Moves, Sleights & Terminology

 

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

A

  • All Around Square Up
    To correct a messy deck by lifting the deck to the fingertips and turning the deck by turning the wrist of one hand while grabbing the deck with the other hand. Doing this action a couple of times until the deck is square. Usually done to subtly show that there are no steps or breaks being held.
  • Addition or Add-on
    To covertly add a card, or cards, to an existing packet of cards
  • Alignment Move
    Switching a card for another card by a sliding motion, usually in a small packet of 3cards. (Henry Christ, Ted Annemann and Dai Vernon)
  • Alpha
    Is the first letter in the Greek alphabet and it means “The Beginning” loosely translated into “First” or “Number One”. Some card magicians like to use the word Alpha and Omega in titles of effects and moves.
  • Angle Jog
    Usually a card that is placed into the front end of a squared deck and as it is pushed in, flush with the deck, the card is secretly angled out of the deck in order to create a jog, palm out a card or to obtain a break above or below the card.
  • Ascanio Spread
    To Show 5, or more, cards as 4 cards, done in a fluid, snake like spread or fan.
  • ATFUS Move Ed Marlo
    Any Time Face Up Switch. It can be used as a switch cards or to make cards disappear while showing a number of cards.

B

  • Back Palm
    To secretly palm a card on the backside of your hand usually while displaying the palm of the hand.
  • Biddle Grip (Elmer Biddle)
    To hold any number of cards from above, fingers to the front and thumb at the rear of the short ends of the cards.
  • Blank Backed Card
    A card that has no back at all, just completely blank.
  • Blank Card
    A card that has no face at all, just completely blank.
  • Blank Faced Card
    A card that has no face at all, just completely blank.
  • Blind (Cut, Deal, Shuffle)
    To go through the action of cutting, dealing or shuffling but in doing so, the entire deck stays in order.  Of course the false cut, deal or shuffle can also just leave one or two cards undisturbed i.e., top card(s) or Bottom card(s) or both etc.
  • Block
    A block of cards is a talon of cards that can be three or more.  The talon of cards in the block are usually hidden and unknown to the audience.
  • Block Push Off
    To literally push off three or more cards from either the top or bottom of the deck or a talon of cards so they overlap the cards beneath the pushed off block.  The block of cards is usually hidden and unknown to the audience.
  • Brain Wave Deck
    A deck of cards that lets a performer ask a spectator to think of and name any card and the deck is spread out, face down, to show that there is only one card face up and it is the thought of and called out card and it has a different back than the rest of the deck.
  • Brake
    To hold a separation between two halves of the deck, between any number of cards on top of the deck, on the bottom of the deck, in a packet of cards etc.  The break can be held with the thumb, fourth finger, heel of the thumb or any finger.
  • Braue Add On – Fred Braue
    Secretly add and switch out a number of cards to a known packet of cards.
  • Bridge
    Usually done after a in the hands riffle, FARO or weave shuffle. After the cards have been weaved or riffled together, the outer ends of the deck are brought closer inwards to each other with the fingers of both hands as the thumbs are both staying above the cards and the cards cascade back together ending up at the fingers of the hand.
  • Buckle Count
    The Idea is when you have a packet of cards and you are counting or displaying them, you exert pressure under the bottom card and push your finger toward yourself to “buckle” or bend the bottom card at some point in the count and you can take any number of cards above the buckle as one card.

