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An Introduction to Cardistry

An Introduction to Cardistry

The art of card flourishing is called cardistry. The term is a combination of ‘card’ and ‘artistry’. Cardistry is the non-magical manipulation of playing cards, which is meant to display impressive creativity, performance art and skills.

Cardists, the people who perform cardistry, conjure tricks that involves simple to complicated card flourishes like the Charlie Cut, the Riffle Shuffle and Thumb fan. These tricks are performed by magicians as a way of demonstrating sleight of hand.

The art of cardistry involves the use of hands to create cuts, displays, fans, patterns and sequences through the use of cards. The intent of cardistry is to create captivating motions and alluring displays. Cardists are gradually becoming more and more advanced with their performance techniques. Simple arm spreads have become double arm spreads with turnovers, tosses, and catches. Ordinary cuts and shuffles have become one-handed cuts and shuffle sequences.

Cardistry is gaining its foothold, mainly because of the emergence of flourishers like Chris Kenner, who conjured the famous ‘Five Faces of Sybil’ with a two-handed flourish. The cut became the most notable creation from Totally Out of Control and would eventually form the nucleus of what is now known as cardistry.

Cardistry has grown into a full-blown subculture, what with cardists across the world sharing their performance videos all over the internet.