Faro Shuffle detail

Discuss your favorite close-up tricks and methods.

Postby Guest » 12/07/04 09:49 PM

I was personally told by Dean Dill that, while your technique for doing a faro shuffle is important, the particular deck you use is also important. I think he meant the manufacturer of the deck one used, but I was curious about other people's further thoughts on this.

Anyone have a comment on this topic?
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Postby Bill Wheeler » 12/07/04 10:10 PM

Just my two cents...

I think it depends more on the condition of the deck itself. Some Bicycle decks (for instance) won't faro well even when they come right out of the box, and others will faro perfectly with no effort. Many require a little "conditioning" with repeated faros before they become easier.

There is some variation in brands too, I like the quality and feel of Tally-Ho's and Aristocrats (though the Aristocrats are much harder to find).
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Postby Brian Morton » 12/07/04 10:31 PM

I use Bikes exclusively, more or less (Bees for gambling) and I get the boxes of 12 that they sell at Costco. I've gotten some wildly different decks when it comes to quality -- on the whole, I'd say that about 65-70 percent are fine, with the remaining 30 percent anywhere from semi-useable to totally unfaroable.

Right now I've got this freaky box of Bikes where all the blue decks are perfect, and all the red decks are completely worthless when it comes to trying to faro.

It's just strange.

brian :cool:
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Postby Ian Kendall » 12/08/04 02:16 AM

Not wanting to stir the pot, but I've never experienced this. I can't remember having a deck that I could not faro (although it would be arrogant to suggest that has _never_ happened, I honestly can't remember). I've got one deck sitting on my desk at home that is six years old, and faros perfectly.

I beleive that it is a question of technique (unfortunately). My one bit of advice (for what it's worth) is once you have the ability to faro a good condition deck, get hold of the oldest, tattiest, most warped deck you have and faro that. It will be like learning again, but once you have that down you will never have an unfaroable (it's a word) deck again.

Take care, Ian
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Postby Jeff Eline » 12/08/04 06:56 AM

I would love to see someone faro a brand of cards that I bought at Costco (or Sam's or BJ's, I can't remember) called Vegas cards. They're like little shingles. Great for scaling, impossible (to me) to faro.
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Postby Ian Kendall » 12/08/04 07:08 AM

Send them over :)

Take care, Ian
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Postby Grant McSorley » 12/08/04 02:12 PM

Steven Youell's Scruffy CD has details on how to prepare a deck so that faroing is easier. In the end, the sides feel like glass, and it lasts.

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Postby Rafael Benatar » 12/08/04 05:29 PM

Some decks, depending the way the cards are cut, faro better from the top down. This is true, at least for me, of the Spanish Fournier decks, but also occasionally of some American decks. So I have learned to do the faro both ways and it hasn't been extra work, but the opposite, since it makes life a little easier.

Since most good decks would take it either way, this has proved of great convenience for those cases when only a partially perfect faro is required, so I can stat at the convenient end.

Regarding the Costco Bikes, I once got a box or two and the cards seemed to have been cut with an axe... and by somebody with bad eyesight, let alone accurate measurements. I think those are untold seconds, but OK for practicing your favorite torn & restored card routine.

As to the colors, Brian, it depends on the particular run of cards. If you buy again at the same place a year later, you may like the red-backed better. The only fact we can be sure of is that the red and the blue belong to different runs.
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Postby Pepka » 12/08/04 08:53 PM

Stud cards, available from Walgreens exclusively almost faro themselves. I use these cards for faro dependent tricks, when it must be perfect; like unshuffled. However, these cards are thinner than bikes and other brands, and warp VERY easily, and doubles often look like crap. Steamboats also faro well.
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Postby Don » 12/08/04 11:03 PM

not trying to sound arrogant or conceited, i truly believe it depends on pure practice to get a perfect faro any time you want with any deck in somewhat decent condition. Just practice and you will get it each and every time.
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Postby Dave Shepherd » 12/09/04 03:51 AM

Originally posted by pepka:
Stud cards, available from Walgreens exclusively almost faro themselves.
Acckk! I just went on the Walgreen's website, and all they offer are Pinochle decks and Jumbo Index decks of Studs.

Where are the regular poker cards???! :eek:
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Postby Glenn Farrington » 12/09/04 10:05 AM

I guess you have to go to the store directly to get them. They always have them in the neighborhood I live in...cheap too. The Studs handle great and its the only deck my wife and her friends complimented on how pretty the design was...(whatever...peek at a card). I love playing with the studs but the only problem is when you pick up your bikes, they feel like handling bricks.
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Postby Jim Morton » 12/09/04 10:32 AM

While I am skeptical of the Ian's claim that he's never met a deck he can't faro, I do agree with his approach. When you practice faroing old ratty decks, it makes newer decks seem like nothing. Some decks are naturally good for faroing. The aforementioned Studs, Bees, and the new World Poker Tour cards (essentially Bees) are all extremely easy to faro--too easy for practice purposes, IMO, but great for performances. Youell's technique to condition decks for faroing is essentially the same as Alex Elmsley's. The worst decks to do anything with are the ones they sell at the dollar stores. Yech!

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Postby Dave Shepherd » 12/09/04 10:35 AM

My problem is that I live in the mid-Atlantic, where there are no Walgreen's (at least not in the greater Washington, DC area).

