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Card Tricks MadLabs
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The Spectator Finds the Twins

This is another "twins" trick, only this time the spectator performs the trick. Say, "Okay, you're going to do this trick. First shuffle the cards, then tell me to pick 2 cards." When the spectator gives you the deck after he shuffles it, hold the deck facing you so that you can see the values of the cards (and the spectator can only see the backs of the cards). Look at the top 2 cards and then go through the deck and find the "twins" of the top 2 cards. For example, if the top card is the 10 of Diamonds then pull out the 10 of Hearts (i.e. find the card which has the same number and the same color as the top card in the deck). When you find both "twins," put them face-down in a stack on the table, in the same order as the top 2 cards. Give the deck back to the spectator and say, "Deal as many cards as you want (up to 10) face-down into a stack. Now deal as many cards as you want (up to 10) face-down into a second stack. Now deal as many cards as you want (up to 10) face-down into a third stack. Give me the remaining cards [set them aside, you won't need them for the remainder of the trick], and put the second stack on top of the third stack to mix them up, then put them on top of the first stack. Now pick up the stack and deal the top card face-down onto the table, and deal the next card face-down next to the first card. Deal the next card on top of the first card, then deal the next card on top of the second card, and keep alternating as you deal all of the cards onto the 2 stacks. Let's see if you can find the "twins" of my cards." When the spectator has dealt all of the cards, take the top card which you had pulled out of the deck and place it face-up in front of the stack which received the very last card. Then pick up the other card which you had pulled out of the deck and put it in front of the other stack: find twin card trick Say, "You randomly dealt out some cards, then you randomly dealt out some more cards, then you randomly dealt out some more cards, then you mixed them up a bit, and if you did the trick correctly then you found the "twins" of my cards. Turn over the top card in each stack and see if you did the trick right!"

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The 3 by 7 Trick

This is an old classic which works every time! Can you figure out why? First put the deck of cards face-down on the table, then cut the deck by picking up the top part of the deck (make sure that you only pick up less than half of the deck) and putting it face-down on the table next to the bottom part of the deck. Then pick up the bottom part of the deck to use for this trick. The purpose of this is to preserve the 4 Aces which are on top of the deck (from the previous trick) so that you'll be ready for trick #4. If the spectator asks why you're only using the bottom part of the deck then simply say, "That's just how I learned this trick" (which is true).
Deal 3 cards in a row face-up. Now deal 3 more cards on top of the first 3, overlapping them so that you can see the values of all of the cards. Continue dealing in this way until you have 7 rows of cards in 3 columns:
3 by 7 card trick

Now put the remaining cards in a stack face-down on the table, and put the rest of the deck on top of that stack. Remember, we're trying to keep the 4 Aces at the top of the deck. Set the deck aside (face-down) because you won't need it for this trick. Ask the spectator to mentally pick one of the cards which you have dealt (but not to tell you what it is), and then ask him to point to the column (1, 2, or 3) which contains his card. Now pick up each column, preserving the order of the cards in each column, but make sure that the column he pointed to is in the middle. So if he chose a card in the 3rd column, you could pick up the 1st column of cards, then put it on top of the 3rd column of cards, then put all of those on top of the 2nd column of cards. Now you have a stack of cards with his column of cards in the middle of the stack. Hold the stack face-down in your hand, and deal out the 3 columns and 7 rows exactly as you did before. Ask the spectator to point to the column which contains his card, and then pick up the cards again with his column in the middle (just as before). Repeat this process two more times (so that you deal out the cards a total of four times). At this point, his card is in the exact middle of the stack. It doesn't matter which card he chose or which column it was in to begin with, his card will always end up in the middle of the stack! Can you figure out why? Since we know exactly where his card is, all we need to do is to reveal the card in an interesting way. In this trick I'll describe a technique called a "force," and in some of the other tricks we'll see some other techniques. Sometimes it's a fun and creative challenge to invent your own techniques of revealing the spectator's card! In a "force," you will force the spectator to choose the right card, but he thinks that he is choosing it himself. First deal 3 cards onto the table, face-down, one on top of the other so that you have a small stack of 3 cards on the table. Then deal another stack of 3 cards, then another, and so on, until you have dealt all 21 cards:

