Category: Card Trick


Popular Self-Working Card Tricks for Complete Beginners

by EndersGame

If you have a deck of playing cards, and are completely new to card magic, the first tricks you should learn are self-working tricks. No trick works completely automatically, of course, but this is a term that refer to tricks that don’t rely on sleight of hand. That makes them super easy to learn and perform, so you’ll be having fun showing these to your family and friends in no time!Many magic teachers recommend starting with self-workers, because then you can focus entirely on your presentation, which is essential to make card magic entertaining. We’ll kickstart your magic career by introducing you to several popular and simple self-working card tricks, and we’ll even provide a direct link to a video performance and tutorial for each, to help get you going immediately!

10 Simple Card Tricks

These classics of card magic are easy tricks that almost every magician has learned early in their career. They will also introduce you to some important principles of card magic, like the “key card”, and the “one ahead principle”. There’s one “classic” which I haven’t included, and that’s the “21 Card Trick”. It’s one that most people know already, and although there are ways to make this card trick interesting, the method primarily involves mindless dealing, and it can be quite boring for your spectators. You’re more likely to have fun with the card tricks in the list below:

● Quick Two Card Catch

The effect: Your spectator inserts a black 9 and a black 10 anywhere into the middle of the deck. You toss the deck from one hand to another, rapidly pulling two cards out while doing so. Amazingly, the two cards that you’ve pulled out from the deck are your spectator’s black 9s and 10s!What’s good about it: This requires a small set-up, but it’s worth it for the big pay-off. It relies on the fact that because there are two cards that are quite similar, spectators will remember only the color and the value of the cards, and they won’t remember the suits other than that they were both black. It’s a very simple method, and yet the impact can be very strong, because it is a remarkable feat that you appear to accomplish, by pulling out two cards that have been placed into the middle of the deck by a spectator!Background: This trick is also known under other names including “Friction Toss”, “Friction Production”, or “Two Card Catch”. If you use a simple cross-cut force (described later in this article) at the start of this trick, this trick can seem even more amazing. Any two cards will work, but it’s best to use cards with a similar appearance of values, like black 9s and 10s, or black 9s and 6s, and refer to them as “black 9s and 6s” rather than mention the actual suits. You can also use this method to produce all four Aces, two at a time.Watch it and learn it: (featuring Will Roya)

● The Four Robbers

The effect: You show the four Jacks, which you introduce as four robbers. You then tell a story about how they attempt to burgle a bank, doing their dirty work at different locations in the building. You place the Jacks in various parts of the deck while telling the story, corresponding to different floors of the building. When the police arrive unexpectedly, the four Jacks can escape in a helicopter, by magically appearing together at the top of the deck!What’s good about it: The strength of this trick is that it has a fun story to go with it. You aren’t following the same-old story of having a card selected and finding it, but you are simply describing a story, and then something magical and impossible happens. The method is very simple, and how entertaining this trick turns out will depend entirely on how good you are at dramatizing the story, which you can have a lot of fun with!Background: This is another common trick that many young magicians will start out with and has been around since the 1850s. After a simple secret set-up, it’s very easy to perform. It might not fool thoughtful adults, but it’s an ideal trick for children to learn, and they can really fool others of their own age with it.Watch it and learn it: (featuring Hester23BearsCH)

● The Piano Trick

The effect: From two piles of cards, you magically make a card move from one to another. A common way to do it is to get your spectator to stretch out both hands like he’s playing the piano – hence the name of the trick – and place pairs of cards between his fingers, plus an “odd” card. These are distributed into two piles (e.g. between you and your spectator). Remarkably, although everything is shared out evenly, the odd card moves from one pile to the other pile!What’s good about it: Once again, how you present this makes all the difference. Nothing physically moves, and yet by clever misdirection and proper scripting, it will really seem to your spectator’s mind that a card has been transferred from one pile to another.Background: This trick is more than a hundred years old, but it can easily be given a modern twist – I’ve heard of magicians performing this with knives and forks, with different kinds of fruit, and even with socks! See a great variation by Alan Hudson performing the piano trick with cutlery hereWatch it and learn it: (featuring Peter McOwan)

● Spectator Cuts To The Aces

The effect: The spectator does all the work in cutting the deck into four piles. Amazingly, at the end of this process, the top card in each of the piles turns out to be an Ace!What’s good about it: It’s always a good idea to turn the spectator into a magician, and that’s what happens here. They are the ones doing the cutting, so the magic apparently happens right in their hands. It is important to find a way to perform this trick in a way that makes things entertaining, however. Like many self-working tricks, since there’s a small set-up involved, the effect can be strengthened if you can precede the trick with a simple false cut or false shuffle.Background: Numerous versions of this trick exist, including more complicated variations, but the basic version is very easy and can be performed by a complete beginner. It goes under various names, including “Poker Player’s Picnic” (The Royal Road to Card Magic) and “Belchou Aces” (Roberto Giobbi’s Introduction to Card Magic). One of the finest versions of this trick is Chad Long’s “Shuffling Lesson”. This takes it to the next level, as both you and the spectator use half the deck, and you deal four Kings while the spectator deals four Aces – an apparently impossible finish! Chad’s version is so good that some magicians even use it as a closer in their professional magic act.Watch it and learn it: (featuring Will Roya)

● The Circus Card Trick

The effect: After your spectator has selected and remembered a card from a shuffled deck, and returned it to the deck, you start dealing through the deck, claiming that you can find it. You deal several cards past their chosen card, and then propose a bet that the next card you turn over will be their card. Thinking that this is a safe bet since you’ve already gone past their card, most spectators will agree – at which you point you proceed to turn over the already-dealt card that is theirs!What’s good about it: Usually a trick presented as a “challenge” for your spectator isn’t the best idea, because it can turn magic into a contest rather than something entertaining and magical. This trick is a good exception to that rule, because it’s super light and quick, and is ideal for a casual setting. Don’t use it to actually swindle people of anything valuable, but when performing it as a fun gag effect, you’ll usually have the whole room laughing at the result – even the person who has become the butt of the joke.Background: This trick relies on a common method known as the “key card” principle, and you’ll find a variation of it in almost every introductory card magic book. The basic principle can be used for many other tricks, like the next one in this list. The real appeal of the Circus Card Trick is the humorous presentation; it also goes under many other names, and is often presented as a bar bet or con.Watch it: (featuring Daryl)
Learn it: (featuring WonderPhil)

● The Pulse Trick

The effect: Your spectator selects a random card which is returned to the deck. But can you find it? Of course, you’re a magician! You feel their pulse while they move their hand across a face-up spread, and by the picking up subtle changes to their heart beat as their finger moves over their selected card, you’re able to identify it!What’s good about it: What makes card magic interesting is when it has a good presentation, and while this is a very easy trick to perform, it has a very entertaining presentation. You just need to do a lot of acting to make it convincing, and since the method is so straight-forward, you can really focus on your showmanship. The method here is basically the same as the Circus Card Trick, but with a different presentation it feels like an entirely different trick.Background: Another interesting presentation that relies on the same secret, is to have your spectator put their fingerprint on their card, and you then identify their chosen card by `finding’ the card which has their matching fingerprint. Yet another presentation is to frame it as a lie-detector test, getting your spectator to point at each card one at a time while saying “That’s not my card”, while you `detect’ when they are lying by looking into their eyes or identifying subtle signals from their body language. Pick whatever presentation suits you best – either way it can be quite impressive and believable, especially for children witnessing this trick.Watch it and learn it: (featuring Sean O)

