Best Of Benzais

I had a very difficult time tracking down a source for the Benzais cop when I first wanted to learn it. As it happens, the technique is taught on either the Cardician or the Legend

DVD, which one eludes me at the moment. Essentially, the concept of the move is to add or hold back cards in the process of a deal. It is most useful in magic and has little application to gambling as I see it because it is restricted to the angles of the tenkai palm.

You begin by dealing the card as normal, but taking it at around the upper left corner of the card, in other words you must adjust for such a take on numerous grips. From here, you apparently deal the card onto the table, removing your middle finger from under the card but keeping your ring finger under the upper right corner as you apparently deal the card to the table (typically onto a pack or packet of cards). Then as you pull back your hand to perform the next deal or move on to the next action, you use your middle finger to pull the card back and draw it into tenkai palm. (See figure 636, figure 637 and figure 638.)

Benzais Cop
Figure 636.
Benzais Card Cop
Figure 637.

From this point you can either return the card to the deck, lap it, steal it in some manner, transfer it elsewhere or continue with another deal. By using this grip you are able to continue dealing holding back the cards you desire while fairly dealing others to the table, allowing you, for example to transfer the cards intended for one player to another. When you wish to drop the palmed cards together with the others you may do so merely by releasing the tenkai palm on top of the cards in an existing deal. (See figure 639 with a face up card to show the palmed card.)

Figure 639.

As I mentioned earlier, one of the nice features of the Count's grip is the ability to perform the Benzais cop from the grip. Technically, you can if you like and are willing to risk doing so, deal the cards off from the upper right corner or even with some effort, from the right side. In this case, you must be sure to insert your ring finger beneath the right edge of the card and as you move your hand back to the left to perform the next deal, grab the card up into tenkai palm via a sort of sweeping action. (See figure 640, figure 641, and figure 642.)

Figure 640.

Figure 642.

While somewhat unnatural, this action is disarming to those familiar with the Benzais cop once it's mastered. (I have no idea who originally came up with the Benzais cop, I'd suspect it is someone named Benzais, but I could be totally wrong, as I mentioned, I learned the technique from Marlo.)

As I mentioned, generally the ideal is to perform the Benzais cop onto an existing packet of a few cards so the absence of a card or two isn't as obvious. Generally, I find failing to deal the card onto a packet is sometimes rather apparent and so to add a strong convincer, when you deal the card down onto a packet, you'll use your ring finger to move the top card of the packet slightly off center. This creates the illusion of a card dealt onto the packet because generally you don't deal cards onto packets squarely. The difference made by this simple action is immense. (See figure 643, figure 644, and figure 645.)

Figure 643.
Figure 645.

From here, the Benzais cop works effectively in several manners. For example, if you palm a card in advance or steal an extra card off in the course of one of the deals you can use it to perform a double deal. You can also use it to correct a double deal. Say for example you double bottom dealt to one of the players, naturally, this means that player will end up with an extra card and that may arouse suspicion, so you can perform the Benzais cop on that particular hand, holding back one card and thus correcting the discrepancy.

My favorite use for the Benzais cop is however in conjunction with marked cards, particularly the punch concept, where I use it in preparation for hand mucking or something similar, stealing off desirable cards when they arise in order to use them later. Again, this requires the correct environment, but it's effective. Naturally, in the field of magic the sleight is very effective, allowing switches and forces among other things.

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