Scarne's Cutting the Aces.

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Postby Temperance » 02/05/06 07:10 AM

My attempt at emulating John Scarne's Cutting the Aces, using the Stevens Cull. Little sloppy, but I'm working on that.

www.magicden.co.uk/riffleculling.mpeg

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Postby Richard Kaufman » 02/05/06 08:21 AM

Euan, I believe Jennings has already done this using the Stevens Control. I believe it's called "Gambler's Aces."
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Postby Temperance » 02/05/06 08:45 AM

Oh,I'm not claiming anything, just messing about with riffle culling. Jennings cheated a little with 'Gamblers Aces' as he used a multiple shift to get the aces on top before he started the riffle cull.

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Postby Temperance » 02/05/06 11:05 AM

It's a bit of a cheat to have to spread the deck face up between each shuffle.

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Postby Temperance » 02/05/06 11:34 AM

Come on Glenn, it's cheating. Admit it! ;) If you have the spectator shuffle, surely you don't need to spread the deck face up four times to show them mixed. It's not like they're going to forget the fact each time you find an ace.

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Postby Scott Fridinger » 02/05/06 11:59 AM

Can anyone give me a source for the Stevens Cull. Thanks.
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Postby Glenn Bishop » 02/05/06 12:20 PM

Originally posted by Euan:
Come on Glenn, it's cheating. Admit it! ;) If you have the spectator shuffle, surely you don't need to spread the deck face up four times to show them mixed. It's not like they're going to forget the fact each time you find an ace.

Euan
Yes, spreading the deck is cheating, Sand work is cheating, punch work is cheating, using a svengali deck to force a card is cheating, using a short card is cheating. The effect is important to the audience. The method is only important to the magician. In magic cheating is OK!

I do not care if you do not like the method of an effect I came up with 20 years ago.

The Stevens cull can be found in Revelations - the book by Dai Vernon and Erdnase.

Speaking of Scarne's aces, in his book the odds against me he said he was 19 when he performed this effect for the mob guys. Interesting story. When I put the video of my ace cutting at my web site over 2 years ago I got a lot of e-mail from magicians asking if it was Scarne's aces.

Just some thoughts.

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Postby Temperance » 02/05/06 01:06 PM

Backdating aside, it's not really your effect Glenn. I think Scarne had you beat by quite a few years. And the method is important to the effect, because the method affects the effect.

As an example, compare these two methods.

one: Have a spectator shuffle the cards, take them back and spread the deck face up on the table. Openly upjog the four aces and close up the spread leaving the aces jogged. Turn the deck face down and openly cut to the four jogged cards to get the aces.

two: Have a spectator shuffle the cards. Take them back and without looking through the cards, cut to the aces.

Which method results in a better effect?

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Postby Glenn Bishop » 02/05/06 02:06 PM

It is questionable if Scarne used the Stevens cull to cut the aces. And it is a questionable if Scarne could do or did the effect that he talked about in his book. Scarne was a story teller and wrote some fiction in regards to his own promo. If he could do this at nineteen then why did he not do this on his Castle films promo?

Having said that I do my ace cutting this way.

Have the spectator place the aces into the deck - shuffle it. Then I cold cut an ace, depending on if I see another ace in the left hand part of the deck when I cull cut the first - is when I decided to let the spectator shuffle - and spread spot. The point is that when you let the spectator shuffle the deck the aces the magician doesn't know which half (when the deck is cut for a table riffle) the aces are in. They may be close to the top bottom or middle.

Now if the magician wants to they can continue doing the cull shuffle several times - over and over again until they spot an ace in the left pile while they are shuffling the deck. And put the audience to sleep with a continued shuffling of the deck.

Or they can spread spot and cut and get the job done. It is up to each magician to decide how they want to get the job done.
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Postby Temperance » 02/05/06 02:11 PM

You only need to do two shuffles, as if you fail to spot the card on the left you can do a push through shuffle so the ace will be on the left during the second shuffle.

