# Simplicity vs Fairness

Discussion in 'Magic Forum' started by MohanaMisra, Aug 1, 2020.

1. #1
If I have 5 cards and I want to show four, while hiding the last card, should I really use a false count?
Or will just spreading the top four cards be enough?

Especially, say if for whatever reason, the audience already psychologically believes it's 4 cards (maybe the effect has them think I have the 4 aces, but instead I'm also holding their chosen card viz., a non-ace). Is a top-four push off sufficient?

Usually I'd vote for the push-off because the simpler, the better (because as I said, the audience in this situation already has a reason for believing me when I say I have only four cards). But I recently read in Strong Magic that sometimes the means is genuinely as important as the ends.

As in a control is as important as the reveal.

So now that you know all the backstory of my question, what do you think is a better choice?

PS:- And if it's a false count, which one do you think appears fairer, the Elmsley or the Buckle count?

2. #2
It is all just context. Elmsley / Jordan / OPEC counts are typically four for four counts (with or without a displacement to set up the next phase). Hamman counts are typically used to either conceal blocks of cards or conceal a block of additional cards. Despite being called counts, the main purpose is a display (e.g. showing four of a kind when there is a unlike card concealed) and not a count.

For a four for five display, it is typically a lateral spread or an Ascanio spread or a count from hand to hand (or to a table) with a block transfer on the first or last count.

The simplest solution is to think what would you do if you had to display the cards (assuming all the same and no additional cards) in the context of the effect and do that with you situation (with stranger cards in the packet).

Finally, I'd go with Elmsley / Jordan / OPEC instead of buckle.

Gabriel Z. likes this.
3. #3
If you mean in the context of appearing natural, I thought that if the audience already believes it's four cards, just spreading them would be okay.
Or am I missing something?

Thank goodness, because buckle count seemed like too much work when I could replace it with the good old Elmsley, or Jordan.

4. #4
How about an Ascanio Spread? It lets you openly show four cards while hiding the fifth, and it's more natural than an Elmsley count.

5. #5
If you haven't shown or counted the cards, how do the already know there is just four cards?

A lot of what I mean by context is method. In a Twisting the Aces routine that uses counts to shift which card is reversed, it is necessary to use those counts as part of the method. In an Open Travelers routine where you put two cards down on the table, a lateral spread is part of the method. In a Wildcard routine, the initial Hamman Count count is necessary for the method. Lateral spreads concealing a card are much more difficult if the card isn't the bottom card.

Some of context is presentation. If the emphasis is on the faces or back of the cards, a display count makes sense. If it is just on the fact that you have four cards, a spread makes sense. It really depends on what came before it or after it.

Naturalness to me is more an issue of handling - does it look like you are counting or spreading four cards or does it look like you are hiding something.