Richard Turner, Legendary Blind Card Mechanic, Calls San Antonio Home

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Tony Maples Photography


San Antonio is home to a ‘card mechanic’ who has traveled around the world to much acclaim. Now semi-retired, Richard Turner has spent a lifetime perfecting and performing incredible tricks using a standard deck of cards and precise sleight of hand. The honors of Turner are a mile long. As examples, he holds a Golden Lion Award in Magic from Siegfried and Roy, the Lynn Searles Award for Excellence in Card Manipulation, and has twice won the Close-Up Magician of the Year. Further, Turner is a Fortune 500 motivational keynote speaker, plus a student of Wado Kai-style Karate, who has earned the title “Master Turner” through the attainment of his 6th degree Black Belt.

Impressed? Here’s something else about Richard Turner: he is blind.

Richard Turner, Legendary Blind Card Mechanic, Calls San Antonio Home

Photo: @clarebevanphotography via Twenty20

His path in life has not been traditional, and Turner bucked every connection to the world of visual impairment. Rarely, if ever, does he disclose his lack of site to audiences. His resume includes work at the world’s largest honky-tonk, Billy Bob’s in Fort Worth, as an Ambassador and Featured Performer at Six Flags Fiesta Texas, and at the Buckhorn Saloon & Museum in downtown San Antonio. Additionally, he is employed with The United States Playing Card Company as a “touch analyst” who evaluates the texture, flexibility, and cut of decks of cards by the dozens. Residing in the Alamo City with his wife, Kim, who is the City Manager of Universal City, and son, Asa Spades, Turner always, always has at least one deck of cards in his hands.

Recently, Hulu released a documentary biography based on his life titled “Dealt”. The film was directed by Austin-based filmmaker Luke Korem and won various awards at the South by Southwest Film Festival. The rating on Rotten Tomatoes is 96%. Do you think you can catch Richard Turner in the act? He fooled Penn & Teller, perhaps he can fool you too!