Overhand shuffle

This false shuffle has been associated with Laurie Inland since around 1935, although it hac 1 been published yeans before by Charles Jordan* While I have already taught this shuttle in Volume 1 (j>age 113), here I will ailrl some refined touches to the handling,

If adeck is divided by color, with all the red cards separated from all the black cards, this false shuffle retains the separaüoa What happens in essence is that fewer than half the carts in the deck are shuffled off, cards an* then nm singly until past rtiictpoint, alter which the balance is shuffled off. . ^^

A problem in the execution of this simple sleight, which can lie observed no matter what the proficiency of the handler, is the long nin of single cants that occurs in the middle of the shuffle process. Iliis happens because of (he difficulty in estimating the center of the deck while it is in movement Therefore, even experieiced card-workers opt to start the run a little earlier and finish it a little later than necessary. Hie way such a shuffle apixars, in its entirety, to the audience will arouse suspicion in more than one person, and at the very least it will appear clumsy. Hie average person experts an overhand shuffle to consist of about six shuffle actions, with maybe ten tolerated. A shuffle of this duration will I >e identified by our audiences as a thorough mix. To bring the actions of the red-black overhand shuffle into accordance with those of a typical shuffle, I have come up with the folic iwing.

We will assume tliai the twenty-six red cards are on the top of the facedown deck, with the twenty-six black cards beneath them. 1 lold the deck tare down in left-hand dealing position. You now obtain a left little-finger break slightly above midpoint, estimating this point visually. To do tliis, different procedures may l>e adopted, depending not only on personal preference but also on the context in which the sleight is set

An obvious one-handed method consists in using the left little finger to pull down slightly more than half the deck at the inner right corner. (Some might prefer to press on the right side n«ir the inner right c< imer.) It will facilitate the visual estimation of above midi)Oint if the cards are beveled slightiy forward and the deck itself is farther away Cn Jin the Ixxty than it is usually held. Thb is easily achieved by a gesture aax »mpanying a remark Hiose proficient in the little-finger count might prefer to start the pull-down at about twenty cards from the top and then run ck »wn a few more cants (Volume /, page 201).

An easier method for getting the break is lo use both hands. The right hand takes theikvk into end grip and brings it to elevated cfcaL position. The deck is not held horizontal but with its right side slanted dowmvart at an angle of approximately forty-five deg^ In this position the right thumb gently rifffc the inner end of the cards in the following manner : The right thumb lifts something]« short of twenty-six cards, which is visually slightly above mid-point The pad of the left little linger is pressed gently over die upper right edge of the lower portion and catches a break under what will lx* about twenty-four carrls. Immediately the right thumb rifllesofl die remaining cards. Make it a soft riffle thai wont be heard.

Lower tlie deck into dealing position Some may wish to conclude the action by gendy rif. fling the outer end of the deck as soon as it settles into dealing grip. Now move the right hand amy from rive deck to gesture, to move somediing on die tal >Ie or for some odier task In any case it is a goal [joint to pause briefly liere, which creates a positive insertion, separating the setting of the break from its use a moment later (Volume 2, page 427). J

Now, and only now, the actual shuffle action starts, as far as the audience Ls concerned The right hand grasps the deck in end grip, the right thumb taking over the break TV deck is adjusted to overliand shuffle fxs-tion, die right thumb still maintaining the separation (Volume 7, page 74). The fiNi shuffle action consists of the left thumb pulling off about lialf of the cards from the portion above the break

^ * ^ ^ aixl t S ^ ^ bneak ^ 'topped or pulled oft You now run *»throwing ZZZ fr®6 ofT u* ^ce of the deck by chopping off about half 2U*ci J"«*handfestock. Hie red aurts are now on die bottom

^JPOfam^ u ^ Positions of the color blocks isn't crucial to die trick ^tafetabfe, close the circle by perforating a false nit in the t^o n di^^tf wh'^S?^^ ^ ^ their original order, it is natural to stjuaie

° teofbed1 y0U 0btain a ^ above midWnt with one oft*

simply repeat the shuffle.

Check Poi nts

1. or those two methods given alxjVe for obtaining the break, the tttCNSnger coûnl Ls to be preferred. If you choose the two-luinded approach, which is still very good, remember lo make the riffle very genüe and to lower the deck into dealing potion; then create some reason to pause briefly, sei>araling cause from effect, t>efore eventually going into the shuffle.

2. In the example alxive we used ten shuffle actious to simuliite an ordinary overtumd shuffle. If you want to nin a few cards moiv in the central portion of the shuffle, you can split it up by interrupting the shuffle action after leaving run say five cards, while you make a comment arid gesture with die right hand and itsunshuffled cards. Then resume the shuffle by mnning about five cards more, and shuffle off the balance in two further shuffle actions. Tliis will still look good.

