The Not So Lazy Magician: Card Trick Trick Tutorial

Learn this fooling but easy magic trick.

Magician at desk illustration

Al Koran’s name will always be associated with this card trick. It came to light when he described an evening at the Embassy Club in London. He’d finished his show, and at 3 AM, he was backstage when someone asked Koran to do another trick. He had a trick in mind, but he was tired and thought it a good idea to play up the tiredness aspect.

The result was a presentation that has become known as the Lazy Magician’s Card Trick, a trick in which the spectator does all the work and finds their own selected card. It’s a hands-off miracle.

The Method

The trick depends on a short stack of cards. Koran arranged the Ace to Ten in order, the Ace being the face card of the stack, and set them at the bottom of the face-down deck. He then put another card, Queen of Spades in our example, at the face of the deck (1). Koran alternated Spade and Heart suits, but if you wish, you can have all the cards in the same suit.

Playing cards: 10H, 9S, 8H, 7S, 6H, 5S, 4H, 3S, 2H, AS, QH

The Trick

Begin by false shuffling the deck, keeping the stack in place at the bottom, and then putting the deck face down on the table. Assuming you’re doing this trick late at night, as Koran did, tell the spectators that it’s been a long day – maybe they won’t mind doing some of the work.

Ask one of them to cut off some cards and take the card they cut to (the top card of the lower portion). Tell them to replace the cut-off portion back onto the tabled portion. Then, have them look at the card they are holding and remember it.

This is good spectator management. They can cut the deck with one hand and take the card with the other. Then, they replace the cut portion before looking at their card. On that point, it’s always wise to ask the spectator to show the selected card to someone else in the group. You don’t want them to forget it just as you are bringing the trick to a close.

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