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Profile of ToPher
I've been studying cards for about a year now and have never taken the time to learn "A Pass". There seems to be many ways out there. Which do you recommend learning first and why? Smile

Thanks For the Time

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Profile of cardfreax
The classic pass...personally I think that's the best one, since it can be done invisibly if you do it right and the move needed to cover the pass is so natural...
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Profile of CLJ
Classic Pass. Then advance onto its variations that cover the motions like the riffle, dip, etc.

Also, the Turnover Pass is good when done properly. This pass and the spread pass have different mechanics as compared to the classic pass. The pass I don't like is the LePaul Spread Pass. Too angly, too many restrictions. I do enjoy one variation of it and that is the outjog spread pass, Michael Weber.
"Watch this, you ready now? Watch this, watch, watch, watch, watch now, watch closely, watch this, you watching now? Watch, watch..." - David Blaine
Steve Friedberg
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Inner circle
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Profile of Steve Friedberg
First off, welcome to the Café. We're glad you're here.

As for learning the pass, if you've been studying the pass for a year, be prepared to take the next year to learn the pass well. It can be that difficult to really get down.

I still can't do a classic pass worth a hill of beans (and just how much is that worth, anyway?). I've found the Herrmann pass (aka the Turnover pass) to be far easier, and as effective.

At the same time, there will be those who question why you'd even need to learn the pass; "why move 51 cards to control the 52nd?," they'll say. I will note, however, that almost every single person who asks that question already knows how to do the pass. Draw your own conclusions.

Have fun.

"A trick does not fool the eyes, but fools the brain." -- John Mulholland
Brad Burt
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Profile of Brad Burt

Technically, a 'pass' is any move with cards that transposes the two halves of the deck thus bringing a card in the middle to either the top or bottom of the deck once the pass is over.

In reality what you are looking for first are 'controls' that will allow you to 'control' a card from a position in the deck to the top (generally) or the bottom of the deck.

The Pass as in the Classic Pass is a really, REALLY hard move to master. Period. You need to set your time line at a minimum of a year or more even with a good instructional video or personal instruction. Take the moves in the Classic Pass one at a time and very slowly working to perfect them in steps. Speed will come with perfection of the basic motions.

On controls: There are tons of excellent ones much easier to learn than the Classic Pass or it extreme variants the Riffle Pass, etc.

In my Video #4 The Basics of Expert Card Technique I expose the use of the Hindu Shuffle Pass for a variety of reasons and then follow it with various convincers including False Cuts and False Shuffles such as the Slip Shuffle, etc.

Daryl's Card Encyclopedia DVD or tapes have a huge number of techniques available. A technique that is a killer and much easier to learn than most think is the Side Steal.

Brad Burt
Brad Burt
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Profile of invalidity

I've just started out with the pass myself and I would like to think that within 3 months, I have gotten it to a stage at which I can perform it fairly reliably in front of laypeople.

I learned my pass from Ninja 1 which is available as an instant download from The instruction on this is first rate. However, this video is very expensive and there are cheaper DVDs out there. e.g. On the Pass with Richard Kauffman and The Perfect Pass by some other guy whose name escapes me at the moment.

Alternatively, you could try learning it from for free. However you need to pass a simple quiz on magical knowledge to gain access to the webcam instructional videos.

Good luck and feel free to pm me if you need to know more.
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Profile of ToPher
Thanks for all the advice.

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Profile of Magic_Mailman
The classic pass is hard and I am still working on it. I found the it's the misdirection that make it work. You could do it slow with proper misdirection. I also like the midnight shift.

Thanks, Tony
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Profile of eddieloughran
I think Kaufman’s video/DVD gives the best explanation. You can see the move and how it should look, and the timing.
You don't get this from a book.
And, you actually can't see the move when done at speed.
Daniel J. Ferrara Jr.
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Long Island, New York
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Profile of Daniel J. Ferrara Jr.
I'm sure Brad Burt doesn't want to plug himself here, so I will do it for him. Pick up Brad Burt’s video on "The Pass" ( and you will learn many variations on the topic in great detail. He covers The Classic Pass, Rear Riffle Pass, Front Riffle Pass, and many other variations.

I purchased his video about two or three years ago. I consider myself to be pretty good at The Pass now, but I still refer to the video from time to time.
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Central Japan
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Profile of Billgussen
But listen to Brad Burt's advice.

