When I started magic I was overwhelmed when it came to learning sleights, self working tricks I could do, and I could do the odd story telling card trick but when it came to the techniques I didn’t know where to start, all I wanted was one resource that clearly broke the skill and purpose of sleight of hand (and it’s techniques) down, and gave me a clear goal to work at at, in small achievable chunks.
I mean, I wasn’t even sure if some of these sleights were, in any way, related to card magic!
What on earth is elmsley count, there better be no math involved!
Cull? Sounds more like a creature than a sleight of hand technique!
Finger tip muscle pass? I didn’t sign up for kung fu!
Why do I even need to learn this stuff, how does it help me?
Let me tell you this now, some sleights take DECADES to master, and not all are essential or worth the time YOU’LL be investing.
Why most sleight of hand masters work at subway (making sandwiches for a living)…
Making great card magic is a lot like making great sandwiches.
Why? It all comes down to ingredients.
In the same way you can make a HUGE number of sandwiches just by combining existing ingredients in new ways, you can perform a nearly unlimited amount of strong card magic with just a few essential techniques.
In fact, we’d argue there are FIVE key ‘ingredients’ that you need to master if you want to become a great card magician.
What are they?
- False shuffles
That’s it. Once you’ve mastered these 5 techniques, you’ll be able to perform some of the strongest card magic ever invented.
Switches: The ability to secretly switch one card for another. Think the Mexican turnover, top change or the famous double lift.
Controls: The ability to track and manipulate the location of a card or group of cards in the deck. Culls, passes and side-steals feature heavily in this category.
Forces: The ability to guarantee a spectator will choose the card you want them to. Some of our favourites are the classic force, underspread force, and the surprisingly powerful cross-cut force.
Palming: The ability to secretly remove card(s) from the deck and hold them concealed in your hand. The three most common are the bottom palm, top palm, and one handed top palm.
False Shuffles: The ability to apparently shuffle the deck while actually maintaining order. Whether you prefer the Zarrow shuffle or the Truffle shuffle, we can all agree that the Charlier shuffle is way more fooling than it has any right to be.
For example, ‘the Ambitious Card’ is made up of controls and switches, ‘card to pocket’ is made up of controls and palming, and ‘Triumph’ combines controls with false shuffles.
There will always be little moves and sleights that are new, but we believe that the ‘meat’ of most magic will come down to these techniques. Once you’ve mastered these 5 techniques, you’ll be able to perform some of the strongest card magic ever invented.
If you want to train your sleights, drill these to perfection!
You can also combine these techniques in new ways to generate your own routines. Since these techniques are so fundamental, we think it’s essential you have good options for them. One month we shot a video trying to fool each other with different types of false shuffles, and studied nearly 40 variations.
Each time we were fooled, we had to eat a chilli pepper—getting gradually hotter and hotter until we came face to face with the Carolina Reaper, the world’s hottest chilli pepper (over 200 times hotter than the hottest jalapeno)! Click HERE to watch us suffer.
While we’ve told you the most fundamental card sleights that every magician should know, we haven’t covered any coin sleights yet, nor have we discussed every technique out there (some are still quite important) so I’ve decided to give every magician a sleight of hand challenge like no other…
Sleight of Hand Ladder: From COMPLETE Beginner to Grandmaster
This list represents a journey through the art of sleight of hand, from basic moves to the realms of the sleight of hand gods, like the unknown S. W. Erdnase or ‘The Professor’ Dai Vernon!
I’d recommend starting at the bottom rung even if you’ve been doing sleight of hand for 20 years, and just go through all the one’s in bold (these are techniques that are very important regardless of how easy or difficult they are to master), and as a general rule I like to practice something at least 1000 times (after Bruce Lee’s famous saying ‘I don’t fear a man whose done one thousand kicks, but one kick one thousand times) before moving onto the next!
Level 1: Basic Sleight of Hand Techniques
- Card Fan: Basic way to fan cards in hand.
- Standard Shuffle: Overhand or riffle shuffles.
- Card Peek: Glimpsing a selected card subtly.
- Thumb Palm (Coin): Concealing a coin in the hand.
