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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Shuffled not Stirred » » Arranging a stack openly (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Trent Hardcore
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Hello,

I am trying to work on a routine which involves getting into a 26-card stack from a shuffled deck. My only idea so far is to have a card (from outside the stack) selected and then "in an attempt to further divine..." remove the 26 cards of my stack. Then I would show them one at a time to the spectator (in order) until I found their card.

This of course seems rather long, boring and complicated. Does anybody have any better ideas that this?

Cheers,
Trent

PS: I should point out that my stack is suit independent. All that matters is that the order of the values is correct.
Mcdermott
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Have you considered just switching the whole deck ? eg. putting it in your pocket and taking another deck out under some kind of cover , '' oh well I guess I could give finding your card one more go..'' or something ?


-McDermott
Trent Hardcore
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I will have had some cards signed by this point so a deck switch would be problematic. I'm quite happy to set the cards up openly but I just want a better method than my current one. I've read through Mnemonica which has some beautiful ideas, but they're all based on having specifically memorised cards. In my case I just need to make sure I have cards in the order 8 6 K 8 Q 6 5 ... I suppose I could just memorise a specific group of cards in that order but that seems like more work than necesary.
ghostpianist
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Arrange 26 shuffled card that's like half of the deck. Nobody can get away with it in front of specs. Showing 25 wrong cards for divination sounds pretty disastrous too.
Scott Cram
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Switching the deck would probably be the best way.

If you don't want to switch a deck, get "Encyclopedia of Card Tricks" by Hugard and Braue. In the section on the Nikola Card System, there's a trick called "A Subtle Game" (the very last trick in the book, BTW).

Here's the effect: You have a deck shuffled, and then have four cards selected by 4 people. You call off cards in a random order, without somehow mentioning the four selected cards. As you name the cards, they are handed to you by a 5th spectator. When you're done, you've named all 48 cards, leaving only the 4 chosen cards! You name those to complete the routine for a finish.

Done right, the tension actually builds through the trick, as the audience keeps noting that none of the chosen cards is ever called. The sneaky part of this routine is that, even though you're starting with a shuffled deck, you finish with it in a stacked order! You can have it wind up in Nikola, Tamariz, Aronson or any other stack whose order you've memorized!
bunkyhenry
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Tell a little story about various playing cards and cull away
daver
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What totally amazes me is how much someone can get away with openly with the right attitude. Of course, I happen to be the one who'll get caught if I try it (I just have not had the kohones to do it).

My specific reference is this: When in NYC, I usually end up hanging with the Monday Night Magic crowd after the show, and often times, performing or not, Asi Wind joins in, and how he just stands there, with the cards right in front of you, concentrating on them, and moving cards here and there often times between effects, sometimes having to move a significant number of cards, and no (not-in-the-know) spectator calls him on it boggles my mind. Me? If I tried it I just KNOW I'd get ratted out in a heartbeat. But with the right attitude, and the confidence to do it, I think you can get away with anything. (I can get backstage at just about any music or sporting event I want on attitude alone; dunno why I'm petrified about getting called out on something like this - at least with this I can't (usually) get arrested or ejected from a venue ;-)

Dave
Dave



What's the difference between a magician and a deck of cards? A deck of cards has FOUR suits...
Cain
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Trent Hardcore,

I think "Trent Hardcore" is a cool name. While it is possible to openly stack half a deck of cards in the right setting, it is not something I would ever count on. If you PLAN on performing a trick using a 26 card stack starting from a shuffled deck, then you cannot reliably expect to take advantage of unrealistically favorable circumstances; we cannot assume leisurely conditions.

Apart from a deck switch, the solution S. Cram suggests seems to be the most consistently workable in my view (not borne out by experience, I hasten to add). Essentially the same idea is used with great results in Ackerman's Opener and many other tricks: you very openly stack the deck ("The best way to hide something is to paint it red.") With slight tinkering you can perform a variation that's faster and a little more astonishing, all you need to do is separate the 26 cards in your stack from the other 26 cards (cull, angle separation, great divide). This CAN be done openly in virtually any environment in under half a minute, as I know, because I have been doing it for years. Separating cards is easy; putting them in order is difficult. After this tinkering (i.e., separation) the deck can be divided into two, three, four (or more) blocks for true spectator shuffling, makes no difference (see Shuffle Bored). So you can begin from a very fair starting point. From here there are lots of possibilities, but I'll provide a rough outline of what you can do without going into specific methods, since we all have our own preferences.

You could have two cards freely selected from the indifferent 26 and freely replaced among the memorized 26, yada yada yada, the spectators each end up with a ~14 card block, hopefully containing their own card. You then begin to name each and every card they hold, which will be faster, less boring, and easier to justify than plowing through 52 cards. It will also be more impressive because how could you know WHICH ~28 cards of the 52 the spectators had? If you're naming 52 out of 52 cards, then you -- and everybody else -- knows exactly which cards are held in the deck. Why bother saying, "OK, JS, KC, 5C, 2H," etc? Most any thinking person will at least suspect the performer is simply skipping around the four selections. But if you're naming two dozen cards from a deck that was JUST shuffled by four people, then that's some serious Rainman B.S. (It's easy to adapt the Shuffle Bored procedure as well as the first phase: You spread the cards out and, like the Rainman, you can instantly tell there are 28 face down. You then go on to explain that since you saw all the face up cards, then it stands to reason that you would know all of the face down cards, and you proceed to name them, save the last two selections). Of course this whole process only really works on the assumption there is no readily discernible pattern to your stack.
Ellusionst discussing the Arcane Playing cards: "Michaelangelo took four years to create the Sistine Chapel masterpiece... these took five."

Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes: "You know Einstein got bad grades as a kid? Well, mine are even worse!"
Dennis Loomis
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The Subtle Game which Scott mentions is very doable. In fact, the entire deck can be set this way with no suspicion. The deck is actually broker into 4 parts and each of 4 spectators has about 13 cards. As you call the cards, all of the spectators are looking for it and it's quite fast to find one card in 13. You call 48 cards, and each of the 4 spectators are holding a single card... it's the one they took! A good trick, but now your full deck stack is ready.

I have some thoughts on how you incorporate this into walk around work in the mem-deck section on my web site. (Link is below)

Dennis Loomis
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<BR>http://www.loomismagic.com
ghostpianist
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I withdraw my earlier comment (not that I can literally).

According to Juan Tamariz's Mnemonica it can actually be done; although it requires exceptionally good audience control, quick thinking and card technique. Not easy. If interested it is in the Appendix section of the book.
airship
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I'm not a performer, so it's relatively easy for me to sneak off somewhere and set up a stack, which I've learned to do in just a couple of minutes (in, for example, the bathroom). Or if I carry a stacked deck with me, I do my stack effect(s) first, after a couple of false shuffles and/or cuts.
'The central secret of conjuring is a manipulation of interest.' - Henry Hay
joakimsan
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I havn’t read the description of the trick but it seems strange to call the cards in a random order. If you were to call out cards wouldn’t you do it the easiest way possible, in new deck order? Whats’s the excuse for doing it “randomly”?
Dennis Loomis
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To Joakimsan,
If you call the cards in order, it becomes obvious when you reach one of the missing cards. Calling them in what appears to be random order preserves the climax of the effect with each spectator holding their own card at the end. And this becomes clear to the spectators at the climax of the effect. I think if you try it you'll like it. Remember, it's a feat in itself to call cards randomly and leave 4 chosen cards to the end. And the spectators should have no idea that you know the chosen cards.

This is not necessarilly better than a deck switch, but it's a great tool to have in your arsenal. Let's say you're working walkaround and either you or a spectator drops your stacked deck. You either have to revert to doing effects which don't depend on the stack, retire to the bathroom to reset the deck, or have a way to reset in front of spectators. "A Subtle Game" is one way to accomplish the later.

Dennis Loomis
Itinerant Montebank
<BR>http://www.loomismagic.com
joakimsan
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What I meant was that from a spectators view it seems a bit suspicious. The magician says he’s going to name the cards but in a random way. Why would he do that? And why in that order? Is it because hes got a secret way of knowing how not to name a card twice? I’m sure that most of my friends would suspect me of having some sort of pattern wich I rely on when naming the cards. They wouldn’t suspect a full memorized deck, but some sort of technique to do this. Of course they wouldn’t know how I knew wich cards to leave out but that's another story.
Maybe I should read the description of the trick...
Are you saying its enough to say “I WILL DO IT IN A RANDOM ORDER”?
panimen
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You don't actually state that you will be calling out cards in a random order. Rather, once the cards have been dealt, just start naming cards. The spectator should just see you plucking random cards out of your mind as if you're not sensing anything from them. It'll seem like although you don't actually know the selections, you can somehow get a feeling of which ones are not the selections. It's possible to name cards that have already been named; the spectators will say they don't have it and you could just act like you had a strange feeling about that one again. This way, it won't seem like you're stating a memorized order of cards.

Although I don't perform this effect often, there is an alternative presentation (but I'm sure I'm not the first to think of this). Say there are four selections; you call out 4 cards that you think are the correct ones. You hesitate because you get a stronger impression from another card, so you call that one and discard one among the first 4. You keep getting mixed feelings and as your pile of cards increase, it seems more and more like you have no idea what their selections are and your thought process becomes more and more haphazard. In the end, there will just be a messy pile of cards in front of you and each of the selections will be held by their respective spectators.

It may not be a great presentation, but it works. (Keep in mind that I'm a big fan of "magician makes good" plots)
Dennis Loomis
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I agree with panimen... you don't state that you are calling cards in random order... you just start calling cards.

But, you might refer to the currently popular TV show: Deal or No Deal. Howie Mandel always says: we're going to find out what's in your case by opening the other cases. So, we're going to find out your cards by eliminating all of the wrong cards. I haven't tried this, but I do find that references to TV, like Paul Green's Jeopardy presentation of Shuffleboard do resonate with spectators.

As long as the spectators are not suspicious that you are arranging the cards, then there is no problem. On my web site, I have a whole bunch of articles on mem-deck stuff. In one, I discuss the "Subtle Game" Ploy. Among other things, I suggest this: you can do the Subtle Game at one table, and quit or end your set with a non-card trick. You then proceed to a new table with your stacked deck intact. The folks at the new table did not see you do Subtle Game and are not going to be suspicious of anything. If anyone at the table where you did subtle game was suspicious, it appears that this was just an unusual way to find 4 chosen cards. Any suspicion becomes immaterial once you leave the table.

Dennis Loomis

P.S. When I'm doing walkaround, I have two decks of cards with me. To start, both are in Aronson Stack. When I get the urge to do an effect which destroys my stack, I have a backup. (Or if the deck gets dropped, I have a backup.) Only when both decks get out of order do I have to do subtle game if I want to continue with mem-deck magic. (And, I do... it's the backbone of my walkaround material.) It's possible that I have a break coming up and can just reset both stacks in private. (Or just switch to two stacked decks from my close up case which I've left somewhere close by.) What I'm saying is that "A Subtle Game" is not a planned part of my repertoire but is a great tool to have in reserve when needed.
Itinerant Montebank
<BR>http://www.loomismagic.com
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