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John Hamman

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John Hamman

Cover of Genii (2001)
BornJohn Charles Hamman
September 3, 1927
St. Louis City, Missouri
DiedDecember 5, 2000 (age 73)
San Antonio, Texas
Resting placeMarianist Cemetery on the campus of St. Mary's University in San Antonio

Brother John Hamman, S.M. (Society of Mary) (b. 1927 - d. 2000) was an American card magician and inventor of many creative card moves. He was called the "Magical Marianist" because of his religious profession as a Marianist. Prior to his retirement in 1995, he taught at St. John Vianney High School in Kirkwood, Missouri for over 20 years.


He was stricken with polio in the 1950s and used crutches for many years. He spent hours during his recuperation learning, practicing and inventing card tricks and other magic involving sleight of hand. He eventually became wheelchair bound after a stroke impaired his balance.

Brother John was the only living magician in among the 12 who were honored in 1995 with the first St. Louis Magical Heritage Awards. Brother John. at that time, he stated the key to his success was "The object of magic is misdirection. Audiences are more apt to believe what they hear than what they see, and intelligent people are the easiest to fool because they don't expect me to use some childish gimmick to deceive them. On the other hand, children are hard to fool, because they watch closely and don't listen."

Br. John Hamman died on December 5, 2000 at the St. Joseph Healthcare Center in San Antonio, Texas. He was 73 years old. The Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on Saturday, December 9, 2000. He is interred in the Marianist Cemetery on the campus of St. Mary's University in San Antonio.

Bro. John created more than 100 card magic tricks including the Hamman Count, the Gemini Count and popularized the Flustration Count.


  • From the foreword of "The Secrets of Brother John Hamman": "Magic is in the mind of the spectator - not in your fingers."


Magazine Contributions

  • Karl Fulves ran a special folio of The Pallbearers Review, Summer 1972 edition, containing the magic of Brother John Hamman. It contained the following tricks:"Double Elevator Surprise", "Royal Gambol", "Ace-Sational", "Out of Print", "Hamman Surprise", "New Hue", "Suit Yourself", "A Four-tunate Choice", and "Chinese Miracle".


  • The Lost Works of Bro. John Hamman (2003); this six-DVD set covers 97 Hamman effects. They were not shot, nor were designed, as demonstrations per se. Rather, the video was shot as a kind of video notebook for Richard Kaufman. Many of the effects shown on the DVDs were written up in Kaufman's book, "The Secrets of Brother John Hamman." The DVDs are still commercially available from Houdini's Magic in Las Vegas.


  • 1-2-3-4 Ascanio
  • 1-2-3-4 Mates
  • 12345 Peek Thought
  • Acey-Deucy
  • Adventures of the Spotted
  • Alternative triplet
  • Amorphous Ace, The
  • Axes and Jaxes, The
  • Billy the Kid
  • Blind Chance
  • Blushing Joker
  • Chameleon Blues
  • Chinese Shuffle
  • Computer Deck
  • Cream Rises to the Top
  • Deck in Parvo
  • Devilish Miracle Retold
  • Diminishing Card to Dollar
  • Disobedient Cards, The
  • Do as I Do Aces
  • Double Take
  • Double-Deal Aces
  • Double-Deal Vanish
  • Eight Ball Queens
  • Fabulous Expanding Card
  • False Witness, The
  • Fan-to-See
  • Final Aces
  • Five Kings Royal
  • Flash Poker
  • Flight of Four
  • Flip Flop Aces
  • Four Pocket Mirror
  • Four-tunate Choice
  • Go Fish
  • Hal-Deuce-Ination
  • Hamman Count
  • Hippity-Hop Kings
  • Homing Card, The
  • Homing Card to Ter-ick-ific
  • Houdini Escapes
  • Interplay
  • Invisible Card, The
  • Jacks Come Back, The
  • Kings Through The Table
  • Knavish Deuces, The
  • Ladies Man, The
  • Liar's Lie
  • Lie Detector Case, The
  • Lolopolooza Hand, The
  • Magic Box
  • Magic Cards, The
  • Magician Matches Spectator
  • Magician Over Gambler
  • Marx Brothers, The
  • Micro-Macro
  • Multiplying Kings, The
  • My Lucky Day
  • Mystic Nine, The
  • Old Classic, The
  • Opposite Pockets
  • Out of Print
  • Peek Look Think
  • Pesky Card, The
  • Phoenix Four
  • Pickpocket
  • Pinochle Trick, The
  • Poker Palm Shift
  • Queens and Nines
  • Revenge on the Pink Panthers
  • Rook's Tour
  • Routines with Queens and Nines
  • Royal Gambol
  • Runic Nines
  • Sealed-Room Mystery
  • Second Deal
  • Seeing with the Fingertips
  • Seven O'clock Trick
  • Seven, The
  • Signed Card, The
  • Skipping Jacks
  • Spectator Outdeals
  • Magician…Almost
  • Stun-sational
  • Tell-Tale Tongue
  • Thought Card in Case
  • Thought Cards Across
  • Three Guesses
  • Thunderstruck
  • Transparent Cards
  • Triple Cross
  • Triple Match
  • Twins, The
  • Twisting Revisited
  • Two-Card Trick, The
  • Two-Shuffles Harry
  • Underground Transposition
  • Universal Card
  • Up the Down Sleeve
  • Vanishing Cream
  • Watch me like a Hawk
  • What and Where Test
  • Wild all the Way
  • Wild Card
  • Zarrow Shuffle (Hamman's Version)


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