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LostInParadise's avatar

How about a little card magic?

Asked by LostInParadise (28949points) March 1st, 2009

I just came across this on the Internet. It is an amusing little self-working card trick that I would like to share. It would probably be particularly effective on children, but I admit to being impressed when I first tried it.

I am going to just present the mechanics. You will have to work out your own presentation.

Take 9 cards. The chosen card is the third from the top. Suppose the card is the 7 of clubs. Deal from the top of the deck and form a pile by spelling out the name of the card – “Seven of clubs.” So you start dealing “S-E-V-E-N”, forming a pile of 5 cards on the table. Note that in dealing the cards, the order is reversed. After each word, place the cards in your hand on top of the pile. So after spelling out “seven”, the pile on the table is combined with the rest of the cards. Then do the same thing for “O-F” and “C-L-U-B-S”.

You can now easily find the chosen card because it will always be the fifth one down.

To figure out how the trick works, just figure out where the card is after each word is counted – the position after each word does not depend on the name of the card.

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5 Answers

BonusQuestion's avatar

I should be missing something, but how does this work for other cards? Lets say ten of diamonds.

LostInParadise's avatar

The same exact same thing. The ten of diamonds has to be the third card. You would spell “T-E-N” and deal out three cards. Combine the cards with the rest. Then deal out two cards for “O-F”. Combine those cards. And the deal out eight cards for “D-I-A-M-O-N-D-S”. Combine the cards. The fifth card from the top will be the ten of diamonds.

BonusQuestion's avatar

Lets see what I am doing wrong.

After spelling TEN, 10 of diamonds will come to the first place. After spelling out OF it goes to the second place. After spelling DIAMONDS doesn’t it go to the 7th place?!

BonusQuestion's avatar

I see what I am doing wrong. You put the pile that you have in your hand on top of the cards that you dealt, not the other way around. Thanks. That’s a nice trick. :)

BonusQuestion's avatar

I see now why this happens. Because after the first round the card will obviously go to the 3rd place. (Because the names of all cards have at least 3 letters.) Then it will go to the fifth place because we add two cards (for OF) from the top to the bottom. Now the card is in the middle of the deck. 5 from the top and 5 from the bottom. Now since the names of all suits have at least 5 letters, we send the card to the 5th place.

That was a good one. Thanks for sharing.

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