How to Do the Menu Item Mentalism Trick

Learn how to do the menu item mentalism trick in this dinner table magic tricks video from Howcast.

S1: So can I buy you a beer?

S2: Yes.

S1: Okay, I actually– I wrote a prediction down about what beer I was going to order you.

S2: Really?

S1: But I thought that we could get you involved and we’ll try to find a random way, because I only have– let’s see where’s the beer on the menu. Here it is. So there’s about maybe 15 different beers.

S2: Okay.

S1: And here’s how we’re going to do it. I need you to think of a number in your head. Don’t tell me what it is; between we’ll say 1 and 15.

S2: All right.

S1: You’ve got one? All right, now I want you to multiply it times two. So you just double the number.

S2: Okay.

S1: You have it in your head already?

S2: Yeah.

S1: Now add eight. You can use your fingers under the table if you want.

S2: Got it, have a little more faith in me.

S1: Now I want you to divide your number in half or divide by two, cut it in half. You have it? Now I want you to subtract whatever your original number was. Do you know what that was?

S2: Yeah.

S1: So subtract that from the number you have now. You’ve got it?

S2: Yeah.

S1: Hopefully, we’re at a random number. Is your number right now lower than 15?

S2: Yes.

S1: Good, okay. So whatever number you’re thinking, I want you to look at the bottle beer list.

S2: Okay.

S1: And say you’re thinking of the number seven, go down and look at the seventh beer. Whatever number you’re thinking find the beer that corresponds.

S2: Okay.

S1: You have one?

S2: Yes.

S1: Which beer are you going to order.

S2: Blue Point Toasted Lager Beer. Look it…

S1: And that’s my prediction, Blue Point Toasted Lager. Two Blue Point’s, please.

S2: Sweet, how does that work? How did you know?

S1: Well, while we’re waiting for the beer, I’ll explain how it works. It’s a math trick and actually it’s a way to always make the number equal four.

S2: Okay.

S1: And if you look here on the menu, Blue Point Toasted Lager was the fourth one down. And I’ll teach you in a moment how you can actually change it to any number you’d like. So if you know somebody’s favorite beer, you can force that.

S2: Use the number according to that.

S1: Exactly. So the first step, and it all works by itself, you can have someone pick a number between 1 and 15 or 1 and 10. I always like to keep the number somewhat low, that way you lower the chances of them messing up the math. So you have someone think of a number between 1 and 10 and then you tell them to multiply it times two or double it. The next step is to add 8.

S2: Okay.

S1: The next step is to divide it by 2 and the next step is to subtract the original number. So pick a number, multiply it times 2, add 8, divide it by 2, subtract the original number.

S2: Subtract the original number?

S1: Exactly, and that always equals four. You know whether you pick one or one million it always equals four. And the reason is because you’re adding on that number eight and then you’re cutting it in half.

S2: Oh, okay.

S1: Exactly, so and then you have them go down and then you make sure that your prediction ahead of time matches the fourth one down on the menu.

S2: Okay.

S1: There’s a couple of ways to change the math. So for example, if I wanted let’s see if I wanted the Cooper’s Pale Ale, that’s one, two, three, four, five, six, seven down. Pick a number between one and ten, multiply it times two, add eight, divide it by two, subtract your original number, add three. Because you know four plus three…

S2: That’s right. You’ll always know it’s four going there.

S1: Exactly and there you go. Or the other thing is if you’re using an even number, where I said add eight and you get four, if I wanted to go for five, the fifth one down, I’d say add 10 and divide it by two, but that’s getting a little complicated. The best way is just to add a number at the end.

S2: This is great. Wait until I use this on Courtney.

S1: Oh, yeah. I’ll have to buy Courtney a drink now. And that’s how you predict somebody’s drink.