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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » For the record » » The Perfect Table Faro (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

tommy
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Can someone tell me the history of this move please.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
bishthemagish
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Not to long ago I had dinner with Geno Munari and we were talking about the tabled faro and how the old card players used to do it. Geno is one of the greats with a deck of cards and used to own a casino. And he was an old friend of Jimmy Grippo.

The tabled faro came from the game of faro whinch was a card game that two people used to play. It was sort of a chess battle between two players with cards.

The faro was used to stack and also was a great way to really shuffle the deck and split up any pairs.

Ed Marlo does a great tabled faro on one of his tapes... But the old time faro dealers did it a different way. According to card expert Geno Munari.
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Dave Egleston
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The Faro shuffle (Faro a derivative of Pharaoh, a brand of cards made in France in the 1800's) is a shuffling technique in which the cards from opposing packets of cards are interleaved evenly throughout the shuffle one card at a time

There are several ways to accomplish this - In the hands - Tabled, as mentioned - using a riffling technique.

I thought I knew a little bit about the Game Of Faro, being a Wyatt Earp fan and always thought "Bucking the Tiger" as described in EXPERT AT THE TABLE by some guy called Erdnase, was a Table Game involving a Dealer and several players, I never heard it compared to Chess.

I always thought the game went out of favor because of the ease in which the house could (and did) cheat and now I've finally learned the real truth.... It was way to cerebral for the common cowboy

Dave
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The old game of Faro was a display of thirteen cards on a table. The deck was face down and players placed bets on what card they thought would be turned over next from the deck.
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tommy
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Thanks Guys.

If I understand you correctly it is a move lifted from the card table rather than invented by a known magician.

Dave it is strange that you mention Wyatt Earp, the faro and Erdnase as I have an odd ball, Erdnase theory, that they were all connected. Investigating my theory I found that, Earps friend, Batt Masterson was arreated for cheating at faro in New York in 1902. Which made me ask the question to find out who invented the move or where it came from.

My research tells me faro was a scam back when it started and as probably been played in different forms at different times in different places.

"Faro (card-game)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Faro is a card game.
Although both Basset and Faro were forbidden in France, on severe penalties, yet these games still continued in great vogue in England during the 18th century, especially Faro; for the alleged reasons that it was easy to learn, that it appeared to be very fair, and, lastly, that it was a very quiet game. It was, however, the most dangerous game for the destruction of families ever invented. The Faro bankers seem to have employed some 'gentlemen' to give a very favourable report of the game to the town, and so every one took it upon trust without further inquiry. Faro was the daughter of Basset -- both alike notorious frauds, there being no one, except professed gamblers, who could be said to understand the secrets of these games.
Faro was played with an entire pack of cards, and admitted of an indeterminate number of players, termed 'punters,' and a 'banker.' Each player laid his stake on one of the 52 cards.
The banker held a similar pack, from which he drew cards, one for himself, placed on the right, and the other, called the carte anglaise, or English card, for the players, placed on the left.
The banker won all the money staked on the card on the right, and had to pay double the sums staked on those on the left. Certain advantages were reserved to the banker: -- if he drew a doublet, that is, two equal cards, he won half of the stakes upon the card which equalled the doublet; if he drew for the players the last card of the pack, he was exempt from doubling the stakes deposited on that card.
Suppose a person to put down 20s. upon a card when only eight are in hand; the last card was a cipher, so there were four places to lose, and only three to win, the odds against being as 4 to 3.
If 10 cards only were in, then it was 5 to 4 against the player; in the former case it was the seventh part of the money, whatever it was, £1 or £100; in the latter case, a ninth. The odds from the beginning of the deal insensibly stole upon the player at every pull, till from the first supposed 4 per cent. it became about 15 per cent.
At the middle of the 18th century the expenses of a Faro bank, in all its items of servants, rent, puffs, and other incidental charges of candles, wine, arrack-punch, suppers, and safeguard money, &c., in Covent Garden, amounted to £1000 per annum.
Throughout this century Faro was the favourite game. 'Our life here,' writes Gilly Williams to George Selwyn in 1752, 'would not displease you, for we eat and drink well, and the Earl of Coventry holds a Pharaoh-bank every night to us, which we have plundered considerably.' Charles James Fox preferred Faro to any other game."
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Tommy
Dave Egleston
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Tommy

You've added to my knowledge and what you've said supports that which I always believed

You can imagine my surprise when Glenn stated it was a two player game comparable to Chess

Dave
Pete Biro
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Steven Youell has a fabulous DVD that teaches the technique to do a tabled faro. Frankly, I think the in the hands faro, to the audience, is a dead giveaway, and to be deceptive, you should learn the tabled faro.
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bishthemagish
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Quote:
On 2004-08-19 19:59, Dave Egleston wrote:

You can imagine my surprise when Glenn stated it was a two player game comparable to Chess

Dave


Page 190 of the fourth book of the Vernon Chronicles... " Faro is conducted like a chess tournament. It is the only game I can compare it to. Like two gentlemen playing chess"...

I assuming that Dai Vernon wrote that. If it is in the fourth Vernon book called Dai Vernon A Magical Life. Page 190.

I have talked with others in magic that have told me that it was a two person game player vs the house...

Thanks for the info as I had no idea that it could be played with more than two players...
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markhammagi
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To follow-up on Pete's post, Marlo describes how to do the tabled faro in the Faro shuffle section of "Revolutionary Card Technique", and Jon Racherbaumer provides additional details (from Marlo)on the tabled faro in "Card Finesse" (pp. 149-154).
Andy
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Faro consists of a dealer and a casekeeper. The latter keeps track of the cards dealt. The cards are dealt out of a dealing box (there are gaffed ones too) and each card dealt is bet by a good number of players (not two). The betting is complex, in that you can, on the layout (all 13 cards painted on a cloth) bet between two cards or between four (in a corner) etc.... the odds change dependingn on the bet.

