The four Aces are openly taken from a deck of giant cards and placed on an easel, the face of each Ace being again shown. Three cards are then put on each of them, one pile of four cards is chosen and the Aces assembled in that pile, all the cards of the other piles being shown to be indifferent cards.
A pack of giant cards, four cards prepared as under, a card stand with open back and a prepared die in which the one spot and the four spot have been altered to three and five respectively.
The stand is the usual one for displaying four cards with the addition that the rack carrying the cards can be revolved to show the back, and the center of each compartment is cut out so that the Ace pips show when the rack is turned.
Four cards, the Ace of Spades, the Three of Clubs, the Three of Diamonds and the Five of Hearts are prepared. These last three cards are used because when they are placed backs out on the stand and this is turned round, the center pips will show and so represent the Aces of Clubs, Diamonds and Hearts.
To prepare them for the trick, take a small hand punch, such as is used for punching score cards at card games, and punch a hole in each of the three indifferent cards in the index pip in the upper left hand corner, Fig. 1. These holes must register exactly and to effect this, punch one card, then lay it over the next one, squaring them carefully, and punch the second card, using the hole in the first one as a guide. Do the same with the third card. The Ace of Spades must be punched in the same spot but not right through, simply press hard enough to make an impression on back of pip. Keep the discs which have been punched from the other cards.
Next take the Joker, or advertising card of the same deck, and split it. From the back cut out small pieces to be glued on the backs of the three indifferent cards to cover the holes, Fig. 2. Make the pieces coincide with the pattern of the back and if necessary touch them up with blue or red ink.
The next step is to glue one of the little punched discs on the back of the Ace of Spades where you made an impression. When it is dry take one of the spot cards and lay it on the back of the Ace of Spades so that the disc on that card fits into the hole in the spot card. Take a second disc and put a spot of glue on the face side. Place this in the hole of the second spot card, glue side up, and place this card squarely on top of the card now lying on the Ace of Spades. Press the spot where the hole was punched and lift the card, leaving the disc stuck on the back of the first card. When this has dried, do the same thing with the second spot card using the first spot card as a guide.
You now have a disc glued on the back of the Ace of Spades and on two of the spot cards, and the three spot cards have holes or depressions in their top left corners. paint the paper in these holes to match the color of the pips. When these cards are squared together on .top of the Ace of Spades they will fit together and the four can be handled as one card.
To prepare for the trick, place the Aces of Hearts, Clubs and Diamonds in different parts of the deck, and the Ace of Spades, with its three indifferent cards attached, nearest to the top of the deck. Put the deck on your table with the stand and the die and its cup.
Pick up the deck and fan it from left to right. Remove the Aces one by one, taking them by the upper left corners, beginning with the unprepared ones and taking out the Ace of Spades last. Put them face down on the table, being careful to handle each Ace in exactly the same way. Run through the pack to show that there are no other Aces, and lay the pack face down on the table. Pick up the Ace packet, holding the cards by the bottom left corners, and spread them with the right thumb, starting at the top left corner. The indifferent cards will not be pulled apart and the cards will appear to be just the four Aces, Fig. 3. Close the fan and lay the packet on the top of the deck.
Call attention to the stand and show that it can be turned around. Lift off the top four cards, taking them by the sides, and place them one by one in the compartments of the stand, backs out. Turn the rack round and it will appear that the Aces have really been placed on it, the center pips of the three indifferent cards being visible through the cutouts. Fig. 4.
Pick up the deck and count off three cards in this manner, lift right top corner and push off a single card with the left thumb into the right hand and count "One", push off two cards and count "Two", then one card and count "Three". Let this last card, an indifferent one, be seen, then square the cards against the left thumb, letting the indifferent card remain on the pack and place the other three cards, the Aces, on the back of the Ace of Spades which is on the right hand end of the rack. Take off three cards one by one in the same way, giving a flash of the bottom one and place on the indifferent card in the next compartment. Repeat the same actions with the last two cards on the rack.
Call attention to what has been done four packets of four cards, an Ace at the bottom of each, have been made (turn the rack to show the supposed Aces, then turn it back again) with three indifferent cards on each Ace. It is now necessary to change the packet of Aces from the end position on the rack to the compartment next to it. To do this lift the Ace of Spades packet openly and slide the next packet to the end position as you call attention to the way the Aces show up through the cut outs, then put the Ace of Spades packet in the vacant compartment, so that it will be the second or third packet according to which end of the rack you start a count from.
Show the die and the cup and have someone throw it. Since neither one nor four can show up you are enabled to count to the Ace of Spades packet whatever number is thrown. When this packet has thus been chosen by pure chance, gather the three other packets together and impressively order the three Aces to fly to the chosen spot and the three indifferent cards to come into your hands. Run over the faces of the twelve cards showing them to the audience and counting them, first however mixing them. Finally turn the four cards in the rack face outwards, one by one, putting them in the empty compartments.
originally published by Jean Hugard in Annual of Magic 1938