Jiggery Pokery by Biagio Fasano & Michael Daniels

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Postby Tom Frame » 02/08/13 07:06 PM

Jiggery Pokery (Ebook) by Biagio Fasano & Michael Daniels $15.00
28 pages, 17 illustrations and tables
Available at: www.mindmagician.org


Im such a rabid fan of card magic based on Texas Hold Em poker that I wrote a book about it. So naturally, I was quite eager to sink my teeth into this ebook.

Mr. Fasano and Mr. Daniels tell us that Jiggery Pokery was inspired by Ben Harriss Psi Poker. Like Mr. Harriss effect, it employs a well known method that was described by William Coffrin, in his more familiar guise, circa 1898.

The authors write well and do a fine job of teaching the material. The accompanying illustrations and tables are well rendered and helpful.


Prediction Routine: In a Texas Hold Em demonstration, the performer is seated at the table with participants sitting to his right and his left. He tables three predictions, numbered #1, #2 and #3. He shuffles the deck and the participant to his right, the dealer, cuts it.

She deals two face-down hole cards to the performer, the other participant and herself. She burns a card and deals the flop. She burns a card and deals the turn. She burns a card and deals the river.

The participants turn their hole cards face-up for the showdown. They have lousy hands. A participant opens prediction #1 and reads it aloud. The performer predicted that the participants would have worthless hands and that he would win with a pair. He turns his hole cards face-up and reveals that he has a pair.

The dealer button moves to the performer and two more participants join the game. The performer gathers up the dealt cards, turns them face-down, squares them against the top of the deck and then tables them off to the side. He shuffles the deck and the participant to his left cuts it. He completes the cut.

Sometimes, before dealing this round, the performer burns a card. Next, instead of dealing the hole cards one at a time, he deals pairs of hole cards to the participants and himself. He burns a card and deals the flop. He burns a card and deals the turn. He burns a card and deals the river.

The participants turn their hole cards face-up for the showdown. One participant has a rotten hand and three other participants have a pair. A participant opens prediction #2 and reads it aloud. The performer predicted who would have the rotten hand, who would have the pair and that he would win with a straight. He turns his hole cards face-up and reveals that he has a straight.

The dealer button moves to the participant sitting to the performers left. She takes the remainder of the deck. The performer gathers up the dealt cards, turns them face-down and places them on top of the discards.

Sometimes, before the participant deals this round, she burns a card. She deals two hole cards, one at a time, to the other participants, the performer and herself. She burns a card and deals the flop. She burns a card and deals the turn. She burns a card and deals the river.

The participants turn their hole cards face-up for the showdown. One participant has a rotten hand and three other participants have a pair. A participant opens prediction #3 and reads it aloud. The performer predicted who would have the rotten hand, who would have the pair and that he would win with a straight. He turns his hole cards face-up and reveals that he has a straight.


Clairvoyance Routine: The performer is seated at the table with participants sitting to his right and his left. He shuffles the deck and hands it to the participant on his right, the dealer. The other participant blindfolds the performer. The dealer cuts the deck.

She deals two face-down hole cards to the performer, the other participant and herself. She burns a card and deals the flop. She burns a card and deals the turn. She burns a card and deals the river.

The participants turn their hole cards and the performers hole cards face-up for the showdown. The performer correctly divines that the participants have lousy hands and that he wins with a pair.

He removes the blindfold and looks at the hands to verify his success. He gathers up the dealt cards, turns them face-down and tables them off to the side.

The dealer button moves to the performer and two more participants join the demonstration. The performer puts the blindfold back on, takes the deck and shuffles and cuts it.

Sometimes, before dealing this round, the performer burns a card. He then deals pairs of hole cards to the participants and himself. He burns a card and deals the flop. He burns a card and deals the turn. He burns a card and deals the river.

The participants turn their hole cards and the performers hole cards face-up for the showdown. The performer correctly divines that the participants are holding a pair of Jacks, a pair of Fours, a pair of Tens and a lousy hand. He also states that he won the round with a Queen high straight that he completed by catching a Ten on the river.

The participants collect the dealt cards and add them to the discard pile. The dealer button moves to the participant sitting to the performers left and she takes the remainder of the deck.

Sometimes, before dealing this round, the participant burns a card. She deals two hole cards, one at a time, to the other participants, the performer and herself. She burns a card and deals the flop. She burns a card and deals the turn. She burns a card and deals the river.

The participants turn their hole cards and the performers hole cards face-up for the showdown. The performer correctly divines that the participants have a pair of Kings, a pair of Aces, a worthless hand, and a pair of Sevens. He also states that he won the round with an Ace high straight that he filled by catching a King on the river.


