Methods for Peeking at the Middle Card
1. Ruffling the Pack for Return of Card.
Have the chosen card returned to the pack as you ruffle the outer ends of the cards. By squeezing the inner end of the deck you prevent the spectator from pushing the card home. Turn the deck slightly upward in transferring it to the left hand and sight the protruding index.
2. The Push Through.
Proceed as in No. 1, but in squaring the deck push the protruding card through the others by turning it a little to the left, pressing on the corner with the right forefinger and then straightening it at the rear with the left little finger. The lower index can then be sighted under cover of the right hand.
3. Charlier Pass Move.
In advancing to the spectator let the lower half of the pack drop as in the Charlier Pass and note the bottom card of the upper packet. At once drop this packet on the lower one in such a way that a step is formed between them. Insert the left little finger between the packets and you are ready to force the glimpsed card in the usual way.
4. Palming Half the Deck.
An easy, though rather bold, plan is to palm about half the deck in the right hand and sight the bottom card of this portion while making a gesture with the right hand. Replace the palmed cards on the remainder in the left hand, slipping the tip of the left little finger between the two packets as you square the deck.
5. Turning Index Corner in Fan of Cards.
Fan the deck widely for the selection of a card. Have a card selected and returned to the fan, but, before pushing the cards together, raise them to the spectator’s eyes, asking him to take one more look at his card so that he will be sure to remember it. At the same time turn up the lower index corner of his card with the left thumb and note it. A great advantage of this method is that the corner can be slightly crimped and, although the fan is closed quite openly and fairly and the deck immediately shuffled by the spectator, the chosen card can be easily located.
6. Index of Card Above Chosen Card.
Ruffle the outer ends of the cards for the return of one chosen by a spectator, bending the cards rather far back. When the card is pushed in, note the index of the one immediately above it, close the deck and square it very openly. Later by ruffling the index corners, as in the thumb count, the sighted card can be found easily, locating the selected card next to it. The spectator may be allowed to make a short overhand shuffle with little risk of separating the two cards. This greatly strengthens the effect.
7. Sighting Card After Spectator Peeks at Index.
A card having been noted by a spectator by lifting the corners of the cards and looking at the index of one as in the preliminary to the side slip, hold a break and turn the left hand over to the right, bringing the cards face up. With the tips of the left fingers press the packet NOW BELOW the break a little to the right, bringing the lower index into view. The action is covered by the position of the hand.
8. Sighting Any Card Called For.
Hold the deck in the left hand face down, firmly gripped between the first joints of the second, third and fourth fingers on the bottom and the first finger doubled back on the top, the thumb rests free on the index corner. To sight any card called, bend up the corners of the cards and ruffle them, letting the corners slip one by one and noting the indexes as they pass. With a little practice any card can be found almost instantly. The late Dr. Elliott made this move, at which he was a past master, the basis of some astounding feats.
By way of Conclusion to this exhaustive treatment of the peek it should be mentioned that the index of a card can be easily read when a card is covered with a handkerchief. It is only necessary to stretch the fabric a little over the top left hand corner.
Some tricks will require you to peek at the top or bottom card:
From Card Manipulations by Jean Hugard (1934)