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JonHackl
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Gaukelwerk with Playing Cards: Clocking the Deck and Other Gems

Ebook by Hans-Christian Solka

https://www.lybrary.com/gaukelwerk-with-cards-p-923855.html

This is an excellent ebook. It would be an understatement to say that it's easily worth the price! Gaukelwerk with Playing Cards is aptly subtitled, “Clocking the Deck and Other Gems.” Let's talk about clocking the deck, and then the other gems.

As a relative newcomer to card magic, I learned only fairly recently about clocking when I read Tap A Lack by Paul Cummins and Diplopia by Paul Vigil. Later I read another method in Power Plays by Mike Powers. There are, of course, other sources and methods, and Dr. Solka provides a brief history and helpful list of resources in Gaukelwerk. At the time of this review, I have not yet investigated those other sources.

For those with ears to hear (eyes to read?), a common method of clocking involves casting out 10s in your first pass through the deck to determine the missing card's value, and then often dealing with ambiguous results in your second pass through the deck to determine the suit. The method in Power Plays eliminates the ambiguities, and seems excellent to me. But my brain does not want to cooperate! I'm sure with plenty of practice I could get accustomed to it.

However, the Mingau Location in Gaukelwerk is the one I will focus on learning. It also eliminates ambiguous results on the first pass, and it comes more naturally to me. I am very happy to have learned it!

The other main method of clocking the deck in this ebook is Dr. Solka's own Solka Location. This is truly excellent. Rather than seeking to eliminate ambiguity in the results of the first pass in order to speed up the second, the Solka Location takes the opposite approach. It accepts greater ambiguity to resolve in the second pass, in exchange for what should be, with practice and experience, a lightning-fast first pass. For those with eyes to read, the first pass involves no casting out, only modifying your running total by 1 or 2 at a time, and being able to ignore a larger number of cards.

I really think the Solka Location should be extremely powerful, if you already know the colour of the missing card (as you often do in clocking scenarios, e.g., Tap A Lack and Diplopia). But the number of ambiguities would become, it seems to me, prohibitively cumbersome if clocking a whole deck to identify a missing card of unknown colour. This is the main reason I have opted to learn Mingau instead. Nevertheless, both methods are great and I enjoyed learning about the Solka Method and the thinking behind it. If your intention is to clock only for a known colour, or if you are willing and able to learn more than one method of clocking, then I strongly recommend the Solka Location.

There is a third clocking method in the ebook, the Wasshuber Method, and also some variations and extra hints for the two main methods. You might say there is a fourth method in the section entitled “Cues for the Professional.”

What “Other Gems” are there in Gaukelwerk? There are two culls and two false shuffles. The Mingau Cull and Landmark Cull are not versatile culls, but have the specific goal of ordering the deck in alternating colours. Personally, I enjoyed toying with these but probably will not be adopting them. I could be wrong, but I think even with lots of practice to build up speed and fluidity, these culls might not withstand much “heat.” This is absolutely no problem if your performance context and style permits, and Dr. Solka briefly lists some tactics for disguising the culls. That is to say, I don't believe these culls are bad; they're just not ideal for my personal style and performance context.

The two false shuffles are really given as a single shuffle, the Hans False Shuffle, and a variation on it, the Barry Ray alternative handling. I don't think it gives away too much to say that the Hans utilises a Hindu grip, and the Ray a Biddle grip.

Initially, I thought I would not use either. However, the more I play with the Barry Ray variant, the more I like it, and I've added it to my toolkit. The Hans False Shuffle (either version) is not what might be called an “explicit” false shuffle. If, hypothetically, you called attention to the shuffle in performance by saying, “Behold, I shall now mix the deck thoroughly!”, then you will have cued the spectator to watch and he might well notice that the cards aren't truly mixed.

It's debatable whether you should do such a thing with any false shuffle! However, the beauty of the Hans False Shuffle is that it is an “implicit” shuffle. You in fact seem to be cutting through the deck only to display a few card faces, showing they are random. In the process, you give the impression that you are mixing the deck even further as you go. Done smoothly and casually, it's quite a convincer. And if a spectator did notice the cards weren't being mixed, there's no harm done, because you haven't even claimed you were mixing them.

I have not had much opportunity yet to test it on live spectators. However, the ones to whom I have shown it are my usual guinea pigs for new tricks and techniques. They are very sharp, very observant, and have come to learn a fair bit about the things I get up to with a deck of cards. In other words, I have grown confident that anything that fools them will fool the average spectator. I found that for all of them, just showing the top card, executing the Ray version of Hans without comment, and doing nothing else, left them surprised when I showed the same card still on top (let alone the entire deck still in the same order).

Gaukelwerk with Playing Cards by Hans-Christian Solka is an excellent ebook and one of my favourite magic purchases. I have two techniques, the Hans False Shuffle (Barry Ray handling) and the Mingau Location, which are going straight into my toolkit for card magic. I think other readers might benefit enormously from the Solka Location and the other gems in the book. Regardless of what I've chosen to use, I found all the content of the ebook interesting and enjoyable to read.

