Advanced Overhand Stacking

In reality, I moved from the techniques described, to riffle stacking, but it seems logical while giving an explanation of overhand stacking methods to cover them all at once and so, since it is my book, that is what I will do.

The initial concern of the previous method, is the need to begin with the cards on the top or bottom of the deck. Understandably this is not exactly a realistic expectation and thus it is important to be able to move cards from lower down in the deck and stack them appropriately. Consider the following situation, three hands of poker are gathered up and placed into the deck with three aces on top, and the fourth as being the third card in the third hand, consequently, the thirteenth card from the top. Now, while the card is not easily accessible as with the first three aces, the fourth is nevertheless is a known, or calculable position depending on how closely you were following the actions preceding your shuffle. Obviously, it is unreasonable to peel off the top three cards followed by a packet of ten cards in order to group the cards together and riffle counting down the edge of the deck, obtaining a break and then using it accordingly, though possible is not particularly practical either.

You have several effective methods to consider. The first, is to peel off the top three cards, then count down the remaining ten cards to the fourth ace and out jog it then shuffle the rest of the deck on top. If you pick up the top portion of the deck at the jogged card so that the jogged card (fourth ace) is now on the bottom of the packet in your right hand while the remaining three aces are on the bottom of the packet in the left hand, you can easily shuffle that final ace to the top of the deck and work with it accordingly. For example, from this point you could proceed by peeling the top ace off followed by three more cards, then perform an undercut, peel off two more cards, then perform another undercut and repeat the process one last time to successfully stack the aces in the position of every fourth card.

Alternatively, you could use the existing location of the card to your advantage during the stacking process. Say again that you wished to stack the four aces as every fourth card, there were three aces on the bottom of the deck, and the fourth ace was again thirteenth from the top of the deck. In this particular case the positioning of the fourth ace happens to work out perfectly because four hands of four cards is sixteen, which, with the three aces on the bottom of the deck is exactly the number needed. Thus, you would begin with an undercut, followed by peeling off two more cards, then another undercut followed by two more cards, then another undercut followed by two more cards and ending by peeling off four cards collectively allowing you to shuffle off the remainder of the deck and reverse accordingly according to whatever suits your own needs.

The next method may be most favorable for those desiring to cull multiple cards and may not fit best in this section, but seems a natural extension of the current line of thought. Consider a scenario where two aces are on the top of the deck while the third ace is ninth from the top and the fourth is fifteenth from the top. Of course the previous methods could be employed with a measure of success though much greater logistical concern in this case and certainly greater difficulty depending on the desired outcome. One may then adopt this more sleight heavy approach.

You will begin by peeling off the top two aces followed by the remaining six cards up to the next ace in whatever manner you desire. However, as you come to the ninth card you will perform a packet pick-up of all the cards in the left hand thus far leaving the third ace alone for a brief moment. You will then replace the packet you formerly picked up to the left hand under the cover of peeling off the next set of cards while continuing your counting. This action completed you have successfully moved the third ace to the bottom to join the first two aces. The process simply continues now in the same manner until you reach the fifteenth card at which point you will again perform a packet pick-up of all the cards in the left hand as you peel off the fourth ace, leaving it alone and then replacing the packet on top of the ace as you shuffle off the remainder of the deck. Ultimately, this has been a very simple and effective method of culling the four aces together at the bottom of the deck and has the huge advantage of being able to be performed without any overt attention being given to the deck. This casual manner makes the process quite deceptive and sets you up quite nicely for the stacking process.

The weakness of this method is of course the use of packet pick-ups and though I don't believe I mentioned it earlier, it should be noted that you should use the left forefinger to cover the return of the packet as you would when performing an undercut.

A packet pick-up can be employed quite successfully in another manner in regard to the stacking process. In the methods I described earlier there was always an even number of shuffles required to complete the process since the first shuffle stacks the cards and the second brings the stack to the top of the deck. Of course, one could replace the second shuffle with a cut if the stack was formed accordingly, or even create a jog at the point where the stack ended and use the jog to make it appear as though the cut was merely the completion of the shuffle. The value of each option does exist and we will examine the idea of using overhand shuffles to relocate a stack later, but a packet pick-up offers an interesting possibility.

Consider that you have just finished the first half of a shuffle, stacking the aces as every fifth card from the bottom up and ready for a second shuffle to reverse the order. Naturally, using a second shuffle in this manner will mean an even number of shuffles. Now, if you are under alert scrutiny from a diabolical audience whose money you find yourself hell bent on taking, an even number of shuffles may provide a sort of tip off. A wise adversary would then request an odd number of shuffles in order to prevent this from occurring and of course, to turn this adversary down would be an even bigger tip off. You could then, at this point in the shuffle, rather than completing the shuffle and reversing the cards, pick-up the entire stacked portion of the deck currently in the left hand and continue the shuffle. When you reach the portion you have picked up you can simply perform the reversal process as a continuing action of this single shuffle and thereby enhance the deception. Of course again, you face the prospects of being discovered due to the sleight employed, but the method is both interesting and promising for those who are willing to refine their technique to a sufficient degree as would be necessary to render the method invisible.

