Second Deal Problems

May 3, 2018
41
25
I've been working on the Strike Second Deal on and off for about a year, and I've found one problem that I keep running into. When I'm performing the deal in quick succession, sometimes my thumb hits the second card but doesn't manage to take it, so I have a sudden stop in the middle of my deal.
I have a feeling that the solution is just practicing how much pressure I need to apply to successfully draw out the card, and making this consistent even when dealing quickly.
However, if anyone has any tips or suggestions, I'd love to hear them.
 

WitchDocIsIn

Elite Member
Sep 13, 2008
5,752
2,860
Practice.

I am assuming you mean the "taking" thumb, not the one pushing the top card over to reveal the card to be dealt. So this might be a grip issue - for that make sure your thumb is properly moisturized. This is particularly important if the cards either very new (thus slick) or older (thus prone to sticking together).
 
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Mar 9, 2014
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Definitely practice, but also pay attention to how you are practicing. It sounds like you are dealing doubles consecutively, and while this is an important way to practice, also make sure that you can comfortably alternate between genuine deals and false deals. False dealing at various paces and in various combinations of real and false deals will make you more comfortable with the technique overall, and may help to smooth over issues of pressure and grip.

Ricky Smith has some published material on improving false deals. He was selling some of his lecture notes online recently (which are normally difficult to get your hands on) but I don't know if the offer is still available.
 
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Nov 3, 2018
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also make sure that you can comfortably alternate between genuine deals and false deals.
This.

A nice drill I like to do to practice my seconds is actually a "real-world" (meaning gambling/cheating) application of the move: Stack the aces for four players, but deal for five players, still giving yourself the aces. This requires you to deal as follows (f = fair deal; s = second deal):

f-f-f-s-f
f-f-s-s-f
f-s-s-s-f
s-s-s-s-f
For more practice you can stack eight cards; in that case you simply repeat the sequence.

Apart from practicing alternating the deals, also be sure to get it down smooth before getting fast. Try using a metronome to practice (if you don't have one, there's a multitude of free smartphone apps) and set it to 80 bpm (= beats per minute) to start off. This will probably seem unbearably slow to you, but concentrate on doing impeccable deals with this tempo. The slow dealing will help you find and fix problems you may have with your grip, the taking action and of course the rhythm.
After a week or two with this tempo, hike it up to 90 bpm. Work on increasing the tempo in small increments (steps of 5-10 bpm), and take care to only go on when the deal is as smooth as it gets with that tempo.

Remember: smooth is skill!

Have fun practicing!
 
Jun 19, 2019
53
17
This.

A nice drill I like to do to practice my seconds is actually a "real-world" (meaning gambling/cheating) application of the move: Stack the aces for four players, but deal for five players, still giving yourself the aces. This requires you to deal as follows (f = fair deal; s = second deal):

f-f-f-s-f
f-f-s-s-f
f-s-s-s-f
s-s-s-s-f
For more practice you can stack eight cards; in that case you simply repeat the sequence.

Apart from practicing alternating the deals, also be sure to get it down smooth before getting fast. Try using a metronome to practice (if you don't have one, there's a multitude of free smartphone apps) and set it to 80 bpm (= beats per minute) to start off. This will probably seem unbearably slow to you, but concentrate on doing impeccable deals with this tempo. The slow dealing will help you find and fix problems you may have with your grip, the taking action and of course the rhythm.
After a week or two with this tempo, hike it up to 90 bpm. Work on increasing the tempo in small increments (steps of 5-10 bpm), and take care to only go on when the deal is as smooth as it gets with that tempo.

Remember: smooth is skill!

Have fun practicing!

Great advice for seconds here! I just want to add how I like to practice:
(I think I picked this up from Ricky Jay somewhere. It can be used for bottom dealing or other false deals as well)
Take about 1/4 of the deck and turn it face up. Then shuffle these face-up cards into the deck (I do a couple of rough riffle shuffles).
Now you deal the cards out for a (however many players you want) hand game. Whenever you come to a face-up card, execute the false deal then deal the face-up card. Continue throughout the deck, and repeat as many times as you like.
I also recommend dealing to a metronome as Scodischarge mentioned. As you get more proficient, you can increase the amount of face-up cards, or even flip the deck over after the deal.

