A Clever Card Trick That May Leave You Bewildered

Our Hot Finds section has been very serious of late so it's time for a little unabashed silliness.

This old trick from master illusionist David Copperfield is hardly a Hot Find but even today, it can still shock the unwary.

I recall the first time I saw this trick; I was momentarily stunned and flabbergasted.  You may be too but after a little reflection you will find yourself smiling in admiration at its simple cleverness.

If you have some fun or light hearted items to contribute send them to me using the site contact form in the left sidebar. They probably won't feature here in "Hot Finds" but rather on our frivolous (and well hidden) "Complete Waste of Time" page. You will get full credit for any contribution.

Step 1:




Step 2:



Step 3




Step 4


Now a magician never reveals his secrets so please don't leave a comment below saying how it works.  Instead let folks work it out for themselves.

Do however leave a comment saying how long it took you to discover the solution.




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by Anonymous on 19. March 2009 - 5:41  (18148)

Oh, this is sooooo old! It has been doing the rounds for a number of years now. Who doesn't know how it works by now?!

by Anonymous on 19. March 2009 - 6:01  (18151)

Maybe it's a test for physiological reaction times...?

by Anonymous on 19. March 2009 - 6:04  (18152)

that was just plain creepy...........for the 3-4 minutes it took me to think to copy the cards down on paper and compare the two sets. I enjoyed it,just don't sink to "funny" video clips,ok?

by Anonymous on 19. March 2009 - 6:05  (18153)

Well I hadn't seen it before so don't be sooooo mean spirited.

It took me about 1 minute to work it out. Had me thinking though.

by Anonymous on 19. March 2009 - 6:59  (18154)

How does this fall into the category of "hot finds"? It was a neat trick five years ago, but really ....

by Bob on 19. March 2009 - 7:01  (18155)

Well try counting the passes in this one:
Watch from 2 min 30 sec in...
(otherwise I'll be hauled over the coals for a breach of site rules, or something)

by J_L on 19. March 2009 - 8:28  (18165)

Even though I haven't seen this before (yes I'm not into magic tricks), it took me 15 seconds to decipher it.
For the first 10 second, I was plain baffled, and thought of a different card. The next 5 seconds is when I really thought about it, and had an idea. What if ALL of the cards were different? Then it was obvious after a little double-checking.
Neat trick, but I've seen better.

by gizmo.richards on 19. March 2009 - 9:00  (18168)

It doesn't. It falls into the category of "Gizmo cutting code all day and looking for something different to computers." :>)

by gizmo.richards on 19. March 2009 - 9:05  (18170)

No funny video clips, I promise.

But we are going to have a section on family pet photos and favorite pizza toppings.

Just kidding, just kidding ...


by Jojo Yee on 19. March 2009 - 9:16  (18171)

Thanks Gizmo for sharing with us the good trick. This is interesting.

I am not sure if this magic has ever been performed by David C. It used to be circulated via emails and took me couple of secs to figure out.

Another famous magician I like is David Blaine.

Let's see one of his tricks: David Blaine Changes Coffee Into Money. http://www.metacafe.com/watch/130552/david_blaine_changes_coffee_into_mo...

And the Magic revealed:

How true? Judge it yourself :>)

by gizmo.richards on 19. March 2009 - 9:24  (18172)

Interesting clip Bob. I missed the guy in the ape suit totally. But I am a guy and we guys can only do one thing at a time.


by Anonymous on 19. March 2009 - 10:20  (18174)

hahaha lol, that's cheesy...

by JonathanT on 19. March 2009 - 10:22  (18176)

This is a funny trick. I didn't get it until I googled it!

by Anonymous on 19. March 2009 - 10:58  (18181)

I don't remember if I've seen the trick before; but I understood immediately. I just had to scroll up to confirm.

by Anonymous on 19. March 2009 - 15:41  (18196)

About 2.4 seconds.

by Anonymous on 19. March 2009 - 15:55  (18197)

1 second - this was on the net during the pre-historic days of early AOL/Prodigy back in 1991 or so.

by NTSMadDog on 19. March 2009 - 16:03  (18199)

yea it took me a minute or two, Very cheesy, but it worked.

by Anonymous on 19. March 2009 - 16:34  (18204)

Lame lame lame lame lame

This "trick" is old and lame

by Bob on 19. March 2009 - 19:21  (18213)

I missed him completely the first time round too. Watching the second time was a real eye opener. I suspect the only way to get it straight off (as I could with the cards and Jojoyee's video) is simply not to try to count.

