Card Magic Beginner

Dec 9, 2018
I'm not totally beginner. I know some moves. But I want to reach a level to take the title a pro magician. I want to start from the very beginning although I know some moves.
So, what do you suggest for me to start with to become intermediate then to become advanced in card magic?

I think that there are some tecniques if learnned you become a card magician..


Elite Member
Sep 13, 2008
Warning, long post ahead -

"Pro magician" means someone who makes their living via magic, generally performing it though there are other ways to be a professional magician. I have seen several performers who, if I'm being brutally honest, were not actually very good performers but they were good at selling their shows.

I personally avoid labels like "intermediate" and "professional" or "expert" because they're not really relevant. There's no standards to meet, there's no board of judges to decide that someone executes a move or trick "correctly".

Here's my suggestion - and remember, I'm just some dude on the internet so I'm not trying to be an authority here -

First you need to figure out what kind of card magician you want to be. I generally split them into two simple categories - Mechanic and magician.

A mechanic is someone who focuses on sleight of hand with cards, usually with a gambling theme. These performers make no pretense of "magic" in their performances, they are completely up front about it being a pure display of skill. Often times they'll even give the names of the moves they are doing or have done. For example, they might do an expose of false dealing techniques -
- the thing about mechanics is they are restricted to things that are "real" in the sense that they can't make an extraordinary claims, it has to be something that can be explained via the actual physical skills they have developed.

A magician will embrace the pretense of "magic". Meaning they are going to do things that seem not to be physically possible. Card to impossible location, torn and restored cards, and so on. Magicians are not restricted in their claims, though it is good to make consistent claims for the audience's clarity.

Once you have decided whether you want to go the physical skill route, or the magical route, then you know what you need to focus on as far as performances down the road.

Learning 'the basics' is important. You can take a couple routes. The "easiest" is probably the first two or three volumes of Roberto Giobbi's "Card College" series. I say easiest because Giobbi does explain things very well, and because it's all his material it's consistent in how it's taught. Alternatively you can go with books like The Royal Road to Card Magic and Expert Card Technique and study those instead. They're cheaper, but the teaching is not as consistent and clear as Giobbi's.

Now - here's the part that's going to stop most people - whichever you choose, really study it. Practice, with purpose, regularly. It took me 8 months to work through Royal Road to Card Magic, which is only 242 pages with lots of pictures. You should be proficient in any given sleight before moving on to the next one.

Once you've learned the basics in isolation you can work on tricks. Most books will have tricks dotted throughout the teaching so you can use the sleights you've learned in context, but other than just working through them I think it's better to focus on the sleights until you're proficient with those and then go back to the tricks that stood out to you.

It shouldn't take as long to get proficient with 2-5 tricks. When I say proficient I mean you should be able to perform the trick or sequence of tricks from start to finish without stumbling over any scripting lines and without thinking about what you need to do next. A good rule of thumb I use is that there should be times in practice when you think, "Wait. Did I do the move or did I just think about it?" And then you realize you did do the move without thinking about it at all. The goal is not to be able to do the trick(s) without messing up, but to do the trick(s) until you almost can't mess them up.

And here's the second part that hangs a lot of people up - go find audiences and perform those tricks. You will never become a good performer without "flight time" as they call it. There's no shortcut there. You have to get out and perform to as many audiences as you can, then reflect on the performance - what went right? What went wrong? What can you improve?

Realistically going from no experience as a performer to being skilled enough to be able to earn a living will take years. Don't let the timeline discourage you, just do the work.
Jun 3, 2020
I agree with everything said above and just for the heck of it I'll add... I feel that the better you get, the less you care about labels like beginner, intermediate, etc.
2 years ago I was trying so hard to get to what I felt was the next level and the funny thing is, when I got there I didn't realize it because I had a completely different understanding, different goals, a different outlook on card magic.
Also when I got there, I actually started viewing myself more as a beginner than anything else because there was a whole lot more I wanted to learn and enjoying the ride is what it's all about for me.
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