If you want to channel your Gambit mentality, act out a film noir scene, or end a game of poker cool, throwing cards is a great little skill to learn. This takes a lot of practice, but learning a few different techniques to see which one works best will get you throwing accurately in no time. See Step 1 for more information.
Method 1 of 3: Throwing Frisbee Style
Step 1. Grip the card properly
Hold the card parallel to the floor and grip the bottom of the short side of the card at the angle farthest from you, between your index and middle fingers, or your middle and ring fingers. Sometimes this grip is called the Ferguson grip, named after a famous card player. Alternative grips with fingers for basic throws include:
- For Thurston handle, place the short side of the card between your middle and index fingers so that the sides of the card are parallel to both fingers. This is probably the most common grip, if not the most accurate card grip.
- For Hermann handle, hold the card between your thumb and middle finger, and allow the index finger to fully reach the opposite corner of the card.
- For Ricky Jay's grip, place your index finger on a corner of the card and your thumb on the top of the card with your other three fingers along the bottom of the long side of the card. Your thumb at the top will be just above your middle finger.
Step 2. Move the card to the inside of your wrist
The corner of the card opposite (the top corner, closest to you) with your grip will come back and touch the inside of your wrist to cock the throw. Most of the power comes from the movement of your wrist, not from arm strength, so it's important to move the card inward like this.
Step 3. Flick your wrist forward
Open your wrists, keep your arms straight and as high as possible off the floor to keep the cards from swaying from side to side, and snap your wrists forward to throw cards.
Step 4. Remove the card
When your fingertip is on your target, release the card.
Step 5. Control with wrist
It's best not to have any arm movement when you first start, in order to make a proper mechanical twist. To practice, grasp your forearms and practice throwing cards with just a flick of the wrist.
Once you've practiced and are able to throw your cards without missing a beat, you can try moving your arms for added speed
Step 6. Practice aiming at the target
Place a potato or banana and throw a card at the fruit. Experienced card throwers can stick playing cards into potatoes from a few steps away. Practice throwing until you can hit the corner of the card firmly.
Method 2 of 3: Over the Shoulder Throw
Step 1. Hold the card properly for an over-the-shoulder throw
How you hold the card for an over-the-shoulder throw is up to you: you can grip the corner of the card, Ferguson-style like a Frisbee throw, or you can hold the entire long side of the card between your middle and ring finger. Experiment with a few different grips to see which one works best for you.
Step 2. Bend your wrists and lift your arms over your shoulders
To start, don't use your arms first, but do the same basic motion as the Frisbee throw, only rotating your wrists up and down, rather than left and right. When you get used to it, bring the card up next to your head to give your throw more power. Everything depends on the wrist.
Step 3. Snap your wrist forward
In one quick, smooth motion, swing your arms over your shoulders and position them like a baseball throw. At the end of the movement, bend your wrist outward and open your middle and ring fingers slightly, to release the card.
Step 4. Keep practicing
Practice the movement, try to do it as smooth as possible. Get a clean card throw. Keeping the motion as smooth as possible is the key to keeping the cards spinning and not falling apart in the air, nor is it floating and scattering in all directions.
Method 3 of 3: Using Your Thumb
Step 1. Hold the entire set of cards parallel to the floor
If you want to throw a card straight from the set, in a forceful person style, grip the set firmly with the long side of the card in the palm of your hand, the short side perpendicular to your body.
Step 2. Place your thumb on top of the set
Licking your thumb can be useful for getting a firm grip on the top of the card and launching the card more easily.
Step 3. Snap your thumb forward quickly to throw a card
It takes some practice to get a movement strong enough to throw a card, but light enough not to throw a few cards over the top. Your thumb should be slightly above the card set, to throw the card out, and not down. A little wet on your thumb will help.
Step 4. Enter into quick throw mode
When the card is thrown, quickly pull back the thumb, being careful not to touch the top of the card set, so you can keep shooting cards like crazy. This is fun!
- You can use Styrofoam blocks for practice goals. The card will stick pretty well.
- The whole spin comes from your wrist, don't use your arm for anything other than directing the throw.
- Use a new set of cards with straight cards.
- Cards can be thrown vertically or horizontally
- Here are a few variations of throwing cards, if the above method doesn't work, try one of these:
- With your index finger resting on the top right corner, place your thumb and middle finger on opposite sides of the card, pressing each other in the middle.
- Make a peace sign with your dominant hand and pinch the card between two fingers. Bend your finger slightly up and throw.
- If you can throw hard enough to drop light items, be sure and keep an eye on picture frames or pots.
- Use eye protection in card throwing wars with others.
- The card can be damaged if it is hit by a hard object such as the edge of a door.