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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Shuffled not Stirred » » Do they really notice an alternating red/black pattern? (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Tanay
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Hi guys,

At the moment, I'm working on the Dani Daortiz Stack (which by the way is great!)

With a little modification the stack can be set up as alternating red/black order. I'm planning to just use this order from the start...

My question is, would the spectators really notice an alternating red/black pattern in a ribbon-spread deck, if asked to check if it's shuffled well?

Just wondering, because my guess is they won't... Smile Thanks a lot!
Tanay
Cain
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Quote:
On 2012-07-19 20:11, Tanay wrote:
My question is, would the spectators really notice an alternating red/black pattern in a ribbon-spread deck, if asked to check if it's shuffled well?


Yes. You can however obscure the condition by using Lennart Green's "drop spread."

Where did DaOrtiz's publish his stack? Is it in English?
Ellusionst discussing the Arcane Playing cards: "Michaelangelo took four years to create the Sistine Chapel masterpiece... these took five."

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Tanay
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Right, thanks for the reference Smile

Yes it's published in English (translated) online as an ebook, "My Personal Stack". Can get it from Lybrary Smile I believe it is very easy to get from his stack to new deck order, red/black, Stay Stack, and back to the original Daortiz stack. In fact getting to red/black is very very easy. Also it's possible to NOT memorise the stack and still know the positions since it's mathematical!
Tanay
Dennis Loomis
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I can tell you from personal experience that some very astute spectators have noticed the alternating condition or a red-black-red-black stack. It's only happened a few times over the years, but it has happened.

Dennis Loomis
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mfeld
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Most spectators will not notice on a quick ribon spread, but yes. There will definitely be some spectators who will notice.

I agree with Cain's recommendation for the Lennart Green drop spread. This is an incredibly effective way to hide a red/black order.
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Tanay
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Thanks again for the messages,

I have used the Aronson stack up until now, but I am currently working on a memorised Si Stebbins stack. Aside from the red/black pattern, I really like the fact that the memorised stack is ALSO already a Stay Stack, and with a 4 handed deal you can revert to NDO.

I am going to try it out and see if it works well! Smile
Tanay
Vlad_77
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I suppose I am going against the norm but in 20 years of expoerience I have NEVER had a spectator notice the distribution and I have used Si Stebbins, Eight Kings, etc., for some very astute spectators - hardcore Poker and Bridge players for instance. Perhaps it is because I do not START with a deck so stacked and second, when I do use it, the spread is quite casual.

But as they say, YMMV.

Namaste,
Vlad
Cain
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Quote:
On 2012-07-23 18:14, Vlad_77 wrote:
I suppose I am going against the norm but in 20 years of expoerience I have NEVER had a spectator notice the distribution and I have used Si Stebbins, Eight Kings, etc., for some very astute spectators - hardcore Poker and Bridge players for instance.


I think this differs slightly (but importantly) from the demands of the original post. After working with a stack I realized that the appearance of randomness ranks among the least important things for a memorized deck. The utility of a "shuffled-looking" cards rapidly diminishes after reaching a thresh-hold. So I do not doubt Vlad's experiences for a moment, especially if starting from a genuinely shuffled deck and using some spread that obscures the condition of the cards. HOWEVER, with that said, the original question *did* wonder if was possible to ribbon-spread the cards, and ask if they're well shuffled.

As far as I know, I've never had a person question a red/black condition when performing Tamariz's "Neither Blind Nor Stupid." Hell, Lennart Green works from a deck in A-K suit order, but I think that if you use a Si Stebbins you're limiting yourself in terms of memorized deck work because there are some really cool tricks that are vulnerable to obvious patterns. Among my favorites are the ones where part of the stack is shuffled and then the performer calls them back (either from memory or psychic power) and the spectator essentially puts them back in stack order. This creates more conviction than asking if they "appear mixed" because the spectator has actually mixed the cards (see "Ackerman's Opener," Ehler's "Three Card Location," Bill Malone's "Hands Off Memory Test"). There are other tricks where you ask a spectator to spread through the pack (faces toward them) and pick a card that strikes their fancy. Now with some finagling I suppose you *could* work through this type of trick with a Si Stebbins.

