Skip to main content

How to Fan Cards for Magic Tricks aka Card Flourishes

Learn how to fan cards for magic tricks aka card flourishes from professional illusionist Ben Nemzer in this Howcast magic tricks video.


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 gonna teach you some of the basics of magic that you guys can start performing right away. I'm gonna show you a few different ways to fan out cards. A lot of people like to know how to make the cards look nice how to spread them out pretty evenly. This is called a one-handed-fan and one of the best ways to do a one-handed-fan is you hold the deck up and down or half the deck however many cards you like to use and you start with your thumb going parallel and right on top of the side of the card but it's only really at the bottom. And as you push the deck you want your thumb to go along the bottom. You see what I mean. It gets pushed along the bottom. And that's one way to do a one-handed-fan. And it looks like that. Now another way to do a one-handed-fan is to do two at the same time. And you can hold it right in your hand like this and you can drop some other cards into the hand and what you do is you bring your thumb to the lower corner and you push away as these fingers pull toward you. And in motion that looks like this. Now if you're doing with two hands at the same time you can drop half into here half into there and spread the cards. You can also combine the fans together into what's called an S fan. Another type of fan is called the spread fan. And what you do is you hold your thumb on the lower corner of the cards. And a good way to remember it is you're gonna be holding it right over where the number is on the bottom. And you pinch and you price and pressure then you take either your thumb or your pointer and you push away applying pressure and spread them out. And it should look like this. Now it takes a long time to get them spaced rather evenly. In fact sometimes it could take weeks or months to really perfect this. So you wanna practice over and over again till you get a nice even spread. You'll also notice something you will realize when your fanning cards is that if you fan cards in the right hand you won't see all the numbers and that's not as pretty. And if you do it in the left hand spreading clockwise all the numbers show. So that's a important thing to remember because the whole reason to fan cards is for a nice display either in a magic trick or just to flourish the cards and make them look nice. It's always nicer to show the pictures on the cards rather then showing the empty space. And those are some of the easy ways to start learning how to fan cards.

Popular Categories