Making Math Fun With Magic
The Four Ace Extravaganza
Separate all of the aces and one example of each number card from the rest of the deck. Place the aces on top of the deck. They will be found from the top down, later on. Place the remaining 8 number cards on top of the aces in ascending order. From the top card down the deck should go from the 2s up through the 4 aces.
- Bet the members of the audience that they can locate all of the aces. Shuffle the cards, while ensuring that the top 12 cards stay in order.
- Ask someone to pick a number between 10 and 19. Count the number that they say, of cards and lay them down.
- Now ask the person to add 2 to the number that they just said and verbally state the sum. Pick up the cards that are lying down and count that many cards back onto the deck.
- Remove the very next card and turn it face up on the table. It will be the first ace. Next, place the rest of the cards on top of the deck without messing up the order.
- Shuffle again without shifting the order of the top 11 cards and complete steps 2 through 4, two more times. This will eventually turn up 2 more aces.
- Place the deck, face down in front of the participant, and instruct them to choose a number between 1 and 9. The participant now needs to count that number of cards, face down onto the table and turn the final card dealt, up.
- If the person chose 9, then the 4th ace will turn up. If not, the person will turn up a numbered card. From here, they will need to deal off that number of cards, making the first card the one that was turned up. The last card dealt will yield the final ace.
Any Way You Count ‘Em
Prep work: N/A
- Shuffle the cards thoroughly and once completed, turn the top card face up and place on the table. Beginning with the face value, deal the number of cards needed to reach 10. For example, if it’s a 2 that’s turned over, deal 8 more cards to reach 10. Face cards represent 10 already and aces count as 1, so 9 more cards would need to be turned over.
- Keep repeating and creating new stacks, using the same rules until the deck has been completely used. If you run out of cards before the final stack can be completed, please keep the incomplete stack in hand. Choose 3 random stacks that contain at least 4 cards and turn them face down.
- Pick up the remaining cards and add them to the cards in your hand, if there are any at all. Next, pick up two of the turned over stacks on the table and turn the first card in each of those stacks, face up. Sum the total of their values. Discard that number of cards from the group in your hand, and get rid of 19 more.
- Count the total number of cards that remain in your hand and the top card in the third stack with equal the amount of cards that you have remaining.
Eight Threatening Kings
The deck in this game is stacked in a very specific order. The sequence of values can be memorized with the saying, “Eight kings threatened to save ninety-five queens for one sick knave.” Each word stands for the cards 8, K, 3, 10, 2, 7, 9, 5, Q, 4, A, 6, J. The word “threatened” is for 3 & 10. To memorize the sequence of the suits, remember the word “CHaSeD.” The letters C, H, S, and D stand for Clubs, Hearts, Spades, and Diamonds. Stack the deck so that the suits and values follow this sequence over and over again. The top five cards should be 8-Clubs, K-Hearts, 3-Spades, 10-Diamonds, 2-Clubs, and so on.
- Hold the deck in hand, and choose someone to pick a card and remove it.
- As the participant is looking at the card, split the deck where the card was removed and place the top cards on the bottom. Peek at the new bottom card.
- Locate the word that corresponds to the value in the rhyme that was memorized. For example, if the bottom card is, the 4 of hearts, the word that is connected to 4 is “for.” The word after “for” in the rhyme is “one,” which represents the ace.
- Now find the bottom card’s suit in the acronym “CHaSeD.” It’s the letter H. The letter after H in the word is S, which stands for spades. The participant’s card is the ace of spades.
The Lazy Illusionist
Allow one participant to shuffle the deck of cards as they see fit. While the illusionist has his or her back turned the participant looks at the top card and replaces it back on top of the deck.
- The trick is based on simple math. All the illusionist does is request that the participant counts out loud the number of cards that they place on top of the card that they viewed. Then the illusionist counts down that number starting from the second card from the top. This will produce the same card value that matches the illusionists count.
Remove all tens, jacks, queens, and kings from the deck of cards. The aces will count as 1, in this game.
Choose someone to shuffle the cards and pick them up when they are done. Select a section of cards to hold and spread out in the shape of a fan. Ask the participant to select a card from the spread and look at it. Tell them to remember it and place it back into the deck.