● Do As I Do

The effect: Both you and your spectator each have a deck. After shuffling your decks, you both select a card, which you remember, and return to your deck. You then trade decks, and each find your selected card in the other person’s deck. Because you’ve been in sync with each other, the two cards are revealed to be … exactly the same!What’s good about it: This trick appears completely baffling to someone who has never seen it, because the odds of two people selecting exactly the same card is 1 in 52. The method is easy, yet well-disguised by the concept of “Do As I Do”, where you and the spectator have to synchronize your moves and do exactly the same thing. This also gives opportunity to have some fun as well, so it lends itself to enjoying the presentation. Because the spectator is part of the magic, it is engaging for them as well.Background: Early versions of this trick were already performed in the mid-1800s, under titles like “The Sympathetic Cards” and “Marvellous Coincidence”. This now common trick has been around in its current form since the early 1900s.Watch it and learn it: (featuring Brian Brushwood)

● X-Ray Vision

The effect: The cards are all laid face-down on the table in a spread or in a shuffled mess. In a demonstration of x-ray vision, three people (including you) point to a random face-down card, and you correctly identify all of the selected cards.What’s good about it: There are various ways of presenting this trick, and you can also perform it by naming a card that your spectator then has to try to find at random. But it packs a punch far greater than you might think, because to actually be able to correctly identify three face-down cards – some of which are genuinely selected by your spectators at random – would be a true miracle!Background: This trick is found in many books with beginner card tricks, and goes under names like “Seeing Through the Deck” (Scarne on Card Tricks), “The Three-Card Pick by Touch Test” (Magic for Dummies) and “One Ahead” (Joshua Jay’s Amazing Book of Cards). It’s a good introduction to the one ahead principle which is used more often in card magic.Watch it and learn it: (featuring Exit707)

● Mutus Nomen Cocis Dedit

The effect: Twenty random cards are divided into pairs, and several spectators secretly select and remember any pair of their choice, which are then put together in any order. You lay out the cards in grid with four rows of five cards. Each spectator merely tells you the row(s) that their two cards are in, and you can miraculously identify their chosen cards!What’s good about it: This trick becomes most entertaining when you incorporate a fun presentation, for example when you pretend to use muscle-reading to identify the chosen cards (as described in “The Pulse Trick”), or use a lie detector presentation. Naturally the true method is much simpler, and although you’ll need to memorize some words (only four!) to make it work, the effect seems truly impossible! Involving multiple spectators makes it even more engaging and seem more astounding!Background: This is a very old trick that goes under various titles, like “Houdini’s Double-Talk Card Trick” (Scarne on Card Tricks). and fortunately you don’t have to use the Latin words in the title used here, because there are simpler English-language mnemonic aids that do the same thing.Watch it and learn it: (featuring Brian Brushwood)

● The Slop Shuffle

The effect: The deck is mixed up completely in small packets of face-up and face-down cards. After a final cut, all the cards are magically corrected, and now face the same way!What’s good about it: This is a nice change from the usual “pick-a-card” type of trick, since the magic happens with the entire deck. Even though it is basically self-working, the illusion is very natural and convincing, and the deck really does seem to instantly change from something that is completely mixed up, with cards haphazardly face-up and face-down, into all the cards being the right way.Background: This trick is a common beginner trick that can be found in many magic videos and videos, and while most commonly known as “The Slop Shuffle” (Complete Idiot’s Guide to Magic), it’s also called other names like “Self-Reversing Pack” (Mark Wilson’s Complete Course in Magic). There are ways to take this trick to the next level by having a card selected by a spectator, and all the cards are face-down after the “slop shuffle” except the chosen card.Watch it and learn it: (featuring Will Roya)

2 Simple Card Forces

The concept of a “forced card” is a very useful technique in magic. Once you master it, you can perform all sorts of miracles very easily, with many options for how you reveal the card that you have `forced’. There are ways to force a card with sleight of hand, but here are two very simple ways to accomplish this in a self-working manner.

● The Ten-Twenty Force

The effect: You write a prediction for a card to be selected, then get your spectator to freely choose any number between ten and twenty. They deal some cards based on their chosen number, thereby selecting a random card which they reveal. Then your prediction is shown, and it matches the selected card perfectly!What’s good about it: Being able to correctly predict a card apparently chosen at random by a spectator is a very powerful technique in magic. In fact, the selected card has been predetermined in advance, but by presenting it as a feat of prediction, you really give the impression of being able to tell the future. You can even give the paper with your prediction to a spectator to look after, to prove that nothing is written after the fact, making the prediction feat seem even more convincing.Background: The principle underlying this is a simple mathematical one, and yet it can be surprisingly deceptive, especially for the average person who has never come across this before. Besides using a card force as a prediction, magician Jay Sankey offers various ways to reveal a forced card in his video here.Watch it and learn it: (featuring The Card Ghost)

● The Cross Cut Force

The effect: You write a prediction for a card to be selected, and get your spectator to cut anywhere in the center of the deck that they like. The prediction is revealed, and remarkably it turns out that the spectator has cut to exactly the card that was predicted!What’s good about it: Having a `hands off’ approach where you put the cards in the hands of your spectator always makes a magic trick seem more convincing. You couldn’t have possibly done anything to the cards, because you didn’t even touch them! This makes your magic seem like a real miracle. And yet this trick will work every single time to produce the predicted card!Background: The “Cross Cut Force” is sometimes underestimated by magicians, but it can be extremely effective when done well. It works best when you pay attention to subtle details, especially by introducing some time delay before revealing the cut card. You’ll find some excellent tips for using this force, and some great tricks that utilize it, in John Bannon’s excellent “Move Zero” series of DVDs. A related and similar method that takes the Cross Cut Force a step further is the “Cut Deeper Force”. You will easily find information about it online, and it can be used as an alternative way to accomplish the same effect.Watch it and learn it: (featuring Xavior Spade)
There you go: ten simple card tricks, and two simple forces! So what are you waiting for? Grab some playing cards, check out some of the videos, and you’ll be amazing people in no time! And no matter how much they ask, keep the secret to yourself, and don’t repeat a trick to the same audience!About the writer: EndersGame is a well-known reviewer of board games and playing cards. He loves card games, card magic, and collecting playing cards. This article first appeared on here.