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Postby Richard Kaufman » 02/05/06 02:16 PM

I saw Jennings do the effect from a shuffled deck without controlling the Aces first. He spotted and culled them during the shuffles.
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Postby Glenn Bishop » 02/05/06 03:23 PM

I never saw or heard of anyone else doing it until now. I never saw Jennings work and the only written stuff I have on him is the Vernon card books with his stuff in it.

I often use the routine just to cold cut the aces from the deck then do a poker deal with the aces. I think the plot of lose the aces find them is a little strange. Why look for the aces to lose them and find them again?

Cold cutting with the Stevens cull worked for me.

I got the idea from watching Jack Pyle work. He used to shuffle the deck three or four times on the table and talk a constant chatter. It hit me in the time that it took him to shuffle the deck I could cull the 4 aces.

Then I got the idea of cold cutting with culling.

I also did this for Bob Rath and Ron Kaye at the Houdini convention quite a few years ago.
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Postby Glenn Bishop » 02/05/06 03:32 PM

Originally posted by Euan:
You only need to do two shuffles, as if you fail to spot the card on the left you can do a push through shuffle so the ace will be on the left during teh second shuffle.

Euan
This would work if YOU put the aces in the deck and then cull them. If the spectator puts them in then shuffles the deck. Or if the deck is handed to you cold. You as the magician have no idea where the aces are in the deck.

And if you riffle shuffle and spot - sometimes it is hard to spot the aces. Getting 4 one after the other is no guarantee.

If one or two end up to be on the bottom of the right hand side pile - could happen if the deck is out of your control while the spectator shuffles. They are hard to spot even with a pull through and a re-shuffle. Sometimes like the punch and the second deal the cards go against you and you have to adjust to fill the outcome.

In performance spreading the deck and spotting solves this problem.
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Postby Temperance » 02/05/06 04:27 PM

Or if the deck is handed to you cold. You as the magician have no idea where the aces are in the deck.
That's why it's impressive, because you genuinely have no clue where they are. If you have to spread through the cards to see where the aces are, you may as well do a pseudo cutting the aces effect, like Marlo's estimation aces for example.

If you riffle the cards off the left thumb singly (as you should), you'll always be able to spot the last ace even if you have to resort to a push through. There's no problem if you cut so that an ace (or several) end up on the bottom of the right half. In fact, that's the ideal situation.

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Postby Glenn Bishop » 02/05/06 04:54 PM

So what your saying is that you can take a cold deck. Have a spectator shuffle it. Then using the stevens cull - cull cut 4 aces in just 2 to 4 shuffle cuts - no more?

That is that you don't shuffle the deck more than 4 times with the stevens cull with no added shuffles or cutting? Every time 100% without having any idea of where the aces are?

That is 4 aces 4 shuffle cull cuts EVERY TIME?
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Postby Temperance » 02/05/06 05:03 PM

You've got the numbers slightly wrong (more like about 6-7 max, 3 at the bare minumum), but yes, that's the general idea.

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Postby Glenn Bishop » 02/05/06 05:56 PM

I am not trying to argue as all magicians should do magic the way they want to.

I am not sure an audience would want to sit through a magician shuffling the deck 5-6-7 times looking for that last ace.

When I worked this out I was much younger and was after pure effects with cards. No short cards, punch work etc. Just a deck of regular cards.

4 shuffle cuts and four aces is what the lay audience would expect from a magician to cut the aces. I dont know if anyone using the Stevens cull could guarantee the four aces in four cuts. To get around the length of shuffles that can happen of going five to seven and added push through. I added the cheats for the performance.

By the way springing the cards face up is a good way to spot cards. The riffle with the left thumb is also another good way - like in Erdnase.
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Postby Temperance » 02/05/06 06:05 PM

Well, I use 7 shuffles in that video clip and the cull only takes 60 seconds to do. I don't think that's too much to sit through really.

Each to his own though.

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Postby Glenn Bishop » 02/05/06 06:15 PM

Originally posted by Euan:
Well, I use 7 shuffles in that video clip and the cull only takes 60 seconds to do. I don't think that's too much to sit through really.

Each to his own though.

