Magicians Apprentice PDF Print E-mail
(54 votes)
Effect: This is a very simple trick I dreamt up for amusing kids who want to learn magic. This is a "find your card" trick with a twist, from start to finish, you never touch the deck. It's actually one of the oldest and easiest card tricks, with a bit of theater to disguise what's really going on.


You need 2 kids, one to be a magicians apprentice, the other to be the audience member, a pack of cards and a table.

  1. Sit yourself opposite the magicians apprentice. Ideally the audience member should be positioned on your left, so you are each seated at three sides of the table. Like this:
    |_____| Audience
  2. Explain to the apprentice that you are going to teach them real magic. They are going to handle the cards, you will show them what to do. But for the trick to work they must follow your movements EXACTLY. You will work with an imaginary deck, the apprentice will copy your movements with the real deck.
  3. Give the apprentice the cards.
  4. Shuffle an imaginary deck in your hands. Encourage the apprentice to copy you. If they are too young to shuffle skip this step.
  5. Place your imaginary deck on the table. Cut it, three times and recombine in a random order. The apprentice must follow your movements exactly.
  6. Repeat step 5 until you are confident that the apprentice is replicating your every move with the real deck.
  7. Cut your imaginary deck twice, your right hand first, then your left. Keep one third of the imaginary deck in each hand. As you cut, this time make an exaggerated rolling movement with each hand so that the bottom card of the apprentices cut is facing you. Neither the apprentice nor the audience will be able to see the bottom card in the apprentice's right hand. You must remember this card. You've sat the audience on your left - and the apprentices right, chances are that the apprentice will be right handed, so will follow your movements more naturally with their right hand.
  8. It's easy now. Tell the apprentice to ask the audience to
    Slide off the top card from the cut remaining on the table.
    Show no one, memorize the card, and replace it.
  9. Replace your two imaginary cuts onto your imaginary deck, your left hand goes down first (the apprentices right hand).
  10. Repeat step 5 once or twice to mix up the cards. Sprinkle magic pocket fluff on the deck etc. etc.
  11. Fan your imaginary deck out face up on the table. The apprentice copies you.
  12. Point your finger down at the imaginary deck. Move your finger back and forth along the cards a few times (apprentice copies).
    Stop on the card above the card that you memorized, this is the audiences card, your apprentice has successfully performed magic.

This trick really does drive kids crazy trying to work it out. When you've shown them once, ask the magician to repeat it without your help and watch it fall apart. Swap the kids around to see if the audience member is any better at magic. Great fun!

Trick by Mike Veal

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