Deceptive Divination

The magician turns his back to the audience and asks a volunteer to deal a random number of cards into two piles. The remaining cards are shuffled by the volunteer - he is then asked to look at and remember the top card (say - 8 of Hearts). One of the two tabled piles is then placed on the top of the deck the second pile in placed at the bottom - thus sandwiching the deck and volunteers card. Finally one complete cut of the deck is made.

The magician turns back and takes the deck
announcing "I will now peruse the cards - using my ESP - I will divine the card that you looked at."

After a moment or two........

The magician places a card face down on the table saying "This card represents the colour of your card"

The magician places another card face down on the table saying "This card represents the suit of your card"

The magician places a third card on the table saying "This card represents the value of your card"

He then turns over the first card - it is a Red card - "I believe your card was Red".

He turns over the second card - it is a Heart - "I believe the suit of your card was Hearts".

Turning the last card, he says"I believe the value of your card was Eight".

Finally he turns over the top card on the deck - revealing the 8 of Hearts.

He says "Your card was the Eight of Hearts "

* * *

Requirements: A deck of cards.


It must seem impossible to the uninitiated that a card could be located within a deck that was handled, shuffled and cut by a volunteer while the magician had his back turned ?

The secret to this trick is a Key card - actually in this case, two Key cards .


Two cards of the same value and colour are secretly placed on top of the deck (say 2 Spades and 2 Clubs).

If you know how to false shuffle (retaining top stock) then do so now. Shuffling the deck openly may stop some 'smart Alec' asking if he can shuffle the cards !

Pass the deck to your volunteer, turn your back to them, immediately ask them to deal any number of cards alternatively (important) into two small piles. (Recommend that about 15 - 20 cards be dealt)

Position check : You have two piles of cards dealt with a black two at the bottom of each pile.

Ask the volunteer to shuffle the remaining cards, finally looking at the top card (which is replaced).

Ask the volunteer to choose either of the two piles and place it on top of the cards that he holds. "Now please take the second pile and replace it at the bottom of the deck", "Now please make a complete cut of the deck"

With your back still turned towards them, you now say......

"To re-iterate - you dealt a random number of cards into two piles, you shuffled the cards, looked at a card , you then sandwiched that card with the first two piles of cards and finally you made a complete cut of the deck.- is that correct ?"

They will reply in the affirmative.

You now turn towards them and take the cards from the volunteer.

All you have to do now is little acting as you fan the cards - locate the first black two that is nearest the face of the deck - the card immediately in front of the black two is the volunteer's card.

Search through the cards - after a short while remove a card of the same colour (using the patter above). A card of the same suit and finally a card of the same value. During the searching, at some point, cut the volunteer's card to the top of the deck, ready for the final revelation !

You should leave your audience completely mystified !