There are a lot of very, very good card controls out there, and you will want to learn a couple or three down cold before you even begin to practice with the pass. Most say that you shouldn't perform the pass until you have managed to do it 100% deceptively, and that will take months at least, and possibly a year or more.

You probably know a few controls if you've been in magic (card magic) for a year, so I won't suggest the more obvious controls such as the jog control or the triple cut, but the control that helped me the most was Infinity by Martin Nash. It's a gaff-card control that can be used with a borrowed deck.

Having a few controls, other than the pass, will lend a feeling of even more impossibility when you finally use the pass.

Although I am suggesting that you delay learning the pass, I am not suggesting that you delay it forever. The pass is one of the few sleights where you can control a card to the top without it looking like you did anything more than squaring the deck. It's a good tool to have in your toolbox, but it probably shouldn't be your first tool.

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Profile of Eddy
Here's an exhaustive list for you to be going on with:

1. Classic pass
2. Riffle pass
3. Robinson’s Invisible Riffle Pass
4. Dribble pass
5. Dribble cover pass (Krenzel)
6. Hermann Style Dribble Cover pass
7. Higham’s Dribble Shift
8. Longitudinal pass (Higham)
9. Twist pass (Wesley James)
10. Silent half jiggle pass (Dingle)
11. Stoboscopic riffle pass (Dingle)
12. Silent Pass (Dingle)
13. Dingle’s riffle pass
14. Jiggle pass
15. Ireland Drop Cover Pass
16. Float pass (Green)
17. Float pass backwards (Hollingworth)
18. Fingertip Float pass (Hollingworth)
19. Fingertip Float pass backwards (Hollingworth)
20. Deal Shift (Hollingworth)
21. Spring Shift (u.a. Hollingworth)
22. Free Turn pass (Cervon)
23. Free Turn table pass (Cervon)
24. Longitudinal Free Turn table pass (Cervon)
25. Fuente Square up Pass
26. Gambler’s sweep table pass
27. From the Mind of a Cardician (Marlo)
28. Cardician’s Mind keeps Working (Marlo)
29. A Table pass (Marlo)
30. Wrist Turn Pass No.1 (Marlo)
31. Wrist Turn Pass No.2 (Marlo)
32. Wrist Turn Pass No.3 (Marlo)
33. Marlo’s Wrist Turn Pass
34. Marlo’s Wrist Turn Table pass
35. Marlo’s Wrist Turn Drop Cover pass
36. Body Pass (Marlo)
37. Combination Pass (Marlo)
38. Fingertip pass (Marlo)
39. Table edge Pass (Marlo)
40. Extended Fingers Passes (Marlo)
41. Turnaround pass (Marlo)
42. Spring Dribble pass (Marlo)
43. Spring Dribble Table pass (Marlo)
44. Bold Table Shift (Marlo)
45. Another Combination pass (Marlo)
46. End Tap pass (Marlo)
47. Tan Hock Chaun Pass (Marlo)
48. Unconventional Pass (Marlo)
49. Olram’s Ponsin Pass (Marlo)
50. Olram’s Bobble Cover pass (Marlo)
51. Marlo’s Tilt Pass
52. Tilt table pass (Marlo)
53. another tables tilt pass (Marlo)
54. Easy pass (Marlo)
55. Tabled Charlier pass (Marlo)
56. Midnight Shift (Draun)
57. Flutter pass (Draun)
58. Charlier pass
59. Invisible pass (Giobbi)
60. Falsche Volte (GK)
61. Pointer Pass (Swain)
62. Soft Riffle Pass (Swain)
63. Sleeve pulling Shift (Swain? Malone?)
64. Malone shift
65. Thompson pseudo pass
66. Marlo’s Variation (Topping Thompson)
67. Bottom cover pass
68. Spread pass (Le Paul)
69. Black pass (Fred Black)
70. Location pass (Vernon)
71. Sprong’s pass (Johnny Sprong)
72. Fan Pass (Walter Baker)
73. Mexican Joe’s table pass
74. Charlie Miller’s table pass
75. Erdnase Shift, One Hand
76. Erdnase Shift, Two Hands
77. Longitudinal Shift (Erdnase)
78. Open Shift (Erdnase)
79. S.W.E. Shift
80. Drop Shift (Dom Paolino)
81. Zingone perfect table pass
82. Flesh Grip pass
83. Jog pass
84. Braue pass
85. Curious turnover pass (Bardosis)
86. Vernon’s one handed pass
87. Ehlers Shift
88. Bertram’s square up invisible pass
89. Turnover cover pass (Kaufmann)
90. Cover pass
91. Jenning’s Cover pass
92. Herman Style Cover pass
93. Juxta pass
94. Circle Shift (Jennings)
95. Paradigms
96. Slydini Pass
97. Double Lift Shift
98. Hermann Pass (Stanyon)
99. Hermann Pass (Roterberg)
100. Jack Merlin’s Turnover Pass
101. Dr. Dayley’s Improved Turnover Pass
102. Sendax Tap Pass
103. Jack Miller Pass
104. KE Pass
105. Louis Histed Pocket Pass
106. Poltergeist Pass
107. Leipzig Pass
108. Light-Reft Spread pass (Forton & Keyserlingk)
109. Buckley Table Pass 3rd Method
La magie, c'est ma vie
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New Mexico
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Profile of Shawn74
The pass has remained elusive to me as well. Though I can do it, it is not 100% invisible to the eye. It takes some misdirection to get it done. I asked Ernest Earick about The Classic Pass once and he laughed and said he remembered wasting his youth on the pass. The best advice he gave was just keep working on it and it will eventually fall into place.
Hold your breath...make a wish...count to 3... and you'll be in a world of pure imagination
Willy Wonka
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Profile of oldguy
Eddie, you forgot Dingle's roach pass. Smile
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Profile of ByranNewell
Fellow magi kid each other about the roach pass, but I've seen Gregory Wilson do it in front of laymen as a nod to the magicians in the room, and not one layman caught the pass… too busy looking at the roach.
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Profile of GFord
Go for the classic pass. The videos mentioned are an invaluable aid. They show you that it can be done and done effectively as well as how to do it. Practice and patience will take care of the rest. Best of luck to you!
Jesper Amstrup
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Profile of Jesper Amstrup
The riffle pass was the easiest to get "invisible" for me. After I got that down many of the other variations came pretty easily.

