Although I have taught myself the great majority of the tricks that I know, I must admit that the first trick that I learned was not my own. In fact, the first illusion that I ever added to my arsenal was one that my father taught me as a little kid. He explained to me when he showed me the trick that he had originally used it to do his duties as a big brother and mess with my uncle.
First I’ll explain the trick as it would be seen by the audience, and then I’ll let you in on the secret behind it. It remains one of my favorites to this day!
After dealing three piles of 12-15 cards each, the dealer puts the rest of the cards in a fourth pile to the side. They then deal three new cards to the top of the piles. After these cards are in place, they give the top card in the extra pile to the audience volunteer. After they have memorized the card, the dealer asks them to put the card back in any of the four piles and then shuffle them up to their liking. Once the cards are mixed up, the dealer puts them back into a large single pile.
The dealer begins going through the deck of cards, flipping them over one by one in an attempt to find the volunteer’s card. When he gets to the card he slows down and stops for a moment, but continues flipping cards. Five or six flipped cards passed the one he was supposed to point out as the volunteer’s, the dealer gives the volunteer a choice:
“I’ll bet you ten dollars that the next card I flip will be yours.”
Naturally, because the audience member has seen their card already flipped, they will take the bet. They will be both surprised and dismayed when the dealer simply goes back to their already flipped card and flips it back, winning the ten dollars!
Okay… so now for the magic behind the trick.
This trick is actually quite simple, and doesn’t even really require any difficult slight of hand. The dealer must simply put the card that they want to be chosen by the volunteer (which they have of course already memorized) four cards from the top of the deck, dealing the three piles of 12 from the bottom. Once the card has been placed correctly, the magician must only ensure that they don’t flip the wrong card and they will make 10 dollars (or whatever amount of money was bet at the end of the trick). The key is to just keep flipping cards until the special one comes up.
The most important part of this trick is to keep your hand above the deck of cards so the audience cannot see or notice whether the cards are coming from the top or bottom. It is easier to accomplish this if you are making eye contact with the audience and speaking to them as to draw their attention away from what is happening with the dealing of the deck.
This trick is fantastic for any kind of show, and can even be useful for getting free desserts or dinner if you are at a restaurant; just as a volunteer will be positive that their card will not be flipped and most likely will be willing to ante up ten dollars, the manager of the restaurant or waiter/waitress that you are showing the trick to will be confident in their decision. Although it is quite simple, I have also found that this trick is great for making people laugh and bringing about a jocular atmosphere at any celebration.
Although this trick is very simple, it helped me begin a career in magic that now includes far more complicated tricks that I have learned over time. It is important for an aspiring magician to be patient as they become increasingly familiar with the techniques needed to improve; even Harry Houdini had to start somewhere. Easy tricks that can make a crowd laugh still capture the essence of magic, as they are aimed at the goal of amazing and amusing the audience, no matter if they are large or small in size.
If you are starting your career in magic and are finding it difficult to start from scratch, taking lessons can be the perfect thing to push you in the right direction. The wide array of tricks and illusions that I have learned over the years allow me to help magicians achieve goals of any style or level of expertise. Don’t hesitate to reach out to me via at 440-821-9549 or [email protected] for more information on how to get started with magic lessons today!