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Profile of Barajista
Thanks Geoff,
I've been jumping around for awhile on where to start and your list has been helpful to get a sense of direction. The comments on presentation are important to remember!
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Profile of stuper1
One person mentioned the Hindu shuffle as both a shuffle and a force, but it can also be used to control cards quite easily and convincingly.
sinnead zenun
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Mt. Makiling
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Profile of sinnead zenun
I also recommend the rolly polly pass. a very easy pass for beginners...
Jason Robillard
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Profile of Jason Robillard
Being a beginner and a visual learner, what videos or DVD's would anyone recommend for learning card handling techniques?
Geoff Weber
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Profile of Geoff Weber
Please refer to the other sticky topic in the "New to Magic" section entitled "Recommended Books for Beginners".

Presentation: This is just as important as everything I put on my list. Because it is an entirely different beast altogether, it would be impossible for me to rank it on the card magic skills list. I think Presentation is more than just a skill, I think it is a whole new category with its own list of skills. Skills such as timing, blocking, storytelling, communication, acting, creativity, improvisation, scripting....

Each one of these things is far more complicated to master than any piece sleight of hand I mentioned.

So if you are brand new and have not developed your presentation skills? what do you? Study the masters and copy what they do. Video or live performance (even better) is really the only way to convey this. See how they carry themselves, how they make eye contact with the audience. How they make a dramatic pause here, or break the tension with a joke there...

If you buy an instructional video that has a presentation you find entertaining, use it! Learn the script word for word, and match the actions as closely a you can. The ability to develop your own original presentations, is something that can only happen with experience and time, so for now put your faith in the person who is teaching you. As you grow in your performing abilities, you will be more comfortable with your magic, and have better understanding of what works and what doesn't.
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Profile of Jaz
Good job Geoff!

I would add jog and slip shuffles for control and the Hindu Shuffle.

The Hindu is a good foundation for forces, false cuts, etc.
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Profile of magicbymccauley
This is what I teach to kids:

Riffle shuffle (waterfall)
Riffle shuffle Retatining Top Stock
Overhand Shuffle
Overhand Shuffle card to top and bottom
Hindu Shuffle
Running cards

Key Card Principle
Bob Longe False Cut
Overhand Shuffle Backjog Control,
Pinky break (time misdirection) Cut
Pinky Break Overhand Shuffle (also called simplified pass)

Hindu glimpse
Hindu Pinky Break
Bottom Glimpse
Locator Cards (the crimp,long, short, thick cards)

Cross Cut Force
Bottom Spread Force (From Royal Road)

That right there is the bare bones of card magic: controls, forces,
and false shuffles. (Note that the controls can be used as false shuffles,
but only to retain top stock) You should be able to do just about anything
you can imagine as far as "Pick a Card" goes.

Then if you continue in card magic

Jordan Count
Elmsley Count
Hamman Count
Gambler's Cop
Bottom Turn Palm
Zarrow Shuffle
Side Slip (to top and bottom)
Slip Force
Riffle Force
Spread Cull Force
Multiple Card Culling
Biddle Add On
Dai Vernon's Multiple Card Control
A 3 way False Cut
For the Unambitious
Coutures Cut Control

Double Lift
Top Change
Classic Pass
Hermann Pass
Front and Back Palm
Two hand Top Palm
Multiple Top Palm
One Handed Top Palm
Multiple Diagonal Palm Shift

There are more good moves I could include, but these to me look like the essentials.

People think the double lift is for beginners or intermediate level. It's not in my opinion. It's for advanced conjurors. Bad double lifts are the absolute worst, and I've seen many. This doesn't mean that you shouldn't practice the double lift at the intermediate level, it means to perform it, it really takes a lot of effort to master. Ususally this amounts to proportionally more work than other card sleights.

The top change is curious, because althought it is an easy sleight, it takes advanced timing and misdirection.
"Tricks are about objects, Magic is about life."
-Max Maven
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Profile of Mitchum
Great list magicbymccauley. I wonder why you don't teach the glide to your students. This is an easy sleight to perform and can have the same impact as the double lift (only done from the bottom of the deck).
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Profile of blueboy7948
Thanks for the list an absolute godsend to a total newbie such as myself.
I have always loved magic since I was a kid and it has taken me many years to have the drive to learn it and also to overcome my intrepidation of going in the magic store to ask for a book.

Your list is something that I am starting to apply now and I'm practising furiously (much to my wife's annoyance)
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Profile of ShidennOdmistL
On 2004-06-07 15:50, Alastair_Webb wrote:
I feel a bit stupid asking this question but what are passes used for, and how are they applied to real tricks.

I'm not sure whether you can answer this without exposure, especially since I don't fully understand the rule of exposing a secret.

Any answer you can give would be apprciated.


I heard a saying once that the only stupid question is a question never asked. Checking in my book, RRTCM, and I quote from pg 153 (man I feel like a pastor) "After all,the principal of the pass is to bring a chosen card from the middle of the pack to the top and vice versa..." So there you go. Its a sleight to bring a card from the top to the middle and vice versa. And to add alil more clarifaction to it, the reason why its called the pass is not only cause of the sleight, but on how the sleight looks. Just imagine it, ok? Hope that helped.

A question to all: aside from good sleight to learn as a beginner, what are good tricks or routines that implement these sleights?

IMHO, Geoff, you have a great post and I know all that read it will appreciate it by far. However, to no offense, this is just a list of sleights. Sleights that have no absolute application to the magician, and by no absolute application, I mean that the magician does not know how to apply these sleight to their magic, makes it something of a chore to learn.

No offense to anyone tho. This list is a great list. My applauses. Smile Smile Smile:

Sol Hiden N D Mist...
Never look back....
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Profile of poiboy28056
On 2004-06-07 15:50, Alastair_Webb wrote:
I feel a bit stupid asking this question but what are passes used for, and how are they applied to real tricks.


a pass is an invisable cut used as a control to secretly bring a card to the top of the deck.
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Profile of blade
Add presentation and misdirection to the list...
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