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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Books, Pamphlets & Lecture Notes » » Review of Gary Plants on the Zarrow Shuffle (2 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Paul H
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Review of Gary Plants handling of the Zarrow shuffle.

I learned the basic Zarrow shuffle about a year ago and try as I might it just didn’t quite hit the deceptive spot. It always looked quirkily ‘Zarrowish’ to me. So I switched my time to developing the push through shuffle even though this was difficult and with a borrowed deck of cards in sticky condition, somewhat variable and risky. Therefore I was very excited when I heard that Gary Plants had not only developed a deceptive handling of the Zarrow, but that he had addressed all of the previous tells. Enter Gary’s new manuscript ‘Gary Plants on the Zarrow Shuffle’. This is a very well produced document written by Stephen Minch with a protective perspex cover over the front and a quality black supporting card at the rear. The written paper is a fairly thick brilliant white and the whole is bound with a solid spiral white ring binder. The manuscript is about 5 ½ inches wide and 8 ½ inches long and contains 27 pages.

So, what do you get? Well, a contents page, a Prologue by the man himself, Herb Zarrow and an Introduction including a ringing endorsement for the shuffle by Steve Forte. Wow. The first part of the book examines the standard Zarrow and introduces four of the most common tells including the dreaded exposing of the gap, tipping, raising and fanning. The second part of the book deals with Gary’s special handling techniques for ironing out the above tells and developing a very natural action for the shuffle. I do not intend to go into any details here but suffice to say that Gary deals with his method under headings like, the split, the Weave, the Strip out etc. He attends particularly closely to hand movements that provide total cover for the actions of the shuffle. He really has developed the shuffle with natural cover so that there is literally nothing to see. And it works flawlessly. I’ve been practicing this for hours and hours in what seems like a timeless twilight zone and it must be stated it is not an easy move to acquire. But then again, really good things in card magic rarely are. But when it comes together in a fluid and natural way, I am sure this table shuffle will fly at the card table let alone the domain of card magic. All these instructions are clearly written, easy to follow and everything is correctly credited.

In addition to this advance in card handling, there are one or two extra gems in the book to look out for. In Steve Forte’s intro, he alludes to an impressive version of the Zarrow that comes from the gambling world. Its a bit of an irregular riffle but its is easy to picture and you can add Gary’s improvements to it as well. Also, the final section of the book deals with ‘The Oeink Shuffle’ from the 1940’s. I did use an even cruder version of this shuffle years ago and I’m still surprised at how easily this flies by spectators even today. However, there is a great explanation of how to apply Gary’s methods to this shuffle in order to create a near ‘perfect illusion’. It lacks the sheer elegance and deceptive appearance of Gary’s full Zarrow but it is easier to learn, provides good practice for the covering actions and will be a great stand in while perfecting the Plants/ Zarrow proper.

If you are into table magic and gambling routines or interested in acquiring deceptive card artifice for the gambling tables proper, then don’t miss this marvellous version of the Zarrow. And if you are not, then get it anyway, it really is worth its weight in gold.

Regards,

Paul H
Gary Plants
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This can now be found at http://www.thecardplant.com
Jay Elf
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I've heard rave reviews.

I would like to see how the shuffle looks in action if possible.

Isn't there demonstration movie?
Paul H
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Hi Jay,

I'm not aware of any as yet. The more I practice this shuffle, the more deceptive it looks. If you adopt the style of handling for true riffles as well, this makes Gary's Zarrow totally undetectable in my opinion.

Regards,

Paul H
Gary Plants
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Sorry, no movie.
Daegs
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Just for reference, here is a review I posted awhile ago:

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......10&1
Jay Elf
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Hello Paul,

As stated above, I've heard rave reviews. When I read your somewhat detailed report, I wanted to see how the shuffle looks great(natural) with my eyes. Thank you for your report anyway.
asper
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I've worked through the Zarrow shuffle technique Wesley James' Enchantements?

How does the Plants handling compare? Is it worth the change?

Asper
Gary Plants
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Read the introduction to Wesley's work on the Zarrow shuffle!
Tom Gaudette
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Paul H's review of "Gary Plants on the Zarrow Shuffle" is right on the money. A previous post asks "Is it worth the change?" Absolutely. It is worth every minute spent practicing and will fly by anyone when properly done.

