Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Magic trick: how was it done?

  1. Jul 27, 2013 #1
    The trick in question starts at 13:30 and goes through 19:00

    Begin with the premises that this is trick wasn't produced strictly for television and could be performed live, and that the audience participants were not plants.

    Any theories about how it could have done?
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 27, 2013 #2
    I have no idea.

    It's plausible and probable that the guy's names were put on the cards by an assistant between the time they introduced themselves and when the magician is seen holding the envelopes, but I can't think of an explanation for any other element of the trick.
  4. Jul 27, 2013 #3


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Dude have you seen this one:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OpthjI1z2FM ?

    It's my most favorite from Penn and Teller.
  5. Jul 27, 2013 #4
    That one is simply awesome.
  6. Jul 27, 2013 #5
    How do we know for certain the audience participants were not plants?
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
  7. Jul 27, 2013 #6


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

  8. Jul 27, 2013 #7
    Well, apparently it wasn't. Penn and Teller confirmed on twitter that it wasn't a planted crew after they were told how the trick was done.

    Well, that's a bummer...
  9. Jul 27, 2013 #8
    Now, we never actually saw what was inside the envelopes. Only the three guys saw it. So, if they're not lame, then they could easily have filled in their own name and table...

    And I guess it's pretty easy to let the men know which food they're serving, by printing a message at the end of the dish, somehow.
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2013
  10. Jul 27, 2013 #9
    I just thought of one more thing: supposing the dishes were placed on the original side table in a certain order, the assistant writing the cards would know which dish got put on which table before the volunteers were chosen. Suppose pizza is always the first dish the magician picks up. The woman chooses table 3. This would allow the assistant to write, " ...was served pizza at table 3" on the card. The magician also knows the order, of course, and he knows which dish the woman has selected to be at which table.

    When the volunteers are chosen the assistant can arbitrarily connect them to a dish and a table. He signals to the magician which has been put where by color code: Let's say the first volunteer's name is always put in the yellow envelope, and the yellow envelope is always assigned to pizza. What remains is for the magician to lead the woman somehow to choose to give the yellow envelope to Wayne, and later to choose to put Wayne at table 3, where he knows the pizza is.

    I'm not sure how that leading is done. I've seen many videos of Derren Brown doing it, or claiming to be doing it, without figuring out exactly how he's doing it.
  11. Jul 28, 2013 #10
    That one is really original and entertaining, but it's also pretty obvious. Many of the cards were marked with vertical or horizontal marks on the edges. By stacking the deck he can make it say anything he wants when it gets fanned out at the end.
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Similar Discussions: Magic trick: how was it done?
  1. Decoding the magic trick (Replies: 10)