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KidCrenshaw
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Pardon me if this topic has been previously addressed, a search has yeilded nothing.

I have a few questions. One is whether or not I have missed the forum devoted to the title of this thread, or if one exists?

And second, I am curious to know about some of the mechanics we may have on the board. I doubt there are any that here truly use their skills for real-world deception, but if there are, I can understand their desire for annonymity. However, if there are those that specialize in this field, I would be very willing to communicate with them further, even if just to talk shop.

So have I missed aa forum, and does anyone want to talk gambling sleight of hand?

I guess I could get the ball rolling...

I am not keen to the idea of magicians boasting of technical skill, only to follow with some simple "dealing hand" tricks. To me, it would appear that the ability to only deal winning hands is less than significant. Considering you have the deck in hand 5 times out of 30 hands (with six people) - and the winning of hands on your deal would be suspicious to say the least. Maybe this is more of a pet peeve.

Then again, it makes the job of the true gambling sleight of hand demonstrator appear much more skilled. The ability to control the outcome on hands regardless of dealing status is much more logical. To hand a deck to a spectator and ask for them to shuffle, have another cut, and begin dealing is custom. To be dealt cards by a complete skeptic and have them be the high cards is completely impressive to a layman.

They immediately suspect great skill is involved - something I enjoy (maybe I need that reassurance). It is completely attractive to a layman, as anyone who has ever played cards can always remember when, "if I only had the THIRD ace." The again, maybe it is for those that can't sell magic. I personally can not. My "magic" is billed as intriguing sleight of hand, and nothing more. Mostly because I just can not sell the idea to those watching. I think a gray beard, and 50 years of age under my belt may help that.

It is extremely difficult for a 40 year old man to believe that this 26 year old kid is doing magic - even if you're only aiming for that brief moment of astonishment. It is much more easier for the ego to accept someone of your age has great skill - not to mention the mannerisms of an aged gentleman typically follow suit to what we believe magicians to be - great story tellers.

Please, doon't flood this with, "you need better presentation." That is such a copout, though true to some point, isn't the answer to everything.

I'm simply curious about the forum, and you guys' views on magicians doing "gambling" sleight of hand, or simpley gambling routines in general.
"Put your faith in Providence, but always cut the cards"
Dannydoyle
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Well one thing to consider Kid is that it is completly different from magical sleight of hand. For a good reason. Misdirection is not as much a tool when using it. Therefore the moves are far more subtle and less freequent.

Most gamblers themselvs are more advantage players than anything else. The learning curve to be a good mechanic is servere for getting it wrong.

The other thing is that true gambling moves and such are distinctly not-theatrical in tone and not good for audiences then. This is why most supposed gambling routines deteriorate into a hand dealing demos you hate so much.

Any good advantage player only makes one or two moves a night at most. He makes sure he has huge bets when he does them so it dosn't seem suspicious. Again all of this is non-theatrical. Forget the movies and what you have seen for cheating and such. It is not that way at all.

I share your annoyance with gambling routines to tell the truth. Maybe because I actually play a LOT of gambling games. Have for 25 years. I actually was gambling for a living before I did magic as it works out.

Oh and I NEVER once cheated or anything to gamble. No guts on my part. When I started doing it we did it in the back of bars and pool halls and bowling alleys so you could be hurt pretty bad if you were caught. Plus I don't have enough skill to do it under fire with thousands of dollars on the table. It is a lot tougher to misdirect a guy who has $400 in a pot than a guy out with his wife for a drink.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
JasonEngland
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Quote:
Any good advantage player only makes one or two moves a night at most.


This is a myth.

Some good cheats move once or twice a night. Others move from the moment they hit the table until they have all the money. It depends on the game, the person, and the angle they're trying to play.

Vernon used to claim this. He was wrong.

Jason
Eternal damnation awaits anyone who questions God's unconditional love. --Bill Hicks
KidCrenshaw
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Is this, THE Jason England?

Please tell me it is. Mr. England, I have much to speak with you about, may we chat via email?

Respectfully,

Michael
"Put your faith in Providence, but always cut the cards"
tommy
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I don't think Vernon would have argued with what you say Jason but I don't think it makes him wrong. I think Vernon meant the less you do at the table to get the money by cheating the better cheat you are.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
KidCrenshaw
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That may have been what Vernon meant, but I would have to disagree.

If you're making moves, and it's working - it's regardless how often you make them.

Sometimes you might not want to be so patient, and create situations. Although impatience shouldn't be in a mechanics vocabulary.

Maybe "patient" should have been used in place of "better."
"Put your faith in Providence, but always cut the cards"
iamslow
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Quote:
On 2005-11-19 05:17, tommy wrote:
I don't think Vernon would have argued with what you say Jason but I don't think it makes him wrong. I think Vernon meant the less you do at the table to get the money by cheating the better cheat you are.

