Pinky Swear (AKA, Doug Conn makes me moist with one finger)

by Wouldn't you like to know?

Welcome back assholes.

Turns out that during EMC 2012, Bill Kalush ‘proved’ that my Schlepitome location dates all the way back to the 1600’s.

Well, I got news for you Billy boy… my name’s in that book from the 1600’s. Check the credit, in big bold letters, LARRY FUCKING HORAYNE. It’s there. Trust me. I jumbled up the letters into random words around the book. I’m so devious. Shit’s like the Da Vinci Code. Except Da Vinci was a hack, and stole his ideas from me. Same with Galileo. Earth revolves around the sun? You think that kind of bombshell just came to him? Fuck no, ALL ME BABY.

Also, turns out that I have no fucking clue how to use computers. While trying to watch EMC recently, I kept getting pop ups of two men going at it with a goat, and messages saying that I was their millionth customer and that I’d won some prizes. Just waiting for that cash train to come in, along with the millions in inheritance that I’m owed once that Nigerian prince gets my bank details. Good to know SOMEONE in the world appreciates me.

So, we’ll be looking at an instant download by Doug Conn called “Pinky Swear” from If you haven’t heard of Doug before, you’re an asshole. Doug is one of the unsung heroes in magic, due to the fact that he has published a book of his work AND he can actually do the work, unlike some people *cough* WESLEY JAMES IS SHIT *cough*. Pardon me (fuck off). I may be rushing this whole post but it’s because….


Paul Cummins, who wrote and published Doug’s currently out of print book, “Tricks of My Trade”, has JUST announced he’s reprinted a second run of this title. The message follows as below:

Long out of print, I have just today received a second print run of Tricks of my Trade, the Magic of Doug Conn. I am biased, of course, but I think this is a GREAT book!

It will sell for $45 USD (domestic shipping $5; out-of-USA shipping $15). If you want a copy just paypal the appropriate amount with your street address to This, until I can get it onto the website. And if you would, help me spread the word!


Paul Cummins

Shout out to Justin from thebottompalm for this piece of info. I want to rape your face.


Back to the review, I really enjoyed this download for a few reasons. The main one being, IT’S FUCKING DOUG CONN. OH MY GOD. MAKE LOVE TO ME MONKEY MAN. Ahem. The second being that the Pinky count is one of those utility moves that is mentioned everywhere, but very rarely taught properly or at all. Same goes with the pass. The stigma associated with the move makes it a “God tier” move, that only the most dedicated students will be able to do. Which is total bullshit.

Yes, they are not able to be picked up in a day. Yes, these moves will require practice. But if you’re expecting to be able to do adopt a skill within a week of learning something, you have bigger delusions of grandeur than Danny DeVito getting a BJ from Jessica Alba. A French bastard named Vincent (XOXO) once said to me that magic is one of the only professions where the market is flooded with “BUY THIS AND BE ABLE TO DO IT INSTANTLY” mentality behind selling a vast majority of its products. Which is the wrong way to go about it. If anyone can learn a skill in 3 seconds, it is useless and not special at all. It trivialises what we do, So Sayeth Horayne.

Imagine if you went to a dentist and he told you that he learnt how to be a dentist in a few days, or if a doctor said he bought his diploma off the internet. You would shit a brick sideways and run for the fucking hills. Why is it that practice and skill in magic is not considered essential and people are trying to make a cheap buck off  making and selling easy to do, shitty tricks? Read my post about Direct methods/effects for more on this. Just because it can be done easily doesn’t mean that it always needs to be done easily. Also, if you don’t want to put in time and effort for learning and practicing moves like this, which apply to almost any and every instance of card magic, please do me and the rest of the world a favour and ingest copious amounts of bleach. Preferably injected directly into your tear ducts.


Let’s get on with the bloody thing.

So, the two moves are considered some of the harder utility moves, and the reason I like this video is because you see effects where he is both demonstrating the moves independently, as well as in the context of an effect. But within this video, you need to look outside what he is showing you. If I have to make it any clearer, I’ll be punching it directly into your frontal lobe with ‘Brass Knuckles’ (IT’S A PUN BITCH, FUCK DOUG EDWARDS).

You need to take the concepts given, and utilise them on other things. Not just the moves themselves. Without giving too much away, he explains how useful a Pinky count and pass are in conjunction with the effects he does. However, the application of these moves can apply to ANY worker or card performer who does routines where different runs of cards are required and need to be interchangeable. Take note, or go back to using Hot Rods shaped like cocks.

The first section of the video discusses the technique of the Pinky Count. Being that the only decent descriptions I could come past were from Darwin Ortiz in his “At The Card Table” book (1988, p.11) or in the first volume of the DVD set of the same name, it is one of those moves which people know about, but mainly learn from experience, or if they were lucky enough to get the Ortiz book/DVDs. Doug does the move justice and can explain it. He highlights the main points from the Ortiz book, but also takes note of some things that Ortiz kind of took for granted, such as the importance of the inner left corner being locked in, similar to that of a false deal grip, and the importance of the bevel. He also goes into utilities for this, such as with any kind of packet switches, for turnovers and as a one handed get ready. Shit’s baller.

From my own experience, I have to say that this move is one of those moves that you CANNOT practice non-stop. This will be detrimental to the execution of the move. Because the hand is having to apply pressure in such a way that it isn’t used to, I personally advise that you practice until you feel tension in your hand and/or forearm, then take a break for 5 to 10 minutes, stretching out your fingers, hands and arm that holds the deck. The main reason is that I’ve seen people who practiced non-stop, and their whole left side tenses when they go to do the move. It’s a massive fucking signal that something is going on, and unfortunately it’s automatic because through rote practice, their body has become used to tensing when that particular action needs to happen. That’s my advice, not Doug’s, but sue me. Seriously. I’m giving you a nugget of wisdom. Next time, I’ll shit in your sock drawer.

