Steve Beam

This is a version of the Elmsley Count I came up with in the mid-seventies. It was first published in Magic. The Vanishing Art or. How To Turn A Trick For Fun and Profit. I am reprinting it here for several reasons—not the least of which is that it eats up half of a page. However, in addition to spreading myself thin, I want to be able to refer to it in future issues without having to explain it in detail. Finally, I use this and feel it suits far better than the Elmsley Count in the routine "Back to Aces" in this issue.

I won't spend a lot of time elaborating on the benefits of this count over the Elmsley—I want to save some conversation for when we meet in person. This way, we'll have something to look forward to.

We'll say you're using four cards and want to count them as four, while hiding the third card from the top. The hands are held almost in position for the Hamman Count. That is, the right hand holds the face down packet from above at the short ends. The thumb is at the near end, while the seond finger is at the far end. The forefinger is curled on top.

Make sure that the right second finger covers the front edge of the cards. The cards are held more from the side than in the Hamman Count. The right third finger (and this is important), rests along the front edge of the face of the cards. This finger can buckle the bottom card toward the right thumb. This is the key move of the count.

To start the count, the face up left hand approaches the right hand packet. The left thumb is laid on top of the top card of the packet. The left fingers go underneath the packet. The left thumb drags the top card into the left hand. As soon as the card is free of the packet, the right third finger buckles the bottom card. The left hand again approaches the right hand. The card in the left hand is left on the face (bottom) of the packet, as the cards above the break (which was created by the buckle) are taken into the left hand. The right hand holds the two cards on the face of the packet back, as the left hand takes the top two cards. Both hands each hold two cards now. The left hand new pulls the two cards from the right hand one at a time. You have new counted four cards as four cards, while hiding the third.

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