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The principles of deception or cheating
2013-06-24 17:21
  Although the technical work of card cheats and conjurors differs greatly-the methods evolved to achieve different goals-the underlying principles are the same. The deceiver shows the false and hides the real. Showing the false involves simulation, lying, and pretense. For example, the cheat convinces us that he has cut the deck by perfectly imitating all of the familiar actions of a cut; however, the deck remains in the original order. Hiding the real involves strategies such as masking (blocking the view), camouflage, and distracting attention. Other essential elements, really a subset of the broader categories, are timing, justification of behavior (providing apparent motivation for the necessary moves), and a deep psychological understanding of what will and will not register with observers. When these strategies succeed-as they do most of the time –the deception is successful and an illusion is created. For a conjuror, the desired illusion is that something extraordinary has occurred. This is known in magical parlance as “the effect.” For the cheat the desired illusion is that nothing out of the ordinary has occurred; the effect is that of “luck.” The magician and the card cheat are both performers, but only the magician tells you you’re watching a show.
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