Skip to main content

How to Do a Butterfly Cut Card Flourish

Learn how to do a butterfly cut from magician Michael Patrick in this Howcast card flourish tutorial.


Hi, I'm Mike Patrick, and this is How you do the Butterfly Cut. The action begins with two one-handed Charlier cuts. So you're going to go into straddle grip as we discussed in that video. I will pivot the cards like this, break it with my thumb and I allow my index finger to go underneath as I get into straddle grip with my other hand. I do two simultaneous one-handed Charlier cuts. There's a slight difference though. When you divide them and you do the one-handed cuts, after you clear you're going to jam your index fingers back in dividing those packets like so. Your other fingers curl over the top of it, and your left hand goes first followed pretty much at the same time by your right hand, and you get those as square as you can so now you're in this kind of condition.

You allow this packet to roll forward, so you're going to move your middle fingers over the top and you're going to move the left hand packet forward and your right hand packet over, and then you bring this one back pulling the index fingers towards you. Doing this slow results in the cards getting a little bit off-skew, but what you're going to do is you're going to aim for getting these as tight as you can. Like if you just put them together for example like this, your end result isn't going to be very pretty. So you try to get everything as square as you can all the way through the cut, very important. So you get into straddle grip with both hands, do your one-handed Charliers, insert your index fingers, and then you put them into each other, move them forward again rolling the middle fingers over, moving these packets in one at a time using your thumbs, and then rolling this backwards. Then you just place them face down.

Here's another quick tip. If you start with the cards in your right hand and you pivot them in this direction, the top and bottom stock, meaning the top 10 to 13 cards and the bottom 13 cards will stay the same. So if I do the cut with the five of clubs face-up, if I do it out of my left hand you'll see that that five of clubs ends up somewhere in the deck; however, if I do it with the right hand starting when I have the Ace of hearts face-up on top, the Ace of hearts ends on top of the deck just like the other one. So if you're doing a card trick where you need the card to stay on top or bottom, this is a great way to handle it.

Again, going through it one more time. Do the one-handed Charlier cuts, put your fingers inside, roll them into each other, roll them forward, move these in, and come back, square up, turn the deck over, and that is how you do the butterfly cut.

Popular Categories