- Simple Card Control: Moving a card to the top or bottom.
- Basic Card Force: Simplest ways to force a card choice.
- Double Lift (Basic): Turning over two cards as one.
- Basic Coin Vanish: Simple techniques to make a coin disappear.
- Standard Card Change: Basic methods to change one card to another.
- Simple Coin Pass: Basic coin transfer from hand to hand.
1: The Card Fan is the first step in card manipulation, serving as an elegant way to display cards. It’s visually engaging for the audience and sets the stage for more complex card handling. By mastering the card fan, you learn the finesse required for delicate card movements, an essential skill for any magician.
2: Learning the Standard Shuffle, including overhand or riffle shuffles, is fundamental. It’s not just about mixing cards; it’s about gaining familiarity and comfort with handling a deck. This skill is vital as it forms the basis for more deceptive techniques like false shuffles and controls, making it indispensable for card magic.
3: A Card Peek is a subtle yet powerful technique. It allows you to secretly obtain information about a card. This skill is the backbone of many card tricks and is crucial for routines where you need to identify a card without the audience knowing.
4: The Thumb Palm is a classic technique in coin magic. Learning to conceal a coin with your thumb is the foundation of many coin routines. It teaches you the subtleties of palming and the importance of natural hand movements, both essential skills in close-up magic.
5: Simple Card Control, such as moving a card to the top or bottom of the deck, is a key skill. It allows you to maintain control over essential cards during a trick, a fundamental aspect of card magic that enables you to guide the outcome of your tricks effectively.
6: The Basic Card Force is your gateway to influencing the choices of your audience. It’s a powerful tool that allows you to direct the outcome of a trick, making it seem like the audience has a free choice when, in fact, you’re in control. (Check out THIS guide on the best card forces).
7: The Double Lift, although basic, is a cornerstone of card magic. By turning over two cards as one, you create illusions of changing or knowing a card, a technique that’s at the heart of countless card tricks and essential for creating moments of astonishment. (Check out THIS guide on how to do a double lift).
8: A Basic Coin Vanish introduces you to the world of coin magic. It’s more than just making a coin disappear; it’s your first lesson in the art of misdirection and sleight of hand with small objects. This skill is crucial for creating surprise and delight in your performances.
9: The Standard Card Change is where transformation magic begins. This basic method of changing one card to another introduces you to the concept of visual transformation, a staple in many magical routines and a key skill for creating impactful moments.
10: Lastly, the Simple Coin Pass is about transferring a coin from one hand to another covertly. It’s your introduction to sleight of hand with coins, developing your skill in misdirection and hand coordination, which are vital for more complex coin tricks.
Level 2: Intermediate Sleight of Hand Basics
“Palming separates the men from the boys” (Ed Marlo)
- Riffle Shuffle Control: Controlling cards during a riffle shuffle.
- Classic Palm (Coin): Holding a coin in a classic palm position.
- Elmsley Count (Cards): Concealing cards in a count.
- Top Change (Cards): Switching cards in the hand.
- French Drop (Coin): A classic coin vanish.
- Hindu Shuffle Force (Cards): Forcing a card using the Hindu shuffle.
- False Overhand Shuffle (Cards): Shuffling without changing order.
- Wrist Vanish (Coin): Vanishing a coin using the wrist.
- Charlier Cut (Cards): One-handed card cut.
- Retention Vanish (Coin): Making a coin vanish while appearing to place it in the other hand.
1: The Riffle Shuffle Control is a step up in card handling. By learning to control specific cards during a riffle shuffle, you enhance your ability to manipulate the deck while maintaining a natural appearance. This skill is crucial for tricks where the order of the deck needs to be preserved, allowing you to execute more complex routines seamlessly.
2: Mastering the Classic Palm with coins teaches you to conceal a coin in your hand effectively. This skill is pivotal in coin magic as it allows for more sophisticated vanishes and productions. It’s about making the impossible seem possible, keeping the audience unaware of the coin’s whereabouts.
3: The Elmsley Count is a fundamental technique in card magic, especially for tricks involving multiple identical or different cards. It allows you to display several cards as fewer than there actually are, setting the stage for surprising revelations and is essential for card tricks that rely on subtle deception.