You can go on ebay and search "faro" and often see some of the stuff. The TIME LIFE book, The Gamblers, is a good source.

There is a really impossible to find book, titled "Faro Explained" that there may only be two or three known copies. The Library of Congress has one.

You can "copper" the bet (meaning it will not be a winning card, by putting a PENNY on your check (chip).

I forget the bet on the last three cards, but the odds again change.

It was popular at the turn of the century in small joints... and there were lots of cheater dealers. The most famous had a tiger painted on his carrying case, hence the name "Bucking the Tiger" came into use.

I used to have all the stuff for faro including an 8 foot long table, the boxes, gaffed and ungaffed, the layouts, keepers, etc.

A friend of mine that owns five casinos in Las Vegas told me the game died because the odds were too good for the players. The rules were changed and the game was called "stuss" or "Jewish Faro" (I don't know the reason for the name change.
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markhammagi
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Jon Racherbaumer provides a wonderful overview of the faro shuffle's history in his book Card Finesse (pp. 146-148). I have detailed a summary below, but for those interested, I would recommend purchasing Jon's wonderful book.

The Faro Shuffle was described in SHARPS AND FLATS (1894) by John Nevil Maskelyne. The applications in this book were extremely limited. Years passed - Erdnase did not even consider mentioning it in his EXPERT AT THE CARD TABLE.

Almost 50 years after SHARP AND FLATS, the shuffle had a chapter devoted to it in EXPERT CARD TECHNIQUE. Hugard's and Braue's book did not add a lot to the techical details on how to do the shuffle, but they did provide some decent effects possible through the faro.

In 1947, Ed Marlo published some faro effects in MARLO IN SPADES. It is interesting to note that Marlo did not provide any technical details on how to perform the shuffle. Then in 1958, Marlo published the 6th chapter of his REVOLUTIONARY CARD TECHINQUE. The volume provided the extreme detail that Marlo was known for. Marlo then published FARO NOTES, and later (in 1962) Marlo privately published FARO CONTROLLED MIRACLES. The Marlo material was the starting point for the faro work of Harry Riser. In addition to Riser, Harry Loraybe and Jerry Andrus published some influential routines that used the faro. Alex Elmsley also did a lot of work and published a lot of terrific material in the U.K. (it was Elmsley who provide the terms in-faro and out-faro).

From a table faro perspective, Racherbaumer mentions that he has only seen three magicians perform tabled faro shuffles: Ed Marlo, Martin Nash, and Robert Walker. Racherbaumer then details Marlo's tabled faro method in CARD FINESSE (pp.149-152).

Hope this helps.
Andy
Lawrence O
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I've seen Fred Robinson (my late master) do it repeatedly and almost casually at my home and, under fire, live on British TV, in the frame of a trick (very impressive self confidence of a very modest person); following such a discussion, I also did see Ricky Jay do that late at night in a bar, and I did witness Bill Kalush at it in a New York restaurant (at the end of a dinner with David Blaine who could, at the time, only do a poor in hand Faro). Bill is one of the best card manipulator I've met and his magical culture is outstanding. Liked him a lot.

It gave me confidence to get back at it and I followed Martin Nash advice on the tabled Faro. After months I could do a decent one but perfect only 60% of the time, meaning I could not do it.
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Bill Palmer
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In The Secret of the Palmettos, Busby went off on a rant about how he tipped the work on the tabled Faro to Marlo, and Marlo never credited him for it.

BTW, There is a lot of work being done to revive Faro, but not at casinos.

One of the groups that I belong to, called the Knights of the Green Cloth, consists of Old West re-enactors who create the gambling games of the Old West. Their web site is here http://www.knightsofthegreencloth.com/

Some good info on the layout, etc. is here http://www.bcvc.net/faro/start.htm

Historical information and the rules are here http://www.bcvc.net/faro/rules.htm
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Lawrence O
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Quote:
On 2008-10-05 01:42, Bill Palmer wrote:
In The Secret of the Palmettos...


I know this is not the subject of this thread, but I'm afraid to forget.

It is possible to use the The Secret of the Palmettos on a normal bicycle deck. Buy a light grey felt marker. Barely fan the cards (less than a milimeter between each edge), fastening them edge mark their long side with the felt pen using a ruler at about one centimeter from the angle. Square the deck and repeat on the other long edge.

Take the deck, square it and sand the sides where the edge mark could be visible on the side. In less than 10 minutes you have a classic deck and can use the Secret of the Palmettos
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Bill Palmer
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That's an excellent idea.

A friend of mine used a similar principle to mark Bee brand cards back in 1940's and 1950's when he was dealing at the Balinese room in Galveston. He did his marking with a nail file.
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michaelmagicart
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Regarding the Faro Shuffle and its history, you may find some answers at the below url. This is quite an intensive study written by Persi Diaconis


http://www.uoregon.edu/~kantor/PAPERS/PerfectShuffles.pdf

Not for the novice, however it is quite an intensive study of the perfect shuffle, as well as some interesting history about the perfect shuffle on page 189 which includes anecdote's about Downs, Vernon and a Rancher by the name of Fred Black. Some of Black's material first appeared in "Expert Card Technique" Chapter 16.

I hope this information may further help some in their studies.
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