handing deck to spectator when selected card is known

All beginners in magic should address their questions here.

Postby Guest » 01/04/07 10:10 PM

Ok- I posted this in Close-Up but got zero responses, so maybe it's such a rookie, bonehead question that I'd better float it somewhere else...I hope this is the right venue...

Anyway,I see in most books that it is considered a bad idea to give the deck to a spectator for shuffling or replacement after they have selected a card which is known to you (through force, memdeck, etc.) Is this always the case? Why have I heard it expressed that it is "insulting the intelligence" of the audience? I get the general drift, but I'm interested in what others think...

Postby Guest » 01/04/07 11:11 PM

Well, for one thing, it sets a dangerous precedent. Let's say that you have one routine that permits you to let the audience member hold the cards, but you have three where they can't. The question in their mind may be, "Why didn't he let me hold the cards for those other three tricks?"

Also, if you don't have anything to do while they are fondling your cards, it brings your performance to a screeching halt.

Then there is the damage factor. If you are working at a restaurant, how long will your cards survive handling by people with food on their hands?

Postby Guest » 01/05/07 03:11 AM

In his version of Matt Schulien's Card under the Tablecloth, Eugene Burger hands out the deck for shuffling - and the purpose is to provide strong misdirection.

Under normal circumstances there should be no need to hand the deck out for shuffling. If you do I recommend that it be your last card effect and the spectators should be left with the image that they shuffled the cards.

You may have a spectator burning your hands or who seems suspicious of everything you do. You can playfully hand him the deck for shuffling, remarking how suspicious he appears. Having done it once should preclude having to do it again.

One excellent piece of advice from Phil Jay, a very strong and very highly paid close-up worker is to ALWAYS force the card. That way, no matter what happens, you always have a way to finish the effect.

Postby Guest » 01/05/07 07:29 AM

I was doing a few versions of Card to Pocket and I did a version when it was really simple. THen I slowly built the test conditions to more and more impossible. At the end the spectator sees the card the go in to the middle of the deck and then it is handed to the spectator to shuffle. I use the action of handing the deck to the spectator as misdirection away from the palmed card.

Postby Guest » 01/05/07 11:32 AM

"Shuffle, shuffle, shuffle!"

---Juan Tamariz

Postby Guest » 01/05/07 12:20 PM

I always let them shuffle if they ask but my first few effects, I intentionnaly ask THEM if they want to shuffle, this way, they are satisfied and they know it's a normal deck without me saying so.
sometimes, some of them even turn the deck end for end just to make sure IT IS normal
If they are satisfied with the deck at the beginning, then, when you do tricks that can't be shuffled, they don't ask for it...they shuffled it earlier.

Postby Grant McSorley » 01/05/07 12:41 PM

In the Greater Artful Dodges of Eddie Fields, Mike Rogers describes how Eddie used to have people shuffle the deck so many times that they either got sick of it, or were sure that there couldn't be a setup. At that point they wouldn't ask to shuffle and would even refuse to if offered. This was mainly during sessions though; the strategy might not work as well on a suspicious audience.

Grant McSorley
Posts: 129
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Montreal

Postby Guest » 01/07/07 08:25 PM

...Eddie used to have people shuffle the deck so many times that they either got sick of it...
I think that it is important to remember that the spectators are getting sick of it because watching people shuffle cards is boring. It really doesn't matter whether it is a spectator or a performer shuffling, it lacks entertainment value. I think shuffling to lose a card should be used sparingly.

Postby Guest » 01/08/07 04:50 AM

I do a couple of effects where the spectator needs to shuffle the cards. If i did it, the strength of the effect would be totaly lost.

I agree with Quentin that the best thing is, wait till the last effect, however, Its also worth doing it first, then ringing in a stacked deck, for the rest of the routine.

Postby Guest » 01/08/07 10:55 AM

Many of you seem to be answering the wrong question. The question is not "Should you let the spectator shuffle?" The question is why
it is considered a bad idea to give the deck to a spectator for shuffling or replacement after they have selected a card which is known to you (through force, memdeck, etc.)
That is, why is it wrong, after a successful force, to just hand them the deck and let them replace it themselves?

And the answer is that leaves the true explanation, that you already know the name of the card, as the only possible explanation.

Roberto Giobbi says in Card College One that
"One tendency that is particularly widespread is to hand the deck to the spectator immediately after the force, saying in a triumphant tone. 'Fine. Now replace the card anywhere in the deck and shuffle it yourself. ' This would make even the dimmest spectator suspicious."
Giobbi suggests that if you take the card back, do a brief overhand shuffle yourself, and then hand them the deck to do a spectator shuffle, that takes the curse off it.

Return to General