I think card tricks possess a unique charm that’s hard to match. With just 52 cards, each trick becomes a crossroads of endless possibilities. You can weave stories, spell out mysteries, or impress with color changes, or with just about anything – all within the same deck.
Here’s what we’ll cover in today’s post:
- 5 easy (free) card tricks you can do today
- What are the best card tricks EVER
- One of the oldest card tricks in the book
5 Easy Card Tricks You Can Do Today
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Are you looking for a few easy card tricks to impress your friends? Well, you’re in the right place because I once was too and now I’ve put this list of the easiest card tricks out there, for you!
- The Invisible Deck
- Floating a Card
- The Four Robbers
- The Lie Detector
- The Power of Four
Easy Card Trick N5. Self Working Card Tricks
One of easiest types of card tricks are self working card tricks! This is because they usually rely on mathematical formulas, or specific card arrangements. They are the EASIEST type of card trick to do because they require no sleight of hand or card handling skills.
Boy, this is an easy trick. It’s known as ‘The Power of Four’ and it is really tidy and effective- no preparation, no advanced moves, and the deck can be given out for inspection afterwards. Sure, it may not blow minds but it will definitely mystify and baffle people to the point of frustration.
In fact, it actually fooled the heck out of me the first time I saw it! I know I shouldn’t be admitting that, but it’s the truth.
The trick involves a spectator shuffling the deck, the performer secretly noting the fourth card from the top, and then using this information to predict the fourth card in a separate pile created by the spectator’s cut. The method relies on basic memory and misdirection techniques.
(Mismag’s channel is perhaps THE number one place to learn free and easy card tricks; he has hundreds of quality videos with detailed instruction on all kinds of tricks- math tricks, self working tricks, beginner/intermediate/advanced tricks. Here is a great little trick to give you a taste of the style of trick Mismag offers)!
Click the link below if you want a full collection of the best self working magic tricks…
Easy Card Trick N4. The Lie Detector
This is a great trick to do for family and friends as it involves putting them through a ‘lie detector’ as part of the trick.
The effect goes like this:
They pick a card, but don’t let you see it. Once they have it memorized, they return it to the pack and you shuffle the cards.
Now that the card is lost in the deck, and you have no idea what it is, you put the cards away. The important thing is that they remember their card– that’s it.
Now, you ask them if they think they’re a good liar. Most people say ‘yes’ (why is that?) but sometimes they’ll say ‘no’ too.
Either way, it doesn’t really matter. You tell them that you’ll find out if this really is the case or not by doing a ‘lie detector’ test.
You ask them a few questions (like: ‘is your card red?’ or ‘is it spades?’) and eventually through the sheer power of your questioning you are able to guess the exact card they picked.
You can incorporate some jokes into this trick, or even pretend that you’ve been trained in reading body language if you want! Feel free to play around with the presentation of this effect.
I actually made a tutorial on how to do the Lie Detector Card Trick myself, you can check it out for free and let me know what you think!
Easy Card Trick N3. Storytelling Card Tricks
Storytelling card tricks are my favourite type of card magic. These tricks blend captivating stories with simple card manoeuvres, turning each card into a character or plot point in an enchanting tale. Ideal for young magicians, they encourage creativity, narrative skills, and a love for performing.
I think this is one of the best types of card tricks to learn and perform, especially for children as people absolutely love stories!
Today I’ll show you the first storytelling card trick I learned as a child, it’s called the Four Robbers and it’s an absolute classic!
Cops and Robbers Card Trick:
- Story Introduction: Begin by telling a story about four robbers (the four Jacks in the deck) planning to rob a 52-story building (the deck).
- Place the Robbers: Find the four Jacks and place them on top of the deck. Explain that they start on the roof of the building.
- Robbery Begins: Start dealing cards face down into a pile, representing the robbers going down through the floors of the building. As you deal, continue the story, explaining how the robbers are moving through the building.
- Divide the Robbers: Stop after a while and insert the first Jack into the deck at that point, saying this robber is staying on this floor. Continue dealing more cards and repeat this process with the remaining three Jacks at different intervals.
- The Escape: After all the Jacks are inserted into the deck, tap the deck or use a magic word for effect.
- The Reveal: Turn over the top four cards of the deck, revealing that all four robbers (Jacks) have magically returned to the roof (the top of the deck).
Click the link below if you want a full collection of the best story-based card tricks…
Easy Card Trick N2. Floating a Card
The floating card is another classic of magic that will impress everyone, regardless of age.
The best part is that the technique will work with other similar objects. For example, you could make a credit card float using the same method (although I doubt your child will be getting access to many of these).
