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Five Cards: Are You Sure?

By: Chris Welsh - Updated: 30 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
Five Cards: Are You Sure? Magic Trick

A classically handled card trick, one of the few that are appropriate for the stage, which will baffle any audience.

The Effect
The magician takes a pack of cards from a table and announces that he only needs a few cards for this trick and deliberately counts the cards in the pack, showing that there are five. Declaring he only needs two, he counts off and discards three cards, one at a time. Then he recounts but discovers he still has five cards in his hand.

The Secret
The key to this trick is a particular false count that allows the magician to show eight cards as if they are five.

A regular deck of playing cards are all that is required, plus a lot of practice.

Setting aside a pack of eight cards (or more if doing the advanced version) prior to the show is all the advance preparation required.

Performing the Trick

Regular sized playing cards are fine for this stage trick, as it is important for the audience to see the amount of cards in the magician’s hand, not their value. Smooth and natural motions, combined with a touch of acting, will make this trick a success.
  1. magician holds cards in left handThe magician picks up a pack of eight cards and squares it up in the left hand, announcing that he only needs a few cards for his next trick. 20px break
  2. magicain moves first card with thumbHolding the cards face forward in the left hand, the magician should be able to “deal” them off from the back with the left thumb by pushing forward slightly, causing the card on the top of the packet (closest to the magician) to come off the pack by an inch or two.20px break
  3. The magician approaches the pack with the right hand and grips the card dealt at the upper right corner with the thumb and tips of the first two fingers of the right hand, counting “one.”

  4. magician counts cards into his handWhen approaching the pack for another card, the first card held in the right hand comes in front of the cards in the left hand. The left thumb deals off the top card and the right thumb grips it and pulls it away as the magician counts “two.”20px break
  5. magicain counts of cards but secretly moves more than one cardA third card is counted off in the same manner and now comes the secret move. As the cards in the right hand briefly obscure those in the left, the left fingers curl the bottom card (the one furthest away from the magician) and expose all of the remaining cards. The magician takes the entire packet, leaving only the one curled in the left hand, counting “four.” 20px break
  6. As the right hand retreats the left fingers extend, showing one card left. The magician takes it in the same manner and counts “five.” At this point the magician has shown eight cards as five. He says “Well, I only need two” and returns the cards to his right hand. He counts off one card at a time and tosses them aside, “One, two, three. There, now I only have…”

  7. magician reveals there are still five cards remainingThe magician counts the cards and shows surprise that he has five cards remaining. 20px break

Magical Tip

Practicing these moves until they are as smooth and natural as if the magician is actually only counting five cards is a requirement for this stage card trick to go well.

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