Bro. John Hamman's Signed Card

My working of Bro. John Hamman's 'Signed Card' from 'The Secrets of Brother John Hamman' by Richard Kaufman.

You should be able to follow my instructions without knowing the original.

There is nothing wrong with the original effect as published, it just didn't suit my style of working or thinking.

The effect:

  • Four Queens are taken out of the deck, a card selected by the magician is placed to one side and the spectator selects a card.
  • The spectators card is placed on the bottom of the four Queens packet
  • The Queen's packet is counted reversing the cards and the chosen card is turned face up on top then turned down
  • The cards are flicked and spread to reveal only four cards, the top card is turned over to show a Queen
  • The turned over Queen is placed on the table with another face up Queen
  • The two remaining Queens are used to pick up the card on the table and when they are turned over, the spectator's card is seen sandwiched between the Queens


  1. Hold the deck up to your eye level; run through the deck and up-jog a black Queen which you place to the top of the deck (nearest the spectator), follow this with another black Queen then any card and finally a red Queen.
  2. Turn the deck face down and state that you have been looking for four specific cards and as you say this perform a Biddle Count - leaving the second card card counted on the bottom of the deck.
  3. Turn the "four" cards face up and perform an Elmsley Count to show a red Queen followed by two black Queens and finally a red Queen.
  4. Place the Queens, face down, to one side.
  5. Hold the deck up to eye level again and run through the cards as you tell the spectator you will choose a card, take out the remaining red Queen and place it face down while telling the spectator you will show the card in a moment or two.
  6. Spread the cards for the spectator to choose a card.
  7. Pick up the packet of Queens.
  8. Take the card from the spectator and place it underneath the packet of Queens.
  9. Perform a count to make it look as if you have 5 cards in your hand (see note below).
  10. Do a double turnover to show the chosen card on top then turn the cards face down.
  11. Perform a magical gesture or merely tap the cards then spread them (left to right so that he top card is underneath your right thumb) immediately to show only four cards.
  12. Turnover the top card to show a black Queen - drop it it onto the surface.
  13. Turnover the bottom card to show the other back Queen - drop it on top of the first black Queen
  14. Perform the turnover move, as detailed below.
  15. Take the applause.


  1. Hold the cards as for an Elmsley Count - the open hand approach is the best to use here.
  2. Slide the top card off onto your other hand.
  3. Slide the next card off onto your hand but as it lands use your thumb to pull it very slightly towards your thumb.
  4. As you thumb comes back to slide off the next card; the thumb of the hand holding the cards being taken moves the top card off to the side as in a normal Elmsley Count.
  5. Two thing have to happen at the same time; the thumb of the receiving hand connects to slide the card off while the fingers of the holding hand connect the bottom card of the cards already been taken. As the top card is removed the bottom card is left in the holding hand. This is exactly the same removal as in a normal Elmsley Count.
  6. At this point you should have counted three cards but in actual fact you have two cards in each hand.
  7. The receiving hand comes back for the next top card, which it slides off but allow it to rest on the finger tips leaving a slight break between it and the other cards.
  8. The remaining card is slid out from underneath the thumb and allowed to fall on top of the card with the break under it.
  9. Flip the two card above the break face up then turn face down.


1.Take one card in each hand then slide the left hand card underneath the tabled card and use the right hand card to steady the card, as shown in the photo above.
2. Adjust your grip on the cards to the one shown above.
3. Turn over the cards by turing your hands palm up. As you start to turn the cards over, push your right fingers to the left and pull your thumb to the right, as shown above.
4. Time it so that at the end of the turnover the left hand card is below the two right hand cards, as shown above.


It has been so long since I read the original I really can't remember too much about it.

What I do remember is that the card was signed. I have never had the card signed, I cannot understand why it is necessary. Why would anyone dispute that the card is not the one originally placed on the table?. Unless you have done some very strange movements there should be no doubt about the card being the same one.

As I write this I have remembered that the ending was the main thing I didn't like in the original effect. I seem to remember the showing of the cards to prove the chosen card was sandwiched between the two Queens looked like a magician's move and would in fact alert the spectator to the fact that it may not be the original card placed on the table.

Also, in the original effect three cards are removed and placed on the table as you mention that you have removed four cards. I know my audiences and there is no way I would have got away with taking three cards out and telling them that I had four cards so I put in the Biddle Count to throw them off.

I hope you enjoy it - it is a very powerful effect.



Unless otherwise stated I do not claim ownership of any idea or effect published on this website.  Where possible I will give full credit and if you know of any credits that should be given I welcome your input.


If the count has a name I'm afraid I don't know it - I came up with the count as a means of getting the cards into the order I wanted.

The turnover was shown to me many years ago and I don't know its origins, although I have it in my mind that it may be credited to Pat Page.

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