# Mathematical card magic

#### Alarte

As i have problems with my hand and i am unvailable to do a lot of sleight of hands tricks with cards, i work with mathematic tricks and use them in card magic...and i am asking..
Do you use mathematical tricks in your card magic perfomances? And if you do, is this a way of card magic? I am just wondering...

#### RealityOne

Moderator
Of course, mathematical card tricks are card magic. The key is to make sure they look like magic, more that math. Perci Diaconis has a great book call Magical Mathematics. The effects are great, the math is beyond my understanding. Perci actually dropped out of high school at age 14 to travel around the country with Dai Vernon. He eventually went back to school, earned a PhD from Havard and is a professor of Statistics and Mathematics at Stanford.

There is some great mathematical principles out there in Stewart James' Miraskill or in the Jonah Principle (great 10 card poker deal effect in Woody Aragon's A Book in English).

That said, don't limit yourself to just mathematical principles. There are a lot of effects that don't require any sleight of hand. Some great books include Scarne on Card Tricks, Encyclopedia of Card Tricks, Fulves Self Working Card Tricks / More Self Working Card Tricks and Steinmeyer's Impuzzabilities series. Also, the use of gimmicks, such as double backed cards, easily accomplishes things that sleight of hand cannot.

#### Josh Burch

Elite Member
Of course, mathematical card tricks are card magic. The key is to make sure they look like magic, more that math. Perci Diaconis has a great book call Magical Mathematics. The effects are great, the math is beyond my understanding. Perci actually dropped out of high school at age 14 to travel around the country with Dai Vernon. He eventually went back to school, earned a PhD from Havard and is a professor of Statistics and Mathematics at Stanford.

There is some great mathematical principles out there in Stewart James' Miraskill or in the Jonah Principle (great 10 card poker deal effect in Woody Aragon's A Book in English).

That said, don't limit yourself to just mathematical principles. There are a lot of effects that don't require any sleight of hand. Some great books include Scarne on Card Tricks, Encyclopedia of Card Tricks, Fulves Self Working Card Tricks / More Self Working Card Tricks and Steinmeyer's Impuzzabilities series. Also, the use of gimmicks, such as double backed cards, easily accomplishes things that sleight of hand cannot.

Impuzzabilities are wonderful! I love the Perci Diaconis book as well, skip over the math portions if it gets confusing.

Rene Levand was an amazing sleight of hand artist. He had a problem with one hand so he did everything with one hand.

Ricky Jay writes about a magician with no arms or legs that made his living with the cups and balls.

Mahdi Gilbert is an amazing sleight of hand magician who actually managed to fool Penn and Teller with no hands ore feet.

Wayne Dobson is an incredible performer. He was diagnosed with MS and his condition has deteriorated to the point where he can no longer handle a deck of cards hardly at all. He has a bunch of published magic that he performs with.

We have room enough in magic for magicians of all abilities. I use all types of mathematical tricks. I have an ongoing fear that I will become disabled at some point in the future and will not be able to perform magic anymore. In order to belay that fear I keep a few mathematical tricks up my proverbial sleeve.

#### Alarte

Thanks a lot to everyone...you give me hope and ideas!!!! I am new in magic...i use magic for my shows 4 years now and everyday i learn something new...of course i have my questions like these in the first message on this thread..thank you very much!!!

#### quintamonious

Other cool thing, all the stuff in the Diaconis' book is based on math you can learn in some basic college level math classes -- so if you're interested in the math stuff, that's also pretty accessible!

#### JohnnyLarue

I used to teach grade 5 Math. I used mathematical magic to open the lesson.

#### Josh Burch

Elite Member
Other cool thing, all the stuff in the Diaconis' book is based on math you can learn in some basic college level math classes -- so if you're interested in the math stuff, that's also pretty accessible!

I have a rule. I love mathematical magic but I insist on completely understanding the mathematical concept before I perform the effect regularly. Lots of magicians ignore the math and just do the trick. I prefer to know both.

#### quintamonious

A quote from my math professor (who did her PhD dissertation under Persi Diaconis at Stanford):
"Math is not something we understand. It is something we get used to"

#### Josh Burch

Elite Member
A quote from my math professor (who did her PhD dissertation under Persi Diaconis at Stanford):
"Math is not something we understand. It is something we get used to"

Haha, that's great!