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Charlier Cut

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The Charlier Cut or One Hand Cut is a method for cutting a deck of cards with only one hand. It is usually considered a Flourish rather than a card trick because there is no particular secret to doing it: all movements made are in free view of the spectator and there is no doubt as to how it has been performed. It can be used to to openly control a card.

It is sometimes improperly referred to as the Charlier Pass, but if you want to know how to use it as a Pass, see The Hierophant, Vol. 3, No. 3, 1970, page 136, Marlo on the Charlier Pass.

You can also use it for a very beautiful force. See What's New in Magic? compiled by Walter Gibson in 1956.


To perform a Charlier Cut:

  • Hold the deck with the thumb in the middle of one of the longer sides, the other three fingers on the opposite long side, and the little finger at the bottom. Hold the deck near to the ends of the fingers, a long way out from the palm of the hand. Make sure that the deck is angled in such a way that the edge held by the 3 fingers is lower than the edge held by the thumb.
  • By angling your thumb slightly, allow a "packet" of cards to fall from the bottom of the deck into your palm of your hand.
  • Remove the middle finger from its position on the lengthwise side of the deck and move it downwards and inwards to where it can push the furthest edge of the "packet" that just dropped into your palm.
  • Use the middle finger to push the edge of the dropped packet upwards. (In doing this it should be gliding against the bottom of the main deck.)
  • Continue doing this until the edge is higher than that of the main deck. The main deck will then fall down onto the upper half of the hand, and the dropped section will fall on top of it - the deck has been cut. Allow this to happen by removing your middle finger or thumb grip if necessary. Alternatively you can have your thumb completely let go of the former top part, and let that top part rest on your middle finger nail instead. Then you slowly pull your middle finger back (with top part still sitting on it), and once the top has cleared the bottom, you gently fold your middle finger, guiding it below the former bottom.


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