3 by 7 card trick The spectator's card will always be the middle card in the middle stack (the 4th stack that you dealt). Make sure that you keep track of which stack has his card! Now comes the "force," where you will force the spectator to choose his own card. Say, "Now you're going to start getting rid of some stacks, like this." Move the last stack off to the side, and then ask him to point to 3 of the remaining stacks. There are now two possibilities:
If one of the stacks that he pointed to is the stack that contains his card Say, "Okay, we'll keep these stacks and discard the rest." Move the stacks that he didn't point to out of the way. -- OR --
If none of the stacks that he pointed to is the stack that contains his card Say, "Okay, we'll discard those cards." Move the stacks that he pointed to out of the way. Ask him to point to 2 of the remaining 3 stacks. There are now two possibilities:
If one of the stacks that he pointed to is the stack that contains his card Say, "Okay, we'll keep these stacks and discard the rest." Move the stack that he didn't point to out of the way. -- OR --
If none of the stacks that he pointed to is the stack that contains his card Say, "Okay, we'll discard those cards." Move the stacks that he pointed to out of the way. If there are 2 stacks left then ask him to point to 1 of the remaining 2 stacks. There are now two possibilities:
If the stack that he pointed to is the stack that contains his card Say, "Okay, we'll keep this stack and discard the other one." Move the stack that he didn't point to out of the way. -- OR --
If the stack that he pointed to does not contain his card Say, "Okay, we'll discard this stack." Move the stack that he pointed to out of the way. Notice that you are letting him choose any stacks he wants, yet you are slowly forcing him to keep the stack that contains his card!
Now there is only one stack left, and his card is the middle card. Separate the cards so that all 3 cards are next to each other, still face-down. Ask him to point to 2 cards. At this point there are two possibilities:
If one of the cards that he pointed to is his card Say, "Okay, we'll keep these 2 and get rid of the other one," then move the other card out of the way. Ask him to point to 1 card. If he points to the one which is not his card then say, "Okay, we'll get rid of that one," and move that one out of the way. --OR--
If he pointed to the 2 which are not his card Say, "Okay, we'll get rid of those cards," and move them out of the way. Now there is only 1 card left. The spectator doesn't realize that you knew exactly where his card was, and he thinks that he chose all of those stacks at random, but the whole time you were forcing him to choose his card. Ask him what his card was, then tell him to turn over the card that he "chose," and it will be his card!
This trick might sound complicated, but you'll quickly get the hang of it when you practice it a few times.
If you are going to do trick #4 then pick up the 21 cards from this trick and use them as the "deck" for the next trick (so that you don't touch the 4 Aces which are still at the top of the main deck of cards).

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Find The Ace

This is a nice card trick, but it requires a "setup." First you need to secretly pull all 4 Aces out of the deck and then put them on top of the deck without anyone knowing that they are there. This is a good trick to do just before the "14-15-15" trick (trick #5, below), because that card trick uses the 4 Aces as well.
If you did the previous 3 card tricks the way I described them, then the deck is already setup for this trick! However, sometimes it is not too difficult to pull out the 4 Aces while nobody is looking, or else you can put the 4 Aces at the top of the deck and put the deck back in the box in advance, and then do this card trick first.
To make this trick even more surprising, you can "false shuffle" the cards a few times before beginning the trick. This takes a little practice, but you simply do a normal shuffle without letting it affect the 4 Aces on top of the deck. Don't point out to the spectator that you are shuffling the cards, because you don't want him to watch you too closely. If you don't think you can shuffle the cards while leaving the 4 Aces on top of the deck then don't worry about shuffling the cards.
Put the deck face-down on the table. Pick up the top half of the deck and put it face-down on the table to the right of the bottom half of the deck:
Find the ace card trick
The 4 Aces are on top of the stack on the right. Now pick up the top half of the stack on the left and put it on the table (face-down) to the left of the bottom half of that stack: Find the ace card trick
Now pick up the top half of the big stack on the right and put it on the table (face-down) to the right of the bottom half of that stack:
Find the ace card trick
Now you have 4 small stacks next to each other, and the 4 Aces are on top of stack #4 (the farthest stack to the right).
Now pick up stack #1 and move 3 cards (one at a time, face-down) from the top of that stack to the bottom. Then deal from the top of that stack and put one card face-down on top of the other 3 stacks, then put the stack back down where it was. Now do the same thing with stack #2, then stack #3, then stack #4 (the one that has the Aces on top of it).
Now for the "reveal." Here are two ideas:
Say, "Okay, the cards were shuffled [if you shuffled them before doing the trick], and then I cut the cards several times, and then I shuffled some cards around, and now I know exactly where the 4 Aces are!" Turn the top card of each stack over. There's an Ace on top of each stack! -- OR --
If you are going to do the "14-15-15" trick (below) next, then say, "Now, for the trick that I'm about to do I will need all 4 Aces, so I'll use this one [turn over the top card of stack #1], and this one [turn over the top card of stack #2], and this one [turn over the top card of stack #3], and this one" [turn over the top card of stack #4].

