Card tricks have long been a fan favourite in the close-up magic world. From simply identifying a card shuffled back into a 52-card deck to incredible displays of preparation and suggestion like pulling the correct card from a freshly-cut piece of fruit, card magic has delighted audiences around the world for generations. There are so many different aspects to close-up card magic, depending on how you want to hide, mark, or reveal the card in question. Here’s a quick examination on some of the features of close-up card magic, and what function they perform:

Lifts and Passes

Lifting a card is the initial action of removing one from the deck to show the audience. This is usually the set up for the “is this your card?” reveal at the end. Passes are the process of returning the card to the deck but using sleight of hand or misdirection to place the card somewhere other than where the audience believes you placed it.


Palming is when a close-up magician will keep a secret playing card hidden in the cupped palm of their hand. This is used to hide duplicates or the chosen card to set up a reveal later!

False Deals, Shuffles, and Cuts

False dealing is mimicking the act of dealing a deck of cards, but with the added twist that the magician knows the locations of all or some of them. One type of false dealing is bottom dealing, where the cards drawn from the bottom of the deck are known to the dealer. False shuffles make the audience believe that the deck is being shuffled into a random order, when in fact the order is known. Likewise, false cuts are there to make the audience believe that a cut has been done in a random place in the deck, but the magician knows exactly where he’s cutting, so you get the right card!

Crimping, Jogs, and Side Slips

To crimp a card means to slightly bend, nick, or damage it in some way that is small enough to go unnoticed by others but that you can look for yourself. This is a common method of ensuring the magician is able to locate your card after a shuffle. Jogging is the method of leaving a card slightly poking out of the deck to make it easier to find quickly, while side slipping is used to bring a card to the top of the deck.

Most complex close-up card tricks utilise these basic fundamentals! If you can master these aspects, then you’re well on your way to becoming an incredible magician! For the best wedding magician Manchester has to offer, book me today! With over 20 years’ experience, I can bring a magical touch to your event.