Back and Front Hand Palming


Performer takes a card or several cards between his thumb and fingers. With a slight wave of the hand, cards disappear. Magician turns his hand over and shows that they are not on the back. He continues to show back and front of hand empty, then suddenly produces the cards at his finger-tips.

Start with a single card. After you have become proficient with one, try two, three, and as many as you can handle.

Turn left side toward audience. Hold right hand out from body. Place a card in right hand between thumb and finger-tips, Figure 1.

To Perform:


Bring first finger over upper edge of card and little finger over lower edge, Figure 2. Curl second and third fingers under back of card and release thumb from card, Figure 3.

Straighten second and third fingers and card is brought automatically to back of hand, Figure 4.

Figure 5 shows view away from audience. Card is held on back of hand, clipped between first and second fingers and between third and fourth fingers at about the first joints.

To bring card back to front of hand, curl fingers in toward palm and place thumb on front of card, see Figure 6.

Hold card securely gripped and move fourth and first fingers along the edges almost up to the corners, Figure 7.

Straighten second and third fingers and with tips of these fingers push card down well into palm of hand, Figure 8.

Figure 9 shows how card is held in palm. It is pressed against base of thumb and is clipped at outer corners between first and second and between third and fourth fingers.

To get card from this position to back of hand again, push up on card with base of thumb, Figure 10.

Figure 9 shows how card is held in palm. It is pressed against base of thumb and is clipped at outer corners between first and second and between third and fourth fingers.

Palming Cards

Curl fingers inward toward palm, keeping fourth and first fingers well over the card, Figure 11. Straighten hand out and card is pivoted to back of hand again, Figure 12.


Now, you must learn how to turn your hand in Back and Front Hand Palming to show it empty. The card must be concealed as you turn your hand, and this is the way you do it:

You have turned the card over onto the back of your hand, and you show empty palm, Figure 13.

Turn hand toward the front, bending fingers slightly in toward palm, Figure 14.

Continue turning hand. As it comes to position shown in Figure 15, card comes into horizontal position and is thus screened from audience.

Figure 16 shows how card is held as hand turns. Audience does not see card at all as back of hand is toward them as in Figure 15.

Grasp card with thumb, push it down into palm with second and third fingers and clip edges between fingers as taught to you in Figures 6, 7, 8, 9.

When card is in position with fingers straight, hold hand out with back toward audience. You have now shown front and back of hand with nothing apparently concealed, Figure 17.

To bring card to back of hand again, reverse movements. Turn hand upward and backward while you get card to back of hand again as taught to you in Figures 10, 11, 12. When turning hand to show palm empty, start with Figure 17 and work back to Figure 13.

You may continue this Back and Front Palming two or three times. Study your ANGLES OF VISIBILITY very carefully so as not to expose the card.


Have card on back of hand and palm toward audience. Curl fingers inward as in Figure 3. Grasp card between tip of second finger and thumb. Release bottom corner of card from little finger and allow card to spring up. Place first finger at rear of card also and produce as shown in Figure 18.

When you have mastered your lesson this far and your mirror shows you that you are getting along well, begin to practice Back and Front Hand Palming with more cards. First use two, then three, four, and five cards as you progress.

It is a pretty effect to start with a fan of five cards in right hand. Square them up with one hand by pushing up with your little finger and down with first finger, Figure 19.

When cards are all squared up, Back Palm them as one card and show palm of hand empty. Then turn hand and Front Palm the cards as one and show back of hand empty. Continue this two or three times.


Have cards on back of hand and palm toward audience. Follow


method for producing one card, as taught above. When cards are at finger-tips, move thumb upward and fingers downward and cards will fan.


Study and analyze them slowly, but keep practicing them faster and faster as you master them. You will find that after you know the movements, it is easier to do them fast. There is a certain speed necessary for graceful movements, yet do not overdo it.

Simplified Back and Front Hand Palm

This is a favorite method of Paul Fuchs, a clever manipulator. It eliminates a number of movements and thus simplifies matters. You must watch ANGLES OF VISIBILITY carefully in this method.

Back Palm card and show palm as in Figure 13. Turn hand in usual manner shown in Figures 14, 15, 16. Instead of straightening fingers, however, go only as far as Figure 15. Audience sees part of back of hand and believes that Magician has shown all of back of hand.

Then turn palm of hand to audience again, concealing card on back of hand.

This method is really nothing but a series of movements in which you open and close hand as you turn it.

This effect is very pleasing when Mr. Fuchs shows his hand empty and suddenly produces a fan of a dozen cards.

Production of Cards One at a Time from Back of Hand

A number of cards, say five, are Back Palmed on right hand and palm of hand is shown empty. Curl fingers inward and place thumb on corner of cards. Figure 20.

Push outer card upward a little with thumb and release lower corner from little finger, Figure 21.

Hold cards securely by pressing thumb down on second finger. Raise first finger and put it back of top card, Figure 22.

