Cards & Magic with Cardistry Club

  • January 29, 2021
(From left) Colin Wang (11), Alex Cheng (11), Ben Hubler (11), and Brandon Hsu (11) teach each other skills and tricks. [PC: Joyce Kim]

It is a place of magic, a place of jaw-dropping, shriek-inducing, awe-striking splendor that leaves the audience wondering for days. One swipe of the fingers, and a card goes missing; with a simple flick, it is again found. A place of cunning artifices and stratagems — it is the lair of the Cardistry Club, the grandeur of all things cards, tricks, and magic.

Awed by the things I witnessed — an immaculate bridge with an impeccable shuffle, complete with a fancy accordion-looking gig —  I decided to contact Alex Cheng (11), the vice president of the Cardistry Club for a more in-depth review of the club.

Q: Can you introduce your club? 

A: My club is the Cardistry Club, and we meet every week to practice our skills or to share ideas for new ones. 

Q: What are some cool tricks that you guys are currently practicing?

A: Typically, we break down a trick into specific moves or sleights and categorize the tricks based on the moves they use. But the main flourish that gets reactions from people is called a card spring. Essentially, it gets the deck to shoot, or spring, from one hand to the other.

Q: How did you get started with card tricks? 

A: Initially, I learned tricks and flourishes just to watch people’s bafflement or awe. I loved seeing how people would react, and that only encouraged me to continue. With that said, I’ve faced my fair share or disappointment and serious self-doubt. Throughout it all, though, I think there are four things that really kept me tied to magic and cardistry as a passion of mine.

The need for movement can be satisfied by the implementation of cards. The fidgeting doesn’t have to consist of grand movements or loud flourishes. Regardless, a deck of cards provides a versatile yet effective method of quelling pent up or excess energy.,

Second, there’s a sort of timelessness that comes with a deck of playing cards. There’s an antique appeal to cards that instantly makes me feel connected to those who’ve travelled the world before I have and those who will traverse the Earth after I’m gone through a shared passion

Also, there’s an alluring sort of sophistication that comes with a deck of cards. Be it the association with snake oil salesmen or the image of a mysterious magician, this sort of mystical elegance is always evident in the appearance of a deck of cards.

Finally, there’s so much room to artistically expand on playing cards through the endless amount of expression one can pack into a trick. For instance, the technique and pace with which magicians  move their hands demonstrates the intent behind a seemingly simple trick. This effect doesn’t just have to be visual. The audible pitter-patter of card packets brushing against one another or the satisfying slap of a full deck against a table can teleport people to a world of magic and wonder.

Q: What’s your favorite reaction you’ve ever gotten?

A: At a theater camp for young actors where I help out, I would always fidget with a deck of cards, and many of the kids would approach me and ask if I could do a trick. When I did, many of them were dumbstruck or in total awe. A few kids actually approached me later on and asked to learn. I loved watching them focus on my every action and their desire to show others and inspire the same passion I had previously inspired among them.

Q: What was your inspiration for starting this club?

A: I think it bordered along similar motives for both starting and continuing magic. I recently began to pick up small performances here and there, and once I saw how people reacted to the tricks, I felt my passion had been reignited. I thought the best way to retain this feeling and introduce the art to others was by creating a club. I wanted to make sure people who were trying to dabble in magic and cardistry found a place where they could pursue that passion.

Q: Why should people join?

A: If you currently have even the slightest interest in magic or cardistry, this club would evidently be perfect for you. There’s a wide range of topics that fall under magic — such skills as dexterity, showmanship, improv, psychology, mathematics. So, if any of those branches are passions of yours, there may be a thing or two to learn in this club.

More information on the club is here, and the sign up form is linked here. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, contact Alex at or the president, Gabriel Molina-Kong (11), at

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