Jon Racherbaumer
Harper & Brothers (2004)
In Collection
Magic tricks - Periodicals
USA  eng
Racherbaumer, Jon: Counthesaurus
©2005 Jon Racherbaumer
Softcover, spiral-bound, 208 pages

This comprehensive, in depth, easy to understand, alphabetized encyclopedia of FALSE COUNTS and DISPLAYS. Award winning author, Jon Racherbaumer, has compiled over 70 techniques - a virtual vade mecum - into a handy, easy to acces, eye-arresting reference book. This instantly and literally puts them at your fingertips.

Comments: "An Abecedarian Handbook of False Counts and Displays". Photography by Jessica Hack.

Contents (from book ToC, number are not page numbers):

1 A Quick Tour Of Packet False Counts
2 All-Alike Count
3 Ascanio Spread
4 Biddle Count
5 Biddyro Count
6 Broken-Up Elmsley Count
7 Buckle Count
8 Cards-To-Pocket Count
9 Carlyle False Count
10 Chaback Count
11 Chanin Deal Count
12 Clean-Up Display Move
13 Collins Ace Vanish
14 Copdiddle Count
15 Dainty Pivot Spread
16 D'Amico Spread
17 Duplication Display
18 Four-Card Version
19 Elmback Count
20 Elmsley Count
21 Endfield False Count
22 Everchange Count
23 Eyecount
24 Fifth Peel
25 Fingertip Rhythm
26 Flustration Count
27 “GEM” False Count
28 Gemini Display
29 Ghostback Count
30 Ghostover Count
31 Haback Count
32 Hamman Count
33 Hide-Out Count
34 In Lieu Of Hamman Switch
35 Jack’s Rhythm Count
36 Jimmy Cricket Count
37 Jorback Count
38 Jordan Count
39 Kosky Count
40 Latest Count Combination
41 Marfon Count
42 Marlo's Flushtration Coun
43 Mirage Count
44 Mirror Count
45 Modified Haback Count
46 Neo Jordan Count
47 Nerve Count
48 New Quick Three-Way
49 No-Buckle Gemini Count
50 Olram Counts
51 Olram Subtlety
52 Omega Count
53 Opec Count
54 Opos Count
55 Optical Rhythm
56 Partial Ascanio
57 Pinch Grip
58 Push-Off Count
59 Ouick Three-Way
60 Razor-Edge Pivot Spread
61 Repeat Code 345
62 Rhythm Count
63 Rhythm Flushtration Count
64 Siva Count
65 Six-Card Repeat Count
66 Slide Three-Way
67 Smile Count
68 Smile Count - Pairs
69 Snap-Turn Count
70 Spirit Count
71 Switchless Switch Count
72 Takagi Turnover Count
73 Townsend Elmsley Count
74 Two-As-Four Count
75 Two-For-Four Count
76 Underside Reverse Spread
77 Unlimited Count
78 Veeser Concept
79 Veeser Concept - Palm-Up Variation
80 Afterword
81 Bonus Count Drill
Product Details
No. of Pages 209
Personal Details
Read It No
Location Magic Library (Home) Shelf S
Condition Mint
Owner Bryan-Keith Taylor
Counthesaurus by Jon Racherbaumer (book)

I'm a packet trick junkie. After a long hiatus from magic, I returned to packet tricks with a vengence. As my interest in false counts and displays began when I started to create my own own false counts and packet tricks. I sought more resources and began to discover that some of "my" creations had already been published long ago. Independently creating a count has it's advantages though - like developing subtleties, twists and new uses for these counts. Because I was accumulating so many false counts I was starting to forget some of the ones I had learned. I began to record my counts in journal so that I could easily locate and refresh my memory on each count.

Through all of this research on false counts, I came to learn about the two popular books on false counts. The first was Counts, Cuts, Moves and Subtlety by Jerry Menzter. Menzter's book is a small but useful reference on packet trick sleights. The second book was by Jon Racherbaumer called Counthesaurus. Somewhere along the way I also discovered Denis Behr's web-based database of magic ( as a resource to credit and locate published card sleights. I finally broke down and purchased Counthesaurus as a Christmas present to myself. I've spent some quality time with this fine book over the last year.

Racherbaumer states that this is not a book that you will just work through but a resource to look up a count or refresh your knowledge of a count as needed. Of course, being a false count nerd, I've worked through most of the book. Racherbaumer's byline for the books is "An Abecedarian Handbook of False Counts and Displays" which apparently refers to the alphabetical listing of the things taught in the book. The book is spiral bound printed mainly in black and white although there are some color photographs at the end of the book. Although I perfer a hardcover book, the spiral binding is of great benefit when laying open during a heavy study session.

First and foremost, this is an excellent resource that is a great addition to any card magic library. I can recommend this wholeheartedly. You will not find tricks in this book (well not quite). Racherbaumer meant this project as a reference book to be used like a dictionary when needed. Racherbaumer teaches over 80 sleights across over 200 pages with over 200 pictures. He provides some very interesting history and credits liberally along the way. This only left me wanting more detail!

I do have some very minor nitpicking. The teaching is rather sparse in some places. The sleights are described in a vacuum so that you don't always have context to how they might be used. However, Racherbaumer does claim that this is a look-up type reference book so I guess he is assuming that you already have an effect in mind when you reach for his book. Although there is some variations listed, most sleights are just breifly described with no extraneous details. Having studied false counts for a few years now, the are an endless number of variations to each sleight. Some of the counts were taught differently than from other sources I had learned the sleight from.

Overall, the teaching is good and we're lucky to have someone of Jon's caliber to capture the special subject area of false counts and displays in Counthesaurus. This is by no means an exhaustive collection of all false counts and packet trick sleights - not even close. However, it is probably the best single resource published at this time (perhaps I can change that). Racherbaumer covers many popular displays and therefore a good resource for packet trick consumers and creators. Highly recommended.