Euan
Just watched your video - Nice Technique thanks for posting it.
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Postby Guest » 02/06/06 07:09 AM

Some manly card handling from a feller with girlie hands!

Good stuff.

Buster (has the hands of a surgeon, too)
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Postby Temperance » 02/06/06 07:17 AM

If you think that's good, you should see my tits! ;)

Thanks

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Postby Guest » 03/17/06 12:23 AM

I must admit, the Scarne stories are something I find extremely inspiring.

To answer the question, he wouldn't have used the Steven's cull, or at least wouldn't have known of it by the name since his apparent activities greatly pre-dated it's release.

Second, Karl Fulves apparently reveals Scarne's method in "Riffle Shuffle Methods" (there is an old thread on these forums where it was discussed). Since this book was released after the Vernon description of the Steven's cull in Riffle Shuffle Technique Volume 2, (also by Fulves) and Fulves gave the control a different name (the Scarne Shuffle Control), I can only assume that the method was in fact different.

Now back to the effect itself. First of all, there's a critical aspect of your performance, and the performance of most people's that differs from Scarne's and makes his version much more difficult, I actually only know of one other person aside from myself who has a method to achieve the effect, though that's probably my ignorance rather than a lack of other creative individuals. What you performed is a lot more like a Marlo ace cutting.

I'll explain. Not only was the deck borrowed and shuffled in the Scarne demonstration, but it was squared and a spectator was allowed to cut to any card prior to Scarne's attempt. This eliminates the possibility of jogged cards or breaks, just as the fact that, in the later demonstrations, the deck was borrowed, eliminates a lot of the possible prep-work and generally makes the feat substantially harder.

As for the effect itself. Honestly, I think it's somewhat insane to spread through the cards face up prior to, but especially during the demonstration. The reality is that, though I'm sticky about the points described above, spectators don't care. I've often done ace cutting routines using a series of false cuts and controlled shuffles, they're always very impressed, in spite of the fact that I usually start with the aces on the top of the deck, they don't know that, and the shuffles create the illusion of the deck having been shuffled. If you want to go the extra mile, which I sometimes do, but generally for cases where I'm false dealing as an apparent demonstration of culling and stacking, I do one of two things, both of which will achieve the desired effect in the mind of the spectator. The first, is to insert the cards openly, showing they are in different locations and perform a multiple shift, then simply control and reveal them. The second, is to steal them from the deck, hand it out to be shuffled, replace them, and proceed as normal. I repeat the spectators can't tell the difference and you'll end up with a strong effect.

The only time the real demonstration becomes relevent is actual cheating procedures, or personal interest.

On a related note, good job on the process, you have it looking pretty good.

If he could do this at nineteen then why did he not do this on his Castle films promo?

I could give you a number of possible reasons. First, to the average person, they couldn't tell the difference. Second, just because he could do it at 19 doesn't mean he could do it years later, some of these skills require constant practice in order to keep up. Third, there was a lot of potential material to show, you could ask "why didn't he show it" about anything he left out, and there will always be more left out than included. Personally, I'll take the word of Karl Fulves that he could actually do it exactly as he described, mind you, like I said, I know of methods of doing so and I know his supposed method was published.

I saw Jennings do the effect from a shuffled deck without controlling the Aces first. He spotted and culled them during the shuffles.

Marlo does the same in "Prime Time Marlo". There's the million dollar question though, could the deck be squared and have someone else cut to any desired card between the last shuffle and the cut to the ace? If not then it just amounts to standard culling and we all know that can be done, it's just a question of how fast and how well.

I often use the routine just to cold cut the aces from the deck then do a poker deal with the aces. I think the plot of lose the aces find them is a little strange. Why look for the aces to lose them and find them again?

Very good point, unless you made use of them in a previous effect and have them out, hence something like an insert method makes sense. That, or as a means to prove that you don't have a set up.

Which all brings up the point of just avoiding the proof and borrowing a deck that is shuffled before you get it. Frankly, to do the demonstration the way Scarne describes it is hard, possible, but hard.

