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Topic: Why are the most magicians - left-handed?
Message: Posted by: svebee (Nov 24, 2009 07:28AM)
When I watch all the videos of performing some magic with cards - they all hold a deck in they left hand. Is there "special" reason for it?

Because for me it's much easier to hold it in my right hand (I'm right-handed).

Thank you.
Message: Posted by: abc (Nov 24, 2009 08:09AM)
I am right handed and I hold the deck in my left hand. I think most magicians do.
Message: Posted by: jimhlou (Nov 24, 2009 08:14AM)
I'm left handed. I hold the deck in my right hand.

Jim
Message: Posted by: M Sini (Nov 24, 2009 09:16AM)
Just because they hold the deck in their left hand does NOT make them left handed. I wear my baseball glove on my left hand so I can throw with my right. I hold the deck in my left hand so I can deal with my right.
Message: Posted by: DWRackley (Nov 24, 2009 12:32PM)
I write and hold a fork with my left hand, but do almost everything else right handed. When Iím watching a magic how-to video, I just flip it mentally to whichever hand feels more comfortable. In practice, a one-handed cut works better with my left hand, but glides and breaks are right handed moves. Go figure?
Message: Posted by: The Futurist (Nov 24, 2009 01:12PM)
[quote]
On 2009-11-24 08:28, svebee wrote:
When I watch all the videos of performing some magic with cards - they all hold a deck in they left hand. Is there "special" reason for it?

Because for me it's much easier to hold it in my right hand (I'm right-handed).

Thank you.
[/quote]
I'd say most magicians, as a representative sample of people as a whole, are right handed.

[quote]
On 2009-11-24 13:32, DWRackley wrote:
I write and hold a fork with my left hand, but do almost everything else right handed. When Iím watching a magic how-to video, I just flip it mentally to whichever hand feels more comfortable. In practice, a one-handed cut works better with my left hand, but glides and breaks are right handed moves. Go figure?
[/quote]

You may be in the same boat as me, becoming comfortable with the RH hegemony so it isn't even an issue! Where I do fumble, and am reminded of my, um, "cackhandedness", as the charming old British phrase goes, is a few things like scissors and, say, the positioning of screws in some things which lead me to contort wildly, screwdriver in hand!

I'm left handed, left footed, left eyed and essentially strongly a leftie in all neurological respects (http://www.anythingleft-handed.co.uk/lh_tests.html).

I play the guitar right handed though, I like to think very well. As a kid, it never occurred to me to string it upside down as it did to Hendrix. So with thus proving to myself that I could do "right handed stuff" in such a way, I don't worry about the fact that card techniques are mostly geared to right-handers. I don't blame my deck-fumbling on my sinistrality, anyway, rather my lack of experience!
Message: Posted by: Mary Mowder (Nov 24, 2009 03:04PM)
Dear svebee,

If you are Right Handed hold the deck in your Left Hand. It may feel odd at first but it will free your dominant hand for other work. Most magicians are Right Handed and in the long run it will be easier to learn magic from books and video from a Right Hand perspective. Once you're used to it it will become natural (like many aspects of Magic.

I'm dyslexic and sort of ambidextrous but in Magic I find that which ever hand you train, that's what feels "right". Don't forget you really are using both hands and even though you think you have a dominant hand, your other hand is doing important and skilled work as well.

Good Luck. It's a long and wonderful journey.

-Mary Mowder
Message: Posted by: David Waldorf (Nov 24, 2009 04:41PM)
I think Mario has the idea; most magicians hold the deck in the left hand so they can deal with the right. Not just magicians, either; most card players do the same thing by default.
Message: Posted by: The Futurist (Nov 24, 2009 04:52PM)
[quote]
On 2009-11-24 17:41, David W wrote:
I think Mario has the idea; most magicians hold the deck in the left hand so they can deal with the right. Not just magicians, either; most card players do the same thing by default.
[/quote]

Yeah I just held a deck with my left hand, as a left-hander (by imitation really) and casual card player, long before I started seriously getting into card magic. To swap in the name of perhaps finding a "better" configuration seems like too much trouble to me, especially as I do, on the whole, do alright with the cards I think, for my level of experience.

Posted: Nov 24, 2009 6:29pm
Actually, I wonder if a southpaw holding the deck in their stronger hand might have some peculiar advantages - I'm very far from being an XCM type, but I found I could easily do a flourishy one handed deal from mechanic's grip. Tops only so far - dealing one handed seconds and bottoms are two very different kettles of fish!
Message: Posted by: Dennis Loomis (Nov 24, 2009 05:47PM)
There may be an advantage for righties to hold the deck in the right or "wrong" hand. When you hold the deck in your left hand, and spread the cards into the right hand, the indexes are right-side up from the standpoint of the magician. However, if you are performing and spread that way so that your audience can see the deck, they are seeing the cards upside down. Since they are the spectators wouldn't it just be polite to spread the deck so that they can see the indexes right side up? If you watch Harry Lorayne, he holds the cards in his left hand and spreads the cards to the left, or into his left hand. When you are watching him, this is great because the cards are right side up.

This also happens often with table spreads of tabled fans of cards. So often, the magician ribbon spreads the cards or places fans of cards onto the table so that the cards are right side up from his own perspective. For many performances, you probably should reverse that so that the spectators can better see the displays.

