Feeling Pretty Cull Today
By Ricky Smith - Tuesday, August 13, 2019
“The Hofzinser Cull is one of the most useful and amazingly deceptive moves in the history of the world.” - Ricky Smith
I’m pretty sure I’m not the first person to say the above quote, so this article begins with plagiarism. You’re welcome!
There are many methods for culling, and I’m sure that most of you have already worked on it and have your preferred methods. I’ve always been a fan of the versions that utilize the in and out movement of the hands as the modus operandi versus utilizing the fingers, but I think that it is perhaps not well suited for full deck culls, so be aware of your goals and make sure to pick the cull that works best for your purposes. With that in mind, here are some tips:
A great practice technique I’ve been using that seems to have many benefits is to cull the four aces, leaving them at the back of the deck. Then the four deuces, then the four threes, etc. until you end up with the four kings on the face of the deck. The first few rounds are more random, as you will be going through most of the deck, and then the last few are more condensed. This technique gets you practising a wide variety of the necessary skills required to cull under fire: what to do if multiple cards are next to each other, separated by a single card, if they are all in one section, well separated, etc. Each run through will have its own challenges and it is a satisfying enough practice routine that you won’t mind going through the whole thing each time and will end up practising more.
Something to think about is what to do when one of the desired cards is on the face of the deck. Bill Malone showed me an excellent technique and I think there are many more, most can be found by changing the moment. You might try figuring out a couple at the end of the above practice routine in order to bring the kings to the bottom of the deck. Just do whatever seems natural at the time. For example, take the kings as though about to spread, and then use your right hand and the kings to move the card box out of the way, before continuing to spread with the kings underneath.
Rhythm: don’t get stuck trying to cull in one quick run through the deck. You can pause, speed up, slow down, take one of your hands away for a second, go forwards and backwards, etc.
Timing: I’ve never been much of a full deck cull type of guy, I’m too slow and don’t say a lot, so I found that the last quarter of the deck or so was me, completely out of lines, with the audience wondering why I was still going through all those cards. Be aware of what your performance style is and have your cull match it. Make sure to have something to say when the cull runs long, or take a pause before finishing instead of quickly trying to finish up in one run through. Certain culls can vary widely in the length of time they require just due to the random distribution. Be ready for the possibilities!
Always look to the left end of the spread! We’re in tune to looking at the center, just like our audiences. Developing this habit will allow you to be prepared in advance of your audiences as well as giving you more time to prepare for the necessary maneuvers.
Good luck with your efforts and may Hofzinser be with you!
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