Conjuring Credits

The Origins of Wonder

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Hindu Shuffle Force

This force is described in R.P.'s Ein Spiel Karten, 1853, p. 43 of the Pieper translation. There, in “The Non Plus Ultra,” it isn't done with a Hindu Shuffle, but rather a variant overhand shuffle, with the deck turned on end. But the underlying method of forcing the original bottom card is identical.

The Hindu Shuffle itself didn't hit the magic scene until the early 20th century. 1933, in particular, was a banner year for the technique in print. See Jean Hugard's Card Manipulations No. 1, 1933, p. 2; Farelli's Card Magic, Part 1, 1933, p. 35; Carl Shome's card control and force in The Sphinx Vol. 32 No. 2, Apr. 1933, p. 40 and Vol. 32 No. 7, Sep. 1933, p. 205, respectively, and a closer look at the shuffle in Theo Annemann's article, “Light on the Hindu Shuffle” in The Jinx, No. 56, May 1939, p. 398. The force described by Shome is the Hindu Shuffle force commonly performed today, with the only difference being that the spectator is invited to insert his finger into the deck during the shuffle rather than calling out, “Stop!”

The newness of this shuffle to magicians is indicated by some of the aforementioned performers' unfamiliarity with the term “Hindu shuffle”. Instead, Shome calls it a “running cut”, and Farelli calls it a “strip cut shuffle” and equates it with an unidentified “card table artifice” in Erdnase. The artifice he has in mind may be the third blind cut, titled “To Retain the Top Stock”, in Expert at the Card Table, 1902, p. 41.