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? Thanks in advance!