Category: Cardist


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.



Many of the uses of a deck of playing cards are well known to everyone. After all, playing cards have been used for centuries in order to play card games, and perform card magic. But what exactly is this new kid on the block, that goes under the name “cardistry“, is wearing out many an old deck, and is having brand new decks designed especially for its use?

To whet your appetite, if you really do not know anything about cardistry at all, I would suggest that you start by checking out the following four-minute video clip. It already has more than 2 million views due to its popularity, and you will soon understand why when you see the cardistry highlights featured here.  


A New Art Form

Cardistry can best be defined as “the performance art of card flourishing”. It is what happens when you take traditional playing cards to the next level – literally! It is about spinning them, tossing them, cutting them, and otherwise manipulating them – up, down, sideways, and around, and however else you can – in order to create an aesthetically pleasing display.

Cardistry does have a long history, because when card tricks became popular in the 19th century, magicians would often do simple card flourishes as a way of demonstrating their skills, to entertain, or to otherwise enhance a magic performance. It is true that many magicians are good at cardistry and card flourishing, simply because using cards is part of their job, and so they like to play with cards in new and interesting ways. However true cardistry on its own is not magic, and does not involve any magical manipulation or sleight of hand, but is rather a display of skill.

The word “cardistry” is a combination of the words “card” and “artistry”. So it is an activity that is about sheer skill and manual dexterity, in which a performer tries to create a beautiful display through the movement of individual playing cards or an entire deck. Cardistry takes an ordinary object that we are all familiar with – a deck of playing cards – and turns it into an art-form, by doing unfamiliar things with it.

You could describe cardistry as the next step in the evolution of playing cards, because their original purpose for playing games or performing magic has been completely dispensed with. Instead, they are used for a brand new and interesting dexterity game of their own, without the strict rules and boundaries we are used to. And that is how it becomes a performance art, because this activity lends itself to creativity, and forces you to widen your usual perspective on a deck of cards, and do things with it that you previously have never even thought of, and things that you previously did not even think were possible!

Some have referred to cardistry as card juggling, and that is an apt description, because cardistry is much like juggling, but with playing cards. Zach Mueller, who is a big name in this relatively new art-form, describes it as “kinda like yoyo tricks with cards.” Cardistry is about doing things like fanning and cutting cards in a creative way and with a high level of skill, thereby turning it into a performance art. Instead of doing ordinary cuts and shuffles, expert cardists are able to do one-handed cuts, complicated shuffles, turnovers, tosses, and catches, in a way that is a beauty to watch.

Cardistry moves typically have unusual names that reflect their creator, origin, or appearance. There is Kevin Ho’s “Flurf”, “Off the Hook”, and “Racoon”, Joey Burton’s “Skater Cut”, Huron Low’s “Firefly” and “Flicker”, Daren Yeow’s “Rev 2 Twirl”, Bone Ho’s “Anaconda” and “Tornado Deck Split”, Oliver Sogard’s “Friffle”, Dan Buck’s “Vertigo”, and many more. Chris Kenner’s two-handed “Sybil Cut” flourish uses multiple packets of cards, and is a good example of a popular flourish. It is arguably the most well-known and recognized move among cardists, and is a common starting challenge that newbies to the art try to take on. But from there, there are all kinds of advanced maneuvers to learn, some almost being a sub-genre of their own, such as “isolations”.

Here is a spectacular video produced by Kuma Films, which covers the international cardistry convention that was held in Los Angeles last year. It introduces cardistry, includes some stunning footage, and features commentary and moves from some big name cardists:


A Growing Art Form

In the last few years, cardistry has enjoyed a huge boom. What was formerly described as “card flourishing”, and considered to be an activity used as a filler in a magic performance, has now become its own separate art form. Creative and skilled performers are performing moves of increased complexity. And yet anyone can give it a try, because the ingredients are simple: as long as you have a good deck of cards, you are ready to go, you can do it anywhere, and you are limited only by your imagination, creativity, and manual dexterity.

As testimony of how big this new art-form is growing, you will find many performance videos and cardistry tutorials on the internet. Social media and sites like youtube and instagram have really helped popularize and advance the art, because cardists can share their new moves and tutorials and videos with other enthusiasts globally.

