The Shuffle Shift

Figure 81

Figure 82

5. The left 1st finger now moves to the outer left corner of the lower packet. With the tip of the left 1st finger pull downwards on the outer left corner, as in Figure 83, to thus easily disengage the lower packet from the Aces.

Because of the top block this action looks more like an undercut of the deck in preparation for an Overhand

Shuffle. Note that the left 4th finger is at the opposite end of this packet and the finger positions are quite similar to those used for the Erdnase Overhand Shuffle.

6. Once this lower packet is clear of the Aces the right hand taps the lower side of its packet on the top side of the cards in the left hand. This is seen in Figure 84. It is an important stall to make them forget about the discrepancy in the initial undercut for the shuffle.

Figure 84

Once the two halves are neatly squared, the right hand shuffles off the cards onto the ones in the left hand being sure to run the Aces to the top. If the Aces are needed at the bottom just injog the right hand packet before you come to the Aces. Now undercut to the injogged packet and either throw all cards onto the small Ace packet or Shuffle off onto the small Ace packet.

7. Now Remember, the Aces and top block are angled simultaneously. The position of the right and left hand around the deck will hide this slight angling. The Figure 82 has been purposely exposed to show the corners of the angled cards but in actual performance it will be obscured by finger positions.

If you start this Shuffle Shift with the deck face up you will find that the deck will go into the required face down position much more rapidly and with less movement. Note that the shuffle

itself is a neat one in that the Strip Out has been done before the actual shuffle and not during the shuffle.

Shuffle Shift and Palm Off

This one I worked out in 1946 while trying to decipher the Buckley Overhand Shuffle and Shift from his book, Card Control While basically I use the same idea of the Buckley Shift (See page 64, Card Control) the underlying technique is different plus the fact that I have added the Palm Off of the Aces which is practically a part of this particular shift. Also I have added an idea in what I term the Delay Strip Grip. This Delay Strip Grip will be found of use in other forms of control.

1. Hold the deck face down and insert the four Aces into different parts of the deck. Now push the Aces into the angled position shown in A of Figure 48. At this point the left 1st and 4th fingers straddle the angled Aces as in Figure 85. This, of course, is covered by the right hand from above.

Figure 85

Now, the right thumb, at the back end, brushes against the top block of cards causing them to slide over, rather loosely, to cover the angled Aces. The left thumb is placed against the upper left corner to cover any slightjogs.

The left hand is now tilted downwards, to the right, as well as forwards. The right hand can now be removed as the left hand alone holds the cards as in Figure 86. This is the Delay Strip Grip.

2. After a sufficient length of time has elapsed, to give the impression that you have no control of any kind over the Aces, the right hand comes back over the deck. The right thumb at the back and the 2nd finger at the front now push the top block back in line with the major portion of the deck.

Figure 86

The result will again be as in Figure 85 but covered by the right hand, the 1st finger curled on top, the other three fingers at the front and thumb at back, The right thumb should be at the extreme inner left corner and 2nd fin-

fer at the extreme outer left corner. he grip on the deck is mostly between right thumb and 2nd finger during the next moves.

3. The right hand, holding firmly onto the deck, moves it slightly forward as the left fingers, which straddle the Aces, maintain a firm grip. This forward action results in the condition shown in Figure 87. Here the right hand has brought the deck forward while leaving the Aces behind in the


left finger and thumb. The right hand is omitted here but normally covers the left hand from above.

4. The pack is now tilted on its side, in the conventional manner, for the Overhand Shuffle. However, while the right hand lifts up all the cards it holds at the left side, the left fingers retain their straddle grip on the right. This results in the Aces being retained in the left hand, as in Figure 88, where you will note that the left 4th finger has moved onto the face of the Aces.

Figure 88

Figure 88

5. Without hesitation, the cards from the right hand are shuffled onto the Aces but the left 4th finger is still kept on the Aces thus keeping them separate from the balance of the deck. After the Shuffle, the right hand comes over in a normal fashion to square the deck. It is during this time, when the deck is still on its side, that the left 4th finger moves outwards to force the Aces up against the right palm as in Figure 89.

6. The right hand retains the Aces in the palm as the deck is pivoted, backs up, into the left hand and a squaring action made as in Figure 90. The deck can now be placed off to one side and the palmed Aces reproduced later in accordance with your particular routine.

