5-Person Mind Reading!

Published on Thursday, July 28, 2011 in , , , , ,

Scam School logoIf I asked you to imagine a mathematical card trick, you'd probably picture some monstrosity such as the old 21-card trick.

However, mathematics isn't just about numbers, it's about patterns. This week, Scam School taught a 5-person mind-reading trick that demonstrates this point dramatically.

The trick in the following video is so amazing, one of the spectators refers to it as a Criss Angel-type trick. First, let's watch and learn the trick itself:

Brian gives a good explanation of the trick itself, but it's still not easy to see why the trick itself works. Fortunately, our old friend James Grime had previously posted a video on this same trick. This is a very clear explanation, aided by the use of different colored sheets to stand in for the separate cards:

In a trick like this, it's very important to understand the underlying principle clearly. This way, you're can allow the cards to be handled more freely while still understanding what types of mixing will ruin the trick, and what types won't affect the stack. For example, when Brian Brushwood took the cards back, he made sure to reverse each person's individual pile, but in a manner that made it seem like random mixing.

Notice that Brian keeps the focus on poker terminology, outright referring to each of the piles as hands. This is excellent psychology, as it helps put your audience in a mindset that you're some sort of master poker cheat with a penchant for telling on which cards people focus.

As I mentioned earlier, this is a mathematical card trick, not in the number sense, but rather in the sense that you're taking advantage of a simple pattern. In fact, the pattern is so simple, that's why putting the focus elsewhere, such as on a poker theme, is important.

This type of simplicity, as I've discussed before, is often difficult to achieve. When it's achieved, though, the results are rarely less than remarkable.

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