How to Perform the Card Spring

How to do the card spring superimposed over an image of someone performing the card spring

There are several ways that you can spring cards, and cardists around the world have created their own unique takes on the move. Some springs are performed upside down - defying gravity. Some are shot from hand to hand across a table. Some form spectacular rainbow-like arches.

But today we’re talking about the standard spring. Let’s break down the move into 3 stages: The Grip. The Release. And the Catch. 

The Grip:

A deck of card gripped ready to spring

To perform the spring, take the deck of playing cards into your dominant hand. Your index, middle and ring finger will grip the short edge of the deck furthest from you. However, make sure that all the fingers are placed tightly together, and that the ring finger is slightly overhanging the edge of the deck. The pinky will hang freely. Your thumb grips the short edge closest to you - slightly overhanging the bottom left corner. 

The Release: 

Cards springing from one hand to the other

The release is the most nuanced part of this move. Keep in mind that you may find it difficult to spring the cards, especially with a brand new deck. The move requires some hand strength to not only bow the cards, but to control the flow and speed in which the cards spring off the fingers. 

To spring the cards, build pressure with the fingers and thumb until you feel the cards naturally wanting to fly from either the thumb or the fingers (dependent on the variation). Continue to build pressure until the cards start to shoot away from your right hand, toward your left. 

Keep in mind that it is totally normal for cards to fly everywhere on your first attempt. Don't give up!

A tip:

For smooth delivery from hand to hand, think about squeezing the cards with consistent and gradual power and pressure. Almost as if you were squeezing a lemon or pressing the gas pedal of your car. You want a nice smooth curve of power. This will allow for a greater level of control over the flourish and result in a professional performance. 

The Catch:

Proper form to catch springing cards

What’s the point of a great stunt if you can’t stick the landing? This is where most people go wrong. The spring is naturally a flourish the requires some hand-eye coordination and catching the cards correctly goes a long way to making your move look smooth. 

To catch the spring, form a grip that looks a little like a tiger’s claw in your left hand. If you’re familiar, it’s like a modified Dealer’s Grip. Essentially, what you’re aiming to create is a landing pad with a cage for the cards to land in. Most importantly your pinky finger should be acting like a stopper so that the cards don’t slip from your left hand and onto the floor. Essentially, each finger is keeping the cards squared. 

Another tip:

Start small. Don’t be overly ambitious. Start by shooting cards with your hands close together. This will ensure that you get a feel for the move. 

Be patient, this one takes a little while to master, let alone get smooth and fluid. You’ll get there!

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