4: The Top Change is a classic card magic move. It involves switching one card for another in the hand while drawing the audience’s attention away. This skill is vital for routines where the card’s identity needs to be changed secretly, allowing for a wide range of surprising effects.
5: The French Drop is an elegant coin vanish that involves misdirection and sleight of hand. It’s a foundational skill in coin magic, teaching you the art of making something disappear right before the audience’s eyes, a fundamental aspect of creating wonder and surprise.
6: The Hindu Shuffle Force is a card forcing technique that appears as a regular shuffle. It allows you to make a spectator choose a specific card in a seemingly random manner. This skill is key for controlling the outcome of a trick while maintaining the illusion of choice.
7: Learning the False Overhand Shuffle allows you to shuffle cards without changing their order. This skill is essential for maintaining control over the deck, enabling you to prepare for tricks that require a specific order or set-up within the deck while appearing to shuffle normally. (This one is super easy to learn, check THIS guide how to learn it).
8: The Wrist Vanish is a deceptive coin technique. It teaches you to make a coin disappear using your wrist as a cover. This skill enhances your dexterity and ability to perform vanishes that rely on quick, fluid movements, adding to your repertoire of coin magic.
9: The Charlier Cut is a one-handed card cut that not only looks impressive but also develops your card handling skills. This cut is not just a flourish; it’s a practical way to cut the deck with one hand, useful in various routines and for enhancing your overall dexterity with cards.
10: The Retention Vanish with a coin is about making a coin appear to be placed in one hand while actually retaining it in the other. This skill is a cornerstone in coin magic, teaching you the art of illusion and timing, essential for convincing vanishes and transitions in coin routines. (Check out THIS guide on The Retention Vanish).
Level 3: Intermediate Sleight of Hand Techniques
- Pass (Cards): Secretly cutting the deck.
- Classic Force (Cards): Forcing a card with timing and audience management.
- Finger Palm (Coin): Palming a coin with finger control.
- Marlo Tilt (Cards): Creating the illusion of placing a card in the middle of the deck.
- Roll Down Coin Flourish: Rolling coins across the fingers.
- Biddle Trick (Cards): Combination of moves resulting in a card trick.
- False Cut (Cards): Cutting the deck without changing order.
- Bobo Switch (Coin): A smooth coin switch.
- Double Undercut (Cards): Controlling a card to a specific position.
- Coin Roll Vanish: Vanishing a coin as it rolls across the fingers.
1: The Pass in card magic is a classic and essential sleight used for secretly cutting the deck. Its mastery is a game-changer, allowing magicians to control the deck’s order or a specific card’s position seamlessly. This technique is foundational for many advanced card tricks. (We wrote an entire article on the classic pass that you can view HERE).
2: The Classic Force in card magic is a pivotal skill, where you influence a spectator to choose a specific card in what seems to be a free choice. This technique is fundamental for directing the outcome of many card tricks and requires a good balance of psychology, timing, and skill.
3: The Finger Palm with coins is a key skill in coin magic. It allows for more versatile coin manipulations, leading to more convincing vanishes and productions. This technique is crucial for developing subtlety and finesse in coin handling.
4: The Marlo Tilt in card magic creates the illusion of placing a card in the middle of the deck while actually positioning it near the top. It’s a clever move that can be used in various card routines to control or switch cards undetected.
5: The Roll Down Coin Flourish is a visually impressive way to roll coins across the fingers. While it’s more of a flourish than a sleight, it enhances finger dexterity and can be used to create a magical effect in itself.
6: The Biddle Trick in card magic is a combination of several moves resulting in a complete card trick. This trick is a great way to practice and showcase a range of skills, including card control, double lifts, and elmsley count.
7: The False Cut in card magic allows you to cut the deck without changing the order of the cards. They are essential for maintaining control over the deck’s order while giving the appearance of fair play.
8: The Bobo Switch in coin magic is a smooth and deceptive coin switch technique. It’s essential for routines that require changing one coin for another secretly, adding a layer of sophistication to coin magic.
