How to Do the Upside-Down Card Trick

Learn how to do the upside-down card trick from professional illusionist Ben Nemzer in this Howcast magic tricks video.

My name is Ben Nemzer, and I’m a magician. One of my specialties is close-up magic, which is magic with ordinary objects. Decks of cards, ropes, rubber bands, and I do that all over New York City. I’m going to teach you some of the basics of magic that you guys can start performing right away.

This is the upside down card trick, but first I need some help. Would you mind helping me? And go ahead and pick out any card that you like. And you can show it to the audience, I won’t look. And I’ll take that back, and I’ll place it right in the middle, and I’m going to find your card behind my back. Got it. And now I just put it right back in the deck. I know that’s not very impressive but to prove that I found the card, I actually had one card put back the wrong way. Do you remember what your card was?

Jack of Diamonds.

Sure was. Now here’s the secret to the upside-down card trick. Once again, there’s some secret set-up, that means it’s something you do before the trick even starts, when nobody’s looking. And all you do is, you take one card from the deck and you turn it the wrong way. Then you have somebody pick any card that you like and as you spread the cards out you want to make sure you don’t spread the cards so far that they see the one upside-down card. So they pick out a card, and this time we’ll use the Jack of Diamonds once again. Now, as they show the card to the audience or the camera, this is where you do the secret move. And it’s something that’s very simple. All you do is you turn the entire deck over. Now obviously you don’t do it like this. You do it nonchalantly when no one’s looking. You take it from one hand and put it into the other. What I did is, I think I literally just turned it over. And nobody’s looking there because everybody’s looking at the card. If you think that people are paying too much attention to you, you can say, "You know what? Show the card to everybody one more time." Or, "Really get a good look at it." You can even drop the cards down to your side and when you pick them back up have them face the other way and nobody will notice that you turned them over. Now if you look at the deck after you do the secret move, all the cards are face up except for the top card. Then I take the card and I place it right in the center of the deck. The reason that I don’t ask the audience member to put the card back is because they might accidentally shove some cards out, which will destroy the illusion, or they might have trouble getting it in because you’re squeezing the deck too tight because you don’t want them to see how it works. So take the cards, hold them not too tight but not too loosely either, and you slip it right into the center.Now when the cards go behind your back, all you need to do is take the card which is on top and turn it back over, and the evidence is gone and all you have is an entirely face-up deck, and one face-down card, which has to be theirs. And that’s how you do the upside-down card trick.