Help with the Faro Shuffle

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Postby Guest » 03/06/03 10:20 AM

After reading Ortiz's "Scams and Fantasies", I realize that I just HAVE TO learn how to do a Faro Shuffle. The only book I have that talks about it (briefly) is Lorayne's "Close-Up Card Magic", but that just doesn't do it for me.

What recommendations does anyone have for a book (or, as a second choice, a video)that teaches the Faro Shuffle in a really helpful way?

Any help would be appreciated -- thanks!
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Postby Brian Morton » 03/06/03 11:25 AM

Chaucer,

(Loved you in "A Knight's Tale, btw...)

I learned the faro from Card College 3. I have to say, it's a long process, but just use those moments when you have lots of time on your hands (plane flights, waiting in line at the bank or DMV, you get the idea) to practice over and over.

The two hardest parts are eyeballing a perfect 26-26 split in the cards, and then getting the weave going. Marlo's monograph on the Faro is also probably the other best thing you can read to help with the faro. "Using the pinky as a table" is a great concept (even though I don't do it, because of this weird semi-left-handedness thing I've got going).

I started working on it years ago during a plane flight back from New Zealand, and unconsciously, I realized later after a lot of practice, that I could do it. It just takes time.

brian :cool:
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Postby jimmycards » 03/06/03 11:26 AM

Marlo had 2 chapters of his Revolutionary Card Technique series called, The Faro Shuffle and Faro Notes.

Mike Close has a Video/DVD out on the Faro Shuffle that is supposed to be very good. However, I do not know if it covers tabled faro's.

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Postby Guest » 03/07/03 02:17 PM

Just avoid the instructions in Hugard's Expert Card Technique. I "quickly" got the knack with reading Marlo's description in his RCT's Faro Shuffle.
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Postby Jeff Eline » 03/07/03 07:33 PM

I agree with Brian, it just takes a bunch of practice. There's a knack to providing the right amount of pressure on the packets as they come together and the right amount of pressure with your fingers at the point of insertion.

Also, I, personally, wouldn't worry about cutting 26 to begin with. The techinque is the same if you have 26/26 or 24/28. Read a good set of instructions (Marlo, Giobbi) and the sit there and do hundreds of bad faros. Next thing you know, it will be perfect!
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Postby Guest » 03/07/03 11:07 PM

If you have a teacher, mentor, or even magic shop owner that can do it well, he can show you the key points in the space of an hour, and you'll get the knack very quickly. The feel of cutting exactly 26 cards is really easier than it sounds and you can tell if you're off as you're getting ready for the actuall faro. The key points of perfect alignment of the packets, starting at the corners and holding the packets TIGHT and at the correct angle were the major points that I learned that made it much easier at the beginning. I'm a big proponent of a teacher or mentor, which can save a ton of wasted time learning a move improperly. Without a good teacher, I would have wasted many hours and probably ruined a good many decks trying to learn it by myself. Once you get the feel, it's almost automatic.

Many tricks don't require a perfect faro all the way through, and it's very easy to get the top stock perfect for many tricks, including stacking, and that that is enough in many cases. I still have to look carefully for a perfect faro, but my teacher can do it without ever looking at the deck, although he prefers to catch at least a quick glimpse to prevent any embarassing side effects if you miss a few cards.

Once you have the knack you'll wonder what all the fuss is about. But, under fire if a trick requires multiple perfect faros, then I'll usually steer clear to avoid embarassment if one or two cards end up together when I'm more nervous than in practice sessions.

Question: I always forget the difference between an in-faro and an out-faro. I assume an out faro means the top and bottom cards in the same positions, which means most of my faros are in-faro's if this is the case. Is this correct?
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Postby Eric Rose » 04/04/03 06:37 PM

Chaucer,

You may also take a look at Mr. Kaufman's Derek Dingle book for more faro info.

A couple suggestions - after practicing with a deck for a while, try another deck. You may find variations from deck to deck depending on the edge condition of the cards. Some decks seem to faro better than others. I believe Harry Lorayne referred to those type of decks as "faro trained". I use only bikes and yet sometimes get a deck that refuses to faro. I exact my revenge on the deck by using it for torn and restored cards instead.

