At the very beginning of this chapter mention was made of practice at a bridge table. However, when actually using seconds, centers, or bottoms avoid the bridge table or any table that is so low as to enable the spectator across from you to look down directly on top of the deck. There are a few exceptions where the low height of a table is to your advantage such as in One Hand Stud Seconds or One Hand Bottom Deals of the same type.
Using the standard Mechanic's Grip you can do practically all the things that can be done with the Master Grip except you will experience more difficulty in doing the Bottom Deal, either strike or push out, the Bottom Deal Count, Double Deal or the One Hand Bottom Deal. This, more than anything else, should impress you with how important the Grip is for certain sleights.
As you use the various Grips you will note how each new position places the thumb and fingers at a different angle in relation to the deck.. Note that the Master Grip places the thumb nearer the upper right corner for all the deals whereas the Mechanic's Grip places the thumb further away from this corner.
The best way to test the efficiency of your Second Deal is through the use of marked cards. These can be the edge marks, punch, daub shade, sand, block out, etc. but the whole pack is not marked but rather a combination of desired cards is thus treated. This way a needed card is very quickly spotted thus the dealing action can be normal and not slow and studied which would be the case if the whole pack, for every card, was marked. For this reason the commercial magical marked cards are unsuitable for this purpose.
In the event you do not wish to use any marked cards yet still wish to test your Second Dealing then the following idea will serve your purpose. I call it —
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