Easy Card Tricks
for Kids of All Ages

Page One     Page Two

Introduction

Card tricks are fun for adults and kids alike. The card tricks on this page don't require any sleight-of-hand, so it's easy for anyone to learn and perform them. Some of the tricks on Page Two require a bit of sleight-of-hand, but they're not difficult to do with a little practice.

It's also fun to try to figure out why the tricks work. To figure out how a card trick works, do the trick with all of the cards face-up. Then you can experience that "Aha!" moment when you unlock the mysteries of the card trick.

Have fun with these card tricks, and use them for good, clean family fun if you have kids. If you know of any self-working card tricks which are not described here, please send them to me at dave.root@live.com. Thanks!

The Card Tricks

Keep in mind that most of these tricks require a full 52-card deck in order to work properly.

The first 4 card tricks go well together because trick #4 requires all of the Aces to be on top of the deck without the spectator knowing that they are there. By doing the first 4 tricks in the order that I've described them, the Aces will be on top of the deck for trick #4, and the spectator will probably have no clue that they are there. This prevents you from having to do any sleight-of-hand to put the Aces on top of the deck.


1. "The Football Game"

This is a great one for young kids to learn! Can you figure out why it works every time?

First, go through the deck and pull out all of the Aces, Kings, Queens, and Jacks. It's okay for the spectator to watch you doing this. Lay the rest of the deck aside, face-down. It won't be used for the rest of this trick.

Say, "The Ace family went to a football game."
Now lay the 4 Aces face-up on the table next to each other, as in the following picture:



Say, "Then the King family went to the football game and chatted with their friends, the Aces, before the game started."
Lay the 4 Kings face-up on top of the 4 Aces so that the Aces and the Kings are all visible:



Say, "Then the Queen family went to the football game and joined up with their friends, the Aces and the Kings, before the game started."
Lay the 4 Queens face-up on top of the 4 Kings so that the Aces and the Kings and the Queens are all visible:



Say, "Then the Jack family went to the football game and joined up with their friends, the Aces and the Kings and the Queens, before the game started."
Lay the 4 Jacks face-up on top of the 4 Queens so that the Aces and the Kings and the Queens and the Jacks are all visible:



Say, "Now it's almost time for the game to start, so the 4 families head off to their seats."
Turn all of the stacks over so they're face-down, but don't change the order of the cards in each stack:



Pick up any stack and place it on top of another stack. Then pick up that bigger stack and place it on top of another stack. Then pick up that bigger stack and place it on top of another stack:



Say, "Cut the cards by taking a group of cards off of the top of the stack and placing them on the table to make a new stack, then put the remaining cards on top of the new stack. Cut the cards as many times as you want."
Let the spectator cut the cards a few times.
Deal the first 4 cards face-down next to each other, then deal the next 4 cards on top of the first 4 cards, and so on (just like when you first dealt them out, except that this time they're face-down), until all 16 cards have been dealt:



Say, "Okay, now each family is sitting together, enjoying the game!"
Now turn each stack over and see what happened!

Pick up the Kings and drop them face-up onto the Aces, then pick up the Queens and drop them face-up onto the Kings, then pick up the Jacks and drop them face-up onto the Queens. Now pick up these cards (the Jacks, Queens, Kings, and Aces) and drop them face-down on top of the deck.

The deck is now "stacked" with the Aces on top, ready for trick #4. First we'll do 2 more card tricks so the spectator will forget about the cards that you dropped on top of the deck.



2. "The 3 by 7 Trick"

This is an old classic which works every time! Can you figure out why?

First put the deck of cards face-up on the table, then pick up the top half of the deck to use for this trick. The purpose of this is to preserve the Aces which are on top of the deck (from the previous trick) so you'll be ready for trick #4. If the spectator asks why you're only using the bottom part of the deck then say, "That's just how I learned this trick" (which is true).

Deal 3 cards in a row face-up. Now deal 3 more cards on top of the first 3, overlapping them so that you can see the values of all of the cards. Continue dealing in this way until you have 7 rows of cards in 3 columns:



Now put the remaining cards face-up on top of the rest of the deck. Set the deck aside because you won't need it for this trick, but don't let the spectator see the Aces at the top of the deck.

Ask the spectator to mentally pick one of the cards which you've dealt (but he shouldn't tell you what card he chose), and then ask him to point to the column (1, 2, or 3) which contains his card. Now pick up each column, preserving the order of the cards in each column. Make sure that the column he pointed to is the second column you pick up (so it will be in between the other 2 columns of cards). For example, if he chose a card in the third column, you could pick up the first column of cards, then put it on top of the third column of cards, then put all of those on top of the second column of cards. Now you have a stack of cards with his column of cards in the middle of the stack.

Hold the stack face-down in your hand, and deal out the 3 columns and 7 rows exactly as you did before. Ask the spectator to point to the column which contains his card, and then pick up the cards again with his column in the middle (just as before).

Repeat this process 2 more times, so that you deal out the cards a total of 4 times.

At this point, his card is in the exact middle of the stack. It doesn't matter which card he chose or which column it was in to begin with, his card will always end up in the middle of the stack! Can you figure out why?

Since we know exactly where his card is, all we need to do is to reveal the card in an interesting way. In this trick I'll describe a technique called a "force," and in some of the other tricks we'll see some other techniques. It's a fun and creative challenge to invent your own techniques of revealing the spectator's card!

