The one-ahead principle was the predominant method of a three-pile divination detailed in Horatio Galasso's Giochi di carte bellissimi de regola, e di memoria, 1593, p. 59 of the Pieper translation. Galasso's text was translated and published in Gibecière, Vol. 2 No. 2, Summer 2007 pp. 15-150.
Reinhard Müller reports finding this principle nearly a century later in a German text: Eberhard Welper's Das Zeitkürzende Lust- und Spiel-Haus, c. 1690. From then on, it became a staple of conjuring texts, appearing in Richard Neve's A Merry Companion, 1716, p. 113, Jacques Ozanam’s Récréations mathématiques et physiques, expanded 1723 edition, p. 150 of the Pieper translation (translated edition published in Gibecière, Vol. 6 No. 1, Winter 2011, pp. 79-156), etc.