Absolutely agree: our brains just aren't made for analytic multitasking. As Figaro - the famous factotum - says, "Uno alla volta, per carità!" ["One at a time, for goodness sake!"]


by Anonymous on 19. March 2009 - 19:29  (18214)

I had already known about it from the following website: http://nowscape.com/blk/card-trick/magic.html

by Anonymous on 19. March 2009 - 21:14  (18219)

yeah but it only works in a computer. not live!

by gizmo.richards on 19. March 2009 - 22:04  (18221)

"Uno alla volta, per carità!"

How appropriate that this was spoken by a male of the species.

Don't know if you saw it but there a great 3 part series from BBC TV on the difference between male and female thinking.

One of the most fascinating sequences was where a group of college students were asked to volunteer for an experiment.

To do this they had to go to an office and sign up. What they didn't realize was that signing up was part of the experiment.

When they went to the office they were met by a clerk in a white shirt behind a counter. When the student asked to sign up to the experiment the clerk said he would get the application form from under the counter.

He then ducked down but a different clerk in a different color shirt popped up with the application form.

The majority of males didn't even notice the swap but an overwhelming major
of females did.

Even scarier, about one third of the males didn't even notice when the clerk who bobbed up was a female!

"Uno alla volta, per carità!"


by Anonymous on 20. March 2009 - 4:46  (18233)

seen a month ago ............yawn

by Bob on 20. March 2009 - 10:08  (18239)

That's fascinating Gizmo.

Yes I missed that series... like a whole lot of things.

Sex-related differences always attract though (an important part of the "look over there" gambit in the ape-man clip).

Another one?

Where are the tricks here? I wondered:

Basically, there ain't none. When I first saw this clip (and others like it), I thought some of the stage antics would be physically impossible without a good video editor. Then I saw the piece performed live at the Albert Hall. And seeing is believing... sometimes.

In addition to being one of the finest clarinetists in the world, Martin Fröst is also a trained mime. He and the composer, Anders Hillborg, decided the choreography together.

I'd been looking for an excuse to post this video.
[alternative version here, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5d21HMq3ir0 ]


"Just the place for a Snark! I have said it thrice:
What I tell you three times is true."

by Anonymous on 21. March 2009 - 10:48  (18283)

Great video, thanks Bob, it was joy to watch and lsiten to.

Well, having seen it live, I take your word for it. Without that confirmation I would have thought it was definitely a video editing job.

As a lifelong classical music lover I took a lot of heart from this clip. It gave me some hope for the otherwise bleak future of the art-form. In particular it confirmed my view that classical music must transition to entertainment rather than continue to pursue the current approach of stultification. Now that's spoken by a man whose tastes run to the late Beethoven string quartets rather than the 1812 overture.

This is a topic for another time and place, a most interesting one though.


by Anonymous on 23. March 2009 - 4:03  (18351)

i liked it still dont know how its done a way cool trick thaks gismo

by Anonymous on 23. March 2009 - 8:55  (18367)
by Bob on 24. March 2009 - 7:43  (18452)

Try this one:
I wonder which population they sampled.

by phillj on 24. March 2009 - 10:37  (18457)

I guessed the answer as soon as I read the word "gone"

by Jojo Yee on 24. March 2009 - 12:25  (18467)

I guess it has only one answer to it.
At step 3, when you add two digits together, you always get 9.

And why it says 98% of population will get it right? B'cos 2% of the population make mistakes in simple math.

If that happens, there's no Kangaroo in Denmark eating an Orange, but something else, maybe a Monkey in Africa climbing up a Coconut tree :>)

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