In a "force," you'll force the spectator to choose the right card, but he thinks he's choosing it himself. First deal 3 cards onto the table, face-down, one on top of the other so you have a small stack of 3 cards on the table. Then deal another stack of 3 cards, then another, and so on, until you've dealt all 21 cards:



The spectator's card will always be the middle card in the middle stack (the fourth stack that you dealt). Make sure you keep track of which stack has his card! Now comes the "force," where you'll force the spectator to choose his own card.

Say, "Now you're going to start getting rid of some stacks, like this." Move the last stack off to the side, and then ask him to point to 3 of the remaining stacks. There are now 2 possibilities:
  1. If one of the stacks that he pointed to is the stack that contains his card
    Say, "Okay, we'll keep these stacks and discard the rest." Move the stacks that he didn't point to out of the way.

  2. -- OR --

  3. If none of the stacks that he pointed to is the stack that contains his card
    Say, "Okay, we'll discard those cards." Move the stacks that he pointed to out of the way.

Ask him to point to 2 of the remaining 3 stacks. There are now 2 possibilities:
  1. If one of the stacks that he pointed to is the stack that contains his card
    Say, "Okay, we'll keep these stacks and discard the rest." Move the stack that he didn't point to out of the way.

  2. -- OR --

  3. If none of the stacks that he pointed to is the stack that contains his card
    Say, "Okay, we'll discard those cards." Move the stacks that he pointed to out of the way.

If there are 2 stacks left then ask him to point to one of the remaining 2 stacks. There are now 2 possibilities:
  1. If the stack that he pointed to is the stack that contains his card
    Say, "Okay, we'll keep this stack and discard the other one." Move the stack that he didn't point to out of the way.

  2. -- OR --

  3. If the stack that he pointed to does not contain his card
    Say, "Okay, we'll discard this stack." Move the stack that he pointed to out of the way.

Notice that you're letting him choose any stacks he wants, yet you're slowly forcing him to keep the stack that contains his card!

Now there's only one stack left, and his card is the middle card. Separate the cards so that all 3 cards are next to each other, still face-down. Ask him to point to 2 cards. At this point there are 2 possibilities:
  1. If one of the cards that he pointed to is his card
    Say, "Okay, we'll keep these 2 and get rid of the other one," then move the other card out of the way. Ask him to point to one card. If he points to the one which is not his card then say, "Okay, we'll get rid of that one," and move that one out of the way.

  2. --OR--

  3. If he pointed to the 2 which are not his card
    Say, "Okay, we'll get rid of those cards," and move them out of the way.

Now there's only one card left. The spectator doesn't realize that you knew exactly where his card was, and he thinks he chose all of those stacks at random, but the whole time you were forcing him to choose his card. Ask him what his card was, then tell him to turn over the card that he "chose," and it will be his card!

This trick might sound complicated, but you'll quickly get the hang of it when you practice it a few times.

If you're going to do trick #4 then pick up the 21 cards from this trick and use them as the "deck" for the next trick (so you don't touch the Aces which are still at the top of the main deck of cards).



3. "10 Cards"

This is another mathematical card trick which works every time. Can you figure out why it works?

Ask the spectator to pick a number from 1 to 10, without telling you what it is. Tell her you're going to show her 10 cards, and she should memorize the card which is at the number that she had picked. In other words, if she picked the number 7 then she should memorize the seventh card that you show her.

Pick up the top card from the stack of 21 cards (from the previous trick) and say "one" and show it to her for a moment, then put it face-down onto the table. Show her the next card for a moment and say "two," then place it face-down on top of the first card. Show her the next card for a moment and say "three," then place it face-down on top of the stack. Keep doing this until you've shown her 10 cards.

Now pick up the stack of 10 cards that you just dealt and hold it face-down in your hand, then ask her what her number was. Move the bottom card to the top of the stack (keeping it face-down), then move the next card from the bottom to the top of the stack, etc., while you silently count up to her number. In other words, if she picked the number 7 then you'll move 7 cards (one at a time) from the bottom of the stack to the top. After you've silently counted to her number while moving the cards from the bottom of the stack to the top, keep going so that you move 3 extra cards to the top.

Now give her the stack of cards, face-down, and tell her to deal one card face-down onto the table, then she should move the next card from the top of the stack to the bottom of the stack, then she should deal the next card face-down onto the stack on the table, and so on. Make sure that she perfectly alternates between putting a card onto the stack on the table and putting the next card on the bottom of the stack in her hand, and tell her to stop when she's holding the last card. When she stops, ask her what her card was and then tell her to turn over the card she's holding. It's her card!

Gather up the 21 cards that you started this trick with and place them face-up on top of the rest of the deck. The Aces are still at the top of the deck, ready for trick #4.



4. "Find the Aces"

This is a nice card trick, but it requires a "setup." First you need to secretly pull all 4 Aces out of the deck and put them on top of the deck without anyone knowing that they are there. The reason I've included it on this page of card tricks is because if you did the previous 3 tricks the way I described them, then the deck is ready for this trick and you don't need to do a "setup."

To make this trick even more surprising, you can "false shuffle" the cards a few times before beginning the trick. This takes a little practice, but you simply do a normal shuffle without letting it affect the Aces on top of the deck. Don't point out to the spectator that you're shuffling the cards, because you don't want him to watch you too closely. If you don't think you can shuffle the cards while leaving the Aces on top of the deck then don't shuffle the cards.

