Dad Stevens Cull

Discuss your favorite close-up tricks and methods.

Postby Guest » 06/12/06 08:18 AM

I'm looking for a description of the Stevens Cull. I know that this cull was written up in 'Revelations', unfortunately I don't have a copy and it's long OOP.

I was informed that there maybe a scant description in 'The Classic Magic Of Larry Jennings', can somone offer some clues as to where it may be found, or indeed information on the cull itself....
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Postby Guest » 06/12/06 08:20 AM

Ask Glenn Bishop, he invented the cull after all.

Euan
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 06/12/06 08:32 AM

The Cull was first described in an issue of Epilogue on false shuffles, however I don't know if this was included in the L&L reprint, which is still available.
It is also described in Jennings' book Classic Magic.
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Postby pduffie » 06/12/06 10:04 AM

The Riffle Shuffle special issues of Epilogue are not in the L & L reprint. Fulves did not consider these part of the run of the magazine.

The Stevens control is also in Vernon's More Inner Secrets of Card Magic (complete with photo). But there is no mention of Dad Stevens!

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Postby Guest » 06/12/06 11:05 AM

Also don't mix up the Stevens Cull and Stevens Control. You can also do a keyword search HERE to find further sources for both.

Denis
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Postby Guest » 06/12/06 11:28 AM

The easiest place to get it is Andrew Wimhurst's "Down Under Deals".
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Postby Guest » 06/12/06 02:25 PM

Hi Denis,

The Stevens Control and the Stevens Cull are based on exactly the same method of blocking off. The only difference I know of is that the blocked off card is 'controlled' by cutting it to the top whereas the culled card is riffled to the top whilst spotting the next. Persoanlly, I think these terms can be used interchangeably ie The Stevens Cull Control. Hope this helps.

Regards,

Paul H
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Postby Guest » 06/12/06 03:06 PM

With no disrespect to the previous post, the Stevens Control and the Stevens Riffle Cull are very different in both technique and application. They deserved independent study and should not be viewed as one and the same.
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Postby Guest » 06/12/06 03:35 PM

For those of us who don't know about the differences, where precisely is there a description discussing the difference between the two?
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Postby Guest » 06/12/06 03:58 PM

Drey:

There is no source that I am aware of that discusses and examines the differences in much detail. I am working on one at present but have several other projects - a Herb Zarrow book and a Paul Fox book - that I must complete before releasing information and technical notes related to Dad Stevens. I spend an inordinate amount of time on both the Stevens Control and the Riffle Cull, and so do religiously every day. It took me a very long time, for example, to learn why Vernon was so dismissive of Marlo's Riffle Shuffle technique. I believe I now know why and also where Marlo missed the mark. All I can say at this time is that both moves are very sophisticated and it will take me some time to detail it so it registers. I must also confess that I have probably delayed this project because I believe it is targeted for such a limited audience. I mean, other than the few obsessive people who tune into this post, who is really interested in this kind of nunace and work? It can't be a very large audience. I'm sorry that I can't be of more assistance to you at this particular time.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 06/12/06 06:55 PM

I saw Jennings do the combined Stevens Cull and Control one day at his home. He took my shuffled deck and, in the course of riffle shuffling it, located, culled, and controlled the four Aces. It was quite something to see.
And it all looked effortless--not the heavy-handed fiddling that passes for riffle shuffle work with some groups.
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Postby Guest » 06/12/06 10:12 PM

How does Jennings method compare to the "thanks to zarrow" sadowitz offering?
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Postby Guest » 06/12/06 10:15 PM

There is no source that I am aware of that discusses and examines the differences in much detail. I am working on one at present but have several other projects

Keep me posted, I'd be interested when you finally complete it.

I spend an inordinate amount of time on both the Stevens Control and the Riffle Cull, and so do religiously every day.

Sounds interesting, I'd love to hear your insights.

It took me a very long time, for example, to learn why Vernon was so dismissive of Marlo's Riffle Shuffle technique. I believe I now know why and also where Marlo missed the mark.

Now this I hadn't heard, would you mind sharing, even in vague terms? I must admit, I'm not terribly well read on the subject but my thoughts are/have been, generally this. Marlo's culling technique (as described in the Marlo Magazine Volume 6, which of his material that I'm familiar with is really the only major source worth looking at), is easier than the more conventional blocking off technique of the Stevens cull, however, visually, it's less deceptive (provided that you're looking for it of course). I also felt Marlo failed to make really good use of his own method in the complete release upon spotting the card (if you've read the material you'll know what I mean).

As I said, I'm not familiar with the writing on the Stevens material, unfortunately I haven't been able to procure a copy of the Fulves manuscripts (I actually won an ebay auction for the final one, but the seller never responded), so I can't comment on that work, but in my experience the Marlo writing on the subject is very lacking in sophistication. He really doesn't have much in the way of advice on things like increasing the odds, the oh so difficult process of speeding the shuffles up a lot (though based on his demonstrations in Prime Time Marlo his shuffles certainly weren't unbearably slow), locating multiple cards and control as you push the packets together.

