Bertram on Sleight of Hand

Bertram on Sleight of Hand

Ross Bertram has a lifetime reputation as a sleight of hand performer, with the most natural moves of anyone in that field. To not skew words, here is directly from the dust-jacket of this book:

If you were to epitomize the sleight of hand of Ross Bertram in one word, it would be natural. No phony moves, no jerky motions, no changes in hands, eyes, or voice. In this, Bertram's second book, you will learn the true art of sleight of hand magic from one who can only be called an artist.

There is absolutely no chaff in this book; all the moves and effects are audience tested over the years by Bertram himself. You will find no cute tricks to amuse you momentarily and then forget. You will find no impossible and unusable moves or ideas. What you will find is a vast treasure of experience, talent, and magical entertainment. All the effects are completely illustrated with over 850 photographs and illustrations, the photos taken by Bertram and his wife, Helen. Additionally, the text is easily read and understood. All in all, if you read and study this boo, you will learn more than just tricks: you will learn the art of magic.

Possibly the most important book on sleight of hand in the last 50 years, the chapters found here will treat you to the very finest in coin, card, and general close-up manipulative magic. You will be enthralled by the most extensive examination of the Tenkai palm ever in print and revel in the imagination of a magical genius. And, throughout, you will be taught the true secrets of magic, the secrets that go beyond tricks and into your magical consciousness, the secrets that have made Ross Bertram one of the original stars of magic.

The only modification I would make is, given this book was printed nearly 40 years ago I would have to say that it is now "possibly the most important book on sleight of hand in the last 90 years."

Within the 255 pages of this book there are 850 photographs, at least one on almost every page. Routines, sleights, theory and more have been fit into this volume where Bertram passes a portion of his lifetime of knowledge on to the reader.

The first three chapters are on Coin Magic with over 30 tricks and routines. The fourth chapter is also on coins but with T. Nelson Downs as a contributor and the great coin routines he used, including the Miser's Dream and Coin Star.

Chapter 5 dives into Card Magic with 18 sleights and effects, then Chapters 6 and 7 focus on Palming. The seventh chapter's focus is specifically on the Tenkai Palm, reflecting Bertram's extensive work on the subject.

In Chapter 8, we hear from David Drake as he profiles Bertram in "Interlude with a Craftsman and a Pioneer". Several general magic items are covered in Chapter 9 before getting into the 10th Chapter, The Welcome Mat. Here we get details on the Bertram close up mat and servante, as designed and used by him.

An entire chapter (11) is devoted to 10 "One Hand Cuts". Perhaps this is the "flourishes" section of Bertram's book!

Chapter 12 is a selection of routines from magicians Bertram admires. There are 11 card and coin routines to choose from, each with their own flair and style.

The final chapter on Tips 'N Hints covers a great many things that go towards making a fine technical performer.

This book is full of moves and effects that are audience tested throughout the years by Bertram himself. You will find a vast treasure of experience, talent, and magical entertainment within its pages!

Where to buy?

Last I checked, you should be able to pick up Bertram on Sleight of Hand at Boardwalk Magic. The last price tag I saw for this book was set at $75.00.

Buy at Boardwalk Magic

Contents of Bertram on Sleight of Hand

Chapter One: Coin Magic - Part One

  • Coin Magic
  • The Eavesdropping Coin
  • Inflation
  • The Waisted Coin
  • Unflation
  • Parvum in Multo
  • The Coin Fold
  • Another Coin Fold
  • Atomized Coin
  • A Note on Optics
  • Bertram Edition and Addition
  • The Bertram Addition

Chapter Two: Coin Magic - Part Two

  • Coin Clipping
  • A "Clip" Holder
  • Clip Trip
  • ((4-2-4))
  • The "Drop" (Vanish and Variations)
  • B.U.D. (Bertram's Utility Drop)
  • Voodoo Coin
  • Terminal Coins
  • The Texas Toppit
  • Can You Toppit? (Here's How)
  • The Penny Pincher
  • Inky Pinky - Hanky Panky
  • Small Change