On a personal note, Dr. Solka has also succeeded in giving this reader a fondness for his teacher, “Schorsch.” A young Hans-Christian bribed Herr Mingau with cigars to learn card techniques, and now the experienced Hans-Christian honours him in Gaukelwerk with Playing Cards. On another personal note, Dr. Solka encourages readers to contact him with feedback, and when I did he replied promptly and thoughtfully, which I appreciate dearly.

It's too late to make a long review short. But you would do well to add this ebook to your library!
"Magic is the only kind of entertainment where 90% of the audience is trying to ruin it for themselves." - Pete Holmes
hcs
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Thank you very much for the detailed review.

Actual is version 1.05 on Lybrary.com’s digital shelf available. Don’t forget to renew your ebook-version. I included new sources like Asti Manuscript. According to them, clocking the deck dates back about 1700; maybe it is older.
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hcs
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End of March, version 1.10 will be available.

The update includes an enhanced and faster Mingau Location (no re-learning) and minor corrections.
Remember, the Mingau Location yields no card values ambiguity.

Stay tuned!
Melencolia I - Magic Squares for the Mental Entertainer * Smart Methods for 4x4, 5x5 and 6x6 Magic Squares * 180 A4-pages * version 3.51
JonHackl
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Intriguing!
"Magic is the only kind of entertainment where 90% of the audience is trying to ruin it for themselves." - Pete Holmes
hcs
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I will also present Silent Vision in the update.
Silent Vision is my take on Paul Vigil’s “Diplopia.”
I force the spectator the card-suit I have to clock later on in a clever way (clocking card-suit yields double faster clocking than card-color).
Unlike in Diplopia, no colors or suits are named, and I touch the deck less often!

Stay tuned!
Melencolia I - Magic Squares for the Mental Entertainer * Smart Methods for 4x4, 5x5 and 6x6 Magic Squares * 180 A4-pages * version 3.51
magicthree
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Looking forward to this.
JonHackl
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As an extension of my review ...

I'm still weighing up Silent Vision. It takes a different approach to the spectator's card selection, which allows the performer a way to limit clocking to a single suit, i.e., one pass through the cards instead of two, and it's a very quick pass of course. It's certainly an interesting take on the "find each other's card" clocking trick. At the moment I still use the Tap A Lack approach for this part of the trick, but Dr. Solka's suggestion is interesting and has me thinking about changing.

The update to the Mingau Location is gold. You can clock one suit, one colour, or the whole deck, without any adjustments to the process. No starting with different totals, clocking differently, or changing final values to determine the card. If you want this kind of flexibility from a clocking approach, Mingau is an excellent choice.
"Magic is the only kind of entertainment where 90% of the audience is trying to ruin it for themselves." - Pete Holmes
magicthree
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Is the update (silent vision) out yet.
hcs
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Soon, until Easter!
Melencolia I - Magic Squares for the Mental Entertainer * Smart Methods for 4x4, 5x5 and 6x6 Magic Squares * 180 A4-pages * version 3.51
hcs
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I will also provide a new and much easier Solka Location.

The updated version will be much more comprehensive.
Melencolia I - Magic Squares for the Mental Entertainer * Smart Methods for 4x4, 5x5 and 6x6 Magic Squares * 180 A4-pages * version 3.51
magicthree
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Sounds great
hcs
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The table of contents to whet your appetite:

I The Mingau Location

1 A Bit of History
2 Problems
3 Key Aspects
3.1 Card Count Values
3.2 Count Value Examples
3.3 Missing Card Detection
3.4 Wasshuber's Suit Addendum
4 Detection Examples
4.1 Red Card Detection 1, Half-Deck
4.2 Red Card Detection 2, Half-Deck
4.3 Black Card Detection, Half-Deck
4.4 Red Card Detection, Full Deck
4.5 Black Card Detection, Full Deck
4.6 Full Deck Detection
4.7 Mingau's Values of the 32-Card Skat-Deck

II The Mingau Cull

1 Application
2 Technique
3 Example
4 The Langmark Cull

III The Hans False Shuffle

1 Handling
2 Alternative Handling
3 Silent Vision

IV The Solka Group Location

1 Originally Method
1.1 Card Count Values
1.2 Count Value Examples
1.3 Missing Card Detection
1.4 Detection Examples
1.4.1 Red Card Detection 1, Half-Deck
1.4.2 Red Card Detection 2, Half-Deck
1.4.3 Black Card Detection, Half-Deck
1.4.4 Red Card Detection, Full Deck
2 The Wasshuber Method
3 Refurbished Method
3.1 Card Count Values, First Run
3.2 Card Count Values, Second Run
3.3 Detection Examples
3.3.1 Full Deck
3.3.2 Red Card Detection, Half-Deck
3.3.3 Black Card Detection, Half-Deck
3.3.4 Spot Cards Only

