This prediction card trick is one of the basic routines that every aspiring magician should have in their repertoire. It has been around for centuries and can be performed hundreds of different ways, but if done well, still has the power to amaze your audience.
The Card Trick
Holding a deck of cards face down in your hands, fan them out and ask for a volunteer to help you with the trick. Holding the fan of cards with one hand use one of the fingers from your other hand to point at the fan. Run your finger around the fan of cards and ask the spectator to say stop when your finger is over the card that they want.
The chosen card is then shown to the audience and returned to the pack, which is then handed to a member of the audience to be shuffled. The magician then proceeds to reveal which card was originally selected.
At the start of the performance, hand the deck to a member of the audience and ask them to shuffle the cards. When the spectator hands the cards back, take a quick look at the card on the bottom of the deck. This is going to be the card that they “select”.
Next, fan out the pack and get another person from the audience to select a card. Run your finger across the cards and ask them to say “Stop” when your hand is over the card that they want.
When they say “Stop” put the thumb of the hand that’s holding the cards on the top of the selected card. With your other hand, gather together all the cards on top of the selected card and get ready to slide the whole packet of cards (including the chosen card) off the top of the deck so that the audience can see the card that has been selected.
But while you’re gathering the cards on top of the selected card together, use the fingers of your other hand to work the card on the bottom of the pack towards you.
The aim is to slide this card from the bottom of the pack (the one you already know) at the same time as you slide the cards from the top of the pack.
This allows you to make sure that the card on the bottom of the pack becomes the “chosen” card, while giving the illusion that you are displaying the card that has been selected.
Once you’ve done this, show the “selected” card (the one from the bottom off the pack) to the audience.
At this stage you can stand back and let the audience do the next part of the trick. The trick will be far more impressive the less direct contact you have with the cards.
Ask the person who chose the card to take it and make sure everyone has seen it apart from you. Then ask someone else to take the whole pack of cards, replace the chosen card and give the deck a good shuffle.
Now it’s time to reveal to the audience that you know which card was selected. There are hundreds of ways to do this, so let your imagination run wild.
If you want to add extra sparkle to this routine, try this; when it’s time to reveal the chosen card, hold the deck of cards face down over the table and flip the cards over one by one.
When you reach their card, turn over another three or four cards and then stop. Say to the audience “I bet you that the next card I turn over will be yours!”.
At this stage they’ll be eager to accept the bet because the chosen card is already on the table and they’ll think that you’ve made a mistake.
So imagine their surprise when you reach out to the table and turn their chosen card face down.