So you want to learn free mentalism tricks?
I can’t blame you; mentalism is really fun and can absolutely blow people away if you do it right.
Today I will be walking you through 3 of my favorite free-to-learn mentalism tricks, and how you can master them!
Then I’ll be talking about 2 of the cheapest mind reading effects on the market that can score you a serious reputation.
But first, the free stuff!
Pick 5: Guess ANY Thought Of Word
I LOVE this trick.
For one, it’s completely free to learn.
But all that aside, it’s just a straight up awesome magic trick.
You ask a friend to think of ANY word (and it really can be any word in the world). Once they have it, you ask them to write it down on a paper napkin (just a regular paper napkin).
Without any sleight of hand or funny moves, you are able to guess exactly the word they are thinking of just by feeling the napkin.
Sounds great right?
Well, trust me, the method is JUST as good.
Here’s the full video explanation (performance at the beginning, explanation afterward). The crazy magician doing it is Jay Sankey (his YouTube channel is full of great tutorials) who is actually one of the best professional magicians out there.
If it’s good enough for him, it’s good enough for us!
Sneaky, isn’t it?
And it doesn’t have to be a phone’s surface you use. As Jay rightly points out, you could use any reflective object.
Obviously don’t put a mirror on the table, but anything remotely subtle should be good enough. The best way to move forward with this trick is just to practice doing it, and you’ll soon enough figure out what works best for you and what doesn’t.
Like Jay says, try to come up with a good reason to hold the napkin for a few seconds- simply saying something like ‘there’s clearly no way to see through’ is more than enough justification!
Once you have this trick mastered (it shouldn’t take too long), let’s move onto pick number 4…
Pick 4: Guess Any Thought Of Card
This trick is similar to the last one because you once again ‘read their mind’ but this time it is a playing card they are thinking of.
There’s actually a really easy way to do this; it’s called FORCING a card.
It’s more or less how it sounds- they think they’ve picked a random card when in fact it is precisely the card you wanted them to choose.
Sounds hard, but it really isn’t.
To learn a card force, just head over to my recent post where I help you learn 3 of them! (Scroll down to ‘Move 1’)
Now that you know how to force a card, it’s just a simple matter of putting the pieces together.
First you force the card, and then you do a ‘reveal’ any way you like. Some people really go for it; Shin Lim has a tattoo of the Queen of Spades that he uses for his magic trick, but you don’t need to go that far.
Maybe you could take a picture beforehand of you holding the force card? Or you could write it down in your notes?
Another option would be (if you have more than one deck) turning the same card over in a different deck. Once they’ve picked their card you can say ‘and it just so happens that I turned over ONE card in the deck.’
Of course, it’s their card.
There are so many ways to mess with their head at this point that it’s totally up to you which direction you take.
I actually like to model it as a ‘lie detector’ style test. You can read all about how to do that right here!
A good way of figuring out which reveal works best for you is to just try out different reveals on different people, and see which ones get the best reactions. You could even find ways of combining them!
Pick 3: Quick Card Prediction
I found this awesome effect over at 52Kards!
I think it deserves to be on this list because unlike the others, it can be done impromptu.
That means there is no preparation required! You can pull this trick of anywhere- at a friends house, or even with someone else’s cards.
It is also really quick to do, meaning it can be performed on the bounce if you need to.
Here’s how it looks-
You let your friend shuffle an ordinary deck of playing cards. They really can shuffle it for as long as they like- there’s no secret preperation or order to it. You remove one card from the deck and put it face down on the table; this is your prediction card.
(You do remove it completely from the deck, this image was the closest I could find).
Then, you spread the cards and ask them to think of ANY of the cards they see. Again, they really can think of any card they want. Really stress this fact to them- you want them to know that they have a completely free choice.
I sometimes like to use this as a chance to get inside their heads- I’ll say things like ‘and be REALLY careful about what card you pick, because in about 30 seconds you’re gonna WISH you chose a different one.’
When they pick one, ask them to change their mind a few times. This will really emphasize the fact that there is NO WAY that you could know their card.
What all of this is building up to is that huge ‘WOW’ moment later on when you turn over the card you had laid aside at the beginning to revelal that is is THEIR card.
And remember, all of this can be done with a borrowed deck!
Learn it here.
Pick 2: The Invisible Deck
I promised you that the first three tricks would be completely free to learn, and they are!
But if you are willing to shell out a few dollars, the next two tricks are both really cheap and awesome investments for your mentalism skills.
Firstly, The Invisible Deck.
This was (I think) the very first product I reviewed on this site; that’s how much I love it.
It’s the kind of trick that you do ONCE at a party, and create a lifelong reputation as a crazy cool magician. Trust me, I’ve been there!
You ask a friend to THINK of a card. Not to choose one from the deck, because that might give you the chance to do something sneaky with the cards.
No, instead they just need to think of the card and hold it in their mind. They can think of ABSOLUTELY any of the 52 cards in the deck (apart from the Jokers).
Once they have a card in their mind, get them to change it a couple of times. Once they have a new card in their mind, get them to change it again! You see how it goes?
Like before, we want them to feel that they had every chance to change their mind so that when we eventually get it right (which we always do) they will be so much more amazed.
So, they have their (finalized) card held firmly in their head.
You pull a deck of cards from your pocket and explain that before the trick even started, you’d had a strange premonition that seemed to rest on ONE specific card. You explain that you went and turned that card over, so it’s the only face down card in the deck.
Now you ask them to name their card aloud for the FIRST time.
All throughout this, your hands stay in full view. No funny moves or swaps; this one is for real.
You spread through the cards that have been in full view the entire time. Sure enough, one card is face down.
What are the chances?
