If you like performing Panic, learn this clean-up.

As I’ve recently posted, I’m hard at work every night this week in the Close-Up Room at the Magic Castle in Hollywood.  I’ve used Panic in many different situations and the thought of performing it in my formal close-up set has sparked a whole host of new ideas. I’m sorting through the solutions now to decide how best to proceed. I’ll keep you posted.


The Panic Put Down

If you’d like an easy, completely deceptive way to clean-up after performing Panic, this is it.

This idea really comes, as most good card ideas do,  from the source: The Expert at the Card Table, by S.W. Erdnase. The idea is simple. Rather then get rid of the gaffs immediately after the effect, you’ll simply wait for a better time.

I snapped a few quick photos to help you get the idea.


1. As you produce the deck from your right pocket allow the ‘panic cards’ in your left hand to square as in the photo.





2. Essentially, you’ll in-jog the packet as you place the deck upon it. There are a couple ways to do this, but I like to simply scoot the packet back in the hand by pushing inward with the left first finger. Do this as you move to place the deck on top of the left hand cards



3. This shows the position of the packet once the deck rests on top. If you’re concerned about the size of the in-jog, bevel the deck backwards as I’ve done in the photo – this will give you extra cover.



As always, if you hold the cards parallel to the floor, you could experience angle problems with spectators on your right. If you hold the deck slantingly to the right, no one will notice a thing.  For more on the importance of this position, check out my book.


Wait Just One Minute…

Now proceed with another effect! It’s that simple. Just make sure not to disturb the in-jog as you spread the pack for a selection.

Say, “Show your card to everyone. I won’t look.”

Now turn your back while your spectators take note of the selection.  While they do their thing, you’ll do yours. With your back turned simply take all the cards above the in-jog with your right hand from above. At the same time place your left hand, with the gaffs, in your left pants pocket.

I normally just stand there and wait. Soon, someone throws me a cue that everyone has seen the card. I now remove my hand from my pocket as I turn around and continue the trick as usual.

Work Smart – Not Hard.

Technically, the left hand packet lies in almost a cop position. Please don’t think of this as any kind of palm or sleight. With the structure you’ve been given, you don’t need any moves. Just let the people remember their card. Relax. And as relaxed people do, put your hand in your pocket.




3 Responses to “If you like performing Panic, learn this clean-up.”

  1. 1 Matt. G October 13, 2007 at 11:19 am


    This is a really good idea, thank you for it. Usually when I a trick using gaff cards I am paranoid that someone will catch me out so I palm it away or switch it as soon as possible. Sometimes I feel that I am too tense while getting ditching the gaffs. But this method is no pressure and I can’t thank you enough for the suggestion, I will definately try it out today and see how it goes.

    P.S. Where in your show did you decide to put Panic?

  2. 2 Tim October 13, 2007 at 11:52 am

    That’s nice. I like the simplicity of that to get rid of the extra cards. I do not own your panic trick but still. There is some great advice in here about relaxing, being yourself, not rushing anything. I can probably use this method for other effects.
    Thanks Aaron

  3. 3 Matt October 15, 2007 at 4:12 pm

    I actually ditch it another way. In the beginning I place the real kings with on top of the deck that is in my pocket. I perform panic and then at the end I put the panic cards in my right hand and I use my right hand to grab the deck. However, when I grab the deck I just switch panic cards with the deck. Now the panic cards are in my pocket and I got the deck in my hands with the original kings. Spectator will never suspect anything because they’ll just think you grab the deck out and the 4 kings are still on top of it.

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