And if you riffle shuffle and spot - sometimes it is hard to spot the aces. Getting 4 one after the other is no guarantee.

That depends entirely on your method, there are ways of making it work.

In performance spreading the deck and spotting solves this problem.

So does working with a set up, or one of the methods I described above, both of which I believe are more elegant from the perspective of the spectator and take less work on your part. Then again, clearly you have great success with your routine, so go with what works for you.

4 shuffle cuts and four aces is what the lay audience would expect from a magician to cut the aces. I dont know if anyone using the Stevens cull could guarantee the four aces in four cuts. To get around the length of shuffles that can happen of going five to seven and added push through. I added the cheats for the performance.

I don't know about the Steven's cull, but it can be done in 4 or less every time, though I would emphasize two points. First, that isn't the same as the Scarne demonstration, which, though perhaps not as impressive to a lay audience, keeps them more involved. Second, 5 shuffles always makes it substantially easier.

And finally, I agree with you, doing a lot of shuffles like that really isn't good for an audience. Personally my preference is to do a three segment routine that roughly mirrors that of Scarne, with competitive cutting initially.
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Postby Guest » 03/17/06 07:42 AM

When I was a kid, I saw Scarne do riffle shuffle culling on TV. This was in the early 1970's. I can't remember the overall effect...it might have been showing how a cheat can deal himself a good hand from a previously shuffled deck. As I recall it wasn't for all four aces, just for some of them.

I had just read his autobiography, so I was looking out for exactly this and was pretty sure that's what he was doing. It also matches the technique later described in the Fulves book.

Scarne appeared on talk shows fairly frequently. I remember him doing second dealing demonstrations and other stuff.
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Postby Guest » 03/20/06 11:54 AM

Actually, now that I think about it further, it isn't that unreasonable to cut to all four aces after just one shuffle using the correct technique, particularly if it was a demonstration like the one in the video above.
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Postby Guest » 05/28/06 07:53 PM

Originally posted by Drey:
I don't know about the Steven's cull, but it can be done in 4 or less every time, though I would emphasize two points. First, that isn't the same as the Scarne demonstration, which, though perhaps not as impressive to a lay audience, keeps them more involved. Second, 5 shuffles always makes it substantially easier.

[/QB]
Forgive me for taking so long to come back to this thread.

When I came up with my ace cutting from a cold deck using the Stevens cull I was not trying to do "Scarne cuts the aces". The odd thing when I posted video on it to promo the DVD I published it on. I got e-mail from magicians asking me if it was Scarne cuts the aces.

At the time I had never heard of the Scarne effect.
Originally posted by Drey:
And finally, I agree with you, doing a lot of shuffles like that really isn't good for an audience. Personally my preference is to do a three segment routine that roughly mirrors that of Scarne, with competitive cutting initially. [/QB]
The way I like to do it is Aces are put in, spectator shuffles then I cull the first ace, spectator shuffles. I spread the deck (show the deck mixed) spot three and then cull cut two and then I finish the routine as I do in the video at my web site.

As I said I never heard of Scarne's or any of the other routines.

I wonder why I have not seen more magicians use a cull with an ace cutting. In fact I have never read a routine in print before. But I have to say I have not read or collected that many card books in many years.

Later!
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Postby Guest » 05/30/06 12:32 PM

a method i use for cutting the aces;
you need a reasonably new deck of cards.
ahead of time take the four aces out of the deck holding them face down and holding the aces by their sides put a sharp downward chrimp so the centre bellies up. put the aces back into the deck and give it a few shuffles to take the work out. you're now set, if you hand the deck out to be well shuffled, taking the deck back give it a one handed charlier cut, you'll find that you have cut an ace to the top. i do this three more times to produce the other aces. ;)
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Postby Guest » 05/31/06 03:25 PM

Just some added thoughts about culling.

With culling, the player cheat will often use the discards to get a hand together and then the in the hands Jog Shuffle and math comes into play. That is that if they wanted three of a kind like 3 jacks. The player/cheat will remember how far down the jacks are in the deck as the deck is gathered up for the next deal. Suppose there is a jack third from the top, seventh from the top and then ninth from the top. They would take the deck cull while they jog shuffle and end up with the three jacks on the bottom of the deck. Ready for the bottom deal.

