Easy Magic Tricks for Scouts
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piece of paper
- Write 1089 on the paper without showing anyone, fold it, and place it on the table in plain view.
- Give someone a piece of paper and pencil.
- Tell them to write down any 3 digit number that uses 3 different numerals in the middle of the paper. Not 111 or 202 or 330 where the same numeral is used more than once.
- Tell him to reverse the number. If the number is larger, write it above the first one. If smaller, write it below.
- Subtract the smaller from the larger.
- If the resulting number has 2 digits, fill in ahead of it with a zero.
- Reverse the number and write it below the bottom number.
- Add the bottom two numbers.
- Unfold your paper and ask if it matches their result - 1089!
Guessing the Coins
- Give the penny and nickel to a friend.
- Turn your back and tell him to hold one coin in each hand.
- Say that you want him to focus on the coins and mathematics is the best way to get his mind in gear.
- Ask him to multiply the coin in the right hand by 2 and to say 'OK' when he has the answer.
- Ask him to multiply the coin in the left hand by 17 and to say 'OK' when he has the answer. If it took about the same amount of time for each, then the nickel is in the right hand since 1x17 is easy to compute. If the 2nd one was much slower, then the nickel is in the left hand.
The next time you do the trick, use different numbers like 13 or 19.
- Give your friend these instructions:
- Think of any number from one to 10.
- Multiply it by 9. [Pause while they do this]
- If it's a two-digit number, add them together.
- Now, subtract 5 from the number in your head. [Pause again]
- Now, think of the letter in the alphabet that corresponds with the number you are thinking about. For instance, if you are thinking of the number 1, it would be "A". Number 2 would be "B". 3 is "C", and so on.
- Now, think of a country that starts with the letter you're thinking of.
- Spell the country in your head. [Pause here]
- Think about the second letter in that country's name. Now, quickly think of an animal who's name begins with that letter.[Pause here]
- Now, think of the animal's color.
- [Pause and concentrate] That's funny... this can't be right... there ARE no gray elephants in Denmark!
Add to 15
paper and pencil
- Write your answer (15) on a slip of paper, fold it, and lay it on the table.
- Give your fiend the paper and pencil.
- Ask him to draw a Tic-Tac-Toe board.
- Ask him to write down the numerals 1 to 9 in order in the diagram. 1,2,3 on top. 4,5,6 middle. 7,8,9 on bottom.
- Have him circle any numeral in the first row.
- Have him circle any numberal in the second row that is not in the same column as the first one circled.
- Have him circle the numeral in the bottom row that is in the column with no circled numerals.
- Have him add up the circled numbers.
- Have him unfold your answer - 15!
Jump the Coin
- Bet your friend that he will not be able to jump over this coin when you set it down.
- Have him stand with his arms stright down at his sides and then place the coin on top of his head.
- If he complains that you tricked him, then give him another chance - put the coin in the very corner of the room.
Guess the Color
4 pieces of paper - 3 inch square
red, blue, and green markers
- Put a red spot on one piece of paper, blue on another, green the third.
- On the back of the red paper, write in small neat printing - "YOU CHOSE RED"
- On the envelope where the stamp would go, write "YOU CHOSE BLUE" - not too big so you can cover it with your thumb.
- On the 4th piece of paper, write "YOU CHOSE GREEN", fold it, and put it in the envelope.
- Put the 3 colored papers in the envelope and now the trick is ready.
- Pull the envelope out of your bag covering the writing with your fingers and lay it front down on the table.
- Slide the 3 colored papers out and lay them in a line on the table with the colors facing up.
- Ask a friend to think of one of the colors. Really concentrate on it.
- Say Kalamazoo and then ask him to tell you the color he chose.
- If he says "BLUE", put the papers back into the envelope, fold the flap over to close it and then hold up the front and have your friend read what is written there.
- If he says "RED", turn over the Green, then Blue, then Red papers and have him read what is written.
- If he says "GREEN", pick up the envelop, and spread it open so he can see the paper inside. Ask him to take it and read what is on it as you pick up the papers and put them away.
- Immediately retrieve the materials and put them away before they can be inspected. Do not do the same trick twice.
Find the Card
deck of cards
- Separate the deck so all reds are together and all blacks are together. Place the reds on top of the blacks.
- Fan out the deck face down on the table making just the bottom half of it spread out and the top half still piled. This will encourage the person to take a black card.