Or you could just be a good player that likes to cross the fine line between pride and stupidity once in a while..
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JasonEngland
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Tommy,

It isn't an issue of patience, or of being a "better" cheat than someone else. It's a function of the person, the situation, and especially the move itself.

If your "move" is flashing the flop to a partner, you're going to do that every chance you get. It isn't a powerhouse move that will get the money the first time you do it. It's a move that needs to be done often so that your partner has multiple opportunities to "hit" one of those flops. Simply stated: you go to town from the minute you sit down at the table.

Now, if you're a cold-deck man, you're right, once a night will do it.

Somewhere in between those two extremes is where the truth lies. But the myth that the "better" cheats only moved once or twice is just that, a myth.

Vernon may or may not have known he was generalizing, but the many that have parroted that phrase after him usually think it's gospel. It isn't.

Jason

Posted: Nov 19, 2005 7:10am
Quote:
Is this, THE Jason England?

Please tell me it is. Mr. England, I have much to speak with you about, may we chat via email?

Respectfully,

Michael

Actually, this is THE Jason England (whatever that means). A private message is a good way to get in touch with me.

Jason
Eternal damnation awaits anyone who questions God's unconditional love. --Bill Hicks
tommy
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“Fast is fine but accuracy is everything.”

-Wyatt Earp-

:)

Posted: Nov 19, 2005 8:41am
I agree with you Jason but when Vernon was saying “a “good” cheat” the “good” is comparative. I think he meant the cheat who uses less moves to get the money is likely to be more skilled than one who needs to use a lot of moves to achieve the same thing. The move the good cheat uses is likely to be a more difficult move to execute by virtue of the fact that it would need to be to get most of the money in one hit.
As with most things, like a swimmer who makes a lot movement and splashes about might get from a to b but a good swimmer will take less strokes and move more elegantly through the water to get there and comparably he be a good swimmer. You would not say someone was wrong to say a good swimmer does not splash around and makes less movement than a bad one and argue that it was a myth because there are swimmers who get from a to b by splashing around, would you?

I am only winding you up, I know what you mean. but I still don't think he was wrong.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
art the magic guy!
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Everyone talks on how the "gambling" demos and effects that magicians use will never fly on a card table. Or that real gambling sleight of hand is boring and what have you.

Well, that's exactly the point. MAGICIANS use the sleights to convey a single goal:ENTERTAIN. The methods, patter and presentation of these effects are done in a way as to maximize audience entertainment. It goes back to "magicians trying to impres magicians" example. Of course a seasoned card shark will laugh at the gambling tricks, but the performer isn't concerned to win a pot nor scam the whole table. The impression that he could do it is what hes usually after.

I recently saw an episode from the TV series "OVER THERE". Me being in Iraq for the 2x time, I know how its out here, and I laughed at the complete hollywood and misconceptions that were portayed in this episode, theres some things there that will never happen. But to the average viewer in the states this was probably a very entertaining show. And that exactly to whom the producers aimed it, to entertain the civilian population, not the military.

Now I do agree that a few gambling tricks in between regular magic is not very tasteful, but if you look at Mr Nash, Richard turner, Ortiz, Ackerman, ect. you can see that one is able to present gambling natured effects that entertain an audience, even if they are knowedgeable at cards.

What is the purpose of the act? That is the real question.
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Pekka
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You may want to login to http://www.cardshark.fm which is a forum devoted to gambling and cheating.
tommy
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That's right art but sometimes we are talking about what will fly at the card table and we are not saying it will not fly for the magician. In other words were not trying to put the magicians moves down. It is just interesting to to talk about what might or not fly. But your dead right about what you say.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
steve ehlers
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Hi Kid,

When I'm doing a show I have a whole section in which I do gambling material which includes false dealing, stacking, mucks, etc. However, I also include routines which have good stories and interesting premises. The bottom line when doing a show is to try to be the most entertaining you can be. A number of years ago I was fortunate enough to meet Ernie Bryan. Ernie was a student of Mickey MacDougal. Ernie did a lot of gambling material in his act. The majority of it was pseudo but he was really entertaining and not many people could tell the difference. Because he was such an entertaining guy the audience credited with much more skill than he actually possessed. I always work on improving my technical ability but trying to be more entertaining is more difficult and can only come working for people. If I have a choice between doing something technical or something easier but more entertaining I choose more entertaining.

Steve
mxray
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I posted in an earlier thread that I work for a casino party company dealing a shoe game ( 21) and that I do a few card tricks fourishes during shuffles for wextra tips.
I also do a 2nd deal. I don't do it slowly or in a way that they can see how it is done, so I am not teachng people how to cheat, but it fools them every time.

Contrary to some people's position that the public at large finds cheat moves boring, they are usualy quite entertained. That single demonstration alone really helps with tips.