V Cues for the Professional

1 Bullet Marked Cards
2 Jack Shalom's Memory Aid
3 The Vision App by Eisele
4 Refreshing Older Approaches
4.1 Parallel Principle
4.2 Moving Card and Transfer Direction
4.3 Negative Court Cards
Melencolia I - Magic Squares for the Mental Entertainer * Smart Methods for 4x4, 5x5 and 6x6 Magic Squares * 180 A4-pages * version 3.51
hcs
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As promised, I just updated the ebook. It is now version 1.10.
Buyers can download the revisited book every time on the digital shelf at Lybrary.com.
https://www.lybrary.com/gaukelwerk-with-cards-p-923855.html

I will pass the updated ebook to my close friends directly until Eastern.
Happy holidays!
Melencolia I - Magic Squares for the Mental Entertainer * Smart Methods for 4x4, 5x5 and 6x6 Magic Squares * 180 A4-pages * version 3.51
MagicBlazer65
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I have finished today to read the first time (but I will have to read it again and study all more carefully, because it really deserves time to learn!) and I really love it: it was from his previous Si Stebbins Pro Compendium that I haven’t find such an intriguing and complete study on a fascinating argument as latest updated ebook of this incredibly detailed compendium about modern technique for “clocking the deck”.
WOW!
There are really lots of hints, new methods, unexpected tools and applications to explore, and his new version of Diplopia is a real Gem (obviously you have to know Paul Vigil version first).
Thanks for this new great pretious work!
https://www.lybrary.com/biagio-fasano-m-177056.html
All my magic e-Books at Lybrary.com
JonHackl
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This is an update to my review, to reflect the updated form of Gaukelwerk and my further thinking about it since my original post.

First, I might mention that if a reader does not already have some familiarity with the concept of clocking a deck, she may have some difficulty understanding this book from the start. Additionally, while Dr. Solka's English is far and away better than my German, it's conceivable that some native English readers may at times struggle with the wording in a few places.

Second, as I observed above, the update to the Mingau Location is excellent. From my first reading of the book, I knew Mingau was a good fit for me. Now it's even better. Previously, the clocker would have to make some adjustments to the procedure depending on whether clocking the whole deck, one colour, or just one suit. For a fool like me, that meant if I had a momentary lapse and forgot to make the adjustment, I could get a wrong result. Now these adjustments are not necessary, so it's one less thing the clocker needs to worry about.

Third, the updated Solka Location is very interesting. I still think if you only care about clocking a single colour, the original Solka is worth serious consideration. Since I am interested in the greater flexibility of clocking the whole deck when necessary, and I didn't want to learn two methods, I opted for Mingau over Solka.

However, the updated Solka is a contender, for me, for replacing Mingau. Like the original Solka, it promises a very fast first pass through the deck, in exchange for a larger but manageable number of ambiguities in the second pass. And now it's easily adaptable to clocking a whole deck. I will play with it more before choosing between Solka and Mingau.

Fourth, in my original review I did not offer any comments on the “bullet” card marking. Since at this stage in my development in magic I don't use marked cards at all, I still have little to say. But someone thinking of purchasing the book might like to know that there is a marking system provided which would enable doing the first pass of the updated Solka location face down. My main concern would be whether such a thing would risk calling attention to the fact that the cards might be marked, but I'll leave that concern to the better judgment of readers who have more experience with marked cards.

Fifth, there is a new section at the end entitled “Refreshing Older Approaches.” My impression is that a reader would need familiarity with or access to those older approaches to be able to understand this section. Accordingly, I personally did not get much benefit from this section. However, the e-book was well worth the purchase, for me, before this section was even included, so there's no complaint from me! Other readers may find this section valuable.

Sixth, finally, another word about Silent Vision. While I have personally opted not to use the specific card selection procedure which Dr. Solka recommends, it has prompted me to employ something similar in principle. Rather than remembering a key to identify the spectator's card, the performer knows and remembers the “chosen” card from the start. This simplifies your mental workload during the trick, at the cost of a “random” selection rather than a thought-of card. I consider this an acceptable trade-off for my purposes.

Now, Solka's suggestion here allows limiting the clocking phase of the trick to clocking a single, known suit in a single pass through the deck! I found this very tempting, but finally decided it wasn't a good fit for my own presentational style. But if you are interested in this kind of trick, then you ought to consider whether it might be a good fit for you.

I might consider posting my version of the “find each other's card” clocking trick in Secret Sessions. Meanwhile, and back on topic, Silent Vision is great food for thought for anyone interested in this kind of trick.

To draw things to a close, I still highly recommend Gaukelwerk with Playing Cards. Since the update, I can only recommend it more highly!
"Magic is the only kind of entertainment where 90% of the audience is trying to ruin it for themselves." - Pete Holmes
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