Exposing the gaff during the effect

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erdnasephile
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Exposing the gaff during the effect

Postby erdnasephile » October 19th, 2014, 6:43 pm

The trick recently advertised here exposes the gaff as part of the routine.

I've never been found of the majority of routines that do this because although it makes the performer think he's clever, I've often felt that it wouldn't take much for an intelligent layperson to put 2 and 2 together.

A prime example are color changing knife routines where the climax is turning one side of the knife white and the other side black. Another is in some Sands-like rope routines where the small piece is exposed as a gag.

The only trick I can think of off the top of my head where this strategy seems to work are "The Anniversary Waltz" and it's relatives. Even there, I wonder if it's so covered by the presentation that we get away with it. (Not that you asked, but I think Shoot Ogawa's handling is the best I've seen so far).

Are there any other routines where exposing the gaff actually strengthens the routine?

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Re: Exposing the gaff during the effect

Postby Richard Kaufman » October 19th, 2014, 8:23 pm

I created a trick called "Fusion" around 1980. It fused two cards together face to face and produced a card with two backs, which could then be examined by the audience.

No laymen ever questioned that the resulting magically produced card might have been some mysterious gimmick.
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Re: Exposing the gaff during the effect

Postby MagicTed » October 19th, 2014, 10:13 pm

Two thoughts on this:

1) There is of course a genre in which a gaff is exposed in the name of "teaching a trick" and then the audience is surprised when the "real" magic happens. E.g., silk to egg - I mean, you could incorporate an egg or ball that "ingests" a silk as part of a routine and not reveal the gaff at all. Consider also some torn and restored effects, where it is revealed that there is a switch of the torn packet for the whole packet, but when the trick is redone it is shown that the torn packet has restored as well.

2) I would be interested in hearing other's opinion on the following: it has always bothered me that most tricks that use a gaff that is in appearance as part of the trick don't come with a version of the gaff that can be freely shown after the trick. Consider most paddle tricks - the version with the little black bar and the arrows is really great - but wouldn't it be even better if you could end in one position, and then swap in a substitute that has that position on both sides for handling by the spectator?

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Re: Exposing the gaff during the effect

Postby Leonard Hevia » October 20th, 2014, 1:17 am

You can obtain the innocent counterparts to the gaffed props for certain effects. Color changing knife sets will include the regular colored knives, and the Hot Rod effect is available with a bar that has the different gemstones on both sides. Obviously it will be up to the performer to figure out a way to end with the un-gaffed prop in his or her hands. The switches can be managed and justified by the routine if it is well thought out.

I'm not a fan either of leaving gaffed cards or props in the hands of people to examine and possibly think about. I know of at least 2 packet effects that end with double backed cards handed out to the audience. In one of those packet effects, you give the double backed card away as a souvenir like in "The Anniversary Waltz." I don't want to give the audience a chance to connect the dots. I also wouldn't dream of doing a copper silver transposition and handing out the gaffed coin as the final condition of the currency: "He must have used these cards to make it look like the faces turned into backs." "He must have used this double sided coin to make it look like the silver coin changed."

As Ted pointed out, the exposure of the gaffed prop is part of certain effects. In the "Silk to Egg," the fake egg is transformed into a real one. In the case of the "Color Changing Silk," the extra silk in play somehow keeps vanishing. Without the pseudo explanation of the fake egg and the extra silk, there isn't much of an effect. The pseudo explanation is required here in order to take the audience down the garden path and spring the surprise. Nevertheless, it feels out of place to me in Vernon's "Cups and Balls" routine.

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Re: Exposing the gaff during the effect

Postby erdnasephile » October 20th, 2014, 11:25 am

Leonard Hevia wrote:...Without the pseudo explanation of the fake egg and the extra silk, there isn't much of an effect. The pseudo explanation is required here in order to take the audience down the garden path and spring the surprise. Nevertheless, it feels out of place to me in Vernon's "Cups and Balls" routine.


That sequence seems to be the first thing jettisoned when people create their own variation of Vernon's routine.

I've always wondered about the thinking behind the Professor's pseudo explanation of the false transfer. Some guys (e.g., Bob White) swear by it ("That wouldn't fool any man alive..." :D ) as an essential component of the final loading sequence. I have to admit, although I'm not a huge fan of the expose, but when I watch the Professor use that exact sequence, it still fools me.

I wonder if it has to do with Vernon's presentation of repeatedly offering to explain how the trick works.

Why do you think he has it in there?

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Re: Exposing the gaff during the effect

Postby Richard Kaufman » October 20th, 2014, 11:56 am

Doesn't Vernon address the issue of the false transfer to cover the final loads on some video?

