The Effect: I cut a deck of cards a couple of times, and you glimpse flashes of several different cards. I turn the cards facedown and invite you to choose one, memorize it, and return it. Now I ask you to name your card. You say (for example), “The queen of hearts.” I take the deck in my mouth, bite down, and groan and wiggle to suggest that your card is going down my throat, through my intestines, into my bloodstream, and finally into my right foot. I lift that foot and invite you to pull off my shoe and look inside. You find the queen of hearts. You’re amazed. If you happen to pick up the deck later, you’ll find it’s missing the queen of hearts.

In the past five years, magic—normally deemed fit only for children and tourists in Las Vegas—has become shockingly respectable in the scientific world. Even I—not exactly renowned as a public speaker—have been invited to address conferences on neuroscience and perception. I asked a scientist friend (whose identity I must protect), “Why the sudden interest?” He replied that those who fund science research find magicians “sexier than lab rats.”


Remember that ’gravity-defying’ lean which Michael Jackson and his dancers performed in the video for the song ’Smooth Criminal’? It looks incredible, as Michael keeps his entire body straight whilst bending his ankles at an acute 45-degree angle. The secret here is in the specially-designed shoes he used, which had a heel that locked into pegs on the floor. With his feet effectively hooked to the ground, Michael was able to perform a seemingly impossible physical manoeuvre.
The feather that Darcy showed us before lightning it up is actually a piece of special paper known as flash paper. It is commonly used by magicians when they wish to create quick large flashes of fire in order to hide brisk moments of illusion from the audience. That's exactly what Darcy did - using the fire, he quickly got the pigeon from a secret pocket in his sleeve.
Pick up the coin with your decoy hand and fake a pass to your other hand. This is where the illusion comes in. While you're apologizing to the audience, snatch up the coin with the hand of the arm you were just rubbing and make a quick motion indicating that you're passing it back to your rubbing hand, only don't actually pass it. Instead, cup it in your palm and place your elbow back on the table.[19]
Quite simple, actually. The magician prepared a half back cover of an iPhone and quickly put it over the screen while performing the trick. When Dynamo shows his audience the iPhone, he shows it from the back. Then, covering the device with both hands, he rotates it entirely, showing the screen side with the half back cover over it. From the side it looks like the phone was twisted but we assure you that no iPhone was harmed that day.
The skill of a magician lies in his or her ability to keep you frozen in expectation of their next unbelievable trick. It often seems that magicians really are capable of doing things which defy all known laws of the universe, and the atmosphere of awe they create during their performances helps further reduce any doubts you have that this is all a trick.
In 1983, David Copperfield made the Statue of Liberty disappear completely. The trick can be explained very simply. The Statue was draped with a huge piece of fabric or covered by a big screen put in front of the audience. The whole illumination of the monument was turned off except for the spotlights. This simple preparation created the illusion of hollow space, and the set of lights blinded the audience. After the monument was unveiled, people were not able to see it because their vision was temporarily blurred by the spotlights.
The Double Lift. The magician lifts the top two cards as one, making it appear as if they only picked up the top card. When they show the card to the audience, spectators believe they are seeing the top card when it is actually the second card. Thus, when the top card is relocated within the deck, the magician retains the card the audience saw on top of the deck.

Although being mostly used for entertainment and comedy purposes, sleight of hand is also notoriously used to cheat at casinos and gambling facilities throughout the world.[8] Common ways to professionally cheat at card games using sleight of hand include palming, switching, ditching, and stealing cards from the table.[8] Such techniques involve extreme misdirection and years of practice.[8] For these reasons, the term sleight of hand frequently carries negative associations of dishonesty and deceit at many gambling halls, and many magicians known around the world are publicly banned from casinos, such as British mentalist and close-up magician Derren Brown, who is banned from every casino in Britain.[9]
The Double Undercut. By pushing down slightly on a card they are placing in the middle of the deck, the magician separates it from the top half of the deck. Then, by halving the bottom half of the deck, creating three total piles, they shift those piles, creating the illusion that the card is lost in the deck when in reality the magician brought it back to the top of the deck.
In the past five years, magic—normally deemed fit only for children and tourists in Las Vegas—has become shockingly respectable in the scientific world. Even I—not exactly renowned as a public speaker—have been invited to address conferences on neuroscience and perception. I asked a scientist friend (whose identity I must protect), “Why the sudden interest?” He replied that those who fund science research find magicians “sexier than lab rats.”

How to make a huge truck disappear when it's surrounded by the audience on all sides? Easy! All you need to do is drape a special construction over the truck, create a fake audience with your friends, and ask somebody to drive the truck out of the construction. When you take the drapes off, the truck is not there anymore. Now you understand why this trick may be seen only on TV.
Some time ago, people wondered how David Copperfield managed to seemingly tear a folded dollar in half right in front of people, then unfold it to reveal that it had been completely undamaged. The secret here is making cunning use of a pencil: the latter has been cut in half diagonally and connected with strong magnets! This allows the banknote to be easily passed between the two magnetised halves and remain undamaged.
Sleight of hand is often used in close-up magic, where the sleights are performed with the audience close to the magician, usually in physical contact or within 3 to 4 m (10 to 13 ft).[3] This close contact eliminates theories of fake audience members and the use of gimmicks.[3] It makes use of everyday items as props, such as cards, coins, rubber bands, paper, phones and even saltshakers.[3] A well-performed sleight looks like an ordinary, natural and completely innocent gesture, change in hand position or body posture.[4] In addition to manual dexterity, sleight of hand in close-up magic depends on the use of psychology, timing, misdirection, and natural choreography in accomplishing a magical effect.[4]
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