Sign up Latest Topics Chat
 
 
 


Reply
  Author   Comment  
Buffalo McKinley

Inner Circle
Registered:
Posts: 230
Reply with quote  #1 
Hello!

My Zarrow shuffle is o.k., but I was wondering if anyone has any tips for making the sleight the best it can be.

Also, is it possible to do the Zarrow shuffle while standing and without a table?  If so, please let me know how you do it.

Thanks!

-Buffalo
0
Mike Powers

Avatar / Picture

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 2,549
Reply with quote  #2 
There is a ton of material flying around on this subject. The names Steve Reynolds and Gary Plants come up a lot in this regard. Both have published written work as well as DVDs. Their methods are very different from each other. You might want to look at some videos of these guys performing the shuffle to see which style you'd prefer and the dive in.

Mike
0
RayJ

Avatar / Picture

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 4,006
Reply with quote  #3 
Steve Reynolds is a great example of an open Zarrow. Gary Plants cages the deck. What does your regular tabled shuffle look like?
0
RayJ

Avatar / Picture

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 4,006
Reply with quote  #4 
Showing is easier than telling but in general there are a few basics to consider.

1. What are you using it for? Just a false shuffle, a triumph, etc..

2. Do you want a single shuffle or is a 2-shuffle sequence OK?

3. Make sure to lay a bed on the left (assuming you're right handed). About 10 to 12 cards is fine.

4. Don't interweave too far, 1/4" is about right. Maintain a "v" of about 30 degrees or so.

5. Both hands should begin to rotate and unweave.

6. Don't raise the packets and make sure both hands move together. The "bed" helps with elevating the cards, don't push them up, but more laterally.

7. Don't stuff the turkey! Easier to demonstrate but when you see it you'll know.

8. Remember to pretend to have some difficulty or resistance to the final squaring action. A real shuffle produces friction, making squaring more difficult. So mimic
that.

9. Finally, don't rush and try not to look at the cards.
0
Buffalo McKinley

Inner Circle
Registered:
Posts: 230
Reply with quote  #5 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RayJ
Steve Reynolds is a great example of an open Zarrow. Gary Plants cages the deck. What does your regular tabled shuffle look like?


I don't understand.  What is an open Zarrow and what is caging the deck?

Thanks,

Buffalo
0
Buffalo McKinley

Inner Circle
Registered:
Posts: 230
Reply with quote  #6 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RayJ
Showing is easier than telling but in general there are a few basics to consider.

1. What are you using it for? Just a false shuffle, a triumph, etc..

Triumph.


2. Do you want a single shuffle or is a 2-shuffle sequence OK?

A single shuffle is when you separate the cards once?


3. Make sure to lay a bed on the left (assuming you're right handed). About 10 to 12 cards is fine.

What's a bed?



4. Don't interweave too far, 1/4" is about right. Maintain a "v" of about 30 degrees or so.


Sounds good.


5. Both hands should begin to rotate and unweave.


Got it.


6. Don't raise the packets and make sure both hands move together. The "bed" helps with elevating the cards, don't push them up, but more laterally.

What do you mean by raising the packets?  It seems to help hide the Zarrow shuffle if you tilt both decks slightly toward the spectator.  I shouldn't do that?


7. Don't stuff the turkey! Easier to demonstrate but when you see it you'll know.

Not sure what you mean.


8. Remember to pretend to have some difficulty or resistance to the final squaring action. A real shuffle produces friction, making squaring more difficult. So mimic
that.

Makes sense.

9. Finally, don't rush and try not to look at the cards.


Got it.

Great tips!  Thanks, Ray!!!

-Buffalo
0
Buffalo McKinley

Inner Circle
Registered:
Posts: 230
Reply with quote  #7 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Powers
There is a ton of material flying around on this subject. The names Steve Reynolds and Gary Plants come up a lot in this regard. Both have published written work as well as DVDs. Their methods are very different from each other. You might want to look at some videos of these guys performing the shuffle to see which style you'd prefer and the dive in.

Mike


I took a look at Steve Reynolds.  I'll check out Gary Plants, too.

Thanks, Mike!!!

-Buffalo
0
RayJ

Avatar / Picture

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 4,006
Reply with quote  #8 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Buffalo McKinley


Got it.

Great tips!  Thanks, Ray!!!

-Buffalo


I'll elaborate more in the morning when I have time. I can answer the questions in a bit more detail.
0
Mike Powers

Avatar / Picture

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 2,549
Reply with quote  #9 
Also consider a push through or strip out. In many ways I think these looks better than a Zarrow. 

Mike
0
luvisi

Inner Circle
Registered:
Posts: 139
Reply with quote  #10 
I have never used a Zarrow in performance, but I've practiced several variants over the years.

Historically, whenever I showed a Zarrow to my wife, she winced and told me not to use that shuffle.

The one, and only exception, has been the Gary Plants handling.

Your mileage may vary. Personally, I know it is unpopular, but my favorite shuffle is the Vernon Triumph shuffle.

Andru
0
RayJ

Avatar / Picture

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 4,006
Reply with quote  #11 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Buffalo McKinley


Got it.

Great tips!  Thanks, Ray!!!

-Buffalo


Buffalo, I hope this helps.  Sometimes we can assume that others understand the jargon we use and they don't.  Makes communication very challenging!

1. What are you using it for? Just a false shuffle, a triumph, etc..
If using it for Triumph, take a look at the original Triumph Shuffle from Vernon.  It is 
in Stars of Magic.
2. Do you want a single shuffle or is a 2-shuffle sequence OK?
What I meant here is that the way I do it, I Zarrow twice in order to return the deck to original order.  I "Zarrow" under two cards on the left, hold a break, cut to the break and then repeat,  that restores the order.  I don't care for the center strip-out that will allow you to do only one shuffle.  Just a personal choice.
3. Make sure to lay a bed on the left (assuming you're right handed). About 10 to 12 cards is fine.
Laying a bed is where you begin the shuffle with a block of cards, in my case usually 10 or 12 on one side and then begin to interweave cards from both sides.  This can be done on the 'Push-Through' shuffle also.  It facilitates the move.  Fewer woven cards makes for an easier, smoother shuffle.  When you lay the bed, you do it in one motion.  Don't let it appear obvious.  I don't riffle them, but rather keep them on the table as a unit and then begin my thumb action above the block.  In the Zarrow, the cards on the right have to go up and under a certain number of cards on the left.  Having the block helps to facilitate the action.  The packet or talon on the right should remain flat with respect to the table, but tilt up slightly in order to ride under the card or cards on the left.  I always perform the Zarrow action under two cards on the left if I can.  It helps prevent the top card from popping up, which is a tell.  You can keep your left forefinger on top to help prevent this also.
4. Don't interweave too far, 1/4" is about right. Maintain a "v" of about 30 degrees or so.

5. Both hands should begin to rotate and unweave.

6. Don't raise the packets and make sure both hands move together. The "bed" helps with elevating the cards, don't push them up, but more laterally.
Since I don't know what your regular shuffle looks like, I don't know whether you lift, or tilt the cards as a regular practice.  So I gave what I believe it the proper way to do it and that is to not lift or tilt the deck.  Yes, it may provide some cover, but if you do it right it doesn't need cover and if you don't usually tilt the deck, then it will not conform.  Anything that doesn't conform to your ordinary practice can be suspect.


7. Don't stuff the turkey! Easier to demonstrate but when you see it you'll know.
Even some renowned cardworkers are guilty of "stuffing the turkey".  What this means is the left hand freezes (remember I'm right-handed, so I'm describing it that way) and the right hand makes a furtive and obvious attempt to stuff the cards up underneath the cards on the left.  It looks weird, stands out from any distance and there is no way to camouflage it.  So make sure to not lift the packet on the right excessively and make sure to have both hands moving towards the center, so to speak.  I will try to work out a video that will help show it.  Easier to see than to imagine.


8. Remember to pretend to have some difficulty or resistance to the final squaring action. A real shuffle produces friction, making squaring more difficult. So mimic
that.

9. Finally, don't rush and try not to look at the cards.

Where did you learn the Zarrow Shuffle?  Some sources are not great.  Some never really understand the shuffle and the underlying dynamics and what makes it 'work'.  

