Blind Hindu Shuffling

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Now while I am well versed in a great number of ideas and techniques (mostly my own, or at least, ones I have devised without outside assistance, though I freely admit most are probably not new) I must admit that due to my lack of interest in pursuing many of the resources on the subject of card magic and manipulation I am wholly unaware of many of the blind shuffles that exist and what they entail. Though not to the same extent, I tend to subscribe, at least for myself, to Jerry Andrus' mentality of working on the concepts and ideas myself as opposed to spending my time learning the ideas of others, so far it seems to have worked well and certainly keeps me busy. With that in mind, I will state quite honestly, that I am aware of almost no blind Hindu shuffles, it just seems to be something that either not many card workers experiment with, is seen to be impractical, or I have simply never been exposed to the techniques. You, dear reader, are likely better versed in the material available and so may decide for yourselves which of these, if any, is true. That having been stated, this lack of shuffles is wholly without concern to me and, I would suggest, easily explainable. The reality is that most people rarely use Hindu shuffling and when those individuals employ it, they do so with a specific purpose in mind, that purpose is rarely a blind shuffle. While we are discussing the subject, I would suggest that very few people use blind overhand shuffles in spite of the convenience, though to be fair, overhand shuffling sees relatively little use by those who might be aware of ways to manipulate the shuffle. There is a reason for this. The vast majority of those who use card controls of any kind are magicians and the reality is that invisible controls rather than shuffling controls tend to make for strong magic. After all, why shuffle the deck once a card has been lost in the middle? However, I will touch on this and related subjects more in other volumes. For now, we will focus on the techniques themselves.

As I was saying, I am aware of very few blind Hindu shuffles aside from my own. In fact, I know of only one and that is Lennart Green's decidedly effective circulation shuffle. To be honest, the circulation shuffle is really better than most, if not all, the blind Hindu shuffling methods I have developed, but what kind of an author and mentor/teacher, if I can lay claim to such a title, would I be if I did not share with you my ideas and the breadth of my knowledge on the subject?

Pick-up Shuffling

This is virtually identical to the version I mentioned under overhand shuffling and the same comments I gave then apply now. Namely, this shuffle is extremely simple and not particularly deceptive, but can suffice for performances in front of audiences who are not particularly alter, particularly if you employ it while offering some form of patter and seemingly as an unrelated aspect of the trick. Fortunately, in the case of an in the hands Hindu shuffle, the illusion is enhanced by the fact that a Hindu shuffle is rarely used and rarely seen. (Note, that people tend not to notice that a shuffle is blind, they merely notice that it is not the same as what they are used to seeing and this prompts them to investigate further, thus your case is to make it appear the same as they would expect to see it. In the case of a Hindu shuffle if people have never seen a normal one they have nothing to compare it to and thus it flies more easily.) It also bears the added advantage of an angle of view that keeps the audience from perceiving the depth of the left hand packet very well and consequently helps to keep them from noticing that the packet is not growing, as it should.

I will attempt to maintain some measure of brevity during this explanation and so should you encounter difficulties I would encourage you to refer to previous sections on packet pick-up and pick-up shuffling, both for the overhand and Hindu shuffles. The key to performing the shuffle successfully and fluidly has been, in my experience, the starting grip of the right hand. By this I mean, you must adjust from a conventional Hindu shuffle grip in which you tend to hold the packet towards the tips of the fingers and move it upwards so it is held closer to between the first joints. (See figure 81.)

Figure 81.

What this accomplishes is that it provides more of your fingertips, which can be, used to pick-up the packet and eliminates, or at least reduces the risk that you may leave any cards behind, thereby ruining the shuffle. With that in mind, you will begin the shuffle normally removing the first packet, but as you come to remove the second packet from the right hand and place it into the left, the right hand fingers will pick up the packet already in the left hand and hold it below the right hand packet separated by a break. (See figure 82.)

Figure 82.

Now each time you come to pull a packet from the top of the right hand packet into the left hand you will pick-up the packet already in the left hand and add it to the bottom of the right hand packet separated by the break. Once you reach the break, you will simply throw all the cards in the right hand onto the left hand packet thus completing the shuffle. Naturally you will want to be shuffling quite quickly and casually, while also observing the previous advice I have given on this subject in regard to maintaining the concealment of the lower packet and various assists to keep the spectators from noticing the changing packet size.

I hope I have not covered that too quickly, it is a tendency of mine to be overly verbose, but I feel little reason to cover again the points I have given previously. Surely, you should be able to deduce the way in which previous points may be applied to this particular shuffle in order to enhance the deceit.

The Gear Shuffle (Advanced Pick-up Shuffle)

You know, it occurs to me at this point that magicians, cardicians and others may often invent names for their techniques that seem creative simply to avoid giving away the method in the name of the technique. It is perhaps merely a paranoid suspicious, but on reflection and having begun the process of writing this book by compiling a detailed outline that will form the table of contents I wonder if it is not true and if I may not eventually end up doing the same. Quite a comical thought really, and honestly, I prefer the more creative names as the descriptive ones tend not to be inspiring, but all that aside. When I was working on the pick-up shuffle, which I am sure someone else must have developed prior to myself (the contrast between pick-up shuffle and gear shuffle seems to be an interesting illustration of my previous point), I noticed the problem lay in the apparent disappearance of that former packet in the left hand. As such, I became resolved to leave something in the hand in order to further the illusion. The eventual result, is what I will describe to you know. I will begin by warning you, it will take some practice to develop a level of comfort with this shuffle, but once you have become comfortable with it I believe you will find it to be quite effective and deceptive.

