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SpareTopChange

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Reply with quote  #1 
I've gone from thinking that a pinky count is impossible for any human to perform to the point where I can do it pretty well.

The key to learning this was the following:

1.  Someone suggested that I start with a packet of 10 cards and learn to PC with that packet.  Then add a few cards each day.  This was by far the most important ingredient to my success.

2. I also made sure I practiced almost every day.  Fire up Netflix and sit yourself in front of a Cheers re-run with your deck of cards and start your pinky counting!

3. I made sure I wasn't just trying to PC two cards and then starting over.  I'd instead count 10 or 15 cards, and then "actually count" them to make sure I popped off the right number of cards.  In other words, I might think I PC-ed 10 cards but in fact ended up with 12.

4. Someone in a Saturday Session recommended getting a Gripmaster Pro Edition.  This seemed to help a little, but I think I got one that was too difficult.  I bought the "Extra Heavy" one, which I can indeed squeeze closed, but that's with all my fingers working at once.  I think I should've gotten a much easier one so I could just work my pinky instead.

This should make my DL much better... Are there other uses for the PC that you guys find important?

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Anthony Vinson

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Reply with quote  #2 
Outstanding! Welcome to the club. 

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karel

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Reply with quote  #3 
Congratulations! I struggled a bit to learn it (certainly took me a couple months), but use it all the time now. As a "get-ready" for a DL, and also to count three or four for exchanges/switches. For false-counts - pinky-count four, then thumb over two singles and you're ready to push over a double (counting four as three, more or less - getting the "dirty-work" over before I need it makes me relax more). 

I'm not quick enough to count more than maybe 6 or 7 to make it practical, but I am trying to work on using it as a "placement" for some tricks (counting cards for a bluff-pass and then using a slough-off faro, for example). 

I like the pinky-count, happy to have spent the time on it. The idea of using smaller packets seems good - didn't try that, but will. Maybe it'll help the speed for higher numbers, thanks for the tip!
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Clemens Ilgner

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Reply with quote  #4 
Very good!

I especially like the fact that you figured out point 2. I studied classical Music at the University of Arts Berlin. My professor (the former principal trumpetplayer of the Berlin Philharmonic) always told me:

‚It is always better to practice 15 minutes with full concentration than 1h without. Also it is better to practice 10 minutes a day than 70 minutes once a week.´

All the best, Clemens
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Mbreggar

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Reply with quote  #5 
Excellent! I’m still working on the cross-cut force!
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Anthony Vinson

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Reply with quote  #6 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mbreggar
Excellent! I’m still working on the cross-cut force!


[rofl]
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Bill Guinee

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Reply with quote  #7 
My big breakthrough finally came when I realized I needed to have the cards further up (away from the palm) in my hand. Obvious, but I had struggled for a long time before getting it.
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EndersGame

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Reply with quote  #8 
Is there anyone else who uses the pinky count to set-up for a double lift?

I've always struggled to do a pushover get-ready with two cards smoothly and naturally, so I prefer using a pinky count to that.  A two card pinky count also draws less attention or suspicion than doing a thumb count for the same purpose.

In terms of the difficulty, I find that it can make a difference what playing cards I use.  In my experience, it's easier to do a pinky count consistently with playing cards produced by Expert Playing Card Company (EPCC or LPCC) than with playing cards produced by USPCC (e.g. Bicycle).

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Jim Straight

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Reply with quote  #9 
In addition to the above comments, there were two more things I found helpful.  First, I found a brand new deck easier.  I think the edges are a little sharper, not rounded over.  Second, I exaggerated the bevel.  I think that made each card a little easier to pop up.

I've been trying to learn Darwin Ortiz and Jason Ladanye routines.  Pinky counts are ever present in those routines.

I think it's a wonderful utility sleight that has many applications.  
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Lucas Maillard

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Reply with quote  #10 
Quote:
Originally Posted by EndersGame
Is there anyone else who uses the pinky count to set-up for a double lift?


My go-to double lift is Marlo's Hit Double as taught by Mike Powers on his website.

However, the pinky count is my favourite way to go into a Stuart Gordon double lift.

I guess it really depends on the situation. Sometimes a double push-off draws less attention to your hand because there is much less tension in your hand, especially when working seated.

Lucas.
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Anthony Vinson

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Reply with quote  #11 
Sometimes. Over the last year or so I have gravitated toward a hit double myself, but there are times I still need to get a break first. (Dry hands, stubborn deck, etc.) The pinky count works well, but I have also been applying Harvey Rosenthal's technique for getting a break using thumb pressure on the upper left corner of the deck while in dealer's grip. I think it was created with a single card in mind, but it's possible to get breaks under multiple cards, too. For me it's a bit tricky to consistently get two card breaks, but I'm slowly getting there since this method seems to me superior to a pinky count. Why? Cover. Harvey's "pop up" from the rear is less visible. 

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Alan Smithee

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Reply with quote  #12 

I’ve never had any luck with pinkie counting, not even back in the good old days when my digits were a heck of a sight more flexible than they are nowadays. In the meanwhile….

