Being able to read minds might be impossible, but it is actually a lot easier than you’d think to persuade people otherwise! Thanks to a combination of sleight of hand, misdirection and sheer trickery, over the years magicians have been able to produce more and more impressive methods of mind reading.
In this post I will be outlining the six best tricks you can pull on family and friends to convince them you have psychic powers.
Number 6: Wikitest
This little trick might well be the best mind reading effect of the last 10 years! Why then, you may ask, is it so low on this list?
The reason Wikitest is only No.7 on this list is simply down to the fact that a great deal of you probably won’t be able to afford it.
Or, perhaps a better phrasing of that is; you might not want to spend around 60 dollars on this trick. That is totally understandable, even though I personally do feel it is worth the investment.
So, now that we have that slight disclaimer out of the way, let’s discuss Wikitest.
Wikitest was released fairly recently, and is an app you can download on your phone, that allows you to perform a mental ‘book test’. If that doesn’t make much sense, let me elaborate.
You let the spectator take out their own phone (you don’t touch it at any point) and google how many articles are on Wikipedia, and then to find out how many words are on each article, on average. Having established that there are millions of possible words on Wikipedia, you have them look up any Wikipedia article they want, and pick out one word from that article.
You, without ever needing to peek at their phone, can tell them exactly what word they are merely thinking of.
This trick is actually a lot easier than it sounds, and although it may require slight audience management and memory work, it is bound to give you a great reputation as a mind reader!
Number 5: A Book Test
For those of you who are reluctant to involve technology within your magic, you may prefer the more traditional approach of a book test.
This kind of trick generally involves a spectator picking a book out at random, leafing through the pages, and settling on a single word, which you obviously could never know. Except you do know. And their mind is blown.
There are many, many variations on this classic of magic, a lot of them are free to learn, whilst others will take a bit of money before you get the secret.
For a free tutorial, I would recommend this video (it is obviously a more basic version, but great for beginners or those who don’t want to shell out their hard-earned cash):
As for book tests that you can buy, I would always go with Booked by Steve Valentine, but there are plenty of decent alternatives on the web if you have a look around. You can watch the trailer for that here:
Number 4: Card Force
This is the cheapest and easiest way to read someone’s mind on a limited budget, and luckily for you, if played right, it can pack just as big a punch as any of the other tricks featured on this list.
Essentially it is a ‘pick a card’ trick, in which the spectator seemingly can pick any card he pleases, and yet you are able to read their mind and tell them exactly what card they picked.
Forcing the card: There are a lot of ways to do this- I would recommend watching this video and then picking your favorite.
Make sure to practice this one a lot before you try it out- it will be so much more powerful when you read their mind if you have made them feel as if there is NO POSSIBLE way you could know what card they picked.
The reveal: Now that you have the basic move ready, it is completely up to you as to how you perform the ‘big reveal’. Some magicians like to really draw this bit out, really playing on the tension and suspense. Others prefer to guess it wrong on purpose, likewise another attempt to increase the ‘stakes’.
Number 3: The ‘Lie Detector’.
This is a great trick to use alongside the card force. First, force the card, as you have already learnt, making sure they believe they are the only person who knows the card.
Next, tell them you are going to perform a ‘lie detector’ test to find out what card they have picked; you are going to ask them a series of questions to which they can either lie or tell the truth, and you will be able to discern the identity of the card.
At this point, you can ask them questions like “Is it red?” or “Is is diamonds?”. Remember, you know the card, so you will know when they are lying.
If they have picked the 7 of Clubs, but when you ask “Is it black?”, they say No, you can call them out on it. Keep narrowing it down to the point where you are asking “Is it the six of clubs? Is it the seven? Is it the eight?”
Obviously, you can let the reveal play out however you want, and there is plenty of opportunity for patter along this trick. Really make it feel like you can see through them- they’ll never lie to you again afterwards!
Number 2: Cardtoon
This is THE trick that convinced Simon Cowell that magic is real; and if that doesn’t impress you, I’m not sure what will!
How about the fact that you can pick this trick up for under a tenner? Cardtoon is an incredibly fun card trick, in which the spectator thinks of a card (a completely free choice), after which you show them a pack of cards you have been holding the whole time.
The cards each have a little stickman drawn on them in slightly different positions, so that when you flick through them, they form a little animation- the stickman takes off his hat, pulls out a card, and turns it around. Of course, it is their card.
Number 1: The Invisible Deck
I’ve already written about how much I love The Invisible Deck, so I won’t go into too much detail here (read more about it here instead).
Rest assured, The Invisible Deck is THE best way to read minds; just buy one already. Essentially, the spectator thinks of a card, you pull a deck of cards from your pocket, they name their card, and you show (very clearly and slowly) that their card is the only card in the deck that is turned face down. It is, to the spectator, literally a miracle.
Did you agree with this list? Do you have any other suggestions? Feel free to leave a comment below!