Dennis Loomis
Message: Posted by: coolini (Nov 24, 2009 08:18PM)
If you are right handed, holding the deck in your left will let your right hand do the work....I'm right handed, and when I started magic, I started with Bill Malone DVDs and he is left handed, so I had trouble with the explanation at some point, and the result is now I can do moves with both right and left hand...priceless.
Message: Posted by: DaleTrueman (Nov 25, 2009 09:46AM)
In The Road Royal to Card Magic it says to overhand shuffle from the right to the left hand. I have always shuffled from left to right for normal card playing.
At first I was going to swap the instructions around, then I was going to ask here if it made any difference.
In the end I decided to follow the instructions to the letter. The reason for this was that the way I had always shuffled was markedly different to the method anyway, I needed to start from scratch either way. Now I don't feel like it was ever awkward and slow to shuffle from my right to my left hand. But it took a couple of weeks of nothing but shuffling before I felt happy to move onto anything else.

Incidentally I have never found it more natural to hold my knife and fork one way or the other. I simply swap hands when I need to use the knife on a different angle to cut food. But I think that's the limit of my ambidexterity, otherwise I am right handed all the way.
Message: Posted by: DWRackley (Nov 25, 2009 01:12PM)
In sports, I throw left-handed, but bat right handed. Golf has always been right handed. Shooting a basket ball is no preference: whichever hand has the better shot.

Scissors is R/H. I have tried to use L/H scissors, but they feel awkward. Guess itís like Futurist says, Iíve been partially trained by the prevailing culture.
(BTW, entertaining site, there!)
[quote] http://www.anythingleft-handed.co.uk/lh_tests.html [/quote]

Tiggod makes a very good point, though. I need to spend more time practicing with my off hand. You canít develop want you donít use.
Message: Posted by: tjaymagic (Nov 27, 2009 02:02AM)
That has just clinched it for me....left handed people hold cards in thier right hand...and right handed people do it with thier left (borderline smut...sorry!)

I am right handed, and hold my cards in my right hand, I palm using my left...

this is all the evidence I needed to prove the fact that I am built wrongly!!

I think the warrenty of my body ran out years ago!!

Seriously though, this might explain my problem with card sleights...as I might be using the wrong hand....or maybe not...
Message: Posted by: stijnhommes (Nov 27, 2009 04:47AM)
[quote]I'd say most magicians, as a representative sample of people as a whole, are right handed.[/quote] I'm not sure I agree with that. I've seen research that shows that the amount of lefties among creative people is extraordinarily high, presumably because of how to their brain is wired. So I would expect more lefty magicians, then left-handed people in the general population.

I'm left-handed myself and I never considered holding a deck in my right hand (except when I use my left hand to shuffle cards into my right. I also biddle grip and steal with my right hand and one-handed palms go better in my right hand too. I guess my left hand has become lazy from all the deck holding.

Funnily enough I do a lot of things right handed, using scissors is one, cutting with a knife is another. It doesn't matter if I'm in the kitchen or at the table, My lazy left hand holds a fork.
Message: Posted by: The Futurist (Nov 27, 2009 05:05AM)
Yeah I hold a fork in my left too. In fact I avoid using the knife if at all possible, preferring to chop the food up with the side edge of the fork if I can. I would get chastised as a kid for my perceived lack of table manners, LOL.

Oh yeah, and if I use the computer at someone else's house, then it's awkward as they typically have the mouse on the "wrong" side!
Message: Posted by: stijnhommes (Nov 27, 2009 05:12AM)
[quote]
On 2009-11-27 06:05, The Futurist wrote:
Oh yeah, and if I use the computer at someone else's house, then it's awkward as they typically have the mouse on the "wrong" side!
[/quote] That another one of those things. It probably felt weird when I started using a mouse, but I've always kept the mouse on the right. Probably to allow typing with my left hand as I use the mouse with the other (mostly in games)
Message: Posted by: The Futurist (Nov 27, 2009 05:28AM)
I wonder... well we've discussed cards on this thread where the roles of the hands are very different, but (and I know we should all be ideally ambidextrous in such things) with regards to palming a coin or something, I prefer, if at all possible, to have it palmed in my left, at least initially.

It would be nice to think that the right-handed majority would unconsciously tend to burn one hand, all things being equal that is, a tad more than the other - that hand being one's right hand. No way of knowing, of course, it's just a crazy left-handed fantasy :)
Message: Posted by: jhudsy (Nov 27, 2009 05:32AM)
I seem to be ambi-clumsy (unfortunately). Nevertheless, I've been trying to learn all slights with both hands. While it does take a lot longer, and I've got a much smaller repertoire, it does give me a lot more flexibility in a pinch..
Message: Posted by: skillzilla (Nov 27, 2009 08:49AM)
Contrary to popular belief its best to hold the deck in your dominant hand
Message: Posted by: DWRackley (Nov 27, 2009 03:13PM)
Jhudsy,
I noticed a tagline/signature the other day (don't remember whose, sorry) that I found very amusing.

ďAmbisinister Ė equally clumsy with both handsĒ
Message: Posted by: Mr. Mystoffelees (Nov 27, 2009 03:36PM)
'Why are the most magicians - left-handed?"

Man, I hate generalizations. That's a short-sited as saing magicans don't no how two speelll...
Message: Posted by: svebee (Nov 29, 2009 05:18PM)
@mandarin
Sorry for "magicians" ;)

@everybody
Thank you for explanation(s), now it's much more clearer. Thanks, once more. :)