As most magicians know there are culling techniques with the jog shuffle that go back to the 1900's and before the classic work of Erdnase and the book "Expert at the Card Table." But the point is like using the second deal. "YOU HAVE TO KNOW WHERE THE GOOD CARDS ARE. Before you second deal or cull.

By the way using the discards and math can work with the second deal as well to get a good hand. As I said above the card player/cheat can use the discards to cull a hand. In the book Revelations by Erdnase and it has Dai Vernon's comments on Erdnase's technique.

One of the people that spent time with Dai Vernon was Persi Diaconis in the first part of Revelations he talks about the Grismer cull and how to use it in a poker/gambling demonstration. That is to demonstrate how to cull a hand to the bottom of the deck.

Persi Diaconis says to SPREAD THE DECK FACE UP and remember the number place of each card then use the Grismer Cull - jog Grismer cull them to the bottom of the deck as part of the demonstration.

Odd how I have gotten a lot of flack about the video of Glenn Bishop cuts the aces. And the fact that I spread the deck before the Stevens cull I use to cut the aces. And spread the deck the same way Persi Diaconis does before he does the Grismer Cull in the book Revelations.

It helps to KNOW where the hand is or where the aces are before the cull.

Now if you wanted to put the audience to sleep by all means just use the Stevens cull and do 4 to 8 shuffle culls to cut to the aces. Knowing that some magicians have no idea how Old Dad Stevens would have used the Stevens cull. As most card sharks would, that is all they need to get the money was two of a kind or three of a kind. There would be no need to spot the hand.

But a smart card shark might use the Stevens cull and spot two of a kind in the discards and then cull them with the Stevens cull. Just because KNOWING where the cards are in the deck makes the move easier to do under fire.

Yet more than one magician have said my spreading of the deck was idiotic.

What I think is idiotic is making magic HARDER and more challenging to do when performing a show. So I spread the deck - spot the aces then use the Steven's cull to cold cut them from a borrowed deck. It works and my audience like it.

You can tell some of these guys dont do shows because doing things the harder way and making things more challenging while performing is not a good way to entertain an audience that doesn't care about the method.

Any magician including Dai Vernon and Charlie Miller would agree to keep things less top heavy and make it easy so you can entertain the audience. That is part of what magic is all about.
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Postby Guest » 06/20/06 07:30 PM

Forgive me for taking so long to come back to this thread.

My turn to apologize.

When I came up with my ace cutting from a cold deck using the Stevens cull I was not trying to do "Scarne cuts the aces". The odd thing when I posted video on it to promo the DVD I published it on. I got e-mail from magicians asking me if it was Scarne cuts the aces.

Interesting, I guess one of my questions might be, does the audience really know that the deck is cold? While I use a number of techniques to simulate what Scarne did according to his biography and occasionally use a demonstration like this or something similar as part of a gambling routine. Often, I find the easiest and most effective is simply to use pre-placed aces and false cuts. You can even palm off the cards then have the audience shuffle the deck to give the illusion of working from a cold deck and it comes across as just as strong for them as if you did it legitimately, but with far less work.

I'm not familiar with the routine, but I understand Sal Piacente has an ace cold cutting routine that is also quite good.

The way I like to do it is Aces are put in, spectator shuffles then I cull the first ace, spectator shuffles. I spread the deck (show the deck mixed) spot three and then cull cut two and then I finish the routine as I do in the video at my web site.

I'm not familiar with the video on your website, but that sounds workable.

I wonder why I have not seen more magicians use a cull with an ace cutting.

Probably because relatively speaking it is quite difficult and doesn't achieve any better result than much simpler methods, much like some old mathematical complexities are now ignored in favor of some simple refined handling.

In fact I have never read a routine in print before. But I have to say I have not read or collected that many card books in many years.