Chapter Three: Coin Magic - Part Three

  • The Elusive Coin in Handkerchief
  • Flesh Through Metal
  • A Penny for your Thoughts
  • Bertram's Open, Slow Motion Coin Vanish
  • Coin Alchemy
  • Two Faced
  • Chameleon Coin
  • Minus Equals Plus
  • The Martreb Change
  • Money Goes East

Chapter Four: T. Nelson Downs

  • T. Nelson Downs
  • Meet the Experts
  • Unconventional
  • The Magic Bug
  • The Coin Star
  • Shell Coins
  • Downs' Favorite Coin Vanish
  • Downs' Coin Vanish (without a gimmick)
  • The Visitor
  • T. Nelson Downs - The Miser's Dream as I Do It
  • T. Nelson Downs (from the Ross Bertram Collection)

Chapter Five: Card Magic

  • Another Top Change
  • A Pet Martreb Double Lift
  • Push-Offs and Push-Overs
  • The Haunted Deck
  • An Imperceptible Color Change
  • Far Out Double Lift
  • Close-Up Double Lift
  • Card Cannonade
  • The Shoot-Out
  • With a Silencer
  • Bertram's Descending Card (A Push-Through Card Control)
  • Up and Up
  • A Vernon False Cut
  • Up Front Utility Move
  • The Revolutionary Card
  • Squeeze
  • Aces in Transit
  • Silver Aces

Chapter Six: Palming

  • Palming
  • A Top Palm (method #1)
  • A Top Palm (method #2)
  • A Bottom Palm
  • To Palm a Card from the Middle of the Deck
  • The Touch Palm
  • A Ribbon-Spread Palm
  • To Palm a Card by its Edge

Chapter Seven: Tenkai

  • A Commentary by Danny Dew
  • Tenkai Ishida
  • The Tenkai Palm Placement
  • To Palm the Top Card
  • With a Card in the Tenkai Position
  • From the Classic Palm to the Tenkai Palm
  • To Palm the Top Card and Transfer it to the Tenkai Palm
  • TeBe Color Change
  • TeBe Two, Color Change
  • The Flasher
  • An Uplifting Application
  • Bertram's Ascending Card
  • A Tenkai Switch
  • Top Card Switch While Holding Out
  • Another Holdout Change
  • An Unusual Change
  • "Stop"
  • Angles
  • A Double Color Change
  • And Vice-Versa
  • Five Zero Five
  • Summary

Chapter Eight: Interlude with a Craftsman and a Pioneer

Chapter Nine: General Magic

  • Bertram's Card in Wallet
  • The Hindu Yarn
  • The Wandering Ring (B.U.D.)
  • Hole-y Smoke
  • Eerie Feller
  • Hooked Again
  • A Hooked-Again Sampler
  • Bertram's Bounty

Chapter Ten: The 'Welcome' Mat

  • Origin of the Mat
  • Ross Bertram's 'Welcome' Mat
  • My 'Welcome' Mat (Its Use and Versatility)
  • Cut and Restored Rope

Chapter Eleven: One Hand Cuts

  • Of One-Hand Cuts and Shuffles by Dr. George E. Casaubon
  • The Bertram Cut
  • The Casaubon One-Handed Shuffle
  • The Pincer Grip Cuts
  • One-Hand Table Cuts
  • A Stand-Up One-Hand Table Cut or Shuffle
  • One-Hand Throw Cuts
  • The Somersault Throw Cut
  • Concluding Remarks
  • A Selected Bibliography

Chapter Twelve: 'Count Me In'

Chapter Thirteen: Tips 'n Hints

  • Tips 'n Hints
  • The Way of All Flesh
  • Dry Hands
  • Saliva
  • Reflections
  • Don't Kill the Audience or Yourself
  • Who are we Fooling?
  • Little Things Mark the Professional
  • The Rhythm Count
  • A Tip on Card Handling
  • Picking Up a Single Card
  • It Pays Off
  • Coin Handling
  • Cups and Balls
  • Food for Thought
This book is written by and featuring the work of Ross Bertram. It includes illustrations by Ross Bertram too. Mine is a hardcover copy published in 1983 by Lee Jacobs Productions, printed in 1996 with a total of 255 pages.