Issuu on Google+

The Art of Switching Decks A Guide for the Beginner and the Expert

Roberto Giobbi

Photography by Barbara Giobbi-Ebnรถther

Hermetic Press, Inc. Seattle, Washington


Contents Foreword ix Terminology and Structure of the Deck Switch 1 1. Terminology 1 Dress Map 2 2. Structure of the Deck Switch 4 The Diagram4 Infrastructure4 Logistics6 Technique6 Clean-up6 Categories of Deck Switches 7 Mechanical Deck Switches7 Technical Deck Switches7 Switches Depending on a Trick8 During the Trick8 On the Offbeat between Tricks8 Substitute Deck Switches8 Table of Deck Switches 10 Basic Principles 11 To Keep Decks Apart 11 Separators11 Double Pockets11 Tactile Separator11 Memory Aides for Location12 The Finger-Tongs Switch 12 Grips on the Cold Deck 14 Flat-Palm Grip14 Tenkai Grip15 Deep Dealing Position16 Body Hold-outs 16 Chair Hold-out17 Crook of the Knee Hold-out17 Sock Hold-out18 Trousers Fold Hold-out18

Anchor a Shuffle 19 Remember, You Shuffled19 Delayed Performance 21 How To Prepare a Sealed Deck 21 In-and-Out Deck Switches 23 The Pocket-Search Deck Switch 23 The Looking-for-Pen Deck Switch 26 The “Topless” Deck Switch 28 The Rapid Deck Switch 29 The Ninja Deck Switch 31 Behind-the-Back Switch 33 Presentational Ploys 34 Here’s Your Card!34 The Visible Invisible Deck35 Demonstration35 The Pocket-to-Pocket Switch 37 Turning Around Deck Switches 41 The Imaginary Deck42 Sign a Card43 Please, Show Your Card43 The Partagás Switch Plus 45 Triple Partagás 45 Two-Pocket Partagás 48 Hugard’s Changing Packs 51 Because the Cards Know 55 An Expert Finale56 Bonus57 The Ribbon Spread Deck Switch 59 The Relax Lap Deck Switch 63 Chair Adjustment Deck Switch 65 The Money Switch 69 The Mani Pulite Deck Switch 73 Flip’s Deck Switch 77 The Chivalrous Deck Switch 81 The Gambler’s Coat Deck Switch 83


A Variation85 The Joker Deck Switch 87 Bonus88 Variation on the Joker Switch88 Red- and Blue-Deck Switch 91 The Real Pseudo Deck Switch 95 Himber’s Razor Deck Trick 101 The One-handed Switch 107 Casing the Deck Switch 111 Handling Variation113 The Simplex Deck Switch 115 Handling Variation116 The Cool Man’s Deck Switch 119 The Trojan Deck Switch 123 The No Switch Deck Switch 127 More No Switch Deck Switches 127 Professional Gamblers127 New Deck128 International Performer128 Card Collector129 Advertising Cards129 Casino Cards130 Jumbo-Index Deck130 A Bit of History130 Deck Kaput131 Brief Additional Ideas 133 The Rubber Band Ploy 133 Do-as-I-Do133 The Tossed-Out Deck Switch 133 The Mirror Glass Switch 134 The Hollow Receptacle Switch 134 The In-and-Out Switch 135 The Sting Deck Switch 135 The Drawer Box Deck Switch 135 Selected Sources for Switches 137 Ammar Hank. Deck Switch 137 Baker Deck Switch 137 Berglas Deck Switch 137

Carlyle Deck Switch 137 Dingle “Stand-up Deck Switch” 138 Draun Deck Switch 138 Elmsley Deck Switches 138 Engblom’s “The Cooler” 138 Ency. of Card Tricks Switches 138 Fantasio Deck Switcher 138 Flip Deck Switch 139 Forte Deck Switches 139 Gamblers’ Deck Switches 139 Ganson Deck Switch 139 Giobbi Deck Switches 139 Goldstein Deck Switches 140 Greater Magic Deck Switches 140 Hoffmann Deck Switch 140 Jennings Deck Switch 141 Koran Deck Switch 141 Lovell Deck Switch 141 Madison Deck Switches 142 Marlo Riffle Deck Switch 142 Richardson Deck Switches 142 Shaxon Deck Switch 142 Tamariz Deck Switches 143 Taumer Deck Switch 143 Tucker Deck Switch 143 Victor Deck Switch 143 Waters Deck Switch 143 Wonder Deck Switch 144 Bill’s and Behr’s Databases 144 Closing Remark 144 It’s Not a Deck Switch, But ... 145 Carney’s Card in Balloon 145 C. Rawson’s Mental Broadcast 145 Hugard’s Example of Presentation 146 Staring-Him-in-the-Face146 Luka’s Airborne Again 146 The Lota Bowl Switch 149 About the DVD 151


Terminology and Structure of the Deck Switch 1. Terminology Let’s first look at the terms used in this book. Most are intuitive, but to name and organize them here will make it easy to refer to them at any moment, should there be any doubt of their meaning.