Tom Gaudette
Amazing Kenno
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The Plants notes open a whole world of possiblities for some material that previously was sworn off because one wasn't confident in the original Zarrow nor push through. I have been working with his handling of the zarrow and its already on its way to being The Way to do the zarrow.
The Amazing Kenno
Unknown419
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There is a video of it and as I stated in my post "Would a Cheat Write This?" all the moves have been perfected already but it just ain't out yet.

As I previously stated there is a video of Gary's move but it will not be posted because it will definitely mess up the sale of his book so ya'll know what you have to do...contact Gary and buy his book.

The Way Some People Think

Why would a man do all of this practicing and get all the people he got to help him and then put out a video and stop the sale of his book in which he wrote in order to make money? All you have to do is see the video and you won't buy his book.

To Whom This May Concern, stop being cheap and buy his book.

Sincerely

The Doctor
Gary Plants
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I have enjoyed all the emails and comments regarding the zarrow book. If you feel like you need work on your zarrow shuffle then this booklet may be the answer. Look for an ad and a review in the next Magic magazine. Jamie Swiss also reviewed this in the most recent Genii magazine.
dmk_kirkland
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Concerning, a comparison between Wesley James's Zarrow work and Gary Plant's.

Wesley works in a (apparent) sloppy manner. He doesn't want the audience to think he posseses great skill. In my opinion this thinking is reflected in his Zarrow shuffle work.

From what I've seen, Gary's Zarrow is tight - it doesn't appear sloppy at all.

Using either one, to be truely convincing, you need to really shuffle the same way as your Zarrow.
Cheers,
David
Firebert
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Wow. I've been debating internaly whether or not to get this. From the reviews posted, I believe that the debate just ended with a resounding "YES". Thanks for all of your input. Smile
“Nor is the man enriched, in repeating the old experiments of animal sensation, nor unless through new powers and ascending pleasures, he knows himself by the actual experience of higher good, to be already on the way to the highest."

--Emmerson
Gary Plants
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I understand that the new Magic Magazine is out. Be sure to check out the ad and the review for the zarrow book by Mike Close.
rogerfsmith
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Quote:
On 2004-10-05 00:42, Unknown419 wrote:
There is a video of it and as I stated in my post "Would a Cheat Write This?" all the moves have been perfected already but it just ain't out yet.

As I previously stated there is a video of Gary's move but it will not be posted because it will definitely mess up the sale of his book so ya'll know what you have to do...contact Gary and buy his book.

The Way Some People Think

Why would a man do all of this practicing and get all the people he got to help him and then put out a video and stop the sale of his book in which he wrote in order to make money? All you have to do is see the video and you won't buy his book.

To Whom This May Concern, stop being cheap and buy his book.

Sincerely

The Doctor


A video of the shuffle would not hurt the sales of the book, but would make more people buy it. Seeing him doing it in a video does not teach the key techniques. Anyone seeing a video of it done, would be much more likely to buy the book because they would see how good it is and want to learn it.
Cheers,
Roger

The map is not the territory

BobGreaves
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Paul H
Thanks for an excellent review. One question though. I don't do a Zarrow at the moment, so would this booklet be good for a Zarrow-starter, or would it be better to learn a reasonable Zarrow first and then use this book to tighten up?
Thanks
Bob
Bobby Forbes
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Bill Malone teaches the easiest most deceptive version I've seen. How different is Gary's version. Malones version is undetectable. You just can't see it.
Paul H
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Hello Bob,

The Plants handling of the Zarrow would be the perfect way to learn the Zarrow in my opinion. I think Gary is a teacher by profession and his explanation in the booklet is very clear and concise. You may as well learn it in the best way possible. The other route would be to get hold of Herb Zarrows original DVD and combine it with the Plants improved version.

Hi daddyof2,

Bill Malone's approach to the Zarrow is an interesting and deceptive one and quite suitable for magic. However, there are some odd moves that in my opinion make the handling look less natural compared to Plants technique.

Regards,

Paul H
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