A The Complete False Riffle the Pull Through

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The complete false riffle is also called the pull-through. It is invisible and hinges on a unique false riffle that keeps the entire deck intact. The complete false riffle can be effectively used not only in poker but in any card game. The maneuver is executed as follows:

With the deck on the table, remove the top half of the cards with the right hand and proceed to riffle shuffle as you would in the Las Vegas variation (described on pages 90-92) with two exceptions -- (1) riffle shuffle the deck legitimately, without keeping the upper right-hand deck portion intact, and (2) keep the right-hand portion of the deck angled as shown in Figure 32 (half the deck is turned face up to illustrate the moves more clearly).

For the Las Vegas variation, you continue shielding the cards with your hands and fingers while using your palms to push the deck halves together. But for the complete false riffle, you stop shielding the deck as your hands shift immediately after interlacing the deck halves and before pushing the halves together. Your hands shift so that the middle fingers and thumbs grip the sides of the deck halves near the ends and the ring fingers press against the deck ends as shown in Figure 32.

Keeping the deck angled, push the deck halves together as far as they will go so the angled halves move completely through each other and protrude at opposite ends as shown in Figure 33. Next, grip the protruding corners of the deck at their sides between the middle fingers and thumbs of both hands while keeping the outer fingers close together to shield only the deck ends. Now with your thumbs and fingers square the sides of the deck, but not the ends.

Figure 32 Pull-Through, Step One Angling the Deck Halves During the Riffle Shuffle (face-up deck half for illustrative and practice purposes)
Figure 33 Pull-Through, Step Two Pushing the Halves Together Until They Protrude at Opposite Ends (face-up deck half for illustrative and practice purposes)

At that moment, the deck halves are no longer angled, but form a straight line as the interlaced halves protrude about a quarter to a half inch from each end. Those protruding ends are hidden by the fingers of both hands that are squaring the sides of the deck and seemingly squaring the ends as the little fingers caress the ends of the deck. The entire side-squaring maneuver should take no more than two or three seconds.

With the fingers still shielding the ends of the deck, the thumbs and middle fingers firmly grip both sides of the deck at the corners. Now with a tight grip, swing the far left edge of the deck toward you an inch or so with your left hand and pull those cards smoothly outward to extract the entire original right-hand portion of the deck (the original stacked, top portion) as shown in Figure 34. Press down with your left forefinger as you extract those cards-- the entire block should slide out easily. Then simulating a cutting motion, slap that block of cards on top of the right-hand block and square the deck. All the cards, including the stacked cards, are now back in their original positions.

Figure 34 Pull-Through, Step Three Completing the Pull-Through

Done properly, the complete false riffle is undetectable. With practice, it can be done very rapidly and gives the appearance not only of thoroughly shuffling but of capping each shuffle with a solid cut. The key to executing that maneuver lies in lightly and loosely riffling the cards and then gently pushing the halves inward. After the side-squaring motion and without groping or fumbling, the original top block of cards is pulled out intact with the left hand.

Since the complete false riffle looks so reassuring, the maneuver is valuable to the Neocheater--especially when he is discard stacking. But the Neocheater must be willing to invest a few hours of practice to master the maneuver. Three or four rapid repetitions of the complete false riffle, followed by a crimp and a false cut is a perfect, invisible maneuver for the discard stacker.

Note particularly the difference in the position of the hands between the Las Vegas variation riffle and the complete false riffle: In the former maneuver, the deck remains completely shielded during the entire riffle shuffle. In the latter maneuver, everyone can clearly see that the dealer has thoroughly "shuffled" the deck when his fingers grasp the sides of the deck and push the interlaced card together. Only after that push-through does the dealer shield the deck to falsely square its ends. That allows him to pull the deck apart again with all the cards in their original positions.

When practicing the pull-through, go slowly at first and concentrate on accuracy -speed comes with practice. Also when practicing, invert one of the deck halves as shown in Figures 32-34 to ensure that the entire deck stays intact during each complete false riffle. Your stack can be ruined if a card or two from one block of cards get caught and end up in the other block of cards.

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