There are even international gatherings of top performers, and over the last few years, a Cardistry Con was organized as an international and annual convention for cardistry enthusiasts. The next event is planned for September 2018, and will be held in Hong Kong. Some of the big name attendees from around the world have included Dan and Dave Buck, creators of the biggest selling instructional DVDs on the subject, and a huge influence on the art; Zach Mueller, a viral video sensation, and creator of the popular Fontaine Playing Cards; and The Virts team from Singapore, makers of the Virtuoso deck, the world’s first playing cards optimized for cardistry.

As an indication of cardistry’s popularity and appeal, Zach Mueller’s Hypnotic Cardistry Kid collaboration video by Kuma Films has over two and a half million views. The follow-up California Cardistry video seems destined to crack the one million views mark as well.


An Evolving Art Form

But with time, cardistry has continued to evolve, and with that comes the creation of new toys. Today the playing card market is full of custom decks that particularly lend themselves well to cardistry, and the last few years in particular have seen an explosion of new decks created specifically for this purpose. Since cardistry is all about creating a visual impact, creating a deck of playing cards that have carefully designed aesthetic qualities to maximize their visual appeal when fanning and spreading cards makes obvious sense. It is only a logical progression to create a deck with aesthetics that will visually accent every card flourish, from spins, to cuts, to pivots, to fans. A growing art form needs evolving materials, and that is what cardistry decks are all about.

And there is a steadily growing throng of cardists around the world who are more than ready to support this growing market, by throwing money at projects that produce decks designed specifically for cardistry. As a result, we are seeing some beautiful decks of playing cards being produced, with stunning colour combinations, and striking visual designs. These decks are just a dream to use, and make even a basic flourish like a fan or spread look like a work of art.

One of the best known examples of this is the series of Virtuoso Playing Cards created by The Virts, which is considered to be the world’s first deck of playing cards specifically designed for cardistry. This deck has a real visual appeal when fanned and flourished, and many other cardistry decks followed suit. At the extreme end of this trend are the School of Cardistry decks from the New Deck Order. With these decks, playing cards have arrived a point they have not been before: 52 completely identical cards, front and back, designed purely for cardistry – and so further removed from the original purpose of a deck of traditional playing cards than ever before! But for the most part, cardistry decks still include traditional suits and values on all the cards, although their creativity and new purpose often makes them quite unsuitable for playing a card game or performing magic.


A Filmable Art Form

Not only is cardistry a new art form, and not only are there many wonderful new decks of custom decks available that give it opportunity to really shine, but this new art form also has at its disposal new tools that allow this art form to grow in an unparalleled way. After all, we live in a digital age, and that means that the technology is there for people to produce high quality instructional and educational videos in the comfort of their own home. In addition, the global use of the internet and social media means that it is possible to easily share these videos with the rest of the world.

All this means that at almost any other point of history, this new art form would be consigned to the fate of being unheard of, and at best experimented with by a select few. But in our modern age, cardistry enthusiasts can connect with and learn from each other, and share their expertise. While cardistry is a rewarding hobby even when performed in the privacy of your own home, cardistry will often be at its best when shown on film, with the benefit of slow motion video and accompanied by a suitable soundtrack. The progression and availability of technology means that high level and creative performances of card flourishing can be performed and filmed, and shared via the internet for the rest of us to enjoy and admire.

A fine example is this stunning video from The Virts, which features one of the newer versions of their popular Virtuoso deck, and has already clocked up more than 2 million views.


A Community-driven Art Form

Because social media, shared videos, discussion forums, and other internet tools have played an important in growing cardistry, this also means that this young art form is very community focused. For the most part, the way that cardists connect and share is online. Social media platforms like Instagram and youtube, have played a key role in developing relationships and building friendships among cardists, and these provide ideal mechanisms to exchange ideas and learn from each other. The role of the community in the advancement of cardistry cannot be understated. The internet doesn’t just help bring new cardists into the fold, but more importantly it helps ensure that the art form keeps exploring new territory. Because cardists are constantly coming up with new moves, it is by sharing these novelties that others in the community can then build on these further and take these new ideas in different directions. This ensures the ongoing evolution and maturing of this young art form in healthy and creative new ways.

