The Reverse Or Backward Faro

Many years ago I discussed with Martin Gardner the possibilities of what I chose to call the Backward or Reverse Faro. This was the usual process of taking a packet of cards and jogging one inwards, one outwards, one inwards, one outwards etc., until the whole packet was thus run through. The result was that some cards were injogged and some were outjogged. The injogged cards are then stripped out and placed on top of the others.

In my experiments, I found that using the Backward Faro, a small packet of cards from A to K, top down, could be brought back to A K order after 6 such Faros, except, the cards were then in reverse order. In other words, the cards running from A to K now would run from K to A if the top card, the Ace, was transferred from top to bottom after the sixth Backward Faro. On the other hand, it takes twelve Backward Faros to bring the packet back to its original order of A to K.

Adding another 13 cards to make up a packet of 26 cards, each set in numerical order, we found that in order to get these cards back in order, it requires an impractical number of Backward Faros. It seems that with the addition of extra cards, the number of Backward Faros needed to get cards back in original order increases but eventually they do come out in order.

One interesting thing about the 26 card packet is that the cards will be back in sequence but in reverse, both in suit and value while an Ace will remain on top and a King on the bottom. Transferring these two cards will have both suits in rotation A to K, bottom to top.

By starting the Backward Faro with the top card jogged outward, then the second card inwards, and continuing to the 26 cards, and then stripping out the injogged cards and placing them onto the outjogged cards, thus losing original top and bottom cards, the packet is brought to perfect order, but in reverse to the original, after nine Backward Faros. However, this procee-dure alters nothing for the 13 card packet except the K has to be transferred from bottom to top instead of the Ace from top to bottom. As mentioned before, it seems fewer cards take fewer Backward Faros, while more take more. As an example, 20 cards, each ten in sequence, will come back to original exact order after only 6 Backward Faros.

We're sure there is much here for the serious card student to uncover and apply. For the present, let us give one practical application for the Backward Faro.

When using a stacked deck, if one wanted to set it, so that one or two Faro Shuffles could be made and thus recover the set-up, the usual procee-dure would be to previously give it six or seven Faro Shuffles beforehand. The final shuffles during performance would then give the required order of cards.

Using the Backward Faro eliminates the necessity of doing six or seven Faros beforehand. Merely have your deck setup as required. Next, do a Backward Faro, starting by injoggingthe top card and continuing throughout the deck. Strip out lower portion and place on top.

Now, during performance, a regular Faro Shuffle will bring the cards back in order. If you want to do two Faros, then do two previous Backward Faros, etc. The best example of utilizing the Reverse Faro is when it is used to set up a combination of shuffles such as:

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