The Jehhfowj Count July 1 1973

You are now ready to execute the JEHHFOWJ Count (pronounced JEFF-OOGE), which combines elements of the Jordan (Houghton-Haxton) and Elmsley Counts with a five-card packet. It was devised for this routine but has much broader applications. It is similar to, though I believe it predates, a count devised by Daryl Martinez called The D.M. Count (first described with a three-card packet in Secrets of a "Puerto Rican Gambler," 1980, page 109; and with a four-card packet in Daryl's Cardboard Chameleons, 1981, page 3). I do not suggest Daryl knew anything about my count, simply that I find mine easier to perform reliably; it's what I use.

NOTE: The JEHHFOWJ Count hides, like the Elmsley and Houghton-Haxton Counts, and displaces, like Jordan's Count (whatever technique he may have used). It uses a grip I modified, based on a grip Mario recognized could be used to cycle Elmsley and Jordan Counts, in what he termed the Flexible Count. I've argued it should have been called Flexible Count Grip (see Pasteboard Perpensions, page 4).

The JEHHFOWJ Count is a true hybrid, embodying features first identified by Norman Houghton and Francis Haxton (see Verne Chesbro's booklet, Ultimate Color Separation, No. 2, 1964, page 3), where Houghton and Haxton agreed on sharing credit). I see a growing tendency to lump all applications of a technique under the mechanics of that technique, despite its creators failure to share pertinent applications. This accounts for a number of disagreements over credits. My perspective is founded in my scientific background. The discoverer of the atom doesn't get credit for the A-bomb or tracking isotopes through the body for diagnostic purposes. Each depends on the other but they are not inherent or "obvious to one schooled in the art." That wording comes from the patent process but it reflects in legalese a notion taken as given in the scientific community. In that community, where there is doubt, the presumption is that credit should be given. In the patent field, where money may be at issue, it can come to trial and be adjudicated. I would like to think that magic would follow the practice of the scientific community, since financial remuneration is not at issue in most instances. That's the perspective I bring to the Jordan-Hough-ton-Haxton distinction. It is at the heart of my philosophy for crediting in magic, as it is in the sciences. 1 strongly suspect not everyone will agree with me on the matter. 1 believe, however, that each reader is entitled to reach his or her own conclusions based on information, not dogma. Hence this somewhat lengthy side excursion.

As you hold the packet in right-hand Mario Flexible Count Grip, pull off the top card fairly into left-hand Dealing Grip. Push over the block above the bottom card, as in an Elmsley Count, and steal back the single card from the left hand under the right-hand card as you draw the block into your left hand. This is also like an Elmsley Count. Pull off the next card fairly for the count of three (though you should not count aloud). As you take the last card from the right hand, on the count of four, steal back the lowermost card from the left-hand group, as in a Jordan (Houghton-Haxton) Count. This shows all the cards apparently face down and leaves the face-up card, the selection, on the bottom, below the four face-down cards. As you finish this display you comment, "You will note that the card has turned over in the packet. If I give the packet a twist, like this..."

Execute the Vernon Through-the-Fist Flourish again, but this time secretly reverse the packet. More specifically, place the packet face down on your left palm with the right edge on the crease at the base of the fingers (Figure 45). Close your hand into a loose fist and turn it palm down. Using your thumb, push the packet through your hand along the track formed by the crease. Remove the packet, with the same pivot action used before, and place it into dealing position.

This is apparently the same action used in Step 11, except that the packet was then placed on the fingers, resulting in the packets not being reversed. Nevertheless, that sequence sets up this one.

NOTE: Those familiar with it can apply the Novrec Turnover or my Semaj-Novrec variation instead of the Vernon Through-the-Fist Flourish. The Cervon technique appeared in his book The Black & White Trick and Other Assorted Mysteries (1989, page 47). A description of my variation follows:


Begin with the packet in left-hand dealing position. Your right hand moves over the packet, grasping it between the right second fingertip at the front left corner and the thumbtip at the diagonally opposite, near right corner. All the fingers of the left hand relax, moving away from the right edge of the packet, except the left fourth finger, which remains bent above the right side, close to the near right corner (Figure 46). The position of the fourth finger is as though it were holding a large break, save that there are no cards above.

