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How to Do the Spelling Card Magic Trick

Learn how to do the spelling 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 card, 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 Spelling Card Trick. And, it uses only 13 cards. We'll give them a little mix up. And all I do is I spell the card and it magically appears on top. Have a look.

Ace. A C E. Two, T W O. Three, T H R E E. Four, F O U R. Five, F I V E. Six, S I X. Seven, S E V E N. Eight, E I G H T. Nine, N I N E. Ten, T E N. Jack, J A C K. Queen, Q U E E N. And my favorite part, King, K I N G.

And, here's the secret. It's actually really fun. First of all you have to take out 13 cards. Ace through king. So, that's ace, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, jack, queen, king.

This trick is another one of those tricks that's called a Self-Working trick. So, as long as you set it up right, the entire trick will work all by itself.

Now, there's a very specific setup to make sure you do the trick correctly. And, I'm going to teach you what it is.

It uses an mnemonic device. It's a little story that you tell yourself. And, that's how you remember how to set up the cards.

So, I'm going to tell it to you. And, you're going to want to make sure to either save this video or write it down. That way you can be sure to set it up right, every time.

So, in the year 387 there was a Queen who was 64 years old. She had two sons named Jack and Kevin in the year 1095. Now, let's dissect that story and we'll see what it means.

All I do is I place a card down for each thing that I say. So in the year three, 80, seven. And you'll notice, as I say the card, I place it down on the table face up. That gets me ready to go.

In the year 387 there was a Queen who was 64 years old. She had two sons. Jack and Kevin in the year ten, 90, five. Now you're good to go.

However, if you want to add the extra bonus of pretending to mix the cards, there's a very cool way you can do that. You hold the cards in your hand and peel off one card at a time. And, if you do this, now the cards are exactly backwards of the way they need to be.

And you can start the trick like this and you say you're going to mix up the cards and put them right back the way they need to be. And, it looks like you're shuffling them but you're really very carefully taking one card at a time and placing it on the other.

Now, you'll see from the top. Three, 80, seven. There was a Queen who was 64 years old. She had two sons named Jack and Kevin in the year ten, 90, five.

And all you do is you take one card from the top and move it to the bottom for each card that we spell. Now, the first one is ace. A lot of people will say one but you really spell ace. A C E. One also works, but it's not the card you're about to show them.

Then you continue to spell. You just take one off the top, put on the bottom. T W O. And you lift the top card.

So, each time the process is exactly the same. Every letter you say, you take one card from the top. Put it to the bottom and turnover the card that is then on the top.

For three. T H R E E. And you continue to do it until it will work.

And that's how you do the Spelling Card Trick. And, the mystery question is, "How old was the Queen when she had her two sons?" If you know the answer, leave it in the comments.

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