I can't say I blame you for that, the most magic material I buy the more disappointed I become as so much seems like repeats of past material and nothing really innovative.


mick the trick

Yes, you can do a lot of similar routines with better crimping methods so you don't require such a new deck of cards...of course, I still think, in many regards, just palming off the cards and then using false cuts comes across just as well, if not better (it's a bit more flashy) and for less effort, but I suppose it has its own set of problems.


Glenn

By the way using the discards and math can work with the second deal as well to get a good hand.

Good point.

One of the people that spent time with Dai Vernon was Persi Diaconis in the first part of Revelations he talks about the Grismer cull and how to use it in a poker/gambling demonstration. That is to demonstrate how to cull a hand to the bottom of the deck.

Interesting, I didn't realize that, thanks.

It helps to KNOW where the hand is or where the aces are before the cull.

It absolutely does, I think the question is "does it compromise the effect" and if so, or either way, is there a better way of doing it?

Now if you wanted to put the audience to sleep by all means just use the Stevens cull and do 4 to 8 shuffle culls to cut to the aces. Knowing that some magicians have no idea how Old Dad Stevens would have used the Stevens cull. As most card sharks would, that is all they need to get the money was two of a kind or three of a kind. There would be no need to spot the hand.

Well now, you're not being terribly fair. Four shuffles easily suffices, my only complain in any such case is that the routine lacks a climax. The reality is four shuffles are fine if they're done well, and you don't need any more than four. True, smart cheats won't go for four of a kind anyway, but then they won't spread the deck either and they probably won't use the Steven's cull or any method of blocking off for that matter because in most situations other methods work better for less effort.

But a smart card shark might use the Stevens cull and spot two of a kind in the discards and then cull them with the Stevens cull. Just because KNOWING where the cards are in the deck makes the move easier to do under fire.

Possibly, but there are better methods of discard culling than using the Steven's cull.

What I think is idiotic is making magic HARDER and more challenging to do when performing a show. So I spread the deck - spot the aces then use the Steven's cull to cold cut them from a borrowed deck. It works and my audience like it.

This still begs the question, why make it that hard? Why not make it easier still, avoid spreading the deck face up, provide a nice climax and focus on presentation? I can assure you that works and the audience likes it as well. It seems cleaner and more impressive, especially since it makes the climax easy.

You can tell some of these guys dont do shows because doing things the harder way and making things more challenging while performing is not a good way to entertain an audience that doesn't care about the method.

Then why do you do it the harder way?

Any magician including Dai Vernon and Charlie Miller would agree to keep things less top heavy and make it easy so you can entertain the audience. That is part of what magic is all about.

Probably, and you wouldn't see them using the Steven's cull for the process at all, you'd more likely see slip cuts, false cuts and Zarrow shuffles.
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Postby Guest » 06/21/06 07:14 AM

(You Asked)
This still begs the question, why make it that hard? Why not make it easier still, avoid spreading the deck face up, provide a nice climax and focus on presentation? I can assure you that works and the audience likes it as well. It seems cleaner and more impressive, especially since it makes the climax easy.

(Glenn Bishop)
Because the deck can be shuffled by the audience after they themselves put the aces into the deck.

And then the deck can be shuffled before and after each ace cut opening up a lot of opportunity for audience situation comedy.


(I said)
You can tell some of these guys dont do shows because doing things the harder way and making things more challenging while performing is not a good way to entertain an audience that doesn't care about the method.

(And Then You Said)
Then why do you do it the harder way?

(Glenn Bishop)
I don't do it the harder way I do things "My Way."

As I said above it opens up the opportunity to a lot of situation comedy as the helper continues to shuffle the deck after each ace cut. And they themselves lost the aces into the deck.

I know more ace cutting routines than any audience would care to watch in a life time.

You can use crimps, multi shift, slip cuts etc. To do an ace routine. But you can't let the helper shuffle the deck after a multi shift.

And I have more advanced methods where I do not spread the deck at all - and I use them to depending on my mood for the evening.

Later!
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Postby Guest » 06/21/06 09:39 AM

Because the deck can be shuffled by the audience after they themselves put the aces into the deck.