- Tell him to look at his card and show it to his buddies.
- While he is checking out his card, stack the deck back together.
- When he is ready, fan the deck again, this time trying to keep the bottom half stacked and fanning the top half.
- Have him slip his card into the deck wherever he wants.
- Stack the deck and ask him to cut the deck once.
- Stack the deck after the cut and ask someone else to cut it also.
- You can have it cut quite a few times without much chance of it going wrong.
- When ready, pick up the deck and look through it for a single card that is a different color from those around it. This is the card.
The Best Card Trick Ever
This is the card trick I learned in 6th grade and have used it ever since. It's easy but very entertaining for those that have never seen it before. And, it takes awhile to figure out.
deck of cards
- Count 21 cards off the top of the deck and give them to your friend.
- Ask him to shuffle and cut them as much as he wants. Tell him this is his only chance to touch the cards so he needs to do a good job.
- Have him give you the stack of cards face-down when he is finished.
- Deal the cards face-up into 3 columns of 7 cards each with each card in a column overlapping the one under it so they are easy to scoop into a stack keeping the cards in order. Put the rest of the deck aside.
- Point to each column telling everyone this is column 1, column 2, and column 3 from left to right.
- Ask your friend to select in his mind one card. Have him tell a friend if he wants.
- Have him tell you if the card is in column 1, 2, or 3.
- Whichever column he chooses, stack up each column and put his chosen column between the other two to create one large stack. At this point, you know his card is between the 7th and 15th cards.
- Now, lay the cards out in 3 columns again just like the start. The important thing to remember is to lay the cards out by row from left to right! This arranges them correctly.
- Ask which column the card is in now and repeat the stacking and column creation.
- Ask which column the card is in. At this point, you know the card is the middle card in the chosen column! Believe me. :-)
- When you recreate the stack putting his column in the center, his card is now the 11th card. The next part is the fun part of the trick.
- Deal out the cards into 4 card stars facedown. You will make 5 stars with 4 cards and the last one will have a 5th card in the center on top. As you deal out the cards, count them in your head so when you lay down card number 11, you know right where his card lays.
- Ask him to point (do NOT touch or the magic will evaporate) to 2 piles of cards. If he points to the pile his card is in, then swipe away the other piles. Otherwise, swipe away the piles he pointed to.
- Repeat asking him to point to 1 pile. Take away the pile or piles that do not contain his card.
- You may have to do it a 3rd time until there is just one pile left.
- Spread the cards apart a bit and have him point to 2 cards. Remove either the ones he pointed to or the others, leaving his chosen card behind.
- Repeat until only his card is left.
- Just sit there and wait for him to ask, or take all the other cards and shuffle them back into the deck and get up and go get a drink, or think of some other dramatic way to flip the card over.
How Many Cards Moved?
deck of cards
- Retrieve these cards of any mixture of suits - A, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, Jack or Joker
- Arrange the 11 cards on the top of the deck as 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, A, J, 10, 9, 8, 7 with the 6 on the very top.
- Deal the top 11 cards from the prepared deck face-down into a row on the table going from left to right so the 6 is on the far left and the 7 is on the far right.
- Explain that you want your friend to move as many cards as he wants from his left to right, one at a time, while you turn your back.
- After he has moved the cards, turn back around and turn over the 7th card from your left. That number is the number of cards he moved! If it is the Jack, he tried to fool you by not moving any cards or by moving all of them.
deck of cards
- Separate a deck into two piles, those whose printed numeral has a ROUND top ( 2 6 8 9 10 Q ) and those whose printed numeral has a FLAT top ( 3 4 5 7 J K A )
- Put these two piles back together into one deck. It looks mixed up, but isn't really. It helps if you have the Ace of Spades as the bottom card for the Flat top group so it is easy to find in the middle of the deck.
- Divide the deck in half, giving each half to a friend. (this is where having the Ace of Spades as the center card helps.)
- Turn your back and ask them to each shuffle and cut their own decks as much as they like and let you know when they are finished.
- When they are ready, tell them to fan out their decks and pull one card from the other person's deck.
- Tell them to look at the card and then insert it anywhere into their own deck.
- If they would like, shuffle and cut their own decks as much as they'd like and tell you when they are done.
- When they are ready, turn around and have them give you their decks. Put the two decks together into one.
- Fan out the cards in your hand looking for the ROUND top number in among the flat tops and the FLAT top number among the round tops.
