Tricks & Ideas: No-Card Card Magic


Let’s face it:

1. A lot of people don’t like card tricks. (Probably more people than those who don’t like magic in general, I guess.)

2. A lot of card tricks lend themselves to other—and better—presentations without rather than with cards. But we keep doing them with our beloved 52 assistants because we are either lazy or simply because we once learned them this way and like to stick to our habits.

Here’s a good example from a recent discussion over at the Genii Forum: Richard Vollmer‘s “Tapestry Trick” from Roberto Giobbi‘s Card College Lighter. It’s easy, very visual, self-working, and delivers a surprising climax, so there’s not much wrong with it.

Yet I feel that wrapping this interesting principle into playing cards only is a bit of a stretch and „cardmen‘s thinking.“ In addition, telling a story of an expensive tapestry with a hidden mark, embodied by four playing cards… really? In 2020? Not sure about the power of that hook!

No, this principle is really versatile and would be wasted on „playing cards only“ IMHO. Instead of playing cards, I could also see this play well with other flat objects, like Memory tiles or other game cards (like cars or Pokémons) which appeal more to children.

More options:

  • How about using 16 numbers and combining this effect with a Magic Square, either as an intro or as an extra kicker?
  • Why not use 16 beer mats (4 each of 4 brands) for a bar bet or bar trick? Just drop 4 bottle caps of the „winning“ brand as a hidden prediction into the fist of a spectator, and you are ready to play…
  • You could use any stack of thematic photos or postcards.
  • Or you could use a stack of loose pages from a paperback novel, turning half of them by 180 degrees. This would make a powerful quadruple force for mindreading.
  • Maybe this could even work as an impromptu beach trick with eight pairs of flip-flops!?
  • The most organic application for folding and turning over would probably be a city or country map. (However, I think you‘d need to cut out the pieces in advance and reconnect them with small clear tape hinges, which could be cut easily once the stack is reassembled.)

Just a couple of alternative ideas. I hope you like one better than the card trick and give it a try!



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