Treatise on Triumph


First published in 1946 as part of the Stars Of Magic series Dai Vernon’s Triumph plot has inspired lots of variations over the years both in the hands and tabled.  Many of these variants have looked to add numerous convincers for the face up and face down situation sometimes overkill or introduce a number of more advanced sleights into the mix but I’m a big fan of keeping it simple. The following routines are some of my favourites to perform each is unique in some way but overall they are all easy on the sleights.

Triple Cut For Triumph – JC Wagner 

Published in the booklet 7 Secrets JC Wagner’s version starts with the standard Vernon Triumph move but ends in a triple cut sequence that puts the selected card exactly where it needs to be to show the cards have righted themselves without the need for the standard Vernon clean up. Whilst there is certainly nothing wrong with the Vernon clean up I’ve never really liked the idea of cutting into the deck whilst saying some cards are face to face, some are back to back as to me you are stating the obvious. By performing the shuffle and the triple cut this is more than enough to convince the spectators of the decks condition. A very similar method is published in the Classic Magic of Larry Jennings however this still requires the Vernon move to clean up the deck at the end.

Little Club Triumph – Jay Jayaraman

Published in Magic Magazine April 2015 under Steve Reynolds Your Magic column this version also uses the Vernon Triumph move to start but ends in a cutting display similar to that of Daryl Martinez’s famed convincer but with less packets. The other advantage this version has is that after the cutting display there is no need to right the deck per the standard Vernon righting move as the cutting display and gathering of the packets does this automatically.

Tri-Emphasis – Aldo Colombini

Published in Harry Lorayne’s Apocalypse Magazine Volume 17 No 4 this is as close to self working as self working gets. The spectator shuffles the deck to their hearts content and selects a card using the Cut Deeper force which can be done with the magicians back turned. After the deck is handed back the magician shuffles the cards once more and cuts the deck where upon the deck can be shown to have righted itself except for the selection. Similar in method to Steve Reynolds The Spectator Triumphs in his ebook SRO on Insights I prefer this version. Clean, convincing and simple to do.

TFT Touch Force Triumph – Andi Gladwin

Published in the December 2010 issue of Genii Magazine this version uses Gary Ouellet’s brilliant Touch Force and a slight discrepancy to produce a nice handling where not only does the deck right itself apart from the selection but as a kicker the mates to the selection also turn face up. There is also no overly elaborate convincers just a subtle spread of a few cards sells the illusion that the deck is mixed face up and face down.

Open Display Of Triumph – Jared Kopf

Published in the November 2007 issue of Genii Magazine this is a great magician fooler where what looks like the standard Vernon Triumph shuffle actually isn’t and magicians will be lost when you square the face up, face down deck fairly. Whilst it requires a little extra handling for the selection this is still relatively easy to do and clean.

Interactive Triumph – Eric Hu

Published in the October 2015 issue of Genii Magazine on the surface this looks like the standard Slop shuffle created by Sid Loraine and essentially it is however what Eric has added is a nice interactive element at the end where the spectator takes half and the magician takes the remaining half and holds them tightly in their hands. With a snap of the fingers the magicians half is shown to be all face down and when the spectator spreads his cards they are all seen to be face up with the exception of one card the spectators selection. It appears the magic has happened within the spectators hands out of touch of the magician and leaves a great moment with the spectator.

Whilst this is by no means an exhaustive list of Triumph effects (there is far too many to count !!!) i’ve found these to serve me well and might well have been overlooked due to being mainly published in Magazines. If there is one other tip I can add is when performing the Vernon Triumph Shuffle instead of using the heal of the hand to do the move try just squeezing the cards together under the cover card using the thumb and first finger in a pinching motion which is far more natural action when squaring the shuffled cards. This subtlety was published in the Randy Wakeman One Man Issue of Genii April 1991 under the effect Topsy Turvy Charlie.



