Biddle Trick

Apr 19, 2010
22
0
Cumbria, UK
Whilst polishing up my variation of biddle trick i came across a problem. I know this trick is age old and it always impressed audiences but i just sat down today to realise...what IS the motivation for splitting the deck?. If you think about it, there shouldnt be any reason to cut the deck half and half. (Im fine with this though, i built my patter around the theme of chance so it fits in well) But what im trying to achieve with this trick is to take out all the unneccesary movement (e.g. instead of running five cards from the top of the packet i simply upjog 5) Those kind of things. And i thought, what have any of you guys done to combat this problem? what sort of patter have you developed to compensate for the unneccesary deck cut? or do you even cut the deck during your performance?. I would just be interested to know how you guys perform it.
 
it can be made so by your scripting of the trick.
i say that im gonna track where your card is, where it roughly is. so i do this cut and i can track it to the top half. not quite sure where exactly, i think somewhere in the bottom half
then i cut it again and say i think its one of the top five, im usually within about 5
then i show them and it is and im like ok. cause if it wasnt i would havta find 5 diff cards.
but yea. just the patter can be the reason
 
Sep 1, 2007
665
2
I did some work on this problem a few years ago as part of my work on the Biddle trick. The solution I came up with was as follows:

Force the card using the riffle force, setting the top half of the deck into another spectator's hands. Have the spectator memorise their card (force card). Have the spec with the original top half deal off 4 more cards onto the force card and the first spec mix all 5 til they have no idea which is theirs. You are still holding the bottom half.

Have the spec give you all five cards, flip them face up and note the location of the force card. Display the cards and execute the steal under your half, using the line "of course, I could have no idea which of these is your card, yes?" Hold onto the target cards and place your half deck onto the half deck held by the other spectator.

Gives everything a nice logical flow...there's several presentational angles for the "one out of five cards" situation, including the fact that a poker hand is made out of 5 cards....there's a good starting point :)

Cheers,
David.
 
Mar 6, 2008
1,483
3
A Land Down Under
I used to use the context of an estimation cut. I would classic pass cut the cards down to get close to the card. A while pack Prae and I discussed the effect at some length on the forums.
 
May 8, 2008
1,085
0
Cumbria, UK
I don't. I do the steal with a full deck, then pass the deck. I found it worked much better and seemed much more natural to me. Recently though, I've dropped the trick altogether.
 
Jan 10, 2008
296
2
The Biddle Trick has been a go to trick for me for years. The justification for splitting the cards is because you're trying to cut to their card, but I see the subtle point your trying to make. Why actually cut the top half to the table or into their hands? Why not a simple in the hands cut? I've thought about this before, and while I still perform the original version of the Biddle trick a lot, I've come up with a few solutions to this problem in my years of thinking about this one trick. I'll won't really go over methodology much, because I want you to do your own research behind a few of the moves I'll discuss. Here's a couple to play with.

Solution 1: Control their selection second from the top via your favorite method. Say, "Now I've spent years and years handling cards, honestly, I could find it. However, what if I put you to the task of finding your own card by cutting to it? How do you think you would do?" A little by play and you say, "Actually believe it or not, it's not that hard. The trick is not even thinking about it. I'll tell you what why don't you cut about half the cards over there, and I'll mark where you cut." During the preceding patter all you've done is the Max Holden Crisscross Force. Look at the spectator and ask, "So how do you think you did?" The force, followed by the direct question, followed by the spectators answer and a little by play will build up time delay. Just enough to make the force go by. Proceed as per the original handling.

In that variation the spectator does the work, taking the burden off of you. As a result, the audience won't think about it, nor can they reconstruct how the card ends up in the middle; because you gave the spectator complete control.

Solution 2: Get Jon Racherbaumer's book on the Devilish Miracle or Card Finesse II. There is a really good Marlo move in those. With that one move you could very well satisfy the criteria of up-jogging cards versus cutting the deck and still load the card into the middle. I do this sometimes for a very direct handling of the Biddle Trick.

Hope this inspires you to come up with new ways to do this wonderful trick.
 
Oct 25, 2008
35
5
Norway
The Biddle Trick has been a go to trick for me for years. The justification for splitting the cards is because you're trying to cut to their card, but I see the subtle point your trying to make. Why actually cut the top half to the table or into their hands? Why not a simple in the hands cut? I've thought about this before, and while I still perform the original version of the Biddle trick a lot, I've come up with a few solutions to this problem in my years of thinking about this one trick. I'll won't really go over methodology much, because I want you to do your own research behind a few of the moves I'll discuss. Here's a couple to play with.

Solution 1: Control their selection second from the top via your favorite method. Say, "Now I've spent years and years handling cards, honestly, I could find it. However, what if I put you to the task of finding your own card by cutting to it? How do you think you would do?" A little by play and you say, "Actually believe it or not, it's not that hard. The trick is not even thinking about it. I'll tell you what why don't you cut about half the cards over there, and I'll mark where you cut." During the preceding patter all you've done is the Max Holden Crisscross Force. Look at the spectator and ask, "So how do you think you did?" The force, followed by the direct question, followed by the spectators answer and a little by play will build up time delay. Just enough to make the force go by. Proceed as per the original handling.