The fact that the actual number of people who enjoy cardistry in a particular location is usually quite small, makes it all the more important to connect with fellow enthusiasts over the internet. But while learning from videos posted by fellow cardists is one of the most important ways to advance your skills, there is nothing like meeting up and learning from another cardist in person. The annual international convention, Cardistry Con, is one way that physically brings together cardists from around the world. But cardists will often look for informal opportunities to do this and seek them out. So it is not at all uncommon to come across posts on internet forums from cardists who are travelling to another city, and looking to meet up with other cardists that they can “jam” with. Its vibrant community is one of cardistry’s biggest strengths, and almost certainly guarantees that it will continue to grow in years to come. Here is a group shot of all the attendees from the 2016 convention in Berlin, Germany.




An Accessible Art Form

But do not let the highly skilled performances you see of experts dampen your enthusiasm. Cardistry is an art form that remains well within the reach of beginners, because all you need to try it is a good deck of cards. From there you are limited only by your imagination, creativity, and manual dexterity.

Certainly you can buy specialized decks of playing cards that particularly lend themselves well to cardistry. And if you would like to give cardistry a go, definitely consider picking up a deck like the Virtuoso deck, because it will automatically make some of your basic moves look amazing, and make the whole experience far more enjoyable, motivating you to stretch yourself and try new moves.

But technology also means that there is also a wide range of excellent instructional materials that is readily available online. Using this material will give you a head-start in your new cardistry career. Begin by heading to the School of Cardistry channel on youtube, which was started in 2013 by cardistry team New Deck Order. This channel currently has almost 100,000 subscribers, and millions of views. While there is no shortage of cardistry tutorials online, some are very poor quality, and in contrast The School of Cardistry has been professionally produced. It was designed to function as a centralized and structured platform for complete beginners to pick up the wonderful art of cardistry, as its own mission statement describes it: “School of Cardistry is the best free Cardistry resource for absolute beginners. Tutorials for each card flourish are kept short, and include easy-to-follow verbal instructions.

For those new to cardistry, the School of Cardistry is a fantastic place to start, and will give you the ability to start with the basics, and naturally progress to more advanced moves. Their progressive system of learning ensures a systematic approach in which you can build up skills, with the benefit of videos that are short and yet have clear instructions. If you are serious about learning some cardistry, head to the fantastic Resource and Beginner’s Guide that was created by cardistry enthusiasts on Reddit.

So why not try something right now?! If you have never tried anything much more complicated than a shuffle before, why not start by learning a classic beginner-friendly two-handed cut, The Werm, from the very best, the Buck twins themselves:


Want to give cardistry a whirl – literally? Why not treat yourself to a nice cardistry deck from PlayingCardDecks, and give cardistry a go for yourself? The Virtuoso FW17 deck created by The Virts is an ideal place to start, but you will find many other creative and colourful decks that are ideal for cardistry by checking the range at PlayingCardDecks here.

Want to check out some more cardistry videos? Here are a couple of videos that are compilations of short clips posted by cardists around the world on Instagram, and feature some mind-blowing moves: Best Cardistry Compilation 2017 Video #2 and Video #3.


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)


Cardist Ajek Morsidi We are extremely excited to collaborate with talented cardist Ajek Morsidi. He’s showing off his incredible skills with our various smooth and linen finish playing cards. Order your own custom cardistry decks today and follow Ajek for more videos and updates. For collaboration inquiries, send us a Direct Message on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter. To receive complimentary samples of our card products, include your delivery address and phone number on your custom request a quote form.

Cardistry Videos (5):



Pendleton Square:

Sip & Social:


● Official Shuffled Ink website: ShuffledInk ● Make Your Own Custom Playing Cards at: ShuffledInk ● Make Your Own Custom Card Games at: ShuffledInk


ALTERNATIVE USES FOR PLAYING CARDS There are all kinds of reasons why people collect playing cards, and it can even be a hobby in itself. And why not? People collect all kinds of things, so why not playing cards! Especially given the wonderful and creative designs of the high quality custom decks that are being produced in recent years, they do make the perfect collector’s item. But maybe you’ve got a growing collection of custom playing cards, and you’re wondering what else you can do with all those playing cards. Or perhaps you’ve worn out a deck, and it no longer handles well enough for performing with, so it’s ready for retirement – what do you do with it now? It turns out that there’s a whole lot more you can do with a deck of cards than you might think. Here are a baker’s dozen great ways to get some real mileage out of your playing cards. Some are silly, some are creative, and still others are just mundane – but perhaps you’ll find something here that inspires you!