0
RayJ

Avatar / Picture

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 4,006
Reply with quote  #12 
Quote:
Originally Posted by luvisi
I have never used a Zarrow in performance, but I've practiced several variants over the years.

Historically, whenever I showed a Zarrow to my wife, she winced and told me not to use that shuffle.

The one, and only exception, has been the Gary Plants handling.

Your mileage may vary. Personally, I know it is unpopular, but my favorite shuffle is the Vernon Triumph shuffle.

Andru


I love the Triumph Shuffle.  I love most all of the tabled riffle shuffles and I think they all have their strengths and weaknesses.  Mostly strengths.

Regarding the Zarrow, I liken it to the Classic Pass.  Some say it can't be done deceptively and some say it can't be done invisibly.  Some say it can be done deceptively, just not invisibly.  Some say it REQUIRES misdirection, others say if your technique is right, it doesn't matter.  

Gracie Morgan's recent lecture showed that it can be deceptive AND invisible.

A good Zarrow need not invite suspicion.  It can look wonderful with complete understanding and practice.  Reynolds and Plants are some of the names that come up but many others do it very well.  When Steve Reynolds did his lecture he demonstrated his finesses to the shuffle and it was a sight to behold.  

I admire Gary Plants handling but his grip is something I would never do naturally, so I won't use it.  It looks good, but if you don't normally shuffle that way, not so much.
0
RayJ

Avatar / Picture

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 4,006
Reply with quote  #13 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Buffalo McKinley


I don't understand.  What is an open Zarrow and what is caging the deck?

Thanks,

Buffalo


What I would call an "open Zarrow"  is when you grip the cards somewhere between the center of the cards and the outer ends.  In other words, when gripped, most of the top of the cards are visible.

A "caged" or closed shuffle is where the hands cover most of the deck.  The thumbs might even be at the extreme corner of the cards.  I admire Gary Plants handling of the Zarrow, but I don't shuffle that way so I won't use it.  I follow Steve Reynolds basic way of doing it.  That is the way I learned it 40 years ago.

As far as you question about standing while shuffling, that is the issue I have with any false table shuffle.  Of course they can be done standing, but I tend to bend way over and it certainly isn't as comfortable as sitting at a table.  






0
Mike Powers

Avatar / Picture

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 2,549
Reply with quote  #14 
I agree with andru. The Plants handling, even given the more closed hand position, is totally deceptive. Whereas, all the others don't look right. Someone may post a video that will make me retract the word "all." But so far, I can't think of any Zarrow Shuffle I've seen that wouldn't get you shot in a poker game with sophisticated players. 

Gary's shuffle might not be suitable for a poker game either. But in a magic environment it'll pass muster. I roomed with Gary years ago when he was first developing the shuffle. He repeatedly shuffled, switching randomly among real shuffles, Zarrows and Oink (spelling?) shuffles. I literally could not tell the difference if my life depended on it. He can do a real shuffle that looks exactly like his Zarrow.

Also, note in the videos above that Gary's is a full deck control while Steve's is a red/black shuffle. If you watch Steve's full deck control, you'll know that it's a Zarrow. In Gary's handling, the first fingers cover the gap, hiding the "dirty work." Without that, you'll always see the "dirty work" or some sort of unnatural tilting and spreading to cover it.

Mike
0
Mike Powers

Avatar / Picture

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 2,549
Reply with quote  #15 
Here's some good info on the Zarrow shuffle:

LINK

Mike
0
RayJ

Avatar / Picture

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 4,006
Reply with quote  #16 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Powers
I agree with andru. The Plants handling, even given the more closed hand position, is totally deceptive. Whereas, all the others don't look right. Someone may post a video that will make me retract the word "all." But so far, I can't think of any Zarrow Shuffle I've seen that wouldn't get you shot in a poker game with sophisticated players. 

Gary's shuffle might not be suitable for a poker game either. But in a magic environment it'll pass muster. I roomed with Gary years ago when he was first developing the shuffle. He repeatedly shuffled, switching randomly among real shuffles, Zarrows and Oink (spelling?) shuffles. I literally could not tell the difference if my life depended on it. He can do a real shuffle that looks exactly like his Zarrow.

