Dealt: Documentary Film Stars Blind Card Mechanic Richard Turner

An AMI digital exclusive… [Richard] Well, my name is Richard Turner, I have no vision…and…this is…? [Luke] And you’re the subject of the documentary! Oh, that’s right. I’m the subject of a documentary called DEALT; D-E-A-L-T as in “dealt” a hand of cards.
And my name is Luke Korem and I’m the director of the film, DEALT. And right now we’re at South by Southwest in a hotel room doing an interview for the film.
First of all don’t let anyone tell you that something can’t be done. If they say it’s impossible, I say take possible out of impossible. People sometimes call me a card magician, but I’m not a magician. I’m what’s called a card mechanic. And the term “card mechanic” goes back like fifty years before the invention of the automobile. A card mechanic is somebody who can fix a card game, and the difference between a card magician and card mechanic is the techniques for the card table, to control a card game, literally are thousands of times more difficult to accomplish than the techniques or slights used to perform card magic. There are many, many very good card magicians but there are only a handful of world known card mechanics. [Luke] Obviously Richard has an incredible life story and the film kind of weaves together his past and his present. So it goes back into when he was a boy, when he started losing his vision, and how he discovered a pack of cards…how he was drawn to the sense of touch from them when he was watching the [TV] show “Maverick” as a young boy. And then today, with his family…his wife Kim, his son Asa, and his sister Lori, all play integral parts of the film; and so it’s this dramatic story arc, and I’ve peppered in with a lot of entertainment of Richard’s card work. [Richard] We all have a series of senses, and when you lose one you know it’s very common for something else to develop, and you think about Stevie Wonder and his musical talents, or Ray Charles, so just because you’re losing one doesn’t mean there’s something else it isn’t going to take over and exceed its normal god-given position or place or ability, and then from there you can then take that, whatever it is, and and let it grow. For me it was the sense of touch, you know, I just liked tactile things…I had to be touching things all the time. And my favorite thing to touch is my wife; (Luke LAUGHING) and my second favorite thing to touch is a pack of cards. And so I would literally play with cards all day and all night, and it started as…like I said, a little boy, and for me…cards… when I’m shuffling my fingers will feel them…they will feel like as thick as a a board even though they’re only 11.5 thousandths of an inch thickness on this particular deck. And because of that touch, you know, I was able to develop what I did. But then comes the work, and once again I would say, be monomaniacal…focused on one thing and just don’t let anything get in your way until you hit that goal. Now, if people think they can learn what I do in like five or ten easy years…it’s not going to happen (laughter). Seriously, I started working with cards 55 years ago; 1971 is when I first started messing with cards, and I’ve made a living with cards for over 40 years. But there was a period of time when I practice like 10 to 20 hours a day, seven days a week for 26 years straight. I’ll say that again…10 to 20 hours a day, seven days a week for 26 years straight. For some people who don’t know, one of the ways I met Richard is my dad made his living as a magician for many years, and I used to perform until I was about 15 or 16, so I myself am a magic fan, and have always been into magic, but what Richard does I think just stands out because when I saw, the first time I saw what he does, it’s different than magic, because it’s actually a skill and it just blows your mind so… [Richard] what I do fascinates people in that I can take people’s money at the card table, and when they see that I can sit there and make anybody win or lose at will, like you can shuffle up a deck of cards…Blackjack… I’ll beat you every hand, or I can let one person win and take everybody else’s money. And when people see that, and they go… “Oh my gosh, I’d be rich”, and so it has that separate fascination over and above being fooled with magic tricks, because of just that sinful nature that we’re born into and that little bit of larceny that everybody…everybody seems to have, so that’s why it has a little extra appeal, because it’s that emotion about dollars, dollars, dollars… And I’ve had a million dollar offer to cheat in the Middle East for oil money, yeah. But when you start getting involved with those people, your life is on the line… So I say, thank you, but I’ll pass. (Laughter) Ah, FOLLOW us on Facebook, on the DEALT movie web page, as well as
Accessible Media Inc. LIKE it on facebook to learn more about how you can see this film. Also, we’re really excited that we will be adding Audio Description(s) to this movie, it’s something we are very excited about, to make it even more enjoyable for people are visually impaired. So far our audiences…we’ve had two standing ovations, sellout crowds, and we’re just really excited about it. So FOLLOW us on on our DEALT Facebook page, and you can find out more about the film. Visit for more accessible media.

  1. Let me say that as an avid admirer of card mechanics, I have enjoyed studying different levels of finesse among the great ones. Upon discovering Richard Turner, it was like comparing firecrackers to Mr. Turner's atomic explosion! He truly has no peers in his craft.

  2. i was in a poker game while being hustled.the cheat was bottom dealing.we kicked his ass up n down the rd

  3. Wise guy who has put a tremendous amount of work into his craft. Admirable, and makes me look forward to the interview even though I just learned of it.

  4. I just found out about Richard Turner last night by chance here on YouTube and was immediately captivated and can't wait to see the documentary.

  5. Whenever I feel unmotivated of practicing, I always watch one of Richard's movies or lectures and I feel like practicing for 50 hours straight after.

  6. Can someone explain how this is possible, exactly? Like can he feel which cards are which, in any deck, are they different weights, raised printing????

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