Just use a Pass to get rid of it! | Tutorial

Today I want to share with you a tutorial for a quick little routine I filmed and posted on Instagram a few weeks ago. The routine is of the "card to impossible location" genre, specifically to under the tuck box.

Here's my video of the routine, a solo performance from my perspective:

Card Under Box

There are plenty of variations of this routine and I'm sure something similar exists. I came up with this when playing with the new Workers deck by False Anchors and seeing the neat features it has hidden within it. It is a quick routine that, when using the same setup, allows a hands-off reveal.


The performer takes a Joker from the deck and places it under the card box on the table. The spectator selects a card from the deck which then visually disappears. Showing that the card is no longer in the deck, with a glance from the performer the spectator's attention is drawn to the card on the table. Flipping it over reveals their selection!


The following is my setup using the Workers deck. You can adjust accordingly if you're using a different deck.

  • A duplicate of the selection, in this case the 7 of Hearts, face-down on top of the deck
  • A Joker face-down in the 2nd position of the deck (below the 7 of hearts)
  • A pencil mark in the upper-left corner of the other 7 of hearts which is placed in the middle of the deck


Begin by giving the deck a false shuffle.

Perform a double lift to show the Joker. Turn the Joker (double) face down on top of the deck and casually thumb off the top card (7 of Hearts) face down onto the table. Place the deck box, a glass, or anything really on top of the card. Leave at least half of the card visible so it's not entirely "out of sight."

Feel free to give the deck a shuffle at this point, or not. For this routine I tend to avoid it because the upcoming force feels pretty fair.

Here you will Classic Force the pencil-dot card. Your first false shuffle should have kept it in the middle where you roughly know its location. Begin spreading the deck between your hands for the spectator to select a card. When you start the spread, you can keep eye contact with the spectator or look around with the audience. Once you're getting closer to where you know the force card to be, look down towards the spread which will also psychologically pull the spectator's eyes there (if they weren't already). Once you've spotted the pencil dot, you should be able to complete the force.

Have the spectator remove the card from the deck and show the card around. Simultaneously, after closing the spread, Top Palm the top card of the deck in your right hand.

Request the spectator also show you the card and to place it face up onto the deck.

Using any method you'd like, "vanish" the selection by placing the palmed card on top of it. Spread the deck, careful not to reveal the face up selection at the top, to show that it's really gone.

Direct your gaze down to the card that's been sitting on the table this whole time and have the spectator turn it over.


  • Joker Discrepancy:
    • By starting with a shuffle and then the top card happens to be a Joker may feel like a bit of a discrepancy. It hasn't been an issue whenever I've performed it, often overshadowed by the other events that take place. However, you can alleviate this by having the Joker start in the middle of the deck and going through the deck, face-up in front of the spectator, to "find the Joker". Performing a Top Change before placing it on the table will leave you in the proper setup -- then you can do a false shuffle before having the spectator select a card.
  • Alternatives to using the Classic Force:
    • If you start with the force card on the bottom of the deck, you can perform a Hindu Shuffle force. Or, get a break above the card on the bottom and swing cut (or any cut of your preference) the deck so that the force card is in the middle and you have a break above it. Then, you can use a Dribble or Riffle Force.
  • Card Vanish:
    • An alternative to a Top Palm is to use your left hand fingers to push the bottom card into your right hand's palm when squaring the deck. This is the method I used in the video, but not what I tend to use in real life, because it's less telling on video. In real life, I Top Palm all day!
    • If you have a card pre-palmed like explained above, there are many ways you can "vanish" the face-up card on the deck. The most simple is to just wave your hand over the deck and drop the card (careful to have it squared) and boom, gone! You could also do a Window Change for more of a quick, flashy change.
    • Without pre-palming the card, you can extend the routine itself and go into an Invisible Palm routine. This is actually the variation I tend to do; my explanation above was to replicate the quick display used in my performance video.
  • Ending Clean:
    • When the trick ends, you not only have two 7 of Hearts but one of them is face up in the second position in the deck.
    • My preferred way of cleaning up the reversed card is to slip my pinky under the top card (above the face up card) and use a pinky-pulldown to slip it to the bottom of the deck, effectively reversing it back to face-down position in the process. This is similar to a Cardini Change, except under the cover of the top card. Not sure if this is a published move anywhere. I've been using it for years and it seems to work pretty well though.

      You could, alternatively, get a pinky break under the top 2 cards and Double Undercut them to the bottom and then perform a Half Pass with just the bottom card, reversing it.

      The audience will be distracted with the card on table which should offer plenty of cover.

    • To get rid of the duplicate 7 of Hearts, you can Bottom Palm or Gambler's Cop the bottom card of the deck (one of the 7 of Hearts) and while the audience is distracted, slip it into a pocket. Alternatively, you can take back the selection from the table and place it on the bottom of the deck (below the duplicate) and slip the entire deck into the box. If you're done performing, you're done! Or, you can offer to show another trick and remove the deck from the box while leaving the bottom card behind.

And The Audience Goes Wild

As mentioned at the beginning, I recently posted a solo performance of this routine from the magician's perspective. Performing a card force on a spectator, without a spectator, is pretty easy. That, and filming for the purpose of posting online also means cleanup isn't really necessary. I didn't post a tutorial, I only posted a performance. And still, the audience went wild!

Or, rather, this guy did:

Screenshot of a rude comment on my Instagram post.
"Not too clean. Use a pass to get rid of it. Don't just cover it up with one card" - a very helpful and friendly message left by a private account on Instagram. Nice!

As far as I can tell, this guy knows how the routine's done. It's a video that is filmed from my perspective, so it's not hard to fathom that it wouldn't take long to figure out. But to prove that his sleuth skills were on point, he made sure to drop a friendly comment letting me know that he knows -- and how I can do it better. I love how helpful random and private accounts can be on the internet, don't you?

I have to respectfully disagree about the use of a Pass here though. I'm assuming he meant a Classic Pass (or Herrmann Pass, or any other variation). Using a Pass would put the card face up somewhere in the middle of the deck which begs the question: is half of the deck on top of a face up card better than a single card?

Alternatively, cutting the card to the bottom and performing a Half Pass, like explained up above in the Notes section, would fix the reversed card situation. However, you're then left with a duplicate on the bottom of the deck. While slightly cleaner than having it reversed, we are now stuck with the spectator's selection in their hand and on the bottom of the deck. We have, in all cases of using a pass to "get rid of it," failed to get rid of it.

Also, there are plenty of routines that "cover up" a card with another, but I'm just guessing that this guy isn't a fan. To each their own, I guess. Unfortunately, when I asked if he wants to chat or to do a jam where he could show off his ideas, he... politely... refused.

If you have any ideas or feedback on the routine, I'd love to hear them =]

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