I have two problems with this ebook, one with the routines and one with the marketing. In their advertising hype for Jiggery Pokery, the authors make these two claims:

Completely self-working and 100% successful. No sleights or skill needed.

Clean and completely logical procedure that follows the standard rules of Texas hold 'em.

At best, these statements are misleading. Some may even deem them false advertising.

In the fourth paragraph of my description of the prediction routine, I allude to two actions that must be covertly executed. Neither of these actions is self-working and they both require some small measure of skill to execute without detection.

In the second phase of both routines, Texas Hold Em protocol is violated by dealing a pair of hole cards instead of dealing single cards. The performer even says, Of course I shouldnt really deal pairs of cards like this, but it saves time.

Saves time!? He's not concerned about saving time during the first phase and he's not concerned about saving time during the third phase. Did he suddenly fear that he was going to be late for his monthly colonoscopy, and then remember that it was next week? What gives?

In the second and third phases of both routines, protocol is violated by dealing a burn card before the hole cards are dealt. Three cards are burned in Hold Em, not four.

Hold Em players will pounce on you for these rule violations. They will correctly conclude that youre breaking the rules because the method, whatever it might be, demands it. With that realization, they will have no further interest in your performance or the outcome.

Should you choose to perform these routines as written, I strongly advise you to perform them only for people who have heard of Texas Hold Em, but dont know the rules.

Each phase of the routines can be performed separately or any two phases can be combined. For those of us who enjoy performing for knowledgeable Hold Em players, those heinous rule violations must be eliminated by scrapping the second and third phase of both routines.

So that leaves us with a prediction effect and a clairvoyance effect that are, well, just okay. Perhaps as a consequence of being intimately acquainted with dozens of good to excellent Hold Em effects, Im being too critical or persnickety, but thats how I feel.

If you dont share my objections, then you might want to post your big blind by buying Jiggery Pokery. Despite really wanting to like this material, I have to fold.


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Postby Michael Daniels » 02/09/13 10:04 AM

I always appreciate the thoroughness, attention to detail, and candour of Tom Frame's reviews. His description of the Jiggery Pokery routines is clear and accurate, although I should perhaps emphasise that, in the clairvoyance routine, the showdown outcomes vary - the hands do not always have the values mentioned in the review.

Importantly, Mr Frame takes issue with two claims made in the advertising copy:

Completely self-working and 100% successful. No sleights or skill needed.

Clean and completely logical procedure that follows the standard rules of Texas hold 'em.

He considers these claims "At best ... misleading. Some may even deem them false advertising." These are serious accusations that, since they call into question our integrity as authors, demand a response.

Taking the first claim. In my view, the Jiggery Pokery routines are completely self-working in the widely accepted sense that, provided the procedural steps are carried out as described, the effect will be 100% successful, without the need for any sleight of hand or other skill or subterfuge. Mr Frame is correct that, in the transition from Phase 1 to Phase 2, we describe a simple undetectable sleight to ensure that the set up for Phase 2 is correct. But we also explain how this sleight can be avoided. As is the case with the vast majority of "self-working" card tricks, especially those that depend on a prearrangement of the deck, the impact and deceptiveness of the procedure can be greatly enhanced by the addition of some simple sleights such as a false shuffle or cut, and we do include suggestions for this. But the Jiggery Pokery routines can be carried out without the need for any such sleights.

I have some sympathy with Mr Frame's second criticism - of our claim that the routine "follows the standard rules of Texas hold 'em". It is true that the Phase 2 procedure (but NOT Phase 1 or Phase 3) requires the hole cards to be dealt in pairs, rather than singly, and that this violates the strict dealing rules of Texas hold 'em. In the clairvoyance routine (where the performer deals blindfold) this can be more effectively justified - not simply on the grounds of saving time. But my own preference in circumstances when this may be felt to be a problem (e.g., when the spectators are seasoned poker players) is to skip Phase 2 entirely and go straight from Phase 1 to Phase 3. It is also true that, on some (less than 25%) of occasions, an extra card needs to be burned prior to dealing the hole cards for Phase 2 or Phase 3 (but NOT Phase 1). Again, if this is felt to be a problem, the simplest solution in this minority of situations is not to proceed with the second or third Phases.

Personally, I do not consider our claim that the routine "follows the standard rules of Texas hold 'em" to be misleading, and certainly we never intended this to be false advertising. If the consensus of peer opinion decides otherwise, however, we will be happy to amend this wording.

I'd like to thank Tom Frame for the time and very careful consideration that he has given Jiggery Pokery. I look forward to further feedback and, in the meantime, hope that this response helps to clarify matters for those who may be considering purchasing the ebook.

Michael Daniels
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