As far as my own trick, no laymen could ever connect the dots regarding a double-backed card. That's not the same thing at all as handing out a copper/silver coin, which I think is probably a bad idea.
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Re: Exposing the gaff during the effect

Postby Bob Farmer » October 20th, 2014, 12:34 pm

In my marketed packet trick, "Mutanz," the ending leaves the spectators with two double-face cards and two double-back cards. However, even though from a magician's pov these are "gaffs," in the context of the routine they are a magical result (i.e., faces and backs have transposed, so all the faces are on two cards and all the backs are on two cards.

Though the gaffs do assist in the earlier parts of the routine, they do so in concert with false counts, so there is no way of working back from just the gaffs to the secrets of the earlier effects.

In performing this routine numerous times, no spectator ever suggested the cards had something to do with the prior effects--they "accepted" the cards were the final magical effect.

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Re: Exposing the gaff during the effect

Postby Brad Jeffers » October 20th, 2014, 1:33 pm

Bob Farmer wrote:In my marketed packet trick, "Mutanz," the ending leaves the spectators with two double-face cards and two double-back cards.
In performing this routine numerous times, no spectator ever suggested the cards had something to do with the prior effects


I believe that the spectator will find the two double-face and two double-backed cards interesting, intriguing, and perhaps even astounding. Something they have never seen before and until now, never knew existed. I don't believe however, that they are going to think that you started the routine with ordinary cards, and turned them into what they now hold in their hands (even though that is the excellent effect you have created).

The gaffed cards are simply too big of a tell. They are going to know that those cards were in play all the while and were somehow used to create the effect. They won't know exactly how, and they will still appreciate the beauty of the effect, but they will realize that the double-facers and double-backers are special cards, obtained somewhere, but not magically created.

I am not a fan of exposing the gaff during the effect, or in this case having the gaff become the effect.
Last edited by Brad Jeffers on October 20th, 2014, 2:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Exposing the gaff during the effect

Postby Richard Kaufman » October 20th, 2014, 2:09 pm

My routine uses only one double-backed card. I don't think it's a tell at all--it's a magic trick. Seeing a card with two backs is no different to a layman than seeing a coin vanish. It's a trick.
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Re: Exposing the gaff during the effect

Postby Bob Farmer » October 20th, 2014, 2:57 pm

BRAD:

As I said, in "Mutanz" there is no way the gaffs can be reverse engineered to explain the effect because the effect is this: four cards (all the same) all magically turn face up then face down. They see the full faces of all cards. They will even see single cards being turned over to show a regular face and back. So, they are convinced the cards are completely ordinary in every respect. That's why the ending comes out of nowhere and supplies no information about the method.

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Re: Exposing the gaff during the effect

Postby Jonathan Townsend » October 20th, 2014, 3:15 pm

Its the fussing - reset after the trick that tends to undermine the magic.
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Re: Exposing the gaff during the effect

Postby Brad Jeffers » October 20th, 2014, 3:58 pm

Bob Farmer wrote: So, they are convinced the cards are completely ordinary in every respect.


Then they are allowed to handle them, and are now convinced that the cards are no longer ordinary.

They have been magically transformed into the gaffs.

I see.

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Re: Exposing the gaff during the effect

Postby Jonathan Townsend » October 20th, 2014, 4:11 pm

Brad - in Bob's trick they are not "gaffs" - they are the output of a magical effect - results.
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Re: Exposing the gaff during the effect

Postby Brad Jeffers » October 20th, 2014, 6:06 pm

Jonathan Townsend wrote:Brad - in Bob's trick they are not "gaffs" - they are the output of a magical effect - results.


Actually Jonathan, in Bob's trick they are gaffs. Two double-faced and two double-back cards used in conjunction with sleights to produce magical effects. The very definition of a gaff.

In order to end clean, the gaffed cards are then used overtly to produce a "magical result".

I just personally am not a fan of the use of gaffs in this way.

I think the effects that can be produced with the subtle use of a double-faced card are far preferable to its overt use as a magically transformed object of interest.

Whether or not performing an effect where you leave the spectator with a double-faced card to examine might have any negative effect on their perception of your performance of MacDonald's Aces is debatable.

I would just as soon have it that laymen were not even aware that double-faced cards exist.

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Re: Exposing the gaff during the effect

Postby Bob Farmer » October 20th, 2014, 6:15 pm

Actually, I do agree with Brad and before I tried "Mutanz" I would have agreed with him 100%. But it's the perception of the audience in this one example only that I differ.