As soon as the right hand is in position, two actions occur simultaneously. The right hand will turn the packet clockwise 180 degrees. This is accomplished by combining a pivot of the right wrist and a swing of the front of the packet to the right, achieved by the right second finger and thumb. The near corner maintains contact with the right thumb. The left hand also rotates the packet clockwise and downward during this action. The left fourth fingers contact with the packet causes it to rotate clockwise along its diagonal axis (Figure 47, in which the under card of the packet is shown with a shaded back to clarify

(Figure 48). All this may sound complicated. It actually isn't. The packet is simply rotated along one axis, its approximate center, end for end, and another axis, the diagonal, side for side. The smaller rotation across the diagonal is masked by the larger rotation and is partially screened by the right hand. Properly coordinated, the smaller rotation is effectively invisible; timed incorrectly it will seem impossible that the technique can be deceptive. The technique and timing will reveal themselves with minimal mirror practice.

Having said, "If I give the packet a twist, like this..." and put the packet through either the Vernon or Semaj-Novrec maneuver, you continue, "your card rises through the other cards, leaving just the four cards you didn't make special." This next move was first recorded in my private notes of July 1970.1 had the pleasure of performing it in the context of this effect for the late Arturo de Ascanio who was instantly enamored of it. I included it in Pasteboard Perpensions (page 53, Step 6.5), with a full deck, but this small-packet version allows an almost uncanny visual and aural illusion that makes the technique completely invisible.


Holding the packet in Dealing Grip, relax the left fingers (releasing their grasp).

The right hand grasps the packet as though it were a single card, taking it with the thumb above and the first two 49

fingers below at the middle of the ,/ ~

right side. Lift that side of the C^N /,Jy packet slighdy and slide it lightly y V- ^^—

edge of the packet lies along the \

middle joint crease of the first finger and the inner joint crease \ ) J

1A Flick the face-down card with your left thumb then turn it face up revealing it to be the card named earlier, which has apparently risen to the top.

CLOSING NOTES: In the final, "ambitious" phase of the routine, after the magical gesture of theThrough-the-Fist Flourish, the selected card not only turns face down, it also rises to the top of the packet. Its position, however, isn't shown. This rise is merely suggested by your words. The JEHHFOWJ Count proves that the card has turned face down as it is moved back to the bottom of the packet. A final magical gesture then causes the card to pass back up through all the others. Since the effect of the routine is very visual, my patter doesn't try to hard-sell this "logic." The left- and right-brain activities have a tendency to fight each other. Instead, the logic is offered only lightly and the visual element carries the effect.

A fine addition to this routine is to begin with four blank-laced cards face up in positions three through six from the top of the deck. Any face-up card lies second from the top and any face-down card is on top. Spread the deck and have five cards removed, taking care not to flash the reversed cards. Turn the selected cards face up on the deck, spread them and have one named. Transfer it to the face of the group, then square everything. Lift off the top, face-up card, then turn over the top ten cards as though they were four. Spread off the top four face-down cards of the deck, which are now four blanks. Perform the routine as described and you have a surprise ending: The four unchosen cards turn blank. There is a reversed card left second from top, but it is easily righted when you place the deck into your pocket. A line I have used to punctuate this change, which has proven quite

Push up and slightly forward 50

with the right hand and allow all ^---

of the cards except the top one to _ /

escape from the grip of the right \V> \ y^^^P^" ^

fingers, the thumb holding that card in place (Figure 50). If you have done everything correctly, it should look as though the card has been lifted sharply off \ ! J

should not be realized is that the packet has been reversed, flipping side over side, in the process. The Snap Reverse is a novel form of Action Half Pass or packet reverse. As such, it can be applied to many of the functions of both. Its closest relative seems to be Ben Harris' Fandango move (from his 1986 monograph of the same name). The Snap Reverse has the advantage of being invisible and far less subject to angle constraints.

effective, is: "Once you've seen a card perform as this one has, other cards seem pale by comparison."

Either version of the routine, with the blank cards or without, will fascinate and intrigue a lay audience. Both versions play very well in stand-up, walk-around, restaurant or cocktail-party conditions. Such venues tend to be noisy, and patter can't be too detailed. In this routine a minimal amount of patter is required to keep the plot clear. This flexibility has made it something of a favorite of mine for quite a few years. The effect is not devastating but is received as pleasing "eye candy," an interlude between more intricate plots.

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