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Eric Caldwell
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156 Posts

Profile of Eric Caldwell
In card magic it is common to need to count cards, such as when you run cards or different counts. I am curious in what way other people practice keeping count while talking or doing other things. I find it helpful to sing or practice patter. How do you practice?
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Profile of Albatros
I tend to count cards in certain groups, such as when I need 9 I count 3x3... Since I use a fixed rhythm I find it more easy to keep track. You could even add certain lines of patter to fit your counting. About this singing stuff - I wouldnt practice anything I wouldnt do in fron of other people (and my singing is horrible xD).

All the best,
Sven ^^
"Palming cards... Like sex, it can be learned by almost anybody,but doing it well requires some native talent and assiduous practice." (John Scarne)
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Profile of link8822
If it's a small number & coming from a spread, I just do it visually. 3,4, or 5 cards are pretty simple to know what they look like. I think practicing your patter sounds liek a great idea because if you repeat it enough, the counting would eventually become automatic when you say the words.
Harry Lorayne
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New York City
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I talk about that counting idea way back in Rim Shots - now in Lorayne: The Classic Collection, Vol. 2, in a routine called, Amazing Prediction. If you go to my magic website (listed under this post, the one with the word "magic" in it) you'll be able to see me perform it - you'll see a couple of areas where I apparently just take a few cards from the deck but, of course, I'm taking an exact number of cards each time. You can also find that performance (I think), among about 30 others, if you go to .
Irfaan Kahan
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Profile of Irfaan Kahan
Hello Eric

I've found over the years that wit my left thumb in the same spot every time - a single push with the same pressure every time, I get four cards automatically. Perhaps just keep pushing for a group of 3 or 4, and see if you can't find a rythm that works every time.
I'm a Magician playing the part of an Actor
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Profile of Ikswonilak
I found that using a metronome app in my iPhone helps with practicing a rhythmic movement to card counting (and other maneuvers such as the Elmsley Count)... There are some free ones out there that are quite easy to use.
Andy Young
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Jersey Shore, PA
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Never thought about a metronome, but I tend to practice with either dance songs or disco on like Stayin' Alive. They all keep a constant beat and I can hear it in my head while performing
Mr. Mystoffelees
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A metronome is very good for practicing your timing of moves. Timing is one of the most important skills in magic and card manipulation of any kind. One might be able to do a top change given time to set it up, but in performance it has to be done at exactly the right time. Practicing to a metronome really works on that skill...

Also known, when doing rope magic, as "Cordini"
Simon Southern Moss
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Profile of Simon Southern Moss
They sound like great ideas. Practicing to a song, I assume, might also help your memory because you can link a particular sequence to parts of the song.
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