Advanced Riffle Stacking and Culling

At this point I have difficulty deciding how much to consider under advanced riffle stacking and how much to save for the count's riffle stacking system, since there are many points of overlap. The reality is I have rarely and only to a limited degree used what I consider to be advanced riffle stacking due to what I consider to be, a vast superiority in the count's riffle stacking system. I suppose it matters little whether I introduce the ideas now or later, but I will cover them as I have seen them applied by others. For example, I would typically consider culling four of a kind in two shuffles to be advanced culling, but since I watched Marlo cull four aces in five shuffles in "Prime Time Marlo", I think I shall forgo explaining that method until I reach the count's riffle stacking system. I'm actually not sure what the advanced card workers use. Last I heard Darwin Ortiz used some stacking method that had something to do with one hand or some such thing and certainly it cannot be denied that Darwin is one of the most talented individuals when it comes to card control and stacking. On the other hand, I also heard that he stated you will very rarely have time to stack two hands of four of a kind. I wonder what Mr. Ortiz considers to be a long time? The method I will describe here involves taking eight shuffles to do so, I would consider that to be a long time. On the other hand, I do it in three shuffles and I wouldn't consider that to be a long time. Perhaps I will one day be fortunate enough to speak with the likes of Darwin Ortiz or Steve Forte, as I unfortunately missed out on being able to talk with the likes of Vernon, Marlo and on this subject, my personal favorite, Scarne.

Anyway, I digress and should proceed I suppose in keeping with my tradition, to the benchmarks. If intermediate stacking allowed the culling and stacking of four of a kind in six shuffles, advanced stacking allows the same in only four. Mind you, it will also include a lot of other more sophisticated and difficult techniques, though I must admit there is a stunning void of techniques relating some of the more intriguing aspects of stacking. Marlo's ten hand stack for example. I am not familiar with how the technique is performed, though I have seen it performed and heard of any number of variants, the technique was impressive, or apparently so. There are then many ideas that the likes of Ernest Earnick, Ed Marlo and others have developed that will not be touched upon, though how useful or important those techniques are remains a mystery to me, hopefully these will at the least serve you well and help to inspire you.

Misdirection Peek

We begin as before with peeking and yet a more effective method. Here we combine misdirection with invisibility and practicality at the cost of difficulty. You will apparently square the deck on the table by tapping the one end on the table. Actually, you will in reality be squaring the deck, but at the same time your right hand thumb is going to riffle through the cards very slightly on the bottom pip corner searching for a cut location. Generally the idea is to perform the peek as a follow-up to a shuffle and thus make it more natural though of course simply squaring the deck in a tapping motion from the beginning is also functional. I will assume however that you have just completed a shuffle and pushed the cards together though the deck remains slightly askew. (See figure 275.)

Figure 275.

The key for you to remember here is the initial handling prior to lifting the deck. The right forefinger should be in the middle of the deck on the right side, the right thumb and middle fingers should be grasping the sides near the right side. The same should be true on the left side. You will find that this is a very natural grip and should flow naturally from the action of pushing the packets together. (See figure 276.)

Figure 276.

The right middle finger and thumb will now serve as the pivot point as the left middle finger and thumb raise their end of the deck (the right hand will move inward). As this occurs, the left forefinger will shift naturally from the top of the deck to the end of the deck allowing it to apply downward squaring pressure on the cards. (See figure 277.)

Figure 277.

Now, you will tap the deck once on the table in a squaring motion and use your right thumb to begin riffling through the cards at the lower corner, riffling them as little and quickly as possible. Ideally, this process takes place so quickly that and invisibly that apparently nothing has occurred save for the squaring of the cards. The key to which I would like to draw your attention is the hand cover, which helps to shelter any view that this is occurring. The left thumb should have maintained its former position, as should the left forefinger and middle finger. The left ring finger and pinky should be just below the middle finger on the front (audience side) of the deck. The hand at the base on the fingers should be moved forward slightly in such a manner that the fingers are curled inward slightly at their base and at the first joint. This will move the hand into a better position for sheltering the slight hole in the shielding just below the left hand fingers. The three last fingers of the right hand will be positioned at the base on the deck running along the front side just below the left hand pinky. The forefinger should be bent in such a manner that its pressure is applied as close to the inner side of the deck as possible and thus minimizes any visible bend in the cards due to the riffle peeking. Finally, the right hand itself should be curled inward towards the deck slightly to offer better shelter. This process should be invisible from virtually all angles. (See figure 278 from the front, figure 279 from the right and figure 280 from the left.)

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  • amaranth
    How to riffle stack cards?
    4 months ago

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