To Perform:

Back Palm Front Palm

Push first finger down to lower corner of outer card. Straighten fingers out, bringing remaining four cards on back of hand again. The produced card is exposed between thumb and first finger, Figure 23.

Drop card to table or floor, then produce two more cards in the same manner. Before producing the last two, show both sides of hand empty and suddenly bring out the fourth card and then the fifth.

Many conjurers bring hand to position shown in Figure 15 as they produce each card and then to position in Figure 23.

This production requires artistic presentation. Practice until you can make the cards appear at your finger-tips as though you suddenly plucked them from the air.

The effect is similar to that produced by Method 1, but the mode of operation is different.

Hand is in position in Figure 13 with cards on back. Curve fingers in and place thumb on outer card. Push down card with thumb until it is free of first finger, Figure 24.

Bring index finger back of outer card, Figure 25.

Push index finger between outer card and remaining four cards. Grip outer card between thumb and back of first joint of index finger, Figure 26.

Release lower corner of outer card from little finger, Figure 27.

Straighten fingers. The four cards are concealed again on back of hand and the produced card is shown between thumb and forefinger of right hand, Figure 28.

Production of Cards One at a Time from Front of Hand

In this production back of hand is shown to audience.

Palm several cards, say five, in regular fashion. Corner AC is gripped right in the ball of the forefinger, Figure 29.

Place thumb on top card about half an inch from corner AC. Push outer card upward diagonally about an inch or so, Figure 30.

Raise first finger and place it in front of corner AC, Figure 31.

Grip corner between first and second fingers and pull card to horizontal position. Put thumb under card, Figure 32.

With aid of thumb, push card into position shown in Figure 33.

Figure 34 shows how production looks to audience. Card appears suddenly at finger-tips as if it came out of the air.


The ANGLE OF VISIBILITY is very important in this production. Hold your hand at a 45-degree angle in relation to your body. You can then conceal the palmed cards well as you produce them, one at a time, even if fingers widen a bit during movements, Figure 35.

Just before making the production, it is easy for you to palm off the cards from the deck. After you have produced these, palm a few more and continue the production if you desire.

This production is a favorite of Howard Thurston, one of the foremost Magicians of the day.

To Vanish Cards One at a Time and Produce Them Again

A special stand for holding cards comes in handy for this effect. If you want to have one, secure a stand used for display purposes in show windows and have clips soldered on to it, Figure 36.

It is not necessary to have the stand, however. Start with a fan of cards in your left hand -- say, five cards. Cards are fanned toward the right so that it will be easy to remove each one. If desired an assistant can hold cards, Figure 37.

Take first card with right hand and with a slight tossing motion upward, vanish it on back of right hand. Then take next card in position shown in Figure 38.

How Vanish Card

PSG 38

Hold it even with first card in preparation for vanishing it also by Back Palming. Notice position of thumb, Figure 39.

Curl fingers inward. Get the two cards together and Back Palm them both, thus vanishing the second card, Figure 40.

Now by Back and Front Palming the two cards together, show both sides of right hand empty.

Vanish the remaining cards in the same way. It is not necessary to show both sides of hand after each vanish, but show them occasionally to convince audience that you have nothing concealed.

To produce cards again, use either method for producing cards one at a time, taught to you above. As cards are produced, place the first three in left hand in a fan.

Produce the fourth card, and as you place it in fan in left hand, curl fingers of right hand inward and place fifth card in horizontal position BEHIND other four cards.

Figure 41 shows view toward audience.

Figure 41 shows view toward audience.

Concealed card is held in place by second finger of left hand as right hand is immediately brought away from left.

Figure 42 shows view away from audience.

As you bring right hand away from left, keep fingers close together. Show back and front of hand as though you were Back and Front Palming a card. Keep thumb tight against hand to make it conspicuous. With back of hand toward audience, push thumb far up into palm of hand and suddenly open fingers. It looks as though you were concealing something in the palm of hand.

Close fingers again and quickly turn hand to expose palm, keeping thumb tight against first fingers as though holding something. Open fingers wide apart, one at a time, and finally the thumb. Now quickly show both sides of hand with fingers spread apart.

Bring right hand down to left. Starting with upper card, count the cards with thumb of right hand pointing to them and fingers back of cards. As you count ~ Four ~ Back Palm the concealed card in right hand. Figure 43."

Grasp the fourth card between thumb and fingers of right hand and throw it aside. Then throw the other three cards aside, one at a time, tossing them up into the air. Show left hand empty.

Back and Front Palm remaining card in right hand to show right hand empty. Then suddenly produce fifth card at finger-tips and toss it into the air also.

This routine of manipulation may be varied. Some Magicians prefer using six cards instead of five and placing two cards behind the fan instead of one.

Color Changes With Cards

The effect produced in a Color Change is this: The face of the "Bottom" card on the deck is shown. The hand is passed over the card and it suddenly changes to another number and color. You are given a number of methods. Select the one or two you like best.

Continue reading here: The Phantom

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