Feb 3 • 4M

Lessons From A Magic Prototype

An impossible hands-off playing card trick

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man in blue and white striped dress shirt holding playing cards

Here’s the trick—you, the magician, shuffle a deck of cards. Then you, still the magician, hand the playing cards to a friend.

Here’s what your friend will do—they’ll deal down face down cards onto the table. Whenever they want, they can stop. At which point, they’re going to peek at the next card. No one else in the room will see it. They’ll do their best to remember its suit and value. And then, they’ll continue dealing down.

Actually, that’ll take too long—so they can combine all the cards and shuffle them up. They can shuffle the deck however they like. Your friend sucks at shuffling. It’s just a total mess of cards.

Did I mention that you, the magician, are on the other side of the room? Heck, you can even be on in another room. You can stay there or return to your friend. You look at your friend deep in their eyes, deep into their soul.

The six of spades.

You say calmly.

You’re thinking of the six of spades.

Your friend never forgets this moment.

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