Thoughts on the Strike Second Deal

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Jan 1, 2013
I would like to start by saying that if you believe I am wrong, criticism is more than welcome but please try to avoid turning this into a Magic Cafe style ranting session.
My thoughts are this and I'm not sure if this is what I want to believe in order to avoid the effort of narrowing my brief or whether I have a genuine point.

I think that a tiny brief is not only unnecessary (unless performing for other second dealers to show off, which I have nothing against) but detrimental to natural card handling. If one is dealing then a card is pushed half an inch or so off the deck so that it can be taken by the left hand (speaking as a leftie). If when dealing seconds this no longer happens as the brief if being kept to a minimum then it looks suspicious, even if people can't tell why. Instead I think it would make more sense to have a brief as large as natural as dictated by your dealing style and use cover from the dealing hand in conjunction with wrist movements and a good rhythm to create an easier, more natural second deal.
As I have said on multiple occasions criticism is welcome and feel free to offer any thoughts you have on this move.

Best wishes,

Jul 13, 2010
I don`t know, but I`ve read that the reason famous cheats, such as Sir Walter Scott (AFAIK he invented ?! this second), used a second with an invisible small brief is that in fomer times ?! the moving of the thumb (what some people today criticize as not being natural. But I think the circumstances are important. Is it used in a real game or just a demonstration or effect) was a tell for a false (second) deal. The small brief was the result of the dead thumb.

I don`t know where I have read it (Phantom at the Card Table, a thread on the internet or Foundations) and if it`s true. But it makes sense to me.

IMO it doesn`t look suspicious if done perfectly, because there is "no way" you could move a second card behind the first without moving the thumb and the first card (of course, some can ;)).
A strike with a bigger brief and thumb moving doesn`t look very deceptive to me if you`re not dealing in a fast pace when looking directly at the cards.
Top dealers such as Sir Walter Scott, Martin Nash, Richard Turner, Jason England could/can do it with an invisible brief and very slow, and it still looks very deceiving IMO.

My thoughts are, considering it`s correct what I´ve read, that this second deal was developed to address a special need (no thumb moving allowed?!) in a serious gambling situation.
A magician is (normally) in a different situation.
People don`t expect him to cheat (if not doing a gambling demo). He often uses a second deal in non-gambling situations where the expectations are different. He can control the attention, often only deal one card in the context of a magic effect, and any handling that is different from his normal card handling (which a dead thumb deal would) is suspicious and unwanted.
I think that`s the reason why we don`t see this special second deal very often. To be honest, from magicians I`ve only seen it in gambling demonstration where it looked extremely skillful. They (in this case Martin Nash and Richard Turner) even turned the top card face up to show how good it looks.
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Jul 27, 2010
Chicago, Illinois
For the strike, the thumb should be as dead as possible. Otherwise, it looks un-deceptive unless done at an insane speed. I use a version of the pushoff for that very reason. I find it easier, as I can take my time a little bit more and not have to worry as much about an extremely small exposed area of the second card.
Jan 1, 2013
One could of course use a very subtle neck-tying action, just enough to obscure the face of the deck for a split second as the card is removed. Presumably the use of Bees would also help. There is a Steve Forte TV appearance on youtube in which he either deals a push-off or a strike with a large brief which is incredibly deceptive. The position of his right thumb in the dealing action makes me think that it is a strike but if that is so the brief is huge so surely it can't look that good?
Jan 1, 2013
Purely because of the lack of left thumb movement, while this is is deceptive and impressive, I think it would be more deceptibe if he used a slight neck-tie and a larger brief so that the thumb looks like it does when he top deals.
Sep 1, 2007
Alternatively, work on integrating thumb lifts/thumb raises that simulate the push off more. Everything also depends on context.
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