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

Card Magic Tricks - One-Handed Cut Introduction

Wayne Kawamoto

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

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 pick up dropped cards. When you’re confident with the cut, remove the rubber bands and keep practicing.

Keep in mind, you don’t have to use the entire deck when you're learning. Instead, use half of a deck—or whatever amount is comfortable—so you can learn the moves and grow accustomed to the clearances and such.

Separate the Deck

To start, hold the deck of cards in your hand. Using your thumb, release the bottom half of the deck (B) and let it fall into your palm. Meanwhile, hold the upper half of the deck (A) using your thumb and fingers.

One-Handed Cut for Card Magic Tricks
Wayne Kawamoto

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.

One-Handed Cut for Card Magic Tricks
Wayne Kawamoto

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).

One-Handed Cut for Card Magic Tricks
Wayne Kawamoto

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.

One-Handed Cut for Card Magic Tricks
Wayne Kawamoto

Finish the Cut

At this point, 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.

One-Handed Cut for Card Magic Tricks
Wayne Kawamoto