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How to Force Cards aka Predict a Card

Learn how to force cards, aka predict cards, 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 how you predict a card before somebody even picks it. Let me show you. Would you help me out? We have a pack of cards here. I'd like you to cut them anywhere you like. Perfect. And I'll just mark the spot where you cut.

Now, before you even came here I made a prediction on this piece of paper knowing that you were going to cut the cards anywhere that you liked. Let's have a look at the card she cut to. Would you show the camera. And I'll show you my prediction. How'd I do? There it is.

Very accurate.

This is what you do. Before the trick even starts you place the card that you're going to force. Force means you're going to make somebody pick a specific card, and in this case I used the three of clubs. And I put it on top of the deck. Then I write out my prediction which is the three of clubs - the same card that's going to start on the top of the deck. And I leave it right there.

Now I'm going to teach you something called the criss-cross force, and this is how it works. I have them cut the cards. Usually they cut about half. Then I take the other half and put it on top perpendicular or sideways and I say I'm going to mark the spot where you cut.

Then you need to draw your focus away from the deck, because what you're doing is getting them to forget which is the card that started on top and which is the card they cut to. In reality this is the card they cut to. And this is the three of clubs which was on top.

So, I talk about the prediction. And I say before this trick even started I made a prediction, let's have a look at the card that you cut to. I lift this up. I remove the card that started on top, and I have them look at it.

By this point they don't realize that it's not actually the card that they cut to.

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