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14-15-15 Card Trick

When I was a teenager, this card trick had me stumped because I couldn't figure out why it worked every time. It was fun to finally get that Aha! when I "saw" how the trick worked. Can you figure it out?
First pull out all 4 Aces from the deck (it's okay for the spectator to see you doing this) and set them aside, face-up. Now deal the top 3 cards face-down next to each other:
Three cards Trick
Deal the next 3 cards onto the tops of these 3 cards, and continue dealing out the cards onto these stacks until the first stack has 14 cards, and the second and third stacks both have 15 cards. Place the remaining 4 cards face-down next to the last stack:
Three cards Trick
Say, "Shuffle the first stack and then put it back [point to the stack which has 14 cards]. Now put one of the Aces face-down on top of that stack. Shuffle the second stack and then put it back. Now pick up as many cards as you want from the second stack and place them face-down on top of the Ace on the first stack. Now put another Ace face-down on top of the second stack. Shuffle the third stack and then put it back, and then pick up as many cards as you want from the third stack and put them face-down on top of the Ace on the second stack. Now put another Ace face-down on top of the third stack [turn the 4th Ace face-down on the table for now]. Shuffle the fourth stack and then put it face-down on top of the third stack."
When the spectator has done these things, there are now 3 stacks. Pick up the third stack (the last one which the spectator had put an Ace onto) and put it on top of the second stack, then put both of those on top of the first stack. Say, "You shuffled all of the stacks and you buried the Aces with as many cards as you wanted to. I have no idea how many cards you used to bury each Ace, but I'll bet I can find all of the Aces!"
Pick up the deck and then deal two cards face-down next to each other. Deal the next card face-down on top of the first card on the table, then deal the next card face-down onto the second card on the table, and continue alternating as you deal all of the cards onto the 2 stacks.
Now pick up the first stack and deal the top card face-down onto the top of the stack on the table. Deal the next card face-down where the first stack had been, and continue alternating stacks as you deal out all of the cards.
Repeat that process by picking up the first stack and dealing the top card face-down onto the top of the stack on the table. Deal the next card face-down where the first stack had been, and continue alternating stacks as you deal out all of the cards.
One more time: Pick up the first stack and deal the top card face-down onto the top of the stack on the table. Deal the next card face-down where the first stack had been, and continue alternating stacks as you deal out all of the cards.
Now pick up the first stack, which should have 3 cards in it. Drop those 3 cards face-down on top of the Ace which you had set aside earlier. Say, "You buried the Aces, but I found them!" Now turn over the 4 Aces.

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Ten Cards Trick

This is another mathematical card trick which works every time. Can you figure out why it works?
Ask the spectator to pick a number from 1 to 10, without telling you what it is. Tell him that you are going to show him 10 cards, and he should memorize the card which is at the number that he had picked. In other words, if he picked the number 7 then he should memorize the 7th card that you show him.
Pick up the top card from the stack of 21 cards (from the previous trick) and say "one" and show it to him for a moment, then put it face-down onto the table. Show him the next card for a moment and say "two," then place it face-down on top of the first card. Show him the next card for a moment and say "three," then place it face-down on top of the stack. Keep doing this until you have shown him 10 cards.
Now pick up the stack of 10 cards that you just dealt and hold it face-down in your hand, then ask him what his number was. Move the bottom card to the top of the stack, then move the next card from the bottom to the top of the stack, etc., while you silently count up to his number. In other words, if he picked the number 7 then you will move 7 cards (one at a time) from the bottom of the stack to the top. After you have silently counted to his number while moving the cards from the bottom of the stack to the top, keep going so that you move 3 extra cards to the top.
Now give him the stack of cards, face-down, and tell him to deal one card face-down onto the table, then he should move the next card from the top of the stack to the bottom of the stack, then he should deal the next card face-down onto the stack on the table, and so on. Make sure that he perfectly alternates between putting a card onto the stack on the table and putting the next card on the bottom of the stack in his hand, and tell him to stop when he is holding the last card. When he stops, ask him what his card was and then tell him to turn over the card that he is holding. It's his card!
Gather up the cards that you used for this trick and place them face-down on the table, then put the rest of the deck on top of those cards.

