Gilbreth Principle

Discuss the tricks and sleights which appear in Genii.

Postby Guest » 10/26/07 11:35 AM

I actually posted another forum for Max Mavens "The Hawk" a few days ago because I had some trouble shooting getting the effect to work right. I've finally solved the problem yesterday.

However, I'm still quite intruiged with how the gilbreth principle works. I know it works because I've practiced it over and over again but can anyone explain the how in laymen terms, what the logic is behind it? I know there are books on it, but it would save me a few bucks if someone could provide me with just a brief explanation as far as the mechanics behind that "thing of terryifying beauty..."
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Postby Jim Maloney_dup1 » 10/26/07 11:52 AM

The best explanation/visualization I've seen is to take your two hands and hold them out in front of you, palms toward you and fingers pointing at each other. Now, flip one hand upside down and interlace the fingers in any manner you wish. The top five fingers and the bottom five fingers will each contain exactly one of each type of finger.

-Jim
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Postby Roger M. » 10/26/07 12:14 PM

(Jim posted his explanation while I was drafting mine. Mines a bit different, so I'll leave it here).

This is how it was explained to me, and for the first time I actually understood it. This example presumes the fingers on each hand are playing cards.

Imagine the fingers on your left hand as alternating in color between black and red cards. (leave your thumbs out of this, it's easier....and put an ink dot on the fingers that are black, and leave the fingers that are red unmarked).

Now do the same on your right hand.
VERY IMPORTANT - Make sure the little finger on each hand is a different color.(if this were a deck of cards you'd ensure that the bottom card of each pile was a different color).

Now hold your fingers up in front of your face, palms towards you, and interlace them in any order you like, as if you were shuffling them like cards.
It won't matter if two fall onto one, or any other combination happens, just as long the little finger is a different color on each hand.

Now, from the top (an index finger), imagine each two fingers as cards, and imagine taking two of them at a time off the top of the pile.....you'll ALWAYS have one of each color in the pair of cards regardless of how your fingers were interlaced.
You can put one hand entirely on top of the other hand, or you can interlace each and every finger (or any other combination you like)....but you'll always get one of each.

It works with any repeating pattern (numbers, suits, whatever).

They're NOT always in the same order,but there's ALWAYS one of each.
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Postby Guest » 10/26/07 01:40 PM

Also, you can google more information on it if you spell the discoverer's name correctly. It is the Gilbreath Principle...
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Postby Guest » 10/26/07 03:24 PM

Here's a simple way to explore/understand the principle.
Take a royal flush in spades and one in hearts. Arrange the spades in order from 10 to A and the hearts in order from A to 10, all face up.

Place both packets on the table in front of you.

Pick a card off the top of either packet and hold it in your hand.
Repeat four more times, each time taking a card from either packet.

You now hold a straight, from 10 to A.

What throws most people about the Gilbreath principle is that the most common applications use a pattern that repeats every two cards: red black red black. So it's not obvious that for the principle to work, the two patterns have to be in reverse order. The 10 through A and A through 10 application makes this much clearer.
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Postby Guest » 10/26/07 08:37 PM

Originally posted by Blair Morris:
(Jim posted his explanation while I was drafting mine. Mines a bit different, so I'll leave it here).

This is how it was explained to me, and for the first time I actually understood it. This example presumes the fingers on each hand are playing cards.

Imagine the fingers on your left hand as alternating in color between black and red cards. (leave your thumbs out of this, it's easier....and put an ink dot on the fingers that are black, and leave the fingers that are red unmarked).

Now do the same on your right hand.
VERY IMPORTANT - Make sure the little finger on each hand is a different color.(if this were a deck of cards you'd ensure that the bottom card of each pile was a different color).

Now hold your fingers up in front of your face, palms towards you, and interlace them in any order you like, as if you were shuffling them like cards.
It won't matter if two fall onto one, or any other combination happens, just as long the little finger is a different color on each hand.

