Hindu Shuffling Controls

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One may frequently employ Hindu shuffles due to the ease of performing certain simple controls, anything from moving a packet of cards around to maintaining or restoring a given packet. Generally in my opinion the advantage of Hindu shuffles as opposed to overhand shuffles lies in the ability to control packets effectively rather than individual cards, though the ability to shuffle onto a table is advantageous for gambling situations as well.


Holding a break for a Hindu shuffle is possible with relative invisibility if you use your left thumb and press down lightly with your forefinger. (See rear view in figure 58.)

Figure 58.

Once you have obtained a break you can pull off packets in a similar manner to the overhand shuffle action until you reach the break at which point you can drop the remainder of the deck on top completing the shuffle. A quick tip here in order to make sure you are able to grab the break point is to take hold of the packets fairly deep on the deck. (See figure 59.)

Figure 59.

I do not need to remind you that it is best to minimize the size of the break in order to help better conceal it.

The question of how to obtain a break then arises. If you are shuffling onto a table, you can simply jog a packet by placing it out of line with the rest of the deck. (See figure 60 and figure 61 for two different options.)

You would be wise (depending on the location of your audience) to use the method shown in figure 60 as the angle from the front helps to conceal the jogged packet. (See figure 62, note the jog is virtually invisible but is present.)

Figure 62.

As with an overhand shuffle, you can create a jog simply by placing the packet you remove a little farther down in your hand than the others. There are two methods by which to accomplish this, the first being more difficult and a method I would not recommend, but the decision remains your own. With a measure of good fortune you will develop a method superior to those I outline here. You will begin with a standard Hindu shuffle until you reach the point at which you want to jog a packet. You can now do one of two things to jog the packet accordingly. The first is to grip the packet as usual between the middle finger and thumb but as you pull the packet into the left hand, you use the left forefinger to push the packet back jogging it. (See figure 63, figure 64 and figure 65.)

Figure 63.
Figure 64.
Figure 65.

I loathe this particular method. My personal preferences and finesse, which constitutes less than the epitome of refinement, make a slight variation of this much more preferable. The problems I personally encounter with the previously described handling revolve around rendering the action smooth in motion. While it may seem relatively simple when performed slowly, you will I think find it quite difficult if you attempt to make the process sufficiently swift to be deceptive.

What I therefore recommend is rather than gripping the packet by the left middle finger and thumb, then pushing back is simply not to pull it as far forward and to grip it between the left ring finger and thumb. (See figure 66 and figure 67.)

Figure 66.
Figure 67.

You will find, I think, that this process is much easier and effective, which in turn should translate into making it more deceptive, but the decision is of course ultimately up to you.

The second method, which I would say in a number of regards, is desirable since it is a single card and not an entire packet that you jog, but for the same reason undesirable since it seems less likely to have occurred naturally, works as follows. You will begin with a standard Hindu shuffle until you the reach point where you wish to create the jog, at this point you will do so by lightly touching the right hand thumb to the top card of the left hand packet and drawing it back slightly as the next packet is added to the left hand packet. Naturally, you may repeat this process to create multiple jogs if you so desire. It is my preferred method of creating a jog using a Hindu shuffle and I feel it works the best in motion. (See figure 68 and figure 69.)

Figure 68.
Figure 69.

Practice it if you intend to use the method and I believe you will discover that the challenge disappears very quickly.

Packet Pick-up

Now, to continue I will briefly mention a technique used in overhand shuffling and one you can combine quite nicely with breaks and jogs as I will describe momentarily, namely the packet pick-up. This is quite a simple process and you may employ it in a variety of ways such as those described in the section on overhand shuffling or in other ways I will touch on briefly here. The method is simply to use the lower portion of the right thumb and middle finger to pick the packet up from the left hand packet and add it to the bottom of the right hand packet, probably separated by a slight break. (See figure 70 and figure 71.)

Figure 70.

Figure 71.

This process can also be used when Hindu shuffling to a table simply by picking the packet up from the table rather than out of the left hand. There is a danger that the break will be exposed to the audience and so in order to minimize this possibility I will mention something I should have perhaps mentioned in the previous section. First, when picking up the packet you can do so in such a manner that you tilt the packet slightly leaving a break only on the thumb side of the packet and leaving the break invisible to anyone watching from the middle finger side of the deck. (See figure 72.)

Figure 72.

Second, you can, depending on the location and number of the audience members angle the deck so that you direct the face of it at their eyes and the break stands out less. Notice the difference in visibility with only a slight angle shift. (See figure 73 and figure 74.)

Of course depending as I mentioned, on the audience, this method may not be terribly practical, but it is always something to keep in mind.

One interesting feature of the packet pick-up would be to shuffle through first creating and jog and break, then as you shuffle down to the break, shuffle past it but perform a packet pick-up and then shuffle off to that packet. You are thereby creating the illusion that you lost the card in the middle then mixed the middle further when in fact you have just moved the card or packet of cards from the middle of the deck to the top, or, depending on your method, to the bottom. There are of course numerous permutations of methods and procedures like this, which I will in my infinite generosity leave for you to discover on your own as per your curiosity and need.

Maintaining Top or Bottom Stock

I think that the two most interesting features of a Hindu shuffle are the ability to easily control packets as opposed to single cards as it is essentially a packet based shuffle and the illusions that you can create based on the angle of the shuffle. It is the later which I intend to discuss at this particular point. I will begin by telling you of how this method fooled me when I first began learning about Hindu shuffles. It involved a color changing deck performance, the trick in particular was Sam Webster's "Nemesis" and I must confess I was utterly convinced the deck in question was blue, after all, I had seen it Hindu shuffled and witnessed all blue backs. It was then that I believe I first came to appreciate some of the beauties in a Hindu shuffle that were not nearly as accessible with the conventional overhand shuffle I used at the time. As I will discuss further in later books, angles can be not only critical, but extremely valuable in creating illusions, just ask Jerry Andrus and he can provide visual demonstrations. However, let us return to the subject at hand.