9: The Double Undercut in card magic involves controlling a card or a group of cards to a specific position. It’s a versatile and fundamental move in card magic for maintaining or moving a card to the top or bottom of the deck.
10: The Coin Roll Vanish involves making a coin disappear as it rolls across the fingers. It combines skill and misdirection, and mastering it adds to the magician’s ability to perform visually appealing and surprising vanishes.
Level 4: Advanced Sleight of Hand Basics
- Hermann Pass (Cards): A technique to secretly cut the deck.
- Sybil Cut (Cards): Multi-packet card cut.
- Kaps/Subtlety Palm (Coin): A more deceptive coin palm.
- Cull (Cards): Selecting and controlling multiple cards.
- One-Handed Top Palm (Cards): Palming the top card with one hand.
- Shuttle Pass (Coin): Coin switch technique.
- Invisible Palm (Cards): Creating the illusion of a vanished card.
- Bluff Pass (Cards): Faux pass to control cards.
1: The Hermann Pass is a technique to secretly cut the deck, similar to the classic pass but with a different method. It’s crucial for controlling the deck and for tricks where you need to secretly move cards to specific positions.
2: The Sybil Cut is a multi-packet card cut that not only looks impressive but also improves your card handling skills. It’s often used as a flourish to showcase dexterity and control over the deck.
3: The Kaps/Subtlety Palm is a more deceptive way to palm a coin. It builds upon basic palming techniques and is vital for more advanced coin routines where the concealment of the coin is crucial.
4: The Cull is the process of selecting and controlling multiple cards during a shuffle or spread. This technique is essential for setting up for complex tricks and for maintaining control over several cards simultaneously.
5: The One-Handed Top Palm is about palming the top card with one hand. This skill is valuable for situations where you need to secretly remove a card from the deck with minimal movement, adding a level of sophistication to your card magic.
6: The Shuttle Pass is a coin switch technique that is essential for routines requiring the secret exchange of coins. It’s a fundamental skill in coin magic, enhancing the magician’s ability to perform seamless transitions.
7: The Invisible Palm involves creating the illusion of a vanished card. This trick is not only visually impressive but also introduces concepts of misdirection and audience management, crucial for more complex card illusions.
8: The Bluff Pass is a faux card pass to control cards. It’s a deceptive technique that gives the illusion of an action (like passing or cutting the deck) without actually doing it, allowing for covert control of cards.
Level 5: Skilled Intermediate Sleight of Hand Techniques
- Second Deal (Cards): Dealing the second card from the top.
- Muscle Pass (Coin): Popping a coin from one hand to the other.
- Spread Cull (Cards): Controlling cards during a spread.
- Erdnase Change (Cards): A smooth card change.
- Coin Matrix: Coin assembly and vanish routine.
- One-Handed Shuffle (Cards): Shuffling cards with one hand.
- Cylinder and Coins: Classic coin magic routine.
- Butterfly Cut (Cards): Aesthetic two-handed card cut.
- Three-Fly (Coin): Visual coin travel from hand to hand.
- Mercury Card Fold (Cards): Folding a card secretly in the hand.
1: The Second Deal is a technique where you deal the second card from the top instead of the top card. It’s crucial for card games and tricks where you need to secretly hold back a specific card. Mastering the second deal allows for more controlled and deceptive card distribution. (Check out THIS guide on how to make your second deal invisible)
2: The Muscle Pass is a coin technique where the coin is seemingly popped from one hand to the other without any apparent movement. This skill is highly regarded in coin magic for its visual impact and the surprise it generates. (Check out THIS guide on learning the Muscle Pass).
3: The Spread Cull involves controlling one or more selected cards during a spread of the deck. This technique is vital for setting up tricks, allowing the magician to secretly move cards to desired positions while spreading the deck.
4: The Erdnase Change is a smooth and visually appealing way to change a card’s face while appearing to merely wave the hand over the deck. It’s a classic move in card magic, known for its elegance and effectiveness.
5: The Coin Matrix is a classic coin assembly and vanish routine. It’s a staple in coin magic, combining sleight of hand and misdirection to create a visually stunning effect where coins appear to move invisibly between locations.