C

  • Center Cut
    Usually means during a shuffle sequence on the table, you split the deck into 3rds with one hand and pull out the middle 3rd with the other hand and slap it on top of the deck.
  • Charlier False Shuffle
    This move actually just cuts the deck and looks identical to the Haymow Shuffle.
  • Classic Force
    To have a card “forced” onto a spectator,without their immediate knowledge of you doing so, while you  are spreading through or fanning the deck and presenting the deck to them so they can select a card.
  • Count
    Obviously, this can mean to actually count the cards in any fashion. But, it usually means a false display of cards in some fashion and not an actual counting of the cards. Especially when the word is used in conjunction with a name or other words i.e. Biddle Count, Elmsley Count, 5 for 4 Count etc. It can mean to show a number of cards while hiding a card(s), To display 6 cards while hiding 9 cards, to show 4 cards when you actually have 5 etc.
  • Court Cards
    The phrase “Court Cards” means the cards that have pictures instead of just suits on the faces, as in the Jack, Queen and King of any suit.
  • Crimp
    To secretly move any number of needed cards to the top or bottom of the deck while spreading through a face up deck.
  • Cull
    To secretly move card(s) from someplace in the deck to the top or the bottom of the deck or even a certain number of cards away from the top or bottom of the deck. Can also be used to just group certain cards together, not necessarily to only move card(s) to the top or bottom.
  • Cut (Standard)
    To cut the top half of the deck to the bottom.

D

  • Dai Vernon Strip Out Addition
    Adding card(s) to a group of up-jogged cards during the strip out.
  • D’Amico Spread (Carmen D’Amico)
    Usually sort of a count to display 2 cards but secretly there are three cards.  Very similar to the Elmsley count move with lesser cards.
  • Diagonal Palm Shift
    To place a card into the front end of the deck and secretly steal that card out of the side of the deck into a palm.
  • Double
    This usually means showing 2 cards secretly as one.  It can also mean to have two of the same exact cards in the deck.
  • Double Back (Backer)
    To have one card that has no face, each side of the card has a back on it.  The backs can match or be completely different.
  • Double Face (Facer)
    To have one card that has no back, each side of the card has a face on it.  The faces can match or be completely different.
  • Double Lift
    To take the top 2 cards of the deck as one.
  • Double Undercut
    To cut the bottom half of the deck to the top, instead of the regular way of cutting top to bottom, twice and in doing so, you secretly can move the top card to the bottom.

E

  • Edge Mark
    The means of secretly marking a card, usually by the way of a pencil dragged along the side of the cards so it will be able to be identified, secretly by the performer.  It can be anyway of marking the long side of a specific card.
  • Eight Kings
    A specific way that the deck is stacked.
  • Electric Deck
    This deck seems and looks like an ordinary deck of cards but it has been stuck together in a gaffed way in order to execute a cascading waterfall effect t of the entire deck but, without any skill required in doing so.
  • Elmsley Count (Alex Elmsley)
    Counting or showing cards while actually hiding a card(s). A.K.A. The Ghost Count, 4 for 4 Count, usually done with 4 cards, seemingly showing all for while hiding one card.
  • Equivoque (EH-KWIV-OAK)
    To force a spectator to choose one item, among a few items, by giving the spectator seemingly free choices.

F

  • Face
    The opposite side of the cards
  • False (Cut, Deal, Shuffle)
    To go through the action of cutting, dealing or shuffling but in doing so, the entire deck stays in order.  Of course the false cut, deal or shuffle can also just leave one or two cards undisturbed i.e., top card(s) or Bottom card(s) or both etc.
  • FARO Shuffle
    Usually, the deck is split into two separate halves or 26 cards each, the short ends of each halve are butted together and then interlocked exact and evenly. Every single card is to be interlocked or weaved one after the other i.e. 1 card from the right side then the next card form the left side etc until the deck is exhausted and then you can finish with a bridge. Done in this fashion is usually referred to as a Perfect FARO. But, you can do a FARO and really only need the top 4 cards or bottom 6 cards etc., to be FARO’d perfectly.
  • Flushtration Count (Brother John Hamman
    Usually a count used to show four different cards as the same card while showing the back and front of seemingly every card as they are dealt to the table.  It can also be used to show 4 cards with four different back designs as four cards with the same backs.
  • Forton Pop Out Move (Piet Forton)
    A card pops out of the center of the deck.
  • Force
    To have a card “forced” onto a spectator without their immediate knowledge of you doing so.
  • Fourth Finger Brake
    To hold a separation between two halves of the deck, between any number of cards on top of the deck, on the bottom of the deck, in a packet of cards etc., by means of the fourth finger.

