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Heinstein Shuffle (VHS) Review

Official Review

October 18th, 2015 9:30pm
Reviewed by Doc Johnson

Karl starts with the teaching of the basic Heinstein Shuffle, an in the hands false riffle shuffle. The idea of this was to be able to do a false shuffle while standing, without the use of a table. This false shuffle requires two false shuffles to get the deck back in the same order as before.

He then teaches a version of the Heinstein Shuffle that involves a pseudo cover pass. This version, while a bit more difficult, requires only one shuffle to get the deck back in the same order.

He teaches a very strong Triumph using the Heinstein Shuffle. A card is selected and lost into the deck. The cards are shuffled several times. The cards are then visibly shuffled, face up into face down. They are shown, some face up, some face down. The cards are then spread showing all the cards facing the same direction with the exception of their selected card. The kicker ending is the entire deck is in new deck order.

This shuffle is something that can be done surrounded, and is almost angle proof. I say “almost” because in the video, he shows what he calls "bad" angles, and even knowing what I am looking for, I didn't see anything wrong.

The method is very good. Difficult, VERY difficult, but good.

This doesn’t come with any gimmicks. This is a video of how to do a very convincing false riffle shuffle with a regular deck of cards.

The video is true to the ad copy. Exactly what they say is what you get. However..


This is not easy. This will require a significant amount of practice, first just to be able to do it, then to be able to do it and make it look good. If you work with a mem deck, you may want to put in the work on this one. I am pretty good with basic sleights, and I found this difficult to learn, not due to any deficiency in his teaching, but just in how difficult the moves are. In fact, it was so difficult that it made me stop and think about the routines I do and whether I really need to learn this for the improvement of my routines. I concluded not. You come to your own decision.

The video teaches a great version of Triumph. However, for the layperson, I’m not sure how much better it is than my very simple version that doesn’t stray too far from the original Triumph using a simple imperfect faro shuffle. My version doesn’t have the kicker ending, but I have worked on the presentation to make it entertaining. Also, I can do my version at any time, with a shuffled deck. I don't have to start with a deck in new deck order. Given this, I think it would have been great if he presented more examples of amazing routines that really require the Heinstein Shuffle.


A very strong false shuffle for workers. If you are an amateur magician, you need to decide if you really need to put in the practice to make this work.

Product info for Heinstein Shuffle (VHS)

Author: Hein, Karl
Publisher: MagicSmith
Average Rating:  (1)
Retail Price: $29.95
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Manufacturer's Description:

A riffle shuffle with a bridge is recognized the world over as a most convincing way to shuffle cards. Karl Hein's Heinstein Shuffle mimics this perfectly - complete with riffle, weave, and bridge.

Best of all, the Heinstein Shuffle is for workers. It can be done in-the-hands, up-close, and from every angle. People will swear the cards have been fairly mixed (you don't need a table to perform it.) It's perfect for memorized deck work, maintaining a stack, story routines, or whatever.

Plus, you'll learn Karl's pet routine - the Heinstein Triumph. It's a convincing in the hands Triumph with a kicker. You not only find their card and right the deck, you magically restore the cards to new deck order.

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