6: The One-Handed Shuffle is exactly as it sounds, shuffling cards with one hand. This skill is impressive and useful for situations where the other hand is occupied or to add flair to your card handling.
7: The Cylinder and Coins is a classic coin magic routine involving a cylinder, a stack of coins, and a magical penetration effect. It’s an exercise in advanced sleight of hand and misdirection.
8: The Butterfly Cut is an aesthetic two-handed card cut. While primarily a flourish, it helps improve hand coordination and dexterity, both of which are essential for advanced card handling.
9: The Three-Fly is a visual coin trick where coins appear to travel from one hand to the other. This trick is a crowd-pleaser and helps develop the magician’s skill in seamless and visual coin transitions.
10: The Mercury Card Fold involves folding a card secretly in the hand. It’s a technique used in various card tricks, particularly in routines where a card needs to be concealed or prepared for a reveal.
Level 6: Advanced Sleight of Hand Techniques
- Bottom Deal (Cards): Dealing cards from the bottom of the deck.
- Winged Silver (Coin): Advanced coin vanishing and appearing routine.
- Clipshift (Cards): Challenging card control and color change.
- Flicker Coin Vanish: Quick and visual coin vanish.
- Lennart Green’s Top Shot (Cards): Shooting a card from the middle of the deck.
- Finger Flick Restored Card (Cards): Torn and restored card trick.
- Coins Through Table: Classic coin magic.
- JW Grip (Coin): A deceptive way to hold a coin.
- Benzais Spin-Out Move (Cards): Unique card revelation.
- LePaul Spread (Cards): A flourish to display cards.
1: The Bottom Deal involves dealing cards from the bottom of the deck instead of the top. It’s a highly skilled technique used in card magic and gambling routines, essential for controlling the distribution of cards in a way that’s undetectable to the audience.
2: Winged Silver is an advanced coin vanishing and appearing routine. It involves multiple coins and is a comprehensive exercise in coin manipulation, teaching coordination, timing, and misdirection.
3: The Clipshift is a challenging card control and color change. It’s a versatile move that allows for instantaneous card changes or controls, adding a high level of sophistication to card routines.
4: The Flicker Coin Vanish is a quick and visually striking coin vanish. It’s known for its speed and the surprise element it brings, enhancing a magician’s repertoire with a flashy and effective coin disappearance.
5: Lennart Green’s Top Shot involves shooting a card from the middle of the deck to the top. It’s a visually impressive move that requires precise finger dexterity and timing, useful for both card flourishes and magical effects.
6: The Finger Flick Restored Card involves tearing a card and then magically restoring it. This technique is a crowd-pleaser and teaches important skills in misdirection and presentation.
7: Coins Through Table is a classic in coin magic, where coins seemingly penetrate a solid table. This trick is a fundamental lesson in misdirection and storytelling, making it a key skill for any aspiring magician.
8: The JW Grip is a unique and deceptive way to hold a coin, allowing for surprising vanishes and productions. This grip is less known but incredibly effective, adding a layer of originality to coin routines.
9: Benzais Spin-Out Move is a unique card revelation where a card is spun out of the deck. This move is visually striking and adds an element of flair to card tricks.
10: The LePaul Spread is a flourish used to display cards in a fan-like spread while holding the deck. It’s not only visually impressive but also useful for certain card tricks that require a display of multiple cards.
Level 7: Highly Advanced Sleight of Hand
- Greek Deal (Cards): Dealing from the middle of the deck.
- Back Palm (Coin): Palming a coin on the back of the hand.
- Perfect Faro Shuffle (Cards): Shuffling in a way that the cards perfectly interweave.
- Coin Through Hand: Illusion of a coin penetrating the hand.
- Center Deal (Cards): Dealing cards from the center of the deck.
- Miser’s Dream: Classic coin production routine.
- Gamblers Cop (Cards): Concealing a card while dealing.
- Coin on Shoulder: Coin routine with audience interaction.
- Dai Vernon’s Triumph (Cards): Complex card routine with a surprising reveal.
- Matrix Aces (Cards): Advanced card assembly.