G

  • Gaff, Gaffs or Gaffed
    To have a card, deck or card box modified in such a way that it is perceived as in a normal ordinary state but, in actuality it is nothing like it is supposed to be.  As in the “Electric Deck”, it seems and looks like an ordinary deck of cards but it has been stuck together.
  • Ghost Count
    Counting or showing cards while actually hiding a card(s). (Same as Elmsley Count) Usually done with 4 cards, seemingly showing all for while hiding one card.
  • Glide
    To secretly draw back a card from the bottom of the deck, while the deck is being held in Biddle Grip and then secretly drawing out the card above the bottom card.
  • Glimpse
    To secretly get a glimpse or peek at a chosen card without anyone knowledge.
  • Greek Brake
    To hold a separation between two halves of the deck, between any number of cards on top of the deck, on the bottom of the deck, in a packet of cards etc., by means of the pad of the thumb.

H

  • Half Pass
    This move secretly reverses the bottom half of the deck.
  • Hamman Count (Bro. John Hamman)
    Usually, this display openly shows the faces of any number of cards (and the cards may be counted aloud) while hiding any number of cards. As in the “6 Card Repeat” effect, displaying 6 cards, removing one and you still have 6 cards over and over.
  • Haymow Shuffle
    This is a real shuffle that commonly gets confused as the Charlier False Shuffle. The deck is held face down, with both hands, the left hand pushes over some cards to the right hand, as in a spread.  The right hand takes the talon of cards and the hands separate and then the left hand pushes off some more cards and places them on top of the right hand packet. Now the hands separate again and the left hand pushes off some more cards and these are placed under the right hand cards, both of these actions are repeated until the deck is exhausted.

I

  • Index
    The index is the number indicator in the top Left and bottom right on the face of a card above the pip or suit.  For example, when you see a two of hearts in the corner of the face of a card the index is the number 2 and the pip is the suit directly below the number.
  • Indifferent
    The word indifferent, in card magic, is almost always followed by the word “card” and it means any other card other than the selected card(s).  Usually in reference during the explanation of an effect.
  • In FARO
    Usually means to do a FARO shuffle (see FARO Shuffle), and in the process of doing the FARO shuffle, the original top card is second from the top of the deck after the shuffle is complete.
  • Injog
    To have a card project out from the back side of the deck, towards yourself and usually secretly. A break can then usually be procured or the deck can be cut from above or below the selected card in order to control it where you want it to be.

J

  • Jiggle Pass
    The act of secretly cutting the deck while apparently toying with a messy deck and then squaring the deck.
  • Jog
    To have a card secretly or openly project out from the deck. The card can protrude from the right side, left side, back side or front side. (see Injog, Outjog, Side Jog)
  • Jonah Card
    The Jonah Card is a specific card that will make your hand a losing hand in a ten card poker demonstration.
    Once the ten cards are dealt (and they are specific) then whosoever holds the “Jonah” card in their hand WILL have the losing hand, no matter what.

K

  • Kane Count (Peter Kane)
    A four card display seemingly showing all four backs of the cards when in reality, the spectators only see the backs of the top two, believing they saw all four backs. This count also displaces the original cards i.e. the original order of the cards are 1, 2, 3, 4 and at the end of the count, the are in 2, 3, 1, 4 order.
  • K.M. Move (Kardryo/Ed Marlo)
    A move invented by Tony Kardyro and Ed Marlo, it is a way to vanish, change, or reverse cards during a double lift.

L

  • Larreverse (Larry Jennings)
    In the action of finding a reversed card in the center of the deck and placing it the proper facing direction in the deck, you secretly reverse another card unbeknown to the spectators.
  • Larry Jenning’s Add On
    Similar to Vernon’s Add On. A way of secretly adding card(s) to a packet of cards.

M

  • Menetekel Deck
    The Menetekel Deck is a gaffed deck that allows you to procure a double or duplicate of the freely selected card.
  • Milk Build Shuffle
    Used while executing an overhand shuffle. The top and bottom card are taken together on the first pull of the overhand shuffle.
  • Mnemonics
    A very loose translation would be the process of committing a sequence of cards or words to memory by associating images with those sequence of cards or words.  (look up Juan Tamariz or Harry Lorayne etc.)