I suppose if I'm to be fair, considering the wealth and diversity of material he published he could hardly devote a huge amount of time to riffle shuffle practice and riffle shuffle technique is difficult. I would have been interested in seeing Scarne work with it as very few people seem terribly well versed in culling techniques.
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Postby Guest » 06/13/06 05:29 AM

Originally posted by Richard Kaufman:
I saw Jennings do the combined Stevens Cull and Control one day at his home. He took my shuffled deck and, in the course of riffle shuffling it, located, culled, and controlled the four Aces. It was quite something to see.
And it all looked effortless--not the heavy-handed fiddling that passes for riffle shuffle work with some groups.
Sounds very impressive.

How many riffle shuffles did it take him to control all four?
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 06/13/06 08:32 AM

I don't recall how many shuffles Jennings used--I was just amazed watching. His handling was very nonchalant, none of the fussy diddling with squaring the corners.

I don't know how it compares to the Sadowitz item since I've never read it, but I do recall that Sadowitz had to later admit that he reinvented something out of The Complete Works of Derek Dingle.
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Postby Guest » 06/13/06 11:16 AM

Hi dben,

No offence taken, quite the opposite in fact. I am a keen Stevens riffle culler and have Fulves Blocking Off manuscript which is the only work I know to apply his own method and that of Scarne, similar to Stevens to a number of magical card effects. I would be most supportive and appreciative of your efforts to write a book or article on the Stevens, both the control and the cull. I had always assumed they were essentially based on the same principle. Please, please let us know when you intend to begin this project.

Best Wishes,

Paul H
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Postby Guest » 06/13/06 11:26 AM

Thanks for your note. The project has begun. Finishing it, however, is another matter.
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Postby Guest » 06/13/06 11:50 AM

Will details on the cull/control be appearing in 'Jennings Takes It Hard'?
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Postby Guest » 06/13/06 12:19 PM

After Peter Duffie's helpful comment, thanks Peter, I dusted off my copy of Vernon's Inner Card Trilogy. Blow me if the Stevens Control is described. The handling is a little different to the culling method and I can think if more straight forward ways of cutting a selection from forth now to the top of the deck without the control. But it is interesting all the same. Many thanks,

Regards,

Paul H
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 06/13/06 12:48 PM

The third book is titled "Mr.Jennings Takes it Tough" not "hard." Oh well.
No, it won't be in the book because I never got it on tape.
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Postby Guest » 06/14/06 12:53 AM

Wasn't Jon Racherbaumer working on a complete Riffle Shuffle book that was going to include all the Marlo and Fulves ideas or something of the sort?
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Postby Guest » 06/14/06 08:43 AM

RE RIFFLE SHUFFLE WORK:

Yes, Im in the process (an arduous one) of examining Marlos take on Riffle Shuffle mastery and (finally) RIFFLE SHUFFLE FINALE will be on my Website soon. The challenge is still about sorting out what has been published and then adding what HAS NOT been publishedand then to draw important distinctions and clarifications. There is also a huge difference between the magic arena and the gaming table regarding applications and techniques.

Marlo was frequently accused on lifting ideas re technique. This is an exaggerated claim because he was excluded from the work being shared by guys such as Vernon, Miller, Daley and othersin fact, this work was kept fairly sub rosa. They were even reluctant to tip the Zarrow stuffMarlo worked most of his stuff out on his own. I suspect that most of the heat Marlo eventually received was because he released (although it was via private manuscripts of limited circulation) "inside stuff" re Shuffle Workeven if it was the result of his own experimentation and research. This is also why there was a great deal of contention and criticism of Marlos own stuff.

One of my early forays into trying to understand the background of certain techniques was expressed in an essay titled Getting Lost in the Shuffle. Unfortunately, this did not result in dialogue or further explorations of the subject. Instead, it degenerated into a pissing contest, followed by lots of counter-productive tirades.

This will likely continue, even after RIFFLE SHUFFLE MASTERY is released.

Onward
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Postby Guest » 06/14/06 09:00 AM

Originally posted by dben:
With no disrespect to the previous post, the Stevens Control and the Stevens Riffle Cull are very different in both technique and application. They deserved independent study and should not be viewed as one and the same.
To be correct, the applications differ (a cull versus a control) but the underlying principle - using blocks of cards to mark off and control groups of cards - is identical.
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Postby Guest » 06/14/06 11:22 AM

In my opinion, to say that merely the application is different as they both involve "blocking off" is to simplify things too much. Such simplification also makes it harder to master each technique because you tend to believe they are the same when, in fact, the technique of blocking off in each instance - and the strategies one uses to accelerate the blocking off process - are completely different in both concept and execution. To each his own.
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Postby Guest » 06/14/06 02:45 PM

Thanks Jon.

