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Counts, Cuts, Moves and Subtleties
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A Book of Basic Card Technique by Jerry Mentzer

This modern-day classic of card magic details the: Double Undercut, Biddle Move, Hamman Count, Olram Subtlety, Downs Change, Elmsley Count, Jordan Count, Buckle Count, Ascanio Spread and much more!

Clear photographs and easy to understand descriptions make this an invaluable reference book. Seventy-three pages.

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Customer Reviews (showing 1 - 4 of 4)
2 of 2 magicians found the following review helpful:
Countopia Report this review
Verified buyer Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on April 2nd, 2010
If I had a nickel for every time I see someone complaining about how hard the Elmsley Count is I would be rich...well maybe not rich but enough money to buy a new Cups and Balls set! These Elmsley-challenged folk need this little gem of a book to get them up and over the learning curve.

For some, false counts come naturally. For others, they try and move on. False counts are a staple move in packet tricks and every cardician should know the basic counts. Counts can be quite challenging but with enough practice and this book, you'll handle any count; easy breezy!

Counts Cuts Moves and Subtlety by Jerry Mentzer is a reference guide. Copyright in 1977, this small book is on it's 14th printing. Although I don't own anything else by Jerry, he appears to be a prolific author on magical topics including the book on Card To Wallet.

You'll find no tricks in this book. However, learn the moves in this book and I'll bet you could create some great, original packet tricks in no time. Combine these moves with an assortment of specialty gaffed cards and you're creative juices will be flowing. Here is a little video review to go along with this blog review.

Degree of Difficulty

Intermediate to expert. Some people think learning the Elmsey is easy and some think it is hard. I think it's kind of in the middle. Easy to learn, hard to perfect. I learned the Elmsley Count in a couple days but it took countless evenings in front of the TV, doing hundreds of Elmsley/Jordan sequences, to execute these counts with confidence under pressure. There is a ton of good material in this book.


The book is has excellent written instructions on the moves and ample photos of the key hand positions during the move. Mentzer does a good job of crediting each move to it's creator and sometimes the trick in which the move was first made popular. If you're into packet tricks or looking for some material to get the creative process going this is a no-brainer purchase.
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1 of 1 magicians found the following review helpful:
Helped me a LOT! Report this review
Verified buyer Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on April 5th, 2010
I have never been a huge fan of packet tricks or many difficult complicated sleights. After reading this book, I never had a problem with the Elmsley count ever again.

The quality of this book is pretty average. A weird type of cover, but still really nice artwork on it. It's a really cool size and it holds together really nicely.

The material in here is interesting. Just about 3/4 of the book I have never seen or heard of before. Most of which have proper citations. I guarantee you will learn a bunch of really cool stuff you have never seen before. SOme of these look really motivated and standard, while some don't. I don't like showing a card and doing a bunch of different gesticulations just to get it to another part of the packet. Some of the sleights require that. But again, some are straight forward.

I will highly suggest this if you don't own a whole lot of material on packet tricks or counts. There is some great stuff in here you are SURE to LOVE. His teaching was clear and precise, as were the photographs (for a surprisingly old book)
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1 of 1 magicians found the following review helpful:
Official B_Magic review! Report this review
Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on April 6th, 2010
Hi! This is your official PenguinMagic reviewer, B_Magic.

Now this, I believe, may have been the very first book I ever really read in magic, which is weird because this book doesn't teach you one trick! However, it's a resource that I would never take away as it's been an extremely valuable part of my magic over the years. I'm glad to have gotten this book (and on a whim at that), as it took my magic game to new levels at the early stages of my career.

The book doesn't teach tricks, it teaches moves, which is a VERY valuable thing. You learn moves that then can be used to create your own effects or to augment effects you've already learned. It's a book that taught me moves that have literally SAVED me countless times, and it taught me to be myself rather than simply follow the paths others teach in books. You'll learn how to do an Elmsley count, Jordan Count, and many other sleights that are versatile and useful in just about any card trick.

Definitely add this to cart. You can't beat the price, and what you get is something that will last a lifetime.

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Counts, Metzger Report this review
Verified buyer Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on June 13th, 2012
this is a terrific, go-to book that explains false counts with clear language from the golden age of Magic Writing that existed in the time before the Magic Video.
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