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Magic-Aly

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Reply with quote  #1 
There are obviously a multitude of card tricks and routines that involve the selection of one or more cards by the spectator(s). I was curious as to members' favorite card controls?  

I would like the discussion to include not only the method(s) you like to use when controlling a selected card, but also the manner in which you have the card chosen in the first place (e.g.from a spread, dribble until they say stop, etc.)

If you have the spectator actually withdraw a card from the deck, I would be interested in how and where you have them replace the card back into the deck.
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mark lewis

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Reply with quote  #2 

I mostly use the injog but I know I shouldn't. I believe it is best to vary one's methods of control but I never practice what I preach. One should really have a specific control for a specific trick. I think the reason i am getting away with it is because the injog is such a splendid control. However, when I exert a bit of effort to vary things then the method I use most in frequency is the standard pass. I don't try to make it invisible although it probably is. I use misdirection. But I have all sorts of controls that I like and use occasionally. I rather like both controls in the Paul Le Paul book and I use them both. Once in a while for a specific trick I use the Backslip control in the Royal Road to Card Magic. There was one I liked as a kid which was invented by Blackstone ( I think). It is called the Roly Poly pass. I actually know a whole bunch of controls-way, way more than I need.

Oh, and I use the bluff pass quite frequently but with no cards in my hand rather than one card only. I get it right to the top rather than second from the top.

Incidentally, a really excellent and little known card control when several cards are chosen is in a lesser known Bobo book but a great little book nevertheless, "Watch This One". I can't remember what it is called but it is in the first chapter of the book. It is not as well known as his classic coin book but there is some great material therein. I learned how to tie a knot in a rope with one hand only from this book. Pure skill and you have to flip the rope up in the air to do it.

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Gareth

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Reply with quote  #3 
In the FASDIU competition I performed Aronson's 'Not a Chance'. He teaches the Bedwell Dribble Control or the Dribble Toss Control. In that trick the two packets are kept apart but by reassembling the pack by placing the left packet on top, the card is controlled to the top. This control has the great benefit of an in-built glimpse. So if using a stack, the stack is still intact it just begins at the glimpsed chosen top card. I guess this is why Simon is such a fan of this control.

If not using a stack, I sometimes hinge open the left hand packet and put the right hand packet (dribbled packet) into the hinged left packet giving the impression the chosen card is truly lost in the middle.

Aronson presents a number of brief uses. His "Efficient Triumph" from the dribble tossed position, flip the right hand packet over and go into your favourite Triumph shuffle and display with the added safety net of knowing the chosen card.

The inbuilt glimpse in this control really makes is a winner in my book. It takes a lot of practice to get the illusion correct though. letting the left packet nudge the right dribble and displacing some cards in the middle of the dribble to the right helps the illusion. On one of the other threads I think Mark had asserted the importance of the opportunity of a glimpse in any situation (or that have been Steven, not sure).

Aronson also demonstrates how he would use the Bedwell to control 2 chosen cards to the top in an elegantly simple solution using a simple riffle shuffle.  

For a bottom control I use TPC most commonly or convincing control.

Have been spending some weeks with Aronson's Art Decko, Jawdroppers should arrive this week, soon as that happens I'm dumping Simon for Harry. (I have a suspicion that Jawdroppers may have already arrived and my wife has hidden it away. As I have a PostGrad Uni assignment due on Thursday and she knows if I see Jawdroppers before then, the chance of that assignment being submitted on time goes out of the window[rolleyes]).
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Mike Powers

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Reply with quote  #4 
For a single card: Bluff pass, Classic Pass, Convincing Control.

