top of page

How to Ribbon Spread Cards (Step-by-Step)

Learn how to flawlessly ribbon spread a deck of cards like a magician or card sharp! Let's master it together!

A close-up of playing cards being spread evenly across a table surface with the word "Ribbon"
In this post, we'll cover the Ribbon Spread step-by-step!


Learn the Ribbon Spread

Today, we're focusing on a visually stunning and essential skill for any card magician - the Ribbon Spread.

This impressive technique lays the foundation for many card tricks, card handling and flourishes.

Whether you're a beginner or looking to refine your skills, this step-by-step guide will help you master the Ribbon Spread, adding elegance and flair to your card handling.

What is a Card Flourish?

​A card flourish is a creative and visual way of handling playing cards, often used in magic and cardistry to showcase skill, dexterity, and artistic expression. It's more about the aesthetic display than a trick.

An evenly spread deck of playing cards being turned over by a single playing card
This is a ribbon spread turnover with a single playing card.


Step-by-Step Guide: How to Ribbon Spread Cards

Step 1: Prepare Your Deck

Start with a standard deck of playing cards. Make sure the cards are relatively new and smooth for easier spreading.

A deck of cards resting on the surface of a red magician pad
Always use a new deck of cards when learning the ribbon spread.

Step 2: The Basic Grip

Grip the deck in your dominant hand.

Place the deck between your thumb on one side and your fingers on the other, with your index finger on top.

Magician holding the deck at the corner of a magician pad, preparing to spread the cards
Position your thumb and fingers on the long edge.

Step 3: Starting the Spread

Place the long edge of the deck onto the table or surface and pull the cards.

A deck of playing cards being evenly spread by a magician
Pull the cards in a continuous smooth motion.

Step 4: The Spread Motion

Continue to pull the cards out in a smooth motion.

The movement should be fluid and continuous. You can choose to spread the cards in a long, even line or in an arch.

A magician pointing to a deck of cards evenly spread like a ribbon across the table in front
The action of spreading the cards needs to be fluid.

Here's what the spreading action looks like:

A magician performing the ribbon spread with cards evenly spread across the table
Here's a look from above.

Practice the basic movements until you get a beautiful spread.

Next, let's learn how to close the spread.


Closing the Spread:

To close the spread, use your free hand to gently scoop the cards back together, starting from one end of the spread and moving towards the other.

The magician begins collecting the evenly spread cards
You can either scoop the cards or do a turnover

Adding Flair:

Once you're comfortable with the basic Ribbon Spread, try adding some flair.

The evenly spread playing cards turning over one by one
A turnover is a nice card flourish that can done with your hand or an extra card

You can create waves, curves, or even circular spreads with practice.

The evenly spread cards being turned over one-by-one with a playing card
A ribbon spread turnover with a playing card.

Practicing until a skill becomes muscle memory is the key to learning. Here are some tips to accelerate your efforts.


Tips & Suggestions

A close-up of the evenly ribbon spread cards being turned over
Here are a few tips for learning the ribbon spread.

Here are some important tips and suggestions for mastering the spread:

  • Card Quality Matters - Use high-quality plastic coated cards like Bicycle or Bee brand. These cards are treated with a resin that prevents them from sticking and clumping.

  • Surface - If the tabletop or surface is too slippery, you'll have difficulty. Magicians use close-up pads with a felt-like material to provide an optimal condition for card moves and spread.

  • Maintenance - Keep your cards clean and in good condition. Dirty or damaged cards can hinder your ability to perform a smooth Ribbon Spread.

  • Practice the Motion - The key to a perfect Ribbon Spread is practice. Repeat the spreading motion until you can do it smoothly and evenly.

Remember, the Ribbon Spread is as much about the presentation as it is about the technique.

Practice regularly, and soon, you'll be able to perform this elegant flourish with confidence and style!


Frequently Asked Questions

A magician sitting with arms crossed behind a deck of cards evenly spread in an arc

What is a Ribbon Spread?

A Ribbon Spread is a technique in card magic where the cards are spread out in a long, continuous line, creating a ribbon-like effect.

Why is it important in card magic?

It's a fundamental skill that enhances the visual appeal of your performance and is used in various tricks and card flourishes.

How long does it take to learn?

The time it takes can vary, but with regular practice, most can learn the basics in a few days to a week.

Do I need special cards?

No special cards are needed, but smoother, newer cards may make it easier to learn and perform.

Can the Ribbon Spread be used in card games, or is it just for magic?

While primarily a magical flourish, it can also add flair to card games and dealing.



Congratulations on taking this step to enhance your card magic skills with the Ribbon Spread!

Remember, like all great magic, perfection comes with practice.

Don't be discouraged if it doesn't come easily at first; even the most seasoned magicians started where you are now.

Keep practicing, and soon, you'll be performing this spread gracefully and easily, leaving your audience spellbound.

Keep exploring the world of card magic, and let your passion for the art drive you to new heights!


That's It!

That's a wrap on our Ribbon Spread tutorial!

Thank you for taking the time to read and learn with us.

If you've enjoyed this post or have any cool experiences with the Ribbon Spread to share, please hit the heart ♥️ button or drop a comment below.

Your engagement is appreciated and sparks more magical content for our community.

Keep spreading the magic, one card at a time! 🎩✨


What to Read Next



Here's More Magic For You:

bottom of page