Negativity towards The Pinky count.

Dec 5, 2007
I have always stayed away from The Pinky count until a few weeks ago when they released Jason Englands 1 on 1 on the pinky count.

The reason is quit a few well respected magicians have said quit a few negative things about it. Like its "very hard" and "very hard to performe and to cover"

After watching Jason Englands video on it and working on it for a few weeks i really cant understand where the negativity comes from. Sure there is a little "tennsion" in the hand, but seriously how hard is that to cover?

Just saying that IF someone would be seing something in your hand, what would be worse,

Pushing over two or three cards to the side and then pulling them back and getting a break or flex the deck for one second and nothing more to see?

So i would like to hear your thoughts on the move?`

For me its some of the best time i spent in magic learning the move, it can replace so much of your add on moves as well as a lot of double and tripple lifts.
Jan 4, 2009
West Allis,WI
Honestly when I first learned the pinky count from my mentor, I thought it was impossible...etc. But through my trials and tribulations, its the main one- handed double lift get ready that I use. Its useful in sooo many ways and can be applied to a plethora of concepts. Double lifts, advance card at any number, card switches, etc. Its a useful move and is quite over looked, I have a friend who I am showing how to perform the pinky count and he says he enjoys the ease of it as soon as you gain the knack and of course pinky :D
Oct 29, 2009
Just around
Me either. It's such a wonderfully useful move. I think the negativity is because people can't get it down quickly. Then they give up and bash it because they can't do it. But yea, great great move.
May 2, 2010
New York, New York
I remember when I first tried to pinky count and it did discourage me. It sounds simple in print but its not.

Those who bash the pinky count never did it correctly IMO. Look at Darwin, he uses the pinky count often and can pinky count up to 30 or so. Thats impressive.

Im practicing the pinky count but it will be a long time before I get it down the way it should be. Its a great move.
Sep 2, 2007
Las Vegas, NV
Being new to magic the first big exposure to the pinky count I had was on Dan and Dave's Trilogy. Then T11 put out the Card Fundamentals series of 1-on-1's with Aaron Fisher where he discouraged newbies from using the pinky count because: 1) the pinky's a weak finger and 2) for beginners, the amount of strength and tention one needs to execute the move draws attention to the deck as it's hard to be relaxed and natural.

So I put it on the back burner, though I still thought "it can't be that hard to learn, as DnD execute it seamlessly..."

Loved the Jason England 1-on-1 of the move as he not only went through covering the sleight but the nuances he shared actually made it easier to execute (meaning less strength needed) but two, he gave tips as to developing hand strength. I developed more hand strength within two days and the strength and tension I need to do it is minimal. If my set up and get ready is right, I can get it with minimal tension where I don't feel I'll need to cover it with any more misdirection than I usually use with other sleights -- I just need to practice the technique of deck positioning to consistently get it.

Hope this helps someone out there.
Dec 27, 2009
After 1 and a half years in card magic i found this move easy to learn from the trilogy...
But for begginers it must be hard...
Good luck to whoever is learning it
Sep 2, 2007
Las Vegas, NV
If I remember correctly Trilogiy's pinky counts were just demonstration: "execute a pinky count to get a break under two cards" and you see him riffle off two cards off his pinky. Wasn't "taught" and one critical nuance on the move wasn't gone over or had a bad angle on...

I suspect you moreso "stumbled" upon good technique in your experimentation (grrrr...! I hate you!) rather than it being "taught" to you.

Don't recommend people use the Trilogy, as awesome a set it is, as a source to learn this sleight.
Sep 1, 2007
To name one person who can do the pinky count and doesn't use the pinky count: Greg Wilson.

No one can say Greg is a beginner, or lazy, or the kind of magician who would discount something because its a bit of effort to learn. On his DVDs he explains his choice and makes a very good case for it. On the other side you have people like Darwin Ortiz, who can and do make very effective use of the count.

Just saying, people who opt not to use the count are not all lazy, or doing it wrong. Different strokes for different folks!

Nov 23, 2008
I was surprised when people starting knocking the pinky count, it's my favourite sleight! Very glad to have learnt it and use it everytime I pick up a deck without fail. I thought people didn't like it because apparently Aaron Fisher doesn't like it, which has always confused me. It's one of the easiest sleights to cover surely??
Dec 5, 2007
I can agree that it can be a little harder to cover when you have to count many cards because it takes some more strength, but its not hard if you just drop your hand to the side.

And how many times do you need to get a break under 10 cards or more? Not that many.

Most of the times its just 1 - 4 cards and thats super easy with the pinky count.
Dec 5, 2007
Also as Darwin Ortiz mentions at the card table, that if you only learn how to pinky count up to 3 - 4 cards you will be able to use it for 98% of the applications you can use it for. 3 - 4 cards does not take much tenssion nor much finger strength.
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