The Amazing Colour Changing Card Trick

To start off, I need you to do a quick exercise. Don’t worry, it’s not difficult, and I promise you’re going to love this. I want you to watch this short video clip called the “Colour Changing Card Trick” which starts with a blue-backed deck of playing cards. Some of my readers have experience with card magic, but even if you catch the moves or know how this works, I think you’ll enjoy this a lot:
So did you catch the moves? Or were you completely fooled, and did the colour changes completely fly by you? This is a fine example of a psychological phenomenon that we’ll explain later. But first, let’s try another little test.

A Quick Test About Playing Cards

To illustrate the same phenomenon, let’s quickly test your knowledge about playing cards. If you’re reading this, chances are you have used playing cards a lot. Perhaps you use them for playing card games, for performing card magic, for cardistry, or you’re just a collector. Either way, you’ve probably shuffled a deck hundreds if not thousands of times. Shuffling, dealing, and holding a hand of cards – it’s likely all second nature to you right? Well, then you should have no problems answering some simple questions about the playing cards that you have seen many, many times, right? Let’s assume a normal deck of traditional playing cards, like your standard Bicycle deck produced by the United States Playing Cards. Are you ready? You’re going to ace this test, surely! But strictly no guessing – if you don’t know an answer, just leave that question blank. Here we go: 1. Including black as a colour, how many different print colours do regular court cards have? 2. How many of the twelve court cards are looking to the left? 3. How many court cards are shown with a side view of the face rather than a front view? 4. Which Queen is holding something besides a flower? 5. Which King is not holding a sword? 6. Which Jack is holding a paddle/mirror? 7. Which Jacks have a fancy moustache? 8. Which Kings do not have a moustache? 9. What is the only suit where the Jack and Queen are not looking in the same direction? 10. How many of the 52 cards in a regular deck have an asymmetrical (one-way) design? So how did you do? No, I’m not going to tell you the correct answers, because you might just cheat. I know that I would be tempted to do so, if someone gave me a test like this! So write down your answers, and then actually grab a physical deck of playing cards, and see for yourself. Seriously. You might be surprised at the results! And you might notice some details on those cards that you’ve never noticed before. If you get a passing mark of more than five right, I’ll be very impressed. And if you did find that test too difficult, try this slightly easier online pop quiz about playing cards which will instantly give you a score out of ten.
Inattentional Blindness Going through these questions has likely made you realize how little you’ve noticed about the playing cards that you’ve seen many, many times. Strange isn’t it?! How can it be possible that you have handled a regular deck of playing cards so often, and yet not know the answers to basic questions like these? I first came across these questions (which I’ve modified) in a blog post by Jan Isenbart, who is a magic enthusiast from Germany. He used this simple test to illustrate a phenomenon that psychologists call inattentional blindness, or change blindness. The idea of this is that when our attention is focused on something specific, it is possible for something else that happens right in front of our eyes not to register at all. Perhaps the most well known example of this is shown in the following video. It shows the results of a Selective Attention Test, that was part of a prize-winning experiment devised and run by two American psychologists, Daniel Simons and Christopher Chabris. Many of you may already have come across this previously, but for those who haven’t, what you need to do is the following: Count how many times the players wearing white pass the basketball.” Stop reading this article and give it a try, and do genuinely concentrate and do the counting as instructed. The final result may surprise you.
Similar to this test is another one called The Monkey Business Illusion. If you’re interested in reading more about this, check out the website from Simons and Chabris. It’s a companion to their best-selling book The Invisible Gorilla. Some of the videos they have produced to illustrate inattentional blindness make for fun viewing. Daniel Simons’ article “Failure of Awareness: The Case of Inattentional Blindness” is also a good read on the topic.

The Princess Card Trick

Inattentional blindness means that something quite significant can happen right in front of your eyes, and yet you can completely fail to register it. If we can miss a chest-thumping gorilla, then how many other things do we completely miss? Magicians have been using this principle to help them in card magic for a long time. One of the most well known examples is “The Princess Card Trick”. It can be found all around the internet, including many kiddie websites, and it can easily be reverse engineered, so I’m hardly guilty of exposure by explaining how it works. But first, try it for yourself here. Typically the online version works something like this. You are shown six playing cards, and you choose and remember one of them. When you click on the screen, one of the six playing cards has been removed – and it is exactly the one that you chose! This can create gasps of amazement, but the secret is very simple. While you were focusing on remembering the playing card you chose, you tend to ignore the exact identity of the other cards are. So in actual fact all five cards shown afterwards are different from the original ones (if you didn’t quite follow this, see a detailed explanation here). This trick can be made convincing by selecting a mix of cards with similar values and suits, but subtly switching some of the suits so that the change isn’t as obvious. It’s a little harder to perform a trick like this in the real world, but with a good presentation and some sleight of hand, there are ways to accomplish a similar effect (see a version performed by magician Lance Burton here). In one set of tests, this fooled 9 out of 10 people on the street that this was performed to. The Princess Card Trick is another good example of inattentional blindness. Research has shown that what we actually see is often very different from what we think we see. We can’t absorb everything, so our mind has to be selective, and it focuses on specific things, and eliminates other things that it considers to be distractions at that moment, effectively making us “blind” to certain details.

Misdirection in Magic

The phenomenon of inattentional blindness can be a very useful tool in a magician’s toolbox. For example, when spectators are preoccupied by counting cards that you’re dealing, they won’t notice if those cards have been set-up or arranged in a specific order. Or if we take a playing card from the top of the deck and use it to point at another card on the table, they won’t notice if we return that card to the bottom of the deck, because their attention is focused elsewhere. Magicians sometimes refer to this as “misdirection”. Good misdirection isn’t so much about making a loud noise or sudden gesture that is a cheap shot at directing attention away from something. Rather it’s about carefully constructing the plot of a magic trick so that all the attention is directed to something other than where the actual method happens. There must be justifiable reasons for having the attention directed elsewhere, and ideally this should be connected to your presentation. But when you can get all the attention of your spectators on something, then you can use inattentional blindness to get away with murder, if it is outside the scope of their current concentrated focus. Perhaps we aren’t nearly as good at multi-tasking as we normally think! We have cognitive weaknesses, like the ones demonstrated in the experiments above, and identified and discussed by psychologists. But we can exploit these cognitive weaknesses in a clever way to create powerful illusions. It’s been well said that magic is not so much about what spectators are actually seeing, but what they think they are seeing. By manipulating their attention, we can manipulate what they think they are seeing, while having chest-thumping gorillas in plain sight do the magic for us, and yet remain completely invisible! So why don’t you dig out that deck of playing cards again, and this time have a more careful look at the details on the cards. There are undoubtedly many aspects of the artwork that have escaped your notice for all those years, due to inattentional blindness. Maybe this will even enable you to appreciate your playing cards in a whole new way!
About the writer: EndersGame is a well-known reviewer of board games and playing cards. He loves card games, card magic, and collecting playing cards. This article first appeared on here. ● Official Shuffled Ink website: ShuffledInk ● Make Your Own Custom Playing Cards at: ShuffledInk



What is the Magician’s Oath?

