The overhand shuffle is a way that magicians shuffle or mix up a pack of cards when doing card tricks. The overhand shuffle is considered a good beginners shuffle as it is easy to learn. The overhand shuffle looks natural and many laymen (non magic audience members) also use this method for mixing playing cards.
The overhand shuffle may look innocent however this shuffle has many variations where the card magician can control certain cards in the pack.
A card may be chosen during a simple card trick and returned to the deck. The magician may use the overhand shuffle to control the position of the selected card without the audience knowing, this is called card control.
This is my favourite shuffle when I am doing card tricks as it looks natural and does not raise suspicion. If a magician shuffles cards in an impressive way the audience may presume that expert slight of hand makes the card magic work. If a regular overhand shuffle is used however, the audience are more likely left feeling they have seen real magic.
Learn The Overhand Shuffle
Hold the playing cards in the right hand with the faces of the cards facing into the palm of the right hand. (if you are left handed please mirror these instructions)
- your thumb is in the middle of the short end of the cards.
- Finger 1 (Index Finger) rests on the top, long edge of the cards.
- Fingers 2, 3 and 4 rest along the furthest short edge of the cards opposite your thumb.
the cards are now shuffled, from the position mentioned above, into the waiting right hand using the right hand thumb to peel the cards off. The left hand acts like a crab pincer to grip either single or groups of cards as they are shuffled off.
The overhand shuffle should be practiced and perfected as all card controls that follow require that you have this shuffle well under control. This may seem like a simple lesson but it is an important foundation for your card tricks that we will be learning so take the time to practice the overhand shuffle to get it smooth.