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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » Overhand Shuffle Question (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

adrianbent
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Hello Everyone!
I have started down the Royal Road to Card Magic and I have run into frustration already in Chapter 1! (not a good sign) Its not a question about the book, rather I am wondering if people have a suggestion with my overhand shuffle. Here's my problem: When undercutting the bottom half of the pack, the lower 3-4 cards of the top pack uncleanly "slide up" as do the top 3-4 cards of the bottom half (slide down)that I am lifting up. I am a patient practicer, but I am finding this problem isn't going away. I am faithfully thinking about such subtleties as tempo and rhythm while executing this shuffle, yet just when I'm doing well these "unclean" cuts will "trip" over each other and at best just reverse themselves, at worst fall on the floor. Is there something I should look towards? Like using my left thumb more, or less or imparting more downward momentum from the right hand so they are "thrown" into my left? Is the action ALL thumb or is there some release that is involved with the right hand? These may be a flurry of questions, but I am just trying to illustrate my misguidance in this area, and hopefully fishing for someone to say, "I know exactly what you mean" and be able to provide some anecdotal advice. Thanks everyone! Smile
wayman
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Slacken your grip a bit.

When undercutting, simply drop the bottom half of the deck directly into your waiting left hand, that is drop straight down. then place the left hand stock ON TOP of the right hand stock.

I say "drop", but its only really millimeters.

You don't have to slide the cards in an undercut, and I think that might be where you are going wrong.

Hope this helps.
Steve Friedberg
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Alternately, use your left thumb as a "stop," and use the pads of your right fingers to grasp the remaining cards once you've removed the bottom packet.

One other point: when you drop the bottom packet on top, I've found it works to drop it angled in oh-so-slightly...it makes a sound which people are accustomed to hearing with a shuffle. That works very nicely, especially if you also use a false swing cut.
Cheers,
Steve

"A trick does not fool the eyes, but fools the brain." -- John Mulholland
adrianbent
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Super tips Guys, thanks a million! I was just kind of fishing, I didn't really hold out a hope that I could get any practical advice, but both the "loosen the grip" and the "left thumb as a backstop" are gold.

... As a follow up question, how many "tosses" does it take you to shuffle off the undercut? From what I am guessing, I would hazard to guess that this is a valid question from the tempo-rhythm aspect. I have experimented with from 5-3 tosses to shuffle off. Right now since I am beginning, it is fairly inconsistent but I would imagine that as my skill grows, my "touch" and tempo will become more consistent and the number of cards I leave behind will become more uniform. Am I correct in this assumption? Would it be awkward then if someone said, "Shuffle off in 7 strokes"... thus breaking a natural, refined tempo of your overhand shuffle? ... Or is it random? I just realized that this will be changed later when I get to "running" cards but for now I am striving for a solid natural shuffle
Thanks Gents! Smile
Steven Steele
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Adrian,
It really depends on how much I undercut...but 5 is a good number. As you get more comfortable, it will vary, but you will know where you are by the feel of the deck and you won't even be paying attention to it. You'll just know you've done it.

Steven
adrianbent
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Thanks Steven, that's a glimpse for me down the road of things to come. As for now, its time to practice some more. Cheers!
Adrian.
BTrestain1
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Hi Adrian. Had all the same problems myself when I first started and I haven’t been doing it that long. I really think it is a matter of practice and as Steven says in the end you will feel what is happening without looking. I still make mistakes of course but they are not as bad as they used to be. I used to really struggle with the shuffles and cuts especially the double undercut but I persevered and then it just started happening. Why don't you invest in a DVD or Video I find my DVD's invaluable. Try the Michael Ammar Easy to master card Miracles. Or for sleights Richard Kaufman's Basic card Techniques. I learned more from Kaufman's DVD than I could from books but maybe that is just me.

Barry Smile
adrianbent
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Thanks for the pep talk Barry! I'm looking at getting Michael Ammar's Easy to Master Card Miracles Vol. 1. Cheers! Smile
Brad Burt
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Hello:

The Overhand Shuffle has several components to it and as you work at it you will find that you can perform the move in a couple of differing ways.

First, let me give you an exercise that will help give you control over the cards quickly. What you are going to do is called a 'RUN'. Hold the deck in the R.H. in the shuffle position. Move to the L.H. and using the L. Thumb PULL OFF only the top card of the deck as the R.H. moves the deck up and away from the L.H. Do this again and again, until you have 'RUN' the entire deck one card at a time into the L.H.

Continue to do this until you can rapidly run the cards one card at a time. This control will be important in both false shuffles and stacking moves and in just general control of the cards.

Next...Once you can run the cards practice bringing the deck over to the L.H. in the same manner as above and using the L.Thumb pull off about 1/6th or so of the deck into the L.H. Continue until you have shuffled off the entire deck and repeat until you are sick of holding the cards.

Next...Bring the deck over to the L.H. and by moving your RIGHT Middle Fingers and Thumb AWAY from the deck allow a CHUNK of cards to slide off the top of the deck and into the L.H. shuffle position. This is the other major way that the cards move from the R. to the L.H. during an overhand shuffle. With time you will select one of the ways that fits your feel for the cards, etc.

Best,
Brad Burt
Brad Burt
adrianbent
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Smile Thank you so much for the exercises! I am self examining my own personality and I think I tend to get to hung up on technique and lose sight of the big picture. I say this because I think I am more of the "Right hand release" sort than the "Left thumb pull-off". I guess the ultimate goal is to make it happen. Maybe I should try this question from a different angle; are there any bad habits I should avoid now with regard to the overhand shuffle, or perhaps you have all come to know your own personal shuffling style and are comfortable and happy with it, and wouldn't change anything if you could.
... Should I just , "give 'er"?
Thanks, Adrian. Smile
Brad Burt
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Yo:

You pretty much said it above...you want the thing to happen, but remember: That there are techniques you will not be able to gain control over UNLESS you get the L.Thumb pull down and under control. For instance the False Overhand, although I can think of ways to do it otherwise, is almost impossible without control of the L. Thumb. The exercises above will insure the you CAN do BOTH methods and the pain of gaining that expertise will be minimal.

Remember: There is ALWAYS pain. Either you will have the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. Disciplined practice in magic produces solid, good technique. Best,
Brad Burt
Brad Burt
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