There are a few different ways to accomplish this awesome illusion, you can learn how to do it for FREE HERE
This is a really cool trick but make sure your child understands how delicate the equipment is; you’ve got to be careful with it.
Maybe instead of risking taking it out with you, you could film them doing to floating card trick so they can show other people without breaking it.
This trick is a good one for kids because it doesn’t require a complicated explanation, or lots of memory work. There’s no need to memorize a bunch of cards. In fact, the spectators don’t have to do a thing, they can just watch and enjoy the spectacle.
Easy Card Trick N1. Trick Decks
Tricks decks are some of MY favourite tricks, but they are also easy enough for kids to learn.
Here are three of my favourite…
1: The Cardtoon Deck – The Cardtoon Deck creates an animated sequence when the cards are riffled. It’s unique because it’s more about visual storytelling and entertainment, rather than just a card trick. The animation typically ends with a reveal that matches the spectator’s chosen card.
2: The Invisible Deck – The Invisible Deck is a highly impressive trick deck where any named card appears to be the only one facing the other way in the deck. I love writing about this trick. That’s because it is quite possibly my all-time favourite magic trick, ever. AND, it’s really easy.
3: The Mirage Deck – The Mirage Deck allows you to perform a variety of card tricks including making any card in the deck appear at will, and even having multiple cards transform into a selected card. It combines the abilities of a Svengali Deck (where every other card is the same) and a Stripper Deck (where cards can be easily controlled and located). This unique combination enables both easy card location and impressive duplication effects.
Click HERE to read my full guide on trick decks!
Thanks for reading our collection of easy card tricks! I hope you enjoyed it! Let me now in the comment section below which one was your favourite to learn or perform…
What is the best card trick ever?
There are THOUSANDS of different card tricks that have been perfected over time until they almost convince you that magic really is real. Read on for the best of the best.
I think what makes card magic truly special is its adaptability. The same trick can be transformed by the performer’s style. You can execute it with the precision and flair of a sleight of hand expert, the rhythmic grace of a musician, or the compelling confidence of a mentalist. It’s not just about the cards; it’s about how you bring them to life.
Don’t be surprised if some of the card tricks included may fool the heck out of you. If you have any theories about how they were done, please go ahead and share them in the comment section!
If they inspire you to learn magic, I actually just wrote a post about that subject too:
Out of these hundreds of years though, surely there must be a ‘best’ one. The answer to that depends on your personal opinion, but here are my top 5 picks for the best card trick ever! And stick around till the end to find out how you too can learn incredible magic!
Feel free to let me know if you disagree with any of my choices by dropping me a message in the comments section- I look forward to hearing from you.
Pick No.5: The Dream Act by Shin Lim
This was one of those magic tricks that makes you feel like a kid all over again, as you get fooled over and over again until you’re questioning whether it’s possible that magic might just be real. I’m not kidding, that’s how good it was. Many of you might have already watched this card trick (it’s at 50 million views on YouTube) but for those of you that haven’t, you need to check it out.
As you can see, this is almost THE perfect routine; the timing, the music, and the beautiful sleight of hand and use of smoke really do turn this into a dreamlike performance.
The thing that really elevates this trick from being just a great trick to one of the best ever is the fact that Shin created this routine himself (in 6 years). Performing someone else’s trick perfectly is impressive, but creating your own act and pulling it off seemingly flawlessly is something else!
Of course, I should also mention that this trick did indeed fool Penn and Teller, which is a testament to it’s sheer class and quality. However, the main reason I put this trick within my list of the best card tricks ever is because of the huge effect it had on me personally.
I had been sort of hot and cold with my own magic up to this point, but after watching this video I was just straight back into it and despite a couple of bumps along the way I haven’t looked back since!
If you want to read more about Shin Lim, read my article listing 4 reasons Shin Lim is going to blow your mind on America’s Got Talent this year!
Pick No.4: Or Not by Dani DaOrtiz
Now, to be honest I could have chosen any one of Dani DaOrtiz’ effects but I chose this one because not only is it an incredible trick but the method behind it is almost equally devious and deserves mention as a truly incredible trick.
Dani DaOrtiz is a Spanish magician mentored by Juan Tamariz (who features later on in this list) who uses comedy and sleight of hand to accomplish a highly entertaining style of magic.
This particular trick involves giving a deck to the spectator and allowing them to move cards around freely until they are happy they have a completely free choice and the deck is randomized.
At this point, DaOrtiz invites them to either take a card from the bottom or top of the deck (the choice is completely theirs) and place it facedown in the middle of the deck.
