This is a great magical effect that anyone can do. As a perspiring magician, I’ve gotten a lot of mileage out of this one.
The Effect: You ask for a deck of cards (or provide your own). You remove the four Jacks and announce that the Jacks are bank robbers. They are going to rob the “Bank” (the remainder of the deck) and scoot with the loot by helicopter. After removing the Jacks, show them – fanned – and give the deck to a spectator to “make sure” there are no Jacks left in the deck. There are none. He/she returns the deck to you. You announce that the Jacks will search the bank for safe deposit boxes, cash, negotiable instruments and bonds. As you are saying this “patter,” close the fan and face down insert one Jack on the bottom of the deck (the “first floor”), a second Jack a third of the way up (the “second floor”), a third Jack close to the top (the “third floor”) and the fourth Jack on top (the “top floor”) and set the deck on the table. Then – here comes the helicopter! Move your hand as if flying toward the “Bank.” The Jacks race to the top floor to catch the copter. As the helicopter arrives, slowly turn over the top four cards and there are the four Jacks.
The Secret: When you take the four Jacks out of the deck, take three extra cards which are placed behind the Jacks. 🙂 As you take them, square them up carefully. Handing the cards to a spectator gives you time and distraction to do so. Keep them tightly squared as you insert them (the extra cards one at a time) into the deck. For the last Jack on the top floor? You have all four Jacks, tightly grouped and quickly but carefully placed on top. The scenario can be played out as you wish.