The Setup

The basic principle is that the pack is arranged in sets of four of a kind—i.e., the four threes are together, as are the four kings, the four nines, and so on throughout the pack. The actual order of these sets of four is of no consequence. This is what could be called a 'continuous stock' because no matter where the pack is cut the dealer has only to deal five cards to himself in succession from the bottom of the pack to be certain of holding the winning hand. It will consist of four of a kind and an odd card, or a full house.

At this point you ask, 'But what about the shuffle? Surely that will upset the order of the cards?'

Try the following experiment. Take the pack, arranged in fours as described. Give a short overhand shuffle. Now examine the pack. You will find that substantially the groups of four are very little disarranged. A riffle shuffle would be a very different matter.

Consequently when you come to present the effect it is important to have an overhand shuffle only. This may be ensured by offering the pack to a lady. She is unlikely to be a very proficient shuffler. Or it may be given to someone standing well back from the table. Very few people can riffle-shuffle away from a table.

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