Mastering the Stevens Control


The Stevens Control is one of those sleights that has caused much debate about its origins and indeed the correct method for performing it. In it’s basic form it is a false shuffle to retain the order of the top stock normally a poker hand and was first published in Dai Vernon’s More Inner Secrets of Card Magic, page 55, ‘To bring cards to the top’.” The difficulty that comes is following the description which is very brief and doesn’t include any photos or diagrams of the correct finger positions. According to the description the card you are trying to mark off should just cleanly pop out at the corner but this rarely happens 100% of the time. Skip forward to 1975 and in Karl Fulves Riffle Shuffle Technique part 2 a more detailed description of this move is published with diagrams however this again doesn’t always lead to a clean pop out every time and you may get a block of cards instead of a single card. In the same publication Karl Fulves details  Braue’s method of achieving the same control under the title “Four Card Control” which nods towards the Dai Vernon Triumph Shuffle. Whilst this is perhaps not the most elegant of handling with the squaring action of the triumph shuffle what it does achieve is a perfect pop out of a single card. This same method is later published in J.K Schmidt’s Modern Close Up Card Problems in 1981. Thankfully over the years there have been other methods published in print and on DVD to achieve the same results but with much more ease of control.

Supreme Control by Bob King

Published in Bob King’s excellent Ultimate Breather notes and also in Jerry Mentzer’s Card File, Bob’s control as the title of his notes implies uses a breather. With Bob’s variation there is no worry about how clean the jog is because you don’t need one although you will need to be able to hold back specific numbers of cards as part of the shuffle sequence.

SVS Shuffle by David Solomon

Published in The Wisdom Of Solomon Dave’s method relies on a blocking off technique published by Ed Marlo in Marlo’s magazine Vol 5 along with some elements of Bob King’s control to achieve a simplified variation. As part of this Dave also explains an excellent stacking effect where after the Four aces you then locate a Royal Flush in Spades yet is relatively simple to master. You can also see this performed and explained briefly on his Big Blind Media DVD Card Solutions of David Solomon Volume 3.

Top Stock Control by Roberto Giobbi

On page 157 of Roberto’s Secret Agenda book he explains a variation credited to Dai Vernon that doesn’t involve creating a jog but instead relies upon holding a break with the thumb as the shuffle is performed. Whilst not looking as clean as the original method and not allowing you to pause and move your hands away before the final shuffle this still achieves the same suiting beginners.

Stevens Control by Steve Ehlers

On Steve’s now hard to find Arizona Card Expert DVD he explains another method of achieving the Stevens Control which involves a running cut to the table followed by a shuffle. This fair looking sequence would not seem out of place in a Vegas Casino and is easy to master (check out the video on my Instagram page to see this in action). In addition to this Steve touches on the original control and gives an insight into the right pressure points and amount of pressure required to achieve the single card pop out. Highly recommended.

In addition to the above over the years Toronto magician David Ben has teased that the technique taught for the original control in the Karl Fulves publication is incorrect and plans to include a full description in the next in Volume 3 of his treatise on Erdnase At the Card Table. You can see videos of David performing the control via the following link

Stevens Control Demo



Ernest Earick False Cut


After a very lengthy search I eventually managed to track down a copy of Bill Goodwin’s Penumbra magazine Issue 6 having been sold out for some time. Described in the first few pages is a wonderful tabled running cut sequence by the late Ernest Earick that retains full deck order without the use of any breaks or crimps. What I like about this is the pauses that are built-in to the sequence and the squaring actions that sell the idea that it is a legitimate cut. The cutting sequence owes much to one of the false cuts described in the pages of Erdnase to retain the top stock but in my opinion is more deceptive and retains the full deck order making it a great follow up to any false shuffle.

If you want to see this in action check out the video on my Instagram profile


Jack Carpenter False Shuffles

If you are on the lookout for an easy to do full deck false shuffle without the usual tells look no further than Jack Carpenters work. On his Seattle Sessions DVD Disc 2 Jack performs and explains his Delayed Strip Out Shuffle where the moment of the strip out is changed as part of a follow up running cut sequence. In Jack’s hands it is true thing of beauty and completely invisible. Along the same lines Jack also has variations on this technique which can be seen below from his YouTube channel

Both variants are again easy to do but will take practice to perform them as smoothly as Jack does. What I like about these sequences are the running cuts following the shuffle which sell the idea that the cards are being mixed but also cleverly hide the moment the cards are stripped out. Although not explained those proficient with fake shuffle techniques should be able to work out what is going on.

