Introduction: Mathemagical Card Trick

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How to perform a common magic trick whether you're a magician or a mathematician.

Step 1: Get a Friend

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Ask a friend to randomly select a card from a deck of 21 cards. Have them memorize this card and return it to the deck without revealing it to you.
Optional: Have them shuffle the deck themselves!

Step 2: Lay the Cards in 3 Columns

Picture of Lay the Cards in 3 Columns

Start by creating three columns of 7 cards each by:
First, lay the top 3 cards in a row from left to right. (picture 1)
Then add a second row on top the first . (picture 2)
Continue adding rows in this manner until each column has 7 cards. (picture 3)

Step 3: Identify the Column

Picture of Identify the Column

Have the friend select which column their card is in.
Without changing the order of the cards in this column, gather it into your hand face down, followed by the other two columns on top.
Note: The order of cards in the other two columns no longer matters.

Step 4: Again and Again

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Repeat Steps 2 and 3 beginning with cards from the top.
Repeat a third time.
After the third time doing this process the card your friend selected will be the last card in the column they chose.
Memorize this card!

Step 5: Blow Their Mind!

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Randomly shuffle the cards into a deck. Begin flipping cards over one by one face up until your friend's selected card is revealed. Impress them with your mathemagical knowledge by identifying the card.


freckles201 (author)2014-02-22

Isn't this like the 21/9 card trick?

divadancer903 (author)2013-07-28

does this actually work?

betainr (author)2012-11-05

very nice...but whats the mathamatic calculation works on it...can u explain..please..?

niravdaraniya (author)2012-04-28

Thanks for this magic

broper (author)2011-08-22


MorNuN (author)2011-08-21

that girl's very pretty :$

I knew this trick from a children magazine I used to read when I was a child

valleycrosser (author)2010-05-02

 You can also multiply the piles of cards of 7 up to as many as possible(which is seven,by the way)and it still works. You may have to experement at first to find how many times you need to do steps 2 and3. Good trick too. 

MattyNX (author)2010-04-18

Just tried this trick and it's amazing.... love things like this.

VampiricPie (author)2010-02-12

It never is in the middle column for me, but it's always the last card in the column it's in, am I doing something wrong?

CalicoP (author)2009-05-05

Wow this is really good!

numpska (author)2009-03-11

Oh my god, this is awesome

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