Now, from the top (an index finger), imagine each two fingers as cards, and imagine taking two of them at a time off the top of the pile.....you'll ALWAYS have one of each color in the pair of cards regardless of how your fingers were interlaced.
You can put one hand entirely on top of the other hand, or you can interlace each and every finger (or any other combination you like)....but you'll always get one of each.

It works with any repeating pattern (numbers, suits, whatever).

They're NOT always in the same order,but there's ALWAYS one of each.
Hey Blair, I truly appreciate you taking the time to post all the details of the example that you just provided.

I can clearly see your point about how each pair will always have atleast one duplicate card (in this case finger with imaginary card) regardless of how many pairs I remove. That was a great example. Thanks you for your generosity. :)
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Postby Guest » 10/26/07 08:44 PM

Originally posted by Pete McCabe:
Here's a simple way to explore/understand the principle.
Take a royal flush in spades and one in hearts. Arrange the spades in order from 10 to A and the hearts in order from A to 10, all face up.

Place both packets on the table in front of you.

Pick a card off the top of either packet and hold it in your hand.
Repeat four more times, each time taking a card from either packet.

You now hold a straight, from 10 to A.

What throws most people about the Gilbreath principle is that the most common applications use a pattern that repeats every two cards: red black red black. So it's not obvious that for the principle to work, the two patterns have to be in reverse order. The 10 through A and A through 10 application makes this much clearer.
Hey Pete, thank you for the explanation. I think explanation helped me understand the Gilbreath principle a little bit more. This is a nice example and situation of which someone could apply the Gilbreath. I was unaware that the patterns had to be in reverse order for the principle to work. You're absolutely right about that. Looking at the two straight hands after the mix was pretty astonishing too. I truly appreciate your help. Take care.
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Postby Guest » 10/26/07 08:53 PM

All of you guys have been a lot of help. Thank you so much!
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Postby Guest » 10/27/07 11:41 AM

Anthony:

You're welcome.

I don't remember Max's effect "The Hawk," which started this thread. But I do know "The Mockingbird," which is one of the very few effects for which the adjective "diabolical" is genuinely applicable. I know that the Mockingbird, and (IIRC) the Hawk, are both easier to understand when you understand the reverse order part of the principle.
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Postby Guest » 10/27/07 01:02 PM

Hey Pete,
yes! The method behind the methods for both "The Mockingbird" and "The Hawk" are actually clearer when used with the two effects. By the way, if you are unfamiliar with "The Hawk," you are deffinately missing out! Picture this:

A spectator cuts the deck and removes a selction from the top of the deck. Then a second spectator removes the next card and then both are asked to replace their cards in the deck. Next, a spectator is asked to cut the deck TWICE in order to lose the 2 selections. Here's the bizarre part, now the spectator is asked to SHUFFLE the deck! Here's the other bizarre part, THE MAGICIAN HAS NOT TOUCHED THE DECK AT ALL DURING THE SELECTING AND MIXING PROCESS! Now the magician proceeds to find the first spectators selection dealing the cards face down, and now for the truly bizarre part: the second spectator mixes the cards again but the magician stops the specator in the process and just NAMES his selection. And yes, this is the "Gilbreath" principle at its FINEST!

"The Mockingbird" was nice but I believe "The Hawk" is a more direct presentation of finding a selection or two.

And believe it or not, the most difficult part of the effect is the set up. It takes a lot "Focus" to set up the deck just right. I know this because every time I get impatient, the trick screws up. There are a lot of small details to watch for.

Anyways, thank you very much again and if you're in need of some help for something, just let me know. As a side note, I'm more a card guy. But I love all forms of magic anyways. Take good care!
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Postby Guest » 10/28/07 09:39 AM

Originally posted by AnthonyR:
By the way, if you are unfamiliar with "The Hawk," you are deffinately missing out!
Anthony, how often have you performed this and how often has it failed? Some of the times you won't find any of the selections correctly, you'll find only one correctly or you'll find one but think that it belongs to the wrong spectator.

