Blind Overhand Shuffling

I wish you now to embark with me now into a more intricate region of overhand shuffling control and one which, in many senses, is rooted in the skills I eluded to during the discussion of counting. These skills are the simple ability to control accurately, consistently and quickly the number of cards you peel from the deck during the course of a shuffle. Blind shuffling, for those who are unfamiliar with the term is shuffling in a manner that you retain the complete order of the deck. As we will see later, this can occur over a single shuffle or over a series of shuffles but the common thread is that while the deck is apparently shuffled the order of cards ends the same as it began.

Blind shuffling is, in my less than humble opinion, one of the areas where overhand shuffling truly shines. Blind overhand shuffling is also probably the easiest form of blind shuffling to perform convincingly. The reason for this is the ease in performing what Lennart Green refers to as "mirror shuffles". Now since I lack a better term and since the term aptly describes the process we will work with it.

Mirror Shuffling

Mirror shuffling is really a concept or principle, to explain the basics of shuffling theory and consequently false shuffling theory I will state this. When you shuffle the deck, you make a certain change to the order of the cards in a particular fashion. Now, if you can reverse that change you will effectively cancel out the shuffle, this is what mirror shuffling is all about. You have already learned the basics of this in the previous section. Namely, if you were to overhand shuffle the entire deck one card at a time and then repeat the process you would be back where you started, what you have just done is mirrored the previous shuffle so that the second cancels out the first, this works with any series of overhand shuffles. Another simple example would be shuffling the cards off two at a time and cycling through the entire deck in this manner. Again, if you were to repeat the process you would be back to where you started. Now obviously neither of these two are particularly deceptive, but there is a noteworthy advantage of mirror shuffles over virtually any other type of shuffle, namely that you are in fact authentically shuffling the deck, there are no moves to catch, no secret methods or rapid strip-outs as we will see in other blind shuffling methods.

In my opinion mirror shuffling is by far the best blind overhand shuffling method as it requires someone counting the cards as you draw them off the deck and then reversing the count in order to detect what you are doing, in the mean time you look totally natural. The importance then becomes learning such proficiency that you can perform deceptive mirror shuffles quickly and naturally (preferably while talking and seemingly not paying attention, which means you have to control how many cards are peeled from the deck by feel). Unfortunately, I am unable to render aid in the form of illustrations, but I will provide a few simple patterns you can memorize, practice and use. The first is one taught by Lennart Green in his DVD set, what I will list are merely the number of cards that you should peel from the deck at a time: 3, 2, 2, 3, 3, 2, 2, 3, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 3, 2, 2, 3, 3, 2, 2, 3.

Now, to break that down for you in other words in case the description above was confusing, which I admit it could have been. You peel off three cards, and then peel off two cards twice, then another three cards, this brings you to ten cards you have peeled off total, you will now repeat this process once. Next, you will peel off twelve cards one at a time, then repeat the earlier portion by peeling off three cards, then two cards twice, then three and repeating for the last ten cards. The beauty of this particular pattern is that it is simple using only small numbers of cards and it works the same way in reverse as it does for the initial shuffle.

Another pattern you may wish to try, though it is slightly more difficult goes as follows: 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 4, 3, 3, 3, 3, 1, 2, 3, 4. Then to reverse it you would just perform the pattern backwards, in other words: 4, 3, 2, 1, 4, 3, 2, 1, 3, 3, 3, 3, 4, 3, 2, 1, 4, 3, 2, 1.

Another would go as follows: 2, 1, 1, 2, 3, 3, 3, 3, 2, 1, 2, 1, 2, 2, 1, 2, 1, 2, 3, 3, 3, 3, 2, 1, 1, 2. Like the first one, it is the same no matter which way you perform the shuffle.

There are of course virtually infinite combinations so I will leave it to you to come up with your own and play around with the concept, hopefully you will be able to offer new ideas that have thus far evaded me. In the meantime though, I would point out that you don't need to merely perform two shuffles that cancel each other out, you could perform say a four shuffle combination to make the process more deceptive. I will list one here using the last pattern mentioned and Lennart Green's pattern:

1st Shuffle

2nd Shuffle

3rd Shuffle

4th Shuffle

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