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File Under Unimportant but Awesome: Notching a Deck of Cards

Of all the milestones in life, are any so exquisite and important as the moment when you’re finally strong enough to tear something in half, or bend something, or break something that you never thought you’d be able to break?

The answer is yes: most other things are more important and exquisite than breaking things just for fun.

That said, yesterday I hit a milestone in my card tearing that was worth celebrating. Notching a deck of cards is a lot tougher in some ways than simply tearing a deck in half.

I haven’t missed a simple tear in about a year. But this is different. Head below for a picture.

Notching a deck basically means pulling a piece out of the middle with your thumb and pinch-might.



A notched deck

Basically, you start a tear like you normally would, but stop about halfway through. Then, flip the deck over, move your hands over about an inch, and start a new break.

What you’re left with is an exposed piece in the middle, bracketed by those two tears.

If you can pinch hard enough, at that point it’s simply a matter of squeezing that chunk and finding a way to twist it out of there. It took me a while and it was sloppy, but I’m sure I’ll find ways to make it more efficient.

When I showed it to a co-worker she said, “You just did that?”


“But…you didn’t moan or anything!

Pro tip: there’s no reason to moan while doing this.


Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Ryan March 1, 2012, 9:20 am

    Will you be keeping an eye on the Mighty Mitts competition at the Arnold this year?

    • Josh Hanagarne March 1, 2012, 9:48 am

      Absolutely! I’m the rankest of rank amateurs compared to those monsters, but I always love to see what they’ve all been working on.

  • Rob March 1, 2012, 3:40 pm

    Josh, that is truly awesome! I’ve never tried it but can only imagine it is very difficult, probably 10 times harder than splitting a deck of cards! Well done Sir, you have very strong hands

  • Todd March 2, 2012, 9:07 am

    That’s crazy stuff. And I strongly disagree with the moaning statement. Moaning is always encouraged. LOL

  • Wanderlust March 2, 2012, 10:23 am

    Damn. I so would have moaned.