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#1 Which Pile Card Trick


Playing cards are the most used item in all of magic. Here is a self-working card trick that is sure to kickstart your reputation as a mind reader with the powers of precognition, allowing you to peer into the future!!

This is the card trick I teach kids (and some parents) the first time I do a magic show for them. It was the first trick I did when I started magic almost 20 years ago, when I lived on the east side of Toronto, in Whitby, Ontario. And I can’t count how many times I have done it since then in my new neighbourhood near Orangeville, just north of Brampton and Oakville as the bird flies.

I usually do this trick at the very end of the show. I ask the birthday child (or the host child) to help me one more time and then we perform this self working trick.

A self working trick is so called because it takes no magical skills on the part of the magician, so you can relax and just learn the patter (the words) and have fun with it.

First, you will have to write: “You will pick the SEVEN pile!” on a piece of paper, then fold up the paper and put it into an envelope. Next, get a deck of cards, turn it face up and find the four Sevens. Place the four Sevens on top of the face up deck and then on top of the four Sevens place any seven random cards. Finally, put the cards back in the box on top of the envelope and you are ready to go.

And you’ve probably heard the saying “a magician never does the same trick twice”. Well, this is the perfect trick for that expression. If you do “Which Pile? Card Trick” a second time, your volunteer will choose the other pile and everyone will know how the trick is done. Never do this or any trick twice for the same audience. You want your audiences to be left wondering how you do your magic.

And the truth is that people don’t really want to know how magic is done. I learned this the hard way myself. If you tell someone how the trick is done, they are disappointed. They think that doing magic takes some supernatural power or at least that what you just fooled them with must be very complex or impossible to explain; when in reality most magic is quite simple. So, they feel silly not knowing how it was done and now are disappointed and embarrassed. And you don’t want your audience feeling like that, right? So, that’s the real reason we magicians don’t tell our secrets. Keep the secret for the audience’s sake.

And here is what to do when someone insists that you tell them the secret. Just say: “Watch this!” And then perform the “Pulling off your Thumb” trick and give away that secret because most people know that one. And if you don’t know the “Pulling off your Thumb” trick, you can find it in Steverino’s Magic School’s third trick. It’s a little addition to #3 Rope thru Thumb.(Go see!)

Remember: Practice…makes magic!


Steve Baker is a magician located in the GTA residing North of Orangeville, near Dundalk, Ontario.

Since 1997,  Steve has entertained adults and children at private functions and large public venues to amaze them with sleight of hand, strolling magic tricks, mentalism and fun characters from Ottawa to London and from Niagara Falls to Gravenhurst and many towns in between all over Ontario, Canada.