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KenTheriot

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Reply with quote  #1 
What would be the best way for me to determine the top card prior to a trick? For instance, there are a couple of tricks where I need to get the top card 5th from the top and then force the 5th card, or simply force the top card. In both cases I would need to know what that card is.

I know I could do the easy glimpse of the bottom card and then control it to the top. But that seems a bit far to go if there is a more direct way to find out what the top card is.

I know of 2 ways to peek at the top card, but one of them is a pretty unnatural move, and the other one seems a bit too obvious.

I am hoping to get a few more ideas on how to glimpse the top card?

Cheers! 
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Paul Gordon

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Reply with quote  #2 
My favourite cheeky way which - I promise - works is this: Ask the spectator to shuffle the deck, take it back and table-spread it face up. Stare at the cards (getting your glimpse) as you say, "That's a darned good shuffle!" If you wish, flip the deck face down, pick it up and do a quick jogshuffle (retaining top stock) as you continue, "... But, this is even better!"

Hope this helps. Paul Gordon

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Chi Han

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Reply with quote  #3 
Are you sitting or standing?

One of my favourite ways to do it sitting is to get a glimpse of the bottom card, put the deck down on the table, talk for a bit, then when I pick up the deck pick up all but the bottom card as if by accident, then pick that up and just place it on top.  There are plenty of ways, such as with a tabled riffle shuffle to peek it, Erdnase talks a lot about those.  You could also have a shiner somewhere, a phone makes a very nice impromptu shiner, as the surfaces are very reflective nowadays.

If in the hands and you don't want to do any movements to glimpse the card (I know that Michael Vincent has a very convincing one in his Penguin Lecture which I think you have Ken that can be applied to the top card, he does it for his intuition speller.  Same thing except with the top card).  I find it good (when you get the deck back after it has been shuffled) to have them hand it to you with your palm open.  This naturally causes the cards to become unsquared, I then do an all around square up glimpse.  I think there's a version taught in card college volume 2, but the idea is a marlo one if I recall correctly, I might be wrong.  I usually don't look down until the crucial moment, and then only for a second.  The gestalt I'm going for is that I'm just checking that the deck is squared up.  Having scripted patter helps for that point.  I've started getting back into scripting after a year without doing it and boy does it help with a lot of sleights!
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Chi Han

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Reply with quote  #4 
Oh I feel like I should talk a little bit more about how I (used to) use the shiner.  I would have the deck in my left hand in mechanics grip, hold it above the phone.  Then make a movement as if I was adjusting my chair (i.e. pulling it forward with my right hand).  That's my motivation to look down.  In that same moment I use my left thumb to push the top card out right above my phone.  My head fully down, only my eyes go to my phone for a glimpse of the card.  Then I square the card and keep talking to the audience.  Whole thing happens in about an instant.  I don't like using a shiner without motivation to look down.
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Gareth

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Reply with quote  #5 
Or perphaps glimpse the bottom card and either shuffle off to the top or double cut it to the top. The crucial, important point of Chi Han's post is there must be a justification to look down and it must be psychologically invisible. Great post Chi Han

Ken I know you are a Simon Aronson fan. Check out his Funski Glimpse, I learnt from Art Decko would fit the bill perfectly although context is a little different the move would fit. Can also be found MAGIC magazine Sept 2007 and Aronson notes the grip is similar to a glimpse described in ECT but there it's used to glimpse a card in the middle of the deck while the index finger points at something. aronsons funski glimpse is a top card glimpse
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Anthony Vinson

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Reply with quote  #6 
Like Paul, I often just spread the cards under the conceit of showing them to be well-mixed. A little time misdirection, and Bob's your uncle. I also use a glimpse that I learned from Card College that involves slightly lifting the top card and then riffling the deck from the rear, catching your glimpse as the top card falls. There are a couple of finesses involved, but you can find them in Card College if you are interested.

As others have mentioned, you could also just glimpse the bottom card and then transfer it to the top with a cut or shuffle.
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DJ

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Reply with quote  #7 
Hi Ken, I've found the bubble or buckle peek to be useful. Hold the cards in mechanics grip and then press the left thumb onto the upper top left of the top card and slide the thumb to the right while keeping the right side of the card in place with the rest of your fingers. This will bubble or buckle the top card allowing you to see the index.
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EVILDAN

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Reply with quote  #8 
Funny, because I usually force the card 5th from the top as well.
I do it in one of two ways:
1. look at the fifth card before people come over.
2. turn the deck face up, spread the cards between your hands noting the card you need, and say, "As you can see the cards are pretty well mixed." Turn face down and proceed.
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DJ

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Reply with quote  #9 
For the 5th card from top - overhand shuffle the deck face up, running 5 cards first (remembering the fifth), then shuffle off the rest of the deck.
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rready

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Reply with quote  #10 
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rready

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Reply with quote  #11 
The mechanics of this is to get a break under the top card and as you turn left hand palm down your left pinky pushed the card to your right and you get the peek then as the index corner of the top card will be showing
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Mike Powers

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Reply with quote  #12 
The bubble peek mentioned above is and excellent way to peek the top card. It can be used by the dealer to cheat in blackjack. Once the top card is known, the dealer either deals it to the mark or deals a second depending on the nature of the top card. For example, if the top card is a ten and the spec has 13 showing, you deal the top and bust him. If the top card is an 8 and the spec has 13, you do a second and hope to give him a worse card than the 8. You'll kill the players using this tactic.

Another way involves a little more work but has merit. To wit: Double turnover and say "Your card isn't on top." Flip the double FD and turn the deck FU. Now kick the now bottom card inward a bit so only you can see the index as you say, "And it's not on the bottom." I use that ruse in "Expert Cards to Pocket."

Mike
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James Sievert

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Reply with quote  #13 
Gary Ouellette published one in "The Finger on the Card" that uses a buckle of the top card under the cover of raising the hands to demonstrate the pointing action to be used by the spectator.

Not sure this will help here.

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KenTheriot

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Reply with quote  #14 
Holy moly folks! Thanks so much for all those replies [biggrin] I just got back to this and saw them all. I'll check them all out ASAP. 

I LOVE THIS FORUM!
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KenTheriot

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Reply with quote  #15 
These definitely gave me several usable options. Thanks so much!

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Barden

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Reply with quote  #16 
Howard Hamburg demo'd the bubble peek in his lecture. Easy enough with a bit of misdirection.
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KenTheriot

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Reply with quote  #17 
Thanks Barden,

I missed his lecture (ironically I was on a trip to California where I met him :-P). but just sent some $$ to Rudy for the video. Thanks for the tip!

Ken
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