Multiple cards to top: Neil Elias multiple shift

Multiple cards to bottom: Ackerman's multiple shift (I don't recall the name?)
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rready

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Reply with quote  #5 
I like to use the LePaul one hand fan control. Card is selected , make a fan, take their card, and push it down into the center of the fan with your right hand. Close the spread with your left hand and the card will be in-jogged after you square . One neat move is that once you close the fan you can dribble the cards, by the sides, onto the table and the card will still be in-jogged. Very convincing control.
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Harry Lorayne

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Reply with quote  #6 
    The overhand injog shuffle covers a multitude of sins!! (Forgive my quoting myself - have written that many times when I teach it. And saying it in the book I'm working on right now). I don't "dribble," I don't "pass," (unless it "fits" - like the start of my ACR; but never as a basic control for a selected card). I go into it fairly deeply in Jaw droppers!  But, hey, as usual, to each his own.
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Magic-Aly

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Reply with quote  #7 
For controlling a card to the bottom, I dribble the cards from my RH to LH, holding the deck in RH about 4-5 inches above my waiting LH, asking them to stay stop when they like. When they say stop, I turn my head away and lever up the remaining cards in RH to a vertical position so they can clearly see the bottom card of packet being held by RH, and I ask them to "memorize" that card.

Then I dribble RH's cards messily onto the cards in LH, in-jogging the selection. Deck is then gripped firmly in LH with thumb on top, fingers on bottom, and deck is then turned one quarter turn to the left so that the deck is now in position to go into an overhand shuffle.

Right thumb pushes against the in jogged card and all the cards above it, thus separating the deck into two packets, with the selection being the bottom card of the upper packet. RH brings up the lower pocket to begin an overhand shuffle, as the upper packet with selection on bottom naturally falls into LH.  RH carelessly shuffles off its cards onto the LH packet. The selection is on bottom.

The advantages I find in using this procedure:

(1) Not necessary to have a card withdrawn from the deck

(2) Good visibility to spectators of the chosen card

(3) Not necessary to have a card replaced, or to tell them where in the deck to place it back

(4) It's casual, dependable and appears fair.
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Anthony Vinson

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Reply with quote  #8 
I use the lift shuffle most often. Probably overuse it. I also use the bluff pass.

For the lift shuffle I begin an overhand shuffle asking the spectator to say "Stop." I offer the last card shuffled for them to look at and remember and shuffle off  while they do so, then begin a second shuffle, having them return their card at the halfway point, executing the lift shuffle and controlling the card to the top. From there it can go wherever needed.

As to the bluff pass, there's an interesting subtlety from Tom Stone in the Magicana section of the September issue of Genii. Been playing around with it; nice touch!
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Michaelblue

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Reply with quote  #9 
For 1 card--Convincing Control. 

More than one card--Lee Ashers' B.S Control, which is an easy multiple shift type action. B.S. stands for Bluff Shift.
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Gareth

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Reply with quote  #10 
Just going back to the Bedwell dribble control.
 
would a one handed second deal work as an alternative where you actually toss the second from top card into the dribble? Something along the lines of the toss-out change?
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Chi Han

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Reply with quote  #11 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth
Just going back to the Bedwell dribble control.
 
would a one handed second deal work as an alternative where you actually toss the second from top card into the dribble? Something along the lines of the toss-out change?


Sounds like a good alternative.  It could be an extra convincer, if in the action of tossing the card (actually the second from the top), it actually gets thrown too far through the dribble, or not far enough, that lets you say 'oops', table the deck, pick up the single card then throw it in as you dribble again.

That said I'm not sure if it needs another convincer, I guess it's up to you.  I personally would totally invest the time into learning a one hand second deal, but as I've been told by a number of magicians, I'm notorious for (badly) learning  a number of unnecessary sleights that I end up never using.

Edit:  Might as well take the time to throw in a few of my favorite card controls.  If I am replacing the card, I usually stick it somewhere in the middle, hold a break, gesture or talk for a bit, then double cut the card to the top.  If I want to be a bit more convincing, I'll have the card replaced where it was taken from (while holding half the deck in one hand, the other half spread in the other), then I do a spread pass.  If it's a spectator putting the card back, I'll usually spread a fan, have the spectator replace it into the fan, tap it level and get a step.  Then I'll convert that to a break and (after talking for a bit), cut or do a pass.  I'm also not above just crimping the card and cutting to it or jog shuffle to it at the appropriate time.  If I can help it, I usually wait as long as possible before controlling the card.  Most of my effects are quite quick, which means I usually have to control the card almost immediately, but...if I can help it.
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Magic-Aly

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Reply with quote  #12 
As I anticipated there are lot of diverse and creative techniques utilized by our members.