- Pull out the two cards and toss them on the table.
deck of cards
- Pull out all the Kings, Queens, and Jacks from the deck.
- Arrange them into 2 piles - the KH, JC, KS, QD, QC, JD in one pile, the QH, KC, JH, QS, KD in the other, The JS is not needed.
- Put the 5-card deck on your lap under the table and the 6-card deck on the table.
- Deal the 6 cards face-up into a row on the table.
- Have someone choose in their mind one of the cards and have him tell a friend.
- Ask them to really concentrate on that card as you collect all the cards into a deck and bring it under the table.
- While the cards are under the table, concentrate very hard, making mental contact with the two friends.
- Switch decks with the 5-card deck and deal out all the cards, stating that their card has disappeared!
- (of course ALL the cards have disappeared so it doesn't matter which card they chose. Don't do it twice!)
deck of cards
- Pull out all the Aces into a pile, all the Kings into another, and the Queens, and Jacks. Tell the audience that these are the King, Queen, Jack, and Ace patrols getting ready for a campout.
- Flip the piles over and stack them one on top of the other into one deck.
- Say that the patrols decided to mix it up and have one member of each patrol in a tent. Lay down (face-up) each Ace in a row. Then, on top of the Aces, flip the Kings, then the Queens, then the Jacks. Now, there are 4 piles with one of each card.
- Flip the piles over and say the Scoutmaster called lights out and its time to sleep.
- Pick up each pile, making a stack of the cards.
- Cut the cards 3 or 4 times saying that during the night the scouts tossed and turned and had a terrible time sleeping.
- Deal the cards one at a time into 4 piles (face-down) and say, "But morning finally came ..."
- Flip the piles of cards over as you say, "and they all woke to find themselves back with their own patrol!"
Finding the Aces
deck of cards
- Pull out all the Aces into a pile face-up.
- Shuffle the remaining cards and deal the top 3 cards into a row face-down.
- Deal out the remainder of the cards face-down onto these 3 cards until there are 14 on each. Then, put one more card each on the middle and right piles and put the remaining 4 cards face-down to the right as a 4th pile.
- You have 4 piles and the 4 Aces.
- Have a friend take the first pile and shuffle it all he wants, then put it back face-down.
- Have him place the top Ace face-down on top of the first pile.
- Have the friend shuffle the 2nd pile all he wants and then put it back.
- Have him take any number of cards from the 2nd pile and place them on top of the 1st pile.
- Have him place the 2nd Ace face-down on the 2nd pile.
- Have him shuffle the third pile, replace it, and take any number of cards and put them on the 2nd pile.
- Have him place the 3rd Ace face-down on the 3rd pile.
- Have him shuffle the 4th pile and place it face-down on top of the 3rd pile.
- When he is finished, place the 3rd pile on the 2nd, then the 2nd on the 1st. You still have the 4th Ace sitting aside.
- Now announce that even though the Aces are well hidden throughout the deck, you will bring them to the top.
- Deal 2 cards face-down next to each other. Continue dealing face-down alternating between the two piles until all cards are dealt.
- Pick up the left-hand deck and deal the top card from it onto the remaining deck. Deal the next card down where the left-hand deck had been. Continue dealing out cards alternating between the two piles.
- Repeat picking up the left-hand deck and dealing out the cards, first card on top of the remaining deck, until there are only 3 cards left.
- Dramatically show that these are the 3 missing Aces!
A Number from 1 to 9
deck of cards
- Give the deck of cards to a friend and turn your back to him.
- Let him shuffle the deck as much as he'd like.
- Tell him to think of a number from 1 to 9 and then deal out that many cards face-down into a pile quietly so you can not hear them.
- Tell him to now search through the rest of the deck for a card that matches the number he chose. So, if he chose 5, find the 5C or 5H or 5D or 5S.
- Once he finds his card, tell him to put the deck face-down on the table and put his card face down on top of it.
- Then, place his dealt out pile on top of the deck.
- Now, have him deal off each card from the top of the deck face-up on the table and announce the name of each card as it is dealt.
- Starting at zero, mentally count the cards he deals. When he calls a card that matches the number in your head, that is his card, so memorize it. If he calls 5 Spades when you are at '5', then that is his card.
- Let him continue to deal out cards up to 10 and then ask him to stop.
- Tell him his card was the 5 of Spades, or whichever matched.
- Then, turn around for the applause. :-)
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