The Casual Card Count? question

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Jonathan Townsend
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The Casual Card Count? question

Postby Jonathan Townsend » September 27th, 2017, 8:19 am

Good morning,

After much fussing and frustration and a glimpse at the forum to see a post by Andy of MCJ/Jerx... a minor thought about motivating that counting thing we do - Elmsley/Hamman... that display procedure. What Andy mentioned as having odd logic about what we are doing (display vs count) and where the cards wind up.

What if that were done as a miniature overhand shuffle type procedure? IE thumbing off the cards in the same action as we might do an overhand shuffle? Would that read as a casual/consistent action in performance?

That asked... reinventing the wheel? Citations?

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Randy DiMarco
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Re: The Casual Card Count? question

Postby Randy DiMarco » September 27th, 2017, 10:02 am

I know I have seen the Hamman count done in an overhand shuffle style action but I don't remember where.

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Joe Pecore
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Re: The Casual Card Count? question

Postby Joe Pecore » September 27th, 2017, 10:10 am

Seem Mr. Goldstein has explored this in a couple of routines.

Red Exchange ("effect is the work of Phil Goldstein") in The Talan (No. 5), page 52 (late 70s?)
"Square the cards and flip them face down. State that you'll give the aces a shuffle and a cut. Apparently do this - first, Elmsley Count the face down packet (thus displayi no four blue backs). "


Dupenta by Phil Goldstein in Abra, December 19, 1981:
"Perform an Elmsley Count. This is done not as a counting action, but rather as a shuffle. "
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Randy DiMarco
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Re: The Casual Card Count? question

Postby Randy DiMarco » September 27th, 2017, 10:11 am

After a quick search I found Fred Kaps' Hamman Count Overhand Shuffle in 52 Lovers. I feel like I saw it somewhere else before 52 Lovers was published.

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Re: The Casual Card Count? question

Postby Jonathan Townsend » September 27th, 2017, 1:36 pm

Sounds encouraging. Someone did the work to make the display/counting process consistent with an overhand shuffle action? It just seemed a natural step to keep the grip and display angle toward the audience - the thumb pulling single cards as the counting/display action instead of pulling blocks for a shuffling action.
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Pete McCabe
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Re: The Casual Card Count? question

Postby Pete McCabe » September 28th, 2017, 3:08 pm

There's a chapter in Scripting Magic called "Scripting Counts" that addresses this issue. Most Elmsley/Hamman/Biddle steal/etc. counts have significant blocking issues. These are easy to fix, a process that makes it much easier for the audience to see what's going on and helps conceal the move(s).

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Re: The Casual Card Count? question

Postby Dick Koornwinder » September 29th, 2017, 10:26 am

Mr Kaps used a Hamman count overhand shuffle at his Gypsy Curse routine. He shuffled the card lengthwise and it was looking very casual.

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Re: The Casual Card Count? question

Postby Jonathan Townsend » September 29th, 2017, 12:31 pm

That's exactly the approach I'm exploring where the consistent action becomes that of an overhand shuffle. The Elmsley count is kinda interesting done that way. UPCT users --- ask.

Any thoughts on putting focus on the card at the face of the pack rather than the one you just thumbed out of the way to display the next card?
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Brad Jeffers
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Re: The Casual Card Count? question

Postby Brad Jeffers » September 29th, 2017, 3:02 pm

Just curious ...
What trick that utilizes an Elmsley count, do you think would be improved by using an "Elmsley shuffle"?

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Re: The Casual Card Count? question

Postby Jonathan Townsend » September 30th, 2017, 6:01 pm

Brad Jeffers wrote:Just curious ...
What trick that utilizes an Elmsley count, do you think would be improved by using an "Elmsley shuffle"?


I'm working on Elmsley's Four Card Trick and going from there. Whether thumbing through the cards, counting or shuffling... no change in grips. Let's call it an "Overhand Elmsley" - as there's no presumed shuffling during the cards getting thumbed off the packet in one hand and into the other hand one at a time. Holding things so folks can see them makes sense to me - maybe it's an aesthetic exploration. At the moment it also seems to motivate turning over cards with a stud-turnover type action. We'll see where this goes in a bit.
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Re: The Casual Card Count? question

Postby Jack Shalom » October 4th, 2017, 9:09 am

Jon, October 2017 MUM, Eric Lewis has a stand up version of Wild Card with Jumbo Cards. It includes a Hamman Count handling that might fit your criteria. Not a shuffle, but a logical display for an audience in front of you.

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Re: The Casual Card Count? question

Postby Jonathan Townsend » October 4th, 2017, 9:59 am

That's interesting - he's been working on a version of wildcard since 1969 and before. His item "Philosopher's Stone" is in the February 1970 issue of Genii Magazine. Not sure about his count though - here's what he was doing then:
Hold the packet backs up in the left hand as though for dealing. Count three cards into the right hand, reversing their order, pulling the cards off the packet one by one with the right thumb and forefinger, then transferring them to between first and second fingers when counted.
Subscribers here might want to look at what he did for a plot, display setup and finale for his routine.

Jack, if you're on FB - i made a quick video of the count.
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Chas Nigh
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Re: The Casual Card Count? question

Postby Chas Nigh » October 5th, 2017, 3:01 pm

Derek Dingle counted from dealer's grip. I use it all the time.

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Re: The Casual Card Count? question

Postby Chas Nigh » October 5th, 2017, 3:02 pm

Derek Dingle counted from dealer's grip. I use it all the time. Sorry about the DP.

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Re: The Casual Card Count? question

Postby Jonathan Townsend » October 7th, 2017, 5:21 pm

Chas Nigh wrote:Derek Dingle counted from dealer's grip. I use it all the time.


Yes, he did. Tony Spina showed that procedure at Tannen's long ago :). I was using that till recently. It's a tough habit to break too. I had to start by moving the cards to Overhand grip parallel to the floor and move the cards up to vertical from there. Almost as bad as the "don't forget to point" habit.

Think "faces toward the audience" so they can ser and you can throw focus where you want them looking.
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