Figure 89

Figure 90

The Faro Shuffle Shift

Probably of all Shuffle Shifts the use of the Faro Shuffle is the most convincing. I have already described procedures of this type both in the Spade book as well as in the Chapter called Faro Notes. There is, however, a bit of business here that will make this particular method much better. This eliminates the cutting of the last ace into the deck as in the original method of the Spade book.

First cut to any Ace so it is the top card of the deck. Now, in removing the Aces note the 13th card from the face of the deck. Then note every 12th card after this. Actually you need remember only three such cards. Assume these are the 4C-7D-QS.

2. Hold the deck face up in the left hand and with the left thumb riffle the upper left corner of the cards till you

Figure 89

spot the first Key card, which in this case is the 4C. At this point insert one of the Aces in front of the 4C. Continue the left thumb riffle to the second Key Card which is the 7D and again insert an Ace in front of this Key. Riffle, with the left thumb, to the 3rd Key card, the QS, inserting the third Ace in front of it. This procedure places the three Aces at the positions 13-26-39 from the face of the deck.

Now, the left thumb riffles the cards to open a break as if to insert the 4th Ace into it; however, the right fingers actually insert the last Ace directly above or below the third Ace. As all Aces are still projecting, this last part is easy. Immediately square up the deck by openly pushing the four Aces flush with the deck.

3. At this point many will make the mistake of immediately going into the Faro Shuffle. Instead, merely place the pack aside for the time being. After an interval, in accordance with the routine you may be doing, pick up the deck and split the pack at 26 or half. This is easy as an Ace is at 27th position from the top so all you do is cut above this Ace, taking the upper half into the right hand for the Faro.

Perform an Faro after which one Ace, the one from the 27th position, will be on top of the deck. The other three Aces will be together in the center of the deck at the 26-27-28th positions from the top.

4. Here you have two choices. Cut above the three central Aces and do another In-Shuffle Faro which will cause the three Aces to go on top of the single Ace thus getting all four Aces to the top of the pack.

The other procedure is to do a regular Riffle Shuffle, table type or in the hands, making sure that the single Ace from the right hand section falls onto the three Aces in the left hand section. If you prefer you can make the three Aces fall onto the single Ace and this may be preferable as it does seem to lose the top card.

At least three card men I know of have independently thought of the subtlety of inserting two aces together while seeming to place them into deck separately. These three are Art Altman, Neal Elias and Del Ray; however, in each case it was applied to the Multiple Shift with the purpose of making the eventual control of the cards easier. In my case I have used it in connection with the Faro Shuffle.

Here is a thought you may like to experiment with which I call the Estimation Faro. The idea is that you try to get the first three Aces inserted at 13 cards apart, placing the last one together with the third one. Then cut above the central Ace and do a Faro In Shuffle to get this Ace to top. Now three Aces will lie somewhere in the center, but not necessarily together. Anyway, cut above the last or third Ace in the center. Do another Faro, using your judgement so as to be sure that at least two Aces come to the top.

Now if you have been pretty accurate in your estimation, all four Aces will be on top and if not, the other two are not far away, with not too many cards between them. From here the situation is complex as it will depend on your personal procedure for getting all Aces together. I have just tried the idea myself and have wound up with three Aces on top, then 3X cards intervene before the last Ace. Anyone having my Riffle Shuffle Systems will see no problem as to how to get them all together.

Note: The Technical Variation of the Single Side Cut Shift can also be done using an Overhand Shuffle. Here is an example for controlling the Aces to either top or bottom. After getting the


cards into the position of Figure 55, instead of using the Thumb Hook, swing the deck downwards, with the left hand, as the right hand holds onto the pack. The left 1st finger can now pull down on the outer left corner, of the lower half, in an action similar to Figure 83. From here you go into an Overhand Shuffle, after first tapping the halves as per Figure 84.

If you use the procedure of the Single Side Cut Shift, that will get the cards into the position shown in Figure 57, then the action of Figure 83 will look like a regular Undercut of the deck as in this case the left 1st finger will actually pull the top block. As the Aces will be the first cards in the run, it will be necessary to keep track of them using an in-jog, above the Aces, during the shuffle.

Personalized Multiple Shifts

Here I will describe the Multiple Shifts of Carmen D'Amico, Robert Veeser and Tom Wright. Each is just different enough in handling from the accepted that I feel they warrant being recorded.

