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Question about "clocking" a deck of cards


Elite Member
May 28, 2008
Every once in a while, I remember, from years past, some weird card skill I either had or was aware of, that I at some point forgot about. The other day I was thinking about something I used to practice: clocking a deck of cards.

For those who aren't aware, clocking a deck is essentially the ability to have a card removed, and then by spreading through the cards and doing some simple grade-school level math, be able to identify which single card is missing.

I used to practice this about 6 or 7 years ago, and I can't remember the first thing about how to do it. To my surprise, searching for this on the internet doesn't bring up much information. My question is this: I have no idea where I learned this, does anyone know where I can find the method? I assume it's like forgetting some calculus equation. If it was written out in front of me I would be right back on track.

Tim H.(4)

Elite Member
Apr 26, 2013
Kansas City
I'd wager you learned it where most magicians I know have, so hopefully you still have one of these references:

- Lorayne's Epitome Location (I have an older version of this, but my understanding is that there's a revised Epitome Location process in a collection of his released 7 or so years ago)
- Card Counting by Karl Fulves

There are older references, no doubt. But whenever clocking a deck is discussed, these are the two titles consistently out of everyone's mouth. Regardless of where you learned it, and regardless of if you used to use a 10 or 13 system, one of the references above will get you sorted.
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Brian R.(7)

Elite Member
Aug 11, 2007
Sounds a lot like card counting....interesting technique.

Gold star to whoever can name this movie reference:

Iris: So, what are you doing in Las Vegas?
Raymond: We're counting cards.
Iris: You're counting cards?
Raymond: We're counting cards.
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