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Re: Exposing the gaff during the effect

Postby Richard Kaufman » October 20th, 2014, 6:26 pm

Laymen don't recognize that a card with a face on both sides, or a back on both sides, is a tool that magicians use if they think the object was produced by a magical effect.
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Re: Exposing the gaff during the effect

Postby Bob Farmer » October 20th, 2014, 7:05 pm

If the guys who have posted so far Brad, Jonathan, etc., will send me their addresses I'll send them all a free Mutanz so you can decide for yourself.

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Re: Exposing the gaff during the effect

Postby Brad Henderson » October 20th, 2014, 8:53 pm

Magic results not from the manipulation of objects but from the manipulation of people's perceptions. The magician does this by leading the audience to draw correct conclusions based on false premises. The skilled magician allows the audience to draw these conclusions at fundamental levels and to do so on their own volition. They do this by presenting clues which lead the audience to draw conclusions without even realizing conclusions are being drawn. Once those assumptions are drawn, they become sacrosanct.

The point being missed is that magic is experienced linearly. Brad is breaking that direction because he is working backwards from knowledge that the audience does not posses, literally thinking like a magician. We see two cards glued back to back and we know not only what it is, but what it can be used for. We can apply those principles retroactively because we care more about figuring it out than reveling in an impossible moment. That's what magicians do. Let's take another example - the audience member removes a bill from their wallet. The magician painfully reveals each serial number. The audience is amazed that minds were read. The magician then reveals he had the numbers predicted on the inside of his shoe. The audience is amazed by this too. Now, many magicians can't see the problem with this (this was done in similar form on a late night TV show)yet the second "effect" completely undermines the first. CLearly the magician KNEW the numbers - so there was no mind reading. I contend we should control for such dramatic inconsistencies because people ARE good at sensing when a story is "off" (we are each expert media consumers) but if this type of construction flies in the real world (and it does) we cannot expect the gaff to tip the previous methods IF HANDLED AND CONSTRUCTED INTELLIGENTLY.

Just as suspicion is NOT removed at the end of a trick when the magician finally announces "and the coins are normal", suspicion is not retroactively placed when something amazing happens that could (if one knew how to look at the situation) might explain a previous phase.

In this case the audience experiences a series of cause and effects which produce an impossible object. The assumption at the beginning is that these cards are not "gaffs" but normal - something most audiences would draw naturally if the magician just gets out of the way.

The idea that this impossible object may have contributed to the method is actually eliminated by its obviousness. If you want to hide it, paint it red. What magician would show you how the trick worked? The idea that the magician would wave the method in front of your face points the suspicious audience in other directions. Further, people crave good stories. They want to remember and focus on the WOW. I have performed Anniversary Waltz for a special event. I have presented it since a few dozen times. I have talked to many who have presented it hundreds if not thousands of times:

No one has ever described it as the trick where two cards that were separated in the deck come together to land next to each other. Every version I have seen has that phase - but no body remembers it because no body cares because they aren't magicians who value the same things magicians value.

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Re: Exposing the gaff during the effect

Postby Leonard Hevia » October 21st, 2014, 1:09 am

If you leave double faced and backed cards in the hands of the spectators after a packet effect, they in all likelihood will not be able to backtrack if you performed your counts and moves flawlessly. After X amounts of multiple turnovers, Elmsley, Rumba and Flushtration Counts, who really can? Some will believe that the magician created those odd cards out of real magic. The analytical will flip over the cards and wonder if their odd features were utilized in some way to create the illusion they just saw.

I think "Mutanz" is a great packet effect, but I don't want to leave a bevy of "strange looking" cards in the hands of spectators. The challenge for myself is to end it without the gaffs. That's probably why I have a number of those mini-Himber and Z-Fold wallets.

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Re: Exposing the gaff during the effect

Postby erdnasephile » October 21st, 2014, 7:10 am

Brad Henderson wrote:...The idea that this impossible object may have contributed to the method is actually eliminated by its obviousness. If you want to hide it, paint it red. What magician would show you how the trick worked? The idea that the magician would wave the method in front of your face points the suspicious audience in other directions. Further, people crave good stories. They want to remember and focus on the WOW. I have performed Anniversary Waltz for a special event. I have presented it since a few dozen times. I have talked to many who have presented it hundreds if not thousands of times:

No one has ever described it as the trick where two cards that were separated in the deck come together to land next to each other. Every version I have seen has that phase - but no body remembers it because no body cares because they aren't magicians who value the same things magicians value...