As I think Aronson observes, the second memorized stack is that one that you end up using because you know which features fit your style. The huge advantage of Si Stebbins is that it's the most worked over stack order in existence, with umpteen man hours spent discovering its properties.
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!"
Tanay
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Thanks for the great suggestions.

Ehler's Three Card Location sounds great, I read the effect on another topic. If it plays anything similar to Malone's Hand's Off Memory Test then that's great!

Yes now I have begun to work on effects where the spectator "apparently" shuffles the whole deck but really it is in order, or at least most of it is...I've found Triumph is great for this, especially Kostya Kimlat's Triumph in which I get the spectators to riffle shuffle + push the cards in. After the effect the deck is completely back in stack.

Now I'm wondering, why doesn't everyone just use a memorised Si Stebbins stack? It's already a stay-stack, alternating red/black, can go to NDO in a 4 handed deal, can go back from NDO to Si Stebbins....is the suit and colour discrepancy really that much?
Tanay
Cain
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The Elhers trick is very similar to Malone's (but appeared in print years earlier). He has an updated version on Arizona Card Expert and in his lecture notes. I prefer the variety of Malone's, but Elhers has some interesting handling ideas.

If I recall correctly, Steve Youell uses Si Stebbins for memorized deck (calls it the "Hacker Stack," described in his notes "Weapons of Mass Destruction," which I think he uploaded for free on here).

Si Stebbins not only has an obvious black/red pattern, but cycles the values, which is part of the reason why Aronson, Osterlind, Tamariz and on and on rejected it. The advantage of a patterned stack like Si Stebbins is that it has some nifty built-in features, but that's also part of the reason why it's not ideal for memorized deck. A familiar claim on these forums is that the "best tricks are stack-independent." All that built-in order is a hindrance because it's a little bit too obvious (in my view). But here's the thing: Nothing's stopping anyone from from using Si Stebbins in addition to memorized deck, and I believe that's the route Darwin Ortiz takes.
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!"
Tanay
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Thanks a lot for your kind advice so far Cain Smile

I am in the process of memorising a Si Stebbins stack now. Hopefully in the next few days I will test out the same effects I did with the Aronson stack, and see if there is any difference in terms of the reactions and the power of the effect.

Do you think that the best effects really stack-independent? I know Tamariz says that the new deck order finale is very strong. And also I believe that coincidence type effects with a Stay Stack order play quite well...

Perhaps using the memorised deck as an open index is stronger, since the spectators naming a card, and with minimal handling, it's inside your pocket without looking at the deck, is a pretty strong effect!! Smile
Tanay
Cain
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Quote:
On 2012-07-28 10:11, Tanay wrote:
Do you think that the best effects really stack-independent? I know Tamariz says that the new deck order finale is very strong. And also I believe that coincidence type effects with a Stay Stack order play quite well...


For awhile now I've been arguing that we make a distinction between tricks using a *memorized deck* and tricks using a *stack*. The effect you mention -- revealing a named card from your pocket -- can be done with any memorized deck; however, Simon Aronson's Poker Deal can only be done with his particular stack order (and it's a trick that does not require any memorization). That's an important difference.

While it's probably true the best *memorized deck* tricks are stack-independent... the best stack tricks obviously vary in effectiveness. Is it better to do a full deck story trick or deal four perfect bridge hands (in numerical order), or what about the Matching Routine from Marlo using the stay-stack? Only you can decide what suits you best, but I'd say none of those are memorized deck tricks. They're stack tricks. A memorized deck can augment them via tricks like Malone's "Hands Off Memory Test" because the spectator mixes the cards.

