The Lie Detector Magic Trick

Are you looking for a fun but slightly impromptu magic trick to impress your friends or family?

Well, look no further! The Lie Detector Magic Trick is for YOU!

This magic trick is a little more advanced so it could be a little challenging for someone just beginning their magic journey BUT who doesn’t like a little bit of a challenge. It uses quite a few sleights but with some practice they are easily done and then you have an awesome new magic trick to awe anyone at any event!

There are a few things you will need to complete the Lie Detector Magic Trick. They are:

  • A normal deck of playing cards AND
  • Some type of flat surface to place the cards
  • (Audience members are recommended as well…)

Now let’s get started! 

The first step is to take the deck of cards and have someone from the audience (we call them the spectator), shuffle the deck and have them pick whatever card they would like. BUT don’t let them show you their card!

Now while they are looking at their card, quickly place a pinky break before the bottom card and cut about half of the deck off while keeping the pinky break transitioning it to a thumb break. All these breaks do is separate a singular card from the deck without the spectator knowing, to use as a reference point to find the spectator’s card further on in the Lie Detector Magic Trick. (See the photos below for help.)

How do you perform the Lie Detector Magic Trick?

Lie detector magic trick
Lie detector magic trick

Next, you will do a simple swing cut and have the spectator place their card on the pile without the thumb break. (This should be the half of the deck in your left hand.)

Lie detector magic trick

Put the deck with the thumb break on top of the deck in the left hand, while transitioning it back to a pinky break. (This should place one random card on top of the spectator’s card.)

Now that the deck is back together (still keeping the pinky break) begin to cut cards off the top of the deck until your pinky is on top, bringing the rando card and the spectator’s card to the top of the deck.

Combine the decks by placing the cards on the table underneath the cards in your hand.

Of course in any type of magic trick, explain to the spectator what is going on! Obviously to them, the location of their card is unknown so while you explain this,l add another pinky break with the bottom two cards in the deck, without the spectator noticing.

Again, transition the pinky break to another thumb break, and complete another swing cut keeping the half with the thumb break in one hand and the other half with the spectator’s card in the other hand.

This is where your awesome lie detecting skills come in! (Thus the name of the trick: the Lie Detector Magic Trick.) Before you begin to flip any cards, explain to the spectator that they have to lie to you and say that whatever card they are shown, they must say it is their card. 

So now you can begin. Flip over the first card asking: “Is this your card?”

The spectator should respond with: “YES! That is my card.”

(BUT we know that it isn’t.) Reply with the classic, “I don’t believe that is your card” and flip the card back over placing it onto the surface face down. 

The next card you flip over, should be the spectator’s card. Again you will go through the process of showing them the card and they will say “Yes this is my card”. Again you will reply with “I don’t believe you”. 

Remember we should still have a thumb break on the other hand so now as you flip over their card, leave the deck on top for just a second and drop the two cards being held with the thumb break on top of the spectators card. Then place the top card face down on the surface. 

You will repeat the previous process again for a third time. Showing the spectator the next card and placing that card face down on the surface.  

By this point the spectator’s card should be on top of the deck in your left hand. Now combine both decks, placing the deck in the left hand on top of the deck in the right hand. 

The second to last step is a little more complicated. You will be using a double lift. Now if you don’t know what a double lift is or are not sure how to complete one, here is a little tutorial video: 

Going back to the Lie Detector Magic Trick, use the double life to take the top two cards of the deck and show the spectator the second one, misleading them into thinking the two cards are one. Once you show them this card, explain to the spectator that you really believe that THIS is their card (even though we know it’s not). Flip the two cards over again and place the top card (the spectator’s card) face down in its own pile. 

At this point, the setup should now be 3 cards in one pile and 1 card by itself. 

As you show them the remaining cards, adimattely explain that their card is not in the pile with the 3 but that it is in the pile with the card by itself and proceed to show them. Flip over the 3 cards and the spectator will see that their card is not there! Then flip the remaining card over, and the spectator will see that it is their card! 

And that my friend is the Lie Dectector Magic Trick

It may seem a little complicated at first BUT with some practice you will become a mastor of lie detecting. 


Understandably, sometimes it can be hard to follow along with written instructions, so if you would like to follow along with a video, a tutorial link can be found below:

Now go and WOW all of your friends with your amazing new lie-detecting skills!

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