Posts Tagged ‘card trick’

An Easy Card Trick for a shortened week

September 3, 2008

Deck of cards

It’s back to school after a long weekend (and the start of school for many, like our resident now-kindergartener!) so here’s a card trick that is easy enough to do while you’re occupied with either the fading summer or the burgeoning fall.   (Plus if, like yours truly, you only get Right versus Left correct about 50% of the time, it’s still OK.)   I’ll post a fancier card-trick tomorrow.

For this trick, start with a deck with any number of cards in it, as long as that number is 1 (boring),  4, 9,  16  (good for teaching to kids), 25, 36, or 49 (fancy, but it takes a long time to lay out so you might be back to boring).      Show the cards to a Volunteer, and tell the Volunteer to choose one of them secretly and memorize it.  Then give the deck to said Volunteer to shuffle as many times as desired and to lay out face-up in a square.

Have the Volunteer point to the row that the Chosen card is in.  You then memorize the card on far LEFT of the row.  We’ll call this card the Identifier.

Now gather the cards into a pile as follows:  start with the card at the bottom left, and scoop up that column of cards (so the card at the bottom left is at the top of the pile).  Move (right) to the next column and scoop up bottom to top.  Continue until you have one pile of cards.  [Alternately, you could scoop down top to bottom.  Just be consistent and do the same thing for each column.]

Now lay the cards into a square row by row.  [You might notice that the cards that made up the left-hand column are now the top row.  Indeed, if you scooped top to bottom then you’ll just have a transposition of the original layout; scooping bottom to top masks that just a little bit.]   The car you memorized in the previous square, the Identifier, will be somewhere in that top row.  Have the Volunteer point again to the row that the Chosen card is in.  The Chosen card will be in the same column as the Identifier, making it easy to determine.  [If you lay out the rows bottom to top or a mixture of both — laying out a row and then doing  rows above and below in any order — the Identifier won’t be at the top, but still will be at in the same column as Chosen card.]

At this point you could simply state what the Chosen card is, or you could get all fancy and just memorize it, then gather the cards up, look at them, think about it, and then announce the Chosen card.  Hooray!

This trick is a variation of one found at

Math Card Tricks: More Counting Cards

March 9, 2008


Looking for another card trick? This one only requires simple counting and moving cards around but it’s mostly done behind your back so it’s a little tricky (as it were).

Start with a Volunteer From The Audience. Tell The Volunteer to think of a number n from 1-15, and then, while your back is turned, to count down that many cards from the top of the face-down deck and memorize the nth card. For example, if The Volunteer thinks of the number 3, then the card to be memorized is the 3rd card from the top. The cards should remain in the same order — The Volunteer can look at the card, but doesn’t move anything around. Click here for the rest of the trick!

Card Tricks: The Year Game

February 25, 2008

playing_cards.jpgHere’s a another math card trick. And by “math” I mean…well…counting. All the way to twelve. It’s really not that hard a trick.

Start by taking a deck of cards (if a few are missing it’s not a big deal) with the jokers at the bottom. Have a Volunteer From The Audience pick a card, memorize it, and put it back on top of the pile. Then hand the pile of cards to The Volunteer and let them cut the deck a few times. You can turn around or hide your eyes if you want to; it really doesn’t matter, but it looks a little more impressive. Click here for the rest of the trick!

Math Card Tricks: Counting Cards

February 13, 2008

playing_cards.jpgHere’s a simple card trick that can be done with an ordinary deck of cards and a Volunteer From the Audience. Remove the jokers (from the deck, not the audience), and shuffle the cards.

Throughout this trick, Aces are 1, 2s are 2, 3s are 3, …, 10s are 10, Jacks are 11, Queens are 12, and Kings are 13. Click here for the trick and its variations.