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jaschris
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On Feb 18, 2021, Sanukk wrote:
I've been using the Hofzinser Spread Cull for quite a while now. What do you guys do if the card (or one of the cards if culling more than one) is right at the top? Whenever this has happened to me, I've just cut the deck and started from there, but I feel there is probably a more elegant way to deal with the situation.

As this is public, references rather than specific methods is probably better, but what's the best way to approach this?


So you turn the cards face up and you find one of the 4 cards you want to cull is on the face of the pack? A simple method is to pull it off with your thumb and start spreading the remainder of the deck on top. The original card on face of deck rides under the spread until you find the next card you seek to cull. Perform the cull and continue until all four cards are culled. There are multiple sources from which to learn the Cull. I started with Kostya Kimlat's Roadrunner DVD (which is great and tricks are great too) but after some years I have concluded that I prefer Moran's Cullfather DVD. The Cull technique taught on Moran's DVD from what I understand is commonly called the Prayer Cull. I prefer that technique to the finger flurry of the Roadrunner Cull. I have not read the original teachings of Hofzinser on it so others may chime in to correct me. But please note, if you can cull well, you will be able to do some very strong card tricks.
Schlawiner
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I'm currently trying to make my culling technique better.
*) What should I do with the right forefinger? Currently I have the right forefinger under the deck and I'm holding the cards with all my right fingers very near the bottom of the deck which helps me to cover the card. However, I'm now reading another book which says that the right forefinger should be at the top of the cards to cover the view there.
*) What are you doing with the left thumb? In nearly every book which I read the authors mention that the left thumb holds the card above the card which should be culled. When I try to do this, it's extremly obvious that I'm culling a card because I need to stop there, cull the card and can just continue to spread out cards with the left thumb afterwards. Currently I'm culling without holding the card above. Instead I go a little bit up with my right hand so that the cards in my right hand are angled. Since I push the card above the cull-card to the left (to hide the cull-card), it's the leftmost card which then contacts the card below the cull-card. The left side of the card contacts the card below because I'm holding the right-hand pack angled. This creats some friction which allows me to pull the cull-card later to the right (basically I create some friction on the card above the cull-card instead of holding the card with my left thumb). Therefore my left thumb can continue to push cards to the side which hides the culling better. So I'm now confused why all books mention that the left thumb should hold the card above? Because then I can't spread out other cards while culling the card. (However, I must also mention that my cull is currently not really good - I'm a beginner).
*) Should I pull (with the right hand fingers) or push (with the left hand fingers) the cull-card?

I will also maybe buy a DVD such as the Roadrunner DVD, David's Cull DVD or Moran's Cullfather DVD. Any recommendations which DVD I should get? If I already know the basic technique, is it worth to buy one of these DVD's?
Currently I just want to cull 4 cards (for Halo Aces), later I maybe try to work on effects which require a red/black card separation (I guess david's cull is the best for this one)?
JonHackl
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Schlawiner, I love David's Cull, but it's not a Hofzinser cull. If you're looking for a Hofzinser cull in particular, then you'll want to go with one of the other resources.

I wouldn't say David's is "better" for red/black separation. But it's easier to learn and you can get it to a deceptive standard relatively quickly. The disadvantage is that it requires what looks like a cut at the end. If you're moving a small number of cards, like four-of-a-kind, then that "cut" won't look right. That can be managed with misdirection sometimes, of course.

I got David's Cull with the intention of using it while I work on the Hofzinser Cull. I've been slack on that latter goal, but David's Cull has proven very useful.
"Magic is the only kind of entertainment where 90% of the audience is trying to ruin it for themselves." - Pete Holmes
Nikodemus
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Schlawiner,
I don't know lots of sleights - but I am so glad I learnt the Cull. It is like a Swiss army knife. So many possibilities. Including Under Spread Force & Convincing Control.
I did quite a lot of research on the Café before deciding to buy CullFather AND RoadRunner. Both have useful information. If you can only afford one at the moment, I suggest starting with CullFather. I found he explained the basics a bit more clearly.
If you want to buy a third DVD, there is also one by Harapan Ong (Cullology?) that is pretty good. (But not for me quite as useful as the other two).

Your attempt to figure out the technique yourself is admirable, but you will save a lot of wasted effort by learning from the experts.

Re right forefinger. Kostya Kimlet recommends using that finger to hide the front of the culled card. I have followed his advice. This is great because you don't need to tilt the cards down to hide the edge. (Funny thing is KK doesn't actually do this himself - he says it is too late for him to re-learn). Most people (I think) use their pinkies to support the bottom of the cards. I can't do this while using my forefinger as above, because my hands are too small). So I don't bother to support with the right pinky, just the left one. My right pinky is under the spread where it is more comfortable.