In my opinion, to say that merely the application is different as they both involve "blocking off" is to simplify things too much.

This is a point of interest, I was reading an article someone wrote recently regarding this view of the Steven's control or cull. Basically he mentioned that any form of blocking off seems to have degenerated into being called the Steven's cull, or control (most people don't know the difference or know that there is a difference). While the process of blocking off was not the Steven's cull (in his opinion and there's plenty of reason to agree with this assertion), but that how you handle the blocking off was what constituted the Steven's cull or control. In other words, blocking off in itself is just that, it's blocking off, what you do with that is what changes things. This makes sense especially in light of the fact that techniques involving blocking off existed prior to the publication of the Steven's cull (again, I don't really know the difference between the two, but the method of dealing with the block is actually very nice, arguably the best I've seen, though traditionally it remains somewhat limited).
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Postby Guest » 06/15/06 11:46 AM

I would also like to thank Jon for updating us on a difficult but potentially fascinating work on riffle shuffle technique.

With regards to the Stevens cull and the Stevens control, in fact the control described by Lewis Ganson is different in technique to the cull. In fact there seem to be a number of variation with blocking off in general. The work I am familiar with is Fulves 'Blocking Off' manuscript and the Stevens description by Wimhurst in 'Down Under Deals'. I believe he was taught by Darwin Ortiz. In the Fulves manuscript, the method for pushing the two riffled packs together is very different from the Wimhurst description which I find to be superior and more in keeping with a general riffle action. This in itself marks out a difference. Fulves blocking off technique is also different and enables the target card to be cut staight to the bottom. I have also found that the Stevens cull can be adapted so that the target card is cut to the bottom. However, this involves some extra manoevering at least from the way I have developed it. The Fulves method is harder than the Stevens as it requires even faster reactions. However, using this method to practice is a good way to speed up the Stevens even though its extremely demanding. Other subtleties include things like speed and consistency of the riffle including the size of the breif, tracking other target cards to be culled in later shuffles, different ways of splitting the cards, how to handle awkward distribution etc. Apart from Fulves, I do not think I have read about any of these and other related ideas. You just have to find out for yourself hoping that the development is not fundamentally flawed. As you can tell, I am most eager for the work of dben and Jon Racherbaumer to reach fruition.

Regards,

Paul H
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Postby Guest » 06/15/06 06:09 PM

With regards to the Stevens cull and the Stevens control, in fact the control described by Lewis Ganson is different in technique to the cull.

Where's the description by Lewis Ganson found? Is it still in print?

The work I am familiar with is Fulves 'Blocking Off' manuscript and the Stevens description by Wimhurst in 'Down Under Deals'. I believe he was taught by Darwin Ortiz. In the Fulves manuscript, the method for pushing the two riffled packs together is very different from the Wimhurst description which I find to be superior and more in keeping with a general riffle action.

I've played around with four primary variations and when it comes to the act of actually pushing the cards together I definitely have to assert that the method described in Down Under Deals is the best (most natural and involves the least fumbling), this being with the exception of a couple other non-standard techniques that offer a slight advantage over the Wimhurst method, though certainly include their own flaws.

This in itself marks out a difference. Fulves blocking off technique is also different and enables the target card to be cut staight to the bottom. I have also found that the Stevens cull can be adapted so that the target card is cut to the bottom. However, this involves some extra manoevering at least from the way I have developed it.

I'm not familiar with the Fulves method, but I adapt the method described in Down Under Deals to control the card to the bottom as well. I actually find a much more practical approach makes general sense for the process of blocking off in general

The Fulves method is harder than the Stevens as it requires even faster reactions. However, using this method to practice is a good way to speed up the Stevens even though its extremely demanding.

You seem to be implying the difference lies in what point you decide to block-off.

I'm actually surprised a lot more hasn't been published to improve the speed of both stacking and culling, as the brute force approach just seems ridiculous. I also haven't seen anything in print on culling multiple cards per shuffle, which seems like a logically superior approach since so much effort is involved in each shuffle, it just makes sense to cut down on the number of shuffles. It seems as though there's a lot of renewed interest in the subject though so we might end up seeing a wealth of material come to the market, hopefully it involves continued improvements on technique rather than simply reiteration of old technique.
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Postby Guest » 06/15/06 11:43 PM

Hello Drey,

The Stevens control is described at the end of chapter 7 of Dai Vernon's More Inner Secrets of Card Magic. Peter Duffie above has given the correct reference. I'm not sure what the applications of this move are however and it certainly does not seem as useful as the cull. But then again I have only just started trying it out.

With regard to multiple culls, I highly doubt there is a useable technique for this during a riffle. The work on the Stevens Cull and similar is likely to be around strategies and techniques for more effective culling within the framework of the basic riffle cull method.