Once they’ve done this three times, DaOrtiz is able to name exactly what cards were picked.
Not impressive enough?
How about the fact that he guesses what cards were picked without even looking at the deck- the deck goes straight from the spectator into a sealed box.
How about the fact that he does it with his back turned to the audience? He could even do it blindfolded if he wanted to, or even over the phone from a different location if he had to!
What takes this from just a great trick to one of the best is the performance. DaOrtiz manages to mix comedy with his sleight of hand so well that you begin to question whether you’re watching a magician or comedian at times!
Pick No.3: Sam the Bellhop by Bill Malone
I love this trick. As a magician, I usually watch a trick and try and figure out how it is done- try and pick out the different sleights and see if I can work out the method. But when I watch Bill Malone all that just goes straight out the window; he’s so entertaining that you have no choice but to sit back and just enjoy the magic.
Bill Malone, born and raised in Chicago, began his magic career at age 17 and it’s clear to see he has decades of experience within this performance. The moves are polished and almost invisible because he does them so cleanly!
This trick is called ‘Sam the Bellhop’ and is one of those card tricks that tell a story.
Unlike most of these ‘storytelling’ tricks where the magician talks super slow to give himself enough time to get all his moves together, Bill Malone talks at 100 miles per hour and his card handling is no slower!
You barely have enough time to recover from one trick before he pulls another one out the bag.
Not just is this trick impressive because of the quality of sleight of hand, this trick is truly funny. Just try to watch it without cracking a smile- almost impossible! Bill is such a professional that he has complete control over his audience and is able to use them to the fullest within his performance.
Here’s the clip of Bill Malone performing the Sam the Bellhop card trick. If you love it as much as I do, feel free to drop a comment in the comment section below letting me know!
The performance starts at 1 minute 36 (the intro is someone talking about how great Bill Malone is- you might have heard enough of that already!)
Number 2 Pick: Juan Tamariz vs Ali Cook and Pete Firman
I mentioned Juan Tamariz earlier when I was discussing Dani DaOrtiz, and it’s about time he featured on this list. I wanted to use a different trick of his, but most of his videos are performed in his native tongue of Spanish.
This one, however, features two professional English magicians getting absolutely fooled by Juan Tamariz.
I don’t actually know the name of this trick, and I don’t want to ruin the surprise so I’ll show the video first and discuss what makes it so good afterwards.
What makes this card trick so impressive is not just how sneaky and clever it is; it’s the fact that he was able to pull it off right under the eyes of two great magicians in their own rights! I mean it’s not like he’s just entertaining some random audience; these guys know what they’re doing and that is what makes it such an incredible trick.
Tamariz is the master of misdirection; don’t be fooled by his ‘clumsy’ performance- every move is calculated and part of a master plan.
Tamariz was born in Madrid in 1943 and began his magic career at a young age.
He joined the Spanish Society of Illusionism at 18 and despite his work in television science, he will always be remembered as a true magician. He spearheaded a new Spanish school of magic that has produced the likes of Dani DaOrtiz and what’s more, he won the world cup equivalent of magic, FISM, in 1973.
His legacy is up there with the greatest of all time like Dai Vernon and Houdini. You can read my biography of Juan Tamariz, as well a where to learn some of his tricks, here!
So, moving on to number 1. What is THE best card trick ever? Find out now.
Pick No.1: The Berglas Effect by David Berglas (Any Card At Any Number)
The Berglas Effect has long been held up as the ‘holy grail’ of all card magic and has spawned thousands of efforts in recreating it. For many years, the secret was known only to Berglas itself and despite the best efforts on hundreds of magicians, no one could come near to it.
The trick is very simple in nature; there are two spectators, one who names a card and one who names a number.
This is known as the ‘any card at any number’ effect, but unlike other magicians performing this ‘any card at any number’ trick, Berglas never even touches the deck, which is held by the spectator, yet the chosen card appears at the exact number named by the other spectator.
It is in fact the simplicity of this trick that makes it so attractive to magicians- it appears to be the most impossible card trick possible, yet somehow was done for decades by David Berglas. How?
Well, I’m not here to reveal the secret, but Berglas finally came out and allowed the trick to be put in writing in 2012.
Now, just because the trick is available to learn doesn’t mean that you can do it; it would take years and years of practice to achieve this with the relative ease of Berglas.
Now I know you’re probably eager to watch this trick, so here’s the video.
Wow. Just wow. What a trick. There’s no doubt in my mind that this deserves to be top of my list.
