Blind Weave Shuffling

Of all the types of shuffles there must be the most variations on weave shuffling, at least so far as blind shuffling is concerned. What I will cover here will not be all these ideas, or even necessarily all the best ideas, but rather many of the concepts, some of the shuffles themselves and references to particular shuffles that may interest you. To be honest with you, when I began work on this book my ideas and contributions to the subject were pitiful at best, for two reasons. First, I very rarely use blind weave shuffles and second, because there were a few simple shuffles that easily addressed most of my needs. However, feeling that I should offer some sort of contribution to you of my particular thoughts on the subject I set my conniving mind to work in the field and over time came up with some ideas that I sincerely hope you will find interesting if not effective. Regardless, if I am unable to offer you anything in terms of my own ideas one must be so presumptuous as to believe that the ideas of some others will be of value to you.

Strip-outs

The vast majority of blind riffle shuffles consist of a strip out. What this means is that the interlaced cards will be pushed together but somehow kept separate and then stripped apart in such a manner that the deck appears to have been cut. The key then, is how to create the illusion that the cards have been pushed together while retaining a means of performing the strip out and second, how to strip out the cards in a manner that seems wholly natural. To be completely honest with you, I abhor strip-outs, simply because they require a cut (or the appearance of a cut) to complete the shuffle and making it blind. The reality is that often, if not on most occasions, someone who was genuinely shuffling the deck would not cut it afterwards and thus the entire process seems to me to be somewhat contrived. In fact, on numerous occasions I have been able to determine that a shuffle was false simply because I noticed that the deck was casually cut following the shuffle and for no apparent reason. These points aside, to most, a strip out works fine and there are many ways to address this concern I have raised which I will explain in detail as we move along. You may lay your concerns to rest for now, as the subject will be covered and by the end; there should be no reason why you are unable to perform a very convincing series of totally false shuffles.

Basic Strip-Out Shuffle

The basic strip-out shuffle is performed on a table, though we will deal with numerous in the hands variants later. The beginning of the shuffle is identical to any ordinary riffle shuffle but with one small note of detail that is not essential, but I highly recommend it. You will of course cut the deck and riffle the cards together, at this point ensure that the top card from the bottom packet (that is to say, the original bottom portion of the deck) falls on top. This is so that when you return to strip out the cards in a simulated cut, you will apparently be bringing the bottom of the deck to the top completing the shuffle; this will in point of fact be restoring the deck's original order. I have seen some people who don't give any attention to this point and simply determine the cut location and give a final cut at the end but I personally feel this is rather careless and a method reflecting a distinct lack of sagacity.

Now, the key point here is that as you push the packets together you are not going to do so entirely, you will instead leave the ends sticking out allowing you to grab only the cards from the one particular packet later. (See figure 167.)

Figure 167.

I will caution you that in the photograph I have exaggerated greatly for the purpose of demonstration, you should aim to minimize the protruding end as much as possible while maintaining enough protruding that you can comfortably strip the cards out later. You will find that you are able to reduce this amount later as you practice and increase in proficiency. As a benchmark to which you can aim I will offer you this suggestion, attempt to telescope the packets together until the point where the border touch one another. (See figure 168.)

Figure 168.

In any case, be sure to leave enough that you are able to take a hold of the protruding ends as you will be able to cover the ends but covering the fact that you are performing a strip-out if you miss, or correcting the stack once you have missed will be much more problematic.

On the subject of how exactly to push the packets together, for now I will offer you two suggestions one of which we shall revisit later. Obviously, you will want your audience to be convinced that you have pushed the packets all the way together, in fact it is essential that they are convinced of this deception. The first means of doing so is, predictably, simply to push the packets together as you normally and just before completing the process, conceal the protruding end (note that only one is really a problem as I will explain later along with how the end can be concealed) and feign that the packets are together. In order to make the ruse more convincing I recommend a sort of fake square up that I will describe briefly in a moment. The second means by which you could convince your audience that the packets have gone together is to push them together in a sort of "X" shape and then square them at the end, this distorts the perception of depth and allows you to get away with not squaring the packets properly. (See figure 169.)

Figure 169.

It is considered well and good to make the process up to this point fairly open and casual (remember in any case giving undue attention or even attention in general to what you are doing will draw the attention of others to this object of your affections). You must however limit the visibility of the spectators though as you begin to eliminate the "X" and square the packets. The last three fingers of each hand should contact the upper inner corners of their respective packets while the thumbs descend to the corners nearest you of the other packet. Bringing the fingers and the thumb together will cause the deck to square. (See figure 170.)

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