I think Michael Skinner had the right idea. In his book CLASSIC SAMPLER he discusses how there were two stack tricks he loved, but could not perform often as he'd like because... they require an elaborate stack. That's why everyone loves impromptu stuff -- you're always ready to go. Skinner's favorite tricks were a Mental Spelling routine from the beloved AMATEUR'S HANDBOOK and Vernon's Poker Deal: so he built a stack around them. In performance he could do *memorized deck* tricks, or whatever, and then launch into Mental Speller whenever he wanted. Skinner's second memorized deck involved giving a New Deck five faros. This suited his performing circumstances because he was constantly opening new packs, AND he had a killer closer in that he was only three faros away from NDO.

My advice has been: use a stack that has a built-in blockbuster you'll never tire of performing. It's better to have one great trick than ten good ones.

Si Stebbins has some obvious advantages: it's a tetradistic stack, so you're two faros from ending with all the four-of-a-kinds together. Reverse the top 26 cards and it's a stay stack. It's also got a built-in perfect bridge deal, and you can get into the stack from a brand new deck. Cool.

The downside is that the patterns are kind of obvious. See if you can get away with Aronson's wonderful "Invisible Card" routine using that stack. I'd guess you'd get burned by groups too often to keep performing it. Some annoying guy named "Blake" or "Todd" will point out the repeating cycle. If you never perform tricks like the "Invisible Card," then you're fine. Personally, even though I always have my cards in stack order, I do not think there are that many great *memorized deck* tricks.
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!"
Tamariz
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I think that it is a risk to have an alternating stack that may be easily noticed by more astute audience members. However, if your audience is so interested in the deck itself I would believe that you have a presentational problem.
leolaurindo
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If you just spread the card and ask, it can be without any pattern and they will be suspicious.
However if you do some blind shuffles and do not make a big deal of the spread, they will barely notice.
panlives
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The colour contrast calls attention to where it is least desired.

Standard Bikes have a high colour contrast, with dark black and lighter red pips.

Aristocrats have a deeper burgundy red and when seen in a casual spread, the colours do not have the same optical pop.
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the dealer
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Memorize two stacks
JanForster
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No need to memorize two; take Simon Aronson's idea: Stack a second deck using the Si Stebbins system e. g.; that means think what would precede (e. g.) the JS (stack # 1 in the Aronson stack) in Si Stebbins (CHaSeD order); it would be the 8H. Put the 8H in the first position a. s. o. If you see the 8H all you've to do is to think what follows in Si Stebbins... the JS which is #1. Therefore in your second stack the 8H is #1. Jan
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littleboy
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I have been using the si stebbins stack for a few years and have bever got caught, but after I finish the effects using this stack, I tend to give it a nice riffle shuffle so if they ask to double check the deck, there wont be a pattern. If you are performing to magicians, then that would be an entirely different senario
volto
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Pat Page has notes on this in his "Magic Page By Page". He notes that in his entire (long) performing career, he only had one spectator point out that the deck wasn't properly shuffled. Page promptly did a Zarrow shuffle, looked the fellow in the eye and asked... "Happy?". The guy said "Yes", and Page carried on with the routine. I loved that story... Smile

The drop spread mentioned seems like a great approach if you have to spread the cards.

The DaOrtiz stack seems pretty cool (I have the book too, and it has some strokes of sheer genius). But if you're going the whole way to red/black, why not just use Stebbins? There's a bunch of awesome material you can pull off if you're willing to live with the red/black thing... not least, new deck order finales, stuff like Colombini's "Grand Prix" is easy to get into, loads of "Do As I Do" effects. Bridge deals, if you're performing for the over 60s Smile A whole load of material, with just a little extra bit of order in the deck...?
SheldonR
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I've only had one person notice the alternating red/black. Fortunately it was someone I was practicing on, anyway. Otherwise it's all been good.

That's a hilarious story about Page. Smile
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