False shuffles are very useful when you want to keep a card or possibly a group of cards on the top or the bottom of the pack. They can even be used to transfer a card from the top to bottom or from the bottom to the top of the pack. If this sleight is done well, it looks like you are actually mixing up the cards when in fact you are controlling the deck.
1. One of the easiest false shuffles can be used when you want to keep the bottom card of the pack in position having previously sighted it unbeknown to your spectator. To do this, all you have to do is hold the pack in your left hand in the shuffle position and shuffle the cards in a fairly normal way except that you make sure that the fingers of your left hand keep a grip on the bottom card of the pack. This is further facilitated by dragging off the top card of the pack with the left thumb so that it falls on top of the bottom card and then shuffling the rest of the pack onto the 2 cards.
2. If you want to shuffle this bottom card of the pack to the top then this is also quite easy. All you need to do is perform a normal shuffle then just make sure that the last card pulled by the left thumb to left-hand is a single card. This has to be done very carefully of course because if you pull the last two or three cards over by accident than you will lose control of the position of important card.
3. If you have the card you want to control on top of the pack then one good way of keeping it there very easily is to turn the deck over some of the cards are face up and to shuffle the normally except that as in 1 above the left-hand fingers keep a grip on what is the top card thus keeping it in position. Your excuse the shuffling the deck face up can be that you want to show clearly that you are thoroughly mixing the cards.
4. For a more advanced and professional overhand shuffle, let’s say for example that you have the ace of hearts on top of the deck and that you want to shuffle the deck keeping it in the same position.
Begin the shuffle as normal pulling a few cards off with the left thumb, dropping them into your palm as you bring the main part of the pack over. Next you drag off only one card from the top of the main pack with your left thumb sliding it onto the cards in your left palm only this time using the left thumb, you pull the card about half an inch towards your body. This is called in jogging the card and this in jogged card is now above your ace of hearts. You then continue to shuffle the cards on top of the stack until they’re all in the left-hand. From your angle you can see the in jogged card sticking out but your spectator and audience cannot. What you do next is to undercut the cards again by pushing upwards with the right thumb on the underside of the in jogged card creating a break. It is now relatively straightforward to shuffle all of the cards above the break into the left-hand palm and then to drop the rest of the cards on top. In this way the ace of hearts is retained on top of the pack.
This false shuffle will work to retain not just one but a few cards on top of the pack. Obviously you just have to make sure that the first batch of cards pulled over with your left thumb is big enough to include all the cards you wish to retain. Don’t be put off if you find this false shuffle a little difficult — it does take a little practice but it’s well worth the effort that you put into it.
If you are interested in card shuffling, both legitimate for card game playing and the magical kind, you can read more by following the link to a good, informative Wikipedia page.