Scam School Meets Grey Matters...Yet Again!

Published on Wednesday, February 09, 2011 in , ,

Scam School logoIf you came here after watching this week's Scam School episode, I'll answer your first question right now: here's the Gilbreath Principle article Brian Brushwood recommended.

Thanks for the plug, Brian! Also, thanks to Mismag822 for suggesting this scam.

Let's jump right into this week's episode, and see exactly what this Gilbreath Principle can do for scammers:

On one hand, I'm glad to see this trick taught, as it's perfect for Scam School. On the other hand, the Gilbreath Principle is so great, I figure the fewer people who know about it, the better. Either way, it's out there, so I thought I'd provide my thoughts on this episode.

Brian correctly states in the video that there are four ways for a pair of cards to come up (red/red, black/black, red/black, and black/red), but since that's true, why does he get two of the four ways for himself to win?

With three people, I think Brian could've made the game seem more fair in the beginning if he'd said that there are only three different ways for a pair of cards to come up: red/red, black/black, and one of each color. It's a small lie, but one makes the game appear more fair, as any good scammer should do.

If you like this trick, and are intrigued by the faro shuffle Brian talks about this video, I suggest two major resources. First, use Stud playing cards, as they'll hold up to the required shuffling better than standard Bicycle playing cards, and will faro more easily.

Second, I highly recommend Michael Close's Learn the Faro Shuffle download. Besides getting the technique down more quickly and effectively, you'll learn some surprising things this shuffle makes possible. It takes more than a little work, but the effort is well worth it.

In this trick, it is obviously very important to have the cards riffle-shuffled, as the interweaving of the cards is what makes this routine work. If you're not sure of your audience's capability to perform a standard riffle shuffle, the “smash method” taught during the explanation is a good thing to have ready. The cards could also be spread in two face-down rows (not face-up, for the reasons described in the video), at which point you have an audience member pushed the two rows together to shuffle.

Finally, don't be afraid to experiment with the Gilbreath Principle, beyond what you learn in this video. With what other aspects of cards could you use this principle? What other scams or presentations can you develop?

Here's a great idea-starter for you. In episode 31, Brian teaches a trick he calls “Pigment Prediction”. The focus in this trick is on the red/red and black/black pairs.

However, try this trick out, and look closely at the discard pile. It has exactly the same qualities as a deck set-up with the Gilbreath Principle, and then given a single riffle shuffle, even though the audience can mix it up as much as they want in any way they want! What could happen when you mix the two of them?

Note: If you're wondering about the title to this post, it's a sort of sequel to the other two posts where Grey Matters was mentioned in Scam School - Scam School Meets Grey Matters and Scam School Meets Grey Matters...Again!.

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