Incidental Handling of Cards

The major mistake made by beginners and experts alike with a mnemonic deck occurs in the incidental handling of cards. Not in the execution of an effect, but in the general housekeeping procedures that must be attended to in performance. The way-carols are replaced, the way piles are dealt and the deck is reassembled, even the accidental flashing of the same bottom card over and over; these are all places where order can be implied if you aren't careful. Lets take a brief look at some of the more common situations where incidental handling can be harmful to the overall illusion.

The Bottom Card

It is nearly impossible, and not at all desirable, to prevent the audience from seeing the faces of the cards during a performance. If your work with the stack generally keeps them in 1-52 order, the bottom card of your deck will never change. All the false shuffles in the world won t convince someone who notices this that the cards are randomly arranged. It is therefore supremely important that the card on the face of the deck is always changing when it comes into view. Try to get into the habit of giving the deck a straight cut anytime

you are going to turn them face up, so that a different card is on the face whenever possible. If your fifty-second card must be at the bottom of the face-up deck, emphasize something else, to diminish the chance of your spectators taking note of this card.

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