I think that there are three primary considerations that should come into play in the selection and replacement (if any) process.  

First, the spectator must believe he/she had a free choice of a card.  

Second, he/she must believe that the magician has no idea what the selected card is.

Allowing them to shuffle before a card is selected goes a long way toward engendering those first two beliefs.

Third, the spectator must believe that the selection is genuinely lost in the pack.

Without the spectator having all of the foregoing convictions, then the location or revelation of the selection(s), no matter how spectacular, will be substantially diminished.
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Paul Silk

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Reply with quote  #13 
Hi Guys I love the Jog Shuffle.and Mike Vincents Assmatic Card. Control.Paul Silk UK
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mark lewis

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Reply with quote  #14 

In the old, old, old days the magician would always allow the cards to be shuffled by the spectator AFTER the card was replaced. Of course he would palm it out while all this was happening. It must have been a very effective and convincing procedure back then. That is the late 19th and early 20th century. Alas, those earlier times were more leisurely and audience attention spans were longer. 

Mind you, having said that I have just complained on the Genii Forum about magicians waffling a full minute or more before starting a damn trick. And since many card tricks start with a card being selected all that waffling for no reason could have been better spent doing that old selection procedure since you are going to be wasting all that time anyway. Of course the better plan nowadays is to omit the extra minute of pre trick waffle AND the old selection procedure if you wish audience members to stay awake.

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Eddie H.

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Reply with quote  #15 
What a great thread topic.....

 My favorite control depends on several variables like most others, but there is one that I am liking right now. It is at it's base the two handed shift, but the moment it's done is what's important.

I start with a card selected from a thumb fan. The deck is shuffled as the card is noted and I then take the card back and insert it into the lower quarter of the deck. In pushing the selection flush a break is held and Chris Kenner's Sybil begins with the chosen card being the top card of the lower most packet. As Sybil ends and the packets coalesce it is easy to keep the break. As the deck is being squared up there is a natural attention relaxation from the spec as they have just seen five different card faces flying around and now they are gone. It is perfect timing for the pass.

I approach it as an example of what the kids are doing these days: "They call it cardistry and it has its roots in cutting the cards like this...." as Sybil ends I comment  "I don't really do any of that fancy stuff" as the controlled card is shifted to the top.
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Harry Lorayne

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Reply with quote  #16 
    Kinda' like killing a fly with a sledge hammer, no?
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Rudy Tinoco

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Reply with quote  #17 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddie H.
What a great thread topic.....

 My favorite control depends on several variables like most others, but there is one that I am liking right now. It is at it's base the two handed shift, but the moment it's done is what's important.

I start with a card selected from a thumb fan. The deck is shuffled as the card is noted and I then take the card back and insert it into the lower quarter of the deck. In pushing the selection flush a break is held and Chris Kenner's Sybil begins with the chosen card being the top card of the lower most packet. As Sybil ends and the packets coalesce it is easy to keep the break. As the deck is being squared up there is a natural attention relaxation from the spec as they have just seen five different card faces flying around and now they are gone. It is perfect timing for the pass.

I approach it as an example of what the kids are doing these days: "They call it cardistry and it has its roots in cutting the cards like this...." as Sybil ends I comment  "I don't really do any of that fancy stuff" as the controlled card is shifted to the top.


Sounds interesting, Eddie. Maybe you can demonstrate what it looks like at one of our online sessions.

As Harry said, it could be a lot more work than necessary to control a card, but I suppose that many of us are guilty of doing that every now and again.

Maybe in your hands, this control makes sense and would fit your performance style. 

We'll be having a session tomorrow. If you've got time...please join us!

Rudy


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zarrow52

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Reply with quote  #18 
I always like the automatic jog control. Or the good old "put the card back, keep a break, double undercut" - doesn't have to be fancy.

