By Tom Interval
If you love movies, you might have seen Paul Newman in The Sting (1973) manipulating cards like a magician or gambler. Of course, there was expert manipulation going on, but it mostly wasn’t Newman doing it. Why do I say “mostly”?
Because, despite magician and card expert John Scarne lending his hands for almost all of the close-up card work in the film, Newman actually did one of the moves himself. Or should I say he did half of one of the moves?
Which one? It’s called the ribbon-spread turnover, and in the film, a close-up shot of Scarne’s hands shows Scarne spreading the deck on a table. But once the deck is spread and Scarne’s hands are out of the shot, there’s a noticeable splice just before Newman’s hands come into view and finish the move by turning over the deck with a flourish.
Many films have shown characters doing the ribbon-spread turnover to establish their skill or shrewd nature, but you don’t have to be an expert magician, con artist, or Hollywood stand-in to do the spread well. It does take some practice, but if you follow my video tutorial carefully and put in the time, you’ll have a real conversation starter at your next poker game.
You can watch the full tutorial by following the link or watching the embedded video below. And when you have time, update me on your progress. Good luck!