Well, letting them put the aces into the deck and shuffle it are certainly nice features, but you can do this and still use crimps or edge marks or multiple shifts, or switches. I'm reminded of Tom Stone's wonderful travelers routine which ends by having the cards placed by the spectators into the deck and instantly producing them from four different pockets.

And then the deck can be shuffled before and after each ace cut opening up a lot of opportunity for audience situation comedy.

Alright, I don't pretend to know quite what you're referring to here, audience interaction is of course always good. But I'd remind you that it's possible to have the deck repeatedly shuffled using other methods as well. Perhaps one of the best is one you mentioned earlier, a corner short. It makes things much easier, doesn't require that you go through the intense labor of legitimately locating and blocking off the aces, but allows the spectators to freely place them in the deck and shuffle it.

I don't do it the harder way I do things "My Way."

Yes, but the fact remains that your method in this case happens to be more difficult than some of the alternatives. We could argue a bit about various difficulties, making the display convincing etc. Frankly, you raise a good point about letting the audience place the cards into the deck and shuffle it, even repeatedly shuffle it. There are at least three relatively simple ways around this, the first is a multiple shift, the second is crimps, edge marking, shorts etc. and the third is a clever switch. You might with some veracity that qualities of a multiple switch or multiple shift raise certain complications and make the issue more complicated, paving the way for a method such as yours. I don't believe you can say the same about using crimps, edge marks, shorts etc. As an alternative, you could actually also use duplicate cards, but that's another matter and I could understand if you weren't comfortable doing a lot of holding out.

You can use crimps, multi shift, slip cuts etc. To do an ace routine. But you can't let the helper shuffle the deck after a multi shift.

Yes you can, you simply palm or cop the cards out of the deck immediately after the multiple shift and give the deck to the spectator to shuffle, I do it all the time, allowing them to shuffle the deck between each action, though I don't use it for ace cutting and regardless you haven't addressed marking the cards in some manner (crimps, edge marks, shorts etc.) to effect the deception, which raises yet another option of how to locate the aces, but I'll leave it for now.

Frankly, I don't care what you use, it's your performance, it's up to you, go ahead and do it your way, but understand that you aren't doing it the easiest way so I really don't think you have recourse to a defense from Vernon or Miller based on the notion that another method is harder.

Thanks for your feedback.
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Postby Guest » 06/21/06 11:32 AM

(Glenn Bishop)
I don't do it the harder way I do things "My Way."

Mr. Bishop, your comment makes a lot of sense to me.

Years ago, when I was involved in magic groups I did some private lectures. The first thing I told my audience was, There is my way. There is your way. THERE IS NO THE WAY. I still believe that.

For example, I looked at your Cutting Aces Routine on your website. To me, you did a lot of work to cut to the aces. In one of my routines, I shuffle the deck twice, instantaneously cut four packets onto the table and show an ace on top of each.

Does that mean my way is better than yours? Absolutely not! Your way works best for you. My way works best for me. And, everyone else should have a method that works best for them.

As for the Scarne Aces, many have an idea as to how he did it. But, how many have actually seen Scarne do it, face-to-face? Or, how many have seen it him do it at all film, etc.?

The first time I saw him do it was around 1946. To me, my eyes pop out whenever I think of it.

The best part of all this is it sets a standard a challenge for all of us to strive for. I think thats great.

Joe D
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Postby Guest » 06/22/06 06:28 PM

I responded to this question a long time ago but thought I would add something to those people who had not seen my previous post. A number of years ago I purchased the Fulves book with Scarne's ace cutting method. It is a method similar to the Stevens method, i.e., the aces are blocked off during a shuffle. I sent a letter to Karl Fulves and told him that based on the description Scarne talks about in The Odds Against Me that the method Fulves published did not seem to be the one that Scarne would have used. I based this upon Scarne's comments that another person would cut the deck then Scarne would cut to an Ace. In the method published by Fulves there is essentially a step which identifies the location of the ace. I surmised that any gambler would notice a step when cutting high card especially if he was looking for a method of someone cutting to aces. I also wrote about Vernon's comments in the Vernon touch that when Sam Horowitz told Vernon about meeting "Flukey Johnny" and Scarne's ability to cut to aces Vernon's reply was that Scarne was evidently using a crimp. Vernon wrote that when he later saw Scarne doing the ace cutting, Scarne was in fact using a crimp but one that was not known to the magic community at that time. After I wrote Fulves, he telephoned me to discuss my letter. He said that Scarne would cut to the aces using the riffle cull and mention that there were no crimps used and let people examine the aces. He would then take the aces back, put in the work, and then cut to them again.
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Postby Guest » 06/22/06 07:05 PM