Sean
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pnielan

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Reply with quote  #19 
Most often use the Kelly Bottom Placement (OMM)  followed by a OH shuffle sequence if card needs to be at the top.

Sometimes move it to the top, then to 2nd from bottom with a slip shuffle. Useful if you want to ask if card "accidentally" ended up top or bottom.
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Magic-Aly

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Reply with quote  #20 
prielan wrote: "Sometimes move it to the top, then to 2nd from bottom with a slip shuffle. Useful if you want to ask if card 'accidentally' ended up top or bottom."

Yes.  Also useful as a way of counteracting various spectators who believe you've controlled it to the top or bottom and/or who outright say they believe this is the case.
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mark lewis

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Reply with quote  #21 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Harry Lorayne
    Kinda' like killing a fly with a sledge hammer, no?

 

That's what I thought! But I have another objection. I don't think it is wise procedure to use flourishy handling when controlling a card. Bad timing for one thing. Keep that kind of stuff for other occasions. Or better still never. I DETEST Sybil cuts and I have no idea why. I find them irritating as hell. Possibly because they are usually done by 14 year old kids whom I find irritating anyway. Try selling svengali decks and you will soon discover why. 

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Gareth

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Reply with quote  #22 
The Simple pass. From the Encyclopaedia. Name says it all really.
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Jeremy Salow

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Reply with quote  #23 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harry Lorayne
    The overhand injog shuffle covers a multitude of sins!!


The injog shuffle works great when it makes sense to shuffle the cards to show a card is "lost." It does not work in a situation where it is important to maintain that a card is in a specific location in the deck, or was not moved closer to the top or the bottom, or even more when it is important to maintain that no cards have changed positions. In those cases another control such as a pass, side steal, cull, etc. is needed. For instance in Steven Youell's "The Image Fades" he makes it clear that is why a shuffle control would not be prudent to use, and that's one example where he's completely correct.

I completely respect your constant evangelizing of the jog shuffle, as in most cases it is the best option, but not all cases.
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jim ferguson

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Reply with quote  #24 
The poster above makes good sense.

I agree, the control we use for any particular trick should depend, on a large degree, on what exactly it is we want the audience to think.

In those cases where I want the audience to believe nothing has happened at all (the deck is left exactly as it is with no shuffles or cuts) I find a Cull works well for a control to the bottom, and a Side Steal for the top.

Where a shuffle is allowed I use either a Jog Shuffle or a simple handling of the Erdnase Shuffle.


Jim



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Jdip

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Reply with quote  #25 
I'm going to reiterate what has been said if I say that it depends on the trick.

That being said, If I have to control to the bottom: convincing control, followed by a riffle shuffle AND our dear Harry Lorayne's halo cut (throws off most cardmen!)

To the top, I can't remember what it's called, but there is a GREAT control that goes something like this:

- you insert the selected card in the middle of the pack, leaving it out jogged for 1/2 inch.
- tap it so that it 'goes through' and becomes in jogged (card college).
- Turn the pack as if  going to jog shuffle, faces towards the spectator (the injogged card is protruding towards you)
- Push down on the corner of the in jogged card with the RIGHT thumb, so that your 4rd or 5th left hand fingers can touch its back (its kind of angled out of the deck towards the floor, like if you were to do a side steal, expect the pack is not parallel but perpendicular to the floor)
- Position is: pack is held in right hand, with the selected card's back touched by 4th and 5th fingers
- Now as the right hand goes up with the pack as if to do a little flourishy waterfall, the left thumb contacts the face card and it is going to strip out both the face card and the covered in jogged card  
- the in jogged card is now riding behind the cards that fall on the left hand: it is now on top!

The explanation is a lot longer than the action. It is EXTREMELY smooth! If anyone knows the name let us know!
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jim ferguson

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Reply with quote  #26 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jdip
If I have to control to the bottom: convincing control, followed by a riffle shuffle AND our dear Harry Lorayne's halo cut (throws off most cardmen!)



