Looking like an expert with a deck of cards must start from the moment you pick them up. It’s an essential skill for any worthwhile magician.
Fail at shuffling and you might ruin your reputation as a skilled magician before you’ve even started any tricks. Avoid this problem by mastering these professional shuffling techniques.
You’ll want to practice all of these shuffles with a relatively new deck of cards, as they will be slightly slicker and stiffer, making the deck easier to work with.
#1 – The Riffle Shuffle
This popular shuffle is easy to do, shuffles cards well and looks great!
I often take for granted how great this shuffle looks, but when doing it before playing games with my friends, someone always points out how cool it looks.
How to do it
Put your entire deck of cards in one hand. Hold the deck at the top with your thumb.
At the bottom, rest the cards on the top joints of your middle, fourth and pinky fingers.
Keep your pointer finger bent and behind the cards.
This is what it should look like.
Got it? Good!
Holding the cards just tightly enough that they don’t fall out, use your bent pointer finger to apply pressure from the back of the deck, causing it to arch.
You’ll want to let half of the deck go by allowing them to riffle out from your thumb and catch them in your other hand.
Practice this step a few times.
Once you have cards in your other hand, you want to set them up in the same way that you set up the full deck.
Riffle both parts of the deck onto the table at the same time so that they overlap slightly.
Hold the cards at the top and in the center with your thumbs.
Place index fingers around the top edge of the cards on each side.
Apply pressure from the bottom, causing the cards to arch as you release the pressure from your thumbs.
Once the bridge is complete, push them all together and repeat from the beginning!
Watch it in action!
#2 – The One-Handed Shuffle
Another, more impressive shuffle to learn is the one-handed shuffle.
How to do it
Let’s start with the grip again…
The grip for this shuffle will feel very unnatural at first, but with practice, you’ll find that you can hold a deck this way with ease.
Place your thumb and your pinky on the bottom edge of the cards when holding them horizontally, and your remaining three fingers on top, as shown below.
Lift up with your thumb to divide the deck in half, and release your middle and ring fingers at the same time.
Move your thumb counterclockwise and your pinky clockwise at the same rate, pushing the cards into two piles next to each other, as shown below.
Apply pressure with the middle and ring finger to lower this half of the deck to be even with the other half.
Hold the pinky steady while applying pressure with the thumb to the other half. This will cause the ends of the deck closest to your body to shuffle together. This will be the hardest part to master, as the cards will need to be loose enough to shuffle but not so loose that they scatter to the floor.
Practice till you get it perfect!
Mastering these two shuffling techniques will be the perfect beginning to set up all card tricks that you plan to share with your audience.
If you fumble with the shuffle, your audience will be looking for mistakes in your performance, so learn professional shuffles like these ones to become the best entertainer out there.
Watch it in action
Don’t worry about failing
As with any craft, your hands and muscle memory will begin to get extremely comfortable with handling cards over time.
As a magician, you probably have a deck of cards in your hand at all times. Doing this is good!
It will make any new skill you learn, like these shuffles, much easier to learn.
So if the cards feel uncomfortable at first, don’t worry and just keep playing around with them.
It’s inevitable that you’ll become an expert sooner or later.