top. I reveal the fourth King using a Jeff White move written in the Steve Beam book Card Tricks From Mount Olympus.
Hold the deck face up in the left hand dealing position. Separate the King from the other cards by doing the Buckle. Transfer the deck into the right hand which holds the deck from above. At the same time the thumb picks up the break.
The right forefinger now Swivel Cuts the top half of the deck into the left hand. The right hand comes to rest momentarily on top of the left hand half and quickly releases the King onto the face of the left hand half, then moves the top half forward. Immediately the two hands turn clockwise ending up in the position shown in Figure 6. The left second finger and the left thumb grasp the right hand half.
The right hand re-grips its half (the one protruding to the right) and performs a One Hand Fan (fan them by simultaneously pushing them forward with the thumb while the fingers move inwards.) Bring the spread of the cards over the left hand, which turns palm up undercover of the fan. The final position is shown in Figure 7. The King has never been in view. Remove the fan and show the King on the face of the left hand cards for a very nice effect. Leave the King on the table. You are done!
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As I told you, I think this is a very strong routine with a lot of magic happening in it.
I usually proceed by doing a Re-Set kind of trick made popular by Paul Harris using the four Aces and the four Kings.
Your may use spot cards instead of Jokers. I prefer to use Jokers mainly because of the Elmsley Counts involved during the routine. The count is very deceptive but a clever spectator may spot the card twice during the count and I lower the risk a lot by using all similar cards such as Jokers.