Conjuring Credits

The Origins of Wonder

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Spread Laydown Switch

With this technique, a card is switched as it is removed from a face-up, in-the-hands spread and placed face down onto the table. The switch was first published by Roy Walton, used in his seminal routine “The Collectors” in Abracadabra, Vol. 47 No. 1203, Feb. 1969, p. 99.

It was, though, recorded on October 13, 1965, over three years earlier, by Bruce Cervon is his notebooks, under the title “Mislide II” (see Bruce Cervon's Castle Notebooks, Vol. 1, 2007, p. 356). Cervon noted that the sleight had been shown to him by Larry Jennings. It is not known if Jennings had learned the sleight from some underground source or had devised it himself.

It has been reinvented several times and has been published under the name “Simplex Switch” (Karl Fulves, Mexican Monte, 1972, p. 27), “The Kaps Switch” (Roberto Giobbi, Card College, Vol. 4, 2000, p. 816, in German language in 1994) and the “Two Card Take” (Bruce Cervon in “Really Wild” in the May 1972 issue of Genii, Vol. 36 No. 5, p. 230, where he did not name or explicitly claim credit for the switch; but later—oddly, given the entry in his notebook—does so in “Nowhere and Everywhere” in the May 1990 issue of the same journal [Vol. 53 No. 11, p. 729]). Still other reinventions of the sleight can be found.