It is the small things that really make the difference. This post is to make you aware (or remind you, in case you have forgotten) of some brilliant Ascanio analysis and thinking, concerning the Hamman Count.
Usually this count is done in an even rhythm:
1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 – 8 – 9
We assume to display/count 9 cards and do the switch on the 5. The challenge is to do a perfect switch on 5 keeping the rhythm. If there is an ever so slight delay in the actions of the switch (and I have seen only very few people who can do this perfectly), then the switch stands out and is noticeable.
But if we take Ascanio’s suggestion and start experimenting with breaking the rhythm into uneven chunks, the deceptiveness of the display is increased. Also, the switch is easier to do. For example, we could count like this (doing the switch on 5):
1 … 2-3 … 4 … 5-6 … 7-8-9
This feels different and much better. Other combinations would be possible.
Doing the switching actions on the 5-6 and putting the emphasis on the hand that ‘counts’ and takes away the cards, the switch is much better hidden.
Give it a try with Roy Walton’s ‘Oil and Queens’. The set-up is (from face to back): B,R,B,R,B,Q,Q,Q,Q. Now do the Hamman Count, using the 1 … 2-3 … 4 … 5-6 … 7-8-9 pattern, switching the packets on 5. See the difference?
The same holds true if we use the Fred Kaps handling of the ‘Gypsy Curse’. In this, Kaps used to do the Hamman Count whilst doing a casual overhand shuffle of the cards (with the faces towards the spectators). Breaking the rhythm here makes all so much easier and deceptive.
All this is written up in detail in Ascanio’s book ‘The Magic of Ascanio, Vol. 3’ (written by Jésus Etcheverry), starting on page 320.
Read and study Ascanio’s books, there is a lot more gold to be discovered that will make you think and improve your understanding of magic.
Ascanio’s work did this for me.