As a matter of interest, in conversation with some cardsharks, riffle culling is not really used very much due to the enormous amount of work needed to bring it up to professional speed. This is compounded by the combined tells of having to burn the deck during the cull and the need to employ a high riffle. Apparently there are much simpler, easier and more economical ways of culling at the card table in certain situations. Also in card magic, it seems the applications are very few and far between. I have noticed that at least some of Fulves applications can be achieved using simpler sleights rather than the agony of the riffle cull.

For me, the 'mystique' of the Stevens Cull is the ability to riffle up three and four of a kind from an apparently fair table riffle in real time as it were. Realising this dream however, seems to be a life long project.

Regards,

Paul H
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Postby Guest » 06/16/06 12:33 AM

The Stevens control is described at the end of chapter 7 of Dai Vernon's More Inner Secrets of Card Magic. Peter Duffie above has given the correct reference. I'm not sure what the applications of this move are however and it certainly does not seem as useful as the cull. But then again I have only just started trying it out.

I'll have to look into it, thank you.

With regard to multiple culls, I highly doubt there is a useable technique for this during a riffle. The work on the Stevens Cull and similar is likely to be around strategies and techniques for more effective culling within the framework of the basic riffle cull method.

I have three or four techniques I use to accomplish this in different ways within the framework of a basic riffle cull method. Email me if you're interested in discussing methods.

As a matter of interest, in conversation with some cardsharks, riffle culling is not really used very much due to the enormous amount of work needed to bring it up to professional speed.

In my experience what is used and what is usable depends in large part on the audience and environment. There is for example a monumental difference between cheating at a casino and cheating in a private game, high stakes or not. There is again a monumental difference between cheating in a high stakes game and a casual low stakes game. Structure then becomes relevent (do you have a fixed dealer or rotate, how familiar are the other players with cards (in other words do they fumble cards, do they overhand shuffle, riffle shuffle in the hands or on a table, how do they deal), are they cautious, do they care a lot about cutting the deck, do they pay attention a lot during the deal, during the cut, while checking the cards, do they use new decks each time, do they use standard decks or variable decks etc. etc. etc.) and dictates accordingly. I know in magic it seems like the world of gambling is granted this esoteric prestige, veiled as though it is the greatest test for a card worker, but the reality is quite different. It's amazing what you can get away with in the majority of games, particularly relatively low stakes casual games. That isn't to knock what you've said or been told, I'm sure it's totally valid within the context of certain situations, but it does depend on the situation. In talking to people who cheat for money (I've cheated on numerous occasions but not for money), I've heard a number of common threads. Generally, riffle culling is minimized for a few reasons. First, complex riffle work is unnecessary, as we both know, culling four of a kind or a royal flush, which is what magicians like to do because it's impressive, is just plain stupid at the card table, you want to win without drawing attention to yourself so you cull lower hands. Lower hands are easier to cull so they don't require complex riffle work. Second, most people aren't that good at it and don't want to take time to learn. Third, and partly a reason for the second point, other easier methods (discard culling being a big one) are easier and sufficiently effective. Thus, you might cull one card in a three of a kind hand, which doesn't take nearly as much heat as culling four of a kind in four shuffles or however many the case might be. That's my experience with what people have told me anyway. Personally, I always relished in the card control and since I wasn't cheating people for money, I often preferred to make it overt (not always, but some of the time), hence the royal flushes and four of a kind hands were common.

This is compounded by the combined tells of having to burn the deck during the cull and the need to employ a high riffle.

Burning the deck is always a bad one, I find you can minimize the high riffle sufficiently by adjusting the technique. Probably not enough for work in a casino, I tend to think you're generally crazy to cheat there, but for more private games. I suppose it depends on one's level of refinement though.

Apparently there are much simpler, easier and more economical ways of culling at the card table in certain situations.

Indeed, especially if you're just looking for a slight advantage. I once used a method where the only thing I did was peeked the identity of the top few cards so I had some idea what my opponents were holding. It doesn't win you every hand, but it gives you a slight advantage that pans out nicely when played over the long term.

Also in card magic, it seems the applications are very few and far between. I have noticed that at least some of Fulves applications can be achieved using simpler sleights rather than the agony of the riffle cull.

Again, I'm not familiar with the Fulves methods, but yeah, I don't personally use riffle culling in magic except for the possible exception of gambling routines and demonstrations. Actually, I was noticing recently that in spite of all the complex card controls we learn (side steals, passes, one-handed steals and controls, multiple shifts etc.) I use almost none of them in practice. There are much more elegant and economic methods of achieving the same thing, often in a more deceptive manner, a double lift being a simple example of it. Added to which, most of the best effects, or at least a large percentage of them, don't require any such card controls, but are more about displays, palming etc. Triumph, Out of This World, Twisting the Aces, A Dream of Aces (MacDonald Aces), The Color Changing Deck, Card Warp, the ambitious card, turn and restored card, various mind reading effects, Do as I Do etc. etc. etc. require minimal use of controls such as passes, double undercuts, side steals etc. Even the likes of Travelers is achieveable without it in many cases.

