This card trick is fairly simple in principle, but the audience will never figure it out. You will be convincing the audience that you have powerful X-ray skills and can stare through the top card on a deck, and read which card it is. Don’t worry, though, as you’ll let a helpful audience member check the cards to make sure they aren’t marked.

Here’s how it will seem to your amazed audience. You ask somebody from the audience to shuffle the cards, and check to make sure it’s not a marked deck or anything. You then take the deck, shuffle it once more for good measure, and then hand them back the deck.

After they are holding the deck, you tell them to separate the deck into four equal stacks. They don’t have to be exactly equal, only approximate. Then you stun the audience by staring directly through the top card to the other side, reading the name and value of the card. You will be able to easily do this many times and never come close to being discovered.

Here’s the trick. As you shuffle the deck one last time, take a quick glance at the bottom card, and secretly place it on top of the deck. This may take a wee bit of practice, but after you do it a few times at home, you’ll be a natural in front of others.

Once you know which card is on top, you’re ready to proceed. Watch them as they cut the deck into four stacks, and remember which one has the card you just peeked at. Let’s call it card one to make it easy. Pick any stack that doesn’t contain “card one,” but you actually say “card one.” Then pick it up, and set it face down in front of the stack. Remember this card now as card two. You’ll need to have somebody remember all four cards, so you can reveal them all at once. On the next pile of cards, you say “card two,” and look at the next card, which in reality is card three. The trick is to stay one step ahead of yourself.

After you’ve finally come to the stack that has “card one” on top, you’ll actually be saying “card four.” Then with all four cards laid face down, you have the audience member who was recording the cards call them out again. After they do this, you quickly flip all the cards over, showing them your accurate readings. This takes a little of memory, so it can help to practice with your friends before doing it in front of strangers. Have fun.