Cold Deck or Cooler? Is the deck to be switched in called a “cold deck” or a “cooler”? I asked Johnny Thompson, who answered: The term cold deck is and always has been the basic title used to describe the switching in of a pack of cards. The term cooler is a slang term for the move, as one would intuitively assume, that came out of the 1930s. In the 1950s and 1960s, the move was referred to as a package move or putting in a package. To my knowledge, just about all of the hustlers I have known over the years have always used the term cold deck as the basic name for the move.

In correspondence I had with Jim Swain, he wrote: I wanted to make you aware of something which was brought to my attention several years ago by a retired card hustler. A cold deck is a scam used by a gang of hustlers, and works like this: During a game, one of the gang spills a drink onto the cards, forcing the deck to be thrown out. A brand-new, unopened deck is then introduced. This is the cold deck. The deck is in a prearranged order and will “kill” several of the players in the game (suckers). One of the gang removes the deck from the box and takes out all the Jokers and junk cards (a wonderful touch). The deck is then false shuffled by another member of the gang, while one of the gang tells a story or joke (the shade). The game is then resumed, and the suckers are fleeced. The “cold deck” scam using the box and junk cards has been around for over a hundred years. It’s a wonderful way to switch in a deck without having to do any sleight-of-hand, and always gets the money.

The terms cold deck and cooler have both been used extensively in the literature and in common parlance. As can be inferred from the above, they do not refer only to the actual deck switched in, but also to the whole procedure involving the switch.

The Art of Switching Decks

1


Basic Principles In this chapter we’ll look at a few basic concepts that will be used over and over. Please familiarize yourself with this information, as it will make the upcoming description of deck switches easier to understand.

To Keep Decks Apart Sometimes you will be operating with more than two decks, and sometimes you will have to store two decks in the same pocket. In such cases, it is of utmost importance that you can instantly recognize which deck is which, as any hesitation could give away what you are really doing. Here are a few ideas:

Separators As we will see, most of the practical deck switches occur inside one of the performer’s pockets, usually one of the outer coat pockets. To avoid any confusion, it will be helpful to keep the cold deck and the deck in use safely separated. The simplest device — one that can be set up in an instant — is a piece of cardboard slightly longer and wider than a card case (photo 1).

1

Double Pockets

2

Another method I have used for years to keep two decks clearly separated is double pockets. Any pocket can be made into a double pocket, but you will find that the front pockets of the trousers are generally the most practical (photo 2).

Tactile Separator Make cased decks different to the touch. For this you can use bumps on one or several surfaces of the case, similar to those used for “punched” cards, only here the bump can be very pronounced (use a

The Art of Switching Decks

11


The usual rhythm is this: Both hands go into the pockets, but the right hand precedes the left hand by about one second. Then the right hand comes out of its pocket about a second before the left hand, thus attracting the audience’s attention and providing misdirection for the left hand. Besides precise fingering, the most important things are attitude, timing and misdirection. The attitude should be one of unconcerned nonchalance. The timing makes the action last a scant few seconds. Between the beginning of the hand’s dipping into the pocket and its emergence, when hand and deck are again in starting position, you can count two Mississippis and you’re done. The misdirection is activated by looking into the audience and saying something amusing, for a laugh always causes the audience to relax; or you can ask a question, for questions—such as “Has anyone got a clean handkerchief?” or “Has anyone got a pen?”—have great misdirective power. Capably coordinated attitude, timing and misdirection, as well as impeccable technique, will result in the hand becoming psychologically invisible while dipping into and out of the pocket with the deck, like a Ninja’s movement. Of course, the finger-tongs grip also works with a partial deck or a small packet, a fact not to be neglected.

Grips on the Cold Deck Before effecting the switch, the cold deck sometimes needs to be gripped in a specific way, usually with your dominant hand. There will be exceptions that will be pointed out when they apply. Since right-handedness continues to predominate, I hope left-handers will forgive me for once again taking the traditional right-handed route in the following descriptions.

Flat-Palm Grip This is very similar to the gambler’s flat palm, normally used for one or several cards. It is one of the best palms for table work, and the card cheat’s preferred manipulative hold-out method. With your right hand, hold the deck from above, gripping it between your thumb on the left side and the edge of the little finger on the right side. The other three fingers rest leisurely on top and over the outer end (photo 8). It isn’t necessary to cover the deck completely with the hand, but if your hands are

8

14

The Art of Switching Decks


9

10

large enough to do so, this will be an additional asset. Most of the time the deck will be concealed by the table, while the pads of the fingers rest on its edge (photo 9). If the hand is held naturally close to the body and you are wearing a coat, the cold deck will be concealed from almost every angle (photo 10).

Tenkai Grip As the term suggests, the deck is held in a kind of Tenkai palm. However, depending on the size and shape of your hand, the thumb will have to bend over the left side of the deck to get a secure grip on the cards, especially if you are handling loose cards (photo  11). The grip will be more relaxed if palming a cased deck. Again, the hand gripping the cold deck will most often rest on the edge of the table (photo 12), but when a natural “rest position” is assumed, with the left hand

11

The Art of Switching Decks

12

15


The Pocket-to-Pocket Switch This is an extension of the preceding Behind-the-Back Switch. The difference here lies in the spectators’ perceptions: They believe that you do not go behind your back with the deck, although you do — twice! The success of the switch depends heavily on rhythm, pauses and humor, but above all, on natural body movements. All of this needs to be adapted with intelligence to the individual, but in doing so you will have for yourself an exceedingly versatile deck switch that can be used without a coat, in practically any situation.