You don’t have to know much about magic to be aware that that there is a long tradition around maintaining secrecy, in order to preserve the secrets of magic. There is even an ancient “Magician’s Oath”, which is a kind of magician’s code that practitioners of magic are expected to uphold. In its modern form is often worded as follows: “As a magician I promise never to reveal the secret of any illusion to a non-magician, unless that one swears to uphold the Magician’s Oath in turn. “I promise never to perform any illusion for any non-magician without first practicing the effect until I can perform it well enough to maintain the illusion of magic.”

What about the internet?

This oath is understandable in a context where the only way you could learn the secrets of magic was directly from another magician. Magic was carefully passed on from one conjurer to another, and an oath of secrecy ensured that these secrets would be carefully protected. In today’s age of the internet and rapid communication, it is much harder to preserve the secrets of magic. The infamous TV series by the Masked Magician (Val Valentino) entitled Breaking the Magician’s Code: Magic’s Biggest Secrets Finally Revealed put many inside secrets from the world of magic directly into the public eye. Today anyone can purchase books on magic from Amazon, buy tricks from eBay or your favourite magic retailer, or watch video tutorials on youtube that teach you how to do card tricks. Within hours of a magic performance on a popular show like America’s Got Talent, videos will start appearing online with apparent “Reveals” of the method. The internet hasn’t been all bad for magic. Improved technology and communication also means that magic can be promoted in a way like never before. Streaming video means that there are new and wonderful ways for people to watch videos of their favourite TV magic, including popular shows like Penn and Teller and Masters of Illusion. Serious students of magic can also easily exchange ideas, share videos, and access content that will teach some of the very best tricks of all time. In many ways it is an exciting time for magic, because the magic student has access to the very best resources at the click of a mouse, and the latest downloadable video content instantly becomes yours with the help of “Add to Cart” and PayPal. It’s easier than ever for a new generation to discover magic, get excited about it, and find the tools to begin their own journey of learning this time-honoured craft. But this exciting time does come with challenges, not the least of which is the danger of exposure, and of using these new tools to hurt magic as an art-form. On balance, is the internet hurting magic more than it is helping it? You don’t need to take a position on either side of that debate to recognize that in this new territory it is important for everyone with an interest in magic to think carefully about the ethics of magic, and to work with the underlying principles of the age-old Magician’s Oath in our modern day.

What does this mean for you today?

Ultimately the solemn and ancient pledge of magicians aims to uphold the secrets of the art of magic, in order to help promote and defend it as a unique performing art. If you enjoy doing card magic, even just as a hobby for family and friends, here are five things you can do to apply the underlying principles of the Magician’s Oath today: 1. Guard your secrets Regardless of whether or not you make a formal promise like this as a member of an official magic organization, the reality is that magic does have an informal code of secrecy and of ethics that is important to be familiar with and abide by. The real issue is not first of all whether someone finds out the secret of how we’ve done a particular trick, but whether we are hurting the art of magic or helping it. Exchanging ideas and secrets about magic with a fellow magician is very different from the kind of exposure that hurts magic. 2. Create magic, not puzzles The real heart of the Magician’s Oath is that it wants to uphold magic as an art-form that creates astonishment in our audiences. To cheaply reveal the method behind your magic robs them of that very sense of wonder and mystery that it’s your job to create in the first place. If we really want to give people the gift of magic, then we mustn’t turn our performances into mere tricks or puzzles that must be figured out, but retain this sense of surprise and amazement, and do everything we can to create wonder, rather than take it away. 3. Be an entertainer, not a superhero This is also the reason why magicians will typically shy away from suggesting that they have actual abilities to read minds or bend spoons. We want to entertain our audiences by means of a performing art. But that entertainment comes through creating a very believable and convincing illusion, not through making them think we have genuine super-powers. Our job is to bring our audience into a world of imagination where they can suspend their sense of disbelief, rekindle their childlike sense of wonder, and so escape the trappings of normal life for the brief time they are watching our routines. 4. Give credit where credit is due In addition, the Magician’s Oath implies that we must respect those who have gone before us, by recognizing that many magicians have worked hard to come up with the effects and routines we are privileged to perform. When we casually pass on the secret behind a commercial effect, we may even be hurting the livelihood of the creator. This is also why magicians are often so fussy about attributing moves and tricks accurately and carefully, and are insistent on preserving intellectual property. 5. Practice before you perform The commitment to practice sufficiently before performing an effect to a non-magician further confirms that the Magician’s Oath is ultimately all about magic as an art. If we are going to make magic entertaining and live up to the high standards of this art, then we cannot cheapen it by acting like trained monkeys, parading poorly practiced tricks that are full of sloppy handling and unrehearsed patter.

Astonish and entertain!

In the end, the reason we all love magic is precisely because of its ability to astonish and entertain. So have another read of the Magician’s Oath, and think about the ways that you can promote magic as an art-form, not just by working hard to create a real sense of wonder in your spectators, but also so that future generations can continue to enjoy magic just as we do today. Where to learn? If you’re interested in learning card magic, I highly recommend the terrific videos from Big Blind Media with self-working card tricks and easy-to-do card tricks. Also see our previous articles on How to Get Started in Card Magic and Recommended Resources for Beginners in Card Magic.
Other articles you might find interesting: About the writer: EndersGame is a well-known reviewer of board games and playing cards. He loves card games, card magic, and collecting playing cards. This article first appeared on here. ● Official Shuffled Ink website: ShuffledInk ● Make Your Own Custom Magic Playing Cards at: ShuffledInk


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WHY CHILDREN SHOULD TRY CARDISTRY I work with a lot of youth, so I have many opportunities to share some of my passions with children and teenagers. As part of that, I’ve enjoyed volunteering and teaching kids some simple card tricks and card flourishes. Many of them have never had any exposure to these things, besides seeing some magic on television. For the majority of them it was even their first experience with a custom deck and with quality USPCC printed playing cards. What especially amazed me was the positive response I had from these kids to cardistry. Most of them had only ever used playing cards for social card games like President. Some had toyed with some card magic, but typically nothing beyond the 21 Card Trick or another simple (and usually boring) mathematical self-worker. Seeing the possibilities of card magic made them super-keen to learn more, and they made rapid progress over several months, quickly mastering intermediate sleights and performing some solid card tricks for me. But their excitement for card magic paled besides their enthusiasm for cardistry. Card flourishing proved to be a massive hit with these kids, and it was incredible how keen they were to learn and practice different card flourishes. They would happily spend hours watching video tutorials at home, practicing different moves, and learning new flourishes. I even started getting positive feedback from their parents, who were thrilled that their children were developing new interests and hobbies! Today cardistry is still very much a niche performing art, but slowly more people around the world are being exposed to this phenomenon, and the ranks of cardists are growing rapidly. I’m thrilled about this, because I’ve seen first hand the joy that cardistry can bring to the lives of children and teenagers. There are some terrific reasons why kids should try cardistry, and here are some reasons why you should consider introducing the children in your life to this exciting art-form:

1. Cardistry gets them interested instantly!

There’s something about cardistry that immediately inspires. Like few other hobbies or art-forms, it has the ability to energize and generate instant enthusiasm and excitement. I can’t tell you how often I’ve seen kids and teenagers watch some cardistry videos online, and very quickly get passionate about trying cardistry for themselves. Before you know it, a complete beginner that had previously never even heard of cardistry, is a new convert, spending hours with his playing cards. One of the great things about cardistry is that you will rarely need to twist kids arms to get them to try it, because they’ll usually be keen to give it a go, simply after seeing some videos.