Put the deck face-down on the table. Pick up the top half of the deck and put it face-down on the table to the right of the bottom half of the deck (it's okay if the 2 halves contain a different number of cards):



The 4 Aces are on top of the stack on the right. Now pick up the top half of the stack on the left and put it on the table (face-down) to the left of the bottom half of that stack:



Now pick up the top half of the big stack on the right and put it on the table (face-down) to the right of the bottom half of that stack:



Now you have 4 small stacks next to each other, and the 4 Aces are on top of stack #4 (the farthest stack to your right).

Now pick up stack #1 and move 3 cards (one at a time, face-down) from the top of that stack to the bottom. Then deal from the top of that stack and put one card face-down on top of the other 3 stacks, then put the stack back down where it was. Now do the same thing with stack #2, then stack #3, then stack #4 (the one that has the Aces on top of it).

Now for the "reveal." Here are 2 ideas:
  1. Say, "Now I know exactly where the 4 Aces are!" Turn the top card of each stack over. There's an Ace on top of each stack!

  2. -- OR --

  3. If you're going to do the "14-15-15" trick (below) next, then say, "Now, for the trick that I'm about to do I'll need all 4 Aces, so I'll use this one [turn over the top card of stack #1], and this one [turn over the top card of stack #2], and this one [turn over the top card of stack #3], and this one [turn over the top card of stack #4]."



5. "14-15-15"

When I was a teenager, this card trick had me stumped because I couldn't figure out why it worked every time. It was fun to finally get that "Aha!" moment when I saw how the trick worked. Can you figure it out?

First pull out all 4 Aces from the deck (it's okay for the spectator to see you doing this) and set them aside, face-up. Now deal the top 3 cards face-down next to each other:



Deal the next 3 cards onto the tops of these 3 cards, and continue dealing out the cards onto these stacks until the first stack has 14 cards, and the second and third stacks both have 15 cards. Place the remaining 4 cards face-down next to the last stack:



Say, "Shuffle the first stack and then put it back [point to the stack which has 14 cards]. Now put one of the Aces face-down on top of that stack. Shuffle the second stack and then put it back. Now pick up as many cards as you want from the second stack and place them face-down on top of the Ace on the first stack. Now put another Ace face-down on top of the second stack. Shuffle the third stack and then put it back, and then pick up as many cards as you want from the third stack and put them face-down on top of the Ace on the second stack. Now put another Ace face-down on top of the third stack [turn the fourth Ace face-down on the table for now]. Shuffle the fourth stack and then put it face-down on top of the third stack."

When the spectator has done these things, there are now 3 stacks. Pick up the third stack (the last one which the spectator had put an Ace onto) and put it on top of the second stack, then put both of those on top of the first stack. Say, "You shuffled all of the stacks and you buried the Aces with as many cards as you wanted to. I have no idea how many cards you used to bury each Ace, but I'll bet I can find all of the Aces!"

Pick up the deck and then deal 2 cards face-down next to each other. Deal the next card face-down on top of the first card on the table (to make stack #1), then deal the next card face-down onto the second card on the table (to make stack #2), and continue alternating as you deal all of the cards onto the 2 stacks.

Now pick up stack #1 and deal the top card face-down onto the top of stack #2. Deal the next card face-down where stack #1 had been, and continue alternating stacks as you deal out all of the cards.

Repeat that process by picking up stack #1 and dealing the top card face-down onto the top of stack #2. Deal the next card face-down where stack #1 had been, and continue alternating stacks as you deal out all of the cards.

One more time: Pick up stack #1 and deal the top card face-down onto the top of stack #2. Deal the next card face-down where stack #1 had been, and continue alternating stacks as you deal out all of the cards.

Now pick up stack #1, which should have 3 cards in it. If you did the trick properly then those 3 cards are all Aces. Drop those 3 cards face-down on top of the Ace which you had set aside earlier. Say, "You buried the Aces, but I found them!" Now turn over the 4 Aces.



6. "Twins"

This is one of several self-working card tricks in which you find the "twins" of the spectator's cards. Can you figure out why this trick works?

Say, "You're going to randomly choose 2 cards, but first I'm going to guess which cards you'll choose. I'll pull out the "twins" of those 2 cards so that my cards will have the same number and the same color as the 2 cards that you randomly choose."

Now hold the deck in front of you so you can see the values of all of the cards (the spectator can only see the backs of the cards). Look at the bottom card, and then go through the deck until you find the "twin" of that card. In other words, if the bottom card is the 7 of Clubs then find the 7 of Spades. When you find the "twin" of the bottom card, place it face-up on the table. Now look at the top card in the deck and find the "twin" of that card. Pull out the "twin" of the top card and put it face-up on the table to the right of the other card that you had put on the table. Throughout this trick, make sure that the spectator never sees the cards which are on the top or the bottom of the deck!

Hold the deck face-down in your hand and say, "Pick a random number from 1 to 20 and tell me what it is." When he tells you the number, deal that many cards face-down onto the table, one on top of the other (to make a stack). Don't let the spectator see what those cards are. Say, "You picked a random number, and I'm going to place my card next to your card." Now pick up the "twin" that's on the left (the first one that you had pulled out of the deck) and place it face-up on top of the stack that you just made, then put the rest of the deck face-down on top of that stack.

