How to Throw Cards for Card Tricks

Learn how to throw cards from professional illusionist Ben Nemzer in this Howcast magic tricks video.

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Ever watched a magic trick and wondered "how did he do that?" In these videos, professional magician Ben Nemzer reveals the secrets behind dozens of cool card tricks and other magic tricks. Impress friends at your next gathering by learning how to do a few.

 
 

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Transcript

"Card Tricks: How to Throw Cards My name is Ben Nemzer and I'm a magician. One of my specialties is close-up magic which is magic with ordinary objects; decks of cards, ropes, rubber bands and I do that all over New York City. I'm going to teach you some of the basics of magic that you guys can start performing right away. I'm going to show you how to throw and shoot cards. A lot of people ask why you want to learn how to throw and shoot cards, because it's cool. Have a look. The first method I'm going to teach you is called throwing a card. Kind of like you'd see on X-Man with Gambit only this is the technique I use. For starters I hold the card with two fingers. On the corner that's all the way to the end into the sides. So if you're doing with your right hand you want to hold it from the far right hand corner. If you're doing it with your left hand, I'm left handed, I'll do it from the far left hand corner. Then you want to make sure that the near left hand corner if you bring the card inward should touch the center of your hand. Then you bend the card just slightly to get a little bit of tension. And you can see it's beveled just a little bit. Now the key to throwing the card is you don't need a large arm movement, just a little bit from the elbow. That's where you move the arm. You move from the elbow. And then you want to snap the wrist. And snapping the wrist is really what propels the card. You want to make sure you really snap the wrist, like that. Now you practice a little bit. Make sure not to shoot the mat people because it could really hurt somebody if it goes in the eye. But one more time, you hold it from the far corner. Left hand, far left corner, right hand, the far right corner. The near corner gets drawn right into the center of the hand, slight bend and you release the card with a snap. And that's one way to shoot a card. Now another way is to use the entire deck and you can shoot them away from you or you can shoot them upward like that. And let me show you how that works. For starters you want to be able to hold the deck with three fingers, some people use four. I prefer to use three. And you want to hold the deck like this, so they don't fall. And this is actually a knack to hold the cards so they fall like this. Hold it like this. Hold it like that. Practice holding them so they don't fall. You find when you first start learning to hold cards that way you're going to be holding them way down here. But in order to actually do the move you're going need to hold it much closer to the ends. And the more you practice this the more you're going to build up those muscles in your fingers to be able to shoot cards off the top of the deck. Now the next step is propelling the card upward or away from you and what you do is you take your thumb to the bottom corner nearest the pinkie and the ring finger and you push almost straight up which rotates the card around the finger. And if you do it quickly enough it's a shooting motion. So you apply pressure now when you're applying pressure you're not using the pad of your finger you're using the top of your finger. If you're fingers are really dry it might not work. So if you just wash your hand use a little bit of moisturizer. If you want to be a little gross you can give it a little lick. But you want to make sure there's enough friction. So you touch the bottom left, the top part of the finger and push straight up. Now if you move your arm at the same time it propels it even higher. And if you tilt your hand you can shoot them away from you. And those are a few ways to shoot some cards. "

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  • Ben Nemzer

    Ben makes his living onstage as an illusionist and at private engagements around the world as a sleight-of-hand artist. For more information about Ben, upcoming events, television appearances and more, visit: www.BenNemzer.com.