N

  • Narrow Card
    A card that has been trimmed on the long sides.
  • Nudist Deck
    A Nudist Deck is a gaffed deck of cards that seems ordinary but can become all blank on the faces, then the backs then both and then back to a regular deck of cards.

O

  • Omega
    Is the last letter in the Greek alphabet and it means “The End”  or “Last”.  Some card magicians like to use the word Alpha and Omega in titles of effects and moves.
  • Out FARO
    Usually means to do a FARO shuffle (see FARO Shuffle), and in the process of doing the FARO shuffle, the original top card remains on top of the deck after the shuffle is complete.
  • OutJog
    To have a card project out from the front of the deck, towards the audience.  This is usually done openly and the cards are usually outjogged at least one half its length. As in procuring the four Aces before an effect.
  • Overhand Shuffle
    To shuffle the deck in the hands. The deck is perpendicular to the dealing hand at the base of the fingers as the other hand holds the deck. The dealing hands thumb will pull a few cards from the top of the deck down into its hand as the hands both move in opposite directions and separate. The non dealing hand, holding the rest of the deck, comes back to the dealing hand and places the cards in its hand in front of the packet that was just pulled onto the dealing hand and the action is repeated until the deck is exhausted.

P

  • Packet
    A packet of cards, can be 3 or more, usually more as in half of the deck.
  • Packet Switch
    To secretly switch 1 packet of cards for another.
  • Palm
    To secretly hide a card in the palm of the hand.
  • Pass
    To secretly cut the deck sometimes referred to as a shift.
  • Peek
    Usually used as a “Spectator Peek” means to hold the deck faces to the spectator and riffle, back towards yourself, the cards so a spectator can get a peek at a card. It also can mean for you to secretly get a glimpse or peek at a chosen card without anyone knowledge.
  • Pencil Mark
    The means of secretly marking a card, usually by the way of a pencil dot being added to the back of a specific card on the top left and bottom right of the card so it can be identified, secretly by the performer.
  • Perfect FARO
    The deck is split into two separate halves or 26 cards each, the short ends of each halve are butted together and then interlocked exact and evenly. Every single card is to be interlocked or weaved one after the other i.e. 1 card from the right side then the next card form the left side etc until the deck is exhausted and then you can finish with a bridge.
  • Picture Card
    The phrase “Picture Card” means the card(s) that have pictures instead of just suits on them as in the Jack, Queen and King of any suit.
  • Pip
    The pip is the suit indicator in the top Left and bottom right on the face of a card underneath the index or number.  For example, when you see a two of hearts in the corner of the face of a card the index is the number 2 and the pip is the suit directly below the number.
  • Push Off
    To literally push off any number of cards from either the top or bottom of the deck or a talon of cards so they overlap the cards beneath the pushed off packet.  It can also mean to secretly push off a block of cards.
  • Push Through Shuffle
    A false table riffle shuffle that leaves the deck completely intact after a seemingly complete riffle shuffle and single table cut.

R

  • Ribbon Spread Hide Out – Charles Nyquist
    To hide a reversed card when doing a full, wide table ribbon spread.
  • Riffle
    Usually to run your left thumb down the side of the deck as the cards riffle off the thumb.
  • Riffle Force
    To force a card with riffling the deck.
  • Rough and Smooth
    A gaff that is used to temporarily adhere cards.
  • Run Up Shuffle
    Usually used during an overhand shuffle to track and place specific cards in specific places.

