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Any Way You Count 'Em

Trick Courtesy of: The Flaming Lemon (Paul Peterson) (

Original Author: Unknown

Shuffle the cards well. Holding them face down, turn over the top card and place it face up on the table. Think of it as a stack. Starting with its face value, deal face up on top of it as many more cards as needed to reach 10. For instance if it's a 3, deal seven cards on top of it; if it's a 5, deal five cards. Face cards count as 10, so no more cards are needed. An ace counts as 1 and needs nine more cards.

Continue making stacks as above, keeping them separate, until the deck is exhausted. If there are not enough cards to complete a final stack, keep that incomplete stack in your hand. Now choose at random any three stacks that contain at least four cards each, and turn these stacks face down.

Gather all the remaining cards in any order and add them to the cards (if any) in your hand. Pick any two of the three face-down stacks on the table, and turn up the top card on each of those two piles. Add their values together. Discard that many cards from those in your hand, and then discard 19 additional cards.

Count the remaining cards in your hand. Now turn up the top card of the third stack. Its value will equal the number of cards in your hand.

Counted Cards

Trick Courtesy of: Shawn Gettler (

1. Tell a spectator that each card represents a number--A is 1, J is 11, Q is 12, K is 13, and the rest have their face value.

2. Tell the person to pick up the top card and place it face up on the table.

3. State its number and then count onto it enough cards to reach 13. For example, if the card is a Jack, say "Eleven..." and then deal two cards onto it while you say, "...twelve, thirteen."

4. Flip over this stack and set it aside.

5. Repeat Steps 2-4 until 13 cannot be reached with the remaining cards. Set these aside (if the count works out evenly, don't worry).

6. Have the spectator choose 3 piles. Remove all of the other piles and add them to the cards (if any) remaining from step 5.

7. Pick up the pile of cards remaining from steps 5-6, count off 10 cards and set them aside.

8. Have the spectator choose 2 of the remaining 3 piles. Turn the top cards on these 2 piles face up.

9. Add together the values of the two face-up cards, count out their sum from the cards you're holding and set them aside.

10. Have the spectator count the number of cards left in your hand.

11. Tell him or her to flip over the top card on the remaining pile. It is equal to the number of cards left in your hand.

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