Regarding the Pass

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Conrejour
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Regarding the Pass

Postby Conrejour » January 8th, 2019, 4:53 am

While browsing through You Tube during a coffee break I was amazed to see so many young magicians seemingly obsessed with the classic pass and the many variations , it seems to me each is trying to outdo the other regarding how invisible or perfect their particular variation is .

I don’t believe the pass is necessary to do excellent card magic and for years have been using “ The simple pass “ from encyclopedia of card magic and a beauty of move that mimics a pass from Card tricks without skill I learned as a young man.


Most magicians I know do not use the pass , do fellow magicians think beginners should learn the pass and would they encourage them to do so?
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Re: Regarding the Pass

Postby Ian Kendall » January 8th, 2019, 8:39 am

The pass is a very useful sleight, but it suffers from the myth that it is hard to do. If taught correctly, it's no harder than many other moves.

Perhaps it's not for the absolute beginner, but I think it would be remiss for card magicians not to have even a basic understanding of the mechanics.

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Re: Regarding the Pass

Postby Conrejour » January 8th, 2019, 8:51 am

Ian Kendall wrote:The pass is a very useful sleight, but it suffers from the myth that it is hard to do. If taught correctly, it's no harder than many other moves.

Perhaps it's not for the absolute beginner, but I think it would be remiss for card magicians not to have even a basic understanding of the mechanics.



Hi Ian , yes I agree regarding the myth it’s hard to do , I think what’s to blame is many of the older books state that it is indeed a very difficult sleight .
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Re: Regarding the Pass

Postby erdnasephile » January 8th, 2019, 10:17 am


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Re: Regarding the Pass

Postby Conrejour » January 8th, 2019, 10:26 am

erdnasephile wrote:https://forums.geniimagazine.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=51213&hilit=The+Pass


Thank you very much for that it’s a very good piece and I couldn’t agree more regards shuffling after a pass is made as to me also it solidifies in the spectators mind everything is fair and square , surely most lay people anticipate a shuffle and cut after a card selection?

That was the very reason the “ simple pass “ sufficed for me and many others as one alternative as it lead naturally into a shuffle and cut and flowed naturally
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Re: Regarding the Pass

Postby Richard Kaufman » January 8th, 2019, 11:53 am

I can't imagine what Ian is talking about. The Classic Pass is extremely hard to do well and requires many years of practice.
An invisible or near-invisible Classic Pass is one of the most potent weapons a magician can have.

Hofzinser (aka Herrmann) style passes are relatively simple in comparison. But they, too require a lot of practice.
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Re: Regarding the Pass

Postby Ian Kendall » January 8th, 2019, 12:07 pm

And this is a conversation we've been having for years :)

I do believe that the majority of the problems with learning the pass is that most of the resources do not break the move down into its parts and build up piece by piece. If you do that, you can shave months, if not years off the learning process. Once the mechanics are understood, then the process of refinement and adaptation to your own hands begins.

The second (unmentioned at this time) point, is that any pass that is not seen is an invisible pass; therefore it's impossible to separate the mechanics of the sleight with the direction of attention and blocking that are required. So many learners are obsessed with being able to make the pass while people are staring at the deck, when the ideal is that this is the worst possible time to use the move (and yes, I know that there are some routines that require this - pass at red for example - but these are not for beginners). If they become comfortable with passing while no one is looking, their confidence will improve to a point where they can do such routines.

I have anecdotal evidence of the efficacy of this approach, but this is probably not the time or place.

I am not saying that the pass is something that can be mastered in an afternoon (obviously), but it's possible to get proficient enough for use under fire in a couple of weeks (and I stand by that. Flame on!)

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Re: Regarding the Pass

Postby Conrejour » January 8th, 2019, 12:41 pm

Ian Kendall wrote:And this is a conversation we've been having for years :)

I do believe that the majority of the problems with learning the pass is that most of the resources do not break the move down into its parts and build up piece by piece. If you do that, you can shave months, if not years off the learning process. Once the mechanics are understood, then the process of refinement and adaptation to your own hands begins.

