Effect 21 Under the Influence

You explain that through subtle use of body language and verbal phrasing, you will influence a spectator's behavior.

A volunteer comes on stage and you hand him a deck of cards. You ask him to shuffle them, which he does, then fan them out with the faces towards you. You mentally select and remember one of the cards.

The spectator shuffles the deck again and under you instruction, divides it into four roughly equal packs. You ask him to pick up each pack in turn, look through them, and use his instincts to decide whether your chosen card is included in the pack. If it isn't, he discards it and moves on to the next pack.

Once the pack containing your card has been selected, you ask him once again to act on instinct and place your chosen card face down on the table. All the other cards are discarded.

He asks you to name your selected card. When the card he has chosen is turned over, it matches your chosen card.

This effect uses nothing more than a marked deck. Talk your volunteer through the moves above: shuffle the deck, divide it into four packs, look through each pack and decide whether your chosen card is in the pack. When one pack is left, ask him to once again use his instinct to remove one card and place it face down on the table.

At this point, you look at the markings and declare that card as the one you selected earlier. The volunteer turns over the card to reveal it is correct!

Body Language Basics

Body Language Basics

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