If you haven’t already you should check out Jack’s YouTube channel for more great gambling moves and tricks most of which haven’t appeared in print or DVD previously.

Michael Weber Lecture


Earlier this this week I had the opportunity to see Michael Weber lecture at International Magic in London and it didn’t disappoint. With over 60 magicians in the small room including Jerry Sadowitz, Andy Nyman and street magician Troy you could tell that this was going to be a good lecture. I am predominantly a card man so whilst a lot of the close up tricks Michael performed did not use cards you could still appreciate his clever thinking and observations on psychology and subtlety. Of the card tricks that Michael did perform and one I will be using was based on his “Card Kindergaten” stack probably the easiest non memory stacks I know aside from the trusty Si Stebbins and Harry Risers brilliant but lesser known No Memory stack. You could see the scratching of heads as Michael not once but twice divined the spectators card despite not handling the deck and a fair selection procedure. Also of note was Michael slaying the audience and an equally bemused volunteer with his Ten Card Poker deal “Ha No Jonah” which as the title suggests doesn’t use a Jonah card at least not in the traditional sense. Whilst Michael didn’t explain the handling those in possession of Bob Farmers excellent Bammo Ten Card Dossier will get the idea of what is going on whilst the full explanation appears in Michael’s TEN lecture notes themed around the Ten Card plot. If you are looking for a card trick for those awkward spectators that want to do all they can to mess up a trick this is certainly it as no matter how hard they try to outsmart the magician they won’t !

Michael doesn’t often lecture in the UK in fact this was his first at International for over 20 years so if you do get the chance to see him take the opportunity highly recommended.


One Way Once More


Having previously posted about the one way back design on Aviator Playing Cards I set about trying to find how many more USPCC branded decks had similar one way features on them. I’ve always been a fan of the Aladdin back design and tho and behold this also has a one way feature that is actually very easy to spot at a distance yet still not be obvious to the spectator. At first I thought I was the first to discover this but a quick glance at the Magic Cafe forums suggests others have also spotted this to. I won’t go into too much detail here as it’s not widely known but surface to say if you have these decks orientate a few of the cards different ways and look at the top left corner you should see a very noticeable difference. Although hard to find these days the Bicycle reprints from 2006 of the Tangent back design also have a very subtle one way back design but this may have you squinting hard to notice it.

By far the card brand with the most one way features is the trusty Tally Ho circle back design. If you have access to Harry Loraynes Apocalypse magazine he goes into detail about no less than 3 features that can be used to orientate the cards including one by Ian Baxter that uses the very top corner of the card and can be easily spotted. This can be easily employed in a Ten Card Poker deal where you are trying to ensure the spectator gets the Jonah card. If your looking for more ideas on how to use the one way features on these decks I would highly recommend checking out Harry Risers Riser Repertoire column in the M-U-M magazine archive where you’ll find a number of effects described and explained that avoid the obvious turning of the deck when the spectator replaces their card. I’m told the Tally Ho design also has another two features that can be used to orientate the cards but I’ve yet to find them. If anyone knows of these please let me know through the contact details on my main page.

Back Soon

Thought I’d post a quick update whilst I have the opportunity. Over the last 2 weeks I’ve been suffering backache, the flu plus a very temperamental internet connection that comes and goes when it pleases and incredibly slow at that. Until it is fixed properly I’ll be unable to post any updates to here but if it’s one saviour it has meant I’ve done much more reading over the past few weeks and found some gems that I had previously overlooked. One such example is a four ace revelation in the  April 2007 issue of Magic Magazine by Peter McLanachan called “Solid Rock Production”. There’s no photos and it’s a fairly brief explanation which is probably why I had overlooked it in the first place but it’s a lovely sequence using fairly standard moves which should be in the reach of most.