Kind of negates the use of the Convincing Control - the point of which is that the card is lost somewhere in the centre and you don't do any further manipulation.

In my opinion, if the cards are going to be shuffled after the Convincing Control, you may as well ommit it altogether and go straight into the shuffle, controlling it that way.

If your Convincing Control has been convincing, then you already have the card exactly where you want it, while the spectators are convinced its somewhere in the centre. The card is already lost within the deck, so why would you need to do anything ? To move it into position for the trick of course. The problem is that a thinking spectator may come to the same conclusion.

It is simply over proving in my opinion.


Jim





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Eddie H.

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Reply with quote  #27 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harry Lorayne
    Kinda' like killing a fly with a sledge hammer, no?


Yes sir. You are correct. No doubt about it, but you can find good shade right after a flash.
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Eddie H.

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Reply with quote  #28 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mark lewis

 

 

That's what I thought! But I have another objection. I don't think it is wise procedure to use flourishy handling when controlling a card. Bad timing for one thing. Keep that kind of stuff for other occasions. Or better still never. I DETEST Sybil cuts and I have no idea why. I find them irritating as hell. Possibly because they are usually done by 14 year old kids whom I find irritating anyway. Try selling svengali decks and you will soon discover why. 



Mark,

Thanks for your honest post and constructive criticism. I assure you that your level of detest for Sybil cuts does not exceed my detest for Svengali decks.
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Rudy Tinoco

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Reply with quote  #29 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddie H.


Mark,

Thanks for your honest post and constructive criticism. I assure you that your level of detest for Sybil cuts does not exceed my detest for Svengali decks.


I often use a false triple cut that could be seen as somewhat flourishy.
To each his own.

Rudy

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mark lewis

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Reply with quote  #30 

I quite like the false triple cut if it is the one I am thinking of. It is indeed slightly flourishy. That is why I believe it should be done sparingly. As for Sybil cuts I have been doing for decades the original one that I am sure started off all these awful teenage ones. That is the very simple one invented by Hubert Lambert and described in Ultimate Secrets of Card Magic by Lewis Ganson. This is one of the Vernon card books. 

With regard to the svengali deck my level of detestation for it will easily exceed Eddie's for obvious reasons. However, I do not detest money and since this card trick has earned me more money than any other card trick in recorded history I have to put up with it. 

With regard to the original point I have already explained elsewhere that there are three types of flourishes. 

1. The spectacular flourish which is an event on it's own. This should be done whenever you feel like it providing you do not overdo it.

2. The minor flourish which is used as part of the trick itself. This should be done sparingly.

3. The minor flourishes like the Sybil Cuts which are done at the wrong time and the wrong place. In other words during the trick itself when it has nothing whatsoever to do with the trick. Save these for another time if you really have to do them. You dilute the effect of a trick tremendously when you go against this emphasing your skill and making people suspicious of your every action. If you are controlling a card and launch into the Sybil Cut it may well result in your audience members suspecting the card is not really lost. They may not know what you have done but they suspect you have done something. 

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Jdip

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Reply with quote  #31 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jim ferguson
Kind of negates the use of the Convincing Control - the point of which is that the card is lost somewhere in the centre and you don't do any further manipulation. In my opinion, if the cards are going to be shuffled after the Convincing Control, you may as well ommit it altogether and go straight into the shuffle, controlling it that way. If your Convincing Control has been convincing, then you already have the card exactly where you want it, while the spectators are convinced its somewhere in the centre. The card is already lost within the deck, so why would you need to do anything ? To move it into position for the trick of course. The problem is that a thinking spectator may come to the same conclusion. It is simply over proving in my opinion. Jim


You are right Jim, except I do the shuffle and cut, usually saying something like "and so I have NO idea WHERE your card is, lets do a quick shuffle and cut..." it is just so the spectator does not think I know the position of his card.

But yes, maybe I'm being over-proving.
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jim ferguson

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Reply with quote  #32 
Jdip,

Thank you for your reply.
The thing is - I haven't seen you performing, so for all I know it could fit perfectly in your routine. I was somewhat generalising in my post - as with many of these types of things, a lot depends on the actual performer.


