Geared towards poker and card players who want to show off, The Official Poker Shuffles & Cuts DVD-Volume 1 teaches a comprehensive collection of cuts and shuffles, both basic and advanced that magicians can add to their repertoires. The set is comprehensive enough that most magicians are bound to find a move or two that they havent seen before. And for beginners, theres a wealth of material that will keep them busy for months.
As in his other DVDs, Rich Ferguson offers first rate instruction. He demonstrates a move, explains it, step-by-step, and when needed, teaches via an over-the-shoulder view so you dont have to transpose his movements. And throughout, the DVD serves high-quality video and sound. This is a very professional production.
Ferguson rates the moves by difficulty. While this is helpful, most will probably peruse the demos and select the moves that they most want to learn. It is, however, helpful to learn the easier moves first, as they generally form the foundation for harder ones.
Ferguson has included just about every shuffle that Ive seen, which includes basic riffles, both on the table and off, bridges, Hindu and overhand shuffles and lots of variations. Theres work on the Faro shuffle and its many incarnations, including the flashy one-handed version.
Making the Cuts
Theres a thorough collection of cuts. Ferguson starts with the basic cut with center, hand to table and other variations. He then moves to the Charlier, the fundamental one-handed cut, and covers pivots, swivels, scissors and more.
The rest of the DVD teaches showy, multi-packet cuts. Ferguson offers flashy four and five-packet cuts, but most flamboyant is his Crazy Cut, which looks a lot like Chris Kenners Sybil, but with four packets and not five. In all, there are some 50 moves and variations.
From a magic and manipulation stand-point, the moves here arent as flashy as those on Ellusionist.coms Xtreme Beginnerz DVD. On the other hand, the moves on Fergusons DVD will allow an individual to show off, but they were designed to perform what you normally would when sitting and playing at a card table.
With his Official Poker Shuffles & Cuts DVD-Volume 1, Rich Ferguson teaches a first rate and comprehensive collection of shuffles and cuts that will appeal to novice and intermediate card workers. There lots to like here.
-Wayne N. Kawamoto