Kaufmann's “On The Pass” video is good and Card College helped me too.

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2472 Posts

Profile of RevJohn
Steve Mayhew does the most beautiful Dribble Pass I have ever seen. I do the classic pass, and I thought pretty well... that was until I saw a pass done with true skill.

Check out Steve's thoughts on the Dribble Pass. I forget what the name of the publication is, but it was put out by Steven Minch and was a two part "magazine," devote to Steve Mayhew's card magic.

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Dublin, Ireland
52 Posts

Profile of TheMagical1
Hi ToPher,
I started doing card tricks when I was 5 years old. A technique that I have been using for more years than I care to remember is what I thought was a classic pass. I learnt it as described in a first edition of 'Karl Fulve's' book "Self-Working Card Magic". Smile

Too my shock and horror, I was describing the method of the effect to a junior member of our society having just performed a trick at a 'show and tell' evening, only to be corrected by a founding member Smileof our society, that the move I had actually done was a reverse pass. I don't think I have ever been so embarrassed in my life having been using that technique for the last 17 years of my life!! Smile
It only goes to show how easily terms used to describe techniques in magic can be called by the wrong name.
Michael A.
Sleight of Mind:- "A Great Place to Stop for a Break from Reality!"
Brad Burt
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Profile of Brad Burt

As I was reading the above posts again it struck me more strongly than ever that one of the toughest things to get 'down' with the pass is a REASON to do the darn thing! "Please return your card to the deck..thank you." (Now, watch as I toss in a completely out of place riffle or dribble or whatever.)

This was ALWAYS the tough one for me to get around. I had to spend many hours attempting to integrate the move itself with my attitude towards WHY I was doing the move! For me, eventually, a kind of casual/nervous demi-flourish thing came out of trial and error before lay folks. You see it in my 'messy' way of dribbling the cards of the cut off half onto the selection and performing the pass in the action of squaring the deck back up in a slightly hyper fashion. This works for me, but I am a somewhat hectic performer and this attack serves.

REALLY take a look at WHY you are doing a move like the pass. It's part of the invisibility of ANY move is that it is NOT PERCEIVED AT ALL. If your audience fails to 'see' the move, but yet they 'think' something 'may' have happened....In some ways I think that this is worse than outright busting you. It is easier to cover a total flub than to convice someone that what they 'think' they saw...they didn't!

Take care,

Brad Burt
Brad Burt
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