Jim


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Magic-Aly

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Reply with quote  #33 
I would advise against making disclaimers to spectators such as "I have no idea where your card is" or "Your card is completely lost" or "There is no way I could know where (or what) your card is." Ironically, I believe that such commentary arouses suspicion, as opposed to allaying it, and can thus, ironically, have the opposite effect on the spectators than the intended one we are hoping to create psychologically.

Let's be realistic.  When spectators see a magician shuffling and cutting a deck, there is often automatic, built-in suspicion that the cards are being manipulated.  Why?  Because it's a magician. Trying to "sell" them by explaining how "fair" we're being only highlights the probability that there is control/manipulation going on.  It's kind of like saying, "I have here an ordinary deck of cards..."  

IMHO, the only realistic way to curtail the spectator's natural (and indeed, justified) suspicion that you are controlling or have controlled their card is to let them shuffle, or possibly to let them insert the card in the deck where they want and then do no (at least apparent) manipulation of the cards.  

Do I always practice whatI preach?  Unfortunately no.  But I am working on it...

I would also counsel against making comments to spectators such as, "We'll give the deck a shuffle," or indeed any comment that explains what you are doing when it is already clearly apparent what you are doing.  It is not only likely to create suspicion, but could be taken as an insult to their intelligence.  This kind of "explanatory patter,"which so many magicians seem to employ ("I'll place the coin in my hand..." "We'll bury your card in the deck," "I just wave my hand and snap my fingers" etc.) ), is counter-productive, and is not entertaining.   
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Chi Han

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Reply with quote  #34 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Magic-Aly
I would advise against making disclaimers to spectators such as "I have no idea where your card is" or "Your card is completely lost" or "There is no way I could know where (or what) your card is." Ironically, I believe that such commentary arouses suspicion, as opposed to allaying it, and can thus, ironically, have the opposite effect on the spectators than the intended one we are hoping to create psychologically.

Let's be realistic.  When spectators see a magician shuffling and cutting a deck, there is often automatic, built-in suspicion that the cards are being manipulated.  Why?  Because it's a magician. Trying to "sell" them by explaining how "fair" we're being only highlights the probability that there is control/manipulation going on.  It's kind of like saying, "I have here an ordinary deck of cards..."  

IMHO, the only realistic way to curtail the spectator's natural (and indeed, justified) suspicion that you are controlling or have controlled their card is to let them shuffle, or possibly to let them insert the card in the deck where they want and then do no (at least apparent) manipulation of the cards.  

Do I always practice whatI preach?  Unfortunately no.  But I am working on it...

I would also counsel against making comments to spectators such as, "We'll give the deck a shuffle," or indeed any comment that explains what you are doing when it is already clearly apparent what you are doing.  It is not only likely to create suspicion, but could be taken as an insult to their intelligence.  This kind of "explanatory patter,"which so many magicians seem to employ ("I'll place the coin in my hand..." "We'll bury your card in the deck," "I just wave my hand and snap my fingers" etc.) ), is counter-productive, and is not entertaining.   


I agree, but sometimes I do like playing this up for comedy.  Lines like.  "Wait, was this deck shuffled?"  After I perform something with a deck the audience just shuffled and "Wait a second, this is a shuffled deck!" As if I'm surprised it worked.
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Jdip

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Reply with quote  #35 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chi Han Yeo


I agree, but sometimes I do like playing this up for comedy.  Lines like.  "Wait, was this deck shuffled?"  After I perform something with a deck the audience just shuffled and "Wait a second, this is a shuffled deck!" As if I'm surprised it worked.


[thumb]
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Magic-Aly

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Reply with quote  #36 
Chi Han Yeo Wrote: "I agree, but sometimes I do like playing this up for comedy.  Lines like.  "Wait, was this deck shuffled?"  After I perform something with a deck the audience just shuffled and "Wait a second, this is a shuffled deck!" As if I'm surprised it worked."

Yes, I can see that angle - more of a tongue in cheek and comedic.
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