Yep. It’s their card!
The best thing about this trick is that it is so easy. It really is one of the easiest magic tricks there is. I’m not joking; kids can do it!
But of course, your audience don’t know that and they will LOVE this trick. It seems so impossible, there’s literally no possible way in their mind that you could have even come close to figuring out what they were thinking of.
This is just such a great all round trick that you can pick up for under $10 that I would definitely invest in it every day of the week!
Pick 1: Cardtoon
The Invisible Deck might be the most IMPRESSIVE mentalism effect on the market, but Cardtoon is without doubt the FUNNEST effect.
You ask a friend to think of a card.
(I know what you’re thinking- not all this again!)
I’ll skip through all that bit about them changing their mind and so on; the point is that it really is a free choice, they can think of any card (again, apart from Jokers obviously).
Once they have their card in their mind, you pull out a deck of cards from your pocket.
As you show them the cards they’ll notice that there’s a little stickman drawn on the back of every single card.
You know those old school animations where you would draw loads of pictures and then flick through to make them move?
This is basically the same idea, just on the back of playing cards. As you flick through the cards, the stickman begins to move.
But first, you ask them to name their card out loud for the first time.
You say ‘I’m going to be honest with you- I didn’t quite manage to read your mind this time. BUT, the stickman did.’
You point out the stickman on the back of each card again, and then flick through the cards. As they watch, the stickman takes off his hat, reaches inside, and pulls out a single playing card.
That card is, somehow, their card!
This trick (as you may have noticed) is very similar to the Invisible Deck in a lot of ways but for me, it is just more fun to do. The audience get to watch and see the great animation of the stickman for the reveal, which is an awesome moment.
Again, you can find this trick pretty cheap on most magic sites.
So, there you are. If you wanted to learn mind reading tricks, you came to the right place!
If you still have any questions, feedback or comments feel free to leave them below and I will get back to you within 24 hours.
Chizoba Onyekwuluje says
These are really cool tricks that you’ve talked about. I always wondered how all these magicians did what they did, because they were so good! My head would spin whenever I tried to think of ways they could have done that because it always seemed impossible. I guess that’s the whole point of it right? Now I can do these tricks and my friends would really be in awe. Great work!
That’s exactly the point! Let me know how your friends react, thanks for the comment!
Matts Mom says
Wow, it is really interesting to learn how these “tricks” really work. I am thinking that I would still have a hard time doing them, but I guess lots of practice 🙂 I can see myself amazing my son with these. I might just have to give a few a try. Hopefully I can do without being too obvious LOL
The key is all in the way you present them! Most of them are actually pretty easy and the ‘moves’ aren’t the hard part. Just work on what you’re going to say and what kind of atmosphere you want to create.
Hi Benji, amazing article. I am following your posts to learn more and amaze my friends!
robert lilley says
I love magic and i love this website, i am so glad i happened upon it. All the free magic tricks are just awesome, i wish i had taken up on magic a long time ago but i guess it’s never to late to practice and learn. Maybe your website will light a spark under me. Thanks for this wonderful, informative website.
It is bookmarked already.
I love magic and card tricks and always have. I always wonder how some if not most of these magic tricks are done. So now I know something anyway. I have to imagine it takes a lot of hard work and practice though. Sometimes magicians move so fast it isn’t possible to see what they’re doing! Thanks for sharing!
Sometimes magicians move really fast to cover up secret ‘moves’ but sometimes they move fast on purpose to make you THINK they’re doing something when they actually aren’t. It’s all mind games. Thanks for the comment.
Jennifer Smith says
My son will absolutely LOVE this article. He is always looking for new tricks to try and he is very determined so he will practice until he gets it right. Thank you for some great ideas and awesome magic!
You’re welcome! Let us know what he thinks of them.
I loved the napkin guess the word trick!
I will be trying this with my kids tonight at dinner! We just love your page! Thank you for sharing these great magic tricks!
That’s my favorite one too. It’s a great one for dinner times (you can make great use of the cutlery).
laurie taylor says
I will try some tricks on my friends
that will be a blast,
thankyou for sharing
You’re welcome Laurie! Best of luck.
Wow, it’s so interesting post. You have provided very good magic tricks. Actually, I love your website and now I’ve bookmarked this post so that I can read this post again whenever I need to remember these magic tricks. Awesome work.
Thank you for the great comment! Please do stop by again.
Never have come across such a website in magic. But I loved these tricks. Thanks, these were really fun to read about. I may just have to pick up an invisible deck. Thank you, Benji.
Glad you enjoyed! Go for it, it’s a lot of fun.
What a fantastic article. I have always been facinated with card magic tricks but was never able to do any of the tricks correctly. I even had one of those kits to make it seem like you can make a card levetate and spin, but was never too great at it. The Cardtoon seems like it wouldn’t be too bad I might have to check it out. Thanks for this!
Practice is all it takes, I’m sure you weren’t far off! I actually did an article about the floating card trick, you can check it out here.
Mong Phan says
Oh my god, i’ll be a magician soon. Your guide is very useful. Thanks for your sharing.
You’re welcome! Thanks for the comment.
Rob Sharp says
WOW. What an introduction to the world of magic.
Makes you want to get out there and learn more about magic.
I am fascinated by these tricks. Even more so when you see how easily we can be “fooled”
A website for the seemly slight of hand magicians. A website very well put together that gives you a great introduction to the world of magic.
Glad you enjoyed! Please feel free to come back for more, I have plenty more articles lined up for the future.
i have just discoverd your site and I love it!…. it is just great, i comeback for shure.Robin
Thanks Robin! Hope to see you again soon.
Hi, Benji, Its really cool and I just following you, thanks.