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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The workers » » Table riffle handlings for false shuffles, controls, etc (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Yowie_
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Having never really developed a consistent true table riffle shuffle, when I decided to start working on some false riffle techniques, I realized I needed to figure out my handling of the true shuffle.

I am had a look at Gary Plants' and Steve Reynolds' Zarrow handling and noted two distinct styles of riffle shuffling. Both have their merits, as do the other handlings of the table riffle, but is any style more applicable to more advanced riffle techniques?

Of course, my goal is to have a single tabled riffle that I can use in any application - true, false, or otherwise - where all the variations are indistinguishable from the true shuffle (as much as is possible).

I'm interested in the Zarrow and similar shuffles, push-through, pull-out, stacking, culling, and really all sleights based on the table riffle shuffle - I'm sure there are other categories of which I am unaware.

Thanks for any suggestions and references for particular styles.
Rupert Pupkin
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Reynolds' is more suited to further work, insofar as he stresses the importance of learning to shuffle "correctly," and teaches same. Plants' uses a more specialized grip.

I also just prefer Reynolds' technique. It's extremely good.
Yowie_
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Thanks Rupert. I noticed Plants' style was indeed markedly different than most others, specifically with regard to the index/1st finger position and both it and the thumb's position changing mid-shuffle. It also feels a bit unnatural to my fingers.

Plants' Zarrow is, to my eyes, slightly more invisible than Reynolds'. I can't see anything fishy, except perhaps at certain angles outside a ~120 degree front-on arc. The cover is more thorough and due to finger placement rather than due to smoothness and naturalness like Reynolds', where the block replacement is visible for a very brief duration.

I also very much appreciate the philosophy Reynolds espoused - there is a single shuffle we are doing, but with various false aspects - in the Zarrow's case, a false square up.

Anywho, I am truly amazed by both of their takes on the Zarrow and am inspired to work on my own riffle!
MasterGrip
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Plants' is my preferred handling also. As with his Bottom Deal, he not only addresses the technical side of the move but also the subterfuge- how to cover the move in the action. You can view Gary's version from any elevation and it is not possible to see any work because of the cover provided by the fingers. This also applies to another shuffle he teaches in the same project. Englands performance of the Reynolds version on his PG Lecture looks like classic chicken stuffing.

To answer the OP, Riffle Shuffle systems and the Marlo method of closed shuffling with straight fingers and purring the thumbs is what you are looking for. Similar to the Master Grip, he takes the riffle shuffle work to the Nth degree and provided a whole host of false shuffling, block transfers, riffle stacking and culling all from the one grip.
ULockJustice
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One of the main things to consider when you start playing with riffle shuffles for controls, false or blind shuffles, and any other of the myriad of things that are possible with them is how it fits with who you are and how you shuffle. One of the major things that is left out of the Plants vs. Reynolds debate is that while conquering technical issues and reducing visual cues that there is anything going on, their technique just plain looks like it fits them. That is not to say that each doesn't have it's merit, but it is to say that if you are rough and tumble sloppy looking performer that doing a very crisp and clean shuffle isn't going to suit you. You can incorporate the individual techniques of anyone's touches on a false shuffle provided it makes sense when you do it. Gary doing Steve's shuffle would look like garbage and vice versa because the final product is tailored to the person doing the work.
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cbharrelson
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To add to the discussion of false shuffles. Gary plants and Steve Reynolds have the most deceptive zarrow that teach the move. If you go back to the master Erdnase he taught two styles of shuffling. Open and closed shuffle. You should use the closed shuffle he teaches for all false shuffles and an honest shuffle. All your shuffles will look natural all the same. It is very covered and looks natural.
fonda57
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Doug Edwards has a neat Zarrow handling in the book Doug Edwards Packs a Wallop
Geeraff12
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To veer away from Herb for a second I'm practicing the double shuffle version of The Aronson Stripout (Push-through*) 2.0 (Art Decko, 2014). I prefer the push through handling. Phases of it share similar finesses to Vernon's push-through as taught to me by Howard Hamburg.
darksage
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Simon Lovell's Toolbox DVD collection has a plethora of moves that are easy to follow and learn.
Yowie_
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Thanks for all the suggestions and comments. I find Mr. Reynolds' handling more appealing and got his followup video, Beyond the Z, which is also excellent. Have been practing and progress is good.

