Young and coffee in varying degrees, Kat also says stuff @ThoroughlyMode
Published September 15th 2010
Having a nifty little magic trick up your sleeve will come in handy in all sorts of circumstances. Impress friends-to-be, whip it out at parties or keep kids occupied for a couple of precious minutes. Even basic magic tricks take lots of practice to learn and get right, but as an element of your social armoury they can prove invaluable.
The best tricks to master are coin and card tricks because they're more portable. Card tricks that you can do using any deck are the best because it makes you more portable still. And it's more baffling for your audience because they know you can't have rigged the pack in advance.
What the Audience Sees: You, the magician, shuffle and fan out a deck for one of your audience members to pick a card. Once it's been selected it's shown to everyone and put back into the pack, which is shuffled again. Then, with the back of the pack facing the audience, you make the selected card rise out of the pack and let the person who selected it judge whether it's the same card or not... Magic!
How To: Let's say the card selected from the deck was the Jack of Diamonds, when you're shuffling the pack you have to make sure that Jack ends up at the very back facing you. You can do this using a simple overhand shuffle, where the middle cards in the deck are shuffled but the back remains the same. The trick's next step is about preparation. Hold the deck in one hand so that the cards have their backs to your audience and you have your thumb sticking up along the side of the pack and your first three fingers spread out across the pack, with the tips curved around. Your little finger should support the bottom of the pack.
Here's where the 'magic' starts happening. Part of getting the pack in place involves pushing the second half of the deck slightly lower than the front, so that it forms a step – this is why the placement of the little finger is so important. Now wave your free hand magically over the pack a few times and use the pointing finger of it, placed horizontal to the pack and hovering above, to draw the card up. What your audience won't be able to see is that at the same time as you're magically drawing the card into the air, you're also using the little finger of your free hand to pull the card upwards. It looks like your forefinger has a magnetic hold over the card, but in reality Jack is being pulled up using the tip of your little finger.
When the card has been pulled high enough you can drop it into the step and slide it back into the middle of the deck so that when you go to present it to the person who initially selected it it looks as if it's coming right out of the middle of the pack.
This trick is baffling when done right, but it takes a lot of practice to perfect. You need to watch yourself in the mirror, but also watch yourself from angles other than just front on in case there's a viewpoint where your sleight of finger is obvious. But once you get it right it's the perfect close up magic trick to impress.
If you're still not sure how it should be done you can consult this video for a step by step visual demonstration.