Say, "Pick another random number from 1 to 20 and tell me what it is." When he tells you the number, deal that many cards face-down onto the table, one on top of the other (to make another stack). Don't let the spectator see what those cards are. Say, "You picked another random number, and I'm going to place my second card next to your second card." Pick up the other "twin" and place it face-up on top of the stack that you just made, then put the rest of the deck face-down on top of that stack.

Say, "You picked 2 random numbers, and I had no way of knowing what those numbers would be, right?" Now, with the deck face-down on the table, start spreading out the cards (starting with the top of the deck) until you get to the first face-up card in the deck:



Say, "Here's one of the cards that I chose," then square up all of the cards which were above that face-up card so that they're stacked up:



Now turn that stack over (face-up) and say, "And your card is the 'twin' of my card!":



The card which is now showing on top of the stack on the right is the "twin" of the card that was face-up in the deck! Move the stack on the right and the face-up card (the 7 of Spades in the picture above) over to the side and then start spreading out the remaining cards until you get to the other face-up card. Square up the cards which were above that face-up card so they're stacked up, and then turn that stack over. Once again the 2 "twins" have found each other, even though the spectator thinks that he had randomly chosen his 2 cards!



7. "The Spectator Finds the Twins"

This is another "twins" trick, only this time the spectator performs the trick.

Say, "Okay, you're going to do this trick. First shuffle the cards, then tell me to pick 2 cards."

When the spectator gives you the deck after she shuffles it, hold the deck facing you so you can see the values of the cards (and the spectator can only see the backs of the cards). Look at the top 2 cards and then go through the deck and find the "twins" of the top 2 cards. For example, if the top card is the 10 of Diamonds then pull out the 10 of Hearts (i.e. find the card which has the same number and the same color as the top card in the deck). When you find both "twins," put them face-down in a stack on the table, in the same order as the top 2 cards. In other words, if the top card in the deck is the 10 of Diamonds then the top card in your face-down stack should be the 10 of Hearts.

Give the deck back to the spectator and say, "Deal as many cards as you want (up to 10) face-down into a stack. Now deal as many cards as you want (up to 10) face-down into a second stack. Now deal as many cards as you want (up to 10) face-down into a third stack. Give me the remaining cards [set them aside, you won't need them for the remainder of the trick], and put the second stack on top of the third stack, then put them on top of the first stack. Now pick up the stack and deal the top card face-down onto the table, and deal the next card face-down next to the first card. Deal the next card on top of the first card, then deal the next card on top of the second card, and keep alternating as you deal all of the cards onto the 2 stacks. Let's see if you can find the "twins" of my cards."

When the spectator has dealt all of the cards, take the top card which you had pulled out of the deck and place it face-up in front of the stack which received the very last card. Then pick up the other card which you had pulled out of the deck and place it face-up in front of the other stack:



Say, "You randomly dealt out some cards, then you randomly dealt out some more cards, then you randomly dealt out some more cards, and if you did the trick correctly then you found the "twins" of my cards. Turn over the top card in each stack and see if you did the trick right!"



8. "Pick a Number from 1 to 9"

This one should be fairly easy for junior detectives to figure out.

Turn around so you can't see what the spectator is doing. Tell her to pick a number from 1 to 9, but not to tell you what it is. Then tell her to deal that many cards face-down onto the table, one on top of the other to make a stack, but she should do it quietly so you can't hear how many cards there are.

Now tell her to look through the rest of the deck and pull out a card which has the same number that she picked (it doesn't matter what the suit is). In other words, if her secret number is 7, then she should pull out the 7 in any suit and memorize it, then put the rest of the deck face-down on the table. Let's pretend that she pulled out the 7 of Spades:



Tell her to put her card (the 7 of Spades) face-down on top of the deck (which is on the right in the picture above), and then tell her to cover it with the stack that she had dealt.

Now tell her to deal the cards from the top of the deck onto the table (face-down), and to look at each card and call out the name of the card as she deals it. Ignore the first card, then mentally count "one," "two," "three," and so on, as she calls out the cards. When she calls out a card which has the same number as your mental count, then memorize that card. For example, if she calls out "7 of Spades" and your mental count is at "7," then memorize the 7 of Spades. Let her call out a few more cards (and keep mentally counting) until she has called out at least 10 cards, then tell her to stop. With your back still turned towards her, say, "Your card is the 7 of Spades" (or whatever card you memorized).

Sometimes there will be more than one card that she calls out which matches your mental count. When you tell her what her card is, if she says that you're wrong then tell her the other card which matched your mental count.



9. "Deal and Double Deal"

This a quick and simple trick which seems amazing the first time it's done, and it should be easy for junior detectives to figure out how it works.

Pull out all of the cards in one suit (such as all of the Spades) and put them in order from Ace to King, with the Ace on top when the stack is held face-down. Show the spectator that the cards are in order, then hold them face-down in your hand. Say, "I'm going to deal the cards onto the table, and you're going to help me mix them all up. If you say 'Deal' then I will deal one card, but if you say 'Double Deal' then I will switch the next 2 cards and deal them both together. Help me mix up the cards, and then we'll see how well you did."

