The Handy Guide to Sleight of Hand:

Sleight of Hand Technique Introduction, Tutorials & Resources

Sleight of hand — (also known as prestidigitation or legerdemain) describes the base techniques used by magicians and card manipulators to control cards, coins and other objects covertly.

Understanding sleight of hand is the key to understanding magic.

Magicians Penn and Teller explain sleight of hand perfectly with this video clip below.

While Teller performs (silently), Penn explains the seven principles of magic…all sleight of hand techniques.

Sleight of Hand (Basic Principles of Magic) as described by Penn and Teller:

This video is a great introduction to sleight-of-hand techniques. After watching, be sure to check out some of the other videos below for some card tricks using sleights.

1. The Palm – To hold an object in an apparently empty hand.

2. Ditch – To secretly dispose of an unneeded object.

3. Steal – To secretly obtain a needed object.

4. Load – To secretly move an object to where it is needed.

5. Simulation – To give the impression that something that has not happened, has.

6. Misdirection – To lead attention away from a secret move.

7. Switch – To secretly exchange one object for another.

Rinse and Repeat.

Card Sleights:

Becoming a great card magician takes more than memorizing a few tricks.

You need to learn how to handle cards with confidence and master card sleights. Here are some for you to try.

The Glide. In this video tutorial gillymasta explains the sleight commonly known to card manipulators as “the glide”, as well as ideas on how to work this into a routine.

The Glide Video Tutorial:

False Cuts – Another handy sleight of hand card manipulation. There are tons of false cut techniques. Here is a nice example:

More Sleight of Hand Tutorials and Resources

Also see: Palming Cards | One Handed Palm | Hinge Color Change


The Rules of the Sleight of Hand Artist are three, and all others are in vain. The first and second are “practice”, and the third one is “practice again”. – Edward Victor

Edward Victor kept his hands busy, a famous card manipulator as well as a Shadowgrapher.