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Move a Card: the 'Holy Grail' method for a classic plot
by Unnamed Magician

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Move a Card: the 'Holy Grail' method for a classic plot by Unnamed Magician

"Pretty sure Moe would have been fooled by this." - Ryan Schlutz

"A clever method for a memory demonstration." - Christian Grace

Note: The effect described below makes up less than half of the entire e-book. The rest of the e-book contains several other methods for the "Move a Card" plot.


The magician asks the spectator for their own deck of cards as he wishes to use a borrowed deck for the routine. He invites them to thoroughly shuffle the cards in any way of their choosing. The spectator does that. (The magician also promises never to touch the cards at any point in time.)

Once the spectator is done shuffling, the magician invites them to spread the deck face-up on the table so that he can try and memorize the order of the shuffled cards. After he's looked through the cards, he turns his back to the spectator.

The magician says (while turned away), "Take out any card from one side of the face-up spread and move it to the other side to a totally different location." After this is done, he continues, "Now I want you to square up the face-up spread in order to eliminate any evidence of where the card might've been moved from or moved to." The spectator does that.

Once they're done, the magician turns back around to face them. He then explains that if he did in fact memorize the order of all the cards, he should be able to identify which card was moved. So he asks the spectator to spread the deck face-up on the table again.

And, after some time of thinking, the magician reveals the name of the moved card without any fishing.

Some important conditions of note:

  • The effect uses a borrowed, shuffled deck.
  • The magician never touches the cards at any point in time, whether before, during, or even after the effect (so this can be performed over a video call with the deck on the spectator's end).
  • There are no gimmicks of any kind involved - this is 100% impromptu.
  • There is very little memory work involved (within reach of anyone) - so the magician doesn't need to memorize a bunch of cards or anything like that.
  • The magician doesn't learn the identity of the selected card until he looks through the face-up spread at the end - so this rules out any peek or force.
  • The magician never needs to fish for any information at the end - he can always reveal the identity of the selected card without fishing or asking questions.

1st edition 2024, PDF 23 pages.
word count: 7977 which is equivalent to 31 standard pages of text