If she says "Deal," then deal the top card face-down onto the table. If she says "Deal" again then deal the next card face-down onto the first card to make a stack. If she says "Double Deal" then take the top card and slide it under the next card in the deck (to reverse the order of the top 2 cards), then place both cards face-down on top of the stack. This is not meant to be sleight-of-hand, let her see what you're doing so she knows that you're mixing up the cards when she says "Double Deal."

In order to clarify what to do when she says "Double Deal," let's imagine that you're holding the stack of cards in your left hand, and let's imagine that the card on top of the stack is the Ace of Spades, and the card beneath the Ace is the Two of Spades. So the top card is the Ace and the next card is the Two (in reality you won't know what the top cards are). If the spectator says "Double Deal" then you would slide the Ace from the top of the stack and take it with your right hand (face-down). Then slide the Two (which is now the top card on the stack) so it's sticking out on the right side of the stack, and place the Ace (which is in your right hand) under the Two on top of the stack. Take both cards and hold them in your right hand. Your right hand now has a face-down stack of 2 cards, with the Two on top and the Ace on bottom. Drop these 2 cards face-down onto the stack on the table. You have now done a "Double Deal" by reversing the top 2 cards.

After all 13 cards have been dealt onto a stack on the table, say, "Okay, let's see how well you mixed up the cards." Turn the stack over, and tell her that she did a lousy job of mixing up the cards because the cards are still in order! You can do this over and over, but the cards will never get mixed up.

It's easy to figure out why this trick works, so if you make a game out of telling her to go faster and faster as she decides whether to say "Deal" or "Double Deal," then this might keep her mind from examining what's going on as you do the trick.



10. "Slap the Cards Out of Her Hand"

This is my version of a trick my cousin showed me many years ago.

Tell the spectator to pick any card out of the deck, then to memorize her card and place it face-down on top of the deck.

Deal the top 2 cards face-down onto the table, next to each other. Now deal the next 2 cards on top of the 2 cards on the table, and continue dealing the cards onto the 2 stacks (as if you're dealing out the cards for a 2-player card game). Keep dealing until each stack contains 6 cards. Then deal an extra card on top of the first stack (the one on the left, which has the spectator's card on the bottom). Now place the first stack (which has the extra card) on top of the second stack.

Pick up the stack and hold it face-down in your hand. Deal out 4 stacks face-down onto the table again, just like you're dealing the cards for a 4-player card game. The first stack (the one on your left) will end up having an extra card, so say, "This stack has an extra card, so we won't use it," and set the first stack aside.

There are now 3 stacks. Put the third stack (the one on your right) on top of the first stack, then put the second stack on top of the other 2. Now deal out 2 stacks face-down onto the table just like you did with the 4 stacks. The first stack will end up having an extra card, so say, "This stack has an extra card, so we won't use it," and set the first stack aside.

Now you have a stack of 4 cards. Tell the spectator to hold her hand out, palm up. Place the stack face-down onto her palm (don't let her see any of the cards), and tell her to place her thumb lightly on top of the cards to hold them in place.

Alternating with both of your hands, gently but quickly slap the top 3 cards off of her hand (this might take a little practice). Ask her what her card is, then tell her to look at the card in her hand. It's her card!



11. "Add Up to 10"

This trick was sent to me by a 14-year-old named Mike. Thanks Mike!

Ask the spectator to pull out any card from the deck except for a 10, J, Q, or K, without letting you see what it is.

Deal out 3 rows and 3 columns of cards (i.e. 9 cards in a 3x3 layout), face-up:



If any pair of cards adds up to 10 (such as the 9 and A above) then deal one card face-up on top of both of those cards. In this example I dealt a 4 of Spades on top of the A of Clubs, and I dealt a Q of Diamonds on top of the 9 of Spades:



If any pair of the top cards are a 10, J, Q, or K (such as the 10 and J above) then deal one card face-up on top of both of those cards. In this example I dealt an A of Spades on top of the J of Hearts, and I dealt an A of Diamonds on top of the 10 of Hearts:



Notice that you always deal out new cards 2 at a time.

If at any point you don't have a pair of cards that you can cover up, then deal 2 more cards face-up. In this example I dealt the K of Spades and the 7 of Clubs, just to show where to deal the extra cards:



You should now be able to find 2 cards that add up to 10 (or any pair of 10, J, Q, or K). If not, then deal 2 more cards face-up.

Continue covering up pairs of cards in this way until you've dealt out the entire deck.

Now you have 9 or more stacks of cards. If the top card of one stack plus the top card of another stack add up to 10, then pick up both stacks and hold them in your hand. If 2 stacks have a 10, J, Q, or K on top (such as one stack with a 10 on top, and one stack with a Q on top), then pick up both stacks and add them to the cards in your hand. Continue doing this until there's only one stack left on the table.

Now you can figure out the spectator's card, because his card plus the top card of the remaining stack will add up to 10. Pick up the remaining stack so that you have all of the cards in your hand except for the spectator's card.

Let's pretend we've figured out that the spectator's card is a 7. How should we end the trick? Here are some ideas:

Idea #1

One way to end the trick is simply to say, "Your card is a 7!" However, it's not a very impressive ending.


Idea #2

An alternate way to perform the trick is to tell the spectator that he will do the trick and figure out your card. Then you choose a card from A to 9 (i.e. not a 10, J, Q, or K). Tell him how to do each step of the trick, and when he gets to the end and has only one stack left, ask him what card you have (the number, not the suit). By then he should have figured out that everything adds up to 10, but if not then you can give him a hint.