In that variation the spectator does the work, taking the burden off of you. As a result, the audience won't think about it, nor can they reconstruct how the card ends up in the middle; because you gave the spectator complete control.

Solution 2: Get Jon Racherbaumer's book on the Devilish Miracle or Card Finesse II. There is a really good Marlo move in those. With that one move you could very well satisfy the criteria of up-jogging cards versus cutting the deck and still load the card into the middle. I do this sometimes for a very direct handling of the Biddle Trick.

Hope this inspires you to come up with new ways to do this wonderful trick.

Great ideas industrialchild! I'm also one of those who have questioned the reason for cutting the deck. But I feel solution 1 makes everything more motivated to do it. Also, you are involving the spectator more by letting them cutting the deck, which is a good thing.

Thanks for the tip, I'll definitely use it! :)
 
Nov 15, 2007
1,108
2
33
Raleigh, NC
Force the card using the riffle force, setting the top half of the deck into another spectator's hands. Have the spectator memorise their card (force card). Have the spec with the original top half deal off 4 more cards onto the force card and the first spec mix all 5 til they have no idea which is theirs. You are still holding the bottom half.

This is very similar to the solution Roberto Giobbi came up with when tackling the Biddle trick. In his card college series he goes over the trick, but instead of a riffle force he uses a dribble force onto a table. Has them memorize it while another spectator chooses 4 random cards (either from table or from hand) and then proceeds to have them mixed. He then displays the cards and places his half on the tabled half.

It's elegant, makes sense, and flows well. You have to find a presentation that deals with locating the card...turning it invisible or traveling to the deck...but that's the easy part.
 
Sep 1, 2007
665
2
Haha really? Did I just re-invent something I read in card college? Off to check the books straight after this! I remember Giobbi's invisible card presentation for it, but didn't remember how he got in to it.

We will also have to beg to differ on the premise/presentation being the "easy part" ;)

For me, I have tried many different ways to present the events of the trick and the one thing I know I don't like is any variation on the "invisible card" bit; my character just can't buy into it enough to sell it. I let the vanish come as a complete shock, let the trick be over and then show it in the deck as an almost incidental point; understating something often creates even more impact than making a fuss over it. Plus, this way you get two reactions, which aint a bad thing.
 
Nov 15, 2007
1,108
2
33
Raleigh, NC
Haha really? Did I just re-invent something I read in card college? Off to check the books straight after this! I remember Giobbi's invisible card presentation for it, but didn't remember how he got in to it.

We will also have to beg to differ on the premise/presentation being the "easy part" ;)

For me, I have tried many different ways to present the events of the trick and the one thing I know I don't like is any variation on the "invisible card" bit; my character just can't buy into it enough to sell it. I let the vanish come as a complete shock, let the trick be over and then show it in the deck as an almost incidental point; understating something often creates even more impact than making a fuss over it. Plus, this way you get two reactions, which aint a bad thing.

Pretty sure you re-invented it, I didn't double check.

Presentations come easier with practice, too many people don't put time and effort into creating something unique so when they finally try to they think it's hard.

As far as the biddle trick goes, I don't perform it. "Beam me up Scotty!", the hand can be quicker than the eye, the card can be quicker than your hands...there are a few ways to play the trick, those were just a few I thought of right now. Brainstorming often will help develop presentations for tricks you haven't even learned yet :).
 
Sep 1, 2007
665
2
Well, I've checked card college and it is indeed the same handling. Must have been knocking around in my subconscious when I was putting the thing together, similar things have happened from time to time! Thanks for the heads up.

As regards my comment on presentation, I would submit that coming up with a presentation isn't "hard" - its easy to make up any old stuff and nonsense to go with the trick as you point out. Developing that into a presentation, premise, script....blocking the timing of the moves to the words, the gags, managing the expectations of the audience to create the right reactions at the right times - refining the whole package over many performances and ending up with something that is more than the sum of its parts - its a long and exacting task. For me, the presentational work represents 90% of the time spent formulating an effect - the nuts and bolts of the method only 10%. And this is how it should be - the audience is, after all, only aware of the presentation and this is all that gives the trick any meaning to them.

That's what I meant when I disagreed about it being the "easy part".
 
Jun 30, 2010
22
0
This is very similar to the solution Roberto Giobbi came up with when tackling the Biddle trick. In his card college series he goes over the trick, but instead of a riffle force he uses a dribble force onto a table. Has them memorize it while another spectator chooses 4 random cards (either from table or from hand) and then proceeds to have them mixed. He then displays the cards and places his half on the tabled half.

It's elegant, makes sense, and flows well. You have to find a presentation that deals with locating the card...turning it invisible or traveling to the deck...but that's the easy part.

hmm.. I haven't seen Roberto Giobbi do that, but thats VERY similar to what I do... thought it was MY idea :(.. lol...

but yes this is the way to do it best, atleast for me... and its also quiet easy to do, and more audience participation comes in, which is always nice....
 
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