Your Favorite Way to Control a Card to the Top

Discussion in 'Magic Forum' started by RealityOne, Jan 22, 2017.

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  1. I think that the classic pass is objectively the best control. It is fast and almost invisible with some practice, it has many applications, and is viable in all situations.

    If you have a good enough pass, you can do it when someone is staring at the deck, or preferably on the off beat, but if you do need to do something when someone is staring down the deck, the pass will not not fail you. It is also great when done with a face up card, that can really freak people out. It also has tons of variations to make it even better (I preffer the riffle pass). Plus you can do a classic pass false cut that looks INCREDIBLE and is super easy if you already know the pass. You just place a card on top, do the false cut (which just looks life you cut the deck) and the card is on top.

    I think that the pass is all around one of the best moves in card magic, and definitely my favorite card control.
  2. Thanks for the suggestion. I've been using it almost non-stop. It's nice, but a little scary when you know how it works. Haven't had any problems with it yet though. I guess it really is just that good.
    RealityOne likes this.
  3. Although your opinion is shared by most folks just learning magic off of Youtube, most knowledgeble magicians would use a different control that is more suited the the circumstances of an effect.

    You do laugh a little inside every time it works.
  4. You can't beat a well preformed classic pass.
    luke13579 likes this.
  5. Sigh.
  6. yeah agreed
  7. idk the pass is so quick when covered correctly it is very deceptive...
  8. The pass is a sledge hammer. It gets the job done, sure, but it's often way more work than is totally needed. The move itself originated in a time when cards were basically just thick paper. They had to move packets like that, because you couldn't really slide one card out of the center of a pack without most of the deck going with it.

    As technology has improved the way cards are printed, the Pass became something of a right of passage with magicians. No longer as necessary as it once was, but something that showed you'd put time and effort into learning and practicing. There is no reason to do such a large and blatant move when far more elegant solutions are usually there.

    If you only need to move one card, and you're doing a pass, you're working much harder than you need to.
  9. I disagree.

    A sleight can be seen in two ways, its inner mechanical motions (inner reality) and its outer mechanical motions (outer reality).
    What we performers “see” and do (inner reality) when executing any type of pass is indeed a very complex feat in mechanical appearance, as we are shifting the position of a block of cards underneath or on top of another block in a confined space. But, on the other hand, the outer mechanical motions (what is perceived by layman) are “inexistent”, it’s functionally invisible.
    What I’m trying to get here is, the “large and blatant move” it’s true if we look at it in a magician perspective and not a laymen perspective, because the move in its outer reality it’s not large and blatant, far from it.
    As with most questions in the subject of card magic, that have to do with “which is better”, it all depends on the context, so saying “A side steal and palm placement is far more subtle” it’s looking at things isolated inside a box. Which control you should use (or which is more subtle) depends on what outer reality you want to create. That, in turn, should depend on the effect you’re performing. Putting one sleight as more subtle than the other with no meaningful context is not valid in my opinion.
    With this I’m not “defending” the pass by any means or do I think using the pass is some sort of test of manhood. The pass as any other sleight is really great, when it is routined well and, it’s done right and in the context of a routine or effect. All this together can make it practical and functionally invisible, even with the hands being burned.
    ParkinT likes this.
  10. The only moves that consistently fool me are any movies that utilise some sort of card switch (Either with a double or some sort of false deal). The control can look as fair as you want once the selected card isnt even the one in play. JM has an interesting ellusionist download that plays with this concept.
  11. A couple of issues with the pass as the be all and end all of controls. Most people who do the pass don't do it well. The spectators still know SOMETHING just happened. Most covers for the pass are not natural. The pass has angle issues. And, as
    @christopher T said, it is like using a sledge hammer to swat a fly.

    The biggest issue is that a control needs to work in the context of a routine. Does it make sense for a card to be reinserted into a spread or dropped on top of half of the deck? Does it matter if the spectator or the magician selects where the card is reinserted. Does it make sense to shuffle the deck after the card is reinserted? Does the control need to be done immediately upon squaring the deck or can it wait? Are the spectators paying attention to your hands or something else? Does the card need to go to the top, the bottom or a number of cards from both?

