## The Opening Gambit

It is quite normal when getting a pack of cards to count them to see if all the cards are there. It is during this procedure that you can set-up a good hand of poker for yourself. First of all decide on a combination of cards that you will always intend to "hold back for yourself. Also the number of hands you will deal. Let's suppose they are the Aces and Kings and 7 hands. Hold the deck face up and start to count the cards, still face up, to the table in the normal manner, To yourself count 1-2 etc., up to 7.

In between, if you should come across a King or an Ace, you hold it back until the count of 7 is reached when you deal the needed card onto the tabled cards. The count is thus continued each time holding back an Ace or a King until it is ready to be dealt into the 7th position. After the counting of the cards you will have, a large percentage of the time, a full house' ready to deal out. Of course, it is preceded by a false shuffle and cut.

not seen. If any one is watching the count at all their eyes will be drawn to the cards on the table. The count can be either rapid or slow but the most important point is that there should be no hesitation at any point during the count. Once it is started it has to run to conclusion in a smooth rhythmic manner. The needed cards are spotted, by their index, at the upper left corner. This is possible with almost any type of Second Deal; however, should you be using a deal that hides this corner then switch to spotting the cards at the lower right corner. This will make it a lot more difficult as you don't get a "pre-tip", of the up-coming card, which is most important when using seconds with a marked deck.

In magic one of the worst possible uses for a Second Deal is any effect wherein the selected card is on top and then controlled from there to a named number, spell position or as a Stop effect. The best possible use for a Second Deal is one where the selected card is at a certain number from the top so that the first cards come off very fairly and only two or three Second Deals are necessary to arrive at a satisfactory conclusion. Here are a few examples:

A. You have the selection 7th from the top. You are depending on a psychological stop effect. The top cards are dealt off slowly and very fairly. In accordance with the procedure the chances are you will not have to deal any seconds but it's there as insurance for those extra two or three deals. One more thing, do not speed up when you do go into the Second Deal. Keep the tempo the same.

B. As an exchange in the classic Card To Pocket effect. You know, the one where spectator looks at a card at a certain number. You later ask for the number because you want others to note the card also. Naturally all cards come off fairly except for the one at that number.

C. As a means of spelling out an unknown card to arrive at the letter S. You would control the selection to 10th from the top. The lowest combinations of 10 are the Ace-2-6-10 of Clubs so a Second Deal is not required. The highest spell combinations are the 3-7-8-Q of Diamonds which use 15 letters. This means five second deals but only after you have first established the fairness of the deal with the preceding 9 cards.

Actually in most such count down or spell effects the Bottom deal is far superior but for some strange reason magicians insist on getting the card to the top then asking for a number. This may be 15-20-30 etc. and entails as many seconds, whereas if the card is at the bottom only one such deal is required, at the exact number.

Some Second Dealing restrict the choice of a number from one to ten. This is a waste of Second Dealing as its just possible the spectator may call some number around 7. Of course, the big argument for Second Dealing is that the top card can be taken off fairly at that number, but what good is it if they spot that you've not been taking the top card all along.

The most intelligent use of Second Dealing is that in connection with marked cards. In a 5 handed game you may not have to deal more than two or three seconds per round and on some rounds, if you are lucky, none at all. With a mixture of tops and seconds it is fairly impossible to tell when the Second Deal comes in; however, with a magician dealing sixteen or twenty consecutive seconds to place a selected card it becomes fairly obvious.

The worst compliment you can possibly get, after doing an apparent magical Stop" or "And dumber" effect, is for someone to say, "That's a beautiful

Second Deal." The most sadistic pleasure you can derive is to get the same compliment after merely going through the actions of Second Dealing in the same type of effect.

You are starting to get the idea when the magician asks "Was that a Second Deal?" The question obviously implies that he is not sure. Please don't try to prove it.

You are really arriving when you can use a Second Deal in a Stop effect and they think you were psychologically lucky. Avoid at all costs a reputation for doing any particular sleight especially False Deals. Remember that a reputation for doing effects does not tip off the sleights you may be using or their technique.

Avoid like the plague the fellow who asks you to do any of your false deals. The chances are he has already made up his mind to nail you on some small point in the deal. If you must do it then do it only once and no more. If you go along and repeat and repeat the deal he will start to become analytical and critical to the point where he may unnerve you so that you won't even be able to deal the top card. If he is a better bluffer than you are, the chances are hell convince you that what you have been doing for years isn't as good as what he has been doing for only a few weeks.

For some strange reason the quickest way to get a reputation as a great card expert is the ability to do a Second Deal or Bottom Deal even though these may be the only thing you do. You only have to look at the magical journals to see how low the magicians bow to the so called retired card-cheats. If you add a Center Deal to your other two accomplishments, pose as a man who makes his living cheating at the game. You are practically assured not only of a large reputation but other magis will even look up to you and revel in the pleasure of your company. As such a person you will be in an authoritative position to tell a mere magician or honest card man that he knows nothing about False Dealing even though actually he may be doing a better job of it than you. Remember the theory our own experts have passed on to us; that no honest card man can do False Deals like a card cheat.

If you intend using the False Deals honestly you will have to be a lot better at doing them than a card cheat. This may sound illogical but it really isn't. As a card man doing card effects you naturally invite attention to your hands. A card cheat depends on being above suspicion and not being watched. Also you will be called sooner on any False Deals in an effect than a card cheat will in a card game.