For me, the 'mystique' of the Stevens Cull is the ability to riffle up three and four of a kind from an apparently fair table riffle in real time as it were. Realising this dream however, seems to be a life long project.

My goal was always two four of a kind hands, being able to deal my opponent four kings and myself or a friend four aces from a random order deck. Easier said than done, depending on the number of shuffles, but always a fun goal.
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Postby Guest » 06/16/06 12:56 AM

Hello Drey,

Excellent post. I will PM you regarding the multiple culling idea. As for culling the double duke....good heavens, I have no idea how you could possibly manage this cold from a random deck. Very impressive. Anyway, I'll be in touch.

Regards,

Paul H
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Postby Guest » 06/16/06 01:19 AM

As an addendum to my previous post, Fulves manuscript 'Riffle Shuffle Controls...Part 2 Blocking Off' describes Scarne's feat of cutting the aces for the gangster Arnold Rothstein. I think he uses the preface from 'Scarne on Cards' as the source. He goes on to describe a session with Scarne in 1974 in which 'the man' revealed his method for the first time. Fulves was full of admiration for Scarnes handling of the riffle cull and thought it the best and most deceptive he had seen. Scarne's method described here is pretty much the Stevens Cull but with a Fulves like handling of the cards being pushed together. It also involves part of the pack being over the edge of the table which appears unnecessary to me. Its all very fascinating to read about however.

Regards,

Paul H
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Postby r paul wilson » 06/16/06 01:54 AM

I've spent over twenty years obsessing over the Steven's Cull and have found many interesting ways to achieve the effect Vernon described.

I have found several variations on the technique itself and have combined it with other techniques with varying success. Steve Forte suggested one such marriage of methods resulting in a Stevens cull that leaves the deck in the same order (apart from the cards you culled out).

The big problem with the Steven's cull is that you simply have to look at the deck as you shuffle. Lots of honest card players do this anyway but rarely with that same look of concentration or their tongue projecting awkwardly from the side of their mouth.

It is also near impossible to perform the cull at speed with any degree of accuracy.

My research has thrown up some interesting approaches to this problem.

One is that I can perform the cull quickly (when I'm in stroke) without the need for accuracy.

This idea lead to a non-cull cull - where the cards were riffled, a card located and then controlled as the next card was found - WITHOUT the need to riffle off a block during the shuffle.

All of this is to say that there's a lot of fascinating ideas to discover with this cull but I think Jerry Sadowitz published one of the most interesting.

He called in the Major D'Alby Brag Stack and it appeared in The Crimp. Jerry created a method for locating three cards of the same value during ONE shuffle. He was then able to look away for the next two shuffles (i.e. not stare at the deck) while bringing all three cards to the top.

I later published two variations on the Sadowitz shuffle in MAGIC magazine (with no illustrations to discourage the casual reader).

In one variation you are able to locate and stack three cards for any number of hands and to any hand called for. In other words: You take a shuffled deck - shuffle once as a spectaor names any number of players. shuffle again as they decide which hand wins. Shuffle a third time and deal - trips to the chosen hand.

The other variation dispensed with two slip cuts from Jerry's sequence, looked much fairer and scanned the deck in sequence making it possible to find the fourth card in most cases.

If you look through Racherbaumer's columns in Magic you should find it easily, though I have written up a more in-depth (illustrated) manuscript that should appear online soon.

Jerry also published some interesting cull work in Thanks To Zarrow (he later had to credit Dingle for the idea as it was buried in an obscure DD book). As Jerry rightly points out, as magicians we can decide on our own conditions when performing and, using the technique explored in his Zarrow booklet, Jerry teaches how to move selected cards using the Zarrow shuffle.

Jason England also re-invented the Dingle concept resulting in an excellent Ace cutting sequence, which he featured on our unreal Work DVD.

P
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Postby Guest » 06/16/06 11:14 AM

Hello Paul,

Thanks for a great post. I feel like a man staggering around in a Dad Stevens desert only to stumble on an oasis of ideas. I will be one of the first in the queue for your new manuscript. Your description of the strain of culling is hilarious by the way. The only other tell is the bulging eyes. With regard to tempo, it was very reassurring to read that culling at speed is almost impossible. I spent a good few months with a metronome trying to complete each riffle in one second, the Fulves recommendation. What a farce that was. Still, I also very much like the ideas of Jerry Sadowitz in 'Thanks to Zarrow' and Jasons'performance in the unreal work was so smooth that I didnt recognise the method until sometime after. Its an excellent DVD in my opinion and one I often refer back to.

