Do as I do

Here's an easy but surprisingly effective card trick, called 'Do as I do'. I'll explain the effect first (i.e. how the audience see the trick) and then explain how it's done.


The magician asks for a volunteer. The magician has two decks of cards, and lets the volunteer choose one. The magician takes the other.

(Now for some patter). The magician explains that this is a demonstration of sympathetic magic. The magician will mimic the the volunteer's actions throughout the trick, resulting in a final magical effect. These are the actions the magician instructs:

  1. The magician shuffles his/her deck, and instructs the volunteer to do the same with his/hers.
  2. They exchange decks.
  3. They shuffle the decks again.
  4. They exchange decks.
  5. They both pick a card from their own deck, and place it on top. They cut the deck to hide the card.
  6. They exchange decks.
  7. They each look through the deck for 'their' card.

The magician then gives some more patter about sympathetic magic, before asking the spectator to reveal his/her card, at the same time as the magician reveals his/hers, on a count of three. Magically, the cards are the same!


The magician simply notes the card on the bottom of their own deck at the end of step 3. In step 4, the magician pretends to carefully choose a card, but needn't even remember it. When the volunteer cuts the deck in step 5, he or she will put their chosen card next to the card the magician noted, making it easy for the magician to pick that card out for the finale.

It's hardly rocket science, but there's sufficient messing about to distract the audience from the fact that you're performing an extremely simple trick.