Multiple Undercut

In the previous stacking methods employing an undercut I described a method that suffers from a notable weakness, that is when it comes to stacking two hands. Namely, the mechanics of the undercut do not allow you to set up any two hands next to one another. I read once that it is not possible to do so with an overhand shuffle, this is quite simply not the case, it can be accomplished using a multiple undercut. The basis of performing the "double duke" or control of more than two hands would then occur beginning as previously described, by ordering the cards to be stacked in an alternating fashion on the bottom of the deck. For example, the cards might be in the order king, ace, king, ace, king, ace, with one important note. Normally, the last card will be second. In other words, if you had four players and wanted to stack the hand of the second player plus your own, say with aces to you and kings to your opponent, the first card on the bottom would be a king, followed by an ace and so on. If however, you are going to employ a multiple undercut allowing you to for example set up your own hand plus that of the third player you will need to have the first card on the bottom as an ace, followed by a king and so on.

Having addressed those points, what you are going to do is undercut two or more cards at a time. I say two or more, but personally, I find that more than three becomes difficult to manage. (Mind you, I haven't practiced the technique as much as you may wish to and that could be the issue.) This is accomplished in the same manner as a traditional undercut, with one exception. You will begin by peeling off the bottom card of the deck and as the next card becomes exposed you will take hold of it as well. Normally I don't perform this move with more than three cards and so I use the pinky to grab the first card, then the ring finger to grab the second and the middle finger to grab the third. (See figure 257.)

Figure 257.

For the most part you may simply refer to the method and suggestions given in the section on overhand shuffling controls near the beginning of this book, I would however advise using more than one card as cover on all occasions you make use of this method simply to strengthen the deception. I would also recommend you spread those covering cards as much as possible creating a screen to the view of the cards being undercut. (See figure 258.)

Figure 258.

Generally, due to what is involved, I find that stacking an entire hand with each peeling movement works well when performing the double undercut. For example, if there were five hands in the game and you wished to stack the fourth and fifth hand, you could perform a multiple undercut of two cards and offer cover with three, thereby creating the complete stack with each such action. Naturally, this would need to be adjusted depending on how you intended to go about bringing the stack to the top of the deck, and could be altered slightly for the purpose of deception. For example, the first peeling action could involve a multiple undercut of the bottom two cards as well as a three card cover, but the next could make use of only a two card cover followed by the shuffling off of a single card before returning to two more double undercuts with a three card cover for each. (I realize the potential confusion for those who are used to the terms undercut and double undercut as methods of cutting the deck in the hands and I apologize, please bear with me, I decided to go with this terminology as it was the first term I heard used to describe the move.)

Naturally, if you were stacking three hands in say a seven hand game and one of the hands were not immediately next to the other two it would be impossible to stack a complete hand with each "peeling motion". Due to the vast number of combinations, I will not explore all the possibilities, but allow you to experiment with the concept yourself and use it appropriately.

Two final points, would be first, if you find yourself in such an odd position as having to stack three hands in a four hand game, I would recommend simply bringing the stack at the bottom of the deck to the top and undercutting only the odd hand (that is to say the uncontrolled hand). I feel this principle, of compensating with both false deals, undercuts and similar such methods, is underemployed. My general recommendation is, minimize the number of sleights used, though of course you want to be as proficient with the ones you are using as possible. Second, I will briefly mention that if you wish to arrange more than two hands and are beginning with the cards on the top of the deck in such a manner as three aces followed by three kings followed by three queens, you would simply repeat the originally described method twice. That is to say, you would begin by shuffling the first packet of three cards to the bottom of the deck while bringing the other two to the top (or vice versa as the case may be). In this case, I would probably begin by shuffling off the top six cards (the aces and kings) while retaining their original order, perform a packet pick-up on the full six and shuffle the remaining three (the queens) to the bottom, shuffle the remainder of the deck on top and deposit the original packet of six on top. I would now perform three undercuts to interlace the aces and queens, then perform a packet pick-up on those six cards and shuffle the kings to the bottom of the deck placing the interlaced cards on the top to complete the shuffle. I would now peel off groups of two cards at a time from the top and interlacing the kings where appropriate. It need not be stated that the order you choose to perform the interlace is dependent entirely on which player you wish to receive which card and what method you will be using later to stack those nine cards together with the rest of the hands.

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  • Jamila Tesfalem
    How to overhand stack?
    1 year ago

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