    Anyone who thinks the pass is the only control you need, probably doesn't know any other controls. That makes your magic significantly weaker then if you determined what is the best control in the context of the effect. But then again, I'm guessing those who think the pass is the ultimate control, only control a card to find and reveal the selected card rather than using the control as part of a more complex routine.
    ParkinT likes this.
  12. When I first started magic and joined Theory11, one of the first things I did was ask for advice on how to perform a better classic pass. Currently I've been doing magic like 2-3 months so the reason I was so obsessed with the pass is still clear to me. It's the first sleight that blew me away. The mechanics behind it, the deceptiveness, the practice it took to get good at this one thing felt like when I finally got it down, I would be so satisfied and accomplished. I would feel like a real magician. (if anyone has played league of legends, it's similar to wanting to get good at yasuo or riven. they're mechanically difficult to master)

    How do I feel about the pass now? It's a versatile control. It has many applications: color changes, card control, false cut, force whatever else; however, it's like a jack of all trades kind of sleight. For all those things mentioned, there are better moves I've found that are more invisible, quicker and easier in the context of the routines I perform. Especially with my skill level and experience.

    Do I think it's the best control? Maybe if I had it down like Jason England or Alex Pandrea. Sure.
    ParkinT likes this.
  13. As David said, the problem is that far too many people think that you just need a fast pass. The pass is very difficult to pull off well, and there's a lot of folks who think they are pulling it off when they are not. It's incredibly difficult to hide that much hand movement. Just moving fast doesn't stop the momentary disruption of the motion of bringing the hands together and having to shift the two sizeable packets around.

    And I say this as someone who put a pretty decent amount of effort into the pass. I worked on the pass with two full decks. I even got those metal plates to make my hands stronger (Pass trainer). Which I then worked into the ending of an ACR, as you do. I understand the strengths of the pass - I also understand the weaknesses.

    The idea scenario for a pass is when you need to preserve a stock of cards. If you only need to control one card I cannot think of a scenario where a pass is more efficient than, well, almost anything else.
  14. For tabled work, I like to use Martin Nash's tabled multiple shift, which I learned about in 'By Forces Unseen'. You can do it with 1-4 cards, it controls them to the top, and looks totally fair to laymen if done properly.
  15. What is really the key for this and for all the other controls is the conditions under which you need to use the controls. For multiple cards with a table, Nash's shift is great. If you are doing multiple cards in your hands, you probably want to use the Elias Multiple Shift (I like Bannon's subtleties for it in Smoke and Mirrors). If you have a single card, other controls may be more effective IN THE CONTEXT OF THE EFFECT. It is a question of what looks natural and what works for the needs of the effect.
  16. if you're controlling multiple cards then I would recommend the multiple-shift...It's quick and easy.
  17. You know, the first time I saw someone doing a double undercut I knew exactly where the card went. I never trusted using it because anyone watching closely also sees where 'their card' went.
  18. He mentioned that with misdirection it flies right by. If you're staring at the cards while you are doing the double undercut then for sure they'll see what you did. If you do it casually though while looking at them and talking with them then it goes right under their radar.

    Of course, another method is to do a triple undercut (with misdirection of course) or delay the control entirely. What I mean by that is after the card has been returned to the pack, just dribble the entire deck onto the table and forget about it while you carry on the presentation. Then go back and control it. I learned a method for doing that from Daryl's Encyclopedia of Card Sleights. May he rest in peace.
    RealityOne and ParkinT like this.
  19. Even Michael Ammar couldn't distract me from it. The mere spectators may or may not fall for the misdirection, but I don't have the nerve or belief.
    If it's been working for anyone, more power to them. But, really, until you've discussed it with any spectator/friend, you're only assuming they were actually fooled.
  20. It's pretty hard to misdirected a camera. Unless you've actually seen him perform in which case I'm jealous.

    Use whatever is comfortable for you but in my experience it's still a good control. It's like the criss cross force. You wonder how could that fool anyone but used properly it goes right by.
    ParkinT likes this.
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