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Progressive Aces

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Progressive Aces (also known as Succession Aces) is an Ace Assembly plot usually credited to Ken Krenzel in which the first ace joins the second, then those two join the third and finally they all arrive in the last packet in sequence.

Roger Smith was the first to publish a version in his magazine The Necromancer, Vol. 1, no. 1, (August 1970), page 6.

Ken Krenzel first presented the problem in Epilogue no 16, November 1972, page 146 then published one of his methods in a one-man issue of Epilogue (Special Issue no 2, page 253, 1975, Progressive Aces). Karl Fulves discussed the time frame in which Krenzel created the plot which he was showing to cardmen in New York in the early 1960s.

According to Jon Racherbaumer in When a Hat Drops (2002), Dai Vernon apparently worked out a method around 1955 and shared it with Bill Simon, who passed it on to Ed Marlo. Marlo played around with the theme but didn't publish a method until the first Marlo's Magazine (1976)


  • Roy Walton's version in Necromancer, Vol. 1, No. 6 (Jan. 1971).
  • Catalytic Progressive Aces by Wesley James in Enchantments (2004) (uses an extra "catalyst" card as part of the routine)
  • Diminishing Returns by Phil Goldstein in December, 1981 New Tops and again in Focus (1990). (Uses Jokers instead of Aces and includes a "Reverse Assembly" kicker)
  • Stranger Sucession Aces in When a Hat Drops (E-book 2002) (Has the extra challenge in the Aces having a different color back from the rest of the indifferent cards)