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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » Trouble with the Riffle - Suggestions? (4 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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KenRyan
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I have been going through some VERY basic card handling instructions - starting with Wilson. And since this questions does not pertain to a magic routine at all - simply to shuffling cards - I thought I'd ask here for help on a particular thing that has been my bane with cards since I was a kid. It's my riffle!

The problem is that when I do the riffle shuffle (I actually didn't know the term for that until today:)), I only manage to interlace fairly large blocks of cards. In some cases on actually manage not to interlace ANY cards:-P. I end up where I started, with two half-decks, one in either hand, AFTER I have riffled them intending to shuffle.

So my first question is: Should I expect to be getting every other card to interlace/overlap? That would seem like the goal...the perfect shuffle - one card from the right hand, one from the left, another from the right, another from the left, all the way through the deck. That's what it looks like to me when I see someone riffle shuffle.

Even if it's OK to have small stacks of 2 or 3 cards from each hand in every overlap, I am still missing that mark by a million miles. I end up with interlacing stacks of 6-8 cards.

What can I do to improve this? I'm looking for something I can do to reduce the number of cards - optimally only one - that end up interlaced with the cards from the opposite hand, Am I making sense in how I'm describing this?

Thanks!

Ken
KenRyan
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Update: I can do a MUCH better riffle using the technique in in this video (shared by Terrible Wizard in another thread) - http://youtu.be/UeEMaZqMRp0. But that isn't the method taught in Wilson. I'm going to try to overlap from the poker dealer riffle (the one in the video) to see if that helps with the riffle in the Wilson book. I'll report back on my progress and if it works, try to spell out what made the difference for me. But I am getting ahead of myself:).

Cheers,

Ken
KenRyan
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And 2nd update. I can now do the riffle shuffle:). What made the difference was figuring out why the dealer riffle worked so well and the "normal" way didn't (for me). With the dealer method, you press down on (each hand) with your 3 long fingers while pushing up with the thumbs on the corners of the half-decks. There is a LOT more force pushing down against the opposite force applied by the thumbs. This results also in the edges of the cards creating an angle where the lwest card is closer to the inside of the hand than the top card, so that as you let the cards fall. they do so 1 (or 2) at a time as they slip past the thumb.

That was harder to describe in words than I thought:-P. But the point is - I applied more pressure with the finger behind the stacks and pulled the thumb a bit higher, and was able to get the angle on the edge of the stack along with the added force of the riffle. And now I can actually do a proper riffle shuffle. And I can do it 2 different ways:). Progress.

Cheers,

Ken
Vlad_77
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Hi Ken,

Many people have trouble riffle shuffling. Watch your spectators next time and inside you will wince at the torture the cards are put through. No matter what grip you use, it's important to allow the natural tensile strength of the cards to assist you. A good riffle shuffle should be analogous to a whisper. I like your observation of allowing the cards to "slip" past the thumbs. As you know now, very little pressure is required to execute a beautiful riffle.

Welcome to the wild wold of card magic!!! Come and say hello in The Workers section! Smile

Best,
Vlad
KenRyan
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Addendum to the last comment (this has become a thread entirely of me:)) - Where I said "angle on the edge"above, I now know (from Giobbi) that the proper terminology for that is "bevel." How powerful are words?:).

Ken
Mike Gilbert
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I'm impressed with your commitment to detail Ken! You're alright in my book! Smile
-Mike Gilbert Smile

"Most of us have two lives. The life we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands Resistance."- Steven Pressfield
KenRyan
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Thanks Mike! Now if only I could rid myself of the need for sleep:),
KenRyan
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Thanks Vlad! I'll come by soon. I'm so new, so raw. It's all a bit amazing. I have so much to learn, but I hunger for the knowledge:).

Cheers!

Ken
Mike Gilbert
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I know how you feel, Ken! I'll lay in bed with nothing but magic filling my head...it's crazy what kind of ideas you come up with, but eventually it turns into hallucination :p
-Mike Gilbert Smile

"Most of us have two lives. The life we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands Resistance."- Steven Pressfield
Terrible Wizard
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But doesn't it feel good to be able to riffle? It's a very pleasant feeling, not only being able to do something you couldn't before, but the tactile sensation of those 'whispering' cards sliding past your thumb with the tiniest effort of control Smile. You'll see why card workers rarely stop fiddling with cards as they go about their lives Smile
KenRyan
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Mike - Yes! I actually had a dream last night that I was at a show with Penn and Teller! And I was asking Teller if he could help me with a coin sleight. It was awesome!!!!!

I guess when it gets into your dreams, it has well and truly seeped into your soul.

Cheers!

Ken
Newsround
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Vlad gave you the advice that worked for me, applying less pressure. It feels wrong holding the cards so loose, but once you get the knack, like Vlad says, watching other people try and gripping the cards so tight does make you laugh.
KenRyan
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Thanks Newsround - I practiced a bunch today and found myself gripping to tightly many times. Finally one time it was quiet and smooth and I asked myself what I did different that time. And it was having more relaxed hands. Weird though. I had it last night and this evening I seem to have lost it again. Just have to do it a LOT more, I'm sure.

Thanks again!

Ken
Mike Gilbert
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I agree Ken! I had a bunch of different hobbies that I never gave 100% to. In the end, it always came back around to magic. That's what gave me a sense of wonder and accomplishment. Right then and there I knew what I wanted to do. All of those other hobbies had to go! It's time to devote myself to the one and only Smile
-Mike Gilbert Smile

"Most of us have two lives. The life we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands Resistance."- Steven Pressfield
Shadowstalker
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A perfect shuffle can be executed in other ways ( it's called the faro shuffle)
Smile

When a magician lets you notice something on your own, his lie becomes impenetrable.
Teller
KenRyan
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Shadowstalker - I couldn't find "faro shuffle" in Wilson. Is it in there? I don't have the Giobbi Card College stuff yet, just the Intro pdf.

Cheers,

Ken
Shadowstalker
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It can be found in Card C0llege, and Edward Marl0 has some material about it. In Card C0llege it's in vol 3 ( chapter 35). What is this Wilson book?
By the way a faro I believe counts as an advanced technique, so I would write a note about it and return to it later(it's not good to sidetrack much I believe, so if you start a book finish it, and digest it unless it's cr@p of course)
I wish you the best on your journey,
Shadowstalker
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When a magician lets you notice something on your own, his lie becomes impenetrable.
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Shadowstalker
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It can be found in Card C0llege, and Edward Marl0 has some material about it. In Card C0llege it's in vol 3 ( chapter 35). What is this Wilson book?
By the way a faro I believe counts as an advanced technique, so I would write a note about it and return to it later(it's not good to sidetrack much I believe, so if you start a book finish it, and digest it unless it's cr@p of course)
I wish you the best on your journey,
Shadowstalker
Smile

When a magician lets you notice something on your own, his lie becomes impenetrable.
Teller
KenRyan
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Thanks Shadowstalker - I am trying to focus, so that's great advice. I did order Card College 1 (book) today. But even that would not have gotten me there for that one. So I'll just try to stick to learning the beginning fundamentals and try (shya!) not to get too excited:-P.

Cheers,

Ken
Shadowstalker
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What Wilson book were you talking about?
Smile

When a magician lets you notice something on your own, his lie becomes impenetrable.
Teller
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