Also, note in the videos above that Gary's is a full deck control while Steve's is a red/black shuffle. If you watch Steve's full deck control, you'll know that it's a Zarrow. In Gary's handling, the first fingers cover the gap, hiding the "dirty work." Without that, you'll always see the "dirty work" or some sort of unnatural tilting and spreading to cover it.

Mike


I'm gonna have to disagree on Reynold's full deck Zarrow being different in appearance from the red/black.  Either one would fly, IMO.
0
RayJ

Avatar / Picture

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 4,006
Reply with quote  #17 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Powers
Here's some good info on the Zarrow shuffle:

LINK

Mike


Here's what I believe is the crux of the issue of deceptiveness.  This is quoted from the text link.

"The booklet proper begins with a description of the four common tells associated with a Zarrow shuffle. It is important to note these are NOT inherent to the shuffle but rather artifacts from bad technique or insufficient practice. Without tipping the details, these tells should be apparent to any seasoned student of the shuffle."

I added the hi-liting.  This is pretty much what I cautioned against, the tipping or tilting, the stuffing, etc.
0
Gracie Morgan

Avatar / Picture

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 33
Reply with quote  #18 
This is what my Zarrow USED to look like. (When I was good...) There are some very specific things I did so that it would look like my regular tabled riffle shuffle. I'll try and remember some specifics, but one thing was that triangle you see when the halves of the deck are being squared up. I have that triangle showing up in my regular shuffle, as many people do. So I made sure it was in my Zarrow.

Another was that I wanted to avoid it looking like the right hand packet is being spread forward along the long edges. People do that in order to fit in under the cover card(s). I don't find it necessary and I think it's a tell. I've seen that error many times, often made by people who are better than me.

You can click on the V in the bottom right hand corner of the player to see the real sized video. It may give you a better view.


Gracie
0
RayJ

Avatar / Picture

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 4,006
Reply with quote  #19 
Very nice Gracie. You hit the big points, the 30 degree "V", both hands moving together and a believable squaring action.
0
Mike Powers

Avatar / Picture

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 2,549
Reply with quote  #20 
Gracie - I'm a fan of your work, as I think you know. Loved your recent lecture for TMF. But I'm going to be a PITA and ask to see the shuffle from a lower angle i.e. more head on like I was sitting across from you at a table. Making the front edge look good is where the difficulty usually is. Sometimes people lift up the inner edge to mask the problems at the front edge. But that looks bogus too. Gary Plants' method withstands scrutiny of that front edge whereas most do not IMO.

Does anyone else think that push throughs and strip outs generally look better than Zarrows? I really doubt that a card cheat would use a Zarrow shuffle in a poker game, although I haven't seen Steve Forte's zarrow. I wonder what he thinks? I'll have to dig into his new book in that regard. Maybe he addresses this topic. I do know that he's a fan of Gary Plants' work.

Mike 
0
RayJ

Avatar / Picture

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 4,006
Reply with quote  #21 
There is no doubt that the shuffle is more deceptive when viewed from above.  But angles impact a host of sleights.  That doesn't mean we discard them.

As far as using a Zarrow in a real gambling situation, I've only read anecdotes.  How would one know?  I suppose a cheat reported using it to a magician friend?  I tend to discount much of what I hear when it comes to magicians acting like they know what goes on in the gambling world.  

Any false shuffle is only as good as the practitioner.  A strip-out or push-through in the hands of a mediocre magician is as obvious as a Zarrow in similar hands.  My opinion, of course.

Some love the Zarrow, some don't.  Same goes for any false shuffle.  Vive la difference!  
0
Mike Powers

Avatar / Picture

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 2,549
Reply with quote  #22 
Just pulled the Forte book. Volume 1 has a long section on the Zarrow shuffle. He does mention that you don't see it much among card mechanics i.e. real world cheaters. But that some of the best might use it. He mentions both Reynolds and Plants along the way. He breaks down and names various styles of Zarrow shuffles. He really gives some insights into the problem areas and what it takes to make the shuffle look good. Well worth checking out.

