The first finger creates the illusion that it is the top that moves to the right. This move is a tabled version of Mel Stovers "Winnipeg Cut." (See Garcias Million Dollar Card Secrets, 1972, page 93. Others may argue that another designation is more historically accurate. Argument, for example, could be made for calling it the "Marnase False Cut;" see Kabbala, Vol. 1, No. 4, December 1971, page 32.) Using the Tabled Winnipeg Cut, you can split the bottom to the right and finish without a cut, while still apparently burying what viewers believe to be the top of the deck.
The action of my Zarrow differs in many ways from other published handlings.
There are five essential points, however, that most distinguish it from others:
(1)The unmesh is accomplished by the differing arcs produced by the different thumb positions on the two packets. This cannot be perceived by a viewer, because the arcs are too similar to be distinguishable and because the thumbs are largely hidden by the packets.
(2) The right thumb is used as a shelf, which prevents the right-side cards, when they unmesh, from dropping. When the right thumb is properly positioned, the unmeshed cards move up, toward the top card of the right-side stock. This completely eliminates the need for lifting the right packet, if ever there was one.
(3) The left second fingertip, at the front, being used to stop the entry of the right-side cards, simulates the binding that would occur in a legitimate shuffle. The lack of bind is, generally, after the lifting of the right-side packet, the most serious and common tip-off that a Zarrow Shuffle is being performed. If the hands properly screen the front edges of the deck, it is impossible for a viewer to determine the reason for the bind. They are inclined to conclude that the cards are binding against each other.
(4) The telescoping action (I sometimes substitute a jiggling action), produced by straightening the fingers, perpetuates the binding illusion. Magicians have for year used this telescoping in Push-Through and Strip-Out type Shuffles, and it occurs naturally in genuine shuffles. I am, I believe, the first to apply it to the Zarrow.
In so doing I have made it possible for all False Shuffles and genuine shuffles to appear identical when properly executed.
(5) The fourth-finger kick, when combined with the two slight leftward movements of the deck—one before the unmesh and the second after the simulated bind—produce "packet shatter." This break-up of the packets allows the hands to leave the front of the deck to square the cards at the completion of the Shuffle, revealing that the deck appears to have been shuffled. To the viewer, looking at the condition of the deck, it should truly look as though the packets were interweaved. No other Zarrow technique has considered this issue.
If your efforts to apply my techniques fail to shatter the packets, it is probably the result of too firm a grip. As this failure is the third biggest tip-off of a Zarrow, it is worthy of attention and practice. Properly shattering the packets makes the deck condition visually indistinguishable from that of a genuinely shuffled deck.
I suggest you try incorporating these changes into your Zarrow Shuffle. You will find it takes a while to get comfortable with them; but once they become second nature the Shuffle is amazingly deceptive and no more difficult than inferior techniques. I have viewed hours of video tape of a mixture of my genuine and Zarrow Shuffles and I can't distinguish one from the other. That's as tough a test as you will find; try it.
I have included three effects in these pages that utilize the Zarrow to varying degrees ("Fair Risk," page 223, "Sympathetic Blacks," page 240, and "I'll Put Money On It," which follows). They will, I hope, provide you with incentive to learn or re-learn the Zarrow Shuffle using my revisions. Good luck, happy Zar-rowing and thank you, Herb, for sharing your marvelous technique with us.
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