Topsyturvy Staystack

(A Problem)

Mr. Elmsley became intrigued by a suggestion in The Cardiste that tricks might be generated using a double-decked stay-stack arrangement. That is, two decks with contrasting backs—one running in reverse order to the other—are woven together. He wrote to Rusduck with the following idea.

If you wish to begin with two fresh packs of cards, still in factory order, and you do not want to reverse one before meshing the packs together, try this instead:

Set one pack onto the other and cut them several times. Conclude the cutting with roughly half of one pack above the other and the other half below. Since the decks have contrasting backs, this is not difficult to ascertain.

Now split the double pack at center: fifty-two and fifty-two. Turn one of these halves face-up and faro shuffle it into the face-down half. Give the double pack several more perfect shuffles and you will have a set of cards that looks thoroughly mixed in more ways than one. What is interesting is that the deck is in stay-stack order. That is, the top card and the bottom card are duplicates. However, they have contrasting backs and one will be face-up and the other facedown. The same conditions hold for the car ds second from the top and bottom, and so on.

Mr. Elmsley's last comment to Rusduck on the subject was "Don't ask me what tricks you can use this for." Perhaps this amounts to no more than an inside joke. Yet, the structure of this double pack is fascinating and seems to hold promise for tricks of some sort. Perhaps its mention here will stimulate fresh thinking on the subject.

February 1958

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