Performing Card Tricks - How to Read Someone's Mind

Card Tricks are some of the most popular magic tricks that there are and equally min-reading effects are increasingly popular, so why not combine the two and learn ow to do mind-reading tricks with cards? Not only are you tapping in to the two most popular kinds of trick, but there are some simple card techniques that lend themselves naturally to the performance of mind-reading effects.
So what card tricks techniques lend themselves especially well to mind-reading effects?
Well, first of all let's be clear what a mind-reading effect actually is. It is when a magician appears to 'read' or 'see' the thoughts or an image in the mind of a spectator. Of course, this can't really be done and it has been scientifically demonstrated often enough that people who claim to have 'psychic powers' are either lying or deluded and that all the effects that people experience with them can be easily explained scientifically. That doesn't, sadly, stop it being big business. There's always someone unethical enough to try and make a buck from the gullible or the needy.
Magicians who do mind-reading tricks, however, fall into a different category. Magicians don't pretend that they really have 'psychic powers'. We know it's a trick, we say it's a trick but we all join in as if it was a mystic event for the fun of it. The real techniques behind mind-reading are the same as any other magic trick: misdirection, props, gimmicks, sleight-of-hand, stooges in the audience, smoke and mirrors!
So, what card effects can we use in mind-reading? The three main ones that come immediately to mind are the 'card force', the 'marked or spotted card' and 'the controlled shuffle'. You could also use 'palming', 'switching' and any number of other sleights but to keep it relatively simple, let's just focus on those first three.
A 'card force' is when the magician controls the card that a spectator chooses, seemingly by a free or even random choice. There are many techniques for achieving the force, some of them simple and others more subtle and complex. We won't go into them here but the point is that clearly if the magician can secretly force a card on a spectator then he can very confidently 'predict' what the card is or 'read the mind' of the spectator as they concentrate on the image of the card to seemingly 'divine' what it is. This, simple as it is, can be dressed up with patter and other business to make a very powerful and baffling number of effects of the 'mind-reading' variety. You can learn card force techniques from reputable books, websites and your local magic club.
The 'marked' card technique is also quite straight-forward in principle. The magician allows the spectator a genuine free choice of card but then marks it out in some way, so it can be located again even if he hasn't seen its face value. The card can be inverted, scratched or crimped, for example. Under cover of some misdirection, the kind can then be secretly viewed. Then the magician can go on comfortably to read the spectator's mind in whatever elaborate and acted-up way the trick requires!
The final method we'll look at here is the 'controlled shuffle'. In this technique, the magician allows the spectator a free choice of card and then, as the card is replaced into the pack it is shuffled in to give the impression that it is thoroughly lost in the deck but actually the magician has used the technique to guide the card through the pack to wherever he wants it to be - usually the top or bottom of the deck from which point it can easily be glimpsed and then 'mind read' or predicted.
If you already do some card tricks and are familiar with these techniques then you can start straight away to build mind-reading routines using the skills you already have. If not, then it's worth your while learning this basic card techniques as they'll open up endless possibilities for you and are not difficult to learn with just a little practice. You can learn them from books, other magicians, some websites and, of course, downloadable video tutorials.

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