/Tomas
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Postby Guest » 11/01/07 07:33 AM

Hi;
Check out this web address for another explaination of the Gilbreath principle;

http://www.bitwisemag.com/2/Garden-of-Gilbreath

Jim
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Postby Guest » 11/01/07 07:34 AM

Hi;
Check out this web address for another explaination of the Gilbreath principle;

http://www.bitwisemag.com/2/Garden-of-Gilbreath

Jim
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Postby Bob Farmer » 11/01/07 10:30 AM

If you interleaf this post between the two previous posts and then add the next post to the bottom, then do one shuffle, each pair will consist of a Bob post and a Jim post.
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Postby Bob Farmer » 11/01/07 10:32 AM

This is the next Bob post.
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Postby Bob Farmer » 11/01/07 10:39 AM

Here's my favorite quote from the article Jim references:

"... one early investigator into this phenomenon was the famed stage magician Karl Fulves."

Must have mixed him up with the reclusive New Jersey writer, Karl Germain.
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Postby Jim Morton » 11/01/07 02:54 PM

About five years ago, I created a one sheet PDF that explains the Gilbreath Principle in the simplest way that I could come up with. Some people have found it useful. If you'd like a copy you can email me at popvoid. It's an account from yahoo, so you should be able to figure out the rest of the address (I'm leaving it out here because of spambots). If you can't figure it out, then you probably wouldn't understand the instructions anyway. :p

Jim
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Postby Guest » 11/01/07 06:29 PM

Originally posted by Jim Snapp:
Hi;
Check out this web address for another explaination of the Gilbreath principle;

http://www.bitwisemag.com/2/Garden-of-Gilbreath

Jim
Hey Thomase,

I appreciate your reply and concern. I didn't realize this forum was still active!

Anyways, I forgot to mention the last time I made a post here that Mr. Maven actually provided and incorrect explaination of who the first located card belonged to. It actually belongs to the SECOND spectator! If you watch and analyze the performance, he locates the second spectators card first! The he proceeds to find the FIRST spectators card through mind reading.

As far as the effect working all the time, TRUST ME, IT WORKS ALL THE TIME PROVIDED THAT ALL STEPS HAVE BEEN REMEMBERED. I had the exact same problem a lot of people did by not getting it to work right consistantly. I realized that it works correctly when I take my time being careful with the setup. There are so many small details to the setup that if you miss just one small detail (i.e. a one way back card facing the wrong way) you frustrate yourself into thinking that the "Gilbreath Principle" does not apply well to this effect. I have not had a problem with it for about a week now.

I have thought out a solution to this problem during the time I was struggling to get the effect to work correctly. First of all, I use the "Si Stebbens" stack. If the deck is prearranged in that way, you can false shuffle and have any of the spectators give the deck as many completed cuts as they wish. Then you proceed with the original handling. However, after you have had the second spectator "cut off center," you no longer need to shuffle the pack. Just make sure that the top and bottom cards of the pack are in the same orientation. Then you may continue on to locate first the SECOND spectators card and then proceed to think of the First spectators selection. I hope this helps. Take good care Thomas!

p.s.
I apologize for replying to the wrong post. Thomas made a relative comment to this reply.
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Postby Guest » 11/01/07 06:36 PM

Hey Thomas,
please read the post above this one. It actually belongs to you. Take care!
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Postby Guest » 11/02/07 02:15 PM

Originally posted by AnthonyR:
As far as the effect working all the time, TRUST ME, IT WORKS ALL THE TIME PROVIDED THAT ALL STEPS HAVE BEEN REMEMBERED.
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I have thought out a solution to this problem
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you no longer need to shuffle the pack.
I only claimed that the handling on the video is not sure fire even if you follow it exactly, but I do have a good remedy for it.

Didn't Max Maven also have the deck in cyclical order? Didn't he also say to make sure the top and bottom cards are oriented the same way? (There is a better way to do that without cutting the deck or displacing a single card, by the way.)

Not quite sure what you mean so I quoted the things above that I don't follow. First you say that the trick is sure fire (which it isn't) and then you say that you have a solution to the problem you just wrote doesn't exist. Finally, do you mean that the solution is to not have them shuffle the deck?