1: The Greek Deal is an advanced technique where cards are dealt from the bottom of the deck. It’s a complex skill primarily used in gambling routines but can also enhance card magic performances, requiring precise control and dexterity. (Variation of bottom deal (that requires much more control and finesse) used in card games, to deal to a specific player, typically the one immediately to the right of the dealer (in a right-handed deal).
2: The Back Palm with coins involves palming a coin on the back of the hand. This technique is visually impressive and essential for routines where coins need to be vanished or produced in a seemingly impossible manner.
3: The Perfect Faro Shuffle is a technique where the cards are shuffled in such a way that they perfectly interweave. This skill is essential for advanced card manipulation, allowing for precise control over the deck and enabling a wide range of complex card tricks. (Check out THIS guide all about Faro Shuffles).
4: Coin Through Hand is an illusion where a coin appears to penetrate the hand. This trick is visually stunning and improves a magician’s skill in creating convincing illusions with everyday objects.
5: Center Deal is the art of dealing cards from the center of the deck. It’s one of the most challenging and revered skills in card magic, requiring exceptional dexterity and control. Mastering the center deal opens up a range of possibilities for advanced card routines.
6: Miser’s Dream is a classic coin production routine where coins are seemingly plucked from thin air. This routine is fundamental for developing sleight of hand skills with coins, teaching timing, and audience interaction.
7: Gamblers Cop is a technique for concealing a card while dealing. It’s a subtle but powerful move in card magic, allowing for the secret retention of a card, setting the stage for surprising reveals and transitions.
8: Coin on Shoulder is a routine involving audience interaction where a coin is secretly placed on a spectator’s shoulder. It’s a playful trick that enhances a magician’s skills in misdirection and audience management.
9: Dai Vernon’s Triumph is a complex card routine with a surprising reveal. It involves shuffling the deck in a way that appears to mix face-up and face-down cards, only to have them magically right themselves, except for the selected card.
10: Matrix Aces is an advanced card assembly trick where selected cards are mysteriously gathered to one location. This trick combines multiple sleight of hand techniques and is a great showcase of skill and misdirection.
Level 8: Expert Level Sleight of Hand
- Push-Through Shuffle (Cards): Advanced false shuffle.
- Advanced Coin Palming: Multiple coin concealments.
- Zarrow Shuffle (Cards): A deceptive false shuffle maintaining the entire order.
- Coin Ladder: Advanced coin production routine.
- Advanced Second Deal Variations (Cards).
- Advanced Card Steals and Loads: Stealthy card manipulations.
- Fingertip Muscle Pass (Coin).
- Advanced Coin Transpositions.
- Reverse Faro Shuffle (Cards).
- Cylinder and Coins (Advanced Routine).
1: The Push-Through Shuffle is an advanced false shuffle where the cards appear to be thoroughly shuffled, but the deck order remains unchanged. It’s a sophisticated technique that requires precision and control, crucial for card routines that rely on a specific deck order.
2: Advanced Coin Palming involves mastering various techniques, such as the Downs Palm or the JW Grip for concealing coins in a way that’s even more undetectable. This skill is vital for performing complex coin routines seamlessly and is essential for creating convincing illusions with coins.
3: The Zarrow Shuffle is a highly deceptive false shuffle, maintaining the entire order of the deck. It’s one of the most effective shuffles for creating the illusion of a fair mix while retaining control, and is a key skill for advanced card magic. (Check out THIS guide on the best false shuffles).
4: The Coin Ladder is an advanced routine involving the production of numerous coins in rapid succession. This routine is a test of skill and coordination, demonstrating a high level of proficiency in coin manipulation.
5: Advanced Second Deal Variations involve dealing the second card from the top of the deck in various ways, such as the Push-off or Bird Second Deal. This differs from the regular second deal in its execution. While the regular second deal involves visibly holding back the top card, these deals are delt more naturally and fluidly.
6: Advanced Card Steals and Loads encompass a range of techniques for stealthily moving cards to and from the deck. These skills are essential for complex card tricks and routines where secret card manipulation is necessary.
7: The Fingertip Muscle Pass is an advanced version of the muscle pass, propelling a coin from the fingertips. This move adds an extra layer of surprise and visual impact to coin magic.