As a drill for practicing, Doug explains a routine from the Ortiz book called “The Estimation routine” (p.45). He does not explain the full effect and just focuses on portion that Ortiz was using with the Pinky count to achieve the effect. It’s an excellent drill to run through, as it focuses on using different amounts of cards. I recommend mixing it up, like false dealing drills, so rather than going chronologically only, also do random numbers. You’ll see what I mean when you get it.

The second technique is the Pass, where Doug explains his handling of Derek Dingle’s from “The Complete Works of Derek Dingle” (1982, p.56). The main difference here with Doug’s/Dingle’s handling is that the deck is elevated, rather than being in a dealers grip which is how it’s normally taught. Although he credits Dingle’s Stroboscopic pass, his handling is closer to Dingle’s ‘Riffle no. 1″, but still has elements of Dingle’s Stroboscopic pass involved. The Stroboscopic pass, as it’s written up originally, uses pressure more than movement of the hands to accomplish the move. This description of the pass, in line with Kaufman’s DVD, and a thousand other sources dating back to the 1600’s (AKA everything I’ve ever written) all work well to support this, but Doug’s handling has some finer points on placement of fingers, as well as covers for the move like the basic riffle (which has been bastardised by Chad Nelson with the abhorrent front riffle being done excessively), as well as the Dribble cover for the pass.

Good? Great? ON WITH THE SHOW!

Tricks with Dice and Cards – ‘Coincidice’, ‘Fourtunate’ and ‘Random Specificity’

These three routines each play off each other and can be used as a sequence. The basic routine for ‘Coincidice’ is that a shuffled deck is used, and some fair dice are shown. A die is rolled, and the cards are dealt to the number rolled. The card dealt to and the dice are put aside, and this is repeated twice more. The cards are then shown to perfectly match the numbers freely rolled. The second part of the routine is ‘Fourtunate’ where the process is repeated and looks identical but a four of a kind is produced in the same fair manner. Although the premise may sound basic, the ideas utilised to achieve this is what makes this such a valuable thing. I’m not going to spoon feed you bastards. The final effect for this trio is ‘Random Specificity’, where the application explained is extended to random selections and they are found at chosen numbers. It’s like a mini ACAAN using die. Again, the ideas and method given are the important part. Dissect them, and use what you can. It’s all good.

Spelling to the Aces – ‘Magic Spell’

This routine starts off with a production of the aces, which are then lost openly into the pack and then spelt to. The production sequence is really nice to begin with and it does end using a really ingenious Tom Mullica gag, but I felt that the revelation sequence could have had a bit more ‘oomph’ to it. From what I can see, the opening sequence starts with what appears to be a part of Steve Dobson’s Flip out flourish (Can be found in ‘Sam the Bellhop’ on vol. 1 of Bill Malone’s ‘On the Loose’ Set.) and some other awesome revelations to produce the four aces. From here, they are stacked to be spelt to. While it fits the context of the video for content using the sleights discussed, I can think of better ways to finish this up. I recommend George McBride’s ‘Immediate Ace Spell’ from “The Crimp” no.15, or more easily available and just as excellent is Steve Hamilton’s ‘S.T.A.F.F.’ in “5×5 Scotland” (1998, p.61). Still good shit but.

Cutting to the Aces – ‘Legendary Ace Cutting’

A fairly straightforward approach to magician cuts the aces. Again, it utilises the context of the moves explained, but don’t stop there. Think of other ace routines you could combine this with. Y’know, like Marlo’s ‘Miracle Aces’ from “Faro Controlled Miracles”, (1964, p. 44), and some others.. you could have a pretty solid routine. Just sayin’.

Bitches love Artsy shit – ‘An Artistic Application’

A routine where a selected card has two freely chosen colours appear on its face around the pips, and then these two freely chosen colours mix on the face of the same card. If it isn’t blatantly obvious how useful the method is here and how applicable it is to so many other routines and effects, you must have injected that bleach a bit early.

Spell it out for me, I’m a fucking retard – ‘Work on the Open Index’

Although this may seem really obvious, it is one of the most underused things currently. And this last part sums up the importance of the contextual usage of the two sleights in conjunction. For some reason, some people who use sleights disregard stacks. The few people I know and have seen who utilise both effectively just fuck everyone up. Seriously. The use of an index or stack allows you to do some crazy shit.  This caps off the video with some talk of locating cards and getting into position. It adds an extra level of ‘fuck you’ to effects you may already do. Rather than having a card selected, have someone name a card, then go into ‘Triumph’. Or, go into Carlyle’s ‘Homing Card’. If you are learning a stack, I would recommend Mnemonica or Aronson, and I’ve heard that there is a new one coming soon.. but I won’t spoil that surprise. Not yet anyways.

Also, the ending covers over the shoulder, multiple angle recaps of the Pinky count, the Pass and the covers and uses explained. Think Super-Practice bullshit from Ammar’s “Easy to Master” tapes, but without the corny bullshit.

So, all in all… Good shit. Doug knows his stuff, he’s done the research and the practice. He’s a worker and I am a fan.
Do I recommend this? Fuck yes. Doug Conn is a boss.

Also, try and take advantage of Paul Cummins reprinting Doug’s book. Either email Paul or check in at his site to see if he’s listed it there. Get your copy NOW, or I will shit into a pillowcase and beat you to death with it.
(Lub you, Dougy-Poo)

Hugs, kisses and LaHo cuts,


P.S. a personal message to Doug.
Hope you’re feeling better soon.