On practicing the 26/26 cut, first set the deck up in Stay-stack order (see Phil Goldstein's RedivideR for more info). With each successive faro the 26/26 cut will be right between the only 2 mated cards in the deck. It gives you automatic feedback and automatically resets. Just don't fall into the trap of looking at the faces to make the cut - make the cut then a quick verification can save a little wasted time.

Oh yeah, get ready for your spouse to start saying things like "Would you PLEASE put down those cards?!?".
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Postby Scott Fridinger » 04/04/03 07:19 PM

The Collected Works of Alex Elmsley vol II has a whole section on the Faro. The book has many other excellent effects as well, so you get a wealth of information.

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Postby Guest » 04/22/03 09:53 AM

I have found that by using fanning powder, I can Farrow Shuffle like a pro. This doesn't make it self working, you will still need to practice with squaring the packets and applying the right pressure...but the FP makes it so much easier for me anyway.
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Postby Guest » 04/22/03 10:24 AM

As Eric Rose touched on, when you are starting out, be sure to use newer decks. I have an easier time with the faro shuffle using the new decks than older ones.

Also, try and faro the packets at the corners (less surface area) than trying to force together the entire side of the packet.
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Postby Guest » 04/23/03 01:08 AM

Originally posted by Jim Molinari:
Marlo had 2 chapters of his Revolutionary Card Technique series called, The Faro Shuffle and Faro Notes.

Mike Close has a Video/DVD out on the Faro Shuffle that is supposed to be very good. However, I do not know if it covers tabled faro's.

Jim Molinari
It is a CD for either PC/Macintosh which Mike Close sells. It contains MPEG video files and is an excellent explanation. The table Faro is not covered.
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Postby Guest » 06/01/03 02:13 AM

Question: I always forget the difference between an in-faro and an out-faro. I assume an out faro means the top and bottom cards in the same positions .... Is this correct?

Answer: correct.

I found the Marlo RCT booklet on the faro shuffle to be the best source for learning the faro. Better than Card College, Expert Card Technique, Harry Lorayne, or Richard Kaufman's Basic, Basic, Basic Card Technique video.

Forget about Expert Card Technique for learning how to faro, but ECT is an excellent source for information about the faro, such as the tables showing where each card is after a specified number of out-faros.

Marlo's pinky-as-table concept was indispensable for me. I don't leave home without it.

--Rick
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Postby Ian Kendall » 06/01/03 02:54 PM

Hello all,

This may sound wierd, but I can't remember not being able to faro. Actually, that's not entirely true; I remember being seven years old at school and laying cards down one at a time to bridge them square (which I had just discovered). This was about ten years before I started on sleight of hand stuff or had seen a magic book, but by then I could weave cards without thinking.

What is strange though is that I seem to use a completely different approach to those described above. I need to press the short ends of the packets together; if I start at the corners it all goes a bit pear shaped. I miss cards or the weave just doesn't happen.

I do agree that it is a matter of feel. I've tried to explain the mechanics to a few people over the years and it all boils down to a couple of years in front of the TV.

I never had a mentor per se, but I agree with the benefits. I spent about seven years failing to learn the one handed faro (trying to work it out myself) until Roger Curzon gave me one crucial piece of advice. I had it two days later. Thanks Roger :)

Take care, Ian

I've said it before, but I _genuinely_ hate card tricks ;)
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Postby Ian Kendall » 06/02/03 03:19 PM

Hello again,

An update; if anyone is interested I've put a video clip and a text file up showing the faro I use. They can be found at:

http://www.wing-it.demon.co.uk/moves.htm

Hope this helps,

Ian
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Postby Guest » 07/11/03 10:48 AM

If you Google 'Faro Shuffle' you won't find much of any use for a beginner (like me :( ) but you will find a number of downloadable programs that will calculate the state of the deck after each perfect IN or OUT or whatever.

