How To Do Math Card Tricks- 3 Best Ones

Card tricks are my passion. Here you will learn the 3 absolute best math card tricks. They are extremely strong and will blow your audience’s minds. Here is my criteria for how to do math card tricks:

  • Trick requires a minimal setup.
  • Trick is easy to follow.
  • Trick is short
  • Trick requires minimal counting
  • Trick requires minimal dealing
  • Trick requires minimal math
  • Trick fools everyone
  • Trick is cool

Usually math card tricks are boring and/or weak. Not these. They are all amazing, easy to do, and worth performing. The last math card trick below can be done over the phone and requires no props.

CARD TRICKS USING MATH:

ANY CARD AT ANY NUMBER

sleight of hand

I am right handed. If you are left handed switch the hands.

EFFECT: Deck is split into 2 piles of 26 cards. Your spectator lifts off a packet of cards from one pile and places it aside. A card is picked from the other pile and then both piles of cards are shuffled randomly. Your spectator counts the number of cards they had lifted off and then you count down to that number in the deck. It is their card.

HOW TO DO IT

It is important that you have a full deck of 52 cards. If not, don’t do this trick. Split the deck into 2 packets of 26 cards. Counting cards is not the most exciting thing for your spectators to watch so it is best to do this before the trick starts. It is ok to do during the trick, just make sure you deal the 26 cards as quickly as possible. Have your spectator shuffle both packets, one a time.

Ask your spectator to lift off a group of cards from one of the packets and place it off to the side. Pick up the other packet of 26 cards and spread them for a selection. Have your spectator touch a card. Break the spread so the card they touch is at the face of the top half. Raise your hand and show the card. Bring your hand down and place the pile with their card underneath the other packet. Don’t make a big deal of it.

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Immediately drop all the cards onto the packet on the table. Even though they see you put the packet with their card underneath once you drop the pile on top their card is lost.

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Tell your spectators you want to randomize the order of the cards so you have come up with a new kind of shuffle. Pick up the deck with your right hand from above, thumb at the inner edge, fingers at the outer edge, 1st finger curled on top. With your left thumb above, left 1st and 2nd fingers below, peel off the top and bottom cards together and drop them on the table. Do this with the whole deck until you have no more cards.

The deck is set, your card is in the correct position. Have your spectator count the amount of cards in the pile they cut off and say the number out loud. Count down to that number in the deck, dealing cards one at a time, and stop on the card at their number. Slowly turn over the card for the reveal.

IMPORTANT POINTS

To be honest I don’t really know the mathematical principal at play here. I’m completely baffled and don’t know how this trick works. It is absolutely amazing and I guarantee when you try this you are going to fool yourself.

It is difficult to peel off the top and bottom cards when you get down to the last few. Since their card is already set so you can just drop the last few cards on top. Keep it moving when peeling cards, nobody likes watching counting or dealing.

There are a ton of versions of Any Card At Any Number. This version is an excellent one and will fool your spectators. The best part is that it is self working.

PRO TIP: If you know how to Faro shuffle, instead of doing the shuffle above, you can perform a perfect “out faro” which keeps the bottom card the same.

FACE UP/ FACE DOWN DIVINATION

EFFECT: Your spectator shuffles a packet of cards, some face up and some face down. They count 10 into your hand and cover their pile. You tell them exactly how many face up and face down cards they are holding without looking at or touching their cards.

HOW TO DO IT

updown

Take 20 cards out of the deck. Put the rest of the deck aside, this is all you will need. Turn 10 cards face up and shuffle the face up cards into the face down cards. When you remove the cards do it casually. Turn over the 10 cards casually as well. Don’t mention that you only use 20 cards, it doesn’t really matter. You might want to say something like, “I am taking out a small group of cards.”

shuffling

I usually spread the cards and then push some into each other. Hand the cards to your spectator and have them shuffle the same way. After they are sure the cards are well mixed have them count 10 cards onto your hand. Count to yourself the number of face up cards that are in the pile of 10. This will be the number of face down cards they have. Since they have 10 cards you also know how many face up cards they have.

Let’s say they count the 10 cards onto your hand and 3 are face up. This means they are holding 3 face down cards and 7 face up cards.

THE REVEAL: After they deal the cards onto your hand tell them to cover their pile. I like to wave my hand over their cards as if I am getting a reading. Tell them your guess of how many face up and face down cards they have. To make it a little more interesting I usually say that I am 100% sure and if I am wrong I will give them $100. This isn’t necessary yet makes it a little more fun. Have them count the face up and face down cards.

IMPORTANT POINTS

You can use a different number of cards than 20. Just make sure it is an even number.

Make sure they don’t turn any of the cards over, it will mess up the trick. This is why I shuffle the way I do. I mime the shuffling actions when I hand them the cards so they will shuffle the same way.

You can do the same trick using red and black cards. Everything is the same. Personally I find face up and face down more baffling. You can also do this trick with 20 of your business cards. It adds a nice touch.

You can perform this trick as a prediction. Write on a piece of paper- “I will have the same number of face up cards as you have face down cards and I will have the same number of face down cards as you have face up cards.” Place your prediction on the table before you start.

The great thing about this trick is that you can use any deck in any condition. Plus you never have to touch the cards. This is a totally different type of card trick than a pick-a-card trick, which makes this awesome. You can definitely repeat this trick though I wouldn’t do it more than 2 times.

This is another amazing mathematical card trick that will baffle your spectators. You will fool yourself when you try this. It is really cool.

To learn an amazing 4 ace trick that is easy to do and will big time fool you check out this video.

THINK A CARD

EFFECT: Your spectator thinks of any card. You have them do a few simple math calculations and tell you their final number. Immediately you tell them the card they thought of.

HOW TO DO IT

This trick requires no cards and can be done over the phone. So cool! Here are the instructions you give your spectator.

  • Think of any card.
  • Multiply the value of your card x 2.
  • Multiply your new number x 5.
  • Add the number of the suit to your new number- C=1, H=2, S=3, D=4.
  • Add 10 to your new number.
  • Say your number out loud.

Subtract 10 from their number and this will tell you their card. The first number is the value, the second number is the suit.

EXAMPLE: Let’s say they are thinking of the Three of Hearts (3H).

  • 3 x 2 = 6
  • 6 x 5 = 30
  • 30 + 2 = 32
  • 32 + 10 = 42

When they tell you their number is 42, subtract 10, so now you have 32. The first number, 3, tells you their card is a 3. The second number, 2, tells you their card is a heart. I remember the suits by always thinking CHASED order. C, H, S, D. Clubs- 1, Hearts- 2, Spades- 3, and Diamonds- 4.

IMPORTANT POINTS

Explain in the beginning that a jack has a value of 11, a queen has a value of 12, and a king has a value of 13. If they choose a higher value card, it could be tricky multiplying their number by 5. You could mention before you start that they might need the calculator on their phone or a piece of paper and pen.

If you like these types of tricks check out The Spelling Card Trick. It is another incredible math card trick that is easy to do and very strong. It will fool you when you try it.

Matt
Matt

Hi, I'm Matt Furman. I have been a full time professional magician for over 20 years, ever since I left medical school to pursue my passion of magic tricks. I have a ton of real world experience and I am constantly practicing and performing new mind blowing magic.