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How to Do the Handkerchief Force Card Trick

Learn the handkerchief force card trick with step-by-step instructions from magician Jason Suran in this magic tricks revealed Howcast video.

Transcript

Magician: A big part of magic is letting your spectator choose a card,
right. Because as humans, we trust in our free will. I got this theory
that people don't make decisions by accident. In fact, I don't think
people make decisions that are all that random at all. For instance, I'm
going to let you choose a card. I'm going to try to do this as fairly as
possible.
I'm going to take this handkerchief. I'm going to put it over the deck.
I'm going to let you cut the cards. That way I can't even see what's going
on. Does that sound fair? Alright, what I want you to do is go ahead and
just cut as many cards off the top as possible; as much as you like,
rather. Cut as many cards as you like right off the top. That's how we'll
say that. Cut as many cards as you like right off the top. Right there?
Good? You sure? You can have more or less, if you like. She's really
going for them. Alright.
So you cut the deck at whatever point you wanted, right? What I want you
to do is take that top card. For the first time, would you please show us
the card and tell us what it is?
Spectator: It's the four of spades.
Magician: It's the four of spades. I guess I have to prove that I knew
that, right? Well, that's been sitting there since before the trick.
Hasn't it?
Spectator: Yes.
Magician: Would you mind flipping that over and telling us what it says?
Spectator: It says you will choose the four of spades. That's crazy.
Magician: That's an old move. It's called the handkerchief force. This
is what we magicians call force. It, kind of, gives you the illusion that
you're having a free choice of any card. When, in actuality, we're, sort
of, handing you the card.
Now, this is a great force. It's called the handkerchief force, obviously.
It's by a guy named Al Baker. And the way it works is, actually,
surprisingly simple. You take the handkerchief, and as I turn it over,
right, I'm actually turning the deck over in my hand. So watch again.
Very easy, I put the handkerchief over here. And as it goes over, the
deck's already flipped.
Then, I let the spectator cut where ever she likes. Go right ahead. And
as I bring my hand out, I turn the deck back over. So, the top card is
really the card she's selecting. So again, she's cut the deck. She lifts
and I let her choose any card. I let her choose the card she cut to,
rather. Go ahead. Take a look at it. And of course, I looked at the top
card before the illusion. And that's the handkerchief force.

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