• Don Boyer

Now Offering: N-Stripper Work!

Not a lot of people are familiar with negative-stripped cards, or n-stripping.  It involves a different kind of cut work - creating an edge or end that's concave rather than cut straight but at a slight angle.  It takes more practice to work with.   Few magicians know about them, fewer still work with them - they're more the province of the card sharp.  In the first half of the twentieth century, they were sometimes referred to by card mechanics and others in the know as "bathroom strippers," because a card sharp might alter an otherwise new deck when taking a bathroom break, using a shard of glass from a broken mirror, window or lightbulb to make the alterations.

Card sharps typically only n-stripped a few cards in a deck - perhaps the aces or the kings, or maybe something less obvious like the tens or five cards needed for a straight or a flush - but they stripped them on both sides; the concavity meant that when you held the deck from the center of the edges, those cards would have no contact with your fingers there, thus no friction with the first hand's fingers when you used the other hand to tug along the bottom of the edge, allowing those stripped cards to slide out of the bottom of the pack.  If you wanted to get even fancier still, you could n-strip a few sets of cards in the same deck, but by stripping each set in a different area, you could select which group you wanted to manipulate in a given hand.  For example, you might strip the center of the edges of the kings, the corners of the edges of the aces, the center of the ends of the queens and the corners of the ends of a straight flush, allowing you to selectively pull out and control any of those groups, or, if you really wanted to set someone up, more than one group - sending four of a kind to one or two players at the table and dealing yourself a straight flush potentially makes for a very exciting and lucrative pot (assuming you didn't get caught cheating, because it still requires a high degree of skill to pull that off.  Alternately, stripping an entire deck on a single edge or end allows you to use it much like a regular stripper deck, but it's far more subtle, more difficult to spot - but again, not as easy to work with.

For magicians and mechanics looking to up their game a bit, I'm now offering negative stripper cards and decks.  I can strip an entire pack on one edge or you can select which cards you want to control and I can strip the opposing sides of your choice, ends or edges.  Other combinations as described in the previous paragraph can be arranged as well.  It's very fine work - the concavity is approximately 0.2 mm or less - so it's not for the amateur, the person with no sense of touch or the faint of heart, but it is for the up-and-comer wanting to perform some impressive little miracles with pasteboards.  I can cut it deeper on request, but while that makes it marginally easier to use, it makes it easier to spot as well.

Addendum: I’m told by Eoin O’Hare that decks made with one side concave-cut are actually variants of belly stripper decks.  I seem to get those deck types mistaken - it’s the same tool used to make both!

#stripperdeck #negativestripperdeck #negativestrippercards #nstripper

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