Now, ask them to double the amount of the card and then add 5 to the total. Now they need to multiply the total by 5 and they need to remember the new total number.
Next, ask them to look at another card in the deck of cards and to add its value to the previous total. They should now reveal the grand total that they have come up with.
In your mind, you need to subtract 25 from the total that they gave you. The pair of digits that you come up with and the same as the two, individual cards the participant chose.
Prior to the trick get 20 black cards together in a stack and place one red card 10th from the top. Place these 21 cards on the top of the remaining deck.
- When performing this trick tell the audience you will remove a random number of cards from the top of the deck. In reality, you will remove the top 21 cards and disregard the rest of the deck.
- Give the small deck of 21 cards to someone in the audience and turn away from them. Instruct the participant to remove between 1 and 10 cards, count the number privately, and put the cards into a pocket.
- You will then tell this person that you will accurately predict which card they will choose and write it down. Write down the red card that you entered during the prep work. Fold the paper and give it to someone in the audience to hang on to.
- Face the participant and deal out from right to left, 10 cards from the remainder of the deck. Ask the participant how many cards they have in their pocket and make it clear that they could choose between 1 and 10 cards. Next, count from left to right the number they tell you. The very next card to the right is the red card, which is the one that they picked. Ask the person in the audience who was holding the paper to show that you were right.
Twelve cards will be needed, with no more than 3 of the same value. Create 3 piles of four cards each and there can be no doubles in each pile. The piles need to be put into numerical order, from lowest to highest. This means that when face down the lowest card is on the top.
- Show an audience the three piles that are face down and move the entire piles around. Choose someone from the audience to select a pile of cards. Display the cards in a fan style to the participant and tell them to remember 1 card from that pile. Also ask them to remember the order of the card, with 1 being the top most card and 4 being the bottom card.
- Deal the cards from left to right into 3 piles (1234, 1234, and 1234.) When this is finished, place the pile on the left side on top of the middle, and place those on top of the card pile on the right side.
- Repeat the above instructions three total times. When this is completed, ask the participant for the 1 through 4 position of the card that they previously selected. Deal that number from the bottom of the pile and the last card you deal is the selected card.
Stack the Cards
Deal 3 vertical columns of cards with 5 cards in each group, so that a participant can select a card. It is critical to keep the participant’s card in the row between the two others. Once the row with the participant’s card has been found, put the other two rows back into the deck and ask the person to cut the deck in half.
- Pick up a half deck, either will work, and place 5 cards on it at a time. They should be placed so that the first, third (chosen card), and fourth cards stick out about an inch beyond one end of the deck, and the 2nd and 4th cards stick out and inch past the opposite end of the deck.
- Next, place the other half deck on the top, so three cards stick out of one end of the deck and a pair of cards out of the other end.
- Grasp the cards by the sides to ensure that two cards stick out of the top, and three more cards from the bottom.
- Push them down onto the table so that the bottom cards are pushed into the deck of cards. This will push the cards at the top, up higher so that they really stick out.
- Flip the cards over and repeat with the pair of cards at the bottom. The card that pops out will be the one that the participant chose.
Count on me
Have a member of the audience shuffle his or her own cards. The participant then needs to count off any number of cards, less than 15, while your back is turned. If he or she chooses the 3rd card, they need to view it and return it to exactly where they got it.
- Once the above has taken place, take the cards behind your back and count off 15 cards and placing them on the bottom. This is a good opportunity to make it look like you are struggling to find the card.
- Now hand the deck back to the participant and instruct him or her to transfer the same number of cards that they counted off initially, from top to bottom.
- Take the cards back and transfer 15 cards from the bottom to the top, behind your back so that it is out of sight. The bottom card will be the card that the participant has chosen.
Get someone to think of a number between 1 and 10 and then allow them to shuffle the deck. Now they need to count down the number of cards that they thought of. They should view the card, but leave it in place in the deck.
- Now take the stack of cards and place them behind your back, while counting off 19 cards as quickly as possible.
- Place them on top of the stack and tell the participant that their card will be the 20th card down.
- Bring the stack in front of you and ask the person to reveal the card they chose. If it was a 4, for example, then start counting from the 5th card, until 20 more cards are laid down. The 20th card from that point should be the chosen card.