Repost: Werner Miller Magic

Published on Thursday, August 22, 2013 in , , , ,

Werner Miller's Ghost Rider effectNOTE: This post originally appeared on Grey Matters back in July 2011. I'm reprinting it today because Werner Miller's mathematical magic really is worth a second look.

Grey Matters favorite Werner Miller is back, and he's brought more of his amazing mathematical wizardry with him!

If you're not already familiar with him, he's a retired mathematics teacher in Germany who has created some of the most original and compelling magic routines I've ever come across. He is the author of several magic books, including Ear-Marked, which is available in the Grey Matters store.

Starting off, we have a couple of good routines that are perfect as promotional tools, since you can print them on your business cards or brochures, and have people perform them for themselves or others without understanding how they work. There's Vive Le Roi!, which includes several variations of routines where you move your finger from card to card, eventually winding up on a predicted card. You can have two people do this together, as they'll be on different cards until the last card.

The other trick along this line is Magic Patchwork, a similar trick with a magic square. He mentions that it was inspired by Pedro Alegria’s El cuadro de colores, but the link given is no longer functioning. Fortunately, it was captured by the web archive. The original is here, with a translation to English via Google Translate available here.

Werner Miller also created a very sneaky calculator trick, called You Push the Button... that seems to be a mathematical trick, but isn't. The use of the calculator helps conceal the outright sneaky method.

Getting back to his specialty of mathematical magic, he offers a great routine with dice. It's called Lined Up, and has two different phases, both of which begin with different-colored dice arranged with the numbers 1 through 6 in numerical order. In Phase 1, you have someone choose a die and turn that number face down. After getting the new total of these dice, you announce which color die has been turned over. Phase 2 is similar, except that you have someone choose a die and turn over every die EXCEPT for the chosen one!

I've saved my favorite for last! It's called Ghost Rider, and uses a chess knight and some file cards. One of the file cards is signed, then mixed into the pile and dealt out into a 3 by 3 square. The spectator then uses the knight and their own free choices to find their own signed card! Part of the principle is taught here on Grey Matters in my Knight Shift post, as mentioned generously in Werner Miller's article. His added touches, however, make this a very impressive trick.

If you like Werner Miller's style and would like to see more, check out the rest of Werner Miller's work here on Grey Matters!

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