Mike
0
RayJ

Avatar / Picture

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 4,006
Reply with quote  #23 
Here is yet more video.  Jason England from his video explanation courtesy of Theory11.



Is it deceptive?  You be the judge.  Are there still tells, even in this video.  Yes, there are.  But it is because I know what to look for.  To me it is obvious.  To a spectator, I highly doubt it.  

We must always remember that as experienced magicians what looks good to us does not necessarily correlate to what an audience sees and thinks.
0
trinimontes

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 307
Reply with quote  #24 
What is important, as Steve Reynolds points out, is when you do any type of false shuffle, no matter whose technique you use, it has to mimic the way YOU would normally riffle shuffle a deck of cards. So in the case of Steve Reynolds' method/handling, I had to change the way I shuffle cards to match the technique he uses. I have practiced both Steve's and Gary's and although when Gary performs it, it looks GREAT, it is the way he shuffles to mask it that doesn't suit my style. I do not shuffle with the cagey over the top style grip. It feels unnatural for me. The more open riffle shuffle that Steve/Marlo (see Prime Time Marlo) uses feels more natural to me, therefore when I shuffle cards now, I do it the same way that I would when performing the Zarrow Shuffle so that it looks the same.



Just some tips,
Trini
0
Mike Powers

Avatar / Picture

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 2,549
Reply with quote  #25 
It would be instructive to see a sequence of shuffles that alternates a real shuffle with a Zarrow or any other false shuffle. I agree that the "caged" appearance of Gary's shuffle isn't how we normally shuffle. But Gary can do real shuffles intermingled with Zarrows and Oinks (or is it Oynk?) and you can't tell the difference. The tolerances are not as tight when we false shuffle during a magic set. We're not going to get shot if someone perceives that the shuffle looks tricky in some way. Also, a lay audience is "laid back" for the most part and aren't likely to say, "WFT was that?" after seeing our false shuffling. BTW - I'm pretty much only interested in full deck false shuffles. A red/black Zarrow can be made to look good more easily I think. 

M
0
RayJ

Avatar / Picture

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 4,006
Reply with quote  #26 
Quote:
Originally Posted by trinimontes
What is important, as Steve Reynolds points out, is when you do any type of false shuffle, no matter whose technique you use, it has to mimic the way YOU would normally riffle shuffle a deck of cards. So in the case of Steve Reynolds' method/handling, I had to change the way I shuffle cards to match the technique he uses. I have practiced both Steve's and Gary's and although when Gary performs it, it looks GREAT, it is the way he shuffles to mask it that doesn't suit my style. I do not shuffle with the cagey over the top style grip. It feels unnatural for me. The more open riffle shuffle that Steve/Marlo (see Prime Time Marlo) uses feels more natural to me, therefore when I shuffle cards now, I do it the same way that I would when performing the Zarrow Shuffle so that it looks the same.



Just some tips,
Trini


Excellent points.  I also tried the Plants grip and came to the same conclusion as you did.
0
RayJ

Avatar / Picture

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 4,006
Reply with quote  #27 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Powers
It would be instructive to see a sequence of shuffles that alternates a real shuffle with a Zarrow or any other false shuffle. I agree that the "caged" appearance of Gary's shuffle isn't how we normally shuffle. But Gary can do real shuffles intermingled with Zarrows and Oinks (or is it Oynk?) and you can't tell the difference. The tolerances are not as tight when we false shuffle during a magic set. We're not going to get shot if someone perceives that the shuffle looks tricky in some way. Also, a lay audience is "laid back" for the most part and aren't likely to say, "WFT was that?" after seeing our false shuffling. BTW - I'm pretty much only interested in full deck false shuffles. A red/black Zarrow can be made to look good more easily I think. 