8: Advanced Coin Transpositions involve switching coins between locations in more complex and deceptive ways. These skills elevate the magician’s ability to perform intricate and surprising coin routines.
9: The Reverse Faro Shuffle is an advanced technique where the cards are shuffled in reverse, allowing for intricate control and manipulation of the deck. It’s a challenging but rewarding skill for those looking to master card shuffling techniques.
10: Cylinder and Coins (Advanced Routine) is a sophisticated coin magic routine using a cylinder, coins, and other props. This routine combines various advanced techniques and is considered a benchmark of skill in coin magic.
Level 9: Master of Sleight of Hand
- Anti-Faro (Cards): A complex technique to unshuffle cards.
- Advanced Coin Vanishes and Productions: Including sleeving and lapping techniques.
- Advanced False Shuffles and Cuts (Cards): Maintaining complete deck control.
- Three Shell Game: Advanced sleight of hand with shells and a pea.
- Advanced Erdnase Techniques (Cards): From S.W. Erdnase’s “The Expert at the Card Table.”
- Advanced Matrix Routines (Coins).
- Expert Card to Pocket: Multiple and complex card to pocket routines.
- Coin Assembly (Advanced Versions).
- Cardini Multiple Card Production (Cards).
- Advanced Coin Routines: Including multi-phase sequences.
1: The Anti-Faro is a complex technique where the deck is shuffled in a way that unshuffles the cards. It’s a challenging skill that demonstrates extreme control and precision in card handling, used in sophisticated card routines.
2: Advanced Coin Vanishes and Productions encompass a range of techniques that include sleeving and lapping. These methods significantly elevate the magician’s skill in making coins disappear and reappear in more intricate and surprising ways.
3: Advanced False Shuffles and Cuts involve a variety of methods to shuffle or cut the deck while maintaining its order. These techniques are essential for complex card routines where the order of the deck needs to be preserved in a deceptive manner.
4: The Three Shell Game is an advanced version of the classic “shell and pea” scam. Mastering this game involves high-level skills in misdirection and psychological manipulation, making it a powerful tool in the magician’s repertoire.
5: Advanced Erdnase Techniques from S.W. Erdnase’s “The Expert at the Card Table” are crucial for any serious card magician. These techniques cover a range of deceptive shuffles, cuts, and deals, providing a deep understanding of card manipulation.
6: Advanced Matrix Routines involve more complex versions of the classic coin assembly and vanish trick. These routines require precision, timing, and a high level of skill in both sleight of hand and misdirection.
7: Expert Card to Pocket includes multiple and complex card-to-pocket routines. This skill involves secretly and seamlessly moving selected cards from the deck into the magician’s pocket, a staple in close-up magic.
8: Advanced Coin Assembly involves more intricate versions of coin assembly routines. These require a high degree of skill and finesse, as they often involve multiple coins and more complex setups and sleights.
9: The Cardini Multiple Card Production involves producing multiple cards from thin air. This technique is visually stunning and requires a great deal of practice and skill, showcasing the magician’s dexterity and control.
10: Advanced Coin Routines include multi-phase sequences and require a deep understanding of coin manipulation. These routines are complex and often involve a series of intricate moves and sleights, testing the magician’s skill and creativity.
Level 10: Grandmaster of Sleight of Hand
- Tabled Faro Shuffle (Cards): Precise interweaving of card halves on a table.
- Extreme Card Manipulation: Flourishes and complex manoeuvres.
- Advanced Coin Manipulation: Including full routines with sleight of hand mastery.
- Advanced LePaul Spread Techniques (Cards).
- Extreme Coin Vanishes and Transpositions.
- Card Warp (Advanced Versions): Warping reality with card bending.
- Advanced Multi-Phase Card Routines.
- Coin and Card Integrated Routines: Combining both elements in a single performance.
- Advanced Misdirection Techniques: For both coin and card magic.
- Artistic Cardistry: Beyond tricks, entering the realm of performance art with cards.
1: The Tabled Faro Shuffle is a precise method of interweaving card halves on a table. This shuffle is not just visually appealing but also functional, allowing for exact control over card order and placement, essential for complex card tricks.
