The Flip Shift by John B. Born

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Postby Tom Frame » 12/26/12 05:44 PM

The Flip Shift (Booklet) by John B. Born $22.50
Softback, 5.5 x 7.5, 37 pages, 92 photographs
Available at: www.johnborn.com


Im always wary of revealing too much information in my obsessively detailed reviews. To spare myself excruciating anxiety and compulsive writing and rewriting, heres an excerpt from Mr. Borns website in which he describes The Flip Shift.

In Meant to Be, we discovered the power and versatility of executing a shift while taking the cards out of the box. This particular project shares a completely different card case shift that is extremely practical, versatile and deceptive.

So now you know.

In this booklet, Mr. Born teaches the eponymous technique and offers two effects that employ it. He also describes how to execute the Meant To Be technique with a normal deck of cards.

The author writes well and does a good job of teaching the material.

The abundant color photographs are clear, but they are small, measuring only 1.25 x 1.8. While they are helpful, bigger would have been better.

The card case must be modified. This is a simple procedure that takes only a few seconds.

A memorized deck and some covert calculation are also required.


Influenced: The performer, holding a closed card case, asks three participants to name a number between 1 and 52. He writes the numbers on a white board. One of the participants, Mary, joins him on stage. By a round of applause, the audience chooses one of the numbers, say 35. Mary circles that number.

The performer removes the face-up deck from the case and uses the case to flip the deck face-down in his hand. He sets the case aside.

He hands the deck to Mary and asks her to turn it face-up. She deals 35 cards onto the table in a pile. The top card of the pile is the Jack of Diamonds. The performer sets it aside.

Mary turns the white board around and discovers a large Jack of Diamonds taped to the back of the board.

Mary assembles the deck, turns it face-down and spreads through it. She sees blue back cards. She turns the Jack of Diamonds face-down and discovers that it has a red back. On its back is written, It was Meant to Be, Mary.


I dont like it.


A Modern ACAAN: The performer, holding a closed card case, asks a participant to name any card and any number between 1 and 52. Lets say she names the Jack of Diamonds and 24.

The performer removes the face-up deck from the case and uses the case to flip the deck face-down in his hand. He sets the case aside.

He hands the deck to the participant and asks her to turn it face-up. She deals the cards onto the table in a pile and the 24th card is the Jack of Diamonds.


I dont like it.


On an abstract level, The Flip Shift is a very creative, clever idea. But in the concrete world of performance, the technique leaves much to be desired.

First of all, you must hold the card case by its inner end in straddle grip. No lay person has ever voluntarily held a card case in straddle grip. When they see the performer use this rheumatoid arthritic grip, it must strike them as being an awkward, unnatural, suspicious way to hold a card case. Indeed it is.

Worse still, the technique is conceptually flawed and poorly designed. Remember, the audience sees the performer dump the face-up deck into his hand. He then uses the card case to turn the deck face-down in his hand. But when he hands the deck to the participant, he immediately instructs her to turn it face-up!

Suffering Sasquatch! The deck was already face-up when it came out of the card case! Why oh why did the performer turn it face-down when he knew that it needed to be face-up? Huh? Why?

If the crowd is intelligent and their vision is intact and theyre paying attention and theyre neither chemically impaired nor mentally ill, they must conclude that the performer did something sneaky, even if they dont know exactly what he did.


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Postby Richard Kaufman » 12/27/12 12:56 AM

Eric Mead and Asi Wind do a technique like this that actually looks very good. As I recall, Asi's (published a year or two ago in lecture notes) also uses a straddle grip. That didn't bother me too much. These are not the type of things which David Berglas does, but that doesn't mean they aren't viable ways to perform ACAAN.
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