False Counting

In the effect, CARDS THAT PASS IN THE NIGHT, in a previous lesson, I taught you a method of False Counting. Here I give you other methods that will add to your fund of Magical knowledge. The effect, as you remember, is apparently to count a certain number of cards, but in reality to count fewer.

The Slip Over False Count -TO PERFORM:

Assume that you want apparently to count TWELVE cards and really to count only NINE.

Hold deck in left hand, backs of cards to audience and faces toward yourself. Take first card with right hand and bring it upward a little and about six inches to right of deck.

Count cards aloud, saying, "One."

Slide next card to right with left thumb. Place card in right hand on top of it and bring the two away together as you did the first.

Figure 21.

Do the same with the third card, counting, "Three."

As you come down with right hand to pick up fourth card, slide the first card from right hand over to the left. With right and left thumbs get it back on to the deck. Remove the fourth card with the second and third.

Figure 22.

You have only three cards in right hand but say, "Four."

Count the fifth card legitimately.

As you go along, slide two more cards back on to the deck at intervals and count the rest legitimately. Your count is then TWELVE, but you really have only NINE.

False Counting Cards

The Put Back False Count —

Suppose that you want apparently to count TWELVE cards off the deck but really to remove only FIVE,

Hold deck in left hand, backs up, in horizontal position, Or cards may be held with face of each showing as it is counted,

With left thumb slide top card half way off deck to right and take it with right hand. Count aloud -"ONE,"

Figure 23.

Push next card over to right, Place first card on top of it and remove the two with right hand, Count -- "TWO,"

Continue this until you have removed FIVE cards, Now take the sixth card, but keep it jogged to the left about half inch,

Figure 24.

Continue counting eleven cards, but keep all after the fifth jogged -- even with the sixth card.

When you come to the twelfth card, do not push it over with left thumb. Bring right hand with cards over to top of deck and leave the six cards, separated from first five by jog, on deck. Thus instead of removing twelfth card, you put back all except five. Bring right hand quickly away from deck as if removing another card and count -- "TWELVE."

Figure 25.

Keep a uniform motion with each count. As you make the last move, keep cards turned downward a little.

The Pick Up False Count —

This is a method for actually counting MORE cards than you apparently do. Thus if you want to count TWELVE cards apparently but in reality count FIFTEEN, you may use this method.


Hold deck in left hand, backs of cards up. Fan cards to right and get your left little finger under eight cards. Square up the deck. Now with right hand pick up the top card with fingers at outer end and thumb at edge nearest you. This view is from above.

Figure 26.

Lay this card down on spectator's outstretched hand and count - "ONE."

Pick up second card and lay it even with first on spectator's hand. Count -- "TWO." Do the same with the third and fourth, counting — "THREE," "FOUR."

For the fifth, lift the next four cards -- those separated from deck with left little finger. Place them down on spectator's hand as one and count -"FIVE." This gives you the three extra cards.

Continue counting until you have said "TWELVE." Spectator really holds fifteen cards in his hand.

The Palm False Count —

This is another method of counting less cards than you appear to. Assume that you count twelve cards apparently into spectator's hand, but in reality count nine.


Hold nine cards squared up, backs of cards up, in left hand. Push off top card about half way to right. Place right hand over it and palm it.

Figure 27.

This is not an invisible palming. You do not try to conceal card in this case. Place card on a spectator's outstretched hand and count "ONE." Continue this with THREE cards.

As you pretend to remove fourth card, pull it back on to the deck with left thumb. Continue motion of hand to spectator's, pretending to place a fourth card on top of the three already there. Spectator will not be aware that you do not actually place a fourth card in his hand.

Place the fifth card down legitimately.

False count the sixth.

Place the seventh down legitimately. False count the eighth.

Place the next four down legitimately. Count--"TWELVE." NOTE:

After first two cards are laid down on spectator's hand, palm is not exposed to audience. They take it for granted that you have a card each time, but they cannot see it.

The "Pick Up" and "Palm" False Counts may be combined and used to begin the experiment "Cards That Pass in the Night"— or other experiments. Have spectator count 24 cards into your hand, then you False Count FIFTEEN as TWELVE into one spectator's hand and NINE as TWELVE into another spectator's hand. Thus you can cause three cards apparently to pass from one spectator to the other.

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  • cristoforo boni
    How to false count cards?
    3 months ago

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