Biddle Move

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Postby Philippe Billot » 04/16/05 08:35 AM

As the Biddle Move was described for the first time in Genii, vol. 11, N8, april 1947, page 241, under the title Trancendant, I have a question about this technique.

Do you think this move had a beneficial or harmful influence on the cardmagic ?
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 04/16/05 09:39 AM

It depends on your point of view. The Biddle Move represents a way of stealing and/or switching cards which are on top of the deck for some of the cards in your hand. This had been done before, of course, by Hofzinser in the form of single and multiple Top Changes, as well as in the form of switching portions of a packet (one card of two, for example). But these techniques are difficult, and doing it with a Biddle Move is simple.

With Dai Vernon's extensive use (and publication) of the Double Lift and Double Undercut, and Elmer Biddle's publication of his sleight, by 1950 all the elements were in place that allowed anyone to do with minimum practice many tricks that previously required Passes, Top Changes, and Palms. This was the beginning of the modern era of card magic.

The last book of the earlier era is The Card Magic of LePaul (c.1947 or so). The first book of the new era is Bill Simon's Effective Card Magic.

Without these innovations by Vernon and Biddle, virtually none of you reading this would be doing card tricks today.
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Postby Matthew Field » 04/16/05 10:07 AM

And I might mention that Davide Costi has a lovely finesse for the Biddle Steal in the recently published "Close Up Elegance" by Davide Costi, published by Anthony Brahams.

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Postby Bill Palmer » 04/16/05 10:16 PM

I wouldn't go so far as to say that none of us would be doing card tricks today, but I would say that we would be doing them differently.

I don't think the Biddle Move has hurt card magic one iota.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 04/17/05 08:27 AM

Okay, there would be 50 guys doing card tricks instead of 5,000.
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Postby Guest » 04/17/05 09:11 AM

I, for one, am trying to eliminate all moves where the cards are held by the short ends from above (Biddle, Atfus, Braue Add-on, Secret Subtraction, etc etc etc.)

Regardless of my decicision, I doubt any of the above have had a harmful influence on card magic... Heck, 20 years ago Cy Enfield's "3 Musketeers" was one of my top 10 'killers.'

Postby David Regal » 04/17/05 05:24 PM

It's possible to perform many moves in which cards are typically held from above by instead holding the cards with the right hand over to the side, the thumb at the inner right corner and second finger at the outer right corner of the packet. This way the entire back of the card(s) is seen, and the procedure looks open, like a desired display, as opposed to being too cozy. Things like the Biddle move and the Hamman count look better this way, I think.
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Postby Thomas Van Aken » 04/29/05 06:27 AM

In my opininon, all this kind of moves (biddle switches, ATFUS, concept Veeser, Braue add on...) are extremely difficult to do smootly and without fumblings. They seems easy at first but are more difficult to do well than so called "difficult moves" such as passes, palms...
Same with the double lift.
I don't know so many cardmans that can do a complex ATFUS sequence and convince there audience they are just displaying the cards.
Best of luck.
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 04/29/05 07:22 AM

Denis Behr has a clip of the ATFUS in action on his site.

Can you imagine this guy doing the Dingle Stuff? :)
Mundus vult decipi -per Caleb Carr's story Killing Time
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