– Have you ever wanted to throw playing cards like Gambit from the X-Men? (hip hop music) Or chop fruit in half like a ninja? (hip hop music) Or use playing cards as weapons? (hip hop music) Well, stay tuned, because today, you’re going to learn how to throw a playing card. We’re going to be looking at two different techniques, and focusing on three major points when throwing playing cards, including accuracy, speed, there we go, and technique. But before we get into that, we’re going to learn a little bit about the history of playing card throwing, and where it was popularized.
Let’s look at that now. Card throwing has been around for a long time. Some believe that it originated in the 1800s with Alexander Herman, who was a fantastic magician, and he would incorporate this in his live stage shows. Now, the cards that they used back then were a lot heavier, but he would accurately throw them to an audience member and it would land on their lap. Howard Thurston then also used to perform that in his stage shows, and would whip a card from one end of the theater all the way to the other end, would smack the back of the wall.
There’s a great book on Howard Thurston that I’ve read by Jim Steinmeyer. You can check out the link below, I’ll leave that for you, so you guys can do your research. Achieving accuracy, distance, and force with the card requires giving it both lateral speed and angular momentum.
The spins creates a gyroscopic stabilization so that the card’s flat profile remains mostly parallel to the direction of travel, and thus suffers the least possible air resistance. In other words, it’s thrown flat and spins and moves forward. Teachings of card throwing is actually in the book, Cards As Weapons, by Ricky Jay. This book here. Don’t go looking for the hard copy.
I actually took the cover off because I wanted to conserve it. This on Ebay, probably going for about $1,200 dollars if you can find it. But, there are paperback editions available. You can probably find a PDF somewhere, I don’t know. But, inside this book, there are very, very interesting things. This is a book mainly popularized because of its title, Cards As Weapons, which created this big myth, can cards be used to actually kill people?
That was actually later debunked by the show, Mythbusters, but this book was just kind of a satirical look at using playing cards as weapons. At the most, you can probably pierce flesh and draw a little bit of blood, but in this book, as you can see, there are multiple techniques that he teaches. I will be looking at a technique used by Howard Thurston.
I believe this is also the technique that Ricky Smith Jr. uses. He is actually the Guinness World Book of Records holder for the speed, I think it’s like 95 miles an hour, something like that, and also the distance. Ricky Jay is also well known for his card throwing and has been seen on many, many late night TV shows in the past. Throwing cards into watermelons, etcetera. The other technique that I’m gonna be showing you is a basic variation of more of a flourish. This is something I’ve been doing for a long time, and the only history I could find on it are Dan and Dave Buck, who’ve put in something called, I think they taught this, which is called The Flick, no, Click, that’s it.
The Click toss, which is tossing a card in the air, but if you actually use it with the momentum of a pitch, you could actually get the card to sore at a pretty ridiculous speed and pretty accurately as well. Those are the techniques that we’re going to be looking into, so thank you for being patient and checking out a little bit of the history of card throwing, now let’s get into learning how to throw these cards. Alright, so the first technique we’re gonna be looking at is the Thurston grip.
The Thurston grip is taught within Cards As Weapons, and we’re gonna look at a detailed video on how to achieve accuracy and strength. This is the technique that I use when I toss cards, when I throw cards, when I wanna chop things, when I wanna really wail them at people, pedestrians, children mostly, animals sometimes. This is the technique that I use. So, basically, you wanna hold the cards in this grip here. Now, what you’re going to do, so if you’re holding it face down, you’re gonna hold the corner that has no pip in-between your index and middle finger, and you’re gonna curl them into your hand, just like I’m doing here. Using your arm, so, basically just like a pitcher throws a ball, where they’ll move their foot out and they’ll throw like this, is basically what you’re gonna be doing with this.
Now, you’re gonna start here, and as you cock back and turn your whole body, your whole arm is going to act as a whip. Now, if you can do this, remember this? People do this all the time?
Whip, whip. Don’t wanna do this in your room when your mom’s listening. But, basically this here is that whipping motion, but you wanna get the arm into that, right? So, you’re turning your body, and just like a whip is releasing, you’re gonna get that whap whip way down. Now, at first, just start small.
At first, grab the cards and just see if you can just sore them to get an idea of the physics of throwing a card, because it’s much like a Frisbee, it has to sore sideways. A lot of times you’re gonna throw, it’s just gonna flutter in the air and fall down. So, what you wanna do is practice on just getting the cards to sore. And after you’re more comfortable with it, that’s when you’re really gonna (snap) start wailing it. Let’s see how this technique does on the card target. Alright, here we go.
