The Snap Change card trick: Easy tutorial with images

The Snap Change is a popular card trick that allows you to instantly change a card. I’ll explain exactly how to do this illusion and give you a few tips to make your performance even better.

This is how the Snap Change works:

The “Snap Change” is a card trick that allows you to visually change a card in the blink of an eye. It’s done by stacking two cards on top of each other and swapping them as fast as possible with a certain technique.

By the way: I’ve included a way to perform the Snap Change clean (without a card left in your hand) at the bottom of this post, make sure to check it out!

Let’s get started with the tutorial.

How to do the Snap Change card trick the easiest way

There are different ways of performing the Snap Change, but I’ll show you the – in my opinion – easiest technique.

I’ve also found this awesome video by 52cards explaining everything you need to know about the Snap Change:

Snap Change Card Trick Tutorial // VISUALLY change a card

If you want to see this trick performed in a video, make sure to watch it!

But let’s get started with the tutorial now.

How to properly hold the cards

Now, first of all: you need two different cards for this trick. I would recommend you to use one black and one red card because it looks better for your viewers when the color of the card changes.

Another thing to keep in mind: I’ve used two cards with different backs to make it easier for the tutorial, but when performing the trick, always make sure to use cards of the same color.

Put both of the cards on top of each other like this:

Snap Change card trick
You need two cards for this trick

Make sure to align them perfectly to make it look like you would only hold one card in your hand. By the way, a great way to get into this position without any preparation is by doing a double lift.

Position your thumb on the bottom right corner and your index and middle finger on the opposite side. It should look like this:

How to hold the cards
How to hold the cards (make sure to align them properly)

Your middle finger should be at the bottom edge of the card, with your index finger right above. Another tip: don’t grad the cards in the middle, try to position your fingers in the corner of the cards.

This is how it looks from the front (this is what your viewers will see):

Front view of the cards
Front view of the cards

You should have a pretty good idea of how to hold the cards now.

Let’s get to the interesting part now: the actual change.

How to change the cards

First things first: this move requires some practice and it will probably take some time until you manage to do it consistently. Don’t give up! And please don’t perform it if you can’t do it perfectly, because it will just ruin the trick for everyone.

A perfect technique is crucial for a good performance of this trick.

But enough about practice, let’s talk about how to do it.

The goal is to get the front card behind the other one by pulling it down and behind the other card as fast as possible. You use your middle finger to move the card while your index finger will keep everything in place.

You start by pulling the front card down with your middle finger like this:

Snap Change card trick - Step 1
Step 1: Start pulling the card back with your middle finger

It’s helpful to reduce to pressure of the index finger on the front card when pulling it back with your middle finger. This might feel really weird or even impossible when you try it for the first few times, but you will get the hang of it eventually.

Just keep practicing, it’s a hard move to master but it’s definitely worth it!

Keep pulling the card back with your middle finger until it’s completely behind the other card.

Snap Change card trick - Step 2
Step 2: Pulling the front card behind the other one

The front card will now act as a cover and hide the other card behind it. You obviously want to make sure that all your viewers are directly in front of you since everyone behind or next to you will immediately know what’s happening.

This is the final position and the best spot to keep the card hidden:

Snap Change card trick - Step 3
Step 3: Where to hide the card

That’s the most basic way of doing the Snap Change, and in my opinion the easiest technique you can learn when you get started.

I would recommend you to practice all of these moves really slowly and start increasing your speed once you know how it works.

Now, you know how to do the trick, but you certainly can’t perform it like this because you are leftover with a card hidden in your hand. I’ll show you a way of getting around this, but first, you have to learn the final move: the “snap”.

Why snapping the cards when doing the change is so important

The final piece of this trick is the “snap”. It will make a huge difference in your performance, so please make sure to learn it!

Here’s the problem:

If you only pull the card down, some people will see what’s happening, no matter how fast you are. The best way to deal with this is by adding a little bit of misdirection by snapping the card.

To do this, snap the card with your left index finger in the top left corner just when you do the change.

Here’s where you want to snap the cards:

Where to snap the card
Snap the cards in the top left corner when doing the trick

Not only will it add some sound to your performance, but it will also misdirect your audience and add a little bit of extra movement. I know that it doesn’t really sound like it would do much, but trust me, it’s crucial to do the extra snap.

Just watch a few performances of this trick and you will know what I’m talking about.

How to perform the Snap Change clean (with no card hidden in your hand)

The biggest issue with this trick is that you have the extra card hidden in your hand after doing the change.

But don’t worry: there’s a way to work around this. It might sound a little complicated, so make sure to watch the video I’ve linked at the start of this post to understand what I’m talking about.

Step 1
Start off by holding a deck of cards in your left hand. Do a double lift to grab exactly two cards with your right hand from the deck and bring them into the proper position.

Step 2
You should now have two cards ready for the Snap Change in your right hand, while still holding the deck of cards in your left hand. You will use the deck of cards to cover the change and grab the extra card as well.

Step 3
Move the deck around your right hand in a circular motion so that the cards are completely hidden for a brief moment. Repeat this move one more time and do the change now.

Step 4
Finally, move the deck of cards around your right hand one more time and take the hidden card with your left hand. Make sure to put it directly onto the deck of cards with one smooth movement.

Once you know how to do it, it’s probably one of the best ways to perform the Snap Change in a clean way.

A few final thoughts on the Snap Change

This is one of the fastest card tricks you can do, and I’ve you do it right, it will really amaze people.

But always keep in mind that your biggest challenge is finding the right angle because everyone next to you or behind you will see the extra card. It’s best the perform the Snap Change for a small group or even only one person watching you.

Other than that, keep practicing and only perform it when you feel really comfortable with your technique!

Image sources:
All of the images are my own photos, click here if you want to use them.