THE object of holding the location of the cut is so that a shift may be made at that point when the first
deal has been completed. This will bring the original bottom cards to that position again, from which they may be dealt during the second deal, and the most opportune moment for the shift is immediately after the first deal, as the deck is deposited on the table.
When the cut is made, pick up the packet that was under, by the sides, near end, between second and third fingers and thumb of right hand, and lay it on top of packet cut-off, so that the then under packet forms a jog or protrudes about quarter of an inch toward the right wrist. Pick up the two packets the instant the one is placed on the other, by a sliding movement, with the fingers in the same position, and place the deck across the left palm with the left thumb on top to hold it in position. Then release sides of deck with right
hand and seize ends to square up. In doing so the right thumb comes against the inner end and in contact with the jog or projecting under packet. Press this down a little with the thumb and square ends of deck, forming break at thumb end. Now shift the left hand slightly so as to hold the break with the tip of the left little finger at the side, close to the end; and begin the deal. (See Fig. 48.)
The break is not more than an eighth of an inch wide, and is concealed by the left third finger. The action is very simple, yet should be carefully studied. The slight jog in the two packets as they are picked up is not noticeable, as the top packet overhangs at the outer end and the one most likely to show is hidden by the right hand. But in any case it would not matter much, as the action of squaring up after the deck is placed in the left palm appears genuine, and the break can be formed without a possibility of detection. The little finger can hold the break by pressing against the ball of the thumb without the least inconvenience while the deal progresses.
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● Two Handed Shift
● The Erdnase Shift--One Hand
● The Erdnase Shift--Two Hands
THERE are many methods of performing the manoeuvre that reverses the action of the cut, but in this
part of our work we will describe but three which we consider at all practicable at the card table. This artifice is erroneously supposed to be indispensable to the professional player, but the truth is it is little used, and adopted only as a last resort. The conjurer employs the shift in nine-tenths of his card tricks, and under his environments it is comparatively very simple to perform. A half turn of the body, or a slight swing of the hands, or the use of "patter" until a favorable moment occurs, enables him to cover the action perfectly. But seated at the card table in a money game, the conditions are different. The hands may not be withdrawn from the table for an instant, and any unusual swing or turn will not be tolerated, and a still greater handicap arises from the fact that the object of a shift is well known, and especially the exact moment to expect it, immediately after the cut. The shift has yet to be invented that can be executed by a movement appearing as coincident card-table routine; or that can be executed with the hands held stationary and not show that some manoeuvre has taken place, however cleverly it may be performed. Nevertheless upon occasion it must be employed, and the resourceful professional failing to improve the method changes the moment; and by this expedient overcomes the principal obstacle in the way of accomplishing the action unobserved. This subterfuge is explained in our treatment of the subject, "The Player Without an Ally," under the distinctive heading, "Shifting the Cut."
The first shift described is executed with both hands and is a great favorite. It is probably the oldest and best in general use.
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HOLD the deck in the left hand, the thumb on one side, the first, second and third fingers curled around
the other side with the first joints pressing against the top of the deck and the little finger inserted at the cut, or between the two packets that are to be reversed. The deck is held slantingly, with the right side downward. Bring up the right hand and cover the deck, seizing the lower packet by the ends between the thumb and second finger, about half an inch from the upper corners, the right-hand fingers being close together but none of them touching the deck but the thumb and second finger. (See Fig. 49.)
If this position is properly taken the right hand holds the lower packet and the left hand clips the upper packet between the little finger and the other three. Now, to reverse the position of the two packets, the right hand holds the lower packet firmly against the left thumb, and the left fingers draw off the upper packet, under cover of the right hand (see Fig. 50), so that it just clears the side of the lower packet, and then swing it in underneath. (See Fig. 51.)
The left thumb aids the two packets to clear each other by pressing down on the side of the under packet, so as to tilt up the opposite side as the upper packet is drawn off. The under packet being held by only one finger and thumb, can be tilted as though it worked on a swivel at each end, and the right fingers may retain their relative positions throughout. Most teachers advise assisting the action by having the fingers of the right hand pull up on the lower packet, but we believe the blind is much more perfect if there is not the least change in the attitude of the right fingers during or immediately after the shift. The packets can be reversed like a flash, and without the least noise, but it requires considerable practice to accomplish the feat perfectly. The positions must be accurately secured and the action performed slowly until accustomed to the movements.