What I was taken in by in the presentation of "Nemesis" was the fact that using a Hindu shuffle you can and often do position the backs or faces of the deck so they are directed at the eyes of your spectators thereby eliminating any real perception of depth in the packets. As such, it is possible, if you wish to maintain a small group of cards on the top of the deck, but create the illusion that you are shuffling the entire deck (in the example, keeping two different packets of cards each with different colored backs separated), to simply pick up a very small packet of cards from the top of the deck and remove cards one or two at a time as though they were much larger packets. To add to this illusion as you are removing the initial packet you will perform a sort of slip cut and use the fingers of the left hand to retain the top card as the packet is stripped out from under it. (See figure 75 and figure 76.)

Note that due to the angle in figure 75 and figure 76 it may not appear to be deceptive, in practice it is very deceptive, but the key is in the location of the audience.

Continuing with this concept, if you wished to maintain either the top or the bottom stock of the deck, you could combining the previously described method with the method described for an overhand shuffle and a little ingenuity simply remove the packet of cards from the center of the deck maintaining those on the bottom and shuffle accordingly. Of course this maintains the bottom stock, to maintain the top stock you would simply flip the deck over and the shuffling would take place face up. (See figure 77.)

Figure 77.

For a more deceptive method of maintaining top stock, as per the section on overhand shuffling, one could easily use a packet pick-up. Naturally these methods are reliant on angles and thus are essentially restricted to shuffling in the hands, though for any who develop an effective method of shuffling onto a table I would be interested in seeing it, bravo to you in advance.

The Undercut

The final method of Hindu card control I wish to mention is an important method when it comes to overhand shuffling, but, at least I feel, much less so when Hindu shuffling. The concept of an undercut while you perform a Hindu shuffle is exactly the same as the concept of an undercut while you perform a Hindu shuffle, but the mechanics are different and, I might add, more difficult. The problem arises from the fact that the fingers you might best use to perform the undercut are busy removing the packet itself. The task therefore falls to either the pinky, or the base of the thumb, I will describe both methods. First, we will address how to perform the undercut using your pinky.

You will pull the packets from the right hand into the left hand as normal with one small modification and that is, as you do so, your left pinky will swing inward and make contact with the back of the bottom card in the right hand packet. (See figure 78.)

Figure 78.

This will allow you to retain the bottom card along with the packet coming off the top. Notice here that you apply the fleshy part of the pinky so you can offer a better grip on the bottom card, as opposed to the tip of the pinky. The key to this process is to maintain a light grip on the right hand packet both for the top and bottom cards, as there is a tendency for you to hold too firmly and make removing the bottom card with the pinky difficult. As with many aspects of Hindu shuffling holding the cards at the correct angle will cover the undercut without any real difficulty provided you keep the card square with the packet above it.

Personally, I find this action to be somewhat awkward, mind you, it should also be kept in mind that it would be a rare case, if ever, that you would want to use an undercut with a Hindu shuffle. Nevertheless, I believe in being thorough and so I will continue by explaining the second method of performing a Hindu shuffle undercut.

As usual you begin the shuffle as normal except this time as you draw back on the packet where you wish to undercut the card you will swing the right hand packet slightly and lower it to allow the bottom card on the packet to make contact with the base of your thumb. Thus, you will retain it with the packet. (See figure 79.)

Figure 79.

The problem with this method, though it may at first seem a little more convenient is that the card tends not to remain square with the others but rather to be out jogged to the rear of the left hand packet. There are in my view two ways you can look at this. The first, is for you to change the angle at which the audience views the shuffle from having the face of the deck facing them, to swinging it so the front end faces them and thus does a fairly decent job of covering the move and the card. (See figure 80 for a demonstration of this angle.)

Figure 80.

The second way, is to take the concept in the positive light and use the undercut as a jog and merely part of a messy shuffle from the perspective of the audience. Of course, whenever you wish to use any slop shuffle concept you must adjust your normal shuffling accordingly so bear that in mind. Watching a few Lennart Green performances may help you in this regard, but we will return to him again shortly as shuffling, particularly what one might term "odd" shuffling, is one of his fortes.

Whatever way you wish to view the undercut, I suspect you will find you do not use it often, but it is always nice to know various techniques and learn new ideas, especially with the hope that such ideas will further inspire us. Or at least, that is how I look at it. On that note I will perhaps leave you with one last thought concerning this decidedly poor and awkward technique, that if the methods do not provide a shinning example for you, at least they may offer an illuminating warning.

Maintaining Top and Bottom Stock

The final point I wished to mention before I move on to blind Hindu shuffling, is one common to both the Hindu and overhand shuffles, namely the ability to combine various controls in order to preserve both the top and bottom stock. I will not go into detail here but will briefly describe the process. It begins by shuffling from the middle of the packet so that the bottom stock remains intact as described previously. You will now immediately perform a packet pick-up on the first packet that is shuffled off (the top stock), then deal as normal till you reach the packet which will be returned to the top, leaving you with both the top and bottom stock intact. It is a method I enjoy playing around with though honestly I have little use for it in practical terms as one could just as simply (or close) perform a blind shuffle and I rarely find myself in a situation where I wish to maintain only a small group of cards on the top and bottom of the deck. It is however; I feel a slightly more deceptive method than a blind shuffle as it is less conventional which appeals to the eccentric in me. I hope it offers at least some flavor for you to experiment.

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