1. Magic

If you have an interest or background in magic, then you already know this, and it may even be the main reason you own a deck of playing cards in the first place! Every kid growing up should learn at least a few good card tricks, and all you need for that is a decent quality deck of cards, and the help of your public library, or of course the internet and youtube. Any set of playing cards will work, but ideally you want cards that handle well.

2. Cardistry

Cardistry has been defined as “the performance art of card flourishing”, although “juggling with playing cards” is an equally apt description. Many readers have probably heard of cardistry before, but for the doubters, I can assure you that it is a real thing, and it even has a Wikipedia page on the subject here! Cardistry is about doing things like fanning and cutting cards in a creative way and with a high level of skill, thereby turning it into a performance art. Instead of doing ordinary cuts and shuffles, expert cardists are able to do one-handed cuts, complicated shuffles, turnovers, tosses, and catches, in a way that is a beauty to watch. You can even buy decks of playing cards that particularly lend themselves well to cardistry. A good example is the Virtoso deck, which was specifically designed for cardistry, and has a real visual appeal when fanned and flourished. Search for “cardistry” on youtube and you’ll find lots of tutorials to get you going with any deck.

3. Card games

There are many wonderful card games that can be played with a deck of cards, including popular traditional favourites like Bridge, Hearts, Spades, Euchre, Rummy, and Cribbage. And if you like the excitement of gambling style games, there’s Poker, Blackjack, and many more. Besides the traditional favourites you might already know, there are many excellent card games, and in most cases you can learn the rules for free online. The best website on games with playing cards is easily here. Some easy games that I highly recommend trying include Knock Out Whist, Blitz, Scopa, and President, while games like Oh Hell give room for more skill. If you need more suggestions for great card games, check out this list of my personal favourites here. There are some great books on the subject too, with David Parlett’s Penguin Book of Card Games being the most comprehensive – it’s a great resource, and will help put those arguments about rules to rest once and for all!

4. Solitaire games

There’s some terrific solitaire games that you can play on your own with a deck of cards, and it can be a good way to pass the time, or even to enjoy your favourite custom deck of cards. Personal computers have popularized solitaire games like Canfield, Klondike, Freecell, and Spider, but there are many other excellent solitaire games out there. A good place to get started is the Wikipedia page on the subject here. If you’re new to this kind of thing and want to begin with something fairly easy, I’d suggest Golf, Pyramid, or Monte Carlo. For something more challenging, try a fan game like La Belle Lucie, or one of its easier variants (e.g. The Fan, Bristol).

5. Artwork

Many crowdfunding projects for playing cards offer an add-on option to purchase an “uncut sheet”. This is a complete printed sheet showing all the cards in a deck prior to them being cut into playing cards. I never really saw the value of this, but a family member recently bought one of these uncut sheets and put it into a glass frame, and it looks absolutely amazing! Or try making your own with your favourite custom deck. Especially with a creative and artistic deck, putting playing cards on display in this way can turn them into beautiful works of art. These works of art make great decorations to hang on the wall, while also giving a tribute to your passion for playing cards and magic.


A deck of playing cards can make a great supply of bookmarks! Especially if it’s a special custom deck with nice artwork, but is a little too worn for continued official use, why not re-purpose the cards and use them as bookmarks? I’ve often done this, and my playing cards have often found themselves doing wonderful service to keep track of which effect I’m working on in my magic books, or even as a handy marker in a fiction novel I’m reading at the beach or beside the pool. Any custom deck will work, but cards with metallic ink or foil backs make especially classy looking bookmarks!

