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How to perform a "sleight-of-hand" magic card trick

A sneaky trick! Use a decoy card to make them THINK their card is lost in the stack, then make it rise to the surface!

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When no one is looking, "palm" a card. This is  the most difficult part to explain. I am not a professional magician, so by all means consult one if this seems stupid... Just hide it OK?

When no one is looking, "palm" a card. This is the most difficult part to explain. I am not a professional magician, so by all means consult one if this seems stupid... Just hide it OK?

It can be a joker if you like, but then again, if you show that both jokers are out of the deck, they will think the deck is intact.

No one ever misses a 5 of Clubs :/

No one ever misses a 5 of Clubs :/

Oh, right, they will want the deck shuffled, so have a spectator do it! They will feel in control of the deck, perhaps, but they also cannot claim you "rigged" the deck.

Alternatively, you can practice cutting or shuffling while still using the hand with the palmed decoy card (do not bend). If your table isn't glass you can put the card in your lap or something.

Ask a spectator to make 3 even stacks of cards, side-by-side. Then, ask her to choose a card from any pile; look & memorize (show others?), and place it on the pile to the right or left - not middle.

Their card... your decoy...

Their card... your decoy...

... soon, decoy, soon...

... soon, decoy, soon...

Act casual!

Act casual!

After they place their card, say you want them to SLAP each deck on top, and say you will demonstrate first... You start by hitting THEIR card's pile FIRST!

The key is to figure out how to fit the decoy in your hand and slam it down, without messing the piles up. The SLAM will alert them AND distract them, but move quickly or they might catch on...

After you've tapped each pile, ask them to do it too - just like you did. It's magic, blah blah, whatever you want to tell them - be creative!

You can say that you're going to bury their card in the stack and make it RISE AGAIN!! Whatever your pleasure, you knave!

Their heads will LITERALLY explode! ;)

Their heads will LITERALLY explode! ;)

They will be watching you more closely from now on. Practice is a MUST!

Also, try a few different spiels during the "boring parts" to keep them entertained. I like to get them shuffling so people feel involved and trust the deck. Up to you...

Have fun! Thanks for reading!

  • 1.0 Deck of cards
  • 1.0 Functional hand
  • 1.0 sturdy Table or surface
  • 1.0 Participant