What happenned to my reply? It just sort of vanished. I'll try again, and perhaps Richard can piece it all together:
I just wanted to drop a note to Gerald, I love the "All Backs" app. I use it in a similar way in a fairly common situation (here in Hawaii) where you are performing for people who speak an entirely different language. (usually Japanese or some dialect of Chinese) Still, certain things are universal (there seems to be an internationally accepted set of gestures for "take a card and show it around" for instance.) and very often someone will ask if he can shufle the deck, or examine the cards. I play with the situation a bit, then hand him the deck. Once's he's through, I take back the deck and go into an "inadvertent all-backs" like you described, all the while blaming him for messing up the cards. (something that's also easy to do without a single word in common)
To further avoid the point, but address an interesting sideline, Colin, don't feel too bad about the "L & L publishing" stuff. I can recall a time when my close-up act was entirely Paul Harris material! Eventually, we grow out of such things.
Not to go on too much longer, but to answer your original question--a year ago, I would have told you this: I put together two different routines that feature about eight effects in each. Both start from a shuffled deck, and each has its own little theme (one is sandwich effects, the other is "four-of-a-kind" effects)When handed a deck, I'll start either one, and if the reaction to the first bit is good, I'll do the next trick. It's "modular" so I can stop at the end of any effect, and not do the rest.
It's a very practical idea, and not having to think about what you're going to do leave you free to listen to the audience, which is much more important.