Magic Card Trick Explained – Learn This Trick In Minutes


It’s getting close to silly season so I thought I might break the habit of a lifetime and share a little magic with you that might also make an interesting betcha for family and friends.

If there’s a pack of cards available, this simple card trick can be made miraculous with just a little bit of presentation on your part.

What Happens?

Place a card aside from a borrowed deck that’s been legitimately shuffled – by anyone who wants to mix the cards – guaranteeing that there can be no set order.

Someone then
concentrates on the mysterious card you set aside, dealing cards into a
facedown pile until they feel the urge to stop dealing.

From the exact
position that they stopped dealing, those same cards are divided into two
piles, the top cards of which are used to formulate a random card by suit and

No matter
where they chose to stop in the shuffled deck, the card they decide upon is the
exact card you predicted.

How’s It Done?

Whoah, stop a

Re-read that
description and think how it might be possible for two cards randomly
arrived-at in a shuffled deck to accurately identify the only card set aside
earlier with no switches or sleight of hand.

Take a moment
because this is the feeling you want to convey when performing this effect.

I’m not saying
you can’t just do this as a simple card trick – in fact it’s one of the first
tricks you’d learn if you went beyond the typical tricks available to the

What I’m
hoping to encourage is that you try and sell the miracle nature of what happens
despite the incredibly simple secret to how it happens.

The Method

At your next
gathering where a deck of cards is present, raise the topic of precognition and
the idea that people can intuit the future without realising that they’re doing

This serves an
important purpose as it can determine the filter through which your audience
will perceive the following effect.

By basing a magic trick around an idea, the simplest of secrets can become miraculous whereas the same trick without such an idea can be mildly interesting or momentarily impressive and quickly forgotten.

Consider the
secret of BLACK MAGIC, a family tradition of mine that fooled the pants off of
me and everyone else who witnessed it.

The name
itself evoked a way of thinking that concealed the method while compelling
participants to see one more demonstration.

In brief,
anyone who knew the secret could take part as ‘mediums’ and leave the room
while one item in the room was nominated.

On their
return, the medium would be asked about random items and would always say ‘no’
until the nominated object was pointed out and they would immediately say ‘yes,
that’s it!’.

The secret was
so simple as to be laughable but the feat could be repeated multiple times
without any clue for the audience as to how it was done.

So, back to
the card trick.

Image: Shutterstock

initiated an idea and borrowed a deck of cards, which you should have
thoroughly shuffled by anyone who wishes to.

Next, ask
someone to look through the cards without changing their order and without
anyone else seeing the faces of the cards.

Choose someone
who is unlikely to be an amateur memory champion, or this miracle will end
early and with your assistant in the spotlight!

Take back the
deck, quickly run through so only you can see the faces and remove a card.

The card you
take is not random, but you should learn to take it as if you’re simply taking
a card entirely by chance.

In fact, the
card you remove is determined by the top two cards of the deck which should be
different suits and different values from each other (if they happen to be the
same suit or value, cut the cards to any suitable pair).

Combining the
suits and values of these cards gives you two possible other cards. 

For example,
the ace of spades and king of hearts can be combined to form the ace of hearts
(value from the ace, suit from the king) or the king of spades (value from the
king, suit from the ace) and so on.

I advise that
you use the value of the top card and the suit of the second card to determine
which card you remove and place face down on the table.

By making sure
you use the value of the top card, you are able to be clearer about something
important in a moment.

Let’s imagine
the king of hearts is on top and the ace of spades is second from the top, so
you remove the king of spades.

When setting
this card aside, be sure no one sees its face but place it in a prominent
position as it represents the climax of your miracle.

Return the
deck to your helper and ask them to run through the faces one more time without
changing the order then ask them to hold the deck face down and deal cards one
at a time into a face down pile.

Allow them to
deal at least 10 cards (coach them to deal neither too quickly nor too slowly)
before telling them they can stop dealing at any time.

Once they
stop, take the balance of the deck from them and place it aside and ask them to
pick up the dealt pile and deal that into two piles until all the cards are

As they do
this, note where the last card is dealt (left or right pile) and you’re ready
to complete the effect.

Remind them that the deck was shuffled, a card removed and that your helper examined the deck before and after the card was removed and thanks to the remarkable powers of the human mind, he or she has subliminally calculated not only the missing card but how to identify that card through seemingly random dealing of the cards.

Point to the
pile where the last card was dealt and say, “Let’s imagine this card nominates
value,” then point to the other pile saying, “—and this card nominates suit,”
and remind everyone again that the deck was shuffled and that your unwitting
assistant decided where to stop dealing without being given any other

Turn over the
value card saying “king of—,” then turn the suit card, “—spades!”

Have your
assistant reveal the predicted card you set aside at the outset and take your

The Blow Off

you just learned a real card trick, albeit a very simple one but I guarantee
this is about a thousand times better than the average trick most non-magicians
happen to know.

If you enjoy it enough to learn more, I recommend buying a copy of ‘The Royal Road To Card Magic’ and reading it in order (don’t skip chapters).

It teaches
sleight of hand for beginners and each chapter includes a sleight-free effect
or two that will really blow your friends away.

As for this
trick: If you succeed in engaging people’s interest enough to get the strongest
effect, you must learn to fend off demands for the secret where every tactic
imaginable will be leveraged to make you share the method.

Don’t do it.

Don’t even
point them to this article.

Telling the
secret isn’t sharing, it’s killing the effect and depriving people of the
experience they just had.

A lot of new
magicians can’t help but tell in order to show how clever they are but it never
works, and people soon lose all interest when they see that “that’s all it is”.

So before you
perform this, be prepared with something to say that will fight off the persistent
ones (and there will be).

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