I can’t think of any reason why we would want to draw attention to our “perfect” double lift. That being so, as long as the “get-ready,” for want of a better phrase is smoothly done, blends in with the overall situation and the two cards turned over are aligned, the method is of no consequence.

For a while I used the Hit Double, but as everybody and anybody who’s ever used this method knows, the hit sometimes misses. Watch the John Scarne gambling film. He missed a hit double at least once.

Sometimes I push over two cards, draw them back, square then carry out the double. That’s standard and has been in any number of books. As is the lifting of two cards at the inner short end during an apparent squaring of the pack.

Many moons ago I learned the thumb nail push off. It’s in Expert Card Technique, but I learned it from one of the Cy Endfield trilogy.

These days, and for donkey’s years, I push off two cards at a slight angle, much like the single card push off to facilitate a second deal. People can look at this and there’s nothing to see, except a double card thickness. But I don’t spend time posing; it’s an action sequence.

Umpteen people have claimed this approach and Martin Nash is frequently mentioned in connection with it. I came up with it myself long before the Nash trilogy (another trio) appeared. It’s hardly rocket surgery, but like all moves, if it doesn’t suit, it doesn’t suit.

The Pinkie Count don't suit me. Hey ho.

 

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Anthony Vinson

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Reply with quote  #13 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan Smithee

I can’t think of any reason why we would want to draw attention to our “perfect” double lift. That being so, as long as the “get-ready,” for want of a better phrase is smoothly done, blends in with the overall situation and the two cards turned over are aligned, the method is of no consequence.

For a while I used the Hit Double, but as everybody and anybody who’s ever used this method knows, the hit sometimes misses. Watch the John Scarne gambling film. He missed a hit double at least once.

Sometimes I push over two cards, draw them back, square then carry out the double. That’s standard and has been in any number of books. As is the lifting of two cards at the inner short end during an apparent squaring of the pack.

Many moons ago I learned the thumb nail push off. It’s in Expert Card Technique, but I learned it from one of the Cy Endfield trilogy.

These days, and for donkey’s years, I push off two cards at a slight angle, much like the single card push off to facilitate a second deal. People can look at this and there’s nothing to see, except a double card thickness. But I don’t spend time posing; it’s an action sequence.

Umpteen people have claimed this approach and Martin Nash is frequently mentioned in connection with it. I came up with it myself long before the Nash trilogy (another trio) appeared. It’s hardly rocket surgery, but like all moves, if it doesn’t suit, it doesn’t suit.

The Pinkie Count don't suit me. Hey ho.



You make [at least] a couple of good points. The get-ready certainly needs to blend into the overall action. I've toyed with pushing off two or three cards to obtain a break, but that technique never really felt right for me. When done well, it looks perfectly innocent, and I admire those who effectively use the technique. 

Regarding the hit double lift and the possibility of missing. Yep. It happens, and I alluded to that in my earlier post. Something that I do, and I claim no originality here, is to severely bevel the lower RH corner of the pack by simultaneously applying pressure to the upper LH corner with my thumb, and pulling slightly with my left index finger at the upper RH corner. (I may not be explaining this well.) The pressure from my index finger slightly separates and raises the first couple of cards. I do this as my RH approaches the deck, and while slightly tilting the pack back toward me. This makes it fairly easy to consistently lift two or three cards. Seems to work for me.

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Alan Smithee

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Reply with quote  #14 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony Vinson


Seems to work for me.




And there we have it.  [smile]

Incidentally, in case I didn't quite make myself clear, when I mentioned a "get ready" I was referring to all moves, though with particular emphasis on the Pinkie Count and the double lift, as they are the focus here.
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SpareTopChange

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Reply with quote  #15 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony Vinson
 Something that I do, and I claim no originality here, is to severely bevel the lower RH corner of the pack by simultaneously applying pressure to the upper LH corner with my thumb, and pulling slightly with my left index finger at the upper RH corner. (I may not be explaining this well.) The pressure from my index finger slightly separates and raises the first couple of cards. I do this as my RH approaches the deck, and while slightly tilting the pack back toward me. This makes it fairly easy to consistently lift two or three cards. Seems to work for me.

Sorry, I'm not following you here.  Your thumb is on top of the LH corner or in front of it?  And is it pressing towards you or towards the ground?

And which way is your left index finger pulling?

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Anthony Vinson

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Reply with quote  #16 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpareTopChange

Sorry, I'm not following you here.  Your thumb is on top of the LH corner or in front of it?  And is it pressing towards you or towards the ground?

And which way is your left index finger pulling?



No problem. I will try to elaborate. Deck in LH dealer's grip. (For me this naturally places my thumb lying diagonally atop the upper LH corner.) I press down with the thumb, and pull the upper RH corner of the deck to the left with the tip of my left index finger. This causes the top section of lower RH portion of the pack to bevel to the right. The action is covered as my RH index finger lifts two, or three, cards and flip them FU onto the deck.

This is just something that seems natural to me, and may be idiosyncratic due to the way I naturally hold the deck.

Does that clarify things at all?

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