Here’s a crash course in false shuffles: Now, as far as we can tell, there are three main varieties of false shuffles.
The first is the ‘tabled false shuffle.’
The cards are rifled together on the table, often followed by a series of cuts. It looks like standard casino procedure…but the cards are never mixed.
This type of false shuffle is perfect for magicians who want to look like expert card handlers. If you’re performing gambling routines or card cheating demonstrations, this is the style of shuffle you want.
Our favorites are the ‘strip out’ false shuffle, the ‘push through’ false shuffle, and of course the ever reliable ‘Zarrow’ shuffle.
The second type of false shuffle is the ‘in the hands riffle shuffle’.
You know the type—when someone picks up the cards and riffles them together without the aid of a table, creating that beautiful ‘waterfall’ cascade of cards.
These false shuffles tend to be quite tricky to pick up but are ever so convincing—it’s so hard to fathom that the cards aren’t actually being mixed when you can SEE them interlacing in your hands.
We’ve heard a lot of good stuff about the ‘truffle shuffle’, but our current favorite is Guy Hollingworth’s ‘false in the hands waterfall shuffle’, found in his book Drawing Room Deceptions.
What’s the third kind of false shuffle? The third and final category we’re digging into is the ‘overhand shuffle.’
These false shuffles are casual and mimic the style in which most people will shuffle cards if you ask them to—chopping and dropping cards horizontally from one hand to another.
Since they’re the ‘go-to’ shuffle for most spectators, we think they’re very natural and motivated-looking shuffles.
These false shuffles are often a lot easier than the other two—but don’t think they’re any less fooling as a result.
Ben Earl’s ‘real optical shuffle’ is incredibly powerful yet ever so simple, and we think Juan Tamariz’s ‘false butt shuffle’ doesn’t get nearly as much attention as it should.
So there’s your ‘crash course’ in the many varieties of the false shuffle. Over the last month, we’ve spent hours on hours analysing these different kinds of shuffles and picking our favourites.
We just shot a new video exploring these shuffles, in this video you’ll watch us go head-to-head in a false shuffle showdown with some pretty high stakes on the line...namely, eating the world's HOTTEST chilli pepper.
(we’d love to hear which type of shuffle fooled you the most!) You can also pick up our original overhand shuffle, ‘The Dolphin Shuffle,’ at the link below.
It’s so powerful because it’s…
- Easy (you should be able to pick this up within 10-15 minutes)
- Visually imperceptible (even when you know how it’s done, it’s incredibly hard to spot)
- Casual (carefully crafted to mimic the way people actually shuffle cards)
- Chaotic (the subtlety of a card dropping from the deck sells this shuffle HARD)