# Perform Awesome Card Illusions With a Homemade Magic Trick Deck

No matter what anyone says about performing magic tricks, everyone’s jaws drop when they see an amazing illusion. Here’s how you can turn a regular deck of cards into a custom deck that makes doing magic tricks easy.

Over at Make, Gareth Branwyn has a guide—based on a how-to in Mark Frauenfelder’s ebook Trick Decks—for turning a standard deck of cards into what’s known as a “stripper deck.” The cards in this kind of deck are tapered so that even beginner magicians can quickly pull certain cards from the deck with ease. You can see an example of a stripper deck trick in this video from Mark Frauenfelder’s YouTube channel. To make your own, you just need a way to trim each of the cards accurately. Branwyn uses an office paper trimmer with a jig setup that ensures each card gets cut the exact same way. Once you’ve cut the cards properly, your deck is ready to perform several illusions you can find in various magic books or online. Check out the complete guide at the link below for more tips and places to find magic tricks.

http://lifehacker.com/193884/learn-t…

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# The Best Way to Shuffle and Randomize a Deck of Playing Cards

The whole point of shuffling a deck of cards is to randomize the order of them as best you can. For the best results, you need to give the deck at least seven basic rifle shuffles.

This video from the Numberphile YouTube channel features statistics and mathematics professor Persi Diaconis of Stanford University explaining why you need at least seven shuffles. Of course, the shuffles need to be the standard riffle shuffle and not the overhand shuffle (that type takes about 10,000 shuffles to reach the same level of randomization). Smooshing, the process of spreading the cards around the table and mixing them together, can be effective as well, but you need to do it for about a minute. If you’d like to read more about the math, you can check out the original study here. Good shuffling can take practice, but it’s not too hard to pick up if you practice.

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