Ignoring the possibility that someone would use what we do in a criminal manner I must look at the other side of the argument here -- EXPOSURE
If one is showing an audience what to look for does this mean you are tipping methods?
Now I knew/know several top rated card guys like Martin Nash, Ackerman, etc. and I know that their performances don't expose anything; they entertain guests by demonstrating SUPPOSED cheating methods. As has been pointed out, there is a vast difference between magic tricks & related skills vs. what pro gamblers do. Too, you will find that very, very, very few pro gamblers that use cheats, stoop to having a partner (there is no quicker way of getting caught) e.g. why would one need to learn any kind of "code" . . . especially when electronics in today's world are so much easier and more likely to be used . . . thumpers were originally used as a gambler's cue, for instance.
As I said previously, I can't help but wonder why someone that's been involved with magic, especially in our current era, don't already know at least a half-dozen ways to code cards; Corinda alone has close to that many cue techniques listed and I'm certain Mr. Scarne's made note of one or two.
If I were to do this kind of thing for public amusement I'd deliberately shoot for the goofy and outrageous; conceal something bulky and not overly clever let alone "high tech".
I remember having lunch one friday afternoon at the Magic Castle. I was sitting in the main area of the dinning room when I heard a whispering voice, "Look over at my table and just whisper the name of the card you see the lady look at"
I was kind of taken aback but I did as I was asked to do and sure enough, the gent who had whispered the instructions to me won all sorts of kudos.
Everything that happened was on the fly, no pre-arrangements whatsoever -- I barely knew the gent involved and we certainly never socialized together.
Anyone that's familiar with that particular part of the Castle will recall the amazing collection of stained glass Milton has installed. . . especially that amazing sky-light. . . but that's as far as I dare go when it comes to exposing how we did it. However, I will point out that this is something that can be done in the rotunda of the Nation's Capitol and for that matter, many State Capitol buildings as well as art Deco styled Rail Stations such as you would find in Cincinnati, Ohio . . . the person doing the card trick could be an easy 200 or more feet from you and with just a whisper, you can tell them what they need to know.
The Moral of the Story is . . . professionals will use what's available to them, including clever ways by which to instant stooge an innocent by-stander.
You're wrong. The vast majority of today's serious cheaters work in teams. "Single-O" cheaters are the exception. I'm not sure why you think otherwise, but you're incorrect.
of them will sit at a table alone“It’s impossible,” said pride.
“It’s risky,” said experience.
“It’s pointless,” said reason.
“Give it a try,” whispered the heart.
You guys must be attracting a different breed, most of the hustlers I know have been betrayed by once trusted partners and thus, refuse to have such. Those that work with a partner are typically using some kind of electronic signaling device or might be using a combination of techniques that include non-verbal "codes"
Cards & Gambling aren't my thing, I know very few people in this arena but I've known a lot of folks who do/did flim-flam work (even related to a few) which is where most of my feedback comes from -- old timers! I only know two Pit Boss types and never spent any time with discussing such silliness with either; to me Gambling of any sort is little other than a fools venture. . . the irony is I'm neither Scottish nor Jewish or even a Republican and I see things that way. . .
I'm not sure what you mean by old timers now. Erdnase says "It is the general belief that it takes two to obtain any advantage in a card game with knowing players". For at least the last hundred years it has been common practice among cheaters to have an ali.
Don't get me wrong - there are still some guys that go it alone. Gin rummy cheaters for instance, rarely have a partner since the game is most often played heads-up!
There are other types of cheaters that prefer to work without a partner: hold out men, paper players in short-handed games, and the occasional guy fooling around in his weekly "friendly" poker game may all work alone. But the vast majority of professional and serious cheaters employ partners to help spread out the heat. Even if only one of them is capable of moving, having one or more partners to take off the money helps tremendously.
As I said, this really isn't my field. The people I knew in a long ago time in life came by way of the Carney world . . . the sort that would would gladly sell their mother and convince you she was still a virgin in the process. I learned a ton from these guys when it came to flim-flams, pick-pocketing, etc. even though it was a relatively short chapter in my life. Then too, I've had more than a few heart to hearts with Martin Nash who gave me a lot of insights about pro gambling vs. magician's fantasies tied to the same; he was a wonderful man, one of the few I'd say such a thing of.
I can see the logic of having a partner but I also understand the headaches, fears & paranoia shared with me by those I mention. Let's face it "Networking" works in ALL fields.
- Join Date
- Aug 2010
I'm suprised this thread has gone on so long. Thank you all for contributing.
You have given great advice and information as always. I was so caught up in the idea of being asked to show some things to some students and to have motivation to expand my practice that I didn't stop to ask if I could actually offer any real help to the program. I didn't stop to realize that "friendly game" techniques differ drastically from casino techniques. If I move forward with the demo I will make sure it is fully realized that I can only offer entertainment value.
Thank you for contributing. Your comment about the moral of the story being that PROFESSIONALS will use whatever is available to them...well you'll have to excuse my lack of professionalism as I am not a professional nor have I ever claimed to be. Thank you for pointing out the coding systems in "13 steps." I picked up the book about 5 years back and must have overlooked them due to the fact that I never used partners and therefor it really didn't apply to me at the time. I've been quite busy and I guess I never thought to look back over some of my old mentalism material. As for "the possiblity of someone using what we know in a criminal manner," you say you had a time in your life where you practiced pickpocketing. Practicing card cheating for no money what so ever amongst friends (to me at least) seems like much less of a possible crime. Thank you for your input and your professional point of view of the subject. It has been most appreciated.
I see now that I was asking the wrong question, in the wrong manner, on the wrong forum, with the wrong demographic. I shouldn't have taken such questions to this forum. Sorry for that.
Once again, thank you all for your contributions!
BTW. . . I was just looking through Annemann last night and stumbled onto several clever coding techniques towards the back of the book. I'd suggest you look at "The Eyes Have It" most of all.