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 Post subject: Perfect control over a card?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 7:22 am 
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Joined: 17 Apr 2009
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Hello,


I've been practicing magic for a little while now, and can perform basic sleights such as the classic pass, DL, simple false cuts, etc. but I what I would really like to learn is the ability to track a card in the deck even while using genuine cuts and shuffles. So that if I know where a card is in the deck, I can perform some actual shuffles, and cuts, and still realize how many cards away it is from the top of the deck.

Right now, I've been practicing trying to see cut specific amounts of cards from the top of the deck, as well as trying to ascertain how many cards are in a given pile. My estimate is almost invariably off by one or two cards though. <sigh>

After several cuts, I would like the ability to shuffle it several times, and still keep track of where the specific card is.

What kinds of things do I need to learn to be able to do this?

I'm looking for tips, names of card sleights, suggestions, reading material, DVD's, etc. Really anything to help expedite this process. I realize that it is going to take a long time before I can do this, but once I understand the basic methods, I will try to put in the time to learn them.

Also, I don't know if this can be learned, but would it be possible to take a deck that is shuffled by someone else, than perform a shuffle, and sight an ace, and realize how many cards away it is from the top of the deck?

On a completely different note, I've been trying to riffle a packet of cards in my hand, and be able to count the cards but I since I subvocalize the counting in my head, I can't even come close to counting fast enough!

Any help or direction on any of this would be most appreciated!

Thanks greatly,
cacotigon


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 7:33 am 
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born to perform.

Joined: 19 Nov 2006
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Try using crimps


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 9:07 am 
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born to perform.

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Use of a long or short card helps with controlling selections.


Sean


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 9:41 am 
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Thanks for the advice, but it has to be done with a completely regular set of cards, preferably bicycle cards. I've used crimps in the past, but I'd like to avoid them if I can.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 10:08 am 
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born to perform.

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I've seen a slippery powder applied via the pinky to a card, so that is kinda slides off the others no matter where the spectator cut it or shuffles it to.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 10:16 am 
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akirafist wrote:
I've seen a slippery powder applied via the pinky to a card, so that is kinda slides off the others no matter where the spectator cut it or shuffles it to.


Is this what 'Slick Ace' is?


Sean


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 10:19 am 
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sean_mh wrote:
akirafist wrote:
I've seen a slippery powder applied via the pinky to a card, so that is kinda slides off the others no matter where the spectator cut it or shuffles it to.


Is this what 'Slick Ace' is?


Sean


It may be, but Dai Vernon said Slick Ace IS roughing fluid.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 10:26 am 
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It's those two grey haired guys (one's named Earl?) from an OLD OLD VHS tape a long time ago. They were selling this chemical that you apply to your pinky and lob onto the selected card. They had one deck that was a month old, and when they dropped it on the table, it parted right at the selected card from back then.

Same guys made a product where you call an 800 number, and accurately predicts the spectator's chosen restaurant object on the table.


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 Post subject: Re: Perfect control over a card?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 10:51 am 
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cacotigon wrote:
...what I would really like to learn is the ability to track a card in the deck even while using genuine cuts and shuffles. So that if I know where a card is in the deck, I can perform some actual shuffles, and cuts, and still realize how many cards away it is from the top of the deck....


I don't know of any magician who can do this with 100% accuracy. Sounds to me like what are striving for is a pipe dream.

It's not that this sort of thing can't be done. Rather, your parameters are excluding the methods typically used to acheive it.

As you suggest, tracking a card and controlling a card are two different things; your topic heading, in fact, contradicts what you actually want to do.

Controlling a card -- i.e., exerting "perfect control" over a card's position in the deck -- requires you to use false shuffles and cuts, "false" in the sense that you are negating the randomization associated with a true shuffle or cut. One or more cards can be placed at any position in the deck via false shuffles which appear to be normal and random. That's how it's done, but you don't want to do that.

Tracking a card -- i.e., being able to instantly determine the position of a single card in the deck after it has been shuffled and cut fairly -- is typically done via a combination of estimation and physically marking/altering a card. If you are using roughing fluid or diachylon or some other substance that must be applied in advance, you must also be able to force that card. If you want the spectator to have a free selection, then you must mark the card after the selection, such as with a nail nick. Once the card is given a mark which can be seen from the side of the deck, you can then estimate its position. Of course, there's a reason why it's called an "estimation;" you will not always be right, especially if you are dealing with an older deck. In a nutshell, tracking a card during free shuffles and cuts requires physically altering at least one card in the deck, but you don't want to do that.

So... what's left? I have no idea, and I've been doing this for 35 years. I really don't know why you are setting the conditions you are setting. Is it because you want the spectator to do all the card handling? That's the only reason I can see off the top of my head. If you're going to be the one handling the cards, you are better off learning false shuffles and cuts that allow for precise card positioning. You can do that with any deck and don't have to mark the cards in any way.

Show a layperson a performance video of Bill Malone doing "Sam the Bellhop" and see if he/she thinks the deck is being shuffled and cut randomly and fairly.


Last edited by TheCaffeinator on Fri Apr 17, 2009 11:24 am, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 10:51 am 
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If you don't like crimps try daub.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 3:13 pm 
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How about just force it or get a peek and then cull it afterward?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 3:58 pm 
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Location: Continuously practicing, even as I type.
Personally, I use Ayli's method. Just peek it. That's it. Why bother with legitimate shuffles and stuff if false shuffles look just as good?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 5:13 pm 
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and in some cases a little more flashy than the regular shuffles that people know. False cuts are a good example of this.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 9:43 pm 
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Sounds like WAAAAAAAAYYYYYYY more trouble than its worth. I would say just let this idea die and go practice your sleights.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2009 12:33 am 
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I appreciate the advice. I definitely want to avoid any kind of card marking, etc. It's good to hear from some veteran card magicians about this, since I really didn't know if it was possible in the first place. Part of me just thinks it would be cool to be able to cut specific amounts of cards, and be able to gauge a packet's amount just by sighting it, or riffling it with the thumb.

Let me focus on a more specific issue. Having noticed that there seem to be a HUGE number of false cuts, false shuffles available to learn, which ones would you recommend as being the most natural? I definitely want to avoid anything flashy. I don't mind a steep learning curve, provided that it looks natural.

Also, are there some specific cuts, and false shuffles that you would recommend for moving a target card to X cards from the top?

As far as peeking goes, I'm familiar with peeking the top or bottom card. Assuming that you know the card's identity, is it possible to peek in the course of a shuffle/riffle , and get a break or see how many cards away it is from the top?

Thanks again!


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