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Five of Spades
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Hi there. I am currently learning how to do a proper faro shuffle and I have a few questions, specifically on the deck: in my practice I am mainly using two decks, both standard Bicycle, with the difference that one is pretty used whereas the other is basically new. This morning I experimented with other decks, and I noticed how some of them are quite difficult to handle, and other super easy (for instance, the Dragon Bicycle: as soon as the edges made contact they almost "faro themselves"). This given, my questions:
- what makes the difference in the way different decks are adapt for a faro shuffle? Is it the way edges are cut?
- in principle, would you recommend practicing with old decks, new decks, or to alternate as I am currently doing? In other words: is there any value in learning also on used decks, or am I just wasting my time (or, even worse, creating bad habits)?
- do you somehow "treat" your decks in order to maintain them in good conditions and facilitate faro shuffles?

"Bonus" question: I found plenty of recommendations for resources (this forum is amazing: thanks!) but I couldn't figure out which would be the best beginner resource(s).

Thanks in advance for any tip you'll share with me.
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Profile of landmark
When cards are cut they are cut slightly with a bevel. Some will allow you to do top down faros more easily, some bottom up.

I do top-down in-the-hands-faros. I generally have to turn Bicycle decks face up for me to faro them well. So if you're having trouble faro-ing a deck, see what happens when you try it with the cards facing the opposite way.

Phoenix cards are great. When first learning, I would recommend using them. Best results are when they are new, but slightly broken in. Once a deck is crimped or bent, they are pretty useless for faro-ing. Eventually you'll want to challenge yourself to faro with funky decks, but you'll get nowhere fast if you don't use a decent deck when you're learning.

The best way to learn is from someone who can already do it.

What I found helped me was to realize that when splitting the cards at 26 you want to keep both halves as square as possible while splitting.

Also if the weave isn't happening evenly, start again, square the entire pack again, and do a split which disturbs the cards as little as possible.

One big thing for beginners--never force the weave. You'll just bend the cards and ruin them for future faros. If it's going to happen, it will happen with very little pressure. Proper alignment is everything.
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Profile of SvenSigma
Since I learned the Faro Shuffle about a year ago, my memory is quite fresh. I learned with Michael Close's course ( after trying others from the internet out.

There may be other great resources, but all others I tried were not as good for me. The only thing you need to check is the cut direction of your deck (see landmark's comment on this). I started to learn with Bicycle Standard, and my deck fortunately had the right cut direction.

At some time I switched to Phoenix decks from Card Shark ( They were/are always cut the opposite direction. Although they can be faroed nicely in both directions, for Michael Close's course you should start with the deck face up with Phoenix decks.

Besides that, Phoenix decks are extremely suitable for the Faro, but again others may be fine. E.g., it seems that Bicycle Elite are as good from what you read online.
It takes a baby in the belly six months to learn how to put the thumb in the mouth.

The rest of life is essentially the same problem.

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Profile of Livaudais
Hey there, Five of Spades!

I'd like to suggest doing a search for Richard Turner's (Gold Standard) Bicycle Playing Cards.

They're "Traditionally Cut".

Here is a definition of what that means that I've copied and pasted for your convenience:

"Unlike most of the cards manufactured today, the cutting blade used in traditionally cut cards starts at the face of each card and punches through to its back. As a result, a sharp edge is created on the backside of each card and a rounded edge, which facilitates a flawless weave during each shuffle, is formed on the card's face.

Traditionally cut cards ensure that card men and magicians can easily interlace the cards to produce crisp, clean shuffles, especially with some of the more intricate shuffling techniques like the one-handed shuffle, and the faro shuffle, both in-hand, and on the table.

I hope that helps a little, good luck!
Feel free to ask me about my award-winning pumpernickel recipe.
Doug Trouten
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What a helpful post! Welcome to the Café, Livaudais.
It's still magic even if you know how it's done.
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On Sep 6, 2017, Doug Trouten wrote:
What a helpful post! Welcome to the Café, Livaudais.

Well thank you, Doug. Glad to be here! Smile
Feel free to ask me about my award-winning pumpernickel recipe.
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Profile of Card_Flips
Livaudais is dead on: you need a traditionally cut deck
Especially if you're talking about a tabled faro

In the hands matters less because you can angle it to where the cut is not a problem

Your cheapest option: Bee decks

A perfect Faro shuffle is difficult to be consistent with

New/newer decks will definitely make your life easier
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Profile of RyanWhiteside
Best deck hands down is the Bee: 1902 Erdnase back deck.
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