Conjuring Credits

The Origins of Wonder

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False Faro Shuffle

The False Faro mechanics came from a similar false weave shuffle, done from an overhand shuffle grip. The right hand would pick up the lower half of the deck and appear to “saw” the packet back and forth into the left hand's cards to weave them together. In reality, the entire right-hand packet was going beneath the top card of the left-hand packet. This shuffle was described as “The Roumanian 'Fan' Shuffle” in Victor Farelli's Farelli's Card Magic, 1933, p. 44. Farelli doesn't claim credit, instead citing the “Roumanian [sic] conjuror” M. Bernardo who acquired it from Balkan cardsharps.

Max Katz published a false shuffle with the appearance of a Faro Shuffle in Hugard’s Magic Monthly, Vol. 5 No. 2, July 1947, p. 333. Several approaches have since been published, including Steve Beam's “False Faro” in The Trapdoor, No. 4, 1984, p. 59; Dr. Hiroshi Sawa's shuffle from “Tilted Triumph” in Richard Kaufman's Sawa's Library of Magic, Volume One, 1988, p. 49; David Williamson's Phony Pharo in Apocalypse, Vol. 13 No. 6, June 1990, p. 1794; and Homer Liwag's shuffle in Gary Ouellet's column in Genii, Vol. 56 No. 12, Oct. 1993, p. 804. Also see some points of finesse by William Eston in Magic, Vol. 13 No. 4, Dec. 2003, p. 100. Paul Wilson also has a method that he marketed as “The Non-Faro,” c. 2003.


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