2. Cardistry gets them excited about a new hobby!

One of the challenges of being a parent is to keep coming up with interesting things for your children to do. Some kids naturally find things to do all the time, but others constantly need a helping hand to keep them busy, and get bored very easily. It’s all to easy to use movies, TV, or the internet as a babysitter, but what about finding something constructive to do? That’s where cardistry can really help. Very few teenagers have ever come across it before, so when they first see card flourishing in action, it quickly captures their enthusiasm and excitement. With a brand new deck in hand, it won’t take much for them to get hooked, and before you know it they have a whole new hobby that they are passionate about and spending time with. Often they’ll be so keen, they’ll drag their friends into it too!

3. Cardistry gets them unplugged from their phones!

Most parents will readily admit that kids today get too much screen time, and don’t spend enough time in the outdoors or doing things creatively. In today’s era of technology, too many teenagers are glued to their phones, and seem wired permanently to their favourite social media platform and to the internet. Anything that helps them get away from their screens is a good thing, because it will assist them develop a healthier balance to life. Cardistry will do exactly that, and I’ve seen many parents thrilled that their children and teenagers were developing new interests outside of their phones and computers. Admittedly they will also spend time watching video tutorials online. But cardistry is especially about having a deck of cards in your hand, and doing a physical activity with those cards. Manual dexterity and skill is required, and it’s refreshing to see kids spending hours practicing tossing around playing cards instead of being on their phones.

4. Cardistry gets them exploring their creative side!

There are no limits to what can be done in cardistry, because it has no fixed rules or boundaries. That’s why we’re seeing constant innovations, as creative individuals try new things that haven’t been tried before. Untapping this element of creativity is just what many children need. Rather than being forced into learning a fixed system, cardistry gives kids the opportunity to explore all kinds of unfamiliar territory, including creating routines of their own. It’s an art-form that encourages creativity and experimentation, and treading the path less travelled. As such it means that you’re engaging in a creative activity where the new and unusual is seen as a good thing, and where there are ample opportunities to develop new skills and routines.

5. Cardistry can be enjoyed by anyone!

Unlike many other hobbies and activities, there’s not only a low cost to enter the world of cardistry, but the bar is also very low in terms of the abilities required. You can begin with next to no knowledge of playing cards, and yet be having fun flicking and tossing cards very quickly. Granted, those who have experience with shuffling and handling cards, and who have a good sense of manual dexterity, will progress more quickly. But there’s no barrier to entry, and you can be a genuine novice and have fun learning card flourishes. This draws many people to give cardistry a whirl, because it is quite simple for anyone to get started with it.

6. Cardistry can be enjoyed anywhere!

If you enjoy playing soccer, then aside from your backyard perhaps, you’re really only going to be happy when you’re chasing around a soccer ball along with 21 other people on a soccer field. Let’s be honest, the amount of time you’ll find yourself in that ideal setting won’t be that often, perhaps once or twice a week at most. But with cardistry, there is no such limitation. You can be sitting on your bed, standing by the road waiting for a bus, or killing time at school, and these are equally ideal moments for doing cardistry. Aside perhaps from being outdoors on a windy or rainy day, or a sober moment like being at a funeral or in the middle of an exam, there’s no bad time to be doing cardistry. As long as you have a deck of playing cards in your pocket, you are ready to go, no matter where you are.

7. Cardistry can be enjoyed independently!

What about if you don’t have friends or family to do something with? Many activities require the active involvement of other people. And without another willing party, you’re stuck, because there’s nobody to catch the football you kick, or to hit the baseball you’re throwing. Cardistry has the real advantage that it doesn’t need other people. While you certainly can perform it for others, it can be enjoyed for the sheer pleasure of learning and performing the moves on your own. It’s very much a solitaire activity, and this frees it of many of the restrictions that make it difficult at times to get into other hobbies or activities. Some people have even found cardistry a great way to keep their hands busy instead of doing less constructive things like biting their nails or smoking.

8. Cardistry can be enjoyed cheaply!

Cardistry is very inexpensive to get into, and you don’t have to break the bank to enjoy it. I know that some people reading this will look at their growing collection of cardistry decks, and say: “You’ve got to be kidding, right?” Sure, you can spend money on expensive cardistry decks, but you certainly don’t have to. In fact, to enjoy cardistry what’s of foremost importance is a deck that handles well. A standard Bicycle rider-back deck or similar branded deck from USPCC like Tally Ho is generally very inexpensive and easily available. Compare that for a moment with other hobbies and activities, like horse riding, ice hockey, or piano lessons. All of those tend to involve specialized equipment, and the costs will quickly become very expensive. In contrast, you can get a lot of mileage out of a few decks of playing cards, and that’s really the only expense there is. All the learning happens via online videos and tutorials, the majority of which are free. In the final analysis, cardistry is a very cheap hobby, compared to most others.

9. Cardistry is as fun to watch as it is to do!

The greatest thrill in cardistry is mastering a move and doing it yourself. But it’s also a real thrill to watch other cardists at the top of their game. Not only will you get ideas of flourishes to try yourself, but it can be tremendously exciting to watch experts in cardistry who have put together an outstanding video, that leaves you completely gob-smacked as to how they could possibly accomplish what you’re seeing. When seeing other cardists in action performing difficult maneuvers, you are well aware of the significant time they’ve invested to achieve what you’re seeing. Some of the videos of the best cardists in the world doing their thing are just amazing to watch, and kids won’t quickly grow tired of it. What other activity lets you produce beauty out of small rectangular pieces of paper?

10. Cardistry is flexible and varied!

One of the wonderful things about cardistry is that it doesn’t have any fixed rules. There is no right or wrong way to go about learning it, and you can simply learn whatever you want to. If there are certain moves that you don’t enjoy, then there’s no need to learn them. Admittedly, there are certain foundational skills that can become important to master in order to do more complicated flourishes. But for the most part, there’s a lot of different directions that you can go in, and it’s totally up to you which way you want to go. This free-thinking and free-flowing approach is ideal for children, because they can learn at their own pace, and just go along the path that interests them, rather than being constrained or forced into a particular direction which might not appeal to them.

11. Cardistry helps them become good at something!

There’s no doubt that once you start with cardistry, you can become genuinely good at it. It’s definitely possible to learn new techniques and moves, and progress from simple card flourishes to more advanced ones. Once you’ve learned a particular card flourish, it tends to stick with you, and you won’t quickly lose the ability to do it. Some moves are knacky, and require persistence and practice to master. But once you’ve mastered something like the faro shuffle and cascade, you won’t easily forget how to perform it. Instead, you’ll build on the moves you already know, adding new flourishes to your repertoire, and developing techniques that rely on more basic moves as prerequisites. This makes it a rewarding hobby that teenagers can become genuinely skilled at, the more time they spend with it. They will quickly learn to impress people with simple flourishes when they start out, but over time they will be able to perform some truly eye-popping moves that will amaze.

