Basic Grip for card magic

All beginners in magic should address their questions here.

Postby odomenech » 12/01/05 01:40 AM

I am about to ask a question that is probably stupid, but hey that's why Im in the beginner's forum.

I am still very much a beginner in magic. When it comes to card tricks, I have been practicing the ambitious card, four aces, biddle trick, two card montie and other card tricks for about a year and have become good at some of them. However, I recently decided to go back to basics due to the fact that I really need to put more work on the very basics before I keep adding more tricks to my repertoire.

That's when I ran into the following problem. Modern sources list the Mechanic's Grip as the basic grip you should use. This grip involves having the deck resting comfortably on your hand with your thumb along the left edge, your index finger going underneath the deck and across the top, and the other three fingers along the right edge. This is the grip that I had been using until now.

However, I recently started going through The Royal Road to Card Magic course, and the first thing I ran into was an unfamiliar grip that felt rather uncomfortable. It involves sort of cradling the deck with your index finger across the top, your middle and ring finger curled at the bottom and the pinky curled so that the side rests along the bottom edge.

I found this unusual, so I looked in Erdnase's book to see what it says. Erdnase also uses the grip I ran into in The Royal Road.

The Royal Road to Card Magic recommends that this grip be strictly adhered to. Furthermore, Erdnase clearly states "THE inviolable rule of the professional is uniformity of action. Any departure from his customary manner of holding, shuffling, cutting or dealing the cards may be noticed, and is consequently avoided.".

So, my question is simple. Are my sources too old? Do I need to move to more modern books that recognize the mechanic's grip that I was accustomed to? Or, do I need to learn this grip and do things that way? Are the modern sources I had used bad? Should I really learn both? If I learn both and use one for some tricks and the other for others this would clearly violate the uniformity of action principle that Erdnase teaches in "The Expert at the Card Table".

So, therein lies my dilemma. It may sound like a trivial dilemma but I dont see it that way. There is nothing more basic than how you hold your cards and if I cant even do that right then how good can I ever really get?

Any guidance would be appreciated.
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Joined: 09/12/08 01:13 PM

Postby Guest » 12/01/05 04:10 AM

There are quite a few grips out there. The Erdnase grip does feel a bit odd at first but it works very well. The standard mechanics grip is where I would recommend you start. Getting the feel of the deck at the base of your thumb with the right pressure on the first finger will create an excellent base to work from.

I use various grips and suspect you will to. Depending on the type of work your doing the various grips have there addvantages.

Through my studies of the various grip methods I have found that the Marlo Master Grip works best for my hands.

Experiment with different grips while dealing the cards and see if you can find the one "that feels right" for you. As you practice with that one I believe you'll find yourself experimenting with other grips.

I would recommend getting a grip in this order - standard Mechanics grip, the Erdnase Grip then the Marlo Master Grip.

Postby odomenech » 12/01/05 06:01 AM

Ive googled around, but the best I could find was a video of someone purportedly using Marlo's Master Grip. Can you describe this grip and its advantages? I doubt describing a grip counts as exposure, if it does then can you tell me where to find out more about it?
Posts: 10
Joined: 09/12/08 01:13 PM

Postby Guest » 12/01/05 07:20 AM

Marlos Master Grip is described in his *Seconds, Centers, Bottoms*, published 1960.

It's basically the *Mechanics Grip*, with the difference, that the innermost lowest left corner of the deck is positioned NOT beneath the low part of the center of the palm, but more near the hands lowest edge, approx. barely an inch in a straight line from where the litte finger joins the hand.
Now figure that out, or try to find the mentioned booklet ;)

The advantage of that grip is, that the whole deck has as little friction/adhesion as possible to the hand , so even a bottom deal can be easier executed, eg. the bottom card can easily get pulled out..

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