I've also been studying Wesley James' riffle handlings from Enchantments. Wow, what a book! He and Aronson go to depths I haven't encountered until now.

MasterGrip, I can't seem to find Gary Plants' bottom dealing material, can you point me in the right direction? On his Zarrow DVD, he teases it at the end with a brilliant effect. Well, I assume he is teasing and upcoming bottom dealing release but maybe it's the effect itself he's teasing. Also thanks for the suggestion to find Marlo's Riffle Shuffle Systems. I have no doubt that it is technically pristine and we'll thought-out!

Thanks to Geeraff12 for the Aronson shufflr tip. I love all of his work.
Mobius303
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Neo Shufflogica by Wesley James is excellent.
Yowie_
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Thanks, Mobius303 - do you know of any review of the book? I can't find any mention of it anywhere (besides on Lybrary), much less a review!
Mobius303
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I have not seen any reviews but I am currently reading through it.
The material is well written and easy to follow with cards in hand.
There is a ton of information inside on table shuffles and in the hand shuffles.
Well worth the price.
shaunluttin
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I use ideas from Erdnase and Dingle, which are the two descriptions I've read of riffle shuffle technique. The result convinces lay audiences and fits my style.



I use the same closed style for lopsided shuffles. I've never really tried it with the PT/PO variety. Today I had a ton of fun with it performing Triumph and Galaxy at the local Café for friends. My Café demos happen on a glass table, which makes the open style difficult, due to problems picking up the whole deck.

If I were to commit myself to the task, then I would probably study Arnold McDonald's techniques.



For setting my personal standards of excellence, I've found watching this snippet from Ricky Jay to be helpful. On a scale from zero to 100, where zero is the worst technique I've ever seen and 100 would pass muster in Molly's Game, mine is probably around a 60, Jay's around a 70, and Arnold's around a 99.


I used to be sensitive to criticism, but I am not really sensitive to it any more. Please do criticize my technique, presentation, and posts. It helps me to grow, and I promise to take responsibility and not to be defensive.

tenchu
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Shaun - the "stuffing the chicken" action of your right hand during the Zarrow is... weird. Is it really that hard to square up the cards?

Mike
shaunluttin
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It is weird; cards are not that hard to square. Improving that would move my shuffle from a 60 to a 70.

I used to be sensitive to criticism, but I am not really sensitive to it any more. Please do criticize my technique, presentation, and posts. It helps me to grow, and I promise to take responsibility and not to be defensive.

byronblaq1
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Another vote for Reynolds.

It seems to be the most natural feeling to me, and very natural looking.

b.
SimonCard
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Reynolds has the best zarrow I've seen.
Yowie_
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Shaun,

thanks for your tips. In the Ricky Jay video you posted, I spotted two magic giants in one glance - at about 1:35, there is a combination Professor and Steranko!

Your Zarrow handling certain is unique and suits you. It does look like you are stuffing a chicken, for better or worse Smile

I am aware of AMcD's inspiring skills - phenomenal! I have been slowly working on getting a feel for holding back 1 to 5 cards. Some day...

Mobius303,

I picked up Wesley James' Neo Shufflogica, your post pushed me over the edge on that purchase. The Zarrow description is almost identical to his description in Enchantments, slightly updated. He provides and excellent analysis on par with Reynolds' in terms of depth. Mr James certainly goes full on into magical concepts and I really appreciate his quality of thought. I haven't finished reading the book, but his Oeinck, Mid-Oeinck and Mideo Zarrow are very interesting. His sloppy-ish style isn't necessarily for me, but he proposes solutions to Zarrow problems that have been bugging me.

The Merlin push-through is awesome (in both Enchantments and Neo Shufflogica)!
Mobius303
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Https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q0EJve_beGo

This is worth a look as well and a written description can be found in his book Nukes.
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