I LOVE a good prediction card trick.
There’s something just so amazing and baffling about a magician laying out a prediction that sits in plain sight throughout the entire trick, only for it to come true at the end.
It also builds suspense in a way most pick-a-card tricks can’t. It raises the stakes, because once that prediction is made, the magician seemingly can’t change their mind or improvise!
If they got the initial prediction wrong, they’re toast.
So with that said, what are the best prediction card tricks?
My favorite prediction card effects are, in no particular order:
- Untouched (Daryl)
- Overkill (Paul Harris)
- Prior Commitment (Aronson)
- Double Guarantee (Daryl)
- Amazing Prediction (Lorayne)
- 1/2 deck impromptu OOTW (Ammar et al)
- Gemini Twins (Fulves)
Let’s take a look at each of these prediction tricks, what makes them so great, and where you can learn them.
1. Untouched by Daryl
I love so many things about Untouched by Daryl.
It’s a totally impromptu self-worker with an incredible twist — the magician never even has to touch the cards!
(With the brief exception of removing a single prediction card.)
In this one, the magician removes a prediction card from a spectator-shuffled deck and places it on the table, in plain sight the entire time.
The spectator then deals out two random piles of cards (they really do have a free choice of how the piles are made), and when the top card of each pile is turned over, they’re shown to match the suit and value of the prediction card.
It’s straightforward and totally impossible, just how I like it.
2. Overkill by Paul Harris
The mind of Paul Harris is a wonderful thing.
There’s a reason he’s considered one of the most brilliant inventors in all of magic, not to mention he’s been a key mentor of tons of famous magicians including David Blaine.
Overkill is one of Harris’ signature prediction effects.
It’s a simple concept — the spectator freely chooses a small number, which is then used to select a card from the deck.
The magician not only knows the card immediately, but then executes a series of fun reveals proving that he knew AHEAD of time how the effect would turn out.
This one is not impromptu, but is quite easy to execute.
3. Prior Commitment by Simon Aronson
Prior Commitment, often touted as the best prediction card trick out there, is simple in concept and execution.
Done properly, however, it has an absolutely devastating effect on spectators.
In this trick, two participants each cut to a random card in the deck and remember it.
The magician then reveals two face up Jokers hiding in the deck, which then “tell” him the location of each card — correctly.
He then reveals that the exact location of the chosen cards was, impossibly, written on the back of each Joker before the trick even began.
It’s quite baffling when you see the trick performed! How could the selected cards end up in the right position when the participants had a free choice of where to cut?
That’s what makes Prior Commitment so great. It’s also really easy to perform and pretty much entirely self-working.
Learn it from the Sessions with Simon DVD.
4. Double Guarantee by Daryl
Another one of the master Daryl’s greatest hits.
In this one, a spectator (or two) is allowed to insert two face up Jokers into the deck at any point while the magician shuffles.
They then get a look at which cards they placed the Jokers next to, and it turns out that the Jokers had the selected cards written on them from the very beginning.
You’ll often see this trick sold and marketed as a gimmick, and it’s true that it does use “gimmicked” Jokers, but you can just as easily create your own prediction Jokers however you want.
It’s the principles of this effect that make it special. And the kicker is, the spectators can shuffle freely BEFORE anything starts.
Which makes it all that much more amazing of a prediction at the end.
5. Amazing Prediction by Harry Lorayne
You’ll almost ALWAYS find Harry Lorayne on lists like these.
The man is a prolific creator, and he’s created tons of classics in every single genre of card magic.
If you’re looking for a killer prediction trick, you should highly consider learning Amazing Prediction.
It shares some concepts and similarities with others on this list, but puts them together with some truly incredible kickers.
Amazing Prediction, like Untouched, uses a two-card prediction — one card predicts the suit and the other the value of a chosen card.
But that’s not at all!
When subtracted, the value of the two cards reveals a small number chosen by the participant earlier in the trick. When added, they reveal the location of the chosen card.
Then for yet another kicker ending, the next two cards in the deck are revealed to be the “mates” of the prediction cards.
Try this one for a multi-phase showstopper.
6. 1/2 Deck Impromptu Out of This World by Curry, Lorayne, Colombini, & Ammar
Alright, sick of these tricks that predict a single card?
Here’s something a little different.
The 1/2 deck impromptu version of the classic Out of This World taught on Ammar’s ETMCM is one of my favorite card tricks of all time.
Not only is it completely impromptu and absolutely shocking, it has a KILLER twist ending:
Bet you’ve never seen OOTW done as a prediction.
But in this one, you actually “let” the spectator get two cards wrong when they’re sorting red and black.
Only to reveal at the end that you knew which ones they would get wrong.
It floors people, trust me.
7. Gemini Twins (Fulves)
This classic trick, best credited as Stopped Twice by Karl Fulves (but sometimes called Gemini Twins), is similar in concept and execution to Daryl’s Untouched.
But some people prefer how this one presents.
In this trick, the magician removes two prediction cards from a fairly shuffled deck.
The predictions are laid face up on the table for all to see.
He then deals through the cards face down and invites a participant to say Stop.
At that point, he places the first prediction face up into the deck at the Stop point and continues, eventually placing the second prediction into the deck when stopped.
In the end, it’s revealed that the predictions were placed next to their perfect twins (same value and color) — the only place in the deck they could have been put.
This one is laughably easy to do, so you can focus all of your effort on a great performance.
The “best” prediction card trick really depends on your performing style and what kind of routine you’re looking for.
There are slow, methodical prediction tricks. And there are fast, hard-hitting openers.
The list above contains a mix of both, but ANY of these tricks can be absolutely lethal in the right hands.
What’s your favorite prediction card trick? Have you invented your own?
Before you go, don’t miss some of my other favorite card tricks like: