Learn How to Perform the One-Handed Cut for Card Magic Tricks

  • 01 of 06

    Card Magic Tricks - One-Handed Cut Introduction

    Card Magic Tricks - One-Handed Cut Introduction.

    The one-handed cut allows you to hold a deck in your hand, break it apart into two halves and exchange their positions. It’s a flashy card move that will augment your card magic tricks. The one-handed cut is also known as the Charlier cut.

    You can watch a video of the one-handed cut in slow motion and real time here.

    Tip: When learning the one-hand cut, separate the deck into two parts and hold the segments together using rubber bands. This allows you to learn the move without having to constantly...MORE pick up dropped cards. When you’re confident with the cut, remove the rubberbands and keep practicing. Also, when learning, you don’t have to use the entire deck. Simply use half of a deck or whatever amount is comfortable so you can learn the moves and grow accustomed to the clearances and such.

    It probably helps to have a deck in your hand and follow along with the step-by-step instructions.

    To perform the cut:

    Hold the deck in your hand.

    Note: Since I’m right-handed, I generally hold the deck with my left hand and deal cards with my right hand. As a result, I perform the one-handed cut in my left hand where I’m already holding the cards.

    Continue to 2 of 6 below.
  • 02 of 06

    Card Magic Tricks, One-Handed Cut - Separate the Deck

    Card Magic Tricks, One-Handed Cut - Separate the Deck.
    Using your thumb, release the bottom-half of the deck (B) and let if fall into your palm. Meanwhile, hold the upper-half of the deck (A) using your thumb and fingers.
    Continue to 3 of 6 below.
  • 03 of 06

    Card Magic Tricks, One-Handed Cut - Raise the Bottom Half

    Card Magic Tricks, One-Handed Cut - Raise the Bottom Half.
    Using your middle finger, push the lower-half (B) of the deck up, pivoting it on its long edge against your hand.

    (Unfortunately, in this shot, you can’t see the middle finger, but you can in the next shot.)

    Continue to 4 of 6 below.
  • 04 of 06

    Card Magic Tricks, One-Handed Cut - Clear the Bottom Half

    Card Magic Tricks, One-Handed Cut - Clear the Bottom Half.
    Continue to push the half of deck (B) with your middle finger until it’s standing on its edge and “clears’ the upper-half (A) of the deck.

    Notice the middle finger pushing the lower-half of the deck (B).

    Continue to 5 of 6 below.
  • 05 of 06

    Card Magic Tricks, One-Handed Cut - Drop the Upper Half

    Card Magic Tricks, One-Handed Cut - Drop the Upper Half.
    Once the lower-half (B) “clears” the upper-half (A), allow the upper-half (A) to simply fall into your palm.
    Continue to 6 of 6 below.
  • 06 of 06

    Card Magic Tricks, One-Handed Cut - Finish the Cut

    Card Magic Tricks, One-Handed Cut - Finish the Cut.
    At this point, you can simply use your thumb to release the original lower-half (B) onto the upper-half (A). The top and bottom halves of the deck have exchanged positions.

    You’re left with the deck in your hand as you were when you started the one-handed cut.