Regards

Paul H
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Postby Guest » 06/16/06 11:22 AM

As an addendum to my previous post, Fulves manuscript 'Riffle Shuffle Controls...Part 2 Blocking Off' describes Scarne's feat of cutting the aces for the gangster Arnold Rothstein. I think he uses the preface from 'Scarne on Cards' as the source. He goes on to describe a session with Scarne in 1974 in which 'the man' revealed his method for the first time. Fulves was full of admiration for Scarnes handling of the riffle cull and thought it the best and most deceptive he had seen. Scarne's method described here is pretty much the Stevens Cull but with a Fulves like handling of the cards being pushed together. It also involves part of the pack being over the edge of the table which appears unnecessary to me. Its all very fascinating to read about however.

Thanks, too bad I missed out on that one, Scarne's riffle work was always a subject of interest for me. I can achieve the Scarne ace cutting using various methods with a borrowed deck, but what always interested me more was his story about cheating the card sharks and apparently dealing up one complex double duke after another. No matter how you do it that's got to be some intensive work there, I always found that inspiring.


R Paul Wilson

The big problem with the Steven's cull is that you simply have to look at the deck as you shuffle. Lots of honest card players do this anyway but rarely with that same look of concentration or their tongue projecting awkwardly from the side of their mouth.

Indeed, I think comfort is part of that. Also, in my experience studying martial arts (at least certain martial arts) helps with this because you learn to look at one point while picking up others with your peripheral vision which allows you to be much more casual. In a sense you might liken it a bit to some of the exercises Robert Houdin practiced with juggling, and I'd suspect similar exercises would help. I'll have to go pick up some balls and give it a try.

It is also near impossible to perform the cull at speed with any degree of accuracy.

At speed is always an interesting issue because there isn't a guarranteed speed, except perhaps in a casino. What I'm saying is, not everyone shuffles at the same speed. I've spent a fair amount of time timing shuffles to get some idea what works within reason, what's fast, what's slow etc. In my experience, a one second riffle is pretty fast, anything faster is extremely fast. The point being, it's unnecessary to shuffle that fast even though some people get caught up doing that. This makes either culling or stacking for that matter extremely difficult if not impossible. Yes, Darwin Ortiz has some ungodly riffle stacking work, but we can't all be Darwin and I don't know about the rest of you, I'm not interested in putting in that much work to learn so other methods or a slightly slower pace is necessary. Frankly, shuffling using two second riffles isn't at all suspicious (again, if you're in a casino environment that's quite another matter, but I've already stated my opinion on using material like this in a casino). In reality, though it's not so desirable, you can get away with three second riffles, so you have some flexibility. A huge part of it, in my experience also doesn't concern the speed of the shuffle nearly as much as your focus (as you elluded to with your comment about burning the deck). If you're very casual etc. you can get away with a lot more than if your focus is off. In fact, one of the few cases where I was actually caught it wasn't the speed nearly so much as my attention that gave me away. Stories of Walter Scott illustrate this quite well.

Generally, in my view, riffle shuffle speed is much like false dealing. You'll never be able to shuffle as fast while culling as you can when performing a fair riffle shuffle, I find its pretty much an impossibility, but then again, you don't have to. Some people rush their regular shuffles and there's no harm in slowing the shuffles down a bit. Just as you adjust your regular dealing grip so it matches your false dealing grip, you can adjust your regular riffle shuffles to make you false (stacking, culling etc.) appear more natural. Keeping in mind that the key to natural often has a lot more to do with consistency and atttitude than it does with the actual method (within reason of course).

One is that I can perform the cull quickly (when I'm in stroke) without the need for accuracy.

I'm not sure what your method is, but I do something very similar.

This idea lead to a non-cull cull - where the cards were riffled, a card located and then controlled as the next card was found - WITHOUT the need to riffle off a block during the shuffle.

That's an interesting idea, I have a number of variable approaches I use on the subject, but blocking off has remained the most reliable of them.

He called in the Major D'Alby Brag Stack and it appeared in The Crimp. Jerry created a method for locating three cards of the same value during ONE shuffle. He was then able to look away for the next two shuffles (i.e. not stare at the deck) while bringing all three cards to the top.

Sounds interesting, I'll have to look into that, do you know what issue of The Crimp that was in? My typical approach to the situation has, as an alternative been, instead of locating three then not looking for the next shuffle, to cull all three, or at least two at once, thereby minimizing the number of shuffles and using the next shuffles to stack when you don't need to look.

I later published two variations on the Sadowitz shuffle in MAGIC magazine (with no illustrations to discourage the casual reader).

Do you have any source where I could find a copy of those?

In one variation you are able to locate and stack three cards for any number of hands and to any hand called for. In other words: You take a shuffled deck - shuffle once as a spectaor names any number of players. shuffle again as they decide which hand wins. Shuffle a third time and deal - trips to the chosen hand.