M


Mike, help me understand why you make a distinction between a red/black Zarrow and a full deck Zarrow.
0
Mike Powers

Avatar / Picture

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 2,549
Reply with quote  #28 
Ray - If you don't require all 52 cards to stay in the same order, the shuffle is easier. You can cut less than 26 to the right and then shuffle under a block whose number is variable. No need for a slip cut or center pull out etc. Let's say you cut 20 cards to the right. You now can shuffle under from 1 to 6 cards. That makes life easier and also makes the initial cut a real cut. Also, no need to hold a break with the left thumb. One shuffle without a slip cut and you're done

I, like you, do two Zarrows under the same number of cards while holding the break. That makes like tougher. We avoid the slip cut which is a huge tell and looks totally bogus to me unless done at warp speed. Marlo called it "Two Shank shuffles with a block transfer." Ed differentiated a Shank shuffle from a Zarrow shuffle this way: If you start with a slip cut or center pullout, it's a Zarrow. If you don't, it's a Shank. This is a pretty artificial distinction, especially since Frank Shank's shuffle was like a Zarrow with no cover cards. It's pretty much in Erdnase. 

This shuffle was one of the first things Marlo taught me and I still use it: Cut the top half to the right and shuffle under three cards on the left side, ending by holding a break between the top half and the bottom half with the left thumb. Now undercut at the break taking the lowermost packet to the right and repeat. Now cut at the break, bringing the deck into its original order. It's a very good sequence.

But for deceptivity (if that's a word), I think Ackerman, Ortiz, Ladanye and others do awesome strip outs. They look like real shuffles. There's no doubt that one half was shuffled into the other. It's after that that the undoing happens.


0
RayJ

Avatar / Picture

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 4,006
Reply with quote  #29 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Powers
Ray - If you don't require all 52 cards to stay in the same order, the shuffle is easier. You can cut less than 26 to the right and then shuffle under a block whose number is variable. No need for a slip cut or center pull out etc. Let's say you cut 20 cards to the right. You now can shuffle under from 1 to 6 cards. That makes life easier and also makes the initial cut a real cut. Also, no need to hold a break with the left thumb. One shuffle without a slip cut and you're done

I, like you, do two Zarrows under the same number of cards while holding the break. That makes like tougher. We avoid the slip cut which is a huge tell and looks totally bogus to me unless done at warp speed. Marlo called it "Two Shank shuffles with a block transfer." Ed differentiated a Shank shuffle from a Zarrow shuffle this way: If you start with a slip cut or center pullout, it's a Zarrow. If you don't, it's a Shank. This is a pretty artificial distinction, especially since Frank Shank's shuffle was like a Zarrow with no cover cards. It's pretty much in Erdnase. 

This shuffle was one of the first things Marlo taught me and I still use it: Cut the top half to the right and shuffle under three cards on the left side, ending by holding a break between the top half and the bottom half with the left thumb. Now undercut at the break taking the lowermost packet to the right and repeat. Now cut at the break, bringing the deck into its original order. It's a very good sequence.

But for deceptivity (if that's a word), I think Ackerman, Ortiz, Ladanye and others do awesome strip outs. They look like real shuffles. There's no doubt that one half was shuffled into the other. It's after that that the undoing happens.




OK, I see where you are coming from now and you make some good distinctions.  Most of the people who don't like the Zarrow have an issue with the "Zarrow Action" of the cards moving upwards and under the cover cards.  That happens in any Zarrow, or course.

I love the Push-Through and Strip-Out shuffles and I do use them in some gambling routines I do (or used to is more like it).  

I can't say my Zarrow looks like my Push-Through.  That would be a lie.  But when I use the Push-Through in a performance, then I use it all the way through and at least in that performance I'm consistent.  
0
RayJ

Avatar / Picture

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 4,006
Reply with quote  #30 
BTW, I just noticed your mention of center strip-outs in relation to the Zarrow.  I don't use them personally.  I've seen some decent ones and if you are explaining why you are stripping from the center then it makes more sense.  When John Scarne was hired to educate WWII soldiers about ways to protect yourself from getting cheated, he recommended they begin the cut by stripping out a group of cards from the center.  So it gives the audience a reason for something they don't normally see.

