Tonzi Scheme

Discuss your favorite close-up tricks and methods.

Postby Bob Farmer » 01/02/13 09:46 AM

I just posted my first Youboob video. It's a new version of Ton Oonosaka's, "Tonte Jr."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A_i95t1R7b8
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Postby JHostler » 01/02/13 10:23 AM

Bob - I love 98.63% of your stuff, but can't see past the discrepancy in everything leading up to the kicker (which, in itself, is terrific). Post-scripting presumably convinces onlookers that four Jacks and a Ten (rather than the reverse) are initially laid out... not sure I'd ever get away with that. More power to ya! [Pls disregard if I've missed something... only one cup of coffee yet this morning...]

Critique courtesy of one who'd never reveal his ugly mug or hands on the Tube..! ;)
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Postby Bob Farmer » 01/02/13 02:21 PM

You must revel in the discrepancies and press forward confidently. The trick is really the ending, so the challenge is to continually display tens over and over, so the ending really kills. Given the set of 5 cards used, certain compromises must be accepted. It's just the way it is.

You can also do this in the hands. Show the jack, tuck it under your shirt button (or tie). Show the tens one by one, dropping each into your outer breast pocket.

Now remove the tens one by one as needed from the breast pocket and proceed.

Remember: the discrepancies are your friends, do not fear them.
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Postby Bob Farmer » 01/02/13 05:00 PM

I think the initial discrepancy and the subsequent ones are all forgotten in the continual showing of tens.

John: got your note but the Forum's message system doesn't work. Try me on Trickmail@cogeco.ca
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Postby Pete McCabe » 01/03/13 01:29 PM

Bob Farmer wrote:You must revel in the discrepancies and press forward confidently.

Keep Calm and Carry On, Wayward Son

Quite a finish -- I have no idea how that all works out even after three viewings.

Still, I wonder... Could you start out with a Flushtration (or similar) count to show four Jacks and a ten at the beginning?

I was just thinking about Vernon's advice about the copper silver trick (I think), that you start with a copper coin only and show that, put it in the spectator's hand, hold on tight, and only then do you bring out the silver. It would be great if you could show all Jacks at the beginning, lay them down on the table, and then show a ten.

Alternately I can see a story where you show five jacks, and say you're going to change them into a winning hand. So you change one card into a ten, good start, then the next one is supposed to be a queen, but comes out a ten again instead. Another ten, and another, until you have a jack and four tens. Finally you are able to create the royal flush.

This tips the ending, obviously, but it does seem like a story that would play pretty well.

And finally, I tried "Subdivisions" for the soundtrack and it works great. Just pitching.
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Postby Bob Farmer » 01/03/13 03:42 PM

Pete:

First, buy Ton Onosaka's, "Tonte Jr." -- I'm using that 5-card set of gaffs -- but in a new routine.

I DO start out with the Flushtration Count, but only for the first card -- then, because the gaffs allow it, I use what looks like a Flushtration Count but in fact is actually a real count.

I think it's more effective to go from multiple spot cards, the tens, to a royal flush, mostly court cards finish, so the challenge was to come up with ways of showing the tens over and over again.

Keep in mind that this trick proceeds with absolutely no reordering of the packet and it then resets automatically. With five cards there are 5X4X3X2X1=120 different starting positions. The possibilities then get crazier as each phase proceeds -- so figuring out how to create the flow of the trick took quite a bit of time.

When you add patter and audience interaction this trick is a killer. Presented here, it's all visual with some annoying music -- but in the real world it goes great. I use a patter story about what blackjack dealers do after their shift is over -- they play blackjack monte.

I'll try it with "Subdivisions," but I think it will work better with "The Pass" (from the Presto album).
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Postby Ted M » 01/03/13 03:47 PM

I'm an enthusiastic Bob Farmer fan too, but I too find this one confusing. Here's some analysis, to aid with the debugging:

How I experienced this effect:

0-0:12 Very strong establishing display of Jack at right, four Tens on the table at left.

Jack in hand, a Ten is picked up from the table. After a flip, magic happens: the Jack disappears. Now a new Ten is picked up from the table, and the Jack casually reappears, without any cues that magic has happened. This leaves me confused. Pick up a new Ten from the table and repeat. More confusion.

Since cues do not credit the Jack with vanishing and appearing, I downgrade its actions and credit it merely with hiding from my view. This sense of hiding is reinforced by all the handling and limited displays.

0:58 Queen appears on the table. Magic moment. Four Tens strongly shown in the hand. Another strong establishing display. This is our new certain state. 5 cards: Queen and four Tens.

1:08 Cards are fanned -- but only 3 cards are fanned. Queen is missing. Where is the Queen? Must be one of the 2 cards hidden from my view, like the Jack was so often before. Oh, the Jack is back? I barely noticed; my focus was on the Queen. Not a big deal; the Jack likes to hide and the Queen probably took its hiding spot. Plus since only 3 of 5 cards are fanned, this telegraphs that something else is hiding along with my Queen.

1:15 Royal flush strongly displayed. Magic moment. My Queen came back with a something new from the hidey hole (King) as the two cards missing from the 1:08 display conditioned me to expect, but also with a surprising additional new friend (Ace). Strong display, satisfying sense of closure from a complete collection (royal flush) having been achieved.