But, the answer to the question ‘what is the best card trick ever?’ is never a simple one; the tricks on this list have been influenced by my love of the magician, the way it affected me and overall, just my personal opinion. If you have any tricks you’d like to see on this list, feel free to leave me some feedback in the comment section below!
BONUS: The very first card trick we learned (tutorial)
Today, we’re sharing one of the ‘oldest tricks in the book’ and why it’s so powerful.
Last black friday we released a VIDEO collection of 138 of the BEST tricks from our library of 368 classic magic books.
First, we spent hours upon hours pouring over these books, sifting through the material, and finding the very best ‘hidden gems’. Next, we spent nearly two weeks practically living in our studio, filming high quality videos going over each of these tricks and making them as EASY to understand as possible.
We’ve taken these tricks, added our own modernizations, touches, alternate handlings and most importantly brought them into the modern age in the form of video.
We’ve also made sure the original excerpts are right below the video because reading and watching can create an even better experience!
Want to learn more?
Otherwise, let’s get started…
One of the most important principles in card magic is the ‘glide’—it also happens to be the sleight in the first card trick we ever learned.
Here’s how the move is taught in the Royal Road to Card Magic: “The basic action of the glide is this:
1. Hold a pack of cards face downwards in the left hand–the thumb at one side, the fingers at the other–its outer side pressing against the middle phalanx of the index finger, near the outer left corner, and the first (innermost) phalanx of the little finger. Rest the tip of the ring finger lightly against the middle of the face card. The third (outermost) phalanges of the index and middle fingers are bent inwards but take no part in the action to follow.
2. Press backwards with the tip of the ring finger, forcing the face card back about an inch and making it protrude beyond the inner end of the deck (Fig. 42). This shows the sleight as seen from below; viewed from above, the cards appear to be in normal position, the protruding card being concealed by the back of the hand.
3. Bring the right hand palm upwards over to the deck, press its middle finger tip against the outer end of the second lowermost card, which is now exposed, and draw this card outwards about an inch; then seize and remove it with the aid of the thumb. Finally move the left little finger backwards and with it press the protruding card flush with the deck.
A little practice will show that the sleight is an easy one to do, yet it must be performed smoothly and without looking at the hands.”
The very first card trick we learned (from Dad) used this technique, and we’ve been performing this effect ever since.
Here it is:
“Ask the spectator to pick a card. Control that card to the top of the deck and then using an overhand shuffle place it 4th from the bottom of the deck. Feel free to add false shuffles at this point.
Tell the spectator you will try to make their card magically appear on the bottom of the deck. Lift up the cards, showing the spectator the face of the deck, and ask if they see their card.
They will of course say no, at which point you turn the cards facedown and remove the bottom card, placing it on the table facedown. You then ‘burn’ the card left on the bottom of the deck, placing it on top of the deck.
You tell the spectator you’ll try again. You show him the bottom of the deck, at which point he’ll respond by telling you that the visible card isn’t his card.
You turn the cards facedown and remove the bottom card—but this time you use the glide move to remove the card above the bottom card. This card is the chosen card. You then ‘burn’ the card left on the bottom of the deck, placing it on top of the deck.
At this point, the chosen card is on the table, on top of an indifferent card.
You repeat this procedure two more times until there are four cards on the table, the chosen card being second from the bottom.
You tell the spectator that you appear to have failed, but you’ll verify one more time that none of the cards were their card.
You pick up the packet of 4 cards and show the face of the packet to the spectator. They will of course verify that that card is not their chosen card.
At this point, you once again turn the cards facedown and use the glide move to secretly remove the chosen card and place it on the table. You place the card left on the bottom back on the top of the packet.
You then show them the next card, which of course isn’t theirs.
You then show them the final two cards in one go, rushing the procedure and saying ‘and of course, neither of these are your card?’
(You speed this part of the process up so that the spectator doesn’t notice that one of the cards will be the same as the first card they saw.)
Once the spectator has verified that none of the cards they saw were their chosen card, you can reveal the chosen card in any way you like. For example, you might lay the cards out in a row and say “well, if this isn’t your card, and this isn’t your card, and THIS isn’t your card” turning over one of the indifferent cards one at a time, “THIS must be your card”, turning over the chosen card following a magical gesture.
Allow your spectators to applaud and react.”
The glide is a simple technique but has a near infinite amount of uses.
This week we’ll be dropping a new project that uses another classic technique in a TON of unique and powerful ways.
In the meantime, you can read the complete Royal Road to Card Magic (available in the public domain) and discover more effects using the glide at the link below:
Did you know?
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