D'Amico's Multiple Shift

In 1946, when I showed Carmen D'Amico my Simple Shift, he devised this particular technique for his own purposes. It is fast and casual in its handling and typical of D'Amico's style.

1. Insert the four Aces so they project about an inch from the deck. The left forefinger is at the front of the Aces, left

thumb at the left side and 2nd, 3rd and 4th fingers on the right side of the cards. Figure 91 shows the situation, the left thumb having moved across the top of the deck presses very lightly.

2. Now, holding the position of Figure 91, the left hand is tilted forward causing the top block of cards to slide over onto the Aces as in Figure 92.

Figure 92

3. Immediately the right fingers grasp the inner ends of the deck, thumb on one side, 2nd and 3rd fingers on the right side with the 1st finger curled on top. The left thumb meantime has moved over to the left side again in order to press against the top block and jogged Aces. The left 2nd finger presses against the Aces and top block from the right side. The left first finger remains in front of the deck.

The Strip Out action is shown in Figure 93, and brings the Aces to the bottom of the deck. If it is needed to get the Aces to the top, then start with the pack face up.

Veeser's Bluff Multiple Shift

This particular Shift of Robert Veeser's may at first glance appear to be too bold, but it has taken in many card men and will without a doubt leave no clue to a layman.

1. Show the four Aces and place them on top of the deck which is face down in the left hand. As the Aces are placed on top, get a break, with the left 4th finger-tip, beneath them.

2. Apparently you now take the top Ace and insert it into the deck. In reality, however, you take the whole block of four Aces as a single card. This is placed into the deck but left projecting in the usual manner.

3. The other three supposed Aces, really three X cards, are now placed above the block of Aces. Thus you have four Aces apparently in different parts of deck.

4. Lift the left hand up so as to display the cards as in Figure 94 where the front Ace is seen. Still keeping the pack facing front the right hand pushes the projecting cards into deck doing this at a slight diagonal so that the left 4th finger can get a break on the block of Aces. If the break is below the Aces, then a later cut will bring them to bottom. If it is above the block of Aces, then a cut brings them to top.

Second Variation

1. In this case you must begin with three X cards above the Aces. You can do this as you apparently locate the Aces in order to bring them to the top. Spread the top seven cards, getting a left 4th finger break. Turn over the block of seven and at the same time maintain the break below the now face up cards.

2. Thumb over the face three Aces thus displaying four, re-square and turn the block face down again, keeping the left 4th finger break. Take the top card and insert it face down into the deck. The next two cards are inserted below the first projecting card. On the 4th card you take the block of Aces, as one card, to insert them below the other three, Now lift the left hand to display the I cards as already shown in Figure 94, I From here the conclusion is as already explained in the 1st Method.

In experimenting with the Veeser Bluff Multiple Shift,T have found that it is best to handle the block of Aces by lifting them, with the right forefinger and thumb, by the upper left corner. In this way the block thickness is concealed by the extended finger across the front edge. Also, after inserting the block, I the right hand remains in front of the 1 block as the right thumb moves back, to the upper left corner of the top card, in order to slide the next card off the deck and towards the right 1st finger. Thus the top card is again taken at its I upper left corner.

As the right hand goes to insert this second card you will note that it automatically is in front of the deck thus effectively still hiding the block. The 2nd card having been inserted, the right thumb immediately pulls over the next top card, in the manner described, to insert this card into the deck.


Continue until all four cards are thus treated but as the 4th card is put into the deck and before the right hand moves away, the pack is lifted up as in Figure 94. Some may prefer a Third Variation which is simply to place the block of Aces flush into deck while getting a break either above or below it, depending on whether you want the Aces on top or bottom. The other three supposed Aces are also placed flush into the deck as each time you very openly square up.

Tom Wright's Multiple Shift

If any magician ever visits Clara County, Eire, he would have no trouble locating Tom Wright as he is Clara County's most proficient sleight of hand man especially when it comes to the pasteboards. Here is Wright's handling of the Shift, described in his own literary style.

1. With Aces on top of the deck hold same face down and a little forward in the left hand. Right hand inserts the Aces so that about a quarter of the deck precedes the first Ace from face to back.

2. With the right hand grasp the upper right corner of the Aces, and as the left hand turns back outwards, to display them, lift up on the Aces thus enabling the left pinky to get a break below the Ace nearest the face of the deck.

