Hey all you cool cats and kittens, welcome to our Best Card Forces rundown! I really hope the majority of you have watched Tiger King or that all just came off really weirdly didn’t it…
Anyway, let’s talk about card forces.
A card force is one of the most essential tools a magician can master. Even if you know ZERO other effects, knowing how to force a card will unlock literally thousands of possible presentations you can use to astonish your audience.
Here are the card forces we’re going to be covering in this blog post.
5. The Dribble/Waterfall Force
So I want you to imagine this, you take the cards in your hand after the spectator has been able to shuffle them. You begin dropping them from one hand to another adding that they can tell you to stop dropping the cards at any moment (hence the name waterfall force.) They nod in agreement and you begin to drop the cards. They tell you to stop and you show them the card, and then by your incredible powers of deduction, you tell them the exact card they had you stop on.
Sounds impossible right?
4. The Riffle Force
This force uses much the same mechanic as the one we just previously mentioned. However the effect is somewhat different, you take the deck, riffle through it and ask the spectator to stop you any time they wish. When they tell you to stop you take the card and reveal that by some magical deduction you know that it is the ace of hearts!
3. The Slip Force
Now this one is one of my favourites because I feel like it really does just look so authentic when done correctly. Again you ask your spectator to have you riffle through the deck, you ask them to stop you at any point- this time showing that you don’t have any breaks or foul play going on. They tell you to stop at any point and wow! Just like that you know exactly what card they chose. Want to know how it’s done?
2. The ‘Now you see me’ Card force
So most of you will have seen the start of the movie Now you see me! If you haven’t and you’re a big fan of magic then I suggest you go and try it out! And this one I’ll give to you for free. The effect looks like this, you riffle through the deck and have the spectator watch telling them that they can pick any card they like. They see a card they like- let’s say the 3 of diamonds! They pick it in their mind!
Yes, their mind!
You ask them if they have a card selected and they of course say yes! You then proceed to tell them that their card is of course: the 3 of diamonds.
For this force you’re going to need scissors! So go grab those.
Next you’re going to take a card you don’t like… Like the 6 of clubs who needs that card?
Take your scissors and cut a little off the top of that card, and place it in front of the card you need to force.
1. The Classic Force
This is the most epic of all forces because it is the most simple and impossible to prove. You really do go through the deck and the spectator really does say stop whenever they want.
But you know what else? They really do pick the exact card that you wanted them to!
How do you learn the classic force?
First of all, you need a good teacher. Aaron Fisher is one of the finest card magicians in the world, and an expert on the classic force. In the training below, he shows you exactly how to do the classic force, step by step.
Check it out:
This training is only available to CC Members. Not a CC Member yet? Click this link to find out how to get your first month for just $1!
BONUS Section: Advanced Forcing with Dani DaOrtiz
Do you ever get this?
I don’t know about you, but as soon as I see a magician pull out a deck of cards and ask the spectator to ‘call out stop as I riffle through the deck,’ I’m instantly disappointed.
Not because the effect itself is necessarily bad, but because I now know:
In all likelihood, it ain’t gonna fool me.
(the ‘call out stop’ ruse tends to be a synonym for ‘here, let me force a card on you’)
This is the case for the vast majority of routines that rely on such forces.
Often, the routines are excellent pieces of magic that are, no doubt, highly effective for inexperienced audiences.
But for magicians, it can all be rather dull once you ‘clock’ the force.
Let me tell you about one time this DIDN’T happen:
I was watching a Dani DaOrtiz performance. He had one spectator call out a freely chosen number, and the other spectator freely select a card from a borrowed deck.
In the second borrowed deck, he counted down to that number to display the chosen card!
It was pure magic to me.
Or at least, that’s how i remembered it…
Over time, I realised that Dani had actually forced the card. But because he did it so naturally, so ‘offbeat; and so smoothly—I barely even noticed it happen!
The point of the story is this:
Dani DaOrtiz is perhaps magic’s ‘leading forcer’ and has years of experience and innovation packed into every movement.
His new release, Pressure Force, details a brand new concept of Dani’s that will allow you to use forces that ‘fly under the radar’ and fool audiences, even the ones who THINK they know what forces are.
See, most magicians actually don’t know quite so much about forcing as they think they do.
Case in point:
One of my favorite magic sites is called ‘The Jerx.’
It’s an ‘underground’ and highly underrated site that posts lots of magic-related opinion pieces—many of which ‘go against the grain’ of traditional thinking.
Here’s one such example that shocked me when I heard it (recapped to the best of my recollection) –
The author of The Jerx conducted a ‘scientific case study’ by performing a variety of card forces on a variety of spectators, and then asking them for their input on how ‘free’ their choice really was.
The results were VERY interesting:
The vast majority of people ranked the ‘Classic Force’ as the LEAST ‘free’ and the ‘Cross Cut Force’ as the MOST.
Here’s why that is significant:
Spectators really felt like they had more freedom of choice with one of the most basic, overlooked and frankly ‘stupidly simple’ moves in magic than with a technique that was built from the ground up to trick people into feeling like they had a free choice.
Do you see the contradiction there?
Furthermore, it shows that your audience isn’t stupid.
They know about the general ‘concept’ of forcing cards, but not the mechanics.
Both of these two ideas are expanded on greatly and ‘resolved’ in the original article (which I’ll link at the end of this email), but for now, let me talk about the implications of this.
Here’s one issue that comes to mind straight away:
The Cross Cut force is based on timing and misdirection, and the more times you do it the less likely it is to fool.
So if you aren’t using the classic force, and the Cross Cut is not ‘repeatable’ enough…what do you do?
In my humble opinion, you study Dani DaOrtiz.
His forces are designed to feel completely natural and free (like the Cross Cut) while maintaining the ‘repeatability’ of the Classic Force.
In other words, it’s the best of both worlds.
Click below to start forcing like a pro:
Here’s the link to it:
BONUS: Why I love using card forces…
Let me tell you a little story, and this will serve as a confession to those that attended this event, buckle in because I really have never revealed this secret before this exact moment…
Many years ago, in the mystical land you might call England my cousin and I entered a talent competition. We were selected to perform before a crowd of perhaps seven hundred people…
As all good magicians will tell you, performance is everything and so I decided to pretend to be an expert in criminal psychology while my cousin (who also happens to write for this site) was the ‘master of cards. ‘
So I hear you ask…”what does any of this have to do with Card Forces?”
Well, despite what I told people, I have absolutely zero knowledge when it comes to picking up on people’s ‘tells’ or knowing if they’re lying. But luckily for me, I do know one thing – how to do a card force.
So i forced a card on an unsuspecting audience member and proceeded to ‘read’ their body language when I asked them simple questions like ‘is your card red?’ or ‘is your card black?’
After a few of these questions and more than a little acting, I revealed the card they had chosen. The whole place erupted in applause!
Do I feel guilty about people being so impressed they came up to me and asked whether they too should study criminal psychology at university? A little…
Do I regret pulling off the trick? Not even one bit.
*Note* The reason I use that story is to help you know that the real strength of a force is not always found in its execution but in the performance of said force.
Thanks for reading guys!
Stay safe out there and enjoy using the best card forces!