Scenario The deck switch happens on the offbeat between two amusing remarks made to the audience and as the performer holds the deck. An ideal situation is when he is thanking an assisting spectator, whom he is sending back to her seat, or when he asks someone else to join him on stage for his next experiment. This context should be kept in mind at all times in the following explanation.

Preparation The cold deck is in your left hip pocket. If the pocket is deep and you don’t have anyone behind you, you can stuff a handkerchief into the pocket to support the deck, making it protrude from the mouth of the pocket, where it can later be taken more easily (photo 1).

1

Technique, Handling and Management Hold the deck in left-hand dealing position. Explain that you need someone from the audience to assist you. As you say this, accompany your words with a gesture. In doing this, take the deck into right-hand end grip while you gesture with your left hand toward the audience and to your right. The transfer of the deck will pass practically unnoticed, the left hand’s gesture being the main action, which requires the secondary action of the transfer, the latter thus becoming what Ascanio called an “in-transit action”. Make an amusing remark and extend your left hand a bit more toward the spectator whom you are addressing, sort of strengthening the comment, as you place your right hand on your right hip. In a natural accompaniment of this gesture, turn

The Art of Switching Decks

37


your body about forty-five degrees to the right (photo 2). The diagram shows the position of the feet at this point, reminding us of the actor’s “newspaper rule”. This is very important; otherwise, the way you stand will look awkward. Meanwhile, let the right hand’s deck slide into your right hip pocket. Remember not to move the arm visibly, as we discussed in the Behind-the-Back Deck Switch. As the audience is laughing at the situation (not at the spectator, always at the situation!) and the spectator gets up to join you, turn to your left, again about ­forty-five degrees (see diagram). In making this turn, move your left hand to rest on your left hip, as you simultaneously extend your right hand toward the spectators on your left in a gesture similar to that made a moment before by the right hand (photo 3). Say something like “And please, let’s give Samantha a nice round of applause, which will make her feel at ease here on stage — welcome, Samantha!”

2

3

c. 45º

38

c. 45º

The Art of Switching Decks


2

3

4

5

6

Place both hands into their respective outer coat pockets (photo 2). In doing so, drop off the left hand’s deck while your right hand grasps the handkerchief and cold deck. Remove your hands from the pockets and immediately bring them together, setting the cold deck, underneath the handkerchief, directly into left-hand dealing position (photo  3). Without interruption, move your right hand away with the handkerchief as your left hand lays the deck on the table (photo 4). Use the handkerchief to wipe your hands (photo 5). Then replace it in the same pocket from which you removed it (photo 6). That’s it — well, almost. One important thing makes the switch really elegant. Look at the spectator to your left and in an affirmative tone say, “The deck has been thoroughly shuffled by this gentleman.” Turning to the spectator to your right, you continue, “And would you kindly cut it, please? Thank you.” Take the deck from the first helper and slap it in front of the second, who then complies with your request.

74

The Art of Switching Decks


A New Look at Himber’s Razor Deck Trick I’ve had this trick in my professional repertoire for at least twenty years. After years of performing it exclusively for lay audiences, thinking it wouldn’t interest fellow conjurers, I happened to do it for a group of magicians. Afterward, several told me they had never seen the trick before, and everyone I asked had missed the deck switch. This was doubly surprising to me, because the switch, as you will see, is conceptually simple and straightforward. In merely reading its description, one would assume everyone sees it. Experience has shown that exactly the contrary is true. Everyone looks, but no one sees! But that’s nothing new. Philosophers and artists from Aristotle to Picasso said the same thing long before I came to this conclusion. The effect is not my origination. It is Richard Himber’s brainchild. Himber marketed it under the name “Big Trick”. It came with a gimmicked metal box that accomplished the switch. Years later, Scotty York adapted the effect to normal props, enhanced the presentation and devised a different method. The deck switch I use for this trick is my own, although it’s hard to claim originality for putting a deck into a pocket and taking another one out. The sole purpose for describing my handling is to show how important the context of a good trick and a captivating presentation are in making an otherwise blatant deck switch undetectable. The insight gained can be applied in many ways.

Effect A selected card is returned to the deck, and the deck into its case. The performer claims he will insert a razor blade into the case, precisely next to the chosen card — but he fails. He then shakes the case to make the blade magically find the card and is again met with failure. Finally, he has the spectator try, but the shaking accidentally cuts all the cards to pieces — with the exception of one card, the spectator’s selection!

Preparation Take an old deck and cut about thirty cards into pieces (photo 1). Place one whole card, say the Five of Hearts, into the empty card case. Then pack in the pieces of cards, in front and behind the whole card, until the case feels full. Close the case. This will be our cold deck. Place it into the left outer pocket of your coat.

The Art of Switching Decks

1

101


The Art of Switching Decks