The fabulous magician, manipulator, and historian Levent writes:

“Here’s a great film of the amazing French magician Jean Valton in 1964. He was a math teacher who, during the German occupation of France, spent five years smoking cigarettes and practicing card manipulations. He won first prize in Manipulation at the very first FISM convention (Fédération Internationale des Sociétés Magiques: The World Championships of Magic) held in 1948 in Lausanne, Switzerland. A lot of what he is doing is Cardistry before there was such a thing. And the manipulation sequences are superb.”

You can read more about Valton in an article by Jamy Ian Swiss at Magicana:

Shawn Pham has been lurking on the periphery of social media since 2013, but he’s finally arrived on the YouTube scene with an absolutely killer cardistry vid.

And that’s really all that needs to be said. Pham is working in a heavily saturated field, but he’s clearly got the cardistry chops to stand out. 

We’ll certainly be keeping an eye on him here at GeniiOnline, but be sure to follow him on YouTube. 

Grab your scarves, flat-top sunglasses and a deck of cards, folks. It’s time to head into the local forest for some cardistry.*

Today’s tutorial comes courtesy of cardistry practitioner, magician, and YouTuber Ekaterina. In just 10 minutes she’ll teach you how to perform Kevin Ho’s impressive Damn Straight move. The move is complex, but not overly difficult, relying more on finger strength to maintain card positions rather than balance or timing. It’s a great place to start once you’ve learned the basic grips. 

Oh, and before you ask: Those are Launch Edition Virtuosos she’s using. They’re very hard, if not impossible, to get your hands on these days, and have been seen in the wild at prices up to $200. If you want the same performance, I think the 2017 Fall/Winter variants are easier on the eyes and wallet.  

*Muted color filters and royalty-free chillstep not included

Did the new NDO Broken Borders playing card deck catch your eye? Yes? Then you may want to brush up your moves with the latest tutorial videos from School Of Cardistry. This educational YouTube channel, also made by NDO, posts new tutorials for free every week, and the two most recent videos show options for different two-handed cuts.

The top one features Birger Karlsson teaching his Namnlos move. You’ll need to be comfortable with the Pivot move to master his cut. The video below is the flashy-looking Sigmatoss as taught by Matthew Beaudouin. That one lists the Charlier Cut as a prerequisite. (Don’t fret if you need to brush up on your Pivot or Charlier; there are tutorials for those as well.)

If you find you get a lot out of School Of Cardistry channel, then consider throwing a few bucks towards the NDO Patreon. Subscribers get perks such as access to discussion groups and exclusive videos.

Designed by sleight-of-hand artist, magician, and “young entrepreneur” Noah White, the Seraphim deck is an exercise in monochrome minimalism that, unfortunately, only ships within the US. The deck’s Kickstarter campaign is looking for US$7,500.

The Seraphim card backs have a sleek, one-way design which produces some fantastic effects during flourishes and fans, as demonstrated by White himself in the video above. The fronts are standard, save for a winged Ace of Spades and a pair of red and gray jokers that add a splash of color.

The deck will be printed by the United States Playing Card Company on thin crushed stock and comes with a few extra features for you magician types. There’s a duplicate Jack of Spades, a two of diamonds mark on the tuck flap and the cards come in Mnemonica order. On the subject of the tuck box, it’s been tweaked since White shot the promo video. The new design features a black box with a white logo and looks very fine indeed. 

The Seraphim Luxury Playing Cards Kickstarter will run through to April 19th. The lowest pledge tier that earns you a deck is $12 plus $5 shipping. Uncut sheets will be made available if the Kickstarter reaches a stretch goal of $8,000. 

Diva Playing Cards is an upcoming deck with one goal in mind, making your cardistry flourishes as eye-popping as possible. Okay, it also has a Kickstarter goal of, like, eight-and-a-half grand, but it’s mostly just the eye-popping thing. 

Launched on Saturday by designer, UI developer, and cardistry enthusiast Alex Matencio, the Diva Kickstarter is already just shy of half way to its US$8,590 goal with 90+ backers thus far.  

Matencio’s background UI is a pretty obvious influence on Diva. The deck design is strongly reminiscent of the “material design” design language used by the likes of Google and Microsoft, but also draws from Parisian street art and even classic sculpture  Featuring bold colors, sharp squares and precision curves in an exact grid layout, the card backs are organized chaos and really pop from a distance. The royals and aces use the same principles to make shapes that are abstract, but instantly recognizable. The pips on the number cards are tight and centered, giving the fronts a lot of white space for contrast against the colorful backs.  