Some of the shuffle sequences I've seen I did not care for at all.  As much as I love and respect Allan Ackerman, I never warmed up to his 'Slip-Shod' technique.  Way too many breaks to keep track of and I felt it looked a bit clunky.
0
Mike Powers

Avatar / Picture

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 2,549
Reply with quote  #31 
Here's Denis Behr demonstrating both a Zarrow and a Strip-Out:



M
0
RayJ

Avatar / Picture

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 4,006
Reply with quote  #32 
Denis rocks!  I love, absolutely love his Conjuring Archive.  I use it a lot.

The beginning of both shuffles is the same.  He has an "open" grip.  The difference is that when he squares the cards in the Zarrow his hands don't quite come together whereas on the Strip-Out the forefingers actually touch.

Those that don't do the Strip-Out are likely confused because they cannot imagine it is possible to weave the cards and maintain such a small brief.  Denis' brief appears to be microscopic.  Extremely impressive!
0
Mike Powers

Avatar / Picture

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 2,549
Reply with quote  #33 
You're right about the small brief, Ray. It looks impossible. 

M
0
Gracie Morgan

Avatar / Picture

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 33
Reply with quote  #34 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Powers
But I'm going to be a PITA and ask to see the shuffle from a lower angle i.e. more head on like I was sitting across from you at a table.

Mike-- We're good friends, right? So I'm just gonna tell you straight up-- I'm not shooting another video at your requested angle. [tongue] You're my friend, so it's OK to be a PITA.

First, I haven't done the Zarrow in a few years so I'm out of practice. Second, I really tried to get that camera at the angle a six foot person from across the table would see. I might have missed the mark.

However I disagree with you on your premise. I do not believe the weakness of the Zarrow is that angle. That is a weakness because Magicians let people stare at their hands as they do the shuffle.

There are many card sleights that would fail if the audience really stared at the cards as we did them. If the audience is staring at my hands while I do ANY false shuffle, then I have probably failed as a Sleight of Hand performer. Look, I don't think I'm an expert at false table shuffles. But I can't remember ever having been nailed on any.

And I was even crazy enough to put The Ultimate Cardshark into my repertoire which used a Zarrow Shuffle Stack. There are exceptions though. I used to perform The Vegas Shuffle in which the audience is supposed to look at your hands as you do the Zarrow. And that's why I learned the Zarrow-- specifically so I could do those routines. So although, as I said, I don't consider myself particularly skilled at shuffle work, I have confidence in the shuffles I perform(ed).

Finally, I think we have different criteria on what makes a good Card Sleight. I do not agree that what plays at the card table should be the criteria for judging whether a sleight is effective in regards to magic. I don't care if I'd be kicked out of a card game for using a Zarrow. I'm not playing in a card game. I'm entertaining with Sleight of Hand in an environment that is totally opposite of a gaming environment.

Keep Shuffling, my friend!

Gracie
0
RayJ

Avatar / Picture

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 4,006
Reply with quote  #35 
I think it should be said that we're all friends here.  Friends bound by among other things a love for magic.  Good friends can disagree and state their opinions in a respectful manner.  I think this thread is a great example of just that.
We don't all have to like the same things.  Wouldn't it be boring if every time you saw a performer do a Double Lift, he or she used the exact same technique?  It would be for me.

I have nothing but the utmost respect for folks like Mike and Gracie and their contribution to the art of magic is unquestionable.  

There is much to learn from reading this thread.  Take bits and pieces of the conversations.  Don't know what a "brief" is?  Go look it up, or just ask.  When does a brief have to be small as compared to times where you can get away with a huge one?  What makes the technique Denis Behr used so powerful?  Feel free to ask if you don't know.

Oftentimes it is through disagreement and discussion that we learn.  But only if we keep our heads.  None of us is perfect, yet by calmly stating our case and then listening to opposing views we get better.  

In a post above, I asked Mike Powers  "Mike, help me understand why you make a distinction between a red/black Zarrow and a full deck Zarrow.


Reading back on it, it might come off as challenging.  It wasn't meant to be.  I was sincerely wanting to know, in Mike's mind, what he considered to be the difference between the two shuffles.  And he answered appropriately.

If I hadn't asked, then a lot of good insight from Mike would have gone unsaid.  That is the value of the back-and-forth in discussions like this.  If someone only gets echoes, do we learn anything?  That is not to say we should disagree just to be provocative, but if you truly have a difference of opinion, state your case.  Respectfully.

