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The False Cut

The False Cut is a sleight of hand technique whereby the performer or magician appears to perform a fair cut, when actually he is either keeping the whole deck in exactly the same order or he is secretly retaining a card or group of cards at the top or the bottom of the deck. A performer or magician will often prefer to do a false shuffle in preference to a false cut but this will obviously depend on the trick and also the circumstances that the magician finds himself in. It might even be of far greater effect to do both!

There are various ways of performing the false cut – some easy and some much more complex so accordingly, varying amounts of practice are required to master them.

It is worth remembering that often, performance is everything and with a little misdirection, even the most basic (and audacious) card sleight can be truly effective and this is very much the case with the first of the false cuts listed below.

How to perform The False Cut

1. To retain the whole deck in the same order

Firstly, take hold of the pack with a relaxed but firm grip face down in the left-hand (presume you are right-handed) with your palm facing upwards beneath the cards. Your left thumb and left middle finger should be on either side of the pack with your index fingertip resting against the end of the deck – somewhere in the middle.

Using the right hand thumb and middle fingers, take hold of the lower half of the deck and draw it out and upwards placing it on the table. Next, using the same action, with the right hand again, take the remaining lower half of the deck once again drawing it outwards and upwards and place it on top of the other half of the deck on the table. As stated above, this false cut is best performed with a little misdirection or ideally whilst looking the spectator in the face and talking to him or her. 

2. To once again retain the whole deck in the same order

Hold the deck face down in the right hand with the right thumb on the inside and right middle finger on the far side (right palm facing down) then using the right first finger, cut around a third of the cards and swing cut them to the left that is to say, push the third to the left then using the left hand thumb, pull this stack into the left hand palm.

Next, repeat this move by ‘swing’ cutting the remaining cards in the right hand again using the right first finger and pull this stack onto the cards in the left hand BUT keep a break separating this stack from the first stack in the left hand using the left little finger (‘pinkie’).

Next, place the remaining cards in the right hand on the table then place the stack of cards in the left hand ABOVE the ‘pinkie’ break on top of them and finally, the remaining card stack in the left hand is to be placed on top of all the other cards. The deck should now be unchanged and in its original order.

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