It's still not an impressive ending, but the spectator might have that satisfied feeling of having done a card trick and figured out your card.


Idea #3

Here's an ending that I came up with, and my kids thought it was pretty cool.

Since I know that the spectator's card is a 7 (for example), I quickly scan through the rest of the deck looking for the other three 7s. At this point I know that his card is the 7 of Hearts (for example). I quickly scan through the deck again, and I place the 6 of Hearts face-down on the table, then the 5 of Hearts face-down on top of the 6, then the 4 of Hearts, the 3 of Hearts, 2 of Hearts, and A of Hearts, all in a face-down stack. I tell the spectator to put his card face-down on the table, then I drop my little stack of 6 cards on top of his card, then I pick up all 7 cards and drop them face-down on top of the deck.

Now I ask him what his card was. When he says "7 of Hearts," I say, "Okay, now let's count out 7 cards, and the seventh card will be your 7 of Hearts." Then as we count from 1 to 7, I deal out the A of Hearts face-up, then the 2 of Hearts next to the A, then the 3 of Hearts, then the 4 of Hearts, then the 5 of Hearts, then the 6 of Hearts, and then his card, the 7 of Hearts.

If he had picked a low card such as the 2 of Hearts, then I would pull out the 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, and 3 of Hearts, and we would count from 9 down to his card.


Other Ideas

Have some fun coming up with your own amazing ways of revealing the spectator's card, and send them to me!



12. "Spell Out All of the Cards"

This is my version of a trick that I've seen in a few places on the Internet (thanks to David Eilering who told me about it).

Go through the deck and pull out all of the Spades (let the spectator see you do this). Hold the stack of Spades in your hand so that you can see the numbers on the cards, and deal the cards face-up onto the table as you tell the following story. As you say the underlined words and numbers in the story, deal those cards onto a face-up stack on the table. Here's how the story begins:
"387 years ago there lived A Queen who was 64 years old. She had 2 children named Jack and King. One was 10 years old and the other was 9 years old, and they were both in the 5th grade."
Now pick up the stack and hold it face-down in your hand. The top card should be the 3, followed by the 8, 7, A, Q, 6, 4, 2, J, K, 10, 9, and 5 in that order, based on the underlined words and numbers in the above story. Now continue with the story:
"The Queen used a deck of cards to teach her children how to spell. First she taught them how to spell ACE."
Now spell out the word "ACE," and with each letter move the top card to the bottom of the stack (keeping the card face-down). After you've spelled out A-C-E (and you've moved 3 cards one at a time from the top to the bottom), deal the new top card face-up onto the table. It's the Ace of Spades! Continue with the story:
"Then she taught them how to spell TWO."
Now spell out the word "TWO," and with each letter move the top card to the bottom of the stack (keeping the card face-down). After you've spelled out T-W-O (and you've moved 3 cards one at a time from the top to the bottom), deal the new top card face-up onto the table. It's the 2 of Spades! Continue telling the story by describing how the Queen taught her children how to spell each of the cards in order, all the way through the JACK and QUEEN, and then just drop the King onto the stack.



13. "Your Selected Card Is"

Hand the deck of cards to the spectator and ask her to shuffle it, and then she should cut the cards into 2 face-down stacks which are about the same size (the 2 stacks don't need to have exactly the same number of cards, but they should have almost the same number of cards). Ask her to choose one stack and count how many cards are in the stack, then she should add the 2 numbers together to get her "magic number" (but she shouldn't tell you what her "magic number" is). For example, if the stack has 29 cards in it then her "magic number" is 11 (i.e. 2+9).

Tell her to memorize the top card in her stack. Now she should move the top card to the bottom of the stack (face-down), and continue moving cards one at a time from the top of the stack to the bottom until she reaches her "magic number." So if her "magic number" is 11 then she should move 11 cards from the top to the bottom, one at a time. Then she should give the stack back to you.

Say, "Now I'm going to find out what your selected card is by spelling out: 'YOUR SELECTED CARD IS'."

As you spell out "YOUR SELECTED CARD IS," deal one card face-down onto the table with each letter (ignore the spaces between the words). After you have spelled out "YOUR SELECTED CARD IS," turn over the top card and it will be the spectator's card!



14. "The Piano Trick"

This is a great one for young kids to learn! Can you figure out why it works every time?

Ask the spectator to place both of his hands onto the table as if he's playing a piano. Deal 2 cards onto the table (one on top of the other) while saying "One two." Pick up the stack of 2 cards and place them between the pinky and ring finger of his right hand, asking him to hold them with his pinky and ring finger. Now deal 2 more cards while saying "One two," and place those 2 cards between his ring finger and middle finger. Do the same thing for his middle finger and index finger, then for his index finger and thumb. Do the same thing for his left hand (starting with his left thumb and index finger). When you reach his left ring finger and pinky, only place one card between his ring finger and pinky.



Now take the 2 cards from between his right pinky and ring finger, and deal them face-down onto the table side-by-side, saying "One two." Take the 2 cards from between his right ring finger and middle finger, and deal them face-down on top of the first 2 cards, saying "One two."



