Sign up Latest Topics Chat
 
 
 


Reply
  Author   Comment  
SpareTopChange

Inner Circle
Registered:
Posts: 310
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?

0
Anthony Vinson

Avatar / Picture

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 3,178
Reply with quote  #2 
Outstanding! Welcome to the club. 

Av
0
karel

Member
Registered:
Posts: 11
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!
0
Clemens Ilgner

Avatar / Picture

Member
Registered:
Posts: 25
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
0
Mbreggar

Avatar / Picture

Inner Circle
Registered:
Posts: 710
Reply with quote  #5 
Excellent! I’m still working on the cross-cut force!
0
Anthony Vinson

Avatar / Picture

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 3,178
Reply with quote  #6 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mbreggar
Excellent! I’m still working on the cross-cut force!


[rofl]
0
Bill Guinee

Inner Circle
Registered:
Posts: 252
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.
0
EndersGame

Avatar / Picture

Inner Circle
Registered:
Posts: 346
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).

__________________
[nTzBCzo]
BoardGameGeek reviewer EndersGame - click here to see all my pictorial reviews:  Playing Card Reviews  Magic Reviews  Board Game Reviews 
0
Jim Straight

Inner Circle
Registered:
Posts: 33
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.  
0
Lucas Maillard

Avatar / Picture

Inner Circle
Registered:
Posts: 154
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.
0
Anthony Vinson

Avatar / Picture

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 3,178
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. 

Av 
0
Alan Smithee

Inner Circle
Registered:
Posts: 371
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.

 

0
Anthony Vinson

Avatar / Picture

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 3,178
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.

Av 

0
Alan Smithee

Inner Circle
Registered:
Posts: 371
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.
0
SpareTopChange

Inner Circle
Registered:
Posts: 310
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?

0
Anthony Vinson

Avatar / Picture

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 3,178
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?

Av     
0
SpareTopChange

Inner Circle
Registered:
Posts: 310
Reply with quote  #17 
"... and pull the upper RH corner of the deck to the left with the tip of my left index finger. "

Sorry, I can't understand how your left index finger can *pull* the corner of the deck to the left.
0
X

Avatar / Picture

Inner Circle
Registered:
Posts: 244
Reply with quote  #18 
I can't imagine why anyone would be content with just doing the obvious "thumb-count" when with a bit of practice and understanding of the correct pressure-points could learn the pinkie count
__________________
Professional: PK-Mentalist/Magician/Geek/Shock Entertainer

Member/Performer: Magic Castle

Creator, Consultant, Lecturer, Imagineer



0
EndersGame

Avatar / Picture

Inner Circle
Registered:
Posts: 346
Reply with quote  #19 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan Smithee
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. 

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


Don't feel bad.  Harry Lorayne never learned how to do it either, and he did okay, so you're in pretty good company!

Quote:
Originally Posted by SpareTopChange
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.

Interestingly Darwin Ortiz in his video "At the Card Table" (Vol 1) suggests the opposite.  He says that it's much harder to do it with a small packet, and that you should start learning it with a complete deck, before ever attempting it with a small packet.

Does anyone else do the pinky count with their index finger along the side of the deck, instead of at the top, i.e. usual mechanics grip?

I learned it that way, and find that as a result I get a good grip of the deck between my thumb (on the left) and index finger (on the right). This allows me to have my middle finger and ring finger hanging loose, in a natural position between my index finger and pinky finger. The three fingers along the side look quite natural, rather than the odd looking ring finger which you tend to see in a lot of pinky counts. And perhaps most importantly, it makes riffling the pinky finger along the edge much easier - for me at least.

Is this a completely unorthodox way of doing the pinky count, or are there others who do it this way as well? And can you think of any good reasons why I should give up this method, and learn the more orthodox approach with the index finger at the top of the deck?


__________________
[nTzBCzo]
BoardGameGeek reviewer EndersGame - click here to see all my pictorial reviews:  Playing Card Reviews  Magic Reviews  Board Game Reviews 
0
Jack Deschain

Inner Circle
Registered:
Posts: 28
Reply with quote  #20 
I do the count exactly as taught in At the Card Table (book.) I don't think it really matters where the index finger lies as all the tension should be diagonally between the pinky and thumb.

Just for fun I tried it the standard way, the way you described, and also Erdnase grip. All seemed to work fine but a bit awkward with the ones I've never tried before. I'll chalk that up to lack of practice though.
0
Alan Smithee

Inner Circle
Registered:
Posts: 371
Reply with quote  #21 
Quote:
Originally Posted by EndersGame

Don't feel bad.  Harry Lorayne never learned how to do it either, and he did okay, so you're in pretty good company!


I don’t feel bad.

A I said earlier, “The Pinkie Count don't suit me. Hey ho”.

And that applies to more than several umpteen moves.

I wish I’d had the “Hey ho” as in “Oh well” attitude back then. As it was almost all the books I stumbled through had a finger-wagging attitude.
“If you can’t do this, you’ll never amount to anything”.

It’s not so prevalent these days and hasn’t been for a while, but it’s still hovering. Sometimes as blatant as ever, more often subtle.

0
Zero

Avatar / Picture

Member
Registered:
Posts: 29
Reply with quote  #22 

I agree with Alan, the method doesn't matter. Anything so long as it works.