Since Jason England has weighed in here, I will use his takedown show as another example that the public is definitely NOT bored by these moves.
Even my card counting friends, ( a fairly grizzled and difficult crowd to impress ) are interested in this stuff .

Mxray
JasonEngland
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Tommy,

Being a "good" cheat isn't an exercise in efficiency. A guy who specializes in holding out may have to move more often than a guy who cold-decks the game. It doesn't mean he's a better or worse cheat. The holdout man may have targeted casino games, whereas someone kicking in a cooler is probably targeting a private game.

The point is, a cheat doing X vs a cheat doing Y is often an apples to oranges comparison. Therefore to claim that the one who uses the "least" number of moves is the better is nonsense. But, Vernon didn't say that. You did. Vernon said that cheaters do only one or two moves a night.

Since absolute statements like that about ANY topic are often wrong, he was wrong. Or at the least, misleading.

But my comment isn't really directed back into the past as an attack on Vernon. I concede that he perhaps knew he was generalizing. It's the dozens of people that I've seen parrot that statement as if it were infallible that I'm targeting.

Jason
Eternal damnation awaits anyone who questions God's unconditional love. --Bill Hicks
Dannydoyle
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Let me clarify somoething for Jason and Kid.

I wasn't quoting Vernon or I would have mentioned his name.

I was speaking from EXPERIENCE. I play Blackjack by counting cards, I play poker and simply play do NOT cheat. Ok my point is the cheats I do know and it is a LOT of them work in the manner in which I am speaking. It is simple mathmatics. If you get caught you get hurt. The less chance of getting caught the less chance of getting hurt. I know may guys who move too much and end up hurt bad!

I guess it is tough to explain but just knowing the position of one card in the deck gives you a HUGE advantage ofer the other players in that game.

I guess the only really long lasting cheats I know who do well regularly are the advantage players.

So I am not quoting Vernon and I am not wrong in the least. Maybe it is a function of the games you play. The stakes often dictate the way in which it can be taken down. Also the kind of people involved. I said I delt with a little less than friendly crowd who hated to be cheated and did something about it. A more understanding crowd maybe I would not be too scared to move. So I do agree with Jason it depends on the guy.

Let me clarify one more point. I personally do not believe Vernon EVER cheated at cards. I have no proof either way and don't really want to argue the point. He was a magician but in my mind NOT a cheat. I mean every cheat I know you would look at them and say "sucker". Advantage players every one of them, not the guys like Jason describes.

Point is really a "known" cheat is about as usefull as lips on a chicken.

Like the Bond films. He is supposed to be a "secret" agent and everyone knows who he is. Every bartender not only knows who he is, but what he drinks. Heck people refer to him as 007 for pity sake! The only guy who dosn't know him seems to be the bad guy!

A known cheat strikes me in the same silly manner.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
tommy
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I agree that it is more difficult to cheat in a casino, generally speaking, and I concede it is more likely that a cold deck man would be working a home a game, but it ain’t necessarily so. I have known someone switch a complete shoe in a casino.
All things being equal is it an exercise in inefficiency then. I think so.
When I am at the table I look to do as little as possible to get the money. Is that being efficient? If it is, I hold that cheating is an exercise in efficiency because I think it would be foolish to do more than necessary.

In realty someone who holds out cards in a casino, in a poker game at least, would not last a hand because they count the stub, a good cheat would know that. Vernon probably knew. Smile
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
KidCrenshaw
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I'm inclined to believe efficiency is based on the motives of the scam.

If you're goal is to take the big pots, one or two moves a night may be all that is necessary.

If you're goal is to chip away at everyone's stacks - more subtle, yet more often moves may be necessary.

Then again, maybe not. It's all to dependent on the events that take place, as Jason said it best here.
"Put your faith in Providence, but always cut the cards"
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Jason has a point.

What a card shark does in a game I feel depends on the card shark and the game that they are playing. And who they are sitting in with.

I knew two different people that would only use the second deal in the game of spades.

From my understanding there are two ways that a card shark gets the money. That is to set the mark up for one or two hits - such as a cold deck. Hit the marks hard with the stack.

Or take them little by little over a long time like with the punch. Of course there are many ways to cheat but the card cheat may get the money in one or two hands or takes them over a long time (perhaps over several days) a little bit at a time.

It depends on who it is - what they know - how they cheat - the games they play - and who they play cards with!
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Paul H
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Hi Tommy,

You have to admit that Jason's view is highly pragmatic. Even your account of someone switching out a whole shoe exemplifies the sheer number of ingenious cheating methods and combinations. When this is mixed in with the different personal temperaments of the cheats themselves, it is bound to produce enormous variety. I think it is also fair to say that there are many cutting edge cheating techniques and gimmicks that have yet to see the light of day and their application is bound to introduce further variation.

Regards,

Paul H
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