Extreme Card Magic, better known today as Cardistry, is an art form. It's not magic, but it's magical. It requires dexterity, patience, and more often than not a broken in deck.
My first year or so getting into magic, I looked down on cardistry as a practice. Sure, it looked fancy -- people twirling cards around and shooting them through the air. But, where's the magic? And then after I pulled my head out of the sand, I realized that even though it involves playing cards, it's not magic. My tunnel-vision logic was akin to asking at a poker game nobody gets a royal flush on every turn. Or, something like that.
I want to be transparent here, I don't know a lot of cardistry. I also don't consider myself a cardist. I do, however, have an interest in learning more because as far as flourishes go... cardists are the best out there. I want to do more film editing, and some of these flourishes are the perfect for Intros and B-Roll. That, and if they're basic enough they can be incorporated into actual magic routines.
So there I was...
It was November, 2019 and I was in NYC visiting Tannen's Magic Shop, like you do. I had tickets that night for Magic After Hours, it was my first time and I was damn excited. Noah Levine was the host of the evening and one of his routines was amazing.
A single deck of cards and multiple selections from the audience, all lost somewhere in the pack. Boom, he found a card. Bam, and another. Bim, you guessed right, another! Then, he starts cutting the deck in all sorts of packets flipping and twirling and round and round and bing, bang, boom, all of the rest of the cards one after the other.
Oh hey, I knew that cut -- it was Sybil! He used a multi-packet cardistry flourish, a false cut nonetheless, to make it look like he had complete control over the deck and was able to find cards that way. On one hand, it was true and on the other, it was magic!
So, YouTube exists. It's a site, and there's a lot of magic and cardistry tutorials on there. If you know exactly what you're looking for, it's great! If you don't, well, best of luck to you =P
However, I recently came across a site called CRDSTRY. It's a site dedicated to news and cards and tutorials -- all about cardistry! Unfortunately, the site hasn't been updated since 2021, and that includes the "latest news".
CRDSTRY has a great list of tutorials that range from absolute beginner all the way to advanced. Obviously, it doesn't include every move, but if you're able to get through even the Easy ones and maybe one or two of the Intermediate, at that point you'll be able to pick up other moves and start creating your own too.
As I mentioned above though, the site hasn't been updated in a while. In case they decide to take it down for any reason, I'm reproducing the list here. All-in-all, it's a curated list of YouTube videos. I've gone through a few of them and picked out the ones I can't wait to learn, hopefully you'll enjoy them too.
- Getting Started
- Mockingbird by Daren Yeow
- Skydive by Azlan Valentine
- Roulette by Dimitri Arleri
- Alea by Dimitri Arleri
- Bender by Dimitri Arleri
- Looper by Ladislas Toubart
- Retrigger by Oliver Sogard
- Kick Flip Flourish feat. Chris Ramsay
- 2 Flourishes from Yang Chan
- Judo-Flip by Franco Pascali
- One Handed Mechanical by Dimitri Arleri
- ATM by Oliver Sogard
Dan & Dave
Back in July 2021, WIRED put out a digital article with Dan & Dave that went through 22 Levels of Cardistry. It's a fantastic, long but short tutorial on 22 different cardistry routines that start out basic, and end intermediate. If you're still just starting out in cardistry, I personally recommend to start with it:
There are plenty more moves out there, and funnily enough I know some of them! Or, rather, I've dropped cards on the floor trying to learn them.
I will be spending some time practicing moves from the lists above, but afterwards I'll make a follow-up list of others too. If you know of any that you think are worth sharing, let me know =]