2: Extreme Card Manipulation encompasses a variety of advanced flourishes and complex maneuvers. These skills are not just about trick execution but also about enhancing the overall presentation and aesthetic appeal of the performance.
3: Advanced Coin Manipulation involves a high degree of proficiency in handling coins, including full routines with intricate sleight of hand. Mastering this allows for the performance of highly sophisticated and visually stunning coin magic.
4: Advanced LePaul Spread Techniques take the basic LePaul spread to a higher level. These techniques are essential for displaying multiple cards in a more intricate and visually appealing manner, useful in various card tricks and routines.
5: Extreme Coin Vanishes and Transpositions are advanced methods of making coins disappear and change places. These techniques push the boundaries of coin magic, creating astonishing effects that baffle even the most observant audiences.
6: Card Warp (Advanced Versions) involves bending reality with card bending illusions. This technique is a classic in magic, and mastering its advanced versions allows for more creative and mind-bending presentations.
7: Advanced Multi-Phase Card Routines involve a series of interconnected tricks that form a complete narrative or theme. These routines require a deep understanding of card magic principles and the ability to weave multiple techniques into a cohesive performance.
8: Coin and Card Integrated Routines combine both elements in a single performance. This skill tests a magician’s ability to transition smoothly between card and coin tricks, creating a more varied and engaging performance.
9: Extreme Misdirection Techniques are crucial for both coin and card magic. These techniques involve advanced psychological principles to manipulate the audience’s attention and perception, essential for executing complex tricks successfully. (Check out THIS guide on misdirection techniques).
10: Artistic Cardistry goes beyond traditional tricks, entering the realm of performance art with cards. It’s about creating visually stunning displays of skill and creativity, elevating card handling to an art form.
But, where do I learn all these techniques?
I’m feeling kind right now, how does this sound…
1: For all the most important sleight of hand techniques (that I’ve highlighted in bold) I’ve made a YOUTUBE Playlist, for YOU to flick through and learn in your own leisure.
2: For anyone feeling ambitious, I’ll give a FREE copy of Expert at the Card Table.
3: For the magician, whose serious about their craft (and sleight of hand) my third gift could be your ‘silver bullet.’
4: And for that one Grandmaster out there (that kid who asks for extra homework) I’ll give you 368 classic magic books, with my commentary on the best 91!
+ I’m going to recommend ONE excellent ‘Card course’ and ONE excellent card series that will cover 90% of the one’s I’ve listed.
Sleight of Hand Resources
FREE Gift: Click HERE to see and learn the 30 most important sleight of hand techniques (that I’ve highlighted in bold throughout the levels).
(2nd) FREE Gift: Click HERE to own a copy of Expert at the Card Table (perhaps the most important and influential book on card magic ever written).
(3rd) Gift: Click HERE to view your silver bullet.
(4th) Gift: Click HERE to own 368 dusty, moth-eaten magic books (30,000+ pages of content, 91 professional commentaries, an extensively detailed index with 4429 effects, authors featuring. Houdini, Erdanase, Tarbell, Hugard, and MORE—this is a veritable ‘cup of life’ to any and all amateur or professional magicians).
P.S. The BEST NUMBER 1 RESOURCE for learning sleight of hand out there is The Foundations of Card Magic by 52kards, although if you are also very interested in learning card tricks and sleight of hand Card College may be a better investment!
P.P.S I know I’ve gone a little wild with this guide, but don’t forget the way of the essentialist: the only five techniques you REALLY need to learn to be an amazing card magician are switches, controls, forces, palming and false shuffles! We’ll make a course covering these 5 techniques in the future, if you want to be the first to know about it, sign up to our email list HERE.
Thank you for reading. I hope you found it this really helpful!
If you manage to make it to Grand Master let me know buy investing in the 368 classic magic book collection and or the 138 Classic Magic Tricks video collection, it should humble you. In fact while creating the collection we found an incredible force by Theodore Annemann found on page 3 of ‘202 Methods of Forcing’ that is not only invisible but would make a fantastic ‘out’ for any good magic routine…
I’ll stop with the sales, actually one last one for good luck.
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