OK, with all of that said, I agree with what Mike said about the Zarrow Shuffle benefiting from being viewed from a "higher" angle.  That is why some tilt the backs up towards the audience.  They are simulating what the shuffle would look like if someone were looking down on the cards.  Isn't that pretty clear?  The reason I don't like that is I never shuffle that way.  The only time I tilt cards up on their edges in a shuffled condition is if I want to reverse the bottom card during the shuffle.  Certainly in a card game, one would not want to lift the cards.  Not if you valued your life.  Or your friendships.

One of the challenges in the shuffle is to overcome that bad angle.  Some tip the pack, some lay down extra layers of cards, some fan the talon on the top half, some do "zig-zaggy" motions.  If it works for them, great.  But some continue to attempt to refine the shuffle.  The goal is to mimic a "real" shuffle, whatever that means to you.  And it does differ.

Steve Reynolds has spent a lot of time taking what he learned from watching masters, Herb Zarrow and Ed Marlo, and then continuing to refine the work.  I happen to think his execution is wonderful.  I appreciate Gary Plants work on the shuffle also, I just don't shuffle that way and don't want to relearn in order to match the process.  Doesn't mean I don't respect it, I do.

Any magician that is interested in riffle shuffle work should undoubtedly try all of them.  Try the Zarrow, the Shank, the Strip-Out and the Pull Through.  While you're at it, check out the work in Erdnase, Buckley's Card Control, Alton Sharpe's book, ECT, Vernon's Triumph Shuffle in Stars of Magic, and elsewhere.  At some point, a diligent student will probably settle on a technique that works.  Works for them, I mean.  Or, like myself, maybe you'll use a bunch of shuffles depending upon the routine?  

I had to get that off of my chest.  I'm going to shuffle off now.
0
Mike Powers

Avatar / Picture

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 2,549
Reply with quote  #36 
All good points Gracie - especially that our audience isn't people at the poker table. Good point about getting the specs to look away from your hands as you shuffle. I think you can do that with proper presentation and audience management. But shuffling does tend to draw attention to the deck. 

I guess the question I'm trying to raise is simply this: Does a well executed strip out look better than a well executed Zarrow. I think it does. Looking at the Denis Behr video above validates that FOR ME. I may be all alone on this, which is fine. I think that what appeals to me is that in the strip out, the cards are clearly shuffled legitimately and then there's a pause. The move then washes out as a cut and an up the ladder. With the Zarrow, it's not nearly as clear that the cards interwove. 

What I'm taking to the bank from Gracie's post is the notion that I need to direct the spectator's attention away from the deck when I'm false shuffling. 

Thanks for all the good ideas guys! And as Ray pointed out, this thread is a good example of a respectful and productive discussion. That's one of the hallmarks of TMF.

Mike
0
RayJ

Avatar / Picture

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 4,006
Reply with quote  #37 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Powers
All good points Gracie - especially that our audience isn't people at the poker table. Good point about getting the specs to look away from your hands as you shuffle. I think you can do that with proper presentation and audience management. But shuffling does tend to draw attention to the deck. 

I guess the question I'm trying to raise is simply this: Does a well executed strip out look better than a well executed Zarrow. I think it does. Looking at the Denis Behr video above validates that FOR ME. I may be all alone on this, which is fine. I think that what appeals to me is that in the strip out, the cards are clearly shuffled legitimately and then there's a pause. The move then washes out as a cut and an up the ladder. With the Zarrow, it's not nearly as clear that the cards interwove. 

What I'm taking to the bank from Gracie's post is the notion that I need to direct the spectator's attention away from the deck when I'm false shuffling. 

Thanks for all the good ideas guys! And as Ray pointed out, this thread is a good example of a respectful and productive discussion. That's one of the hallmarks of TMF.

Mike


Mike, you aren't alone.  I agree that in the video the Strip-Out looked superior.
0
Previous Topic | Next Topic
Print
Reply

Quick Navigation:

Easily create a Forum Website with Website Toolbox.