Steve, I did not read Karl Fulves' version of Scarne's Ace Cutting, but a couple of friends did it for me.

It was not the way Scarne did it. He did have someone cut the cards before he cut to an ace.

I wonder if Fulves wrote it the way he thought Scarne did it, or if it was described by someone else. Scarne???
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 06/22/06 08:43 PM

Fulves did in fact spend time with Scarne.

Joe, did you spend time with Scarne?
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Postby Guest » 06/27/06 12:13 PM

Scarne was a little before my time but I did see him do some magic and talk about gambling on a few TV shows in promotion of one of his books.

And my Dad (Billy Bishop) did spend some time with Scarne when my Dad was performing in New York city in his early night club days. He said that he saw John Scarne do the cups and balls with baby chicks and a blindfold eyeless vision routine.

Most of the older magicians that were my Dads friends that were performers that knew Scarne (told me)that they looked at what he wrote in books as partly promotional material to further the legend of John Scarne.

I have no idea if John Scarne could do the cut the aces routine that he described in his book "The Odds against me". But I find the book an interesting read.
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Postby Guest » 06/27/06 01:52 PM

Re: Richard post - June 22

"Joe, did you spend time with Scarne?"

Yes, during WW 2 when he did USO shows. No, I am not that old. My uncle was part of a USO Services Unit and that's how it came to be.

I saw him do the Ace Cutting more than once and honestly remember him doing it by having a spectator cut the deck before he cut to an Ace.

That does not mean that he did not have more than one way of doing it.

When I saw him do it on television I thought it was slightly different...but still a spectator cut the deck first.

Did he use a crimp?
I remember his words, "Hit 'em fast...hit 'em hard...and leave 'em wondering".

And, I am still wondering.

Also saw him do some stacking and second deals that knocked my eyes out. That was about 60 years ago and I can still see it.
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Postby Guest » 06/28/06 12:20 AM

Did anyone here ever see Frank Garcia do his ace cutting routine? I saw him do it at a convention in Houston about 1976, but I can't recall all the details. What I recall is this:

He brought out a brand new deck of Blue Ribbon cards, unwrapped them, broke the seal, shuffled them several times, had a spectator cut the deck and complete the cut. Then he cut all four aces, one at a time. It was very neat and clean.

There was some conjecture that it was gaffed. He did not tip the method.
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Postby Guest » 06/28/06 02:39 AM

Belly strippers, cut and resealed by Marion & Co., New York.
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Postby Guest » 06/28/06 03:50 PM

Originally posted by Joe DeStefano:
Years ago, when I was involved in magic groups I did some private lectures. The first thing I told my audience was, There is my way. There is your way. THERE IS NO THE WAY. I still believe that.
I really love what you said here Joe and the info you wrote about Scarne. Thanks very much for posting this. And it is a very nice thing to hear that you saw Scarne do this ace cut routine. And got to see the man work with cards live in front of an audience of service men.

I wish I saw him do it and I wish I met the man like you did.

Thanks again,

Glenn Bishop
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Postby Guest » 06/28/06 04:11 PM

Could have been. There was conjecture about another possibility as well. At the time, you could get Blue Ribbons and Aristocrats with the same back designs. The difference was that you could get Blue Ribbons with the linoid finish and Aristocrats came with the ivory finish.

Slipping the aces from a deck of Aristocrats into a Blue Ribbon pack gave the difference in the surfaces.

Or not.
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