Continue pulling the cards from between his fingers and dealing them face-down on top of the 2 stacks, saying "One two" each time. All of this is meant to emphasize that you're working with pairs of cards. When you reach the single card between his left ring finger and pinky, hold it up and say, "Here's a single card. Which stack should I place it onto?" When he points to a stack, place the card face-down on top of that stack.

Now place one of your hands on top of each stack (so that each stack has a hand covering it), then count to three. Pick up the stack which the spectator chose (which received the single card) and remind him that this stack received the single card, then deal a stack of 2 cards onto the table, saying "One two." Deal another stack of 2 cards onto the table, saying "One two." Keep doing this until you run out of cards. Even though you had placed the single card on top of this stack, the single card seems to have mysteriously vanished because there are now an even number of cards! Now pick up the other stack of cards and deal out stacks of 2 cards (saying "One two" each time). Somehow the single card is now in this stack!



15. "Around the Clock"

This trick has a "reveal" which usually makes people laugh. Can you figure out why this trick works every time?

Deal 14 cards one at a time face-up onto a stack on the table, and memorize the third card that you dealt. Pick up the stack and hold it face-down (you don't need the rest of the deck).

Deal the top card face-down onto the table, and imagine that it's at the 6 o'clock position on a clock. Now deal the new top card face-down at the 7 o'clock position, and keep dealing around the clock until you reach the 5 o'clock position. Deal the remaining 2 cards face-down (in any order) vertically above the 6 o'clock card:



Ask the spectator to say a number higher than 3 and less than 20. Whatever number she says, start counting with the vertical card which is farthest from you inside the clock. Touch each card as you count out loud. The card at 6 o'clock will be #3 in your count, and the card at 5 o'clock will be #4, and so on. Keep counting around the clock (counter-clockwise) until you reach her number. The card that you end up on, touch it again and say "1." Now count up to her number again, but this time going in the opposite direction (i.e. clockwise). When you reach the card at 6 o'clock, keep going clockwise to the card at 7 o'clock, ignoring the vertical row of cards. No matter what number she said, you'll always end up on the card at the 8 o'clock position (can you see why?). This will be the card that you memorized at the beginning of the trick.

Tell her to memorize the card which you ended the count on (the card at the 8 o'clock position), then tell her to shuffle all 14 cards as much as she wants.

Pick up the stack of 14 cards, and deal the top card face-up onto the table. Look closely at the spectator's face as if you're looking for clues. If the card that you just dealt is not the card that you memorized at the beginning of the trick then say something like, "No, I can tell by your face that this isn't your card." Deal the next card face-up onto the table and look at her face. Wait a moment and then say something like, "Ah ha! Your eye just twitched, so that's not your card." Keep pretending that she's giving away clues that each card is not her card. When you deal her card face-up onto the table (the card which you had memorized), then tell her that this is her card and pretend that her face gave it away. This usually drives people crazy because they can't figure out how they're giving you clues!



16. "Swipe the Cards"

This trick was invented by my 10-year-old daughter Stephanie. Thanks Stephanie!

Hold a stack of 6 cards in your hand. Spread them out face-down in your hands and ask the spectator to take a card and memorize it. Then put the spectator's card on the bottom of the stack (without looking at it) and deal the 6 cards into 2 rows of 3 cards each:



Swap the positions of any 2 cards, then swap the positions of 2 more cards, and continue swapping cards several more times. While you're doing this, mentally keep track of the spectator's card (which was on the bottom of the stack).

Pick up the cards in any order, but make sure that the spectator's card ends up on the bottom of the stack in your hand. With your other hand, swipe the top 5 cards off of the stack and immediately show the remaining card to the spectator. If you do these 2 actions in one motion then it will look like you pulled his card out of the stack!



17. "Stuck to Your Forehead"

This is a combination of 3 different card tricks that I've seen.

Tell the spectator to pick any card out of the deck, then to memorize his card and place it face-down on top of the deck.

Set the deck face-down on the table. Tell the spectator to pick up a stack of any number of cards in the top half of the deck and turn the stack over and put it back face-up on top of the deck:



Now you do the same thing, but pick up a stack of cards which is bigger than the spectator's stack (in other words, pick up more than half of the deck). Turn your stack over and place it face-up on top of the deck, just as the spectator did.

Say, "Now that we've mixed things up randomly, we'll get rid of the face-up cards. I hope none of them are yours!" Slide the face-up cards off of the top of the deck, and let the spectator verify that his card is not one of the face-up cards. At this point, the spectator's card is face-down on top of the deck, but he doesn't know that.

Hold the deck against your forehead (under your hair, if your hair is long) so the spectator can see the bottom card of the deck:



Say, "Hmmmm....now what card did you pick?," as if you're trying to think of his card. Relax your grip on the deck and slowly lower the deck. If it works properly, the spectator's card will stick to your forehead!



It helps if you gently rub the deck back and forth slightly on your forehead so the skin oils on your forehead get a good grip on the card.

If the card won't stick to your forehead, here's an alternate ending.

Ask the spectator to say a number between 10 and 20 (let's pretend that he says "15"). Say, "Here's what I want you to do. Deal the cards face-down onto the table one at a time like this until you've dealt out your number of cards." Demonstrate what you want him to do by dealing out 15 cards (or whatever number he had chosen) face-down one at a time onto the table to create a small stack of cards. Don't let him see the faces of the cards as you deal them, because you don't want him to see his card. Say, "Then turn over the top card, like this," and turn over the top card of the stack that you just dealt (so that the top card is face-up). Now that you've demonstrated what you want him to do, turn the top card face-down again and place it back on top of the stack. Pick up the stack and place it on top of the deck, then hand the deck to the spectator. Tell him to deal 15 cards (or whatever number he had chosen) one at a time face-down onto the table just as you had demonstrated. When he turns the top card of his stack over, it's his card!