As I say, not useful for me but some members might be interested. :)
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Postby Guest » 07/27/03 04:18 PM

Totally brand new decks of cards are not recommended for Faro shuffling - they need to be broken into before the weave becomes nice and smooth.

I found that an unnatural way of handling the cards when starting out with the Faro shuffle actually helped me understand how a Faro shuffle should feel. The hand positions is kind of hard to explain, but if you have the Flicking Fingers DVD, there is a picture of the position. The hands are totally symmetric with the first fingers providing the pressure on the ends. Once I had that going for a month or so, I changed handling to the more conventional Faro-in-the-hands position.

The unnatural position has worked for me in explaining how to Faro to other non-Faro-ers. And as the previous posts say, practice practice and practice! :D

hai.
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Postby Guest » 07/29/03 03:49 AM

Its very important to have both packets "squared" 100 % when yo execute an perfect faro. If the packets are a little warped then its very hard to do it perfect.
Good Luck!
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Postby Robert Allen » 07/29/03 03:06 PM

For what its worth, a friend of mine who'd never been able to do a Faro could do one after studying the Michael Close DVD. I hear it's good, though I have no firsthand knowledge (and I cannot do a Faro).
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 07/29/03 04:22 PM

There is a very good tip in The Complete Works of Derek Dingle for doing the Faro Shuffle. One of the problems in doing a Faro is that all of the weight of your shoulders and arms comes to bear on that one little point where you're touching the corners of the deck together and that makes it difficult to control.
Dingle's solution to this is simplicity itself: Assuming your left hand is palm (and it should be if you're right handed), move your left pinky onto the inner end of the deck. Now your right hand guides the outer end of its half of the deck so it also presses against your left pinky. This puts all the pressure of your shoulders and arms against your pinky. You will find that simply by pivoting the halves of the deck WHILE they rest against the pinky, that you can move the inner corners together and have much greater control in interweaving them.
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Postby Jamy Ian Swiss » 07/30/03 10:48 PM

Mike Close's faro video purely concerns in-the-hands handling. It is the next best thing to personal instruction in the move, and I highly recommend it.

Note that Mike works from the bottom up, while I prefer from the top down, which I believe I learned from the Lorayne description in Close-up Card Magic.

Mike teaches you everything you need to know, short and sweet with all the right pictures. All that's left is the practicing and frustration.
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Postby Steve V » 07/31/03 10:19 PM

I did the bottom up a long time and Paul Green converted me to top down. I messed with the Faro for years as an utter failure then one night I hit the right pressure and angles and had it.
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Postby Chris Aguilar » 07/31/03 10:41 PM

I learned the faro from the Lorayne book (CUCM) and have always struggled with it. Recently converted to doing it from the bottom up and have had much more success.
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Postby Matthew Field » 08/01/03 09:12 AM

Originally posted by Richard Kaufman:
Dingle's solution to this is simplicity itself: Assuming your left hand is palm (and it should be if you're right handed), move your left pinky onto the inner end of the deck. Now your right hand guides the outer end of its half of the deck so it also presses against your left pinky.
This is invaluable advice, I've found (and I learned the Faro from Richard).

One other tip that works for me is to have the deck bridged in a convex manner, as when you've been springing the cards between the hands. I find the Faro works more smoothly (for me)when the deck is in this condition.

Also -- some decks just don't Faro properly no matter what. I think this is bacause the edges of those decks are not smooth (probably caused by worn cutting blades when the cards are manufactured).

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Postby Richard Kaufman » 08/01/03 09:30 AM

It is generally recognized that doing the Faro from the bottom up is easier than from the top down.
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Postby Bill Duncan » 08/01/03 03:01 PM

Richard,
I found that working from the top down is much easier. I learned to faro from the Dingle book but had to adapt to "top down" to get it to work consistantly. I use the first finger of my left hand in place of the pinky.

I wonder, does my being left handed have anything to do with that? Isn't HL also a southpaw?
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Postby CardFan » 08/01/03 03:48 PM

I, too, learned the Faro from CUCM and so was doing it from top to bottom for years. I started playing with doing it bottom to top over a year ago. I switched to it permanently after one of RK's previous posts. It really is easier and more consistent.