Assume you are doing a Stop effect and are using a Second Deal. If the Second Deal is spotted or tipped off in some way the person watching, especially if he is another magi, will very quickly say one of two things, "You didn't fool me - you dealt seconds", or, a less embarrassing remark, "That is a pretty I good second deal." On the other hand, and I have seen this happen, the same magi seeing a card cheat do a false deal willsay nothing at the time, but secretly perhaps hope to get together with the man after the game, for an exchange of confidences.

A lot of assumption enters into any False Deal and especially when it comes to Second Dealing. There are many times when you know the other card man can't possibly see you take the second card yet he seems to know. I say seems because it is really mostly an assumption on his part and this he arrives at because he has been exposed to the technique of the deal. Now, any time you indulge in this associated

CONCLUDING OBSERVATIONS

technique he will assume a false deal.

Over a period of many years I have tested this assumption in various ways. One method was to have a card selected, controlled to the top, then ask for a number. Suppose 'Ten" was called. I would go through the usual associated motions of the Second Deal and after dealing ten cards would stop and ask for the selection to be named.

When it was named I merely turned over the whole packet on the table to show the selection on the bottom. It always got a laugh. Why? Because the card man assumed a Second Deal was being done. Remember, he did not see the second deal performed but to him the assumption that you were doing it was enough.

To conclusively prove this assumption I tried the above count down effect, on I other occasions, in a different way. The procedure was similar and it got the same laugh because card men thought a second deal was used. But here is what they did not know. The first card, the selection, was actually dealt onto the table but from then on the second deal was actually used yet the assumption was that the whole deal was faked.

Still another test was to place the selection at a psychologically favorable position in the pack. Using the popular and accepted technique or second dealing, even though the call of "Stop" was psychologically perfect, the assumption was still that the outcome was arrived at by the Second Deal; however, by resorting to the No Swing-Take [Technique, a better method, I actually dealt seconds, yet the end result was believed to be psychological.

Assumption works against the magi a lot more than it does against a card cheat. In a game of cards you will think twice about "calling" a man you may suspect of second dealing. A lot more enters into it, such as how is his Second Dealing. If he is False Dealing, is it giving him an advantage? Are the cards marked? How are they marked? Is he peeking or glimpsing? Is he winning or is someone else? Is he alone? Is he the stranger in the game or are you? Keep in mind that it is not always the card cheat who gets his - he does have an honest reputation to uphold.

There are times when two card men get together and one of them does a Second Deal for the other. Even though they are seated across from one another and the onlooker can not possibly see the back of the deck, because the dealer has taken precaution to "kill the deck" yet the spectator will unerringly call when the dealer is taking a top card and when he is taking a second.

This is actually the fault of the dealer. Not so much because of possible changes during the top or second deal but because he has made the mistake of letting his manner of dealing become over-analyzed through repetition of the deal before the same party. If this is a very close friend not too much harm is done and a lot of value can be accomplished through such an association; however, to permit yourself to be so analyzed by a mere acquaintance is a mistake.

Never be afraid of using any False Deals the first time on any occasion in which there is not the slightest reference to such deals. Always avoid use of such deals if the conversation is about such things.

In any deals you do the first instinctive point that any card man will watch, expert or otherwise, will be the point of contact. That is where the right fingers go to presumably take the card. If you are asked to "Do it again" the watcher will now switch to some other point in an effort to analyze the deal and find its weaknesses. Beware of the card man who out-right asks to see your second, bottom, center or any sleight. The chances are he already has a preconceived notion as to what to look for and is ready to pounce on you.

My advice is to try to avoid doing it and if your ego won t let you, then do it once only. If you are asked to repeat, this time fake it. If he says "Once more," tell him you refuse to prove yourself.

Another alternative is to look him in the eye and say, "You do the deal and I'll be the critic."

When an expert says he knows a dozen or so methods of Second Dealing or bottom dealing or Center Dealing what he really means is he knows several different techniques. Remember that there are only two basic principles in all these deals regardless of technique. These two principles are the striking or pulling out of a card or the pushing or loosening of a card or cards. This is true of all false deals. There may be a question as to which of the two principles is the better - the Strike or Push-Off. They each have their advantages but the overall picture shows the Push-Off principles as having greater possibilities.

There are those who will always use False Deals as a means of getting a reputation quickly. They are always anxious to show their skills in these deals. For these persons I have the following bits of advice.

When doing an exhibition of dealing wherein the obvious solution will be a Second Deal, then by all means use all the other obvious mannerisms that go with it, such as the swing of both hands, peculiar grip, undue speed. In this way any magician watching will assume this is the way you deal seconds, bottoms, etc., so that later, in doing a magical effect, you can switch to the other technique and catch him completely off guard.

If you are looking for compliments on your false dealing, very seldom should you expect it from another who also does False Deals unless both of you are big enough to admit each other's skill. It is amusing to see two such persons demonstrating their technique for one another and each thinking he does it better.

Don't expect any praise from the so-called retired card cheat - only criticism. Not constructive either, but designed to make you feel incompetent. Also if you see someone who actually does do a certain false deal better than you - but you can't admit it to yourself - you will never learn and improve. Don't bury your head in the sand, instead try to find out why he does it better.

If these observations at times seemed repetitious it was done with a purpose. If the reader had missed a point in one place he was sure to come across it in another. Hoping these chapters have been a Good Deal for you, I remain, yours, Edward Mario

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