Please mail me at tomas_blomberg@hotmail.com if you don't want to discuss the solutions here.

/Tomas
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Postby Guest » 11/02/07 05:35 PM

Hi Tomas:

Firstly, as long as you follow the instruction that have been provided very carefully, THE EFFECT WILL WORK ALL THE TIME.

I have not had any problems with it since the time I discovered what I was doing wrong. The mistake that I made most of the time was that I forgot to have the top and bottom "one way" backs facing the same direction. You are probably just forgetting a small step. I went all over the internet trying to find info on why I was screwing it up some of the time. Then, I actually went to the extreme of trying to understand the mechanics of the "Gilbreath Principle" which I did. I realized it was not that complicated either.

You asked if Max Maven had the deck in cyclical order. It was "Si Stebbens" stacked, during the explanation but I'm not sure about how he had it during the performance. But with Si Stebbens, no matter how many times the spectators cut the deck in the beginning, it will always remain stacked.

That point brings me to your next question about the solution that I came up with. It's nothing difficult really. Instead of having the spectator shuffle the deck before the reveal, I have them cut the deck as many times as they like before the selections are made so they still have the feeling of total control and randomness over the deck during the procedure. Then continue on with the rest of the effect but WITHOUT the spectator SHUFFLING the pack. Next, the top and bottom cards of the deck should NOT be in the same orientation if you DO NOT shuffle. At this point you locate the SECOND spectators selection first. Then proceed to name the FIRST spectators selection. If you feel uncomfortable thinking that they will remember that the cards were returned together, then false shuffle the deck yourself before naming the second spectators selection. However, if the spectator did shuffle, you deffinately have to make sure the top and bottom cards are in the same orientation in order for the "Gilbreath Principle" to work. Please keep in mind, I only thought of this because I didn't know what I was doing wrong. I no longer have any problems using Max Mavens orginal idea.

But if that doesn't turn out, there's always the "invisible deck!" Just kidding. That classic effect is still "a thing of terrifying beauty..."

Hope that helped!

p.s. don't worry, people who are unfamiliar with "The Hawk" will have no clue what forces have been presented here. Take good care.
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Postby Guest » 11/05/07 11:00 PM

Anthony,

I tried mailing you through this forum but you don't seem to have a valid e-mail in your account. Got a current working one? You can mail it to me at tomas_blomberg@hotmail.com please.

Regards,

/Tomas
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Postby Guest » 11/06/07 07:42 PM

Hey Tomas!

I got your mail! I apologize that I do not check it regularly. My email: wildcard98@hotmail.com is for this site only and I didn't expect to get any e-mails.

However, I read the mail and you are absolutely right! I literally had to shuffle the deck very slowly, one card after another to get it in the orientation that you described and it deffinately does not work all the time! I have to admit, I was quite disappointed when I scritinized the actions more carefully only to see that the "gilbreath principle" is not reliable for that particular effect.

Thankfully, I have not performed it for anyone yet. I've always just practiced the set-up with a mock rehearsal and "I HAVE NOT RUINED THE ORIENTATION ONCE since I discovered my last mistake!" But yes, I now see the probablity of failure is just as high as success.

I've decided that I would like to actually find a way to contact Mr. Max Maven and see if he can give us any tips on this effect.

I was in the process of learning a new deck switch so that I could add this one in but I have to thank you for saving me from future embarrasement. =)

Also, I decided not to e-mail you about this and to post this up here so that everyone knows what you've discovered. I think people who are just as frustrated with this effect would truly appreciate this post.

However, I will check my e-mail for this site more often. Thank you so much for your consideration! If you need anything else, feel free to e-mail me again. In the future, I will e-mail you back.

Take good care,
Anthony R.
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Postby Guest » 11/11/07 05:04 PM

Check out 'Game Law' by Roy Walton in Volume 2 of 'The Complete Walton'. Just about every effect using The Gilbreath Principle involves allowing the spectator to riffle shuffle the deck just once. In 'Game Law' the spectator can shuffle the deck TWICE and still the outcome is controlled.

Roy is a genius... :whack:

Joe
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