In the 1980s I lived in Nashville, TN, where Walgreens was the dominant drugstore chain.

I agree with you, Glenn: I absolutely love the way the Studs handle. And when I was using them for awhile in performance, I always pointed to the Walgreens identification on the box, which I tried to use to counteract any suspicion of "funny" cards. If they're from Walgreen's, they've got to be everyday, normal cards.
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Postby Ian Kendall » 12/09/04 11:03 AM

It does sound like an arrogant claim, doesn't it?

But in defence, I wanted to make the point that it is technique that defines faroability (that's a word, too) and not the cards themselves. One could make the analogy to workmen and tools here, but I'm not going down that road.

I use mainly USPC Co cards (bikes, bees, steamboats etc) and occasionally Waddington's and Piatniks. Certainly in the last ten to fifteen years (my 'hardcore' magic days) the first thing I do whenever I see a deck (any deck) is to faro it, and if I fail first time, I keep going until I can. I will admit, however, that if you gave me some miniature paper cards from a Crimbo cracker I imagine I would miss...

I have a teaching video of my method on my website - it's a top down full edge move with a couple of in built aids for the weave, but it has always worked for me :)

Take care, Ian
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Postby timbrown » 12/09/04 11:06 AM

Ah yes..the Faro shuffle. I first learned it while in the Air Force. I had a lot of "hurry up and wait" time and had recently purchased Harry Lorayne's "Close-Up Card Magic". After hundreds of hours I finally felt that satisfying snap as the cards instantly meshed.

Deck condition certainly varies but most decks can be made to Faro with reliability. Alex Elmsley (no stranger to Faro effects) details how he conditions the deck with an emory board in "The Collected Works of Alex Elmsley". I highly recommend these two books and especially enjoy the detailed section regarding the Faro shuffle. He basically recommend that you carefully bevel the meshing ends and lightly "sand" them with the emory board. This technique has made some pretty difficult decks workable for me although I still treasure those rare decks that are cooperative from the start.

I use the Faro in a number of ways. A preset deck when suffled a few times can result in a set-up for "Out of This World" and I sometimes will use it in this way.

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Postby Guest » 12/09/04 11:37 AM

Originally posted by Tim Brown:
Alex Elmsley (no stranger to Faro effects) details how he conditions the deck with an emory board in "The Collected Works of Alex Elmsley".
I've actually got a video out that details
a vastly superior method to Elmsley's work
on this. It's detailed on the Scruffy CD.

Bob Farmer has said (on this board) that this
technique alone is worth the price ($15) of the
CD. Here's the link:

www.cardguy.com/products.htm

The method referred to is on "The Ultimate
Key Card".

Steven Youell
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Postby mago » 12/09/04 12:29 PM

A magic dealer who is a close friend of mine, turned me on to "Texan" playing cards.
International Playing Card Company, Windsor Ontario, Canada.

Palmetto back.

They are just like smooth glass and will faro each and every time Without having any preperation..

Wow!

I can't thank him enough.

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Postby Adrian Kuiper » 12/09/04 01:45 PM

Tom...
I had heard of those cards and researched a bit about where to get them. I've been unsuccessful. Do you have a source?

Thanks...
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Postby mago » 12/09/04 02:29 PM

Hi Adrian,

The dealer that gave me these cards is Tom Frank.

I think that he is in Seatle now.

I believe that you could do a search via the web and find them.

Good luck.

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Postby Adrian Kuiper » 12/09/04 02:58 PM

Hi Tom....

You would think that a search would turn up a site where I could buy them. Nope. Get a lot of "references" to the cards, but not one site where they're available for purchase.

If you have any more detailed info, I'd appreciate it.

Thanks...
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Postby mago » 12/09/04 04:01 PM

Adrian,

I just did a search for playing cards and came up with the web site.....

www.kardwell.com

They have a listing of a Lot of cards.
Look under "Texan".

Hope this helps.

Onward and upward.

Tom Wolf
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Postby Guest » 12/09/04 05:40 PM

The bridge in the cards also affect how easy it is to faro a deck of cards.

If the deck is bridged lengthwise with the longer sides bent upwards, then, for me, it's almost impossible to faro from the top down...in which case, faroing from the bottom up is easier.
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Postby mago » 12/10/04 09:18 AM

Hi Adrian,

Was the link on Texas cards helpful to you?

If not, please let me know and I will try other sources.

Tom Wolf
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Postby Adrian Kuiper » 12/10/04 02:53 PM

Hi Tom...

I had seen the Kardwell link, but they're selling the "2 star" back as opposed to the Palmetto back. I bought a couple decks of the "2-stars" from eBay. I'd still like to get a couple decks of the Palmetto back. Maybe they ARE out of "print"?

Thanks...Adrian
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Postby Guest » 12/10/04 07:06 PM

I've seen packs for sale here in Toronto, and young man I know bought a bunch of them in Ottawa, so you might try asking the Canadian branch of USPC:

International Playing Card Co.
140 Renfrew Drive, Suite 204
Markham,ON
L3R 6B3
Tel: 905-477-2273
Fax: 905-477-3096
Email: ipcc@pathcom.com
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Postby Scott Fridinger » 12/10/04 10:38 PM

I buy bikes at Costco, never had a problem, but I have only bought about 200 Decks.
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