

seedman New user 1 Post 
I've glance the Mnemonica through one time, and one trick named T.N.T. (p.223) is quite interesting, no sleights of hand, but I follow the method and ended failed.
could someone understand this trick could teach me? I have some question. 1. Is a inthehands dovetail shuffle has same effect like a riffle shuffle? I don't know what dovetail shuffle is. 2. I don't understand the way he split the deck into 4 pile. Does he start from the north everytime he just deal a center pile? I do this and west pile is empty. 3. What is "cannot be placed in any of the four piles", I can't figure out. I don't know what this means, and so on don't know the selection. If this is not allowed to talk in public, please mail me, thanks. 
Bill Lhotta Veteran user on top of a 14000' mountain in Colorado 356 Posts 
I believe I can answer your questions.
1) I think the term "dovetail" is an old term that isn't used much anymore. It simply means a riffle shuffle with the cards angled out representing a doves tail. The angle is strictly an esthetic thing. For the TNT effect just interpret this as a riffle shuffle. I don't like the shuffling sequence Juan uses in the beginning of this effect. After the spectator initially does the overhand shuffle of his half of the pack (while you false overhand shuffle your half stack), you hand him your half stack and ask him to do an inthehands riffle (i.e. dovetail). Then after swapping half stacks again you now direct the spectator to do a tabled riffle shuffle (this is so you can do a tabled Zarrow shuffle with your half to keep it intact). What I don't like about this is you first ask the spec to do an inthehands riffle and then direct him to do a tabled riffle (i.e. it's not consistent). I believe a better sequence would be the first inthehands riffle shuffle followed by another inthehands riffle with a cut. This way instead of the performer using a tabled Zarrow for the second false shuffle he could do a false riffle followed by the pull through which would emulate the cut to preserve his half of the deck. Any false in the hands riffle shuffle would work like the Heinstein shuffle. 2) Four piles are used because you have let the spec legitimately shuffle the half stack twice from which he made his selection from. This will give you four different sequences of cards. By dealing into four piles you will separate these four sequences of cards and deal each card onto its proper decreasing stack sequence. All cards with a stack number higher of 27 or higher are discarded into the center pile. The location of the pile you start with does not matter. Juan just uses the North pile to start with and then goes clockwise. Any card you encounter with a stack number of 27 or higher is discarded into the center pile. Deal the first card with a stack number less than or equal to 26 and start the North pile. If the next card has a stack number one less than the card on the North pile then deal this card onto the North pile too. When you run into a card whose stack number is less than or equal to 26 but isn't one less than the top face up card on the North pile, start a new pile and deal this card starting the East pile. Continue dealing and each card with a stack number less than or equal to 26 will be dealt on top of the North or East pile if its stack number is one less than the top face up card on the corresponding stack or you will start a new pile if the stack number is not one less than the top face up cards on the existing piles. If you continue doing this you will end up with four piles which represent the four different sequences of cards created by the spectator shuffles. If your West pile is always empty then you are not following the above dealing sequence correctly. 3) "cannot be placed in any of the four piles" means you are trying to deal a card from the deck whose stack number is not one less than any of the four face up cards on the four piles. It's just like when you are playing solitaire and get stuck where you can't deal the next card on any of the piles as it isn't the next decreasing card for any of the piles. Since this card is out of sequence it indicates the chosen card. If the card is two less than one of the face up pile values then the chosen card is still in the deck and its stack value is one more than the card which you can't deal onto any of the piles. Juan doesn't mention what to do when you have four piles going and you run into the card with a stack value of exactly 26. Simply deal this card onto the pile whose top card has a stack value of 1 and continue. I have also run into the scenario where the chosen card is one of the first cards dealt out from the deck and you end up starting a new pile with this card. This can really screw you up and I haven't found a way to deal with this situation yet. I'm surprised Juan doesn't talk about this situation at all in his book. If anyone has a workaround for this problem I'd love to hear the solution. I hope this helps (clear as mud, right?). I know there's a lot of words there to digest, so feel free to ask me for clarification if there is something you still don't understand. Cheers! ** Bill ** 
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