Similar attention to detail is employed in the printing. Assuming the deck reaches its Kickstarter goal (which is more than likely), it’ll be printed on B9 True Linen Finish by Cartamundi. A stretch goal of roughly $11,000 will unlock a fancier Touch finish. The deck will also come in a matte tuck case.  

The Diva Kickstarter ends on April 17th. The cheapest pledge that includes a deck is about $13 plus shipping. A pledge of $20 will get you an uncut sheet, but no regular deck.   

We see a lot of custom-designed cards here at GeniiOnline, but decks built for cardistry aren’t always the right choice for illusionists, no matter how cool they look. Magician and graphic designer Patrick Kun took those design sensibilities and added some magical utility with his Mirage playing cards – and now they come in black.

The Eclipse variant of the Mirage deck features the same distinct swirl pattern and crosshatching background as the pink Dawn or gray-green Dusk cards, but comes in an elegant and striking black and white arrangement. They’re also printed on a different cardstock than the previous two editions of Eclipse, as Kun worked directly with Legends Playing Cards to print the cards on special “Cardistry” paper from Taiwan. You can take a look at the design and build for yourself in the unboxing video below.

While the spiral design makes these cards perfect for making your favorite cardistry maneuvers pop, they’ve also got a few secrets to help keep you one step ahead with your tricks. For one, they’re marked – no telling exactly how, but each deck comes with a secret link inside the box that reveals the method. They also come pre-shuffled in Juan Tamariz’s Mnemonica stack, so you can do sealed deck tricks right when your deck arrives.

If you’re interested in picking up your own deck, you can snag one from Art of Play or directly from Patrick Kun’s website for $10 (plus shipping). They’re limited to a run of just 5000 decks, so get your order in now because like the previous variants, they will sell out.

Is the glass half empty or half full? Doesn’t matter, you can always get another beer, but you won’t be able to get another deck of Bicycle’s Craft Beer playing cards when this limited run gets snapped up by thirsty punters.

The deck is dedicated to fifty three of America’s finest (or “least awful,” if you’re European) local breweries and includes offerings from Uinta Brewing, Valley Vineyards, Gun Hill and, uh, “Ass Clown Brewing Company,” the logo of which adorns the Joker, of course.

The cards are printed on premium cardstock complete with the usual Air-Cushion finish and will run you a smooth $3.99 for a single deck or $21.54 for a case of six. Bicycle would also like to remind you to drink responsibly, presumably so you don’t end up playing 52 card pickup with your fancy new deck. 

If you’ve been eyeing that deck of Memento Mori cards and haven’t quite been able to pull the trigger, now might be the time to do it. Online magic retailer 52Kards just launched a 48-hour flash sale that’ll get you 20% off a handful of some of the store’s most popular goodies.

The sale page over at 52Kards lists 14 different items, offering a nice mix of beautiful decks perfect for cardistry,  like these Banshees for card throwing ($9.58, normally $11.97), or the elegant geometric lines of Tangram ($7.96, normally $9.95). Or fill out your repertoire with some new tricks or gimmicks, like Real Man’s Wallet, a fully-functional billfold that hides a few secrets of its own ($31.97, normally $39.97), or Cold Case, a deck switcher that comes with 10 original routines with over three hours of instruction ($31.96, normally $39.95)

If any these catch your fancy, make sure you act fast: this flash sale starts now and lasts until March 1 at 9am PST. 

There are loads of resources out there for aspiring cardists to learn moves and flourishes. But what if the deck itself could help hone your skills? That’s the premise behind the Technique Playing Cards. With this clever deck, designed by Chris Severson, the colors aren’t just for show.

The different colors on the card backs represent different possible contact points, and the color placement varies across all 52 cards. “Each time you break off a new packet, you reveal a new back design and also a new location for your chosen color,” Severson explains in the description of the deck. By only connecting at one color point, the cardist is put into new positions and can create new movements with the deck.

Technique Playing Cards spent two years in the making, and have been on the market for a few months. The deck is available from many magic purveyors. (We noticed them thanks to this Instagram post from Art of Play.) Anybody already own some? Let us know if you’re having any luck improving your flourishes.