# The Overhand Shuffle

THIS is the term applied to the ordinary shuffle in which the cards are passed singly or in small packets from the right hand to the left, the cards being drawn off by the left thumb. It affords a means of keeping a card or several cards completely under control without arousing the least suspicion on the part of the onlookers. In the following exercises turn the top card face up so that you can follow the processes easily.

A. Take the pack face down in the left hand, holding it at an angle of about 45 degrees towards the right. Lift the pack with the right hand retaining the top card in the left by a slight pressure of the left thumb. Shuffle off all the cards on top of this one. Lift the whole pack with the right hand and shuffle off all the cards into the left to the last card, dropping this on the top. Thus with two perfectly fair shuffles you have the top card back in its original position.

B. With the pack in the left hand lift it with the right but this time press lightly on the bottom card with the left fingers, retaining it and at the same time draw off the top card with the thumb as before. The top cards thus falls on the bottom card in the left hand while the right hand holds all the rest of the pack. Shuffle these cards freely on top of the two in the left hand. The card you are controlling is now second from the bottom and you can turn the pack over and show the bottom is an indifferent one; then turning the cards face down lift off and show several cards from the top, also indifferent cards. Shuffle again, this time retaining the bottom card and lifting all the others with the right hand. The special card will now be the last card of this portion and you have simply to shuffle freely until it alone remains in your hand and you drop it on the top of the pack.

C. To retain a card at the bottom of the pack you will have already noted that it is merely necessary to retain it in your left hand by pressing on it with the left fingers.

D. It is very often necessary to place a definite number of cards on top of another card. This is done by what is termed 'running', and means simply drawing cards off the top of the pack one by one with the left thumb in the course of a shuffle. If the cards are in good condition, and I take it for granted that only such cards will be used by you, a

few minutes' practice will enable you to run off any number of cards in this manner with the greatest of ease.

E. To make the best use of the overhand shuffle, it must be combined with a very simple move, so simple that I evolved it from my own inner consciousness as a schoolboy only to find in later years that it had been used by gamblers as far back as records go. It is called the jog, that is, a card pulled back a little over the inner end of the pack so that it becomes a marker indicating its own position or that of the card or cards immediately below it. To apply the idea take a few cards, say the four A's and put them on top of the pack. Hold the pack in the left hand ready for shuffling and lift the rear half with the right hand. In making the first movement of taking the cards off with the left thumb, move the right hand about half an inch inwards towards the body and draw off one card only, then move the right hand forward again and continue the shuffle as usual. At the end of the movement one card will protrude from the pack at the inner end marking the location of the four A's. To bring them back to the top seize all the cards below the protruding card, lift them and drop them on the top just as if you were making a simple cut. You have the four A's back on the top.

Any number of cards, up to about half the pack can be retained undisturbed by this simple expedient. After the first card has been jogged make the shuffle so that the cards fall irregularly and the projection of the jogged card from the rear end of the pack cannot be noticed. I cannot advise the reader too strongly to use this expedient until it becomes second nature. The whole action can be done without looking at the hands and while carrying on an animated conversation with your audience.