It's always really fascinating to see how different people develop their ways to move about particular techniques and styles of sleight of hand - what may seem natural to one may be alien to another, yet if it works it works and that's great! 

 

I suppose in the spirit of all things pinky-counting, I'll add in my two cents to the pot, if only because it doesn't matter - but it might to someone who's at their wits ends, just another way to do things.

I Hold the deck in mechanics grip with the thumb running flush along the side of the deck (not on top), the pinky and ring finger (third finger) are released from the deck (only lightly) - just enough to not be needed in holding its shape. The second finger presses the deck towards the base of the thumb. This should result in a lightly top-pivot-beveled deck, resting snugly in your hands.

The base of the thumb is used to shape the bevel of the deck, this is hardly a new revelation.

The pinky will start by resting on (not above) the bevel, think of this as a 'pull-down' in reverse - as if softly releasing the top card and then subsequent cards, feeling more akin to rolling the pinking out of the way. Downward pressure is exerted by the thumb into the palmy-knuckle area of the base of the first finger (mount of Jupiter/Mars Radial for all you pesky palm readers out there) when the pinky moves down and should match that of the pressure used to put a light crimp into a card (Which, as we all know, is a universal yardstick of pressure). This pressure is exerted for as long as it takes the two cards to pop and is released - ideally about the same length of time as a single heartbeat

The idea here is to allow the pinky to scroll down the deck with ease - the pinky applying no horizontal pressure at all - only vertical. I found that this allows me a greater amount of control... and allows me to count cards with my pinky, which is great, a good quality for a pinky count to have.

 

I think finding what matters for you is what is most important with sleight of hand. Learn a few ways! but most importantly - try to understand what's happening in the physical transaction of the sleight - this allows you to really understand what needs to happen and when. pinky count or otherwise.

I feel that practicing moves while doing other things isn't a great approach if you're only just starting to learn them, and even then - with consistent form, I'm hesitant to recommend practicing anything with distractions. that being said, we all find our own ways to do these things. Anything as long as it works. 

0
Stevie Ray

Avatar / Picture

Inner Circle
Registered:
Posts: 515
Reply with quote  #23 
With Harry Lorayne's admonition that sleights should be learned in the context of routines in one's repetoire, I only practice the PC with that in mind.

I prefer the Harvey Rosenthal method if I need a double--which my repetoire requires in a number of instances.

For my torn and restored--Tear 'em a New One--I need a break under five cards, so that is what I practice.

For a few reasons, I am a bit obsessive about practicing with new deck order whenever possible. This certainly proves handy when practicing the PC. NDO does not lie! 
0
RayJ

Avatar / Picture

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 3,140
Reply with quote  #24 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zero

I agree with Alan, the method doesn't matter. Anything so long as it works.

It's always really fascinating to see how different people develop their ways to move about particular techniques and styles of sleight of hand - what may seem natural to one may be alien to another, yet if it works it works and that's great! 

 

I suppose in the spirit of all things pinky-counting, I'll add in my two cents to the pot, if only because it doesn't matter - but it might to someone who's at their wits ends, just another way to do things.

I Hold the deck in mechanics grip with the thumb running flush along the side of the deck (not on top), the pinky and ring finger (third finger) are released from the deck (only lightly) - just enough to not be needed in holding its shape. The second finger presses the deck towards the base of the thumb. This should result in a lightly top-pivot-beveled deck, resting snugly in your hands.

The base of the thumb is used to shape the bevel of the deck, this is hardly a new revelation.

The pinky will start by resting on (not above) the bevel, think of this as a 'pull-down' in reverse - as if softly releasing the top card and then subsequent cards, feeling more akin to rolling the pinking out of the way. Downward pressure is exerted by the thumb into the palmy-knuckle area of the base of the first finger (mount of Jupiter/Mars Radial for all you pesky palm readers out there) when the pinky moves down and should match that of the pressure used to put a light crimp into a card (Which, as we all know, is a universal yardstick of pressure). This pressure is exerted for as long as it takes the two cards to pop and is released - ideally about the same length of time as a single heartbeat

The idea here is to allow the pinky to scroll down the deck with ease - the pinky applying no horizontal pressure at all - only vertical. I found that this allows me a greater amount of control... and allows me to count cards with my pinky, which is great, a good quality for a pinky count to have.

 

I think finding what matters for you is what is most important with sleight of hand. Learn a few ways! but most importantly - try to understand what's happening in the physical transaction of the sleight - this allows you to really understand what needs to happen and when. pinky count or otherwise.

I feel that practicing moves while doing other things isn't a great approach if you're only just starting to learn them, and even then - with consistent form, I'm hesitant to recommend practicing anything with distractions. that being said, we all find our own ways to do these things. Anything as long as it works. 



Nice that you took the time to provide such a detailed description.  I'm sure it will be helpful to anyone trying to learn the move.

I see you are an Aussie.  We have several here on the forum, welcome!  If you haven't yet, please consider doing an introductory post to tell us more about yourself.

We're glad you found the place!
0
Previous Topic | Next Topic
Print
Reply

Quick Navigation:

Easily create a Forum Website with Website Toolbox.