We’re gonna try to his the bullseye. We’re just gonna try to get it on target, and get it to stick inside the Styrofoam. It’s pretty thick Styrofoam, so we’ll see what happens. (snapping) Ooh, I hit the middle.
That basically is the Thurston technique, which is really launching it forward. As you can see, the accuracy isn’t all great, but I mean, I tried my best. Next up, we’re gonna look at the Click grip. The Click grip is something a lot funner, because you’re not so much gonna break your arm throwing cards, and it’s also a bit of a flourish where you can just toss cards up and these can go boom, up to the ceiling, 20 feet high, and come all the way back down in sort of a boomerang fashion.
I believe this is taught by Dan and Dave, something I’ve been doing for a while, but this definitely a cool little flourish, but if you incorporate it into a card throwing technique, it becomes really interesting, because you’re getting a crazy spin momentum on the card. You’re gonna be able to throw these very accurately, and the spin will actually create a greater impact, because there’s more of a g-force happening when it hits the target. It kinda looks like this. Same action with the whipping, just like that. That is the Click technique. Let’s see how this technique does on a target.
Now, we’re gonna look at the Click, Flick technique, which I think was originated by Dan and Dave, which is basically taking a card and throwing it up, catching it back, and it sort of boomerangs it’s way back to you, just like this, but if you angle it downwards, you can actually throw it, and if you incorporate that whipping motion, you can just doubly get it to fly. So, we’ll see if we can hit it on target and get it to stick. Might be a little bit more difficult, but we’ll check it out. So again, you wanna use this whipping technique. Boom. It doesn’t take as much arm strength, because most of it is happening from the flicking motion of your fingers, as you fingers sort of do that flick.
Now, if you want to, you don’t have have to throw it as hard as I’m throwing it. If you just wanna practice accuracy. Do that, got it? Trying to get that 100.
Right, or you can use the other technique as I mentioned to just slowly throw it on target, which will really practice your accuracy. If you want it to stick. If you want it to stick. If you want it to stick. You know what, we’re gonna use a different technique, because we want it to stick. There we go, got it.
So, those are the two techniques, hope you enjoyed that. Guys, thanks so much for tuning in. Thanks for watching this tutorial. I hope you enjoyed it, and I hope you learned something out of this.
There are many, many techniques on how to throw playing cards. Different people use different techniques. I’ve seen a lot of techniques using rubber bands as well, if you’re not so skilled with your dexterity or don’t wanna give it the practice, you can always rely on that, but I think there’s something innately cool about being able to just grab a deck of cards and use them as weapons, like literally, you can cut someone.
So, I hope you enjoyed that. Keep practicing. Please be safe when practicing. Don’t throw it directly at people, ’cause you can hit them in the face, in the eye. If you’re gonna do that, just tell them to wear goggles or something. Practice, be safe, those are the major keys, and don’t overdo it.
I’ve developed tennis elbow. My arm is like inflamed right now. So, do take breaks, do some exercises and stretches prior or afterwards.
That should help out loads, but regardless, if you enjoyed this video, go ahead and leave a like and a comment below. Share this with your friends, maybe teach them in the process, and we’ll see you guys on the next video, alright? Peace. Oh, and one more thing before I go, obviously.
On the last vlog, I promised you guys three prizes. So, I’ve chosen three people at random who’ve commented on the last video to receive a signed deck of cards as well as the play button sticker for your laptop. Those names I left in the description below, so check them out. Congratulations to those of you that have won. I will be verifying your account if you claim you are a winner, to make sure that you are the person you say you are, so don’t try anything sneaky.
That being said, I wanted to take a second to thank all of you. YouTube is everything for me right now, I love it so much. I love creating on YouTube, and I love being a creator, and I’m nothing without the support that I have. So, really, any success that I have is because of you, and I wanted you guys to know that, and a lot of you on the last video, I just kind of asked you, let me know what you thought of the vlog, and it was a vlog that had absolutely no magic, and to my stunned surprise, the comments were pouring in and they were positive, saying how much you guys enjoyed the content even though there was no magic, and how much it’s refreshing, and you would follow me no matter what, and those types of things really, really meant a lot to me, and I couldn’t believe… As a magician, I’ve been putting a lot of things on social media, and for the most part, if it doesn’t have a deck of cards in it, and if it’s not the latest magic trick, no one cares in the magic industry. Rightfully so, I think you’re following people for whatever reasons you wanna follow them, but for you guys to show me the support even though there was no magic means a lot. It really means that on some level, I’m doing something right, and I’m connecting with you guys, and you guys can appreciate my channel for what it is, and that means a lot to me.
So, I wanted to take a second to really thank you guys for that. Sincerely, thanks. We’ll see you on the next video. (hip hop music)