Here you will not lay down merely the first packet, but also the second packet prior to performing a pick-up, however, the second packet will be jogged forward in the left hand fairly substantially. (See figure 83.)

Figure 83.

Naturally minimizing this jog is ideal, but I find the width of a border to be a minimum distance I like to use for safety purposes.

When you come to place the third packet into the left hand (which will also be forward jogged in the hand), your right fingertips will perform a pick-up on the first packet but grabbing the back jogged portion. This is a fairly difficult or at least awkward process and will likely require at least a small measure of practice. (See figure 84 and figure 85.)

Figure 84.
Figure 85.

You will now begin repeating this process always leaving two packets in the hand with the lower one jogged to the back of the hand and as a third packet is added the back jogged packet will be picked up and added to the packet below the break in the right hand. (See figure 86 and figure 87.)

When you come to the last packet above the break you will alter the procedure and jog the packet backwards instead of forwards. (See figure 88 and figure 89.)

Figure 89.

This leaves you in a position where you have a packet in the left hand, with another on top of it that is back jogged and a third packet in your right hand. You then place the packet in the right hand into the left hand, in alignment with the lower packet, leaving is so you still have the middle packet back jogged. (See figure 90.)

Figure 90.

You will now simply strip out the middle, rear-jogged, packet in a continuing motion, and place it on the top of the deck jogged slightly forward and then bring the lower portion of the deck to the top in a series of two or three cuts to complete the shuffle.

There are likely a number of difficulties you will encounter at various phases of this process that I wish to address. The first, is that as you attempt to withdraw the third packet, the second packet has a tendency to slide so that it is no longer clearly jogged. In order to avoid this you can hold the packet in position between your left middle finger and thumb. Be sure that you do not do this until the third packet is jogged ahead. (See figure 91.)

Figure 91.

A further advantage of this handling is that it allows you to reposition the packets to make it easier to forward jog the next packet when the time comes. This point then essentially covers the second problem area of continually forward jogging the packets, once you have gripped them as previously described you will be able to move them back in the hand.

The third area of concern tends to be picking up the packet and eliminating a break between the subsequent packets. In order to address this concern, I find it helpful to literally push the right hand packet down flush with the jogged end of the left hand packet as I grab it. (See figure 92.)

Figure 92.

Finally, I recommend that you use the left middle finger and thumb as described before to maintain the pinching action as you remove the lower packet and steal it onto the bottom of the right hand packet as it greatly assists the action. (See figure 93.)

Figure 93.

I find this shuffle to be quite complex, too much so in fact and consequently I rarely use it, favoring instead a pick-up shuffle or one of the ones that will follow.

Rear Guard Shuffle (A more convincing pick-up shuffle)

When I was initially addressing the idea of leaving some kind of packet to improve the pick-up shuffle and first working on the gear shuffle concept I tried using breaks instead of jogs, which seemed, to me to be much more favorable. The problem became picking up the underlying packet, the break made it virtually impossible to do so, or at least to do some smoothly and quickly, so I modified my approach and used jogs, resulting in the gear shuffle I have just described. Quite honestly though, I find the gear shuffle to be impractical (if someone finds otherwise, excellent for them, but I tend to feel that for the effort involved one would be better off going with either a simpler shuffle or a circulation shuffle). The idea of using breaks and a similar concept was however intriguing to me, and so I developed this Rear Guard shuffle, which is really a very close relative or modification of the pick-up shuffle.

The mechanics are roughly the same as that of the pick-up shuffle, you begin by placing the first packet in your hand, but instead of picking it up when you go to add the second packet, you simply add the second packet but hold a break below it. (See figure 94.)

Figure 94.

Now as you come to add the third packet you pick up the packet above the break. (See figure 95.)

Figure 95.

As an added convincer, I like to offer a glimpse of underlying packet as I add the new one. This is in stark contrast to the lack of an underlying packet in a conventional pickup shuffle. (See figure 96 for view from rear guard shuffle compared with figure 97 for view from pick-up shuffle.)

Figure 96.

Now when you reach the end of the last packet I like to forward jog it slightly and place the collected packet on top then strip out the bottom packet and add it to the top. This is however a simplistic finish. (See figure 98 and figure 99.)

Figure 98.
Figure 99.

A more elegant and convincing finish, instead of jogging the last packet, is to keep a break as normal and add the accumulated cards on top but now to pick up the entire stack with the right hand, maintaining the break. Remove the whole packet above the break and repeat the process with just the top cards one last time. In other words, you will remove half of the packet and add it to the left hand packet while maintaining a break. You will then pick up this portion as you go back and toss the remaining half on top of the deck minus a break and finally complete the shuffle by laying the packet you just picked up on top of it all in a conventional Hindu shuffle style. (Please see figures 100 through 106.)

Figure 100.
Figure 102.

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Fundamentals of Magick

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