The second (unmentioned at this time) point, is that any pass that is not seen is an invisible pass; therefore it's impossible to separate the mechanics of the sleight with the direction of attention and blocking that are required. So many learners are obsessed with being able to make the pass while people are staring at the deck, when the ideal is that this is the worst possible time to use the move (and yes, I know that there are some routines that require this - pass at red for example - but these are not for beginners). If they become comfortable with passing while no one is looking, their confidence will improve to a point where they can do such routines.

I have anecdotal evidence of the efficacy of this approach, but this is probably not the time or place.

I am not saying that the pass is something that can be mastered in an afternoon (obviously), but it's possible to get proficient enough for use under fire in a couple of weeks (and I stand by that. Flame on!)





I agree with your position that one could indeed gain proficiency in a couple of weeks hard practice , proof of the pudding can be seen on You Tube where many of the young guns do a very good pass because they have the advantage of watching some very good tutorials broken down to the necessary steps , many of the older magicians learned from books and lecture notes which are a far cry from a decent well explained video tutorial.

Also a lot of these youngsters are not told it’s a very difficult move and seem to take it and it’s learning in their stride mostly because that very difficult move idea never enters their collective heads
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Re: Regarding the Pass

Postby Anthony Vinson » January 8th, 2019, 4:18 pm

I learned the Classic Pass from The Amateur Magician's Handbook. Henry Hay, as Ian suggests, broke the move into individual components, and I learned the mechanics in no time. Getting the packets to shift smoothly took some time, I cannot recall how much, but not too long. A week? Perhaps it helped that I had no preconceived notion about how difficult the move was to learn and execute?

I use the Classic Pass, and find it necessary to practice several times weekly to keep the mechanics sharp, but cannot execute the move while my hands are being burned. Nor will I try to achieve that distinction. If I want to affect a change, I will execute a change, and not use the Pass.

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Re: Regarding the Pass

Postby Richard Kaufman » January 8th, 2019, 6:24 pm

If you cannot execute a Pass while your hands are being watched then that doesn't count.

There are all kinds of sleights that I can get away with if no one is watching my hands, but I would certainly never consider that I can "do" them, nor would I use them in public.
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Re: Regarding the Pass

Postby Anthony Vinson » January 8th, 2019, 7:31 pm

No? I know you "wrote the book" and all, but it seems to me that the purpose of the Classic Pass is to silently and invisibly shift the lower packet to the top. If I do that, then why wouldn't it count?! Color me confused. Although to be fair, it seems I myself may have been confusing by using the word watch rather than burn.

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Re: Regarding the Pass

Postby Richard Kaufman » January 8th, 2019, 10:56 pm

Yes, obviously the aim is to shift the upper half to the bottom. That's called cutting the deck.
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Re: Regarding the Pass

Postby Anthony Vinson » January 9th, 2019, 6:41 am

Condescension? Surely not. Richard, I have nothing but respect for your experience and contributions to the art. As an amateur and hobbyist, most of my knowledge comes from books, many of them penned or produced by you. My contribution to the thread was based on those sources combined with my admittedly limited experience. Thought that was the point of these discussions... engage, share, learn. As already mentioned, perhaps the problem here is a failure to properly communicate from my end. Easily remedied.

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Re: Regarding the Pass

Postby Conrejour » January 9th, 2019, 8:55 am

Anthony Vinson wrote:Condescension? Surely not. Richard, I have nothing but respect for your experience and contributions to the art. As an amateur and hobbyist, most of my knowledge comes from books, many of them penned or produced by you. My contribution to the thread was based on those sources combined with my admittedly limited experience. Thought that was the point of these discussions... engage, share, learn. As already mentioned, perhaps the problem here is a failure to properly communicate from my end. Easily remedied.

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In fairness to you Anthony the definition of the pass is .....

The Pass, also known as a Shift or a Hop, is a card sleight that permits to bring a chosen card from the middle of the pack to the top or bottom (or vise versa), usually by secretly transposing the upper and lower sections of the deck


It seems the title “The pass “ is the way of proffered way of saying ..... cutting the deck :D
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Re: Regarding the Pass

Postby Anthony Vinson » January 9th, 2019, 9:31 am

Indeed. The Tommy Tucker Pass is a clear example. Hence my comment about condescension.

