Self-Working Card Tricks

The first card trick I ever learned was a pretty simple one that required no sleight of hand, and worked if you could follow the simple instructions. It used 21 cards, and allowed you to identify a chosen card. The trick is simple, get the volunteer to select a card, and place it back into the packet of 21 cards. You then deal the cards into 3 piles, asking the volunteer to note which pile their card is in. Place that pile in between the other piles and repeat two more times. After that their card will be in the middle of the middle pile, allowing you to reveal it in whichever way you feel works best.

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The Lie Detector

I’ve mentioned the first “real” magic trick that I learned was entitled Lie Detector, and it uses the Si Stebbins stack. I don’t even know if I still have the written instructions I bought nearly 25 years ago, or if they’ve been turfed in one clean out or another. Fortunately I have this trick well and truly committed to memory, and I’ve not needed to refer to the instructions for quite a few years.

The Trick:

The way it works is you get a volunteer to cut the deck, then take a card from anywhere in the deck and show it to everyone else (assuming there are others watching, of course). You then tell them that you’re going to ask them 3 questions about their card, and that they can choose to answer truthfully, or lie.

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It’s a Kind of Magic…

I’ve always had a bit of an interest in magic tricks and sleight of hand, mostly thanks to my Grandfather. Pop would often amuse me with simple magic tricks, like making coins disappear and then pulling them out of my ear. I never really bothered learning much, myself though. So, when I saw a magic shop while walking through a mall in Canada, I was intrigued, and checked it out.

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