How to Do the Sybil Card Flourish

Learn how to do the Sybil from magician Michael Patrick in this Howcast card flourish tutorial.


Hi. I'm Mike Patrick and this is how to do a basic Sybil style cut. It looks like this and this is the basic explanation. The angle of how the cards are going to move is a little bit difficult to describe, so I'm going to show you step-by-step and you should follow along like this. First, we're going to get into what's referred to as Z position. That means being like this. A lot of times you will try to do these individual steps. It should all be in one clip. So, first thing that you're going to practice is just lifting up of small packet of cards off the top of the deck. If you can do that, the next part should be relatively simple. You place your thumb on the back portion of the deck and by lifting up this packet will also moving forward. As long as your thumb is contacting that back part you should go into an automatic Z position like this. So, once you get the hang of doing the Z, that'll make the next part possible.

The next thing that you need to learn before we go into the full cut is this: I pick up the cards and now my left hand is going to rotate and I'm going to grip these two corners but I'm going to essentially reverse my hand. So, what happens is this: I lift up this packet; I twist; and now my thumb is over here, and this is here; and I'm going to bring this forward. So, this is the action that you should do. This. You're just going to bring this forward a few times like this. These are very important to understand the motion that's about to happen. You're going to do both of those essentially at the same time. You go into Z, like so. Now, this packet's in the way. It shouldn't really make a difference. It's not much more difficult. It'll feel like it's in the way--try to ignore it. When you're in Z, you grip the packet like I described, like we're gripping in the air, but you're in Z. Then, you allow these cards to come around it. I extend my index finger to provide clearance. Once I'm here, I now push my index finger forward and I allow it to swing around and then I bring my index finger in.

Now, my index finger is going to contact this outer right hand corner as these cards are coming down. This will bring this packet out to the front. To close this Sybil, you're going to bring your index finger around; you're going to swivel these cards; they're going to travel around your left middle finger. So, these cards get swiveled like this. I crawl my index finger underneath and I allow them to flip over on to the stack. So, if I have this in the middle again, all I do is I have it around this middle finger and then I use my index finger to flick it over. In speed, the entire cut looks like this. You can also combine this Sybil into different chains. So, if you were to do a Sybil cut and you get to this position instead of just flipping it over I do two one-handed cuts and close like this.

It allows it to have a much more elegant feel and make your flourishes more complicated. Experiment and play and you'll be just fine.

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