Re thumb & the "pause". There is nothing wrong with a pause, you just need to cover it with misdirection. Cullfather covers this quite well I think..
Another option is an "accordion" style of spreading. This is covered in Road Runner, and in Harapan's DVD.

Cullfather focuses on the "push" technique. RR & Harapan use the "pull" technique. I prefer the push style personally. But I think Pull is better for culling a lot of cards quickly. (EG Kostya's version of Triumph).

I predict you will need to really nail the basic technique before building up to full deck red/black separations.

Hope this is useful!
Nick
jaschris
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Great commentary from Nikodemus. I have heard several magicians over the years say they were motivated to learn the Hofzinser style cull in order to do a full red/black separation. Fair enough. But a full red/black separation is not easy with a Hofzinser type cull. Honestly, if it's only a full deck color separation that someone is interested in I would recommend Harry Lorayne's separation technique as taught in his trick The Great Divide. The method and trick can be learned (along with 18 other card tricks incidentally) in Harry Lorayne's Best Ever Collection Vol.1 DVD. But back to The Hofzinser style cull. It's a killer utility technique and well worth learning. It will greatly improve your card magic.
Schlawiner
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Thanks for the answers!
It's not that I don't have the money for the DVD's, I just don't wanted to buy them and then learn just stuff which I already know. But based on your answers I think it's best to go for them. Thanks again!
countrymaven
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Ian Moran (who did the Cullfather ) and Aaron Fisher who also did extensive training on the Hofnizer cull, both agree that it is better NOT to use the technique where you place your left thumb on top of the xxx card, and pull with your right fingers.
It is far less visible and secret, to push with the left fingers. You can use the right fingers to adjust a little, but both of these excellent teachers agree on this.

I would advise against using Lorayne's "great" divide, which is messy and fairly obvious. David's cull is far better than Lorayne's technique. But both require a strip out/cut. Why not just learn the cull and make it easier on yourself for miracles to happen? Without a cut/ stripout.
So I would suggest start with the Cullfather and or Aaron Fisher's instruction on the cull. This technique will not hold you back in speed. For me it is actually quicker to just primarily push with the left fingers and not have to pull with the right fingers while using the left thumb to hold a card as in the Roadrunner. After you are familiar with these downloads, I would suggest go with the Roadrunner for ideas, but not for the basic cull technique.
copperct
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Quote:
On Feb 27, 2021, countrymaven wrote:
So I would suggest start with the Cullfather and or Aaron Fisher's instruction on the cull.


Could you point those of us who are unfamiliar with Fisher's work to which publication/dvd this information could be found in?
countrymaven
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It is number 12 in Aaron Fisher's Pathways to Mastery Series. I am truly trying to spread some good info on the cull. It is very easy to get very confused by all the different resources out there.

By the way, Stephen Hobbs, in his Technical Toolbox, also agrees with Fisher and Ian Moran on the the correct and most deceptive cull technique. IF you have this, this could be a good place to start. Because the cull requires a little time to master, many get too confused by the different (which includes poor quality techniques), and this can be very discouraging to someone trying to get the cull down. I postponed the cull for many many years due to this. I am not trying to win an argument. Just showing others what works.

I want to encourage others. Try Ian Moran's Cullfather. if you aren't blown away by the perfect cull force and how to invisibly control cards to where you want, what can be done for you? And these can be mastered fairly quickly. The cull force, if done correctly and ENCOURAGING SPECTATORS TO CHANGE THEIR MIND AS MANY TIMES AS THEY WANT, might be the best force out there. And card controls and the cull force are not too hard to learn.
Sanukk
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I've now got and watched Cullfather, thanks to all that suggested it, it's really good. The main advice there was pretty much what I was doing anyway LOL
countrymaven
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Sabnuuk, the great thing about Cullfather is that he rightly realizes and teaches how the cull transforms your card magic. Miraculous forces, controls to the bottom that look like nothing, nothing was done, controlling a card to a numerical position. All of these thing and much more are taught, but they look sleightless.
It is not taught as if a red and black separation is the greatest and main miracle with a cull, which I think some of the others tend to do.
In the Cullfather, you are taught the technique that Aaron Fisher and Stephen Hobbs also essentially teach. It is IMHO the most deceptive way to cull.
I think it is a good idea to stop using David's cull in cull discussions. Anyone could come up with some separation or organizing of cards while you go through them then contrive a cut to separate them. How magical is that?
The whole idea of the Hofnizer cull (and its true slight variants) is to merely go through the cards and do what looks like sleightless miracles. Yes!!!!
Gennovense
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Quote:
On Mar 22, 2021, countrymaven wrote:
Sabnuuk, the great thing about Cullfather is that he rightly realizes and teaches how the cull transforms your card magic. Miraculous forces, controls to the bottom that look like nothing, nothing was done, controlling a card to a numerical position. All of these thing and much more are taught, but they look sleightless.
It is not taught as if a red and black separation is the greatest and main miracle with a cull, which I think some of the others tend to do.
In the Cullfather, you are taught the technique that Aaron Fisher and Stephen Hobbs also essentially teach. It is IMHO the most deceptive way to cull.
I think it is a good idea to stop using David's cull in cull discussions. Anyone could come up with some separation or organizing of cards while you go through them then contrive a cut to separate them. How magical is that?
The whole idea of the Hofnizer cull (and its true slight variants) is to merely go through the cards and do what looks like sleightless miracles. Yes!!!!



