Help with Pass


Jul 1, 2009
WARNING: Amateur Magician is posting this thread. If you don't want to watch a video of someone with a pass that is completely non-covered, leave this thread now.

OK, so I've been doing the pass for a couple months now, at least 800 a day, and I've been stuck on concealment. So I made a video, I do the pass a few times, and I need some help.

Sorry for the bad video quality, I did a Direct Upload on YouTube instead of editing like I normally do.

Any concealment tips are appreciated, or should I just give up?
May 25, 2009
Your wrist flicking action is extremely exaggerated and will appear to the layman that you've just done some kind of sleight of hand. I would suggest cutting down and even removing the wrist action.

Also, the pass happens as soon as your two hands are brought together. Try to immediately execute it as soon as your hands touch the deck.

Good luck with it and continue working on it :)
Aug 10, 2008
In a rock concert
WARNING: Amateur Magician is posting this thread. If you don't want to watch a video of someone with a pass that is completely non-covered, leave this thread now.

OK, so I've been doing the pass for a couple months now, at least 800 a day, and I've been stuck on concealment. So I made a video, I do the pass a few times, and I need some help.

Sorry for the bad video quality, I did a Direct Upload on YouTube instead of editing like I normally do.

Any concealment tips are appreciated, or should I just give up?

I already tried to help you, And I already told you what not to do, I even sent you video for tips practicing the pass and looks you just didnt even care, Ill refrain from posting in this tread, there is no "secret move" it just practice.Im dissapointed.
Nov 16, 2008
In the not to distant future
OK, so I've been doing the pass for a couple months now, at least 800 a day, and I've been stuck on concealment. So I made a video, I do the pass a few times, and I need some help.

It doesn't matter how long or how many times you do the pass, if you use the incorrect technique, it will always suck. I suggest picking up expert at the card table and reading the section on the two-handed shift (classic pass). It teaches, in my opinion, one of the best descriptions of the pass ever. If you want to learn it correctly and are willing to put the time in to practicing it, you will get it down.
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Aug 24, 2008
I ' ll just repeat what everyone said LEARN THE MECHANICS of the pass first. then after you have them down practice practise practise......and after [ i'd say a year] or more of practise then think of coverage.

By the way the whole thinking behind the classic pass is not that you do it invisibly while evryone is burning your hands. It should be done fast and with "no" coverage whatsoever. What i mean by no coverage is that if someone is burning is burning your hands he is supposed to see it. And here's where speed and misdirection come. By asking your audience a question/looking them in the eyes you get at least 2 sec [as long as it takes for their eyes to look up and then down at the deck again] to ececute the pass.
If you want sth more invisible then my personal suggestion would be the "ortiz shift" but you should also learn the classic.

P.S i realised that in a performance one may have the opportunity for a pass or not [depending on performer's ecperience with audience management]. in the latter case most people use a double undercut.
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Jul 8, 2008
Yea I'm pretty sure you are doing it wrong.

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.

Again, hope that could help :) Keep it up dude
May 3, 2008
Of course you will have trouble concealing the pass if you're not doing it correctly. What you're doing seems to be more of a charlier cut with two hands. I suggest you learn how to do a pass from a reliable source and THEN work on concealment.


Oct 25, 2008
Bucharest, Romania
If you were to do it 800 times a day and for a couple of months, you could do it a lot better than now! I do it better than you and I've been practicing for only 1 week...
Jul 8, 2008
get ninja from ellusionist. cause im sure you dont want to read or anything. thats how i started. and im pretty profficiant (sp)

Hahaha, it actually looks like that since most sources teach it wrong anyway, but video really isn't the way to go. If he takes the time to read what has been said here, he should have no problem doing it. I don't suggest buying anything from Ellusionist though. Sorry. Richard Kaughman is good at the pass and has a lot of information on it, Aaron Fisher is of course very farmiliar with the pass, you can talk to him. Don't frame up anything when you are doing it. The less you squeeze the deck the better your pass will look. I see SOOOO many people do a squeezing action right when they do a pass and that cuuses 3 things to happen. 1) you look very unnatural because your veins and bones all flex in your hands, who does that? 2) you will make A LOT of sound! And 3) you will be squeezing the packets together and that will make you either loose your break or prevent the packets from moving and it will take you 20 seconds to do a 2 second sleight. Oh, and when you riffle the deck durring a pass, you cause the deck to bevel upwards and that causes a flash from the back end when you actually transpose the 2 packets. I suggest you get to work lol.
Jul 8, 2008
Yep. That is indeed me. I don't want to take away from this thread, and this goes for everybody interested in learning the pass. If you read my little write up on the pass, you should see a lot of ideas that should really help you. I think that was written on the first page of this thread. Also, a few posts up I wrote something about the 3 common mistakes and things to watch out for when you're doing a pass.

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!

Here you go, its a video I made a month ago(Excuse my english), I hope it helps .

The password is: "naive"
this is how i make my pass invisible: i take the top half, and toss it onto the bottom half and i simultaneously do the pass it looks just like you are just taking the top half and toss it on the bottom half, they never see the pass u know that big action lil action helps...
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