12. Cardistry helps them develop other life-skills!

I can already hear some people saying: “You’ve got to be kidding, right? Do you really believe that cardistry helps develop life-skills?” Absolutely! This may come as a surprise to some, but I believe it’s true. Granted, this may not be the biggest outcome from a hobby in card flourishing, but it certainly is one outcome. Because to become successful at cardistry, you need to practice – and practice some more. When learning moves from video tutorials, you have to process what you’re being taught, follow instructions, and remember the moves that are shown, in the right order. And then you have to practice some more. All this requires real self-discipline and commitment, and those are important character traits and life-skills that all children need to develop! Seeing yourself progress is very rewarding, and will teach kids the value of applying yourself to something, and what you can achieve in this way.

13. Cardistry is a trendy art-form!

Kids love things that are trendy and “current”. There’s no doubt that cardistry meets that requirement. Even though card flourishing has a long history as something closely related to card magic, its emergence as a separate art-form with the sheer popularity it enjoys today is only a recent phenomenon. One only has to consider the rapid growth of online cardistry communities and online forums, which are increasing in size and numbers all the time, and the increasing presence of cardistry videos on social media. The very first international Cardistry Convention only date back a few years, and yet it’s quickly become an annual event, with increased participation every year. There are many factors that account for this, among them the ability to share ideas quickly and easily via online videos and communities, another being the advent of crowd-funding which has helped fuel a growing custom playing card market where cardistry decks play a big role. But one thing is for sure: cardistry is an exciting new kid on the block, and is definitely the cool kid that everyone wants as their friend right now, and that’s not likely to change any time soon.

14. Cardistry is an evolving art-form!

Because cardistry is a quickly growing field, we are constantly seeing new ideas being explored, and frequent innovations, as cardists stretch beyond the boundaries of what has been done previously. This makes it a very exciting hobby to be part of, because there are regular new developments. Part of this includes the commercial side of new cardistry decks, but let’s just ignore that for a moment. More importantly, we are seeing people building on each other’s ideas, and coming up with new things all the time. Children and teenagers love this, because there are constantly new things to learn and discover. There’s no single website where you can go, to learn there is to know about cardistry, and now you know it all. Instead, there’s new things coming out all the time, and this constant sense of evolution and innovation gives it a feel of freshness and excitement that helps keep the passion for it alive.

15. Cardistry is a unique art-form!

Even though cardistry is a growing art-form, it is still not something that is so main-stream, that everyone has seen it or given it a shot. When a teenager is good at cardistry, they will immediately attract attention and interest. Most people watching them do some simple card flourishes have never seen anything remotely like this before. A simple card spring can often generate more oohs and aahs than some magic tricks. So it’s something that is attention-getting and novel. For kids, it’s important to have something about themselves that helps them stand out from others, and makes them feel unique and respected. Cardistry can help them do that. It produces something that is visually beautiful, and this accounts for much of its appeal.

16. Cardistry is a positive art-form!

The online communities for some hobbies and interests are very toxic, full of trolls and constant arguments, and parents would rightly be concerned about their kids being immersed in a poisonous environment like that. My experience with the cardistry community has been very different. These are often filled with teenagers and young people who are super enthusiastic about their art, and just love to share videos of their performances with others, and to encourage fellow enthusiasts and even beginners in what they are doing. They also tend to be very respectful of the fact that there is no “one path” to doing cardistry, so it’s totally fine to enjoy one type of cardistry and not another, and be at different levels. And if you’re stuck learning a move, someone will usually be happy to jump in and give you tips to help you progress. They’ve likely walked this road themselves and had someone help them, and they know the feeling of satisfaction that comes with mastering a move, and want others to enjoy that too. You are certain to make many great friends with others around the world who share your passion.

17. Cardistry makes the most of their custom decks!

Today’s market of custom playing cards has grown enormously over the last decade, largely with the help of crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter. But cardistry has become an explosive catalyst that has really caused the market to boom, because many decks are being designed especially for card flourishing. A custom deck can already be something special to use for playing card games, or for card magic, but such decks still have to be somewhat familiar and functional. But cardistry focuses on aesthetics rather than function, and this means that a whole new set of criteria becomes important for designing playing cards. Many decks have been made purely to show-off the beautiful visuals that can be created with fans, spreads, twirls, cuts, and other cardistry moves. Fiddling with my playing cards has always been enjoyable, but that’s taken to a whole new level with card flourishing. It’s hard to think of a better way to enjoy the gorgeous artwork and visuals of a lovely custom deck, especially if its design has been optimized for cardistry. There are so many stunning decks appearing on the market today, that this injects a whole new element of excitement to the cardistry hobby.

18. Cardistry makes the most of their technology!

This may seem to contradict another point on this list, namely that cardistry can help kids get unplugged from their mobile devices and get busy doing something active in the real world. That’s still true. But the fact is that kids will still use technology, and we can’t expect them to throw away their phones and computers completely. As far as that goes, cardistry is a hobby that makes very good use of all the technology that they are already using and will keep using. There is a lot of garbage on the internet and on social media, but in comparison cardistry videos and online forums are refreshingly positive for the most part. This community thrives on making good use of the possibilities afforded by sharing videos and ideas online, maximizing the positive potential of sharing good things with fellow enthusiasts.

19. Cardistry makes the most of their free time!

Young people have a lot of free time which they won’t have later in life. When you’re an adult, life will usually keep you busy with the responsibilities of looking after a family and a home, alongside completing your daily job at the office or factory. Quite frankly, once you reach this stage of life, you won’t usually have a whole lot of free time. Starting a new hobby like cardistry isn’t impossible by any means, but the ideal time to begin is when you’re young. Kids and teenagers often have a ton of free time, something that will often be at a premium later on in life. So what better thing to do with all that free time that something positive, like cardistry? Some flourishes can require a lot of practice in order to master, and that makes the time of youth the perfect time to learn them, because often you have all the time in the world, and just don’t know what to do with it. Kids won’t have quite that amount of free time later in life, so why not put it to good use when you can – when you’re older and learning cardistry, you’ll just wish that you had the amount of time that most children have for it!

