How to Do a Predict the Card Trick with 13 Cards

There are many predict-the-card tricks. But, most are based on illusions and need lots of practice. Here’s one that is based on simple maths and doesn’t need as much practice. You could do this one even if you are really bad at magic.

Choose any 13 cards from the deck randomly. Do this before you start showing the trick to your audience.

Place the cards in the shape of a maraca. The handle should have 3 cards. The gourd or the round shape on the top should have 10 cards.

Take the third card (third, if the card that is the part of both the gourd and the handle is excluded) from right or the card that is third if counted counter-clockwise. Remember what card it is and keep it back. Now, you are ready to go in front of the audience.

Tell them choose a number between 1 to 10. Once they choose it tell them the name of the card that was third from right. (This would be your prediction).

Tell them to start counting from the handle and then when they reach the gourd they should count clockwise. Now, they on a certain. (P.S. it really doesn’t matter which card they end up on) If you are about how to tell them to count you refer to the picture above.

From the card that they ended up on tell them to count the same number of cards but this time, counter-clockwise and this time tell them not to count the cards on the handle (this the most important part). Voila! The person ended up on the card that you predicted.

Tell the person to turn the card and show it to the rest of the audience.

Why does this happen? This happens because the person did not count the cards on the handle when counting the second time. It’s simple maths. For example, the person chose 5. As there are 3 cards on the handle he would count 3 cards from the handle and rest of the cards that are 2, from the gourd. Now, while counting counter clockwise, if he would have counted the the cards on the handle too he would have obviously ended up on the card from where he started. But, as he did not count the 3 cards of the handle he counted three cards from the gourd. Thus, he ended up on the card you predicted. You could also do some variations by changing the number of cards in the handle. If you keep 4 there you have to remember the 4th card from right.

Don’t do the trick more than once to the same audience.

Stay calm and focused while addressing the audience. Always remember that the most important part of a magic trick is the presentation.

Never reveal your secrets.

Don’t try to improvise too much or you could mess it up because the rules of maths can never be abridged.

Things You’ll Need
13 unique cards

A not very clever audience

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