How difficult is to separate blacks and reds using Ian Moran's cull?
countrymaven
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First of all, Moran's technique is also essentially Aaron Fisher's technique, which is also Stephen Hobbs' technique.

Culling one or a few cards takes practice. Using the cull to separate the reds and blacks merely takes more practice. It is actually fun and if you realize it takes time and some adjustments as you learn (for a major red and black separation) it is not bad at all.
JonHackl
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Quote:
I think it is a good idea to stop using David's cull in cull discussions. Anyone could come up with some separation or organizing of cards while you go through them then contrive a cut to separate them. How magical is that?
The whole idea of the Hofnizer cull (and its true slight variants) is to merely go through the cards and do what looks like sleightless miracles. Yes!!!!


I think you're exactly right for many cull applications, possibly most. I think I've expressed before how much I appreciate your alerting us to the difference between a "push" Hofzinser cull and a "pull," and I will soon have The Cullfather, on your recommendation.

However, I still see value in David's Cull for some applications, and especially
while a person is still building proficiency with Hofzinser. For example, my main use of DC is to set up Shuffle-Bored from a shuffled deck. In that context, a cut is not only justified but entirely necessary for the trick. I also use it in a routine where, at the stage I'm doing the cull, there's no suspicion on the deck as a whole. Rather, I'm up-jogging the cards that we're actually going to use (the face cards). Then I have a spectator count those face cards, and at that time I casually do a "cut," a (false) shuffle or two, and set the deck aside. The fact that the deck is in something other than a genuinely mixed state won't be noticed for a few minutes while we do a trick with the face cards.

Anyway, the only reason I mention DC in these conversations is that it's a very accessible tool which is excellent for some applications, and just fine for others. But for some applications I think you're exactly right that it's not a substitute for a real cull. I would not use it and then proceed to an immediate revelation of a sorted deck (e.g., Triumph). In that kind of context, yes, the unnecessary handling of the deck, even a cut, might look suspicious. Perhaps once I've seen Cullfather I'll revise my opinion and regret ever having wasted time with DC. But for now I still regard it as a useful tool, at least as a stop-gap for certain applications while one builds facility with Hofzinser.

I hope that makes sense. Again, thanks for recommending Cullfather. I'm looking forward to it!
"Magic is the only kind of entertainment where 90% of the audience is trying to ruin it for themselves." - Pete Holmes
countrymaven
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Mr. Hackl, I appreciate your input. However, two things are primarily responsible for keeping people away from the H. cull.
1. Not knowing what I had to find out the hard way, that the one in Ian Moran, Aaron Fisher, or STephen Hobbs' videos are one and essentially the same. The way to learn the right technique with the cull
2. The next potential problem is not taking number one, above, seriously, and deciding to do another non cull, which essentially is wasting your time IMHO. It takes much longer to learn
another poor substitute for the cull than to just learn it WITH THE EASIEST AND MOST DECEPTIVE TECHNIQUE.
i AM JUST trying to help. If something else works fine, but I had to work my way through every cull video and compare and contrast. To find what really works. So I am trying to pass it on. thanks.
JonHackl
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Understood, sir. I appreciate and do not regard this as a contention or debate. My expectation is that you are right, I will regret not having gotten Cullfather earlier.
"Magic is the only kind of entertainment where 90% of the audience is trying to ruin it for themselves." - Pete Holmes
Sanukk
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As it was mentioned so frequently (and rightly so), I wrote a review of Cullfather if anybody is on the fence about getting it: https://the-peoples-palace-of-prestidigi......-review/
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