Through the Fist Flourish
Through the Fist Flourish is a card flourish and a sleight.
As a flourish, it can be used to signal the "magic move" during a card routine. As a sleight, the card is secretly turned over.
The action is similar to a standard element of cigarette manipulation, which goes back to the 19th century, where a cigarette is pushed up through the the closed fist with the thumb as the hand turns from palm up to palm down. It has also been applied to knives, paddles, and business cards.
The move with cards is often credited to Dai Vernon, who may have popularized it, but no credit has ever been found it print.
- The Art of Magic by Downs/Hilliard (1909), The second method for the "Cards up the Sleeve" contains the actions of the Through the Fist Flourish to cause the appearance of the cards rising out of the left hand.
- March 1918 Thayer's Magical Bulletin, A Neat Card Move, credited to a Los Angeles magician named Konnor in which the mechanics are close to this move.
- Edward Marlo’s The Cardician (1953) Quick Sands (pp. 112-113) used the move to turn over the packet as it is pushed through the hand to apparently change the color of the backs from blue to red.
- Dai Vernon’s Ultimate Secrets of Card Magic (1967), The Changing of the Guard.
- Karl Fulves credited Vernon in Sam Schwartz’s Back Flip calling it “Vernon’s Twisting Move,” Epilogue N° 19, nov. 1973.
- Bob Walker’s Fisting the Aces in Jon Racherbaumer's lecture notes (1975).