So, is it the emotion and the internal logic of the presentation of "Anniversary Waltz" that largely makes it fly (i.e., two cards that represent the two spectators in love that merge) as opposed to the standard color changing knife blow off ("Look, I can turn one side black and one side white" (Why should I care?) ) which is so often ineffective? It would seem so: I doubt Anniversary Waltz would work nearly as well (both presentationally and deceptively) if the plot was just "Here's your two selected cards--BAM--they are stuck together."

I just thought of another trick that fits this category: Daryl's Audio Transposition.

What about the presentational gambit of exposing the Linking Rings: "I'm sure you've seen other magicians do this trick with a hole in the ring, but I do it with 3 solid rings." In this case, you are essentially giving up the gaff before the magic, then employing it to actually do the magic. I've never seen anyone do this in person, but have read about guys that do several times over the years. Is this sort of thing effective? Aesthetically, this has no appeal to me at all, but maybe I haven't thought this through enough.

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Re: Exposing the gaff during the effect

Postby Brad Henderson » October 21st, 2014, 10:00 am

The linking ring gambit is bold but it can work. Burger would, as part of an equivoque, call the audiences attention to the fact that 'this isn't one of those magician word games'. Tamariz in the magic way mentions and then disproves several methods, but often the methods he mentions have been used at other phases of the effect. I often blatantly mention the method along with some action which should in theory eleminate it. Heck, as Cialdini's research proves you can even give a rationalization that in no way proves your statement and people still accept the argument as valid. As long as we are carrying them ever forward in their experience.

A problem with much magic is the method is the effect. Using double backed cards as the sole method of an all backs routine might not hold up. Secretly reversing cards by sleight of hand when the effect is that a card gets invisible reversed fails equally beyond a display of skill. The most deceptive methods are one or two steps removed from the effect. The hole in the linking ring is the weakest element to that trick. It is the pre linked rings and other moves which make the rings such a fooler. (note: for every rule their are exceptions, but as a rule the deception is greatest when the method is removed from the effect.)

So yes, while jamming method and effect
together free from dramatic context is likely to fail, the relationship of method to perceived effect also plays a role. The more meaningful experience (not stupid story about your dead uncle, meaningful as in an experience they value for whatever reason) you can provide your audiende, the less willing they will be to take that away from themselves by methodological deconstruction. Give them something to protect and cherish and they will even fight to defend it. Why else do you think psychics are still around? They give their audiences something precious (in their eyes) and the audience would rather have that than consider cold reading and nail writers.

Dramatic and methodological structure dictate the audiences experience. They both play a role.

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Re: Exposing the gaff during the effect

Postby mattsedlak » October 29th, 2014, 12:31 pm

Brad Jeffers wrote:I don't believe however, that they are going to think that you started the routine with ordinary cards, and turned them into what they now hold in their hands (even though that is the excellent effect you have created).

The gaffed cards are simply too big of a tell. They are going to know that those cards were in play all the while and were somehow used to create the effect. They won't know exactly how, and they will still appreciate the beauty of the effect, but they will realize that the double-facers and double-backers are special cards, obtained somewhere, but not magically created.


I agree with this to a point. I certainly don't think that any intelligent person would believe that the cards were magically created during the effect. Of course they will know that the cards existed prior to the routine. Any magician that thinks otherwise is seriously fooling themselves.

To say that they will know that they were somehow used to create the effect, however, may not be accurate. I don't think that most spectators put in the level of thought required to reach that point. Most probably don't get to the point where they think about whether or not the card existed prior to the performance of the routine. Certainly if pressed about it they could come to that realization easily because it already exists at some level of their understanding, just not at the conscious level.

All of that aside, you can still do fusion card effects that don't result in the handing out of a gaff. There are a number of fusion effects out there that result in two cards seemingly being fused together that results in a card with a normal back and normal face being handed out.

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Re: Exposing the gaff during the effect

Postby Brad Henderson » October 29th, 2014, 1:27 pm

experience suggests otherwise.

what's the first thing lay people do when you hand them the double faced card? they try to peel it apart.

the idea of creating the double facer is a more direct line of thought for the lay person than the idea it was specially printed. They may not believe it was created by magic, but given the assumption we bring to the table regarding cards, the direct assumed method is usually that the magician had some way of sticking those cards together.

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Re: Exposing the gaff during the effect

Postby mattsedlak » October 29th, 2014, 1:54 pm

Yes but as soon as they realize that is not correct where else can they go? I tend to believe that people aren't stupid in general. I also tend to believe that most people don't care enough to really think that much into it. They simply enjoy the magic then go back to whatever they were doing. But deep down I think they know that anything that was oddly produced must have been manufactured that way. Think about the mismade bill effect. That one is even more obvious I believe since money is much more an everyday part of people's lives than playing cards are.