1:28 Final display. Only 4 cards -- one has gone hiding again and reminds me again of all that prior hiding. Also the Royal Flush is now broken. Sense of closure is cracked.

Maybe it's a vastly different experience with words to shape the perceived action, but as a silent effect those are definitely perceived as four Tens on the table and there's a strong feeling (for me, anyway) of repeated hiding.
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Postby PapaG » 01/03/13 03:54 PM

I think it's effective and people are over thinking it. I'm sure it all flies past laymen.
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Postby Pete McCabe » 01/03/13 05:50 PM

I am sure the discrepancies fly past laymen. What I'm worried about is whether the effect wouldn't fly past as well. In a silent mode the beginning series of changes didn't quite register with me. (Of course, this is not meant to be a silently performed trickBob's video is just a demo for us.)

I'm sure a script could provide a coherent narrative; for example, during the first series of changes you could claim that the Jack traded places with one of the tens on the table. That would work and is consistent with the Blackjack Monte theme.

But I have to admit I like the idea of showing five identical cards and trying to change them one at a time into a royal flush, and having something go wrong, turning them all into the same card, before the climax.


Bob: Usually I rework tricks to eliminate The Pass.
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Postby Bob Farmer » 01/03/13 07:13 PM

Ted's analysis is excellent and I thank him for the time he took to put that together. When viewed strictly visually, the trick's impact is diminished because there is no coherent theme -- the audience needs a theme to give meaning to what they see (it would be the same if I waved my hand and the cards turned into a glass of water and then into a turtle -- magical, yes, meaningful, no).

And I agree, stripped down to its visual elements there is a sense of things being hidden (hey, there's three gaffed cards!). My intention in posting the video was just to allow those who already had the original trick, to see another routine.

Here's the basic patter outline. Remember the audience will only really be interested in the jack and the jack's transpositions become increasingly more impossible. The trick also proceeds slower than the video.

Did you ever wonder what blackjack dealers do after they finish their shift? A lot of them play a game you can't win called "Blackjack Monte" with some cards they've scammed from a blackjack deck -- that's why I've got duplicates.

[UNDER WHICH deal the four tens to the table face down and the jack face up.]

Let's play. Keep your eye on the jack. I'll make it easier and turn it face down. Now most people, even blackjack dealers, would bet the jack is in my hands -- but they'd lose -- it's on the table.

[UNDER WHICH the jack is flipped face down, there's a pause for more patter, then it is flipped face up to reveal a ten. A card is picked up from the table and revealed to be the jack.]

Let's try that again, but a little differently. I'll do this slow. Now most people, even a blackjack dealer would bet the jack is on top. Let's see -- it's not on the bottom, it's not in the middle and it's not on top -- it's on the table.

[UNDER WHICH the jack is placed on top of a three-card packet. The packet is turned face up to reveal three tens and the a card on the table is revealed to be the jack.

At this point having lost money, an honest man, even a blackjack dealer, would insist that the jack be kept in view at all times. Of course, this can be done: I'll leave it face up. Can anything be fairer?

[UNDER WHICH the jack is placed face up among three face-down tens.]

Apparently not: it's not here. It's ON THE TABLE!

[UNDER WHICH the four cards in the hands are shown as four tens and the card on the table is shown as the jack.]

Okay -- I know what you're thinking -- if the jack is ALWAYS the card on the table, why not simply bet it's the card on the table. Even for a blackjack dealer, that's a good strategy.

[UNDER WHICH the jack is dealt face down to the table and the four tens remain in the hands.]

But it's a loser too!

[UNDER WHICH the card on the table is revealed to be a Queen, not a jack.]

In the words of Groucho Marx, "Are you going to believe me or your eyes?" That's not a queen. If you look at it closely after I squeeze it between these two cards -- it's actually a jack -- so you would have won -- it WAS the card on the table -- it just looked different.

[UNDER WHICH the queen turns back into the jack.]

So that's the game you can't win played by blackjack dealers after their shift. Now poker dealers play a completely different game after their shift -- it's called "Who's Got The Best Hand," and it's another game you can't win because -- well, this is a royal flush.

[UNDER WHICH the royal flush is revealed. As the surprise fades, the cards are reset as the fronts and backs are shown -- this is not a up front display, just a simple and casual squaring od=f the packet.]

Let me show you the game strippers play after their shift -- I've got it here somewhere.

[UNDER WHICH you pocket the packet and take out a deck of cards for your next trick.]
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Postby JHostler » 01/03/13 07:27 PM

To illustrate how befuddling the thing was sans narrative: I interpreted it as a wild card routine wherein the audience was expected to misremember the row of 10's as Jacks(!)
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Postby Ted M » 01/03/13 08:37 PM

Yep, that's a much improved, more meaningfully shaped experience with the script. And yes, the Jack turns out to be hiding -- but it magically jumps to hide on the table. It all makes a lot more sense now.

Ah, the magic of a script!

I happily remain a fan.
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Postby Bob Farmer » 01/03/13 08:49 PM

You guys just liked the stripper reference.
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