20. Cardistry is enormously enjoyable!

Like card magic, card flourishing is genuinely fun, and can be enjoyed as a rewarding activity for its own sake. It’s very rewarding to finally master a new flourish that you’ve been working on, and especially if it is visually appealing, it will remain satisfying to do, even if you’ve done it hundreds and hundreds of times before. There’s simply something about doing cardistry that captures the imagination. Almost every child that I’ve taught some elementary cardistry moves has found it exciting and entertaining, and found it captivating and thrilling. As a hobby, it quickly becomes self-motivating for them. You don’t have to force them to practice, like you might need to do with a youngster learning how to play the violin or piano. Because it’s something that most kids love, they’ll find it incredibly enjoyable, and just want to experience the fun of playing with their cards in this way, because it’s so much fun. To me, that says it all – case closed!
About the writer: EndersGame is a well-known reviewer of board games and playing cards. He loves card games, card magic, and collecting playing cards.  ● Official Shuffled Ink website: ShuffledInk ● Make Your Own Custom Playing Cards at: ShuffledInk ● Make Your Own Custom Card Games at: ShuffledInk


Shuffling Playing Cards If you’re going to spend any time with a deck of playing cards, some things are an absolute must. And one of them is this: knowing how to do a decent shuffle. After all, it’s a little embarrassing if you have a massive collection of 100+ beautiful custom decks, and your shuffling skills are uglier than the back end of a city bus. Like me, you probably love playing cards, so the very least you can do is look somewhat professional in the way that you handle them. And that begins with shuffling. And how often doesn’t it happen that a magician hands someone a deck of cards, asks them to shuffle their selected card into the pack, and the poor person makes a fool of himself because he can’t do a simple card shuffle. Don’t be that person – especially if you’re a fan of playing cards! So if you know the precise differences between USPCC and Cartamundi stock, or are passionate about playing Hearts or Cribbage or Poker, but don’t know the first thing about shuffling a deck properly, then now is the time to do something about that. So here’s a short introduction to some popular ways of shuffling playing cards. Hopefully this will whet your appetite to challenge yourself to learn something new, or to master something old. You’ll be surprised how helpful it can be to learn from experienced card handlers, and how a small tip or two can make a huge difference to a card shuffle that you have been (mis)performing for your entire life until now!

1. The Overhand Shuffle

The Overhand Shuffle is likely the shuffle that you already know how to do, because it is the shuffle of choice for most people. In other words, it’s probably the shuffle you learned from your grandpa or your best friend when you were 13 years old. With the deck face-down in one hand, you use the thumb of your other hand to peel off small packets from the top so that they fall one at a time into that other hand, until you’ve gone through the entire deck in this manner. What a lot of people don’t realize is that the overhand shuffle is not actually the most effective way of shuffling a deck, because it simply displaces large groups of cards. But once you become skilled at it, you can perform it very rapidly, and it is a very practical card shuffle that everyone should know how to do. Magicians also like this shuffle a great deal for card magic, because it enables them to perform some sleight of hand, and to control individual cards within a deck.

2. The Riffle Shuffle

The Riffle Shuffle is the shuffle you’ll often see used in gambling contexts like casinos, and for serious card games. Especially when it is done properly as a table riffle shuffle, it prevents cards from being exposed, and it doesn’t allow the same kind of sneaky moves that crooked dealers can get away with when performing an overhand shuffle. It’s also sometimes referred to as a “dovetail shuffle”. To do a riffle shuffle, you first split the deck into two equal halves, putting one in each hand. From now on you need to mirror the actions of both of your hands, as you bring the packets together, and slowly riffle up the side of each packet simultaneously with your thumbs. You want the corners of the cards to overlap as you are doing this, so that they weave into each other, and then you can push them into each other once you are done. The riffle shuffle looks very tidy, especially when performed on a table, but you can also perform it in your hands by placing your thumbs along the short edge. An in-the-hands riffle shuffle has the advantage that once the cards are woven together along one short edge, you can bend them with the help of your thumbs, letting them spring together in a move usually described as a “bridge”. This flourish is not difficult to learn, and is a classy looking move that is certain to impress people!

3. The Hindu Shuffle

The Hindu Shuffle looks somewhat unusual to the eyes of a Westerner, but apparently it is a common way to shuffle in many Asian countries. In some ways the mechanics are similar to an overhand shuffle, but the cards move along the direction of their long edges rather than parallel to their short edges. This shuffle works by taking packets from the top of the deck, which you do by grabbing them with your thumb along one long edge and a couple of fingers along the other long edge. You peel the packets from the top of the deck (which is held in your other hand) one at a time, so that they fall into the hand you are using with your thumb and fingers for grabbing the packets. This shuffle is arguably even easier to learn than the overhand shuffle. Especially if you ensure that you grab the packets cleanly, it can look quite classy, because it’s smooth and professional looking, while looking immediately different than the shuffling techniques most people are used to. Magicians sometimes use this shuffle to accomplish what is known as a “force”.

4. The Faro Shuffle

The Faro Shuffle is probably the most precise shuffle in the world. It looks terrific when it’s performed well, but it’s quite difficult to master, and will require a lot of practice and correct technique. You need to begin by dividing the deck in two equal halves, holding one in each hand. You then bring these two halves of the deck together, and starting at one corner, use some pressure to push them together in such a way so that the cards weave together perfectly one at a time. Whatever you do, don’t just jam the cards together, because careful technique is needed to do this correctly. But when you learn how to do this properly, the cards will slide into each other smoothly just like a zipper, precisely one by one. Being able to perform a perfect faro shuffle is the goal of many a magician and cardist. A unique feature of this shuffle, is that if you perform eight perfect faro shuffles one after another, the deck will be in exactly the same order that you started with. It’s also a practical move because several cardistry moves, such as the giant fan and the cascade, begin with a faro shuffle. If you’re really, really dedicated, you can even try the challenge of trying to learn a one-handed faro shuffle, which is an achievement very few people on the planet ever master!

Other Shuffles

This is by no means a complete list of all the shuffles that exist. A complete list would also have to include the granny shuffle, which is a common way of describing the most primitive shuffle there is: placing all the cards facedown on the table in a messy stack, and “washing” them together randomly with both hands. You’ve probably seen your 6 year old nephew shuffle this way! The pile shuffle is also somewhat of a primitive technique, and simply involves dealing an entire deck one card at a time into different piles in a random manner, and then compiling the piles together. You can also learn sleight of hand techniques to perform a false shuffle, which happens when the deck has the appearance of being shuffled, but either retains its original order entirely, or involves keeping a particular card or cards in a certain position. It’s also good to be somewhat aware of the effectiveness of different shuffles. An overhand shuffle keeps clumps of cards together, whereas a single riffle shuffle retains the basic order of each half of a deck. For playing card games, the most effective shuffling techniques will involve combining different ways of shuffling. To shuffle a deck of cards reliably, you’ll need to make sure that you do more than just a single shuffle, to ensure that the order of the cards has been thoroughly rearranged. After all, statistically speaking there are 52! (fifty-two factorial) different ways of arranging a deck of 52 cards, which is a number greater than the number of atoms on the earth. So if you’re playing a card game, ideally you want to aim for creating an order that has never been seen before in the history of mankind, and never will be seen again. On the other hand if you’re doing card magic or card flourishing, the final result is less important, because you are more interested in the aesthetics of shuffling. You just want to look smooth and professional, and give people confidence that you are skilled at what you do.