Thanks, RK!
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Postby Paul Green » 08/01/03 04:28 PM

Originally posted by Steve V:
I did the bottom up a long time and Paul Green converted me to top down. I messed with the Faro for years as an utter failure then one night I hit the right pressure and angles and had it.
Steve V
It wasn't me! It must have been Paul Gertner, Paul Wilson, or Charles Greene.

Regards,

Paul Green :D :D :D
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Postby Steve V » 08/02/03 10:25 PM

You are right Paul, it hit me after making that post. You are still a magical stud but it was another that led me to the top down faro.
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Postby Guest » 08/12/03 05:13 AM

Allan Ackerman FARO SHUFFLE Video #6 (A-1 Multimedia)
is a very good source for Faro students.
Allan is a very good teacher, crystal clear presentation and pretty good video quality.
There are several great effects at the end of the video. Marlo's Spade Routine is a real killer. The Ten-Card Poker Stack is a very cool thing to do. Lot of fun stuff here.

Content:
In-The-Hands Faro Technique
Cutting at 26
Adjusting the Cut
Terminology: In Faros vs. Out Faros
Fine Points of the Faro Shuffle
Re-squaring the Packets
In Case of a Miss
Rock and Re-Weave
The Faro Shuffle as a Real Shuffle
Further Fine Points of the Faro Shuffle
The Fourth Finger Table
Key Cards
The Tabled Faro
The Faro Check
Stacking With the Faro Shuffle
Combining the Faro and Riffle Stack
The Ten-Card Poker Stack
The Stay Stack
Incomplete Faro Control
Incomplete Faro With a Jog
Automatic Placement Control
Si Stebbins
Any Card At Any Number
Faro Mental Displacement
Getting Packets The Same Size
The Faro Divider
The Reverse Faro
The Faro As A Cull
Eight Out Faros To Preserve Full Deck Order

Effects:
Marlo's Spade Routine
Acrobatic Aces
Ace-Ta-Mation
The Gun
Marlo's Matching Routine
Faro Mental Displacement

I bought my video from Hokus Pokus Online shop for only 25 dollar. The only bad thing its a video and not a DVD.
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Postby Guest » 08/12/03 08:44 PM

I've just started working on the Faro a couple of days ago and for that I have to thank Harry Lorayne. I recently moved to New York and I was thrilled to meet Harry in person after having greatly enjoyed his Close Up Card Magic book. He told me that I should add the Faro Shuffle to my bag of sleights because of the miracles that can be performed with it. Then he proceeded to show me how he did it. The most important part for me was seeing that he could actually do it even with a beat-up deck (well after "some" years of practice). The fact is that I don't hang around with magicians much because my profession is so demanding and that I always thought the Faro to be an almost impossible sleight to approach for the non-professional.

After convincing myself that I should give it a try I took Card College 3 out of my library and started reading. Thanks to Giobbi's (by the way I am also Swiss) awesome teaching I surprised myself in performing a 26 exact cut and a perfect Faro after trying 10 times! Does that mean I will always get it from now on? Of course not! But now I know that it can be done and the feeling is so good!
It's a beautiful sleight; when the cards start weaving as if by themselves, it feels like magic

So grab your Card College vol 3 and start practicing, it's a wonderful journey to improving your magic.
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Postby Guest » 08/20/03 09:17 AM

Originally posted by Chaucer:
After reading Ortiz's "Scams and Fantasies", I realize that I just HAVE TO learn how to do a Faro Shuffle. The only book I have that talks about it (briefly) is Lorayne's "Close-Up Card Magic", but that just doesn't do it for me.

What recommendations does anyone have for a book (or, as a second choice, a video)that teaches the Faro Shuffle in a really helpful way?

Any help would be appreciated -- thanks!
I think I have an explanation that will help you!
You can see what my faro shuffle looks like here:

www.cardguy.net

Steven Youell
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