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Re: Exposing the gaff during the effect

Postby Brad Henderson » October 29th, 2014, 2:15 pm

I disagree. For one, with a trick like anniversary waltz to deconstruct the trick is to deconstruct the message. That routine is not about cards fusing, it's about people fusing - the cards are only the symbol

When we give them something more valuable than the secret they will chose to protect and hold on to that. So I disagree it's from lack of caring. let me correct that - I have no doubt in many performances it is from lack of caring. but that is neither a reflection on the magic, the method, or the audience but of the performer and what he or she does with their magic.

Having said that, based on experience, the idea that the magician somehow has a way of making that card move into that condition remains the more logical explanation to them than the idea that we had them specially manufactured. The assumptions re cards and their conditions are deeply ingrained. Remember when Andrus would pick up a card box and remove the omni deck? You can even flash the bottom of the glass and people will 'see' a deck that isn't there. Their assumptions determine what they see and are then able consider.

now, magicians know of gaffed cards so our brains go to that instantly. in fact, our brains may go to that before we even know a gaff is in play.

the notion of specially printed cards that look and feel like real cards is a leap for most people. This may explain why men such as grippo and Vernon strongly admonished magicians against exposing them to lay audiences.

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Re: Exposing the gaff during the effect

Postby mattsedlak » October 29th, 2014, 2:56 pm

Perhaps in certain special cases that may be more true. I also tend to think of effects that end with a specially printed card that goes beyond a double-back or double-face. While that isn't quite the focus of this thread I think they are similar. Effects like Twilight Angels and the like that end with a specially printed card. I can get behind the argument that people will think that we have some way to stick cards together that they can't figure out. But what about effects where the card is warped in some way? There is that joke card where it is the 7 of Diamonds I believe and the pips appear to have fallen off into a pile on the bottom of the card. I can't believe that people aren't smart enough to realize that the card is just specially printed, despite what their assumptions about playing are.

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Re: Exposing the gaff during the effect

Postby Brad Henderson » October 29th, 2014, 5:24 pm

on that I agree. the ONLY way those cards can exist is having been printed specially. And the fact that most of those cards were created with design in mind, they reek of having been specially made.

would be interesting to explore where the line is. having performed pick off pip, most asked how you moved the pip. What about wiping a card and it turning blank? or printing blank cards? where do we cross that line and is it a Matter of effect alone or does method and construction enter the picture along with presentation and to what degree?

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Re: Exposing the gaff during the effect

Postby mattsedlak » October 30th, 2014, 10:49 am

I have a routine where I start with double blank cards. I print the backs on two cards and faces on another two then place them between a spectators hands and have them press together so that they end up with just two normal cards. Essentially it combines a fusion and printing effect.

I think this might be close to where the line is drawn. There isn't really anything special about the way the cards are printed, they are just missing something that should be there. Blank face cards exist in normal decks anyway so some people may be familiar with them. I like that at the end all that is left are two normal playing cards though; I don't like oddly printed cards to exist beyond the effect. For example one of the effects I perform the most is Quick 3-Way. At one point in the routine you show that all three cards are double-backed. That you aren't using a gaff is irrelevant but I like that the double-backed state only exists for a part of the routine and at the end you have normal playing cards.

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Re: Exposing the gaff during the effect

Postby Jonathan Townsend » October 30th, 2014, 11:24 am

mattsedlak wrote:... between a spectators hands and have them press together so that they end up with just [] normal playing cards.


Agreed about the idea of having them examine normal cards. Imbuing an ordinary object with a contrived context - :D

Card splits - with that grey rough surface seemed like a good idea but don't handle well for any sliding type maneuvers - so blanks make much more sense. As "unprinted" - much better integrity and easier handling. :)

What decks come with blank cards? I thought they were printed then cut.
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Re: Exposing the gaff during the effect

Postby mattsedlak » October 30th, 2014, 11:46 am

I'm pretty sure league backs came with a blank-face card. I've seen them in a few other decks as well but I can't remember off the top of my head. I'm not sure if they are present in all of those fancy custom backs that USPCC prints and you see all the time in online magic shops. Birchbox has sent out a variety of those decks in their men's boxes so they probably have a good amount of exposure. I've also seen them in Walmart.

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Re: Exposing the gaff during the effect

Postby MagicOrthodoxy » January 23rd, 2015, 12:20 pm

I think there are some who already assume we use "trick cards" and when they get to see them, it only reinforces their belief.

I prefer gaffs that are tools to use, that only I know about (ie DBL BKR and cards that have multiple backs or that are double ended)
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