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Re: Regarding the Pass

Postby Jonathan Townsend » January 9th, 2019, 10:15 am

The pass serves at least two distinct objectives. The first - as per the older books "pour faire sauter la coupe" to secretly undo a fair cut , and the second to get a card onto the top (or bottom) of the pack.
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Re: Regarding the Pass

Postby Ian Kendall » January 9th, 2019, 11:42 am

To say the pass is just like cutting the deck is like saying Concorde was just an aircraft; on a very basic level it is correct, but there is so much more to the whole.

The pass enables us to cut the deck in such a way that the action is hidden. This can either be when the deck is being scrutinised (which, as mentioned before, is not the best time), or when the deck is in the periphery of vision. In the latter case, we can use the pass to avoid any ripples in the lake that might be picked up at the edge of someone's eyesight.

The second advantage is that a pass is usually much faster than a cut (although there are several very effective slow passes).

The bottom line is that a well executed pass gives the appearance of _nothing having happened_, which - if you are a student of the book - fits nicely with the Erdnase quote about a lack of suspicion.

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Re: Regarding the Pass

Postby MagicbyAlfred » January 9th, 2019, 11:45 am

Although I try to avoid telling anyone what they "should" do (in magic or life, at large), in response to the OP's original query on this thread, I would say, yes, it is likely to prove quite useful for a beginner to learn and master the pass. The caveat I would offer (and this is just I guess my own magical philosophy) is that sleights and moves are tools. They are utilized as secret artifices to produce a magical effect.

Early on, I developed the mindset that I would learn sleights and moves as needed, i.e., only in conjunction with a trick or routine I devoutly wanted to learn and perform. I believe Vernon and others have opined that when a subtlety can get the job done or a move can be eliminated, that is desirable, and that struck a chord with me. But then my own approach to magic is as a means of entertaining, and all else is subordinated to entertaining the audience. Hence, IMHO, a self-working trick or one employing a gimmick, entertainingly presented, is superior to one that involves the most complex finger-flinging, but fails to generate laughter, interest, intrigue or fascination - or which, in some cases, is outright boring.

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Re: Regarding the Pass

Postby Conrejour » January 9th, 2019, 12:05 pm

by MagicbyAlfred » January 9th, 2019, 4:45 pm

Although I try to avoid telling anyone what they "should" do (in magic or life, at large), in response to the OP's original query on this thread, I would say, yes, it is likely to prove quite useful for a beginner to learn and master the pass. The caveat I would offer (and this is just I guess my own magical philosophy) is that sleights and moves are tools. They are utilized as secret artifices to produce a magical effect.

Early on, I developed the mindset that I would learn sleights and moves as needed, i.e., only in conjunction with a trick or routine I devoutly wanted to learn and perform. I believe Vernon and others have opined that when a subtlety can get the job done or a move can be eliminated, that is desirable, and that struck a chord with me. But then my own approach to magic is as a means of entertaining, and all else is subordinated to entertaining the audience. Hence, IMHO, a self-working trick or one employing a gimmick, entertainingly presented, is superior to one that involves the most complex finger-flinging, but fails to generate laughter, interest, intrigue or fascination - or which, in some cases, is outright boring.


Thank you for that Alfred
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Re: Regarding the Pass

Postby MagicbyAlfred » January 9th, 2019, 12:32 pm

You are most welcome, Conrejour. It is a pleasure to have a gracious person like you join the Forum, especially one who has generated a number of stimulating discussions on various aspects of magic.

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Re: Regarding the Pass

Postby Conrejour » January 9th, 2019, 1:50 pm

MagicbyAlfred wrote:You are most welcome, Conrejour. It is a pleasure to have a gracious person like you join the Forum, especially one who has generated a number of stimulating discussions on various aspects of magic.



Thank you very much Alfred I really appreciate that and I look forward to plenty of stimulating conversations in the future :D
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