S

  • Second Deal
    To secretly deal the second card from the deck, without causing any suspicion.
  • Short Card
    A card that has been trimmed on the short sides.
  • Sidejog
    To have a card project out from the side of the deck, usually secretly. A break can then usually be procured, you can steal it into a palm or the deck can be cut from above or below the selected card in order to control it where you want it to be.
  • Side Steal
    To secretly steal a card out of the side of the deck into a palm.
  • Slick Card
    A card that is actually slicker and more slippery than all of the other cards in the deck.
  • Spectator Peek
    Usually means to hold the deck faces to the spectator and riffle, back towards yourself, the cards. Now, in doing so, the spectator can get a peek at a card instead of selecting a card.
  • Split Back
    To have one card that has one half of it’s back consist of, let us say for example a blue back card and the other half to consist of, let us say for example a red back card.  Now the split can be diagonal, horizontal top half/bottom half or vertical left side/right side etc.  The card can also have half of a back and half of a face and so on.
  • Split Face
    To have one card that has one half of it’s face consist of, let us say for example the Ace of spades and the other half to consist of, let us say for example the King of Hearts.  Now the split can be diagonal, horizontal top half/bottom half or vertical left side/right side etc.  The card can also have half of a face and half of a back and so on.
  • Square, Squaring Up
    To correct a messy deck. Usually done on the table by squeezing the thumb and forefingers to the back corners of the deck, by tapping the deck on the table or in the hands by pushing the deck forward, back and side to side. Sometimes used as a ruse to subtly show that there are no steps or breaks being held.
  • Stacked Deck (Stocked)
    To have the deck set up in a specific order or a specific way that you need it to be.  To have a specific “Stock” of cards set up and in the deck.
  • Straddle FARO
    Usually means to start a FARO shuffle with 27 cards in one half and 25 cards in the other half and in the process of doing the FARO shuffle, you make sure that the top and bottom cards in the half containing 27 remain the top and bottom cards after the shuffle is complete.
  • Strip Out
    The action of removing up-jogged card(s) from the deck.
  • Stripper
    A deck of cards that has been modified or gaffed in such a way that a specific card or a multitude of cards may be “stripped” from the deck when cutting the deck.
  • Svengali Deck
    A deck of cards that has been modified or gaffed in such a way that the deck of cards may be displayed as all different cards or the deck can be displayed as all the same card.

T

  • Tall Card
    A card that is actually taller than all of the other cards in the deck.
  • Talon
    A talon is a packet of cards, can be 3 or more, usually more as in half of the deck.
  • Tenkai Palm
    A very specific placement of a secretly hid card in the palm of the hand.
  • Thick Card
    A card that is actually thicker than all of the other cards in the deck.
  • Thumb Brake
    To hold a separation between two halves of the deck, between any number of cards on top of the deck, on the bottom of the deck, in a packet of cards etc., by means of the thumb.
  • Top Card Cover Pass
    To execute a classic pass under the “cover” of the top card staying in place.
  • Triple Lift
    To take the top 3 cards of the deck as one.

U

  • Upjog
    To have a card project out from the front of the deck, towards the audience.  This is usually done openly and the cards are usually outjogged at least one half its length. As in procuring the four Aces before an effect.
  • Undercut
    To cut the bottom half of the deck to the top, instead of the regular way of cutting top to bottom.

V

  • Veeser Count (Bob Veeser)
    Similar to the Elmsley Count using a Biddle grip counting or showing cards while actually hiding a card(s).
  • Vernon Strip Out Addition
    Adding card(s) to a group of up-jogged cards during the strip out.

W

  • Waterfall
    To hold the entire deck in one hand and have the cards spring or fall from that hand into the other hand from a very far distance spread apart.
  • Weave Shuffle
    Same as Faro shuffle, during a shuffle or in the hands, the deck is split into two separate halves or 26 cards each, the short ends of each halve are butted together and then interlocked exact and evenly. Every single card is to be interlocked or weaved one after the other i.e. 1 card from the right side then the next card form the left side etc until the deck is exhausted and then you can finish with a bridge.
  • Wide Card
    A card that is actually wider than all of the other cards in the deck.

X

  • X Card
    X Card, “X” or jus x, in card magic, means ANY other card other than the selected card(s).  Usually in reference during the explanation of an effect.  i.e. ” The setup is Ace Top Card followed by x, x, then the selected card…”

Y

Z

  • Zarrow Shuffle
    A false riffle shuffle that leaves the deck almost intact except for the top cards. Although there are many versions that can be employed that actually leave the deck completely intact, Dai Vernon has a version that accomplishes this, as do many others.
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