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Topic: Fans
Message: Posted by: Russell Davidson (Feb 25, 2010 05:11AM)
Can anyone give some good advice about fans. I've watched several DVD's but still cannot get a decent fan by any method. All I get is a mess, rather than a lovely semi-circle of equally spaced cards. I have large hands too which I don't think is helping. Any advice most welcome.
Message: Posted by: Spellbinder (Feb 25, 2010 06:03AM)
Can we assume you know all about fanning powder?
Message: Posted by: AlexanderY (Feb 25, 2010 06:39AM)
I think what helps is using brand new cards. The fresh finish makes it very smooth for fanning.

The other thing that helps for me is to think of the thumb and fingers holding the fan as a pivot point. Only with a small pivot point, the cards can fan really nicely.

Also you can try, as Spellbinder suggested, fanning powder, it does help especially when the cards are more worn out.

All the best!
Message: Posted by: Russell Davidson (Feb 25, 2010 08:38AM)
Yep, been using new packs & have fanning powder. Even with none of those things you should be able to make a pressure fan which I can't manage. This is one of those frustrating times when you need someone experienced to be there rather than a DVD that doesn't help if you're struggling. I have no idea if I'm applying the correct pressure & because my hands are large, the normal handling of the deck never applies to me. Most irritating!
Message: Posted by: Spellbinder (Feb 25, 2010 10:37AM)
Have you tried starting with a small pack of cards, like 10 or 12, and then adding cards as you become more proficient at it?
Message: Posted by: BenSimon (Feb 25, 2010 11:16AM)
I'm not able to do a decent pressure fan, but since Bicycle cards that are in good shape fan so well almost automatically, I'll only learn that when I have to. What brand of cards are you using? With Bikes, if you have a dozen squared between fingers and thumb and you just move the thumb outwards while maintaining some pressure, they should spread/fan evenly.
Message: Posted by: wingz (Feb 25, 2010 02:31PM)
The pressure for both hands are equally important. Try to adjust pressure on your hands with trial and error.

As pointed out above, some decks are easier to fan than others. If you are not using standard Bicycle (blue or red back), try your fan on one and see if it makes a different.

Not sure which DVD you used to learn your fan. Sometime it is not a bad idea to read instructions from a good card book since the descriptions could be more detailed than the DVD instruction.
Message: Posted by: Hansel (Feb 25, 2010 02:36PM)
Fanning Powder and for all concerning cards manipulations JEFF McBride !
Message: Posted by: Russell Davidson (Feb 26, 2010 02:47AM)
Maybe I just need more practice. I use Bikes so the cards ain't the problem. I shall continue to persevere. Thanks guys.
Message: Posted by: jake.o (Feb 26, 2010 03:03AM)
Everyone has the same problem when there trying to learn the pressure fan. the best thing you can do is to just knuckle down and keep practicing, it will come eventually.
Message: Posted by: Metatron (Feb 26, 2010 04:03AM)

The following exercises might help:


Place a deck of cards on your close up mat. Use your thumb to do a ribbon spread. Do this until you can get a long even spread consistently. Now lighten the pressure until you find the lightest pressure needed to make an even ribbon spread. Now do the same thing in an arc (cards still on the mat). Then try it in your hands. This exercise will help you gauge the pressure needed for a thumb fan. It will also get your thumb used to spreading single cards.


I find the pressure fan easier than a thumb fan. I can do a pressure fan even with an old used deck, no fanning powder needed.

What I call a pressure fan is similar to springing the cards, the cards are released just like the springing action from hand to hand, but instead of shooting the cards across empty space, they are released into one hand as the hand releasing them makes an arc. In other words 'pressure' from the springing or bending of the pack releases the cards in an arc into the other hand using the thumbs as the central pivot point.

So the exercise is just to squeeze a deck of cards and spring them into the other hand. Releasing them from the fingertip end NOT the thumb. Only a small distance between the hands, maybe a couple of inches or less. Squirt them toward the index finger of the receiving hand. In other words the cards hit the index finger of, and fall in to, the palm of the catching hand. Work on the release or springing in a consistent steady stream. Listen to the sound they make. They should not be staccato. No break in the rhythm of the sound. A nice and steady sound, now slow it down but still keep it steady and even. When you can do this try it doing it as fan, same method of release, thumbs touching, releasing hand doing the arc.

I hope that made sense, rather hard to put into words.

Hope that helps. Practice makes perfect. ;)

Have fun,

Message: Posted by: Russell Davidson (Feb 26, 2010 06:13AM)
Yeah, that's good advice, thanks Metatron.
Message: Posted by: astripp (Feb 26, 2010 10:15AM)
What is the advantage of pressure fans over thumb or index fans?
Message: Posted by: AlexanderY (Feb 26, 2010 10:42AM)
The advantage of pressure fan is that you can technically force a fan out of cards that are old and stiff by controlling the pressure applied to it.

For a thumb fan, its quite highly dependent on the condition of the cards, if the cards are new and smooth, you can do a decent fan. If the cards are old and sticky, you'll probably end up fanning in clumps.
Message: Posted by: bicycle66 (Mar 15, 2010 09:43AM)
When I started to try and learn fans I was watching Jeff McBride DVDs and he did a great job showing how to care for the card and everything. With new cards it is easier but as mentioned above if you are ever out at a party and someone asks you to do something with their cards and they aren't in ideal condition a pressure fan is what you will need to know. Just keep at it and it will come. Sean.
Message: Posted by: wingz (Mar 15, 2010 12:14PM)
Faning is just someting that practice make perfect. Just try to micro adjust your pressure for both hand. Sometime holding the card to tight could cause the problem too. Once you find the sweet spot, things will come natural.