About 20 years ago I used to visit with Sid Fleishman when he visited Seattle. Sid wrote The Charlatan’s Handbook, which was a very influential book for me when I was a teenager. I learned a version of the Zarrow Shuffle and how to mark cards from the book. I also learned that he’s the creator of the Card to Fly trick where a signed card appears in the fly of your pants. Card to Fly was the big trick of my comedy club show when I was younger.
I was very lucky to get to hang out with him a few times. One time Sid had published a trick in Genii and he asked me to write a letter to the magazine saying how one of the jokes offended me. He was trying to generate some controversy over the trick. I don’t think my letter was ever published, but Sid was a cool guy.
Many years ago, I found a copy of his autobiography, The Abracadabra Kid, but never got around to reading it. I threw it in my backpack and am reading it on this trip.
I’m about 40 pages into it and really enjoying it! If you’re looking for a fun magician’s biography, so far I highly recommend this! -Louie
One of the challenges was figuring out how to do Daryl’s Triumph Display with the deck in the condition that the deck is in for my routine. It’s basically the same as Daryl’s except the final two blocks of cards are hand hand and you rotate your hands palm up to show the face up and face down blocks.
I’m glad I figured out how to do the final display, it just took sitting around and playing until I worked it out, and the solution was soo simple!
I’ve been fascinated by the idea of using the old card production where you drop the deck of cards on the table and the top card flips over as a “clean up” for card trick triumph. By clean up, I mean the last thing you have to do in my sequences where you need to reverse one card…or half of the deck.
In the past I’ve published a fairly complex version of Triumph that used a stripped deck and had a kicker ending, but used the flip over production to clean up the deck for the reveal. About a month ago, I think I finally hit on a sequence that makes sense, and it’s pretty simple, I’m surprised I didn’t think of it earlier. Here it is:
Card is selected and returned to the deck, but secretly controlled to the top.
The bottom half is flipped face up and you are going to do a modified zarrow shuffle. You will shuffle all but the top card (selected card) of the face down half into the bottom half of the face up cards. Then run about a quarter of the face up cards, drop the final face down card, and run the remaining face up cards.
You will now strip out the face up cards, but add the face down selection to the face up cards, so they to on top.
Find the natural break between the face up and face down halves. Side jog the face up half and drop it on the table. They should flip over, giving you deck that’s all face down except for the face up selection!
That’s it. While the shuffle procedure reads fairly complex, it’s not. If you can do a Zarrow Shuffle, you can do this. -Louie
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.
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:
Card is selected and controlled to the top
Zarrow shuffle with half face up and half face down (selection remains on top)
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).
Strip the top half to the left, flip them over (face down card will show) and do a Zarrow Shuffle.
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.
Do the drop flip over reveal thing to flip over the top card of the deck.
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.