7. House of Cards

Building a house of cards, or a “card tower”, is not as easy as it looks! Also called “card-stacking”, there’s a Wikipedia page here devoted to this subject too. Bryan Berg (USA) created a world record 72 stories in 1992, and since then has kept and broken this and numerous other related records, including the tallest house of cards, and largest house of cards. In 2010 he built a replica of a hotel, which took 44 days and 218,792 cards (more than 4,000 decks) – it weighed over 250kg, and was 3 metres tall and 10.5 metres long. See a video profile about Bryan here. Some googling will help you find some techniques to improve your card stacking abilities.

8. Polyhedrals

George Hart has some great ideas for using playing cards to create complex polyhedral shapes. You can find out more at his website here, which includes full instructions. A great idea for math class perhaps?

9. Impossible Bottles

Put a deck of cards into a bottle! Wait a moment, you say, that’s impossible! Well, isn’t that why they call it an impossible bottle?! But there are ways to do this, although you may have to dig a little to find the secret. Some Kickstarters offer these as add-on options for purchase with a new deck of cards. Jamie Grant is a well known creator of these, and his impossible bottles typically cost $100-200. So unless you’re really keen, perhaps this is something to the experts. I’m certain there’s only one way to get something into a glass bottle, and that’s through the neck, and it’s a very time-consuming, difficult, and near-impossible job. I know someone who makes these as a hobby, and they are impressive and mystifying to see firsthand, but they do require a lot of effort to create.

10. Card Throwing

Have you ever tried throwing a card? It’s much harder than it sounds, but there are techniques you can learn to throw playing cards long distances and at high speeds. It’s not that difficult to learn the proper grip and method for throwing a card. To get some idea of the basics, head to Wikipedia again here. If you get real good, maybe you can start competing with Rick Smith Jr, who is the world record holder for throwing a playing card 216 feet and 4 inches at a top speed of 92 miles per hour. Seriously! When you’re as good as him, you actually can slice fruit with a playing card! There are several instructional DVDs available that will teach you how to do this kind of thing, but for now you can check out Rick Smith Jr’s tutorial on youtube here. But even if you aren’t ready to start destroying fruit, it’s a lot of fun to try, so I definitely recommend giving card throwing a shot! You can even buy special cards designed for the purpose, like the Banshees deck, which add a “sonic scream” when the cards whip through the air.

11. Fortune telling

One of the oldest forms of fortune-telling is called cartomancy, and uses playing cards. Personally I don’t give it any more credibility than reading palms, tea-leaves, stomach rumbles, or cloud shapes, but it certainly uses playing cards. Many specialty Tarot and Oracle decks exist. But cartomancy can also be done with a standard deck of 52 cards and Jokers as well. While any deck will work, some decks like the KADAR Fortune Playing Cards are especially geared to this purpose, and they work great for magic too.

12. Bicycle Noisemaker

How do you make a bicycle sound like a motorbike? By affixing a playing card to your bike frame with a peg, and having the card flap loudly on the spokes as the wheel turns. Using playing cards to soup up bikes and make them sound like an engine is something that kids have been doing for years – certainly I did it many times in my childhood! Nowadays you can even buy an official product (Turbospoke Classic) to do this. But using a playing card works just as great for kids today as it always has! If you need help figuring out how to do this, head to Instructables here for directions.

13. Emergency Kit

When you’re really stuck, you never know how a playing card might come in handy. Do you have a wobbly table that needs levelling out due to an uneven table leg? Playing cards are perfect to use when you need just a few layers underneath that one table leg to get things straight. Has that steak dinner left something between your teeth at a fancy restaurant? In a pinch, you could even use a playing card as a toothpick, and while it wouldn’t be my first choice for re-purposing a deck of cards, in an emergency it might work! Playing cards to the rescue!
Finally, let’s conclude on another magical note. Some tricks and moves can be brutal on playing cards, and even destroy them. And yet as always, you need to be able to practice these tricks before you’re ready to perform them in public. An old deck of cards is perfect to use for this purpose. Many magicians will put their old decks to good use by “destroying” them as part of their magic practice. The “Mercury Card Fold” and routines involving a “Torn and Restored Card” are just waiting for your old playing cards! Isn’t it great to know that playing cards have such a variety of uses?! So next time someone challenges you about the amount of decks of cards you own, point them to this list. Meanwhile, happy playing with your playing cards! 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 ● Make Your Own Custom Card Games at: ShuffledInk


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



“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