3. Right hand comes over to push them flush, with the fingers on top of the Aces and thumb on the lower end of the pack. When they are almost flush the left hand moves all cards below the break upwards to align this portion with the Aces.

4. The downward movement of the Aces and the upward movement of the portion below the break must be synchronized, otherwise the illusion of having pushed in the Aces is lost. Now the right fingers and thumb lightly run over the ends of the pack as if squaring it up. Turn the left hand palm downwards. The right hand, which has been with the pack all along, hides its true condition.

5. Run the right fingers and thumb over the sides, of the now face up pack, in a squaring motion. Holding onto the Aces and the one quarter face up portion of the cards, pull out the half below with the left hand. Place this half on top of the face up portion in the right hand thus simulating a cut.

Tom Wright points out that this is a full front type of Shift and that the initial break on the bottom cards enables you to do the Shift without any great difficulty.

Mario's Subtle Shift

Basically, the idea of this is that while you give the impression that the Aces are placed into different parts of the deck, actually, they all go into the same spot. I will describe my favorite procedure and then give other alternatives.

1. The four Aces are face down on the table and the deck is in the left hand face down in the usual position. Right hand picks up the first Ace, shows its face and then inserts it into the center of the deck. The left thumb, on the side of the deck, in this case should lightly riffle the upper left corner of the deck to create the opening into which the Ace is placed.

2. The Ace is pushed in and then the All Around Square Up is done to end with the Ace in-jogged. Now if you run your left thumb down the upper left corner of the deck you will note that the in-jogged card acts as a sort of short card at this upper corner. This then is what you make use of.

3. While the right hand picks up one of the tabled Aces and shows it, the left hand very quietly riffles down to the in-jogged short card to form an opening into which this second Ace is placed. The Ace is pushed flush with the deck and the right 2nd finger is run lightly across the front end of deck in a frontal squaring action. As the in-jogged card is still in position, you can do another All Around Square Up but that is a matter of choice.

4. Continue in the same manner, as above, for the next two Aces. You will find that all the three Aces will automatically be placed below the in-jogged short card. After the last Ace is thus apparently lost you can again do the All Around Square Up ending with the injogged card angled at the lower right corner. From here the left 4th finger pulls down on the angle-iogged Ace, then a single cut gets all four Aces to the top.


Instead of the in-jogged card you can, of course, use a short card or any other kind of key card that you can locate by touch. Any form of crimped card can also be used such as a corner crimp or a bellied crimp. In this case the left thumb would not riffle the corner but rather Lift up, very slightly, the left side of the deck thus enabling the Aces to be inserted either above or below a crimp. If the Aces go below a crimp, then a cut would get them to the top whereas if they go above the crimp, then they are brought to the bottom.

The use of my Estimation Placement can be very effective. All it amounts to is the left thumb breaks the deck at approximately the same place each time and the Aces are inserted into that spot. If you are accurate you may get four Aces together but even if you do not, the chances are at least some will be together and the others not very far off.

Such a procedure can be very useful, especially with a very sharp card man. By thumbing the sides of the deck, in order to spot the topmost Ace, you can cut this Ace to the top and rest assured the other three are close by. Again may I suggest that those who have Riffle Shuffle Systems will have no problem getting the Aces together at the top.

The Most Flexible Shift

Of all the Multiple Shifts I have devised and experimented with, the one I still prize most highly is one that I first worked out in 1946 and only many years later published in The Cardician under the title of The Simple Shift, When I point out to you all its flexible and practical applications you will realize my reluctance to release it for so many years. First I will describe the Simple Shift as it appeared in The Cardidan with some minor corrections from the original text.

The Simple Shift

1. Hold the deck face up in the left hand. Aces face up on the table.

2. Pick up an Ace with the right hand while the left thumb riffles the pack at its upper index corner and stops at about ten to twelve cards from the top, Keep this break open to insert the first Ace here. As you insert the Ace, note the card below it. This is your key card to be used later.

3. The remaining three Aces are now placed above the first Ace but are spaced in a manner as to leave about ten or twelve cards undisturbed at the face of the deck. In other words, the Aces are distributed through the center portion of about thirty cards. The Aces are inserted up to their indexes as in Figure 95. The only visible portion of the Ace should be its "A" but not its suit. This you do upon the first insertion of the card. Do not place them in halfway and then adjust to this posi

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