We all know the difficulty of grasping the proper timing and execution of a move or stunt from the printed word. Before modern technology took over our world, I recall describing moves to friends over the phone who would inevitably doubt the move’s practicality. When I later demonstrated the move, the response was always surprise.
Here are some video clips that underscore this challenge—where the written description doesn’t do the move/stunt justice.
The video clips are old and part of my database, so my apologies for the poor quality and execution. I have maintained hundreds of these clips through the years for the sole purpose of preserving the sequencing and timing of moves and stunts---they were never archived to present publicly one day. But I deferred to the advice of my reviewers to include a few clips for one important reason, for which I wholeheartedly agree: We don’t want anyone to give up on a move or stunt just because it initially strikes you as “that will never look good” or "that's too difficult." With only a limited number of exceptions, every move or stunt in Gambling Sleight of Hand is doable with a little practice.
Depending on the interest in Gambling Sleight of Hand, I may update them or add more clips to the website.
The ‘one-handed pop-second’ (page 412) is my solution to a story I heard about a mechanic with an unusual second deal. It looks like the top card is popped off the deck in the traditional, casino manner to facilitate dealing hit-cards in blackjack, but the action frames a very good second that is perfect for demonstrations.
The ‘riffle get-together’ (page 874) offers an interesting twist on multiple-card shifts in the table position. The aces start separated as far from each other as possible, but are carried (controlled) in just two riffles and two cuts.
Here’s a novel method for carrying the top half with casual riffles and open center-cuts (not hidden). Instead of carrying a 26-card slug, the idea is to carry two 13-card slugs in different positions and bring them together during the final riffle. Double-slug riffles are explained starting on page 113.
splitting the aces
Here’s a twist on cutting to the aces called ‘splitting to the aces’ (page 864). The deck is boxed and split to an ace preceding each riffle. Incidentally, about 75 ace-cutting stunts are presented in chapter nine.
In addition to dozens of authentic mucks, two-bet switches, and break-offs (holding out), the research also offers some exploratory ideas. For example, gamblers are known to ‘chase the lucky spot’ in blackjack. They play two hands, and after a round where they win one hand and lose the other, they increase their bet on the winning spot. But what happens when the player picks up a blackjack on the small bet, only to pick up a weak hand on the big bet? Here’s the obvious solution to the problem (page 527).
dealing from the middle piles
The deck is cut into four piles. Two aces are slowly placed on top of each of the middle piles, and the cuts are carried legitimately. The deck is picked up and the deal begins with no intermittent moves or adjustments. The dealer is dealt the four aces. The introduction to this stunt is super-clean and has been well-received by cardmen (page 950).
full-deck control demonstration
For full-deck-control demonstrations, there are a seemingly endless variety of methods. Here’s a favorite three-pile variant with cuts and strips from my notes that is explained on page 884.
thirds, fourths, fifths
Here’s a novel method for dealing thirds, fourths, fifths (and deeper). I sent this clip to my friend Bill Malone who was interested in a stunt called ‘The Super Deal,’ which required a short demonstration of dealing thirds and fifths. The method is explained on page 942. It’s an easy false deal, perfect for stunts, and deceptive from all sides.