3. Since ol »tainii ig the break Ls a matter of visual estimation, albeit of the easiest kind imaginable, the dynamics of the look will have to be taken into consideration. It is ail right to look at the cards directly and then look up, because only one second will tie enough and the positive insertion between obtaining the break and the actual shuffle will, in the minds of the spectators, cancel any relationship between Uk* two actions After some practice you will be able to use peripheral^ *?rrep-tion and not have to look directly at the deck Readers who are adept at perfect faro shuffles will realize they don't even luve to look

4. Some readers get frightened when they see the term estimation. There is something daunting about the concept for most people Once this is recognized as a prejudice, a door opens and anyone who Ls willing to do so will realize Uuil it Ls extremely easy to estimate tiie center of the deck, within two to tluee can Is And once you know tliat my six-year old son can cut a deck into two approximately equal portions you will be able to do this, too—and tlial s the kind of estimation required here.

Miscellaneous Techniques

Thc overhand shuffle Glimpse

•» card came about as I was studying the details of the postpj

■nus.,vh..KPH>forglmm* J 74). Iike many other glimpse techniques, this one

^^fSto Essentially, it can be used to gain knowledge of the bottom ts BmitEd to^ec^ sit"-« ^ ^^ „ K111 ^ be used (o glimpse a sixx-talo^

cM wW*l,H' f , \ 1,dd, TliLs is typically the case after the peek control (V,j. sfcrfjon under Whic* a u ^ ^ ^ ^ in which a break Ls he,d ^ a tone 1, page m "


, ll0W t0 obtain knowledge of the bottom card alter the deck lias been gK-en

5 Position die deck for an ovedumd shuffle, with your left thumb lightly an (n«hanfl w.. ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ (0 ^ ,hp finst shuJIle ili1ion ,.,0Wver

Sfto. sn'ptv chopping ofTthe first few cards, the left thumb moves them as a block, ranying ihoir top edge about a quarter of an inch to the left.

Simultaneously the right hand begins the shuffle by lifting the remainder of (he deck II is precisely al (his moment thai you can glimpse (lie bottom cruxl of the left liands angled block, as shown in the illustration, with the pose exaggeraled for clarity. You look at (lie cards just as the shuffle starts, for periiaps a second. You then smoothly niise your gaze to the audience and converse witli them as you continue thc shuffle awl complete it

Immediaielj' follow (his first overhand sliuflle with a second, in which you keep (he bot-

IZ Tb0tt0ni1 or bring to U,(J top» as you require. Finish by giving the deck a Zm\ , n;';U,LS ,he glin,,,s,'il (2rd »' pJaoe- Hie whole sequence lcK)ks as if you am ^yourtl'ln!11"8^^",,be<lclingUieinto an action (olally familiar tl^1 *to acarti x^estirig aborve a brcalc. ForaDintentsand

"wvwaDthecankal Trt handling just described, except dial (lie left thumb all Hie cankbokiw the I „ l , l('ft in ,he first «•«»mo action, as the right hand life ^^canhimrntwrSa!2^to®^itec^t)ntothe k'n handte block. Bring'

o ^«umuiujy0yr I IpM r • • ^w uiuy uit IUL »uumo miw-----

can. the ' "S10n as V"" perform the first shuffle action will allow you to

.am If , , ^hw Ls ^ you now know the identity of the

^tator10 »«* thecard in the and **** i sucosBfi% (3nls himsdf- -vou will always be able to locate the selection c-ourse ofthe next few actions, «»rifn

The Gamblers' Bottom-card Glimyse

Here is another. good glimpse technique. This one Is said to come from the world of die canl cheat. However, it is useful forour profession, too.

Miscellaneous Techiniqiies 111*

Mold die deck or packet face down in left-hand dealing position and bring your right hand over it, assui ning an end grip, with your right thumb about lialf an inch to the right of lite inner left comer, firmly pressing against the inner end The pad of your left index finger must touch die outer right index of the bottom card By pressing up and towaid you, your index finger pulls the outer end of this card backward about an inch. (The illustration shows tliis action from below.)

This buckles the bottom canl and brings its inner left index into view. Hie left fingers do not move as the card is pulled back—it is the entire hand thai moves back and forth in a gende squaring action Since the left thumb always contacts the left side, and the outer side of your left index linger constantly presses against the underside of the packet« die bowing (,f the bottom card is covered from all angles. Tlie outward appearance of tliis action, as it would be i)erceiyed by a spectator I tappening t o look ;tf your hands ai this moment, is dial of a simple squaring motion, which is perfectly justified and natural, if you liavejust finished shuffling the cards.

1. Remember that the overall appearance is one of a light and casual squaring action, in which the left hand remains essentially motionless, and the right hand moves the deck gentfy back and forth, just as you do when you genuinely square the can k


Z Whenever executing a sleight during a squaring action, the deck should itegfn in a some whoi unsquared condition, wWch cam result from your dribbling or sprouting the cards. Ii doesn't make sei is<' (th< m ig) lit is c »ft en seen) to .«* |uare a dock aln-ady perfectly squared

Miscellaneous Techiniqiies 111*

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