Hope this helps!:)
 
Mar 14, 2019
37
17
I have to do the old excuse me cough with my hand in a fist over my tongue to get some moisture on my hands in order to do it most of the time. Gross I know but it works. I still have that same problem,but not nearly as much as I used to. Getting some good moisture on your thumb is key. And a ton of practice!!! It's the hardest sleight I know,but the months and months of practice were so worth it. People are just completley baffled when they tell me to stop dealing and their card is right there.
 
Jun 18, 2019
546
291
17
West Bengal, India
Apart from practicing alternating the deals, also be sure to get it down smooth before getting fast. Try using a metronome to practice (if you don't have one, there's a multitude of free smartphone apps) and set it to 80 bpm (= beats per minute) to start off. This will probably seem unbearably slow to you, but concentrate on doing impeccable deals with this tempo. The slow dealing will help you find and fix problems you may have with your grip, the taking action and of course the rhythm
Since this is great advice for practising in general, I'd add that you can just type "Online Metronome" on Google and use it without any sort of downloading. The number of resources easily found online is INCREDIBLE.

Also, just saying, if you feel a metronome (though really really handy) is bothering you to the point that you might want to smash your head on the wall (which, in my opinion, won't help your second deal, but well...) then play a song with a defined beat. That helps too.

Cheers!

:)
 
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Jul 26, 2016
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@Mohana Misra Wrote: "Also, just saying, if you feel a metronome (though really really handy) is bothering you to the point that you might want to smash your head on the wall..."

Of course, while it might temporarily relieve frustration, smashing the head on the wall is highly UN-recommended, but if it must be done, I have found that the metronome should be set to 80 BPM (beats per minute), which sets up a nice steady rhythm for the process.
DISCLAIMER: I am kidding, this is a joke (even though maybe not in good taste), please do not try this!
 
Nov 3, 2018
536
414
play a song with a defined beat. That helps too.
It definitely does. The good thing about the metronome is that it doesn't stop after 3, 7 or 20 minutes (depending on the genre you like), there are no annoying decrescendos (decrescendi?) and you can set it to whatever tempo you like.
That said, if you do feel the urge to smash your head against a wall (known to metallers as "head-banging"), I can completely relate and would second @Al e Cat Dabra's suggestion of 80 bpm -- a comfortable tempo for starters, but leaves you with some room for improvement nonetheless.
 
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Nov 16, 2019
94
43
I've been working on the Strike Second Deal on and off for about a year, and I've found one problem that I keep running into. When I'm performing the deal in quick succession, sometimes my thumb hits the second card but doesn't manage to take it, so I have a sudden stop in the middle of my deal.
I have a feeling that the solution is just practicing how much pressure I need to apply to successfully draw out the card, and making this consistent even when dealing quickly.
However, if anyone has any tips or suggestions, I'd love to hear them.

I don't remember where I heard this, but Someone told me, if you miss a false deal, don't worry about it. People make mistakes, and even people miss a genuine deal occasionally too! Just keep going, and no one is ever going to notice, as long as they "sound" and look like a normal deal.
 
Nov 3, 2018
536
414
I don't remember where I heard this, but Someone told me, if you miss a false deal, don't worry about it. People make mistakes, and even people miss a genuine deal occasionally too! Just keep going, and no one is ever going to notice, as long as they "sound" and look like a normal deal
Yes and no. If you miss the occasional deal, you're absolutely right. But if you catch a hanger at every second or bottom you're dealing, you should probably spend some more time practicing your technique.
 
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Jun 18, 2019
546
291
17
West Bengal, India
Since we are talking about second deals, and @Scodischarge is well-versed in sleights which overlap between gambling and magic, and because this topic is too small to deserve it's own thread:-

Do people today still actually use sleights in gambling?
Won't that result in a decade in prison or something, if caught?
 
Jun 19, 2019
53
17
It can be a danger in private games.
Yeah. I forgot who said this but I remember reading a post in T11 somewhere that said something like:
"These methods are commonly used not in casinos, but in home games where half of the attention is on the cards and the other half is on a flickering television displaying a football game."
Over time, cheats at home games can become a major threat. And in answer to your question @MohanaMisra, yes, as far as I know (which is not a lot, obviously, because I don't actually cheat! :D), and as far as I've heard from people who know a lot more than me, this does happen.
 
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