That in itself doesn't sound like anything terribly special, but if you can do that without looking after the first shuffle that's quite nice.

The other variation dispensed with two slip cuts from Jerry's sequence, looked much fairer and scanned the deck in sequence making it possible to find the fourth card in most cases.

Still without looking after the first shuffle?

If you look through Racherbaumer's columns in Magic you should find it easily, though I have written up a more in-depth (illustrated) manuscript that should appear online soon.

Keep us posted, I'm sure I'm not alone in my interest.

Jerry also published some interesting cull work in Thanks To Zarrow (he later had to credit Dingle for the idea as it was buried in an obscure DD book). As Jerry rightly points out, as magicians we can decide on our own conditions when performing and, using the technique explored in his Zarrow booklet, Jerry teaches how to move selected cards using the Zarrow shuffle.

I've heard good things about the Sadowitz method in Thanks to Zarrow, but I've also heard you need to know where the cards are initially which to me defeats a considerable purpose in the method, though it certainly has applications of its own. As mentioned earlier, I don't think the applications of riffle culling in magic are terribly wide which makes it more of a novelty item or demonstration item than anything. Though if you can achieve great effects with a riffle cull, more power to you. Generally, I avoid shuffling the deck myself in most situations, preferring to let the spectators shuffle it when it needs to be shuffled. I've used the Zarrow shuffle quite extensively as a means of culling, it's nice and offers a lot of benefits over regular shuffle. Of course one must acknowledge that it remains a Zarrow shuffle, which is in part a drawback, but still, very useful.

Thanks for your insights, they are greatly appreciated.
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Postby Guest » 06/17/06 04:13 PM

Originally posted by Paul Hayward:
As an addendum to my previous post, Fulves manuscript 'Riffle Shuffle Controls...Part 2 Blocking Off'...
That is indeed an interesting and large booklet on this subject. What is Part 1 of this series? Is it "Riffle Shuffle Control"? I have the following manuscripts by Fulves that is an amazing amount of material on the riffle shuffle:

Faro & Riffle Technique
Gambler's Third Lesson
Riffle Shuffle Control
Riffle Shuffle Controls - Part Two: Blocking Off
Riffle Shuffle Methods
Riffle Shuffle Set-Ups
Riffle Shuffle Technique - Part I
Riffle Shuffle Technique - Part II
Riffle Shuffle Technique - Part III
Riffle Shuffle Technique - Preliminary Notes on Part I
Riffle Shuffle Technique - Preliminary Notes on Part II
Setting Up Exercises

Are there more manuscripts by Karl Fulves devoted exclusively to this topic?

Denis
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Postby Guest » 06/17/06 04:50 PM

Originally posted by Denis Behr:
Are there more manuscripts by Karl Fulves devoted exclusively to this topic?
I found the answer to my question in the bibliography on page 205 of "Blocking Off" :-)
The answer is "yes, but not many"...
Guest
 

Postby Guest » 06/18/06 12:41 AM

Faro & Riffle Technique
Gambler's Third Lesson
Riffle Shuffle Control
Riffle Shuffle Controls - Part Two: Blocking Off
Riffle Shuffle Methods
Riffle Shuffle Set-Ups
Riffle Shuffle Technique - Part I
Riffle Shuffle Technique - Part II
Riffle Shuffle Technique - Part III
Riffle Shuffle Technique - Preliminary Notes on Part I
Riffle Shuffle Technique - Preliminary Notes on Part II
Setting Up Exercises


Thanks for the listing, would you mind listing briefly the topics covered? I seem to recall that Riffle Shuffle Technique Part 1 was devoted to the Zarrow shuffle, Part 2 was devoted to the Steven's cull, what about part 3? Also, what was the difference between Preliminary Notes volumes and the volumes themselves? What's "Gambler's Third Lesson" about? I've never heard of that one.

Is "Riffle Shuffle Controls - Part Two: Blocking Off" still the most recent of them?

I found the answer to my question in the bibliography on page 205 of "Blocking Off" :-)

Out of curiosity, what are they?
Guest
 

Postby Guest » 06/18/06 03:19 AM

Ok... I take the time to type what Fulves wrote in his bibliography.....

Fulves lists three booklets in his bibliography that are entirely on the faro shuffle and don't really fit the topic in my opinion (Faro Possibilities, Bonfeld's Faro Concepts, The Return Trip). The riffle shuffle manuscripts are in chronological order:

Faro & Riffle Technique
Faro Transforms, Gray Codes, Interlocking Stacks, Displacements, Locating the Aces, Triple Faro, Mechanical Controls, The Gray Liar, Unit Transpo, The Interrogation Technique, Block Transfer, Negative Block Transfer, Double Transfer, Stripper Controls, routines by Zavis, Walton, Neale

Riffle Shuffle Set-Ups
A riffle shuffle set-up is one which produces controlled results even though the spectator gives the deck an honest riffle shuffle. Contributors include Marlo, Gardner, Hudson, Johnsson, Walton, Schmidt, Finnell, Johnson, Sarles, Krenzel, Jordan, Thompson Jr.

