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Aces over Kings

By: Chris Welsh - Updated: 18 Oct 2010 | comments*Discuss
Poker Poker Magic Magic Sleight Of Hand

Poker is a hot game these days, and any time you can work poker into a magic trick…well then you have a hot magic trick. In this classic Aces over Kings, you have a spectator randomly deal two four card poker hands - but of course as the magician you manage to win.

The Effect

The magician hands a deck of cards to the spectator and asks him to start dealing them into two alternating stacks of cards. The spectator is allowed to stop dealing any time they wish, and the undealt cards are discarded. After dealing the two packets into four piles, the top cards are reveals as the spectator's hand - four kings. But the next group of top cards are the magician's hand - four aces.

The Secret

The secret here is the way the deck is stacked before the trick, and the order in which the cards are dealt.


Only a regular deck of playing cards are required for this trick.


There is some card stacking that needs to happen for this trick to work, in addition to the normal practiced of patter and style. The four aces should be stacked on top of the deck, with the four kings on top of them. The deck is now ready to perform.


  • The magician hands the deck of cards to a spectator and lets him know that he is going to be dealing out some special cards tonight. He asks the spectator to deal the top card on to the table, and the second card next to it, starting two piles of cards.
  • The spectator then continues to deal the cards out, alternating into the two piles. After the spectator has dealt out ten cards of so, inform him or her that she can stop at any point she wishes.
  • The undealt cards are discarded. The spectator is asked to pick up the first pile and deal them out into two piles in the same fashion, alternating.
  • The second, initial packet is likewise dealt out. There are now four piles of cards.
  • The magician turns over the top card - a king - and says "This will be your poker hand - would you like to wager any money?" As the second card comes off, "A pair of kings! Not bad, sure you don't want a wager?" The third card makes a set, and after the fourth card the spectator now has quad Kings. "Last chance to bet!"
  • After the spectator takes his poker hand, the magician says "it was smart of you not to bet against a magician" and turns over the next top card on each of the four stacks, revealing quad aces, a better hand.

Magical Tip

This card trick is a great way to lead into routine, because it requires you to set up the deck in advance. If you learn a number of card tricks that do not require advance prep, always lead with one that does. It is much harder to go the other way around, as it often involves switching decks during the show, which can look dodgy.

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