18. "Count Up to 13"

This trick doesn't exactly have an exciting "reveal" at the end, but it's one of those old classic tricks, and it's an interesting puzzle for junior detectives to solve. Why does it work?

Lay the top card face-up on the table (let's pretend that it's a 7). Now deal more cards face-up on top of that card, counting until you get to 13. So if the first card is a 7, you would mentally say "seven," then lay another card face-up on top of the 7 and mentally say "eight" (no matter what the value of the card is), then lay another card face-up on the stack and mentally say "nine," then "ten," then "eleven," then "twelve," then "thirteen."



Now lay the next card face-up on the table next to the stack that you just dealt. If it's a 2, for example, then mentally say "two" and then deal cards face-up onto this stack as you mentally count up to 13.



As you do this, keep in mind that a Jack counts as 11, a Queen counts as 12, and a King counts as 13. Keep repeating this procedure until you don't have enough cards to count up to 13. Pick up those remaining cards (which don't count up to 13) and set them aside.



After you've dealt all of the cards, turn all of the stacks over (face-down), and ask the spectator to pick any 3 stacks. Whichever stacks he did not choose, pick up those stacks and add them to the stack which you had set aside. Now pick up the stack which you had set aside, so that there are 3 stacks remaining on the table:



Say, "You randomly picked 3 stacks, and I'm going to predict the value of the top card in each stack." Now deal 3 cards face-down onto the table, next to each other. Then deal 3 more cards on top of the first 3, then 3 more on top of them. Deal one more card on top of any stack that you choose (the purpose is simply to deal out 10 cards without making this obvious), then put those 10 cards aside.

Say, "Now I'm pretty sure that the cards in my hand add up to the values of the top cards in the stacks which you randomly chose!" Ask the spectator to turn over the top card in the first stack that he had chosen. If it's a 4, for example, then deal 4 cards from the deck in your hand, face-down, in front of that stack, counting out loud so that the spectator can see that you're dealing the same number of cards as the value of the card that he just turned over.



Now ask him to turn over the top card in the second stack that he had chosen, and deal that number of cards from your hand, face-down, in front of that stack (counting out loud as before).



Now do the same for the last stack which he had chosen, and when you deal that number of cards then you should have no cards left over.




Alternate Ending #1

Here's an alternate ending that you can use, if you prefer. After the spectator has turned over the top cards of the first 2 stacks and you've counted out the cards (as described above), count the remaining cards in your hand. Let's say there are 6 cards remaining in your hand. Now announce that the top card of the last stack is a 6, then turn the top card over.


Alternate Ending #2

In Alternate Ending #1 you count the remaining cards in your hand before turning over the top card of the last stack. If there are 6 cards left in your hand, for example, then you know that the top card of the last stack is a 6, but you don't know what the suit is. Tell the spectator to pick up the top card of the last stack and look at it, but not to let you see it. Now gather up all of the cards (except the card that the spectator is holding) and look through them until you find the other three 6s in the deck (the spectator is holding the last 6, in this example). If you find the 6 of Spades, 6 of Diamonds, and 6 of Clubs in the deck, for example, then say, "Your card is the 6 of Hearts!"



19. "Predicting How Many Cards the Spectator Has"

This is another self-working trick which isn't exactly spectacular, but can you figure out why it always works?

Say, "First you're going to pick up a random number of cards from the top of the deck, and even though neither one of us knows how many cards you have, I will predict how many cards you picked up. Now pick up a small number of cards from the top of the deck." After he picks up some cards, say, "Now I'll predict how many cards you have by picking up some cards myself." Pick up some cards from the top of the deck, but make sure that you pick up more cards than he did.

Say, "Now I'll turn around, and we'll both count our cards." Turn around and count your cards, then turn back to him after he has counted his cards. Now subtract 3 from your number of cards, so if you have 15 cards then your new total would be 12, for example. Say, "I have the same number of cards that you have, plus 3 more, plus enough to bring the total up to 12." If you had 23 cards then you would subtract 3 and say, "I have the same number of cards that you have, plus 3 more, plus enough to bring the total up to 20."

Now ask him how many cards he has (let's assume that he has 5 cards). Say, "I've got as many cards as you," and deal that many cards from your stack onto the table (counting out loud: "one, two, three, four, five"). Then say, "Plus 3 more," and deal 3 more cards from your stack (counting out loud: "one, two, three"). Then say, "Plus enough to bring the total up to 12 [or whatever your total was]," then deal your remaining cards (counting out loud starting from his total: "six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve").


Page One     Page Two





"Easy Card Tricks for Kids of All Ages"
URL: http://daveroot.neocities.org/cardtricks

Modification History
01/17/2016: Moved the card tricks which require sleight-of-hand or preparation to Page Two and re-numbered all of the tricks.
03/21/2010: Added Page Two.
06/24/2003: New website.


Dave Root

email: dave.root@live.com
home page:   http://daveroot.neocities.org