The 5th Shuffle

A few weeks ago I posted about a Quad-Triumph routine. It’s a triumph style effect that used four shuffles. Then about a week later, I came up with a kicker where the deck starts and ends in red/black order. I liked the idea of this kicker, but didn’t like that to accomplish it I had to do a straight cut. My Goal was to only have shuffles.

After a bit more work, I “cracked the code” by adding a fifth shuffle. The fifth shuffle was the key to making this work without a cut. Here’s a quick practice video of the sequence.

I think I should restate that this isn’t as good as the standard triumph routine with one shuffle, cutting at the natural break and flipping that half over. That standard way is much more direct. This initially was a fun challenge as I was trying to get the deck into a specific order. I wanted the deck to go face down card, rest of deck face up with the selection face down within the face up deck. That was for a reveal that I wanted to do, but then this kinda grew out of that.

It was fun to figure out, but I’ll probably never do it in a performance.

Unseen Kicker…

Lately, I’m trying to be better at directed practicing. This is working on something specific, versus just playing around with palms, or whatever. Last night I was I was practicing the Quad-Triumph that I posted about recently. Basically this is a Triumph type card effect that uses four shuffles instead of the traditional single shuffle.

One thing that hit me was that at the end there could be a subtle kicker. Right now the cards start in a mixed order and they end in a mixed order. If they ended in a known order, that would add a layer to the trick. Ideally that known order would be new deck order.

Last night I was able to figure out how to get the cards into an order that was one half red and the other half black and the end. Unfortunately this little touch will largely go unnoticed as it happens at the same time as the cards all facing the same direction. It’s one of the those things that if a magician see it, it will add to the effect to them. It’s the little things, things that don’t need to be there and won’t be seen by most people are what makes something art.

This is visually pretty good, and definitely takes the trick a step further. It’s a good compromise for now, but I have a feeling I’ll be working more to figure out how to get it into new deck order.

Relearing Zarrow…

the Zarrow Shuffle

Sometimes it feels like I’m perpetually cleaning my office. Yesterday I came across the DVD The Zarrow Shuffle by Herb Zarrow. I watched the very beginning and realized that I learned to do this wrong. What I’m doing looks fine, but they first way the Herb demonstrates looks way better!

When I learned to do the shuffle, it was in the context of the trick Triumph. For the Zarrow Shuffle, I slip cut one card. I used that method for other tricks as a false shuffle. If you slip cut a block, it’s soo much more deceptive than with a single card. Also Herb’s way of jogging the cards is much more deceptive than pushing them out with your index fingers.

I’m glad I came across this, but now I’ve got a challenge ahead of me. I’ve got to undo 25+ years of the way that I’ve been doing it. The changes are fairly minor, so hopefully it won’t be too much of a pain.

Recently I did this unlearning and relearning process with how I get a card injogged. I figured out a way when I was a kid by reading something wrong and it worked for me. However I relearned to do it Jerry Andrus‘s way because it looks better.

Don’t be afraid to unlearn thing if there’s a new (to you) way of doing it that looks or works better than what you were doing before. I know it’s a pain to spend time basically learning to do something you can already do, but I think it’s the little things like that that make someone an artist.

Quad-Triumph…

Here’s a video of the Triumph shuffle sequence that I wrote about yesterday. The view is my view, so you can see an angle of the cards that the audience wouldn’t normally get to see.

I kinda like the four shuffles where you flip half over each time, but I still don’t think it’s better than the standard Triumph routine that most people do.

Less Than Triumphant…

Way back in March I was playing with using the old card reveal where you drop the deck on the table and the top card flips over as a clean up for a Triumph type effect.
You can read the post here
It’s an interesting way to clean up a reversed card on top of the deck. You get a little trick that happens that does the dirty work for you.

Last night I was shuffling some cards and came up with a Triumph sequence that left you in position to do the drop clean up. Here’s the sequence:

  1. Card is selected and controlled to the top
  2. Zarrow shuffle with half face up and half face down (selection remains on top)
  3. Strip the face down bottom half to the right, flip them face up. Riffle shuffle by running about 10 cards with your left hand, then shuffling with both hands, leaving about 10 or more cards of the right hands stack to fall on top of the left hands stack. This will put the face down selection about 10 or more cards from the top of a deck that’s face up (the audience thinks they are mixed face up into face down).
  4. Strip the top half to the left, flip them over (face down card will show) and do a Zarrow Shuffle.
  5. Strip the bottom card (face down cards) the right and shuffle the card together. Have the left hand’s packet’s top card be the top card of the shuffled deck.

    The order from from the top down is a face down card, then the rest of the deck face up with a selection face down somewhere in the middle of the deck.
  6. Do the drop flip over reveal thing to flip over the top card of the deck.
  7. Spread them out to show all of the cards are now facing the same direction except for their selection.

I’m going to be 100% clear that I think this sequence isn’t the best way to do a this style of trick and is inferior to the common method of a Zarrow Shuffle, Daryl’s Triumph display (Don’t know the name of it) and then openly flipping over half the deck.

It is a sequence that gets me into a position where I can do the drop flip over thingy. It was also a fun exercise to try to figure out how to get the cards where I needed them to be.