Edward Marlo

These notes were left out of The Shank Shuffle. Students of Riffle Shuffle work will find it a welcome addition. It retains full-deck control after only one shuffle and the initial separation of the deck into two sections is natural and does not feature a center-block pull-out.

Method: Cut the upper half to the right with your right hand. When the cards are riffle-meshed into each other, the interweaving does not happen in the standard way. The cards are not angled so that the corners mesh, but the sections are instead meshed end-to-end, using the Open Shuffle position. (Fig. 1)

The degree of the actual weave is important. The cards are weaved together to a fractional degree. Make the interlace abut an eighth of an inch or less. At the beginning of the shuffle, release a few cards from the left-hand portion to provide a bed or tiny platform of cards. Release the rest of the cards normally until both thumbs retain 8-10 cards, which are momentarily held back as blocks. To finish the shuffle drop the blocks, letting the left-hand block go on top of the right-hand block.

As you lower both covering blocks, move them towards each other in a slight, sliding action, using the thumb and second finger of each hand. Simultaneously move the fractionally weaved cards apart. This secret unweaving occurs under the covering blocks and will be trouble-free. The reason for the left-hand bed of cards should now be apparent.

After the secret unweaving, the right-hand portion automatically rises off the table. Another slight upward movement of your right hand brings the left-hand portion in alignment with its own covering block. Now both portions can be telescoped into each other. Important: The thumb and finger positions of both hands should remain unchanged from their original starting positions.

Rapidly square the sections so that the riding right-hand portion is minimally seen during the coalescing action. This pushing-squaring action characteristic of all Riffle Shuffles is continued until the sections are apparently flush. In reality, they are pushed towards each other until the upper and lower corners of the respective portions are stopped by your thumb and third finger of each hand. Consequently, these portions remain slightly jogged. (Fig. 2) The hands are removed to show the actual condition of the cards at this stage. When your hands are in place, the cards appear squared. (Fig. 3)

To complete the sequence, strip out the slightly jogged center section with your right hand and replace it on top, using standard Running Cut. Riffle shufflers should note that the objectionable center-block pull-out occurs as a cut is performed after the Riffle Shuffle. In fact, the cutting action simulates the first part of the famous Scarne Cut. As Scarne wrote: "The use of the Scarne Cut eliminates in one stroke most of the card sharp's best crooked moves." If the Sleeper Shank Shuffle is correctly executed, it will elude fastest company.

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