12 Essential Sleight of Hand Moves
What is sleight of hand? What is a sleight? It's a secret move. Sleight of hand refers to the manual dexterity that magicians use to deceive their audiences. In the world of card magic, it's things like palming cards, false cuts, double turnovers, a false overhand shuffle with playing cards and other legerdemain. Card magicians or sleight of hand artists like Alex Elmsley had moves named after them, like the Elmsley Count. Sure, there are easy card tricks you can learn, but after that, you want to step up your magic tricks that's when learning sleight of hand comes into play. For some of these, like the Cross Cut Force (below) you'll need a card table, but for most you just need a deck of playing cards and your hands. Learning sleight of hand moves takes a lot of work and practice, but can pay off in the long run with amazing tricks. “Sleights” are the individual moves that are used to deceive the audience. Starting to learn sleight of hand can be pretty overwhelming, and it can be hard to know where to start.
There are thousands of different moves in magic. Some are hard, some are easy, some are knacky, some are self-working. Which ones should you learn? Well… There’s no one answer. There is no “best” move. Sleights are tools, and it’s important to have the right tool for the job. If you wanted to hang a painting, you probably wouldn’t use a jackhammer. (At least we hope not!) All that being said, here is a good list of tools that we believe should be in your tool belt. This is not a meant to be a comprehensive list, but instead should be a thought of as a list of essentials that you can always come back to. It may not be the best way to start leaning magic tricks, but it's a great start.
If you want to learn magic tricks, all of these moves as well as plenty more can be found in classic magic books like the Card College series, The Royal Road To Card Magic, and Revolutionary Card Technique. The important thing is to understand which sleight to do in which situation. This means understanding things like angles and timing, as well things that are harder to describe, like the feel of the move or the context its used in.