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Getting into pass

Jan 30, 2008
I want to really get into pass, and i want to find the best source to learn it. Could you recommend any good books or dvd's (i'd prefer a DVD) for the pass?

Thank you in advance.
Aug 13, 2009
I started with ninja 1+2 : classic pass, turnover pass, riffle pass , invisible pass...And aron fisher with hermann pass (1 on 1 theory 11)
Jul 8, 2008
I wrote pretty extensively on the pass quite a while ago, so I might as well move that all over here

The proper technique (not intended for learning, but "security".

LEFT HAND: You hold the deck in your left hand, thumb along the left edge of the deck, index, middle, ring, and pinky fingers along the right edge of the deck with pinky in break.

RIGHT HAND: The right hand's middle finger goes on the front edge of the deck about an inch from the left corner by the left thumb. The right thumb goes on the back edge of the deck about an inch from the back left corner and touching both packs (top and bottom). The other right fingers don't NEED to be touching the deck, and you might want to practice this without them touching the deck, but you could do it with them touching. the main thing is that the right middle finger and thumb contact the bottom packet which will be moved up to the top.

TOGETHER: In your one action, the right hand will contact the deck, putting your middle and thumb fingers in position, and your LEFT hand, holding the deck, will securely clip the TOP packet between the pinky and other 3 fingers on the outer right edge of the deck. then you start to open up your 4 fingers clipping the top packet. This part is actually covered more than you will think by the next action. You will begin to lift up the bottom packet with your right middle finger and thumb. What is important is you don't consciously move the top and bottom packets at one time. You only slide out the top packet enough so you can smootly and loosely lift up the bottom packet. Then you STOP and let the right outer edge of the bottom packet slide the top packet on its edge so it can be in the slightly vertical position to be covered by the hand and then calapsed with the elft 4 fingers.

I hope that could be of help to you. I suggest getting Erdnase's (questionable) book and start learning. Then start READING. The best descritions I have found is definetly out of books. Oh, and one more thing. NO ACTION WITH THE HANDS!!! You do NOT need to flick your wrists. In Erdnase's book, he even says that by turning your hands just slightly will give an un-acceptable look from the other players in the card game and you have more room for flashing just by moving your hands where they shouldn't go. You lifted up your hands, giving us a bottom view of the entire sleight lol.

Jul 8, 2008

I guess the biggest piece of advice is, don't be afraid. There is no pass in the world that will ever be 100% invisible. Every pass will flash from some angle so you don't need to worry about getting all caught up in every single variant. The best pass, in my opinion, is the classic, or two-handed pass. One of the better descriptions can be found in S.W Erdnase's "Expert at The Card Table" under the first section of shifts.

The best kind of pass you will come upon, is something that can be done smooth, and as silent as possible. That is why I am so devoted to the classic pass. SPeed really doesn't matter. If your audience is burning your hands, you will be caught. That is where misdirection plays a HUGE part here.

Now it all comes down to what pass to use. Like I said above, there are thousands (roughly estimating) of different variants, when only a small handfull of them are actually different and worth learning. But to find your pass, it is important to look in every nook and crannie from the deep margins of books to the dark corners of the world. There is a pass waiting to be discovered, but it is up to YOU to find out which one fits you and your needs. You need you look in every book you can get your hands on. No joke. The advantage of books is that there is more information burried there than in DVDs. Sure you can see the "performer" do the move at speed, but how do you know if they are doing it correctly if you can't learn to comprehend what is being put forth in books

Some of the books that have REALLY good descriptions on the pass are S.W Erdnase's "Expert at THe Card Table", Roberto Giobi's "Card College" (I think it is in volume 2. Don't quote me),Jean Hugard and Frederick Braue's "Expert Card Technique", and Aaron Fisher's book, "The Paper Engine" for an excellent description on his advancements to the Hermann Pass, which is also subjected to a 1-on-1 featured here on Theory11 called the Outjogged Hermann Shift and is, in my honest opinion, one of the few exceptions for videos teaching what is clearly taught in books, because this was such a good video lol. You can of course also go to Richard Kaughman's material on the pass which is REALLY good as well. He published a full book full of information as well as a video tape which has since been converted to DVD. But hey, it's Richard Kaughman lol. I think we can forgive him for that as well lol.

