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Under Your Bed
130 Posts

Profile of Soumyajit

Some of you might remember me. Sometime back I found an inspiration to learn the crafts of conjuring. I was practicing hard and doing swell. Then of course I got bogged down by job and life but never stopped practicing. Every other moment I would take out a deck of card or a coin and practice the shuffles or palming.

But as I got back to serious practice, things started to go south. Previously I was using cards that are locally available here in India. Those are smaller than Bicycle, Phoenix or other such decks. I had a few Bicycle decks brought over from US. This time around I started the practice with bikes.

During my last spurt, I had learned to do most of the basic shuffles cleanly, and was able to control and manipulate a card effortlessly (beginner techniques of course). But with bikes, I cannot even complete the simplest possible shuffles without spraying cards all over the floor. I am practicing as hard as I can but the screw ups do not seem to diminish.

Now I know the obvious suggestion would be practice and practice but here is a twist. My hands are smaller as compared to my physique and stature. In fact my friends in school and college have always made fun of this very fact. It has not impeded me in any way until now. I find that the bikes might be considerably larger for my palms for me to handle them effortlessly. Could this be a valid reason behind my predicament? Fellow conjurers, do you know if it is possible for a person to not be able to handle certain cards or props due to this limitation? Or is it something that can be got over with practice?

I am asking this question because if the size of the hands really does play a role in performing with certain props or presenting certain affects, I would find alternatives or focus my energy elsewhere rather than keep beating a dead horse. Please suggest Smile

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The City of Angels
805 Posts

Profile of danaruns
Many women use bridge size cards for just the reason you mention: smaller hands make controlling poker size cards very difficult. Go with what works best for you. Why struggle with something that is too big?
"Dana Douglas is the greatest magician alive. Plus, I'm drunk." -- Foster Brooks
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Inner circle
Pittsburgh, Pa
2911 Posts

Profile of davidpaul$
While performing at my restaurant gigs I often have the patrons shuffle the cards if they wish. I had a 9 year old girl shuffle regular
Bikes that would put many of us to shame. I'm surprised how many youngsters can shuffle well with regular 808 Bikes.
I would say to evaluate your hand positions and make changes as well as pressure until you have success. I don't think hand size makes that much of a difference unless you are really young. IMO
If you can't help worrying, remember worrying can't help you!
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Elite user
487 Posts

Profile of DaveGripenwaldt
It doesn't sound like it is the same there as here, but here if you borrow a deck, it will most likely be poker sized (the larger ones)...and, in fact, I have heard people react to bridge-size decks (the smaller ones) as "not a real deck".

Either way, there is something to be said for being able to work with anything at hand, so before you give up on larger cards, see if you can't get proficient at tabled shuffles and overhand shuffling (both straight and false - the optical false shuffle that Bill Malone does is fantastic) with bikes. There is no law that says you have to do in-hand water-fall shuffles...and there even is an argument made by some for less fancy handling by the magician.

So, play with that as a work around and see where is goes.
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Under Your Bed
130 Posts

Profile of Soumyajit
Thanks for the guidance and words of encouragement. I am practicing my sleights, handling and routines with the smaller cards but I do dedicate some time every day with poker sized cards as well. I am not giving up so easy and hopefully the efforts will fructify some day Smile
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