Gambler's Third Lesson
Card stacking demo which gives the spectator a good hand and the dealer an even better hand.

Riffle Shuffle Technique - Preliminary Notes to Part One
contains definitions of terms, continuous push-thru, modified Zarrow Full Deck Control, Block Transfer Shuffles, shuffles problems.
Riffle Shuffle Technique - Part One
is devoted to Zarrow's Full Deck Control, with contributions from Walton, Southall, Dingle, plus the Zarrow Transfer Shuffle.
Riffle Shuffle Technique - Preliminary Notes to Part Two
contains Cop From The Shuffle, Tabled Deck Controls, a discussion of blocking off, The Fake Insertion, and Derek Dingle's Roll Over Aces.
Riffle Shuffle Technique - Part Two
is devoted to the Dad Stevens Control, with contributions from Braue, Vernon, and Jennings ('Gambler's Aces').
Riffle Shuffle Technique - Part Three
opens with Avis' notes on Daley's Strip Out Shuffle, Gardner on the Daley red/black shuffle, Bush's description of Oeink's false shuffle, Vernon's Diamond Mental, and Avis on the Zarrow shuffle. The next chapter deals with Run-Up Systems (Searle's 'Las Vegas Shuffles,' Avis on Dr. Elliott's run-ups, Harry Green's one shuffle stacking, and Walton's double ended run up). There is a chapter on the overhand shuffle systems of Jim Wheeler, Avis and Dan E. Mayers, a chapter on block transfer shuffles, and a chapter on the restacking problem.

Color Capture
A discussion of riffle shuffle set-ups, including the Diagonal Rleationship, Nexto, Memory Mix, Chain of Events, Smart Modern, Shuffle DIagrams, Scribble Shuffles, Reverse Riffle Shuffles.

Riffle Shuffle Methods
Scarne's Shuffle Control, Any Named Ace, Tropp's Cop, False Shuffles (Erdnase, Hilliard, Larsen & Wright, Victor, Sarles), shuffle tricks.

Block Transfer Mathematics
Advertised but never released. An extract formed the chapter on the restacking problem in Riffle Shuffle Technique III.

Riffle Shuffle Control
Nearly self-working control that starts with two halves of the deck riffled together but not squared. Text includes Double Selection, Riffle Placement, Mathematical Triumph, Perfect Speller, with contributions from Robertson, Swinford, Rosenthal and Tropp.

Shuffle Off
Commentary on some of Marlo's claims re the so-called Shank Shuffle.

Riffle Shuffle Controls - Part One
is entitled Setting Up Exercises; a treatise on run-up systems, and includes chapters on Hold Backs, The Even Riffle, Drop Offs, Pre-Established Breaks, Shuffle Controls (Zarrow Faro Shuffle, Perfect Riffle Shuffle, Speed Shuffling) and a chapter on advanced shuffle work.
Riffle Shuffle Controls - Part Two
deals with blocking off and includes chapters on The Riffle Glimpse, Blocking Off Defined, More Block Controls, Card Effects, Cull/Stock Shuffles, No Breaks/ No Looking, Cut Controls and Gambling, Numerous routines by Scarne.


Puuh... That's is.
Concerning your question on the difference between the Preliminary Notes and the actual parts: The first two parts are a few pages in the design of a single issue of Epilogue but the preliminary notes and part three are thicker booklets and stand on their own. The pages are numbered from the first preliminary notes to part three which ends with page 201.

Denis
Guest
 

Postby Guest » 06/18/06 11:36 AM

Thanks very much Denis, it's greatly appreciated.


Paul H

It also involves part of the pack being over the edge of the table which appears unnecessary to me. Its all very fascinating to read about however.

That actually makes sense on reflection to avoid a tip off, though I suppose it creates another and the solution isn't the only one, interesting idea though, I wish I'd thought of it.

As for culling the double duke....good heavens, I have no idea how you could possibly manage this cold from a random deck.

I don't think it's that much of a problem, it's just a question of how fast and in how many shuffles. Even Marlo had a section in the Marlo Magazine Volume 6 I believe that examined the concept, but he used a relatively high number of shuffles and didn't approach it very systematically.

Talk to you later.
Guest
 

Postby Guest » 06/18/06 12:07 PM

Originally posted by Drey:
Even Marlo had a section in the Marlo Magazine Volume 6 I believe
You can see a list with all the Marlo approaches from the Magazines 5 and 6 (as well as a few other sources) in the Riffle Culling - section of my archive.

Denis
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