Now that we have covered WHERE you can learn these passes, let's look at a few of these that can be applied to multiple situations and will get you the farthest on your journey with the pass.

>The Two-Handed Shift: This is one of those passes that I love because every other pass is built around it lol. Essentially all you do is put both hands on the deck, when in reality, you really substitute the top and bottom stock(s) of the deck. I said stock(s) becuase you don't have to limit yourself to just the top and bottom halves of the deck. I do the pass sometimes where I need 3 breaks and actually transfer all 3 of them. An EXCELLENT description can be found in The Expert (at the card table) and Card College, again, I think it's volume. 2, but don't quote me on it.

>The Open Shift: This one I have very little to talk about, but it is definitely worth your consideration. It is described very well in S.W Erdnase's book, again, but it is also a VERY easy pass to execute and to be honest with you, if you are just starting out and want to go to an easy to find source, just pick up this book and get working. There are around 6 different shifts taught in this book and this is one of those ones that you can't pass up.

>The One-Handed Shift: Is, without a doubt, the most difficult passes to execute (not even smoothly, but even just to get from point A to point B lol.) If you are just beginning, this will be of no use to you for a couple of years, even if you have a few years of card handling under your belt. I JUST started to get somewhere from this one after 3 years of studying the shift. One of the plus sides to it though, is it can eventually be done really quickly and smoothly and with limited cover. Found in Expert At the Card Table, again!

>S.W.E Shift: I wonder where THIS one came from! The S.W.E SHift was intended to be the most natural, smoothest, most invisible, and BEST pass to perform at the card table. It was designed to be a tabled version of the Longitudinal Shift, found just a few pages before this one in Expert At The Card Table. When I get up to talking about the kind of pass that suits you, I will reference this one to demonstrate how you can't just use any pass whenever you want. You need to use what works for the situation, that is why you need to study every pass, not just the one.

>The Outjogged Hermann Pass: This one was mentioned above as well. If you are looking for a pass that is actually one of the more invisible passes and has a wide variety of applications, you can check out this one. Plus, it is even easier than the Open Shift. What happens in this one, is you have a card outjogged to the side of the deck, and in the action of just tapping it flush, you can execute a nearly perfect shift and the card is on the bottom. I personally love this one the most and think that this one is one of those passes that can only be used appropriately in certain effects and situations, but it can also work JUST as well in others. This can be found in Aaron Fisher's book, "The Paper Engine" and also on video exclusively through Theory11.

Now that I mentioned the 5 best shifts, we need to get you into the fitting room to try on a few. The most important thing you need to look at when researching the pass, is find out how you intend to use it. If you are using it in an effect, you certainly don't need to worry about it being the most invisible pass klnown to man (unless you do), and if you are using it in a gambling demo or at the tables, you DEFINITELY need to make sure it is invisible and can be done with little to no movement of the hands. I mentioned the S.W.E Shift above, and that is because in S.W Erdnase's brief lecture about this sheight, he says that you need to use a pass at the gambling tables that will be invisible. If you pick a classic pass, this looks very unnatural on a table and you need a little bit of action with the hands which can be picked up by another player and they wont like that one bit. This is one that looks best when tabled, or at a natural position on a table. The classic pass looks better at a more casual level. It is important to choose a pass that compliments the feel of the effect, and this even goes to anything. If you were doing a coin routine where things where happening fast, flashy, and extremely visual, you don't want to then go and do a french drop to make a coin vanish. It doesn't fit! Choose your pass how you want it. Aaron Fisher does a really good trick that shows this VERY visually in his Outjogged Hermann Shift video.