Where to Learn

How can you learn to do these shuffles properly? It’s hard to do justice to a technical skill like card shuffling with words alone, and you won’t be able to learn how to do these shuffles properly just by reading the brief descriptions above. What you really need is a good book with pictures, like Joshua Jay’s Amazing Book of Cards. This is an excellent resource, because it includes careful photographs, and also comes with an instructional DVD. Alternatively, find some reliable video instruction that will teach you the finer points about some of these shuffles. Few are better than respected magic teacher Roberto Giobbi, who offers individual lessons on shuffling that are excerpted from his terrific Card College course. Fortunately, youtube is also here to help. Admittedly it’s not hard to find poor instruction online, so beware of well-intentioned teenagers who are simply passing on mediocre technique. But because shuffling is a basic skill, the good news is that you will readily find some quality videos that teach you how to do this properly. I can recommend the video tutorials from 52KardsThe School of Cardistry, and lotisinhand’s Cardistry Bootcamp as good sources to get you started. So get busy, and happy shuffling!
About the writer: EndersGame is a well-known reviewer of board games and playing cards. He loves card games, card magic, and card collecting. You can see a complete list of his playing card reviews here. ● Official Shuffled Ink website: ShuffledInk ● Make Your Own Custom Playing Cards at: ShuffledInk ● Make Your Own Custom Card Games at: ShuffledInk



“The services (Shuffled Ink) provide(s) and the process for printing decks is by far the most pleasant I’ve had the opportunity to use! That paired with the high-quality printing makes for a great experience!” —Jared Hall, OxT Cards Creator

Shuffling playing cards may seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. Whether your shuffling skills need polishing or you’re not quite sure how to handle a deck of cards, these simple techniques will help you further develop your signature style in the art of cardistry.

So, What is Cardistry?

Cardistry is a well-known term specifically among those in the playing card universe. It is typically defined as “the performance art of card flourishing”. This non-magic shuffling technique allows for cardists to manipulate their deck of playing cards in a visually appealing manner. Cardistry got its name by combining the words “card” and “artistry”. And while the name may be simple, this craftsmanship can be difficult to execute. One of Shuffled Ink’s clients, Jared Hall, creates decks for cardistry. His love for the technique actually stemmed from magic, which resulted in him watching various tutorial videos on the art form. Soon enough, inspiration struck and he wanted to create and execute cardistry on his own, so he did. And you can too!

Shuffling Tips

1. Practice Makes Perfect

The number one tip that Hall emphasizes is practice. While the phrase, “practice makes perfect” may seem cliché, it couldn’t be more relevant and true when it comes to cardistry. Hall says, “Cardistry is not easy, but the payoff of learning a move is worth all the time you spend learning it.” Now, the more help you get the better. Watching videos on ‘Cardistry for Beginners’ or from channels like Fontaine Cards and Dealersgrip will get you out of your own bubble. The sooner you submerge yourself into the world of cardistry, the quicker the cards will fall into place…or at least for the time being, fall on the floor.

2. Steady Hands

Mastering the art of cardistry doesn’t happen overnight. In reality, you are going to fail more times than you succeed. So, don’t be surprised if you spend more time dropping cards than shuffling them. Similar to professional baseball players striking out or dropping a routine catch, even pro cardists drop cards. If you shuffle playing cards too quickly, it leaves room for more mistakes than intended. A common misconception about shuffling cards is if you shuffle the cards quickly, it will make your performance look better.  There’s a clear difference between shuffling cards quickly and creating the illusion that you are shuffling them at a rapid pace.  The latter is a better technique, especially for beginners.  This is where your personally crafted hand mechanics come into play.

3. You’re In Control: The Mechanic’s Grip

There isn’t necessarily one way to hold a deck of cards. But one of the most important tips to note is to find a style that is comfortable, practical and efficient. And each of your fingers has a designated section on the card that it is responsible for.


Personalized Playing Cards
Practicing your mechanics will only get you so far, but having the right cards will allow you to perform your cardistry smoothly. It’s understandable that when you’re starting out, you’ll use any dusted deck around the house. But you’re only as confident and solid as the deck you use. Cardistry is all about comfort and finding your stylistic art form, so why not create your signature, quality deck of playing cards to match that? Shuffled Ink’s custom print playing cards are created in 3 easy steps, explore your options today! For more information on Jared Hall’s Cardistry brand, explore OxT Cards. For updates on Hall’s social media, follow @occupiedcards. ● Official Shuffled Ink website: ShuffledInk ● Make Your Own Custom Playing Cards at: ShuffledInk ● Make Your Own Custom Card Games at: ShuffledInk


In this day and age, tarot cards are used for two types of readings: question readings and open readings. Variations of tarot cards have been used for centuries for everything from entertainment to knowledge of the paranormal and divination to many, many other things.

There is absolutely no reason to restrict yourself to any one way to use tarot cards! In fact, you can use them for everything from playing games to attempting to see into the murky waters of the future. There are an unlimited number of inventive ways to use tarot cards.

Below are a few ways tarot cards can be used for personal and communal entertainment, showmanship, and to promote creativity.


To the layperson, tarot cards are bound up in mysticism and magic. The name tarot probably brings to mind visions of fortune tellers divining the past, present, and future. This is one inventive way to use tarot cards, but there are many more.

The intricate artwork found on these cards often goes unmentioned. The design of the cards is meant to represent aspects of the real and spiritual world. In this way, the cards tell a story with each and every spread.

The user shuffles the cards and picks one at random to tell a story about their life. Who knows, you might even be able to see an important event in your future!


Users can come up with various gambling games to play with tarot cards. Now this doesn’t mean you should use the cards to take your friends money, but rather it’s just one more unique and inventive way to use tarot cards.

After shuffling the deck, players can guess what card will be pulled. Other players can bet against certain cards being pulled from the deck. Still other players can bet on a set of cards being pulled from the deck at lower odds but with a higher gain.

However you use tarot cards for gambling, it’s sure to be a fun time. Remember, though, it’s better to bet pennies than dollars!


Magicians have long used tarot deck in their acts. In fact, many magic tricks rely on the use of these cards. Plain playing cards can get the job done, but a tarot deck adds a touch of elegance and mysticism all magicians, and their spectators, will notice.


Another inventive way to use tarot cards is as an aid against writer’s block. This might sound silly, but don’t knock it until you try! A writer can shuffle the deck, pick several cards at random, and use the spread of the cards to write a story. This is a great way to build new narrative elements into an otherwise stale story. 


Artists, such as painters and sculptors, can look to the artwork on tarot cards for inspiration. The colorful mystical quality of the card design can get the artist’s mind to start turning in new, imaginative ways. The result? Unique works of art.

Now that you know the almost unlimited number of inventive ways to use tarot cards, it’s time to get your custom set! Choose your own images, designs, card size, number of cards, instructions, booklets, and even include custom accessories and packaging! Click below to get started today.


● Official Shuffled Ink website: ShuffledInk

● Make Your Own Custom Tarot Cards at: ShuffledInk

● Make Your Own Custom Flash Cards at: ShuffledInk