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Profile of dizaster
I'm about to prepare my deck for Paul Gertner's Unshuffled. Are there any tips (e.g., type of pen, cards, etc.) you could share that might help me?
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Profile of Close.Up.Dave
Put a clamp on the cards, write it out in pencil first so you don't screw up, then go over it in marker. Then breather crimp or do whatever to the force card.
Open Traveller
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David is perfectly right. The only thing I would add is that you practice on a template first. On a piece of paper, draw a carefully measured rectangle that has the exact dimensions of the side of the deck. Write the word in the box as neatly as you can. Do it several times until it's as perfect as you can get it.

Now clamp the deck, but first use wood shims that span the length of the deck to diffuse the clamp pressure and keep from marring the deck with the clamp itself.

Hold the deck next to the template as you write, so you can visually check your spacing and lettering as you go. Do this part lightly in pencil. When it looks right, go over it in ink.

Repeat for the other side.

Sharpie pens work well. They will bleed a little onto the faces and backs of the cards, but this is easily excused in your presentation (a "training deck" to use marked cards) and actually adds appeal to the effect.

Use soft cards that Faro easily. Bees and Aviators tend to work well. Use new decks that haven't been used for any other effects. Often, when you first take a deck out of the box, it will be cut on a bias (in other words, it will be easy to tell if a card has been turned around in the deck or not). Make sure as you're arranging the cards for the Unshuffled effect that you don't turn any of the cards end for end. This will help ensure consistency in your Faros when you're performing.

Putting work in the cards can help, but I've never put breathers or crimps into the force card for this effect because they can interfere with your Faros. There's plenty of opportunity as you're showing the marks on the backs and faces of the cards to simply downjog the one you want when you're ready to force it.
Chris Thibault
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Profile of Chris Thibault
I found it helps to use a Sharpie that is almost out of ink. It won't bleed as much.
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Profile of Kjellstrom
Use different colors for every letter; that looks very weird when you start the effect.
Larry Davidson
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If you're a worker and go through lots of the decks, you can also get rubber stamps made. It's an idea that a friend of mine, Andy Pierson, came up with and shared with Paul Gertner who seemed to really like it.

Larry D.
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Profile of jgodwin
Hey, do any of you guys write different stuff on the deck for this thing? I'm certain there must be some neat variations around. ;-)

Curtis Kam
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same as you, plus 3 and enough to make
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Profile of Curtis Kam
Monty Python fans just write "SPAM". Read the deck aloud as you go, by the 7th shuffle, the audience will be singing along with you.

Here's an idea for you: let's try to imply that the shuffle actually transposes letters on the last shuffle. So, just when they being to realize that you're rearranging sections of the words vertically, we change the letters on a horizontal plane.

In other words, suppose you wrote "starT off Here" on one side, gave the deck one faro, and wrote "Three of Hearts" on the other. Now, set the deck up for the effect. Talk about the cards sending you a message, and the message gradually becomes clear, sorta. "starT off Here"? "I don't get it. Maybe one more shuffle" do one more faro, and in the course of it, turn the deck. As the cards square, it should appear that the letters rearrange to spell "Three of Hearts".

Okay, you anagram fans realize I cheated a little, but this was just to get you thinking, not do it for you. There must be a cool anagram for a card name that would allow an interesting presentation. Perhaps someone is lucky enough to be named "Jack Coflubs"?
Is THAT a PALMS OF STEEL 5 Banner I see? YARRRRGH! Please visit The Magic Bakery
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Profile of DaveM
That was a really great idea Curtis, Thanks.

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