3 final tips I can give you on the subject of the pass, are about performance. This is a VERY common mistake I see by people all the time and I hope you never fall into the trap. This is when you squeeze the deck right before the pass is executed. It is something that has been talked about a little bit, but not too much. It is important not to frame the deck. Don't do this because :

1) Don't squeeze the deck. When I see passes, I often see people do them very tightly. What I am saying here is, when you have your right hand over the deck, I see people start to squeeze, RIGHT when the pass is about to be executed. This starts to look VERY unnatural! If you were in a game of cards and the dealer took the deck and started to squeeze them and fiddle with them, would you leave the table or beat the living crap out of him right then and there? You see their skin tighten, bones show, veins bulge. It looks unnatural!

2) You will make sound! When you do the pass, the last thing you want is to have silence, and then you hear *riffle click*. I highly suggest working on the pass until it is flawless and you can do it with no sound at all! If the deck suddenly starts "talking", people are going to look at it and question you.

3) The third and final tip, THE SLEIGHT WILL NOT WORK! If you squeezed both of the packets together very tightly and tried to execute the move, because you are supposed to move the stocks smoothly and lightly, your hands will be squeezing everything together and clumped up, so you won't be able to move the packets appropriately, if you can move them at all!

So there you are. I hope that answered your question. NOW GET TO WORK!
Oct 16, 2008
Columbus Ohio
It depends on the pass that you want to learn. The Ed Marlo the cardician DVD has some good pass material. But I would suggest starting at Erdnase and learning all of those shifts.
Sep 12, 2007
Normandy, FRANCE
I haven't been able to perform a good pass until I watched Peter Cassford's "Pass with care". It's the same version than Brad's Invisible Pass in Ninja 1, and the visual quality of the DVD is a bit questionable (especially if you're used to E's or T11's DVDs), but unlike Brad in Ninja 1, everything is covered, and Peter is a really good teacher : the finger positions, the mechanics, the misdirection, the flashing points and how to cover them to make your pass as invisible as possible. There is even a section where you see the pass performed again and again from every angle so that if you ask what the right position of your left pinkie during the shift, you have all the time in the world to find out.

After learning from this DVD, I've finally been able to perform the part of the Las Vegas cheating routine (from Ninja 1) when you tell people you're going to cut the deck under their nose, and although they know what's going to happen, and although they burn your hands, they don't see A THING ! Very satisfying.

I do not own it, but I'm also very interested by Chad Nelson's Paul LePaul spread pass on demand at DnD. Not the same angles, not the same use, always useful to have several sleights in your arsenal I guess
Jan 30, 2008
Hey everyone,
Thank you very much for the replies. I'm going to take time and look on the sources you recommended.
Sep 2, 2007
Sorry, True2Coins, I really have to pick you up on a couple of things.

Firstly, on your assertion that the Open Shift is very easy to execute. I know most people teach it with a bizarre side-on posture, and with a very slow execution, but that's clearly not what's described in the text. It should be executed "quick as a flash", quick enough to be performed as a colour change, in a very open position (hence the name). I've been working on it for about a year, and it's getting close to the speed and invisibility of my classic pass, but it's not quite there. I think pushing the Open Shift as a beginners pass is ridiculous.

Secondly, on the SWE Shift. You say it's a "tabled version of the Longitudinal Shift". Nonsense. It's taught in the Legerdemain section, nothing to do with the table. If you think about it for a moment, could you really get away with holding the deck in this unusual way at the card table?

Finally, where does Erdnase say that "you need to use a pass at the gaming tables that will be invisible"?

Sorry to be confrontational about this, but I study Erdnase every day, and it almost feels like blasphemy to see his words taken in vain.

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Jul 21, 2009
Townsville, Australia
I started with ninja 1+2 : classic pass, turnover pass, riffle pass , invisible pass...And aron fisher with hermann pass (1 on 1 theory 11)

ninja series isnt that great he doesn't go over it with detail of the classic pass much. "Your expect to know the basic pass" is what he keeps saying.
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