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DVD Review: Weapons of the Card Shark

DVD Review: Weapons of the Card Shark

About.com Rating 4.5 Star Rating

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This DVD shows how to cheat at cards

Jess Wessmiller shows you the techniques of card cheating

“I wouldn’t want to play cards with you.”

Every competent close-up magician has heard these words after performing card tricks. But while our skill at cards often convinces spectators that we can cheat, most of us would be at a literal loss playing against a real-life card cheat. If you’ve always wanted to see and learn the techniques of gamblers, Jeff Wessmiller’s DVD, Weapons of the Card Shark, is worth the look.

On the DVD, you won’t find information about marked cards or gimmicks, it’s all about moves and techniques with a standard deck of cards. Throughout, Jeff Wessmiller presents and explains the techniques in a clear manner that is easy to understand. He demonstrates each technique at full speed and then takes time to explain them. When necessary, the camera angle changes so you may see the move from the dealer’s point of view. Wessmiller also discusses the fine points, the finishing touches that allow a move to work.

The DVD presents various false overhand and riffle shuffles, both blind (where the entire order of the deck remains intact) and those that control the top or bottom cards. There is a good assortment of false cuts; five techniques for stacking a deck and six moves for hopping (negating a cut in a deck), as well as techniques to secretly glimpse a card, including the use of a shiner.

Wessmiller presents false dealing techniques for dealing bottoms and seconds and offers lots of techniques for mucking (switching out cards) and switching decks. Particularly interesting is a segment where Wessmiller cheats at poker and provides a running commentary on what he is doing. It’s fascinating to see the various mucking, stacking and more in action.

Advanced card workers may already know much of what’s on this DVD, but beginning and intermediate card workers will probably pick up a few useful new moves. In general, magicians will benefit most from the sections on false shuffles and cuts, glimpsing and switching decks-techniques that are useful in magic card work.

Since there’s so much material, some techniques are glossed over. For example, Wessmiller explains the use and execution of the classic pass, a topic that can fill an entire book or DVD. Because the pass is such a complex move, beginners are not likely to learn the move from this DVD.

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