Sunday, December 21, 2008

Card Magic - Terminology

In this section, I will list the important card magic terminology that a cardician uses in their language. I will update this section often if I have the time and feel free to drop by if you are a magician. I hope this section will somewhat help you in your exploration of the magic art and any feedback is much appreciated.

Act -- The collected tricks and routines that you present at a single seating or performance.

Break -- A break is a small space between two cards, or two sections of cards in a deck. The function of the break is to control or locate card.

Clean -- As used by magicians, a method or technique is clean if it's straightforward without complicated distractions or free of gimmicks. A trick finishes clean if everything (including your hands) can be examined at the end.

Close-Up Trick -- Any trick that can be performed at close quarters to an audience. Coin and card tricks are generally regarded as Close-Up tricks.

Court Card -- Also called as a royal card, picture card or face card in a deck of playing cards: a Jack, a Queen, a King of any suit.

Cut, Complete the Cut -- To magicians, a cut consists of removing the upper portion of cards from the deck and setting them beside the lower portion of the deck. The cut is completed by placing the lower portion of the deck on top of the cut-off portion.

Double Lift -- This is very well-known to most magicians. The idea is you show the top card as one but in reality, you are actually flip the top two cards as one. Normally, a fingerbreak is held between the two top cards before the sleight is executed.

Double Undercut -- To control a selected card to the top or bottom of the deck.

Effect -- What you intend your addience to perceive when they watch a magic trick performed.

Face Card -- The face card is the bottom or lowermost card of a face-down deck or packet of cards, so called because its face can be seen. Court cards (Jacks, Queens, Kings) are also referred to as face cards.

False Cut -- A deck is cut several time and the deck still retained in the same order.

False Shuffle -- A shuffle that leaves the deck in the same order.

Free Choice -- Legimately free selection of a playing card from a deck.

Gimmick -- Gimmick or "gaff", is a secret device that's been specially prepared to allow you to accomplish a magic trick.

Glide -- This sleight has been used in many card tricks. The idea is to show the bottom card to the spectator and unknowingly to the spectator, you actually deal the second card from the bottom of the deck to the table.

Glimpse -- It is a technique to note a card secretly during the deck is held or shuffling the pack.

Handling -- The moves, methods, and techniques (not limited to hand movements) used to achieve magic effect.

Jog -- A playing card is said to be jogged when one of its edges is deliberately extended out of the deck, usually a quarter or an inch. An out-jog protrudes from the outer or front side of the deck; an in-jog sticks out of the inner or back side; a side-jog protrudes from either side of the pack.

Key Card -- A card that is used as a "locator."

Legerdemain -- A French term for magic of the hands or sleight of hand.

Misdirection -- Distracting the audience's attention from one place to another during crucial portions of the magic presentation.

Palming -- A method of concealing a card(s).

Patter -- It is a presentation or talk that a magician uses in presenting their magic or trick.

Ribbon Spread -- A long, ribbon-like display of playing cards on a table, or the move to produce such a spread.

Self-Working Tricks -- Tricks that don't require sleight of hand.

Switch -- It is a move in which an object is secretly substitued for another.

Andrew Loh

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