David Blaine’s magic special is likely the first place that a lot of you have seen this trick.
Just about everyone that’s interested in magic knows this trick, and out of that large group of people, few know how it works.
Shortly, you’ll be one of them.
The invisible deck trick is actually very simple once you8 get good at it, and can be done with a regular deck of playing cards if you have some DIY know-how.
While Blaine can’t be beaten, this method will have you mimicking his movements before long.
It requires smooth precision, which you can master after a bit of practice. It’s a great trick to pull out of nowhere, so let’s get started.
What is the Invisible Deck Trick
The invisible deck trick is probably one of the coolest card tricks ever invented. I’ll give you a scenario.
A magician walks up to a spectator and says, “Pick a card right now, doesn’t matter which one.” The magician doesn’t have a deck out, there are no visible cards that the spectator can see right now.
The spectator says, “The two of clubs” out loud, and the magician says “Okay.”
Then the magician reaches into their pocket, pulls out a deck of cards, and opens it. They slide the deck out, and fan out the cards in front of the spectator.
The magician says, “You could have said any card, but you chose the two of clubs,” and as the magician fans out the cards, all but one will be face-up and visible to the spectator.
The magician says, “This is your two of clubs,” flips the one upside-down card upright, and voila—it’s the two of clubs.
Doesn’t that sound fun? It’s actually just a big math problem with a touch of sleight of hand, so let’s get into it.
How to do it Effectively
I’m going to lay it down as basically as possible.
To do the invisible card trick, you need to arrange your cards before you put them in your deck.
There’s a key that you’re going to be able to use to figure out which card is going to be face-down, so let’s get into organizing that deck.
You’re going to have 26 cards, or half of the deck, facing down. The other half will be facing up.
On one side, you will have all even numbers (queens count as evens, so 12s; red kings count as even), and on the other side, all odd numbers (jacks count as odds, so 11; black kings count as odd).
That means that effectively, you have 26 double-sided cards. Or you will by the end of this. Now you need to know how to arrange them. Know that every combination you have needs to add up to 13.
Ace plus a red queen? 13. Five plus an eight? 13.
Each double-sided card is going to add up to 13 to make this work.
On top of that, your hearts should be matched with spades, while your diamonds should be matched with clubs.
If it sounds confusing, don’t worry; it always does the first time around. Organize your cards. Know which cards are which.
If someone says that they want the six of hearts, that means you need to deal out the cards on the odd side and find the seven of spades (equals 13, cards are opposite of one another).
What You Need
All you need is a standard deck of playing cards that you organize before you perform this trick.
Beyond that, you don’t really need anything else other than quick math skills to determine exactly which card you’re going to have to turn over to get their magic number.
Step-by-Step Guide to Perform the Invisible Deck Trick
Start with your deck after you’ve put everything together, and ensure you know which side is even and which side is odd.
If your card packaging is a little beat-up, you can always put a little dot or marker on one side to mark it so that you know.
Ask a person which card they want, and if they say the nine of diamonds, in your head you know that means you need to do a few things:
- They said an even number, so open the deck on the odd side.
- They want a nine, and to get to thirteen, you need to add a four, so look for a four.
- They want diamonds, so you want to look for spades.
Go through the deck of cards with them, spanning out all of the even cards as quickly as possible so that they don’t notice a pattern emerging.
Once you find that four of spades, you will know that on the other side of that card is the nine of diamonds.
With your other hand on the bottom side of the deck, feel out where the card is and gently nudge it into place as you’re going through the deck.
It just needs to poke out a little bit, so that you can say “Out of all the cards in this deck, this is the only one that’s face down.” It allows you to carry on with the rest of your set.
Pull the card up, show the spectator, and put the card back precisely where it was in the first place so that you don’t have to reorganize an entire deck later. It’s already set so that you can just trick another person.
Why do the Cards Stay Stuck Together?
Because presumably, if you’re a magician that knows anything about cards, you’re going to have a Bicycle or Elephant playing deck.
That means that you’re going to have rough back cards, where the backing materials stick together with a bit of friction.
This is what you’re going to rely on when you’re fanning out 26 cards, with the same number of cards literally riding on their backs.
This is best done with a new deck of playing cards so that everything is certain to stick together. You can still pull this trick off with an older deck, just inspect it thoroughly for wear and tear first.
Different Ways to Perform the Invisible Deck Trick
There are two main ways that you can do it, and they’re both a ton of fun. The first is the easiest—you can just walk up to someone on the street and figure it out.
However, the second is the most fun because you’re making your spectator jump through hoops on a wild goose chase with nothing to show for it.
For this, once you have your invisible deck all set up, you’re going to walk up to a random person on the street.
You could walk up to your friend, or your parents, whoever you like. You’re going to say to them, “If you could pick any card in a deck right now, which one would it be?”
It doesn’t matter which one they pick, so long as you have that system down pat.
You pull out the cards on the even or odd side, depending on what they pick, and work your magic from our step-by-step guide.
They’ll be blown away, but you have to put the card back in the deck and get out of there before they ask to see it.
Playing With the Invisible Deck
The next one is when you get a rise out of your spectator. You have them stand at a table with you, with your closed deck of cards nearby for everyone to see.
You say to them, “Here’s an invisible deck of cards,” and you pretend to hand them the cards.
They’ll look perplexed. You tell them to open it, shuffle it, do a crazy twirl in the air, whatever it is that they want to do.
When they’ve done that, you tell them to pick a card at random, and tell them what it is. They tell you, and now you have that information.
To keep the fun going, tell them to pick up all the cards and put them back in the card case, and hand it back to you.
They’re invested in the trick now, might as well have fun with it, you know?
From there, follow the step-by-step guide above and you’ll be able to display their card to them. Boom; mind blown.
Now You Get to It
It’s not going to take long to master it, but it is going to take dedication.
You’ll be able to spend about a week or two working up the movements, and from repetition, the smoothness will follow before long.
Add this to your gigs, to your street performance acts, and get the crowd involved.
Before long, you’re going to start feeling satisfaction from the stunned look on people’s faces—that’s how you know you’ve got the trick down pat.