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Twins

This is one of several self-working card tricks in which you find the "twins" of the spectator's cards. Can you figure out why this trick works?
Say, "You're going to randomly choose 2 cards, but first I'm going to try to guess which 2 cards you will choose. I will pull out the "twins" of those 2 cards so that my 2 cards will have the same number and the same color as the 2 cards that you randomly choose."
Now hold the deck in front of you so that you can see the values of all of the cards (the spectator can only see the backs of the cards). Look at the bottom card, and then go through the deck until you find the "twin" of that card. In other words, if the bottom card is the 3 of Spades then find the 3 of Clubs. When you find the "twin" of the bottom card, place it face-up on the table. Now look at the top card in the deck and find the "twin" of that card. Pull out the "twin" of the top card and put it face-up on the table to the right of the other card that you had put on the table. Throughout this trick, make sure that the spectator never sees the cards which are on the top or the bottom of the deck!
Hold the deck face-down in your hand and say, "Pick a random number from 1 to 20 and tell me what it is." When he tells you the number, deal that many cards face-down onto the table, one on top of the other (to make a stack). Don't let the spectator see what those cards are. Say, "The card that you randomly picked is on top of the stack, and I am going to place my card on top of it. Now my card is next to your card." Now pick up the "twin" that's on the left (the first one that you had pulled out of the deck) and place it face-up on top of the stack that you just made, then put the rest of the deck face-down on top of that stack.
Say, "Pick another random number from 1 to 20 and tell me what it is." When he tells you the number, deal that many cards face-down onto the table, one on top of the other (to make another stack). Don't let the spectator see what those cards are. Say, "The card that you randomly picked is on top of the stack, and I am going to place my card on top of it. Now my card is next to your card." Pick up the other "twin" and place it face-up on top of the stack that you just made, then put the rest of the deck face-down on top of that stack.
Say, "You picked two random cards by choosing two different random numbers, and I had no way of knowing what those numbers would be, right?" Now, with the deck face-down on the table, start spreading out the cards (starting with the top of the deck) until you get to the first face-up card in the deck:
Twin Cards Trick
Say, "Here is one of the cards that I chose," then square up all of the cards which were above that face-up card so that they are stacked up:
Twin Cards Trick
Now turn that stack over (face-up) and say, "And the card that you chose by picking a random number is the 'twin' of my card!":
Twin Cards Trick
The card which is now showing on top of the stack on the right is the "twin" of the card that was face-up in the deck! Move the stack on the right and the face-up card (the 7 of Spades in the picture above) over to the side and then start spreading out the remaining cards until you get to the other face-up card. Square up the cards which were above that face-up card so that they are stacked up, and then turn that stack over. Once again the 2 "twins" have found each other, even though the spectator thinks that he had randomly chosen his 2 cards!

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12-Card Prediction

This is an interesting self-working trick in which you write down a secret prediction, and the spectator will choose the card that you predicted! Why does it work every time?
Tell the spectator to shuffle the deck, then tell him to spread out the cards face-down on the table. Tell him to pick out any 12 cards at random from the deck (it's okay for you to watch him doing this). When he has pulled out his 12 cards, tell him to shuffle them well, and while he is doing this, pick up the rest of the deck and secretly memorize the bottom card as you straighten up the cards. Say, "I am going to try to predict which card you will randomly choose," then write down on a piece of paper the card that you memorized (but don't let him see what you have written).
Now tell him to pick any 4 cards out of the 12 that he had pulled out of the deck. Tell him to lay those 4 cards face-up on the table next to each other, and then to place the rest of the stack face-down on the table.
prediction Cards Trick
Place the rest of the deck face-down on top of the stack of 8 cards, then pick it up again (including the stack of 8 cards).
Now deal some cards face-down in front of each of the 4 cards that he picked, until you reach a value of 10 for each one. For example, if one of the cards that he picked was a 4 then deal 6 more cards in front of it. If one of the cards that he picked was a 10, Jack, Queen, or King then it already equals 10, so don't deal any cards in front of it.
prediction Cards Trick
Now ask him to add up the values of the 4 cards that he had picked (remember that a 10, Jack, Queen, or King equals 10). For example, if the 4 cards are the 4 of Diamonds, the Queen of Spades, the 2 of Hearts, and the 9 of Spades, then the total is 25. Count down in the deck to the 25th card, and place the 25th card face-down on the table. Say, "You shuffled the deck, then you chose 12 cards at random, then you shuffled them, then you chose 4 cards from those 12, and I had no idea which 4 cards you would choose. Now we have added up the values of your 4 cards, and we have counted down to that exact card in the deck. There's no way